Gold Ribbon Banner
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Master Mariners CrestThe ancient city of London is a city and ceremonial county within the conurbation of Greater London. It constituted most of old London from its settlement by the Romans, once called Londinium, in the 1st century AD to the middle ages. The conurbation has since grown far beyond the City’s borders and is now only a tiny part of the metropolis, though it remains a notable part of central London. The city of London itself has grown very little since Roman times and the boundaries are only a few hundred metres outside the original city walls. It is one of two districts of Greater London to hold city status; the other is the adjacent city of Westminster.

The city of London is divided into 25 wards. They are survivors of the mediaeval government system that allowed a very local area to exist as a self-governing unit within the wider city. They can be described as electoral/political divisions; ceremonial, geographic and administrative entities; sub-divisions of the City. Each ward has an Alderman, who traditionally held office for life but in the modern era put themselves up for re-election at least every six years. Wards continue to have Beadles, an ancient office which is now largely ceremonial: the main remaining function is the running of the Wardmote, an annual meeting in each ward of electors, representatives and officials. At the Wardmote the ward’s Alderman appoints at least one Deputy for the year ahead. Each ward also has a Ward Club, which is similar to a residents’ association found elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

The wards are ancient and their number has changed only three times since time immemorial: in 1394 Farringdon was divided into Farringdon Within and Farringdon Without; in 1550 the ward of Bridge (London Bridge) Without, south of the river (river Thames), was created, the ward of Bridge becoming Bridge Within; and the Bridge wards Within and Without were merged in 1978 as Bridge ward.

The city of London is widely referred to simply as the City (often written as just “City” and differentiated from the phrase “the city of London” by capitalising “City”) and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2) in area. Both of these terms are also often used as terms for the United Kingdom’s trading and financial services industries, which continue a notable history of being largely based in the City. The City (through Liverymen of the City) elects a Lord Mayor every year that represents the City throughout the world as her representative. The Lord Mayor (immortalized by Richard Wittington and his “cat”) should not be confused with the Mayor of London who is responsible for the administration of Greater London and her boroughs.

THE “GUILDS”
During the late 11th century, and possibly before 1066, there grew up trade associations known as “Guilds” which represented the various skills to be found within (and without) the City walls. The Guilds came into being to regulate skills, provide training apprenticeships and alms for those of their Guild who fell on hard times. Today the livery companies of the City of London comprise its ancient and modern trade associations and guilds, almost all of which are styled the “Worshipful Company of...” their respective craft, trade or profession. The exception to this being the Master Mariners who were granted the title “Honourable” by HM King George V for the noble, self sacrificing and honourable work Master Mariners gave to the United Kingdom during World War I. Latterly the Guild of Air Pilots have been granted the title “Honourable” by HM Queen Elizabeth II on presentation of their Charter in 2013. London’s medieval guilds developed into corporations responsible for training as well as regulating their respective trades, such as wage control, labour conditions and industry standards. Like most organisations during the Middle Ages, guilds or livery companies were obliged to forge close ties with the Church in Rome (at least prior to the Protestant Reformation) by endowing religious establishments such as chantry chapels and churches, by observing religious festivals with hosting ceremonies and their well-known mystery plays. Most livery companies retain their historical religious associations, although nowadays members are free to follow any faith or none.

LIVERIES
Colourful gowns, hats and trappings worn by senior members of the guilds, brought about the term “livery”. The wearing of badges of office is a relatively recent innovation, having been introduced in the 19th century. Most livery companies maintain their original trade, craft or professional roles, some still exercise powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement, and others are awarding bodies for professional qualifications. The Scriveners’ Company (No 44) admits senior members of legal and associated professions, the Apothecaries’ Company (No 58) awards post-graduate qualifications in some medical specialties, and the Hackney Carriage Drivers’ Company (No 104) comprises licensed taxi drivers who have passed the “Knowledge of London” test. Several companies restrict membership only to those holding relevant professional qualifications, eg the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (No 78), the City of London Solicitors’ Company (No 79) and the Worshipful Company of Engineers (No 94). Other companies, whose trade died out long ago, such as the Longbow Makers’ Company (Bowyers Company No 38) have evolved into being primarily charitable foundations. London’s livery companies, which currently number 110, play a significant part in City life, not least by providing charitable-giving and networking opportunities. Liverymen retain voting rights for the senior civic offices, such as the Sheriffs and Lord Mayor of the City of London Corporation, an ancient municipal authority with extensive local government powers.

