How to get to Doggett's Coat & Badge
1 Blackfriars Bridge, London, SE1 9UD
Doggett's Coat & Badge is situated on the south bank of the Thames. This popular riverside pub, with a private meeting room and panoramic views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City from its exclusive terrace bar, is only a ten minute walk from either Waterloo Mainline Railway or Waterloo Underground Stations. Other Underground stations close by include Temple and Blackfriars. Bus routes 45, 63 and 100 pass the door. On road parking is very restricted and therefore travel by public transport is highly recommended.
Doggett's Coat & Badge gets its name from the famous London rowing race of the same name. It is one of the world's oldest rowing races, held annually in England along the River Thames from London Bridge to Chelsea.
The founder of the race was Thomas Doggett, a keen Whig, who in 1715 founded the prize of Doggett's Coat and Badge in honour of the House of Hanover, in commemoration of King George I's accession to the Throne on 1st August 1714. Doggett himself organised and managed the race each year until his death in 1721.
Doggett left a set of detailed instructions in his Will as to the style and cost of the badge and the livery which was to be presented to the winner. The Trust was to provide: - “five pounds for a Badge of Silver representing Liberty, eighteen shillings for a Livery on which the Badge was to be put, a guinea for making up the suit of livery and buttons and appurtenances to it, and 30/- to the Clerk of the Watermen's Hall".
In 1722 the Fishmongers' Company organised the race for the first time and has faithfully complied with Doggett’s Will ever since. Each year the winner of the race, wearing his new Coat and badge is presented to the Prime Warden of the Fishmongers' Company at a grand banquet held at Fishmongers' Hall, usually in November.
According to “Doggett’s custom” only young watermen “in the first year of their Freedom of the Watermen’s Company” were entitled to enter the race but this was changed in 1988 that gave an entrant three chances of winning.
The painting above of the race is circa 1820 and is by the artist William Heath stock.
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