Doggetts Coat and Badge
2015 was the 300th Anniversary of the race
Buzz Bullock rowed in this race in 1967, there were 11 entries, after the heats he came 4th in the race. He is not sure if any other Canvey Watermen have been involved over the years. Here Buzz explains about the origins of the Doggetts Coat and Badge which have been spoken about on other pages to do with watermen.
1715 Thomas Dogget an Irish comedian/actor and Whig was so impressed with a young Freeman waterman with his boating skills in rough conditions, while ferrying him across the River, Thomas Doggett introduced a 4 mile 7 furlong sculling race in watermen’s skiffs, having to navigate through 11 bridges for 6 watermen at the end of their apprenticeship, the ‘Doggett’s Coat and Badge, was to celebrate the Accession of George l to the throne. The race is the oldest annual race in the world and the longest sculling race.
The race is rowed from Swan lane Stairs London Bridge to Cadogan Pier (Old Swan) Chelsea. The winner was given a cash prize, Scarlet Coat and Trousers, White stockings, cap and large Silver Arm Badge displaying a horse representing the House of Hanover and the inscription ‘Liberty’
The race is still rowed today around late July, but now in traditional sculling boats and with the flood tide.
2015 was the 300th Anniversary of the race being rowed, to mark the day the race was on the 1st August as Thomas Doggett had originally requested whether it be Flood or Ebb Tide.