When: 12th July 2013 from 12.45pm (rowers should cross the finish line just after 1pm)
Where: From London Bridge to Albert Bridge in Chelsea
£: Free to watch
What is it?
The Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge has taken place annually every summer since 1715. The race is held on the Thames from London Bridge to Chelsea, these being the original sites of the Old Swan Tavern and the Swan Inn respectively.
The race was founded by aspiring actor Thomas Doggett. Born in Dublin, Doggett moved to London in 1690 to pursue his career and in 1691 he made his first stage appearance as Nincompoop in Thomas D’Urfey’s Love for Money. In 1715 Thomas Doggett founded the prize of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge to commemorate King George I’s accession to the Throne in August 1714.
The race was originally for young watermen (the Thames taxi drivers of the day) who had recently finished their apprenticeships. The prize for the race winner was a crimson red coat with a silver arm badge depicting Liberty, the horse of the House of Hanover. This is the same prize that competitors race for today.
If you are planning to watch the race good views are available from the pedestrian footbridges along the route; the Millennium Footbridge and the Golden Jubilee Footbridges as well as the bridges at the start and end of the course.
More info: www.doggettsrace.org.uk