Barge of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, 1656

£5.00

State Barges on the Thames

Availability: In stock

There are records of the Clothworkers’ Company hiring a barge adorned with silken banners and streamers as early as 1545, and of a barge ‘decent and convenient for the carriage of sixty men’ being specially reserved to them in 1623, like other companies they did not own a barge until the middle of the seventeenth century. This was built in 1656 by Alexander Saward and cost £115. It was first used the following year for attending the funeral of Admiral Blake. By 1671 it had become very defective and the company decided to repair it at a cost of £50 rather than to spend £140 on building a new one. In 1687 Samuel Pepys, a Past Master of the company, served on a barge building committee which accepted a new barge from the then Master, William Hewer. In 1694, the Lord Mayor being a Clothworker and the pageant being mounted by the company, the barge was adorned with seven new banners including those of the King and Samuel Pepys. A new barge (that illustrated) in 1728 cost the company £230 and appears to have survived until 1799. By this time it was decayed and useless and was accordingly sold, no new one taking its place. The company then seems to have reverted to the practice of hiring a barge for the annual Lord Mayor’s show, since they used one belonging to the Phoenix Insurance Company in 1803. In 1850 they hired a barge for the last time.

Dimensions 38 × 23 cm