The governing body of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners is the Court. The Court consists of: the Master Mariner (and Deputy if a Royal is the Master); the 5 Wardens, the Immediate Past Master (IPM), 3 past masters and 21 elected Assistants. The day to day management is undertaken by the Clerk to the Company.
The Master - Captain R.F.A. Batt
I joined the HCMM in January 2013 as a Freeman, becoming a Liveryman in September 2014, elected Warden in April 2018 and then in 2022, I became The Master.
I have been a standing member for over 3 years of the Education & Training Committee and also the Professional & Technical Committee. HCMM Ambassador to London Southern District Sea Cadets and an HCMM ships guide since early 2015. For the Wellington Trust I volunteer as a Master Mariner Instructor & Exhibition Supervisor.
I served 10 years at sea as a Deck Officer with BP Tanker Co. and obtained my FG Masters Certificate aged 27. I then got promoted Chief Officer two weeks after my Masters Certificate. Also, while with BP, I trained as a pump Engineer. Came ashore to rescue a distant relatives Industrial Rubber Company which was trading insolvent. 18 months after joining, I was promoted to Sales Director and then within four years, the Company was back in profit. Nine years later promoted to MD and served 25 years. I eventually sold the Company with a Turnover of £2.4 million.
My interests and hobbies include: naval history; encouraging the young to take up a career in seafaring; sailing; skiing and; classic cars.
The Senior Warden - Captain G. English AFNI
I joined the Honourable Company in 2013 encouraged by Captain Rob Booth CMMar who was shortly to be come a Warden and eventually Master in 2017. I was elected Senior Warden in 2022.
I joined the Education & Training and Technical Committees in 2015, progressed to be a Liveryman and became a Court Assistant in 2016 and was elected as Warden in 2019, I am an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute and also act as mentor to an associate recently qualified as OOW.
At sea 1970 - 1988 with a major tanker company and latterly with various management agencies, I spent almost 25 years as a freelance consultant and surveyor in the offshore oil & gas industries and presently work as Marine Manager for an expanding marine and engineering consultancy in London, largely engaged in the renewable energy sector.
Born on Tyneside I lived for many years in Yorkshire but am now happily settled in Suffolk with my wife Val, I am involved with our local church and also like to turn my hand to practical projects large and small, recently construction of a kit car and latterly smaller scale modelling along with an interest in various aspects of nautical and aviation history.
The Immediate Past Master - Commander L.A. Chapman BEng MBA CMMar FNI RN
I joined the company in 2001, became a Court Assistant in 2013, took Livery in 2014, elected Warden in 2017, Senior Warden in 2020 and in 2021 I became The Master.
Since 2013 I have been Vice Chairman of the Membership Committee, member and Trustee of the HCMM & HLD Charity Committee and Finance & Risk Committee. Additionally, since 2016 I have been on the Chartership Registration Authority and Regulations Drafting Sub Committee. I am a mentor on the HCMM Mentoring Scheme and also represent the HCMM as Chair of Governors at George Green’s School and Foundation Trustee of The George Green’s School Trust Fund.
Born and brought up in Canada, I went to Royal Military College of Canada graduating in 1978 with a BChemEng(Nuc) degree. I spent 10 years in the RCN and 14 in the RN becoming a Command Qualified Submariner before retiring in 1997. Following my seatime, I served 3 years in the Port of Southampton and 20 years as a director and consultant in the marine industry in the City. I am currently Chairman of Margaret Black and a Director of the London Shipping Law Centre.
I am a Younger Brother of Trinity House, Chairman of the South East Regional Grant Committee of the Trinity House Maritime Charity & represent Trinity House as a Trustee on the Tower Hill Trust. Further to this, I act as a Trustee of Greenwich Sea Cadets and am a Vice-President of Tunbridge Wells Sea Cadets. Alongside my HCMM membership, I am a Liveryman of the WC of Shipwrights and Past Chairman of London Branch NI, and ICPEM. I am also Treasurer of Navy Lodge and a member of 14 other Masonic units.
Warden - Captain P.J. McArthur MNM MBA LLB (Hons) CMMar CMarTech FIMarEST FNI ACIArb
I think I joined the Honourable Company around 2012, but this is unclear and unimportant as HCMM has become an increasingly important focal point for me over the last 6 years.
Having found a home for my many and varied interests, and many a kindred spirit to share those interests with, I got involved in the Education & Training Committee, the Technical Committee and Mentoring of Apprentices and Cadets. In September 2015, the Clerk invited me to apply my Commercial and Legal knowledge to the seemingly impossible task of creating a Chartered Master Mariner (CMMar) programme. Given the legal, technical, and inter-organisational complexities and the number and scope of organisations that had to be consulted and accommodated - which included the Shrieval Courts and Privy Council, Chartership took up 3 years of my life and involved a huge amount of work and industry, but it did prove successful. During this period, I stood for and was elected as a Court Advisor. in 2020, I was elected as Warden of the Honourable Company and, in that role, I have been involved in supporting and creating the Young Officer's Committee (YOC), and working to support, preserve and prepare the Company for the future during the Covid pandemic.
