Search for your ancestor in one of the earliest records of The Company of Watermen. The muster was created by the Admiralty for possible impressment into the Royal Navy. Discover your ancestor’s birth year and residence in 1628.
Each record includes a transcript created from the original muster roll. Most records will include a combination of the following information:
County and Country
Naval voyages – This is the number of naval voyages the person has completed up to the time of the register.
Archive and archive reference
The Admiralty muster of the Port of London is a register of men from The Watermen Company for possible impressment into the Royal Navy. The register recorded the individual’s name, age, number of naval voyages completed up to that time, residence and in some cases additional notes.
The records include the names of men from age 10 to 92. Individuals who were 22 years old or younger were most likely apprentices. Apprenticeship usually started at the age of 16 for sons of watermen. For those who were not the sons of watermen, apprenticeship generally started at age 18.
The Company of Watermen and Lightermen controlled the movement of goods and passengers along the River Thames since the sixteenth century. The river was vital to the growth and prosperity of London. The Company of Watermen was established in 1555 and granted its arms by Queen Elizabeth I in 1585. Lightermen joined the company in 1700. They were responsible for unloading the ships and carrying cargo to the ports by lighter.
The company’s influence extended from Gravesend in Berkshire to Windsor in Kent, which meant that many of its members were from outside London. Another unique facet of the company was that it did not have a livery. Had the company enjoyed the freedom of a livery, they would have been exempt from impressment into the Royal Navy.
Transcripts were created and reproduced on Findmypast with permission from Docklands Ancestors Ltd.