Our History

02 March 1921

Annual Shipmasters’ Dinner

Sir Robert Burton-Chadwick suggested that the profession was entitled to form, and was capable of forming, a Guild or Company very much on the lines of the old City of London Livery Companies.

02 March 1921
25 June 1926

Company Formed

Sir Burton-Chadwick’s vision was realised on 25th June 1926 with the formation of the Company of Master Mariners.

25 June 1926
15 February 1928

A New Master

Edward, Prince of Wales, assumed the office of Master.

15 February 1928
01 June 1928

The title of Honourable is bestowed on the Company

His Majesty King George V bestowed the title of Honourable on the Company – a rare and signal honour. The title of Honourable had only ever previously been bestowed on two other companies; the Honourable East India Company and the Honourable Artillery Company. The Honourable Artillery Company continues today as a territorial regiment in the British Army, whereas the Honourable East India Company was stripped of its administrative powers over India in 1858 before being dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1874. Recently the Guild of Airline Pilots also took the title on obtaining their Royal Charter.

01 June 1928
08 March 1932

Livery Status is conferred

The City of London welcomed the new Company with great warmth and in 1932 the Court of Aldermen conferred on the Company the status of Livery. It was the first time in over 200 years that the ancient doors of the Guildry of London had been opened to a new Company. The Company became 78th.

08 March 1932
06 February 1952

A Royal Patron

Her Majesty the Queen became the Honourable Company’s Patron in 1952.

06 February 1952
01 May 1954

A Royal Master and Admiral

His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was Master from 1954 to 1957, and then became Admiral of the Company – a post he holds to this day.

01 May 1954
01 May 1988

The Prince of Wales becomes Master

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was Master from 1988 to 1990.

01 May 1988
01 May 2005

The Princess Royal becomes Master

The Honourable Company’s connection with the Royal family continued with the installation of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal as Master of the Company from 2005 until April 2007. During this time, HRH was assisted by Deputy Masters Captain AJ Speed and Captain K Hart.

01 May 2005

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