Did you know...
Under the freemen’s governance, Norwich grew to become England’s second city after London for 200 years – 1525 to 1725.
Until 1835 only freemen could vote in the Norwich local elections. This created problems as rate payers did not have the right to vote.
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.
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.