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.

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 


Doggett’s Emblem and Rowing Awards

On Tuesday 29th of January the first Doggett’s Emblem and Rowing Awards Dinner was held at Watermen’s Hall.  At this very well attended event  the presentations were made by The Master, Dr Iain Reid and the Prime Warden of the FIshmongers’ Company, Mr David Robinson.  Mr Robinson presented the Doggett’s medal to the runner up … read more

The World’s Oldest Boat Race

The Thames Festival Trust is delighted to announce that their project web page for the The World’s Oldest Boat Race is now live. You can delve into the heritage of The Race for the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Wager, rowed every year since 1715 On the site you will find an original documentary film following … read more

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

© 2019 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen