Membership of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners

Chairman of the Membership Committee at the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Admiral Sir Nigel Essenhigh GCB has issued an invitation to superyacht Captains asking them to consider joining the company

The Honourable Company of Master Mariners is one of several Livery Companies within the City of London. It was formed in 1926; it was made a Livery Company by the City in 1932, making it the first new Livery Company to be formed since 1746. 

While other Livery Companies are entitled to the style Worshipful, the Master Mariners are styled Honourable, because King George V granted them that honour in 1928.

Living up to its motto; Loyalty and Service, the Company promotes nautical research and aids nautical education. It ranks seventy-eighth in the order of precedence for Livery Companies.

Of all the benefits of membership, perhaps the most important is the belonging to a network of peers who are similarly qualified, like-minded professional men and women.  And being part of a friendly and welcoming professional society that understands what it means to be a Master Mariner.

Instead livery hall built of bricks and mortar, the Honourable Company of Master Mariners has a headquarters ship, HQS Wellington, permanently moored on the Thames at Victoria Embankment.

The historic HQS Wellington Ship is a unique and original venue for your event. Built in 1933, she is the last surviving member of the Grimsby class of sloops, which served valiantly during the Second World War. She was purchased by the Honourable Company of the Master Mariners in 1947 and has been fully refitted for civilian use since. She is moored on the Thames by the Embankment, opposite Temple tube station.

Currently the superyacht sector is not well represented amongst the membership and Sir Nigel Essenhigh is particularly keen to attract suitably qualified officers to join given they bring to the profession a view of the maritime business which is different to that most of the Company have encountered.

Benefits of Membership 

Benefits include:

  • Membership of a network of your peers who are similarly qualified, like-minded professional men and women.
  • Involvement in the governance and life of the City of London (particularly as a Liveryman).
  • Opportunities to be a member of HCMM “Outports” in your area of the country.
  • Contributing to the wider maritime world (legislation, opinion, etc) through the “corporate” view of the HCMM, in particular by joining one of the HCMM committees. This can include assisting regulators and outside bodies with professional and technical queries
  • Participation in the HCMM mentoring scheme and, thus, assisting in the professional development of young people in the industry.
  • Attendance at and participation in Joint Informal Meetings
  • Participation in HCMM formal and informal sociaI functions and, for Liverymen, those in the City of London.
  • Having access to the facilities of the HQS Wellington. These include: a world class venue for meetings and conferences; affordable accommodation in the centre of London onboard the ship; use of the Wardroom bar for lunches and informal meetings with your friends, family and colleagues; access to the comprehensive maritime library.

Types of Membership

There are different classes of HCMM membership. 

Freedom: The Freedom is open to those who have attained the highest level of professional recognition for their work at sea. For Merchant Navy personnel, such membership is open to those British, Commonwealth and EU nationals who have been awarded MCA recognised masters’ qualifications.

Livery: On gaining Freedom of the City of London, Freemen of the Company may progress to Liveryman.  Only Liverymen are eligible to be elected to become senior officers of the Honourable Company and may also stand for senior positions within the City of London Corporation.

Member: Member status is available for individuals of any nationality who hold certificates of maritime competency other than those listed above. It is also available to people who do not hold any certificate of maritime competency but who are accomplished in their own maritime-related fields. These could include (for example but not exclusively) brokers, lawyers, naval historians or those in P&I Clubs. 

Apprentice/Associate: Apprentice/Associate Mernbership is open to British and Commonwealth nationals who are undergoing training within the industry

Superyacht Captains who have any queries or need further information, should get in touch with the Clerk, Commodore Angus Menzies by telephone on +44 (0) 207 836 8179 or by email here