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|Date of formation||1782|
|Company association||Shipbuilding, maritime industries|
|Order of precedence||59th|
|Master of company||The Prince of Wales|
|Motto||"Within The Ark |
Safe For Ever"
The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights is one of the ancient livery companies of the City of London. Although the Shipwrights' Company is no longer a trade association solely representing the shipbuilding industry, it retains strong links with global trade, and maritime and shipping professions.
Its motto is "Within The Ark Safe For Ever".
The Shipwrights' Company, unlike other livery companies, has not received a Royal Charter because maritime trade by definition was never confined within the boundaries of the Square Mile; instead a corporate body of London shipwrights grew over time, their first recorded reference being in the twelfth century; thus the company's status is considered as being incorporated "by prescription".
By contrast a Royal Charter was issued in 1612 to the "Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Shipwrights of Redriff (ie. Rotherhithe) in the County of Surrey". This led to a dispute about jurisdiction between the two companies, which was resolved in 1684 when the Rotherhithe charter was cancelled.
Ever since Queen Victoria's reign the company continues to enjoy a special connection with the Royal Family, several of whom are liverymen today; Prince Charles was installed on 10 May 2011 as Prime Warden and served for 2011–2012 before succeeding his father, The Duke of Edinburgh, as Permanent Master Shipwright on 16 February 2012.
Whilst sons and daughters of members can join as freemen of the company, only those with a professional maritime background (military or commercial) may become liverymen. The company supports maritime research, numerous charities, as well as the work of the Lord Mayor of London, the City of London Corporation and the Sheriffs of the City of London. The company is also involved in charitable educational activities, which includes the support of the London Nautical School and George Green's School in London.
The current Clerk to the Shipwrights' Company is Lt-Col Richard Cole-Mackintosh, whose role combines that of executive officer as well as supporting the Prime Warden: Deputy Doug Barrow (for 2015–2016).