The Company of
Watermen & Lightermen
of the River Thames

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.

Mr Tony Maynard HMW was installed as the 193rd Master of the Watermen’s Company on 10 July 2019. (picture below).

The Wardens for the year are Senior Warden Mrs Gina Blair, Junior Wardens Derek Mann, Ted Gradosielski and Sir David Wootton.

You can follow the Master’s year by reading The Master’s Blog

Some helpful links –
Freemen’s Events 
The Company Calender 
The Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager
The River Thames Lunch Club
The Watermen’s Company Shop 


Raising the Bar for River Workers’ Safety Training

The following letter has been send out of behalf of the Port of London Authority and the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames A partnership to promote the highest safety standards for all boat operators on the tidal Thames has been launched by the Company of Waterman & Lighterman and the Port

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Library Search

The Company has a library of around 1000 books, maps and archive items, ranging from readily-available current and recent publications to 500-year-old handwritten records and archives.   The library is not open for browsing or lending books, but Freemen of the Company and accredited researchers can search the library index to identify books or archives they

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

© 2020 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen