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sixty, nor are less than forty; to which nine lightermen being added, they altogether compose the assistants to the company.
The persons composing this body are empowered to appoint any number of watermen, not exceeding forty, to ply and work on Sundays, between Vauxhall and Limehouse; at such places as shall be appointed, to carry over passengers, at a regulated rate; the money earned by such labour, is carried to the hall by each waterman, who, having been paid his proper wages, the rest is consolidated as a fund for the relief of the poor belonging to the fraternity. The sums raised by these means are very considerable *.
Should the lord high admiral, or the commissioners of the Admiralty, at any time give notice to the Watermen's Company, that there is occasion for a certain number of that fraternity to serve in the royal navy; then all such persons as shall be duly summoned and do not appear, shall not only suffer one month's imprisonment, but be rendered incapable of enjoying any privilege belonging to the company for two years. The above are the provisions of the act of William III.
In the year 1701, during the same reign, an order was made by the court of rulers, auditors, and assistants of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the river Thames, observing, “ that several watermen and their apprentices, while they are rowing upon that river, or at their plying places between Gravesend and Windsor, often use immodest, obscene, and lewd expressions towards passengers, and to each other, that are offensive to all sober persons, and tend to the corruption of youths; it was there. fore ordained, That watermen or lightermen, convicted of using such expressions, forfeit 28. 6d. for every such
The watermen of Westminster being exempt from the immediata direction of the company, in this circumstance, annually appoint their own watermen to ply and work on Sundays, for carrying passengers across the Thames; which money is applied to the use of the poor wa-' termen, or their widows, in the parishes of St. Margaret, and St. Joha the Evangelist, in that city. VOL. II. No. 40.
offence; and if any waterman or lighterman's apprentice shall offend in the same manner, his master or mistress shall on his conviction, forfeit the like sum ; or, in case of their refusal, the offender shall suffer such correction as the rulers of the company shall think fit and necessary. The forfeitures, when paid, to be applied to the use of the poor, aged, -decayed, and maimed members of the company, their widows and children."
All boats belonging to the company must be numbered, and entered in the company's register; and to prevent imposition, the rates of passage upon the river are regulated by the lord mayor and court of aldermen; a list of which, framed and glazed, are hung up in the passage to the court rooms of aldermen and common council, Guildhall. Any exaction or extortion beyond the rates fixed, subjects the offender to a fine, or imprisonment for a stated time. The application for this purpose is to the clerk of Watermen's Hall, giving the number of the boat ; the offender will then be summoned to answer the complaint, whether for exaction, abuse, or any other misbehaviour; and, if convicted, properly punished.
In our first volume * we gave an extract from an act, passed in the reign of Geo. II. for the preservation of the lives of persons passing on the river Thames.
We further state that by the same statute, it is enacted, " That every tilt boat shall be of the burthen of fifteen tons; and that no Gravesend boats, or wberries, with close decks or bailed down, and not moveable, be navigated, tiltboats only excepted, on the penalty of 101.” +
Any watermen or wherrymen who wilfully or negligently lose their tide from Billingsgate to Gravesend, or from thence to Billingsgate, by putting ashore for other passengers, or by waiting or loitering by the way, so that the first passengers
shall be set on shore two miles short of the place to which they are bound, shall not be entitled to claim any fare of the passenger. • Page 363. + Thames Police
The rulers of the Watermen's Company are to appoint two or more officers to attend, one at Billingsgate, at every time of high water at London Bridge; and the other at Gravesend, at the first of flood; who shall publicly ring a bell for fifteen minutes, to give notice to the tilt-boats and wherries to put off. And if such wherrymen, &c. do not immediately put off on ringing the said bell; and do not effectually proceed on their voyage, but put on shore within two miles of Billingsgate, or Gravesend, as the case may be ; or if such boats are not navigated by two sufficient men, the youngest to be eighteen years old at least ; in every such case the owners of such boats shall forfeit 51. to be levied on the boats or goods of the owners of such boats.
And if the Company of Watermen neglect setting up the bells, and appointing proper persons to ring them, they shall forfeit 50l. persons appointed to ring the said bells, shall forfeit 407. for every neglect.
