Did you know...
Under the freemen’s governance, Norwich grew to become England’s second city after London for 200 years – 1525 to 1725.
Until 1835 only freemen could vote in the Norwich local elections. This created problems as rate payers did not have the right to vote.
In 1289 Hugh de London was fined 12d ‘because he buys and sells in the city and is not of the freedom’
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.