Lord Mayor’s Barge or City Barge, 1807

State Barges on the Thames

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This, the last of the Lord Mayor’s Barges, was built in 1807 by Searle and Godfrey of Stangate, Lambeth. In their estimate the barge is ‘˜75 feet long, exclusive of the lute stern, and 13 feet 4 in in width, the keel to be 12 inches wide and 6 in deep, the kelson 10 in square, the stern and stern post 13 in thick . . . all of the best English oak, the floor of the best yellow deal’. The house was ‘˜29 feet long with portico 3 feet long in addition thereto’.; it had two fluted columns on each side of the front doors and was made of wainscot with mahogany frames to the windows. Its top was covered with a painted cloth. The price quoted was £1,680 but, although the barge committee ordered benches instead of chairs and green satin instead of velvet, by the time the barge was finished the price had risen to £2,579. According to Henry Humpherus, it was always ‘able to pass through all the locks as far as Oxford’. In 1855 Searl’s, who had been looking after the barge, reported on its decayed condition and agreed to repair it the following year for £125. In the event, 1856 proved to be the last year in which the Lord Mayor’s Day procession went by water, and the barge was stored away. It was sold at auction by the City Lands Committee in April 1860 and fetched £85. Unfortunately there is no record of the purchaser’s name nor of the barge’s subsequent history.

Additional information

Dimensions 38 × 23 cm