The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2Allen, Thomas
. Barry wavy of and az. on the middle bar a boat ; on a chief of the , oars in saltier of the , between cushions of the tasselled or. . A dexter arm embowed proper, vested holding in the hand an oar erect or; over the crest this .
. dolphins finned
The watermen do not appear to have had any charter of incorporation before the reign of Philip and Mary, when they were established by parliament, , and it was enacted in the and of that reign, cap. , that, out of the watermen between Gravesend and Windsor, overseers shall be chosen by the court of aldermen of the city of London, to keep order over the whole body. Besides it is ordained, that their wherries are to be feet and a half long, and feet and a half broad in the midship, or be liable to forfeiture; watermen's names were to be registered by the overseers, and their fares appointed by the court of aldermen, &c. and the lord mayor and aldermen of London, and the justices of the peace of the counties adjoining to the Thames, have power to determine offences.
By an act passed in the year of the reign of king George II. no waterman on the Thames shall take any apprentice or servant, unless he registers the place of his known habitation with the clerk of the company, on pain of , and if any person, not having served years to a waterman, shall row any boat for hire, he incurs the like penalty; but gardeners' boats, dungboats, lighters, &c. are excepted.
By an act passed in the and Geo. IV. c. , this company was re-incorporated by the of
they are authorized to purchase land of the yearly value of
The common concerns of this company are regulated by a general court, consisting of a master, wardens, and assistants. All the boats belonging to this fraternity must be numbered and registered, and any exaction or extortion beyond the proper rates fixed by the lord mayor and court of aldermen (a list of which rates or fares is always hung up in the passage to the court rooms at ,) or any abuse or misbehaviour, subjects the offender to a fine or imprisonment for a stated time. The application for redress should be made generally to the clerk of the
| watermens'-hall, and the number of the boat given; the offender is then summoned to answer the complaint, and the cause is heard, and summarily decided. Among the offences punishable by fine, are |
if uttered while rowing on the river, or at any of the plying places between Gravesend and Windsor. No waterman's apprentice is suffered to have the sole care of a boat, unless he shall have worked and rowed upon the river Thames, as an apprentice for years, under a penalty of on the master.
The number of watermen belonging to the company is upwards of , of whom about are freemen of the city; non-freemen, and apprentices. About of this body were, in the year , supposed to be serving in the royal navy; the lords of the Admiralty having power to apply to the company, under an act made in the time of William and Mary, for a certain number of watermen whenever there should be occasion for their services. Waterman's-hall is a small but neat building, situated on .