The Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager is the oldest continuously run single sculling race in the world and is run in conjunction with the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers.
Thomas Doggett (1640 – 1721) was born in Dublin but moved to London in 1690 to further his dream of acting. He was associated with the Drury Lane Theatre and played comedy parts up to his retirement in 1713.
To celebrate the accession of the House of Hanover (George I – formerly Duke of Brunswick) to the throne of England in 1715 Doggett founded the race, now known as the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager, however it was originally known as the Brunswick Coat and Badge Wager. The race was managed by Doggett up to his death in 1721.
On his death a sum of money was left to a Mr Burt of the Admiralty Office with instructions to manage the race. Mr Burt felt unwilling to accept this task and the trusteeship of the race was passed to the Fishmongers’ Company. Since 1722 the Fishmongers’ Company have organised the race in accordance with Doggett’s instructions.
Thomas Doggett, (1640 – 1721)
A likeness of Thomas Doggett by the artist Ying Yang is on display in the Court Room at Watermen’s Hall .
This is a copy of the original painting by Thomas Murray which is at Sherborne Castle in Dorset.
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