Did you know...
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.
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.
Anybody who wished to trade freely in medieval Norwich had to become a freeman.