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.
Tony Maynard HMW was installed as the 193rd Master of the Watermen’s Company on 10 July 2019.
The new Master is pictured with (L to R): Ted Gradosielski BEM (Junior Warden) Mrs Gina Blair (Senior Warden), Derek Mann and Sir David Wootton (Junior Wardens).
Some helpful links –
The River Thames Lunch Club
The Company Calendar
The Watermen’s Company Shop
The Immediate Past Master’s Blog
Doggett’s Coat & Badge
Four apprentices will contest the world’s oldest rowing race on 4 September. Held every year since 1715, the 4 mile 5 furlong Doggett’s course between London Bridge and Cadogan Pier, Chelsea, passes beneath a total of eleven bridges and is a real test of the scullers’ watermanship. The draw for stations took place at Watermen’s Hall
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Court of Admissions
Monday 8 July 2019 Eight new Freemen took their oaths Watermen’s Hall. Many congratulations to you all. Photograph by Alex Hickman taken in the Freemen’s Room at Watermens Hall. L-R: James Berry, Jack Finelli, George Gilbert, Joe McCarthy, Max Wilson, Andrew Coppin, Patrick Keech and Christopher Davis
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