Did you know...
Under the freemen’s governance, Norwich grew to become England’s second city after London for 200 years – 1525 to 1725.
New freemen have to swear an oath to be ‘buxom’ to the mayor. This is a medieval way of declaring obedience and loyalty to the mayor.
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.
Anybody who wished to trade freely in medieval Norwich had to become a freeman.