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.

Mrs Gina Blair The 194th Master of the Watermen’s Company .


The Watermen’s Company installed its 194th Master, Mrs Gina Blair, on Wednesday, 8th July at Watermen’s Hall. The ceremony was held partly with the Master and some Wardens physically present with the rest of the Court watching on Zoom. A celebratory small lunch observing social distancing followed. Derek Mann was installed as Senior Warden, with Alderman Sir David Wootton,  Ted Gradosielski BEM and Mrs Annamarie Phelps CBE as Junior Wardens

 Some helpful links –

The Company Calender 
The River Thames Lunch Club
The Watermen’s Company Shop 


Guidance relating to Watermen’s Hall, Company meetings during the 3rd Lockdown

Watermen’s Hall and its offices remains closed. Watermen’s Hall staff are all partly furloughed and when working are doing so from home. The Company’s Court and Committees are meeting on Zoom and there are no Company events planned before the Easter. Company classroom training has been force to stop though there is some “one to

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Company of Watermen & Lightermen Position: Clerk Location: City of London Salary: c£85,000 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

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