HONOURABLE COMPANY
The origins of the Honourable Company may be traced to the Annual Shipmasters’ Dinner held in Liverpool on 2nd March 1921. Sir Robert Burton-Chadwick Bt, suggested that the profession was entitled to form, and was capable of forming a Guild or Company, very much on the lines of the old city of London Livery Companies. Burton- Chadwick’s vision was realised on 25th June 1926 with the formation of the Company of Master Mariners.

In March 1928 Edward, Prince of Wales, assumed the office of Master. In June of that year HM King George V bestowed the title of Honourable on the Company – a rare and signal honour. The title of Honourable had only ever previously been bestowed on two other companies; the Honourable East India Company and the Honourable Artillery Company. The Honourable Artillery Company continues today as a territorial regiment in the British Army, whereas the Honourable East India Company was stripped of its administrative powers over India in 1858 before being dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1874. Recently the Guild of Airline Pilots also took the title on obtaining their Royal Charter.

The city of London welcomed the new Master Mariners Company with great warmth and in 1932 the City Court of Aldermen conferred on the Company the status of Livery. It was the first time in over 200 years that the ancient doors of the Guildry of London had been opened to a new Company. The Company became 78th in order of precedence in the Livery and is noted as the first “modern” Company.

HQS Wellington Her Majesty the Queen became the Honourable Company’s Patron in 1952. His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was Master from 1954 to 1957, and then became Admiral of the Company – a post he holds to this day. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was a Master from 1988 to 1990 and The Honourable Company’s connection with the Royal family continued with the installation of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal as Master of the Company from 2005 until April 2007.

From its foundation it was always the ambition of the founding members of the Company to have a Livery Hall. Up to the outbreak of war in 1939, various proposals were examined, including the purchase of the sailing ship, the Archibald Russell. After the war, it became apparent that the possibility of building a Hall in the City of London had been rendered very remote. In 1947, the Grimsby class sloop Wellington was made available by the British Admiralty. The Company decided to buy her with money subscribed by the Members and convert her into a floating Livery Hall - an appropriate home for a Company of seafarers.

Built at Devonport in 1934, HMS Wellington served in the Pacific mainly on station in New Zealand and China before World War II. Wellington was fitted with two 4.7 inch and one three inch guns. Additionally, anti-aircraft guns were fitted for self defence. Depth charges, for use against submarines were also carried. The Wellington served primarily in the North Atlantic on convoy escort duties. She shared in the destruction of one enemy U-Boat and was involved in Operation Cycle, the evacuation of troops from St Valery. She was then converted from being His Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Wellington to Head Quarters Ship (HQS) Wellington at the Chatham dockyards. The cost of this conversion was met by an appeal to which Lloyd’s, Shipping Companies, Livery Companies and many other benefactors generously contributed. She arrived at her Victoria Embankment berth on the River Thames in December 1948 to continue service as the floating livery hall of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. HQS Wellington has remained at this berth, since then. Her stern moorings are in the city of London. The ship is within the city of Westminster. This might change within the next two years if the new Garden Bridge is to be built where Wellington’s forward moorings now lie. She will be moved about 75 metres down stream and can then say that she truly lies within the bounds of the City.

In 1991 HQS Wellington was dry-docked at Sheerness for three months during which, apart from extensive steelwork repairs and complete external painting, she received a major refurbishment, which included the refitting of all toilet facilities, offices and accommodation areas. For the first time, Wellington was fully fitted with custommade carpet, which added a feeling of comfort and warmth to the ship. This, coupled with imaginative displays of the Company’s marine paintings and artefacts, gold and silver plate, ship models and newly discovered very early 18th century Mercator charts, helped to make the ship a Livery Hall which is admired throughout the City of London

Today the Honourable Company of Master Mariners is a robust company of approximately 700 members, one of the largest Guilds in the City. It is well respected not only within the City and the Guilds but also has strong connections with other Master Mariner Companies throughout the Commonwealth and the USA set up after the formation of the Honourable Company. It has strong connections with The Corporation of Trinity House, The Nautical Institute, the Royal Institute of Navigation, the Institute of Marine Engineers, Scientists and Technologists, The Royal Navy, The Marine Society, The Merchant Navy Association and other notable maritime trusts and organisations. The Honourable Company administers a charitable trust to benefit Merchant Navy Officers and dependants. It also supports a number of maritime affiliated schools including Christ Hospital school.

