The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames was founded in 1514, when the earliest Act of Parliament for regulating watermen, wherrymen and bargemen received Royal Assent from King Henry VIII.
Under a further Act of 1555 the Company introduced apprenticeships for those wishing to learn the skills of the Watermen. In 1700 the Lightermen (carriers of goods/cargo) joined the Watermen’s Company.
In 1780 The Company moved into its own purpose built hall in St Mary at Hill, where we can still be found today. The Company is a working guild and is very actively involved with the life of the River and those who work on it. The Company is governed by a Court of Assistants, led by the Master and four Wardens, who are elected annually by the Court.
Master’s Installation July 2023
The Master is pictured above, with his Wardens
Master Ted Gradosielski BEM installed as the 197th Master of the Watermen’s Company, pictured with (L to R) Immediate past Master Ald. Sir David Wootton, Junior Warden Sean Collins, Junior Warden Graham Barnard, Senior Warden Ted Manning along with newly installed Junior Warden David Beard.
Following the installation the entire Court processed to All Hallows by the Tower for a wonderful service followed by a celebratory lunch on board The Elizabethan.
Annual National Service for Seafarers – 11th October 2023
In 2022 The Annual National Service for Seafarers made a triumphant return to St Paul’s Cathedral. Please join us on 11 October 2023 to commemorate and celebrate all Seafarers from across the maritime profession, including representatives from the Royal and Merchant Navies, the fishing industry, commercial shipping, nautical schools, maritime youth groups and veterans’ associations.
Thomas Martyn’s Foundation Service and Reception (Putney) – 15th October 2023
The Thomas Martyn’s Foundation Annual Service of Commemoration at 4pm at St Mary’s Church in Putney followed by the Reception at The London Rowing Club directly thereafter on Sunday 15th October 2023. Thomas Martyn was a wealthy gentleman who lived in Putney in the late 17th century. In his will, made shortly before his death
Watermen’s Hall is one of the City of London’s finest venues for conferences, banquets, receptions, award ceremonies, business meetings, wedding receptions, private dining and silver service luncheons for up to 80 people.
This 18th century Georgian Hall graces the City with its historical elegance and spaces to suit every occasion.
Please contact Mark Grove at The Cook and The Butler, either by phone or email, for all hiring enquiries:
Telephone: 020 7620 1818
Fax: 020 7620 1820
For more information about our rooms click on the link below