Did you know...
Anybody who wished to trade freely in medieval Norwich had to become a freeman.
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.
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.
Until 1835 only freemen could vote in the Norwich local elections. This created problems as rate payers did not have the right to vote.