Did you know...
Ed Balls’ ancestors were Norwich Freemen between 1404 and 1913, but the succession has lapsed and he is no longer eligible.
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.
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.
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.