Read the rest of this article with additional pictures in Sea Breezes Magazine - May 2015 Issue
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

Boudicca

Most Popular

  • Oil Leak Survey of WWII British Tanker Wreck +

  • Saint Brandan - "Vital Spark of the South Atlantic" +

  • Six LNG Carriers Join BP Fleet +

  • Tragedy of the “Stellar Daisy” +

  • Museum Says ‘it’ is the End of the Line for ‘Her’ +

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Crowds Tribute to the Last Tyne +

    Annie Blaker The last of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s famous Tyne class lifeboats was launched for the last time at her Read More
  • Clyde’s Vital Role in Onshore Windfarm +

    Clydeport Clydeport has played a vital role in the building of the UK’s largest onshore windfarm on Eaglesham Moor, just 20 Read More
  • Museum Says ‘it’ is the End of the Line for ‘Her’ +

    Scottish Maritime Museum The Scottish Maritime Museum, at Irvine, has abandon hundreds of years of maritime history and tradition and decided to stop Read More
  • Six LNG Carriers Join BP Fleet +

    BP Partnership Class Six new 173,400 cu m capacity LNG carriers have joined the fleet of BP Shipping, of London. Read More
  • Warehouse Boosts Import of Forest Products +

    Freight A new £17mn warehouse is to be built at Liverpool by the national logistics provider Jenkins which specialises in paper, Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Changes in Tolls for Using Panama Canal +

    MSC Pohlin The Panama Canal plans to modify its tolls structure for all types of ships “to better serve the global maritime Read More
  • Largest LNG Carrier Sails From West to East +

    Al Safliya The largest LNG tanker to use the Panama Canal since it was expanded less that three years ago passed through Read More
  • Oil Leak Survey of WWII British Tanker Wreck +

    Coimbra Wreck The US Coast Guard were evaluating a plan to remove oil from a tanker that was sunk in the Second Read More
  • Line Sells Long Beach Container Terminal +

    Long Beach Container Terminal The Hong Kong shipping group Orient Overseas (International) Ltd (OOIL) is selling its Long Beach Container Terminal, California, to a Read More
  • Terminal to be Extended After Record Year +

    Viau Montreal The Viau container terminal at Montreal, Canada, is to be expanded so that it can handle 600,000 teu a year. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • “Prelude” Makes its Debut With First LNG Cargo +

    Prelude The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has left Shell’s floating LNG facility Prelude some 475kms north-east of Broome Read More
  • Special Navigating System to be Fitted to VLCCs +

    AR Nav Following two-ship trials, augmented reality (AR) navigation systems are to be installed on 21 very large crude oil carriers (VLCCs) Read More
  • Work Starts on Hybrid Series +

    Grimaldi Hybrid In China, construction has started at the Jinling Shipyard on the first of the Grimaldi Group’s new hybrid roll-on, roll-off Read More
  • Tragedy of the “Stellar Daisy” +

    Stellar Daisy The very large ore carrier Stellar Daisy, 266,141dwt, was owned by Polaris Shipping, of Seoul, South Korea, and had been Read More
  • Line’s Special Offer to Help Clean Up the Seas +

    The Ocean Cleanup The Singapore shipping company APL is providing free shipping for the non-profit Ocean Cleanup organisation that is working to develop Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • Fourth Dreadnought Named HMS “King George VI” +

    Dreadnought Class UK News The fourth member of the new Dreadnought class of nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines will bear the name Read More
  • US Navy Orders Flight II Landing Platform Dock +

    LDP30 American News The contract for the construction of LPD30, the first Flight II Landing Platform Dock of the San Antonio Read More
  • US Navy Seeks Faster Ship Delivery +

