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 


Burn’s Night Celebrations 21st January

A splendid evening was experienced by all dining at Watermen’s Hall who enjoyed a traditional ‘Burns Night’ menu. Below – The Master cutting  the haggis under the watchful eye of Master of Ceremonies Bob Nesbit. Photo by the Clerk.

... read more

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

... read more

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