River Thames, Barge people of the

(The Eureka Partnership, 2007) A5 orange, 56p.

Under the terms of a Parliamentary Act in 1795 all boats and barges over 13 tons using the inland waterways had to be registered. The records for the boats using the Thames, the river Wey in Surrey and the Kennet and Avon Canal are in the Surrey and Berkshire record offices, and have been transcribed and indexed. Information includes the name and tonnage of each vessel, the owner and master and the number of crew. Most vessels were barges and lighters, with a few punts. The Surrey records include a large number of lightermen on the Thames between Gravesend, Kent and Windsor, Berkshire. Included are details of 10 barges owned by Francis Page of Newbury and Robert Holmes and George Keates from Abingdon. There is a long list of the Thames lightermen, who operated not only in London’s dockland, but also further afield to Windsor. This small booklet therefore will have a wide appeal for those with boating ancestors who operated between the north coast of Kent, into the heart of London, as well as north Surrey, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire as far as Lechlade in Gloucestershire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Jean Debney

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