Barge of the Goldsmith’s Company, 1706
State Barges on the Thames
In 1617 the Goldsmiths ‘thinking it beneath their dignity to appear in a barge not their own, agreed … to erect, edify and build a faire barge’. Unfortunately nothing more is known, but a second barge, built in 1656 by Abraham and Edmund Tue, is described in the estimate as being 19 m (62 ft) long by 3 m (9 ft 11 in) wide, carrying 14 oars and costing £100. It is probable that the figurehead of St Dunstan, illustrated on this page, was made for the company’s third barge which was built in 1706. On this occasion the old barge was presented to the bargemaster, Edward Williamson, and he was still with the company forty years later when another new barge was being built, the old barge again being given to him. The next barge, which is the one illustrated, was built sometime between 1777 and 1779 at a cost of £I,718. 8s. 6d. In 1823 it was sold for £50, while its successor, which only cost £1,575, was eventually sold for £100. This barge, the last of the line, was present at two royal events – the opening of the new London Bridge by King William IV in 1831 and his visit to the Royal Hospital at Greenwich in 1835. It was also among the barges which, for the Lord Mayor’s procession of 1842, were tugged up to Westminster by steamers. In 1845 the company decided not to join either the land or water procession on Lord Mayor’s Day, and the following year the barge was sold.
|Dimensions||38 × 23 cm|