Heard of Thomas Doggett? Thought not…


On the south bank of the River Thames, In London, sits The Doggett’s pub – a fine place to while away the hours over a pint of ale or a traditional pub lunch. It’s also just a short walk from attractions such as the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Eye.

The pub takes its name from Thomas Doggett, who first organised the Coat and Badge rowing race on the Thames – a race that has now been in existence for nearly 300 years since it was first held in 1715 and is generally reckoned to be the oldest annually competed sporting event in the country. The five-mile race began at London Bridge and finished at Chelsea, further upstream. The winner was awarded a coat and badge – a tradition that continues to this day.

Doggett himself appeared to have lived a remarkably full life – after his arrival in the capital in the late 17th century, he became an actor and later a manager at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane and also at the Haymarket Theatre. Following his career in the theatre he turned to politics – but it is still as organiser of the boat race that he is still remembered centuries later.

Find out more about Doggett on our South Bank tour. Click here for more information

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