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 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).
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
List of all our Masters
Thames Memorial at All Hallows by the Tower
The Service for the Dedication of the Thames Memorial at All Hallows by the Tower was held on the 25th June 2019. The Master of the Company, Dr Iain Reid lit a candle in memory of the lives lost on the Thames and also placed flowers by the new Thames Memorial. The
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Court of Bindings
At Watermen’s Hall today eleven new apprentices and trainees were bound. Well done and congratulations to all. Gathered below in the Freemen’s Room 10th June 2019 our new apprentices and trainees In alphabetical order: Joe Baker, Max Baker, Artem Bondarenko, Brandon Cripps, Harry Dovydovas, Mason Knowles, Callum Paige, Henry Pelham, Andrew Stones, Andrew Stylianou and Max Turner. For
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