    FFGX Rendering American News The future frigate program for the US Navy is getting fully underway and some idea of the urgency Read More
  • HMS “Dragon” in £75 Million Narcotics Seizure +

    HMS Dragon British News Whilst on patrol in the Gulf, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon seized and destroyed ten tonnes of Read More
  • New Generation of Enterprise Confirmed +

    USS Enterprise American News On 31 January, the US Department of Defense announced the awarding of a block buy contract with Huntington Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Oscar Goes to Italy +

    Oscar Wilde Irish Continental Group has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of its 1987-built Oscar Wilde to Read More
  • CalMac Heritage +

    Columba I include a fine poster and artist’s image of the famed Macbrayne paddler Columba. Read More
  • Russian Adventure +

    Ocean Adventurer To the North East Coast and arriving at Aberdeen for the first time for many months, I witnessed a passenger Read More
  • Further Delay for LNG Powered Glen Sannox +

    Glen Sannox The drama surrounding the much delayed new ferries for Caledonian MacBrayne continues to rumble on with the latest, not unsurprising, Read More
  • Pentland Ferries Loses Appeal +

    Hamnavoe Scotland’s Pentland Ferries has lost its appeal against Scottish government state aid for ferry services between the mainland and the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • The Green Band of Marstal +

    Bessie Ellen The Danish Maritime Museum had the schooner Bonavista built on the island of Aero at Marstal and this year they Read More
  • Norweigan National Day +

    Thorodd I was in Montrose on the Norwegian National Day, 17 May, when its independent constitution from Sweden was confirmed in Read More
  • Port of Aberdeen Fifty Years On +

    Aberdeen Harbour Extension Project When I first arrived in Aberdeen in 1968, I couldn’t believe my luck. Read More
  • Thames Tributary Barges +

    Lady of the Lea Most of the rivers flowing into the Thames had their own barge type. Read More
  • Dry Rot and Dry Dock +

    HMS Victory For some time Victory, the 110gun ship of the line, has had trouble with dry rot and is in danger Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Lifeline Cash for “Waverley” Agreed +

    Waverley The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) has announced that it will provide immediate funding to support efforts to “Save The Read More
  • Viking Glory Celebrates Keel Laying +

    Front Altair The construction of Viking Glory is proceeding on schedule. Read More
  • The Majestic River Rhine +

    MS Charles Dickens In September of this year, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful Riviera Travel river cruise on the majestic River Read More
  • What Next in the US-Iran Saga? +

    Front Altair Over the last year, the escalating trade war between the US and China has created many headlines, not least in Read More
  • Modus Expands Fleet of Hybrid Autonomous Vehicles +

    Saab Seaeye Modus has placed an order with Saab Seaeye for the next vehicle in its Hybrid Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAU V) Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Every Ash Cloud Has A Silver Lining +

    The ash cloud crisis continues to cause uncertainty as we see sporadic closures of airspace and cancelled flights, and this Read More
  • Damen Group Superyachts +

    Amels With 25 projects underway, business is booming for Amels, the Dutch luxury yacht builder. Read More
  • Singer Andrea Bocelli Trades Up in Size +

    Stella del Nord Andrea Bocelli, the blind Italian tenor and song writer whose work spans both popular music and classical opera is a Read More
  • Plans for Greenock Terminal Approved +

    Greenock Ocean Terminal Plans have been approved for an iconic building on the banks of the Clyde at Greenock to welcome cruise ship Read More
  • Leixoes Cruise Terminal, Gateway to Porto +

    Leixoes Cruise Terminal With the growth of the cruise industry, many ports worldwide have been active in developing or improving their port facilities. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Suez Canal

The Creation of the Suez Canal - Part Two

IAt the end of 1858, the company’s Works Committee convened for the first time. It included an impressive assembly of Read More
Mv Saint Brandan

Saint Brandan - "Vital Spark of the South Atlantic"

In 1876, James Gardner commissioned a small vessel to transport quarried stone from Ballachulish to Glasgow. He also opened an Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

Mercury

Tribute to the "Mercury"

In the summer of 1968, the training ship Mercury in the Hamble River closed down after many years of training Read More
SS Eastern (2)

MT Arthur Foss

“The last vessel to escape Wake Island before Japanese forces captured the island” Read More
  • 1
  • 2