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 – Watermen’s Hall,  located at St Mary at Hill, which is where we can 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.

Following his Installation the new Master, Dr Iain Reid (centre) is pictured with (L to R): Sir David Wootton (Junior Warden) Tony Maynard (Senior Warden), and Gina Blair and  Sean Collins (Junior Wardens).

The Master Dr Iain Reid and the Mistress Mrs Susan Keane .

Some helpful links –

To  find the Watermen’s shop 

To read the Master’s Blog

For details of The  River Thames Lunch Club

To check the Company Calendar 


Poors Compassionate Allowance

The Trustees of the Watermen’s Company Poors Fund were delighted this year to be able to increase the amount given at Christmas to those on the Compassionate List. This is thanks to the generosity of all those Freemen who pay quarterage. We know how much this means to those who received the annual allowance from … read more

New Vicar for All Hallows by the Tower

The Bishop of London has appointed The Rev’d Katherine Hedderly as the new Vicar of All Hallows. Katherine is currently an Associate Vicar for Ministry at St Martin in the Fields, where she leads the day-to-day worship and liturgical programme and operational life of S Martin’s and is responsible for the pastoral care, oversight of … read more

The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF

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