Did you know...
Until 1835 only freemen could vote in the Norwich local elections. This created problems as rate payers did not have the right to vote.
The freemen paid to build the city walls in the early 14th century. The idea was to defend the city from attack, but it was much more useful for collecting tolls.
From the early 15th century, the freemen governed Norwich in relative harmony for 250 years – in marked contrast to other large rival towns in England such as Bristol, York and Newcastle.
Anybody who wished to trade freely in medieval Norwich had to become a freeman.