My maritime career started with washing dishes on a paddle-steamer during summer holidays from School. I learned that there was no substitute for hard-work and learning. This has been my philosophy throughout a career that now extends over 45 years. During that time, I have served aboard Tankers (of all description, including Crude, Chemical, and Product), Bulk Carriers, Ro-ro's - both deep-sea and in the coastal trades. For several years I worked in the Offshore Oil and Gas industry, quickly rising to Barge Master, Tow-master, OIM and Marine Superintendent. I left the oil industry to become a pilot, which had been a desire ever since I first learned what Pilots did. I am now Senior Pilot for the Manchester Ship Canal - a position that allowed me to pursue my other passion of learning and study. Over the last 15 years, I have gained a law degree, a Master's in Business Administration, several Charterships and Fellowships and have developed my own Company that provides advice, support and consultancy services to the maritime industry. I have not plan to slow down any time in the near future and my interests are changing with the tide of the maritime industry. My current fields of learning include expert-witness and determination work, Artificial Intelligence and Ship Automation developments.
Over the last year of Global pandemic and national lockdowns, the needs, protection, and development of HCMM have drawn heavily on my time. My personal interests and hobbies are probably as eclectic as everything else in my life. I keep fit, practice yoga, cycle, walk, hill-climb, read (when I can), swim and am a member (and Secretary) of my local sailing club where I also provide regular safety-boat cover. My wife - who has supported me tremendously in my Career, Study and HCMM pathway, has recently discovered that I used to paint and is trying to encourage me back into that more genteel pastime. That said, the garage exterior needs painting and my sailing boat (a modern version of the 1927 design 'Post Boat') needs anti-fouling and pre-season servicing before going back on the water.
Warden - Mr M.B. Burrow
I joined the Honourable Company in 2009 becoming a liveryman in 2014 under the 10% rules and served on the Finance & Risk Committee, taking over as Chairman in 2017.
I was trained at HMS Conway before joining Canadian Pacific as a marine engineer Cadet. My career took a sharp change in course when I joined Railway, Mine and Plantation Ltd whose offices were at Imperial House, Dominion Street in the Square Mile - an ever so colonial company. Here I learnt my trade in sales and marketing using my engineering knowledge adapted to railways and mining, this entailed extensive travel in Africa when communications was still fairly rudimentary. I am now the proprietor and chairman of the Holdtrade Group of Companies which carries on the business of trading in Africa and provides engineering for light, narrow gauge, industrial and heritage railways.
As an Old Conway I chair the Conway Merchant Navy Trust which provides scholarships for MN officer Cadetships; the Trust is currently sponsoring 10 Cadets through University to OOW. I am also a Trustee of the HMS Conway Trust which is a benevolent charity.
I am very proud to be the chair of Greenwich, Deptford and Rotherhithe Sea Cadets which has is its premises in the Old Royal Navy College. With a strength of nearly 40 we are very a small but well respected Unit, in extremely historic and prestigious surroundings, providing training and opportunity to many youngsters from the area who otherwise would have little experience of the maritime world.
My other areas of interests and memberships include: Member of Nautical Institute; Anchorites; TSS; Propeller Club; Naval Club; Conway Club; London Rowing Club and RAC. I am also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
Each year the Members of the Honourable Company vote to elect the 21 Assistants to the Court. These Assistants are appointed and serve for three years, with one third re-elected annually. The Court meets quarterly onboard the HQS Wellington and operates on a majority rule when voting.
Those Wardens who have not served as Master are known as ‘before the Chair’ and gain seniority until they are appointed as the Senior Warden.
The Senior Warden, for his year of office, works closely with the Clerk in supporting the administration and management of the Company while preparing for his year as Master. Traditionally the Senior Warden is elected Master for one year from 1 May to 30 April.
Each year, members of the Court elect four Wardens, one of whom becomes the Senior Warden. The Wardens meet in committee four times a year and have a responsibility as a ‘Cabinet’ to the Parliament of The Company, the Court. As such they are responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the Court and the routine management of The Honourable Company.
The Master is the senior officer of the Honourable Company, chairs the meetings of the Court and represents the Honourable Company in the Livery as a whole and with the Corporation of London.
Immediate Past Master
The retiring Master from previous year becomes the ‘Immediate Past Master” a post he holds for one year. In years to follow, that person becomes a Past Master. The three most recent past masters retain their seats on the Court.
Royal Past Masters
The Honourable Company was very fortunate to have several Royal Past Masters. HRH The Princess Royal, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, HRH Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh and our very first Master, HRH Edward, Prince of Wales.