Did you know...
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.
Norwich Guildhall was built by the freemen to house the new city government, law courts, a gaol, assemblies and administrators set up in 1404. It was used as the centre of city government until 1937 when it was replaced by City Hall.
Ed Balls’ ancestors were Norwich Freemen between 1404 and 1913, but the succession has lapsed and he is no longer eligible.
The annual freemen’s outing is a popular event which now attracts hundreds, including freemen from overseas. Visits are often to properties which have received substantial grants from the freemen’s charity.