The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2

Allen, Thomas


Watermen. 91.


. 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 .

By command of our superiors.

. 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

The master, wardens, and commonalty of the watermen and lightermen of the river Thames;

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

immodest and lewd expressions,

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 .

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 Title Page
 CHAPTER I: History of London, from the Accession of William and Mary, to the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER II: History of London during the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER III: History of London from the Accession of George the Third, to the year 1780
 CHAPTER IV: History of London continued to the Union
 CHAPTER V: History of London from the Union to the Jubilee, 1809
 CHAPTER VI: History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814
 CHAPTER VII: History of London continued to the accession of George the Fourth
 CHAPTER VIII: Account of the Civil Government of the City by Portreves, Bailiffs, and Mayors, with a list of the latter...
 CHAPTER IX: An account of the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with a list of the latter
CHAPTER X: Lists and brief Accounts of the various Officers and Courts within the City
CHAPTER XI: Some account of the Ecclesiastical Government of the city of London, with a List and Biographical Notices of the Bishops of the see
CHAPTER XII: Some Account of the Military Government of London, and the Artillery Company
CHAPTER XIII: An Account of the twelve principal Companies of the City of London
CHAPTER XIV: An Account of the Companies of the City of London, alphabetically arranged
 CHAPTER XV: An Account of the River Thames
CHAPTER XVI: Historical and topographical account of London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and the Thames Tunnel
CHAPTER XVII: Topographical and Historical Account of the Tower of London