Did you know...
The key privileges of the Freemen, the right to vote in elections and trading rights, were swept away by the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1835. The Norwich Freemen still kept Town Close Estate – which is now a charity that gives grants to local organisations.
Until 1835 only freemen could vote in the Norwich local elections. This created problems as rate payers did not have the right to vote.
Anybody who wished to trade freely in medieval Norwich had to become a freeman.
During Queen Elizabeth I reign, Norwich Freemen devised one of the earliest schemes of poor relief in the country. It later served as a model for national schemes.