The statute of 34 Geo. III. after reciting the various preceding laws, repeals the statute of Philip and Mary, inficting severe punishments on watermen for extortion, and places them more immediately under the government of the magistracy.
" The court of lord mayor and aldermen are empowered to make rules and orders for the government of watermen, wherrymen, and lightermen, between Gravesend and Windsor: and jurisdiction is given to the mayor, recorder, or any one alderman within the city, and the justices of the peace of the counties and places next adjoining to the river, to put all laws, rules, and orders, made by the said court of mayor and aldermen, or by the rulers of the Watermen's Company, and approved of by the court, in execution against watermen and others, guilty of any offence against such laws, rules, and orders.
“ Such rules may be enforced by penalties and forfeitures, not exceeding 31. for any offence, and are to be approved of by one of the chief judges. A copy of them being thirty days previously sent to the Watermen's ComPp 2
pany, who may submit objections to the judges. Within thirty days after, being allowed, copies of the rules are to be sent to the public offices in Middlesex and Surrey, and to the clerks of the peace of the counties and places adjoining the river.
“ Authority is also given to the lord mayor, recorder, or one alderman of London, and to any justice or justices of the peace, within their respective jurisdictions, to summon offenders (within six days after any offence is committed) and, on the refusal to appear, to apprehend them by warrant, and to punish them by fine, not exceeding the penalty imposed for the offence; or, in case of refusal, to pay the fine, by imprisonment not exceeding one month.
“ A like authority is given to summon, apprehend, and punish persons refusing to pay watermen their fares, &c.
“ Authority is also given to two of the rulers of the Watermen's Company (as well as to the mayor, aldermen, recorder, and justices) to hear complaints between watermen and watermen, their widows, apprentices, &c.
“ An appeal is by this act given from the mayor, alder. men, recorder, justices or rulers of the company, to the quarter sessions.”
Persons refusing to pay the fares of watermen, or give their names and residence, or giving fictitious names or places of abode, incur the penalty of 5l.
The Watermen's Company was first founded in 1556; and, according to the report of the Dock Committee in the House of Commons in 1796, they were thus estimated : Freemen
8283 Persons not free
12,283 In war about three hundred apprentices are annually admitted, and four hundred in time of peace. These watermen navigate three thousand wherries, and the chief part of the craft employed in the river. On St. Mary Hill is also
FELLOWSHIP PORTERS HALL. THIS is a small building for the regulation of the fra. ternity, from which it is named.
The porters of the metropolis are divided into the following brotherhoods; COMPANIES PORTERS, FELLOWSHIP PORTERS, Ticket PORTERS, and TACKLE PORTERS.
The Companies Porters land and ship off all goods and merchandize exported and imported to and from all parts near the west side of the Sound, in the Baltic, Germany, Holland, France, Spain, &c.
The Fellowship Porters land, ship off, carry or house, all merchandize, as corn, salt, coals, and other commodities, measurable by dry measure. Their number is from seven hundred to one thousand ; and their chief governor the alderman of Billingsgate ward for the time being. They pay 12d. each for quarterage.
A remarkable custom, in use among the fellowship porters, is worthy of notice: by an act of common council, it was ordered that an annual sermon should be preached before them, in the parish church of St. Mary at Hill, the Sunday next after Midsummer Day; they, therefore, on the preceding night, furnish the merchants and respectable families in the neighbourhood with nosegays, and in the morning proceed from their hall to church, cach having a large nosegay in his hand. On their arrival at the church, they walk up the middle aisle to the altar, and every porter deposits his benevolence for the use of the poor, and to de. fray the expences of the day, into two basons provided for the purpose ; and after having performed this ceremony, the deputy, merchants, with their wives, children, and servants, walk in order, from their separate pews, to perform the same solemnity. The nosegays used on this occasion are very expensive, and the custom is very antient.
The Ticket Porters land and ship off goods imported or exported to all parts of America, &c. and house all mer. chants? goods, metals, &c. They ply also at various quarters of the city, for other species of porterage, and give