300 Years of Doggett’s Coat and Badge

London Historians' Blog

doggett1_2501 August 1715 was the first instance of Doggett’s Coat and Badge rowing race between newly-qualified watermen, up the Thames from London Bridge to Chelsea. Unlike today, there were no further bridges to pass under and the river was almost entirely unembanked, hence considerably wider than today. Once past Westminster, the vista would have been comparatively sparce of buildings on both banks. The boats are notably different too. The original participants raced in the craft of their craft: a wherry, the London cab of its day.  Today, the racers are more fortunate, using modern Olympic class single skulls. This race has been competed almost every year since, making it the longest continuously-run sporting event in the world. Yet compared with the much newer Boat Race (1829), it is hardly known. The prize for the winner is a handsome scarlet coat decorated with a solid silver sleeve badge. It comes with a dinky matching…

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2 thoughts on “300 Years of Doggett’s Coat and Badge

  1. It would be nice if they had kept to the original style of wherry boats. I expect they are too expensive to make these days. I have had a few drinks in the pub of the same name, on the corner of Blackfriars Bridge. It is not a very attractive pub, but the views are quite good. I knew of the race of course, and I am pleased to hear that it still continues.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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