Royal Thamesis

The Company purchased the current Drapers’ Barge in 2003 which is used for charitable and historic events, and has taken part in the renowned 30 kilometre row, The Voga Longa around Venice, the Great River Race, the re-enactment of Lord Nelson’s funeral in 2005, the Lord Mayor’s Show both as a land float in the main parade and on the river, the Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012, Countryside Live and many more. She is a six-oared Shallop built in 1996. (Shallops were the limousines and taxis of the lower Thames in the 17th and 18th centuries.)

The Royal Thamesis is based on the design of the Queen’s Shallop, which was built for Queen Mary II in 1689, at the order of King William III. The last of the old state barges, the Queen’s Shallop was serviceable in her royal role until 1919, making her last appearance at the Peace Pageant on 4th August. She is housed in the National Maritime Museum. The Royal Thamesis was built by Michael Dennett out of Brazilian cedar to the order of the Thames Traditional Boat Rally. This is an organisation which helps to promote and encourage the highest standards of wooden boatbuilding. She is 36 feet long, has a beam of just under 6ft and can be towed on a road trailer.  The boat is kept in Oxford and looked after and maintained by a local rowing Club named City Barge, which was founded by the Company’s first Barge Master, Liveryman Richard Norton, and which has many Draper members. She has a crew of 8 and has seating for 6 passengers in comfort in the stern. The carving on her stern represents the head of father Thames, as seen in the keystone of the bridge at Henley-on-Thames. The current Barge Master is Liveryman Andrew Thomson.