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.
Tony Maynard HMW was installed as the 193rd Master of the Watermen’s Company on 10 July 2019.
The new Master is pictured with (L to R): Ted Gradosielski BEM (Junior Warden) Mrs Gina Blair (Senior Warden), Derek Mann and Sir David Wootton (Junior Wardens).
Some helpful links –
The River Thames Lunch Club
The Watermen’s Company Shop
The Master’s Blog
Doggett’s Coat & Badge 2019
Craft-owning Freeman Tim Koch describes the epic encounter of the 2019 race in his article, which originally appeared on the rowing website ‘Hear the Boat Sing!’ I rarely make predictions when it comes to rowing races and generally adopt the noncommittal approach exemplified by misquoting University Boat Race commentator, John Snagge, and his famous
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The Master formally opened the refurbished Freemen’s Room after the Court Meeting on the 2nd October. The works were carried out during August and September thanks to the financial support of the PQ’s.
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