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.
Master’s Installation July 2022
The Master is pictured above, with his Wardens
Alderman Sir David Wootton was yesterday installed as the 196th Master of the Watermen’s Company, and is pictured with (L to R) Junior Warden GrahamBarnard, Senior Warden Ted Gradosielski, and Junior Warden Sean Collins. Junior Warden Ted Manning will take his oath at the October Court meeting.
Following the installation the entire Court processed to Southwark Cathedral for Choral Evensong, followed by a Celebratory Dinner in the Old Library.
Photo courtesy of Freeman, Robert Treharne Jones
Freemen’s Lunch – Wednesday 7th June 2023
Dear Freemen, The next Freemen’s Lunch will be held at Watermen’s Hall on Wednesday 7th June 2023. Our Master Alderman Sir David Wootton hopes that you will be able to attend. Lunch is 12.30pm for dining at 1.00pm. The price per Freeman and/or guest is £85 per person. If you would like to attend, please
Great opportunity to trial or practice your rowing skills at Royal Albert Docks – all abilities welcome SPRING ROWING EVENT – Royal Albert Docks / London Regatta Centre – Sunday 11th June 2023 AM Session: Freemen & Apprentices Rowing – 09:30-12:00 Naming Ceremony Of Sculls – 12:00 to 12:45 Fish & Chips Lunch: 12:45 to
Watermen’s Hall is one of the City of London’s finest venues for conferences, banquets, receptions, award ceremonies, business meetings, wedding receptions, private dining and silver service luncheons for up to 80 people.
This 18th century Georgian Hall graces the City with its historical elegance and spaces to suit every occasion.
Please contact Mark Grove at The Cook and The Butler, either by phone or email, for all hiring enquiries:
Telephone: 020 7620 1818
Fax: 020 7620 1820
For more information about our rooms click on the link below