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.
The Wardens for the year are:
Sir David Wootton
You can follow the Master’s year by reading The Master’s Blog
At a virtual Court on Wednesday 15 April, Gina Blair was elected our first lady Master Elect. In addition, recognising the cancelled events caused by the Covid-19 pandemic Court agreed to increase the terms of office of both the Master and the Master Elect, so that each will serve 18 months.
Some helpful links –
The Company Calender
The River Thames Lunch Club
The Watermen’s Company Shop
View from my Window
Thank you to all Freemen who took part in our recent photo competition. We had some really wonderful contributions and very varied. The winner was David Redmond, with Robert Constant and Pru Beard as ‘runners up’
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Guidance relating to Watermen’s Company Meetings and Events in light of COVID-19
In light of the current unprecedented situation in relation to COVID-19, the General Purposes and Finance Committee has agreed that Committee Meetings and Company Events will be cancelled until the end of June 2020. It is intended where ever possible that the Standing Committees should meet virtually online by video conferences using Zoom on the
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