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 (Chief Executive) to the Company.
Click on the officer's picture to read more about them.
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 five 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.