The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF
Telephone: (+44) 020 7283 2373 Fax: (+44) 020 7283 0477 E-mail:

The Company’s principal activity is that of a working guild,  providing services to its Freemen, facilitating an apprenticeship scheme, acting as trustee for its charities and participating in the traditions of the City of London.The Company is governed by a Court of Assistants. This is led by the Master and four Wardens who are elected annually by the Court. The Company has over 390 Freemen who are either Craft Owning or appointed as they have a special connection with the River. We also have some 500 Journeymen Freemen who have completed a five year  apprenticeship to become qualified Watermen and/or Lightermen (now the Boat Master's Licence).

Watermen and Lightermen -  Watermen carry passengers whilst Lightermen carry goods and cargoe.

Livery - The Livery Companies of the City of London represent historic trades such as the Fishmongers, Apothecaries and Vintners Companies. Most are known as ‘Worshipful Companies’. Companies obtaining livery since 1926 are often referred to as ‘modern Livery Companies'.

The Company of Watermen and Lightemen, is recognised as a City company but is without livery for historic reasons and known simple as The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames.

History - The Company has produced a pamphlet summarising its history and traditions. To order a free copy please apply to the Administrator at the address on the Home Page enclosing an A4 stamped addressed envelope.

500 years of the Company - just click on Company tab for more information

The  Master Robert Prentice

The Lantern Light and main staircase 
at Watermen’s Hall
About Us