List of Honorary Freemen of the City of London

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The granting of the Honorary Freedom (or Freedom Honoris Causa) of the City of London is extremely rare and only generally awarded today to Royalty, Heads of State or to figures of global standing. It is the highest honour which is in the power of the City of London to bestow on someone and usually takes place in Guildhall in the presence of the Common Council and with Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and Aldermen present, along with invited guests. The most recent recipient after a gap of some 11 years was Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the ceremony taking place at Mansion House on 25 November 2013. Nelson Mandela received the same honour as President of South Africa in 1996. The presentation on these occasions is made by the Chamberlain of London, and is often followed by a Guildhall or Mansion House banquet. The first historically to be so honoured was William Pitt the Elder in 1757. For many years, it was the custom to present the Freedom in specially commissioned and unique gold or silver caskets, the design of which was inspired by the background and the achievements of the individual to which it was given. More normal today would be a presentation of a scroll in an inscribed box.

Whilst the Honorary Freedom is indeed an honour and a recognition of lifetime achievement or high standing, the Freedom of the City of London is not and whilst undoubtedly a privilege strict instructions are given that it should not be presented to others as being an honour or award. The Freedom of the City of London can be gained through membership of a livery company or by direct application suitably supported by a suitably qualified proposer and seconder. About 1800 Freeman are admitted each year by the Clerk to the Chamberlain of the City of London at a simple but formal ceremony at Guildhall to which friends and family can accompany. A certificate is presented which will be framed on request for a small payment.

There is a long standing tradition of the City admitting women to the Freedom. Although nowadays usually called Freemen as well, the historically correct way of referring to them is: Free Sisters.

The mixed list below contains just some of the names of people who have received the Freedom or Honorary Freedom over the years:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Famous London historian honoured by the City of London" (Press release). City of London. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  2. ^ "London Honors Gen. Booth" (PDF). The New York Times. 1905-10-27. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  3. ^ See also: Report on Salvation Army website
  4. ^ "London's Freedom Given to Premier". The Toronto World. July 30, 1915. p. 5. 
  5. ^ a b "London lionizing Botha" (PDF). The New York Times. 1907-04-17. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  6. ^ "Sir Michael Caine given Freedom of City of London". Evening Standard. 8 March 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Chamberlain gets Freedom of London". The New York Times. 1926-03-26. 
  8. ^ "Mr. Chamberlain Honored" (PDF). The New York Times. 1902-02-14. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  9. ^ "World-famous shoe designer receives Freedom of the City of London" (Press release). City of London. 2006-11-15. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  10. ^ "Churchill's Title Has Ancient Roots; Includes Right to Enter City Almhouses". The New York Times. 1943-07-01. 
  11. ^ a b "Salvation Army Leaders Receive Freedom of the City of London" (Press release). The Salvation Army. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  12. ^ "The Chief Justice in London" (PDF). The New York Times. 1876-03-10. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "Freedom of the City". City of London. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Freedom of the City" (PDF). The New York Times. 1910-12-04. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  15. ^ "Crista Cullen receives Freedom of the City of London". England Hockey. 30 August 2013. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Honors to Beaconsfield" (PDF). The New York Times. 1878-08-04. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  17. ^ Vincent, Alice (16 April 2013). "Opera singer Placido Domingo to receive freedom of the City of London". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. 
  18. ^ "Eisenhower to get honor". The New York Times. 1945-06-10. 
  19. ^ Tolhurst, Alain (16 September 2013). "Geldof given freedom of City of London for charity work and contribution to music". London24. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Gen. Grant at Guildhall" (PDF). The New York Times. 1877-06-30. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  21. ^ "London Honors Earl Grey" (PDF). The New York Times. 1912-01-24. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  22. ^ "Governor of South Australia receives the Freedom of the City of London" (Press release). City of London. 2005-06-24. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  23. ^ "London Honors Kitchener" (PDF). The New York Times. 1898-11-05. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  24. ^ "Kohl to be given honorary freedom of the City of London". BBC news website. 1998-02-18. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  25. ^ "Leading Finnish cultural figure awarded Freedom of the City" (Press release). City of London. 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  26. ^ "Damian Lewis awarded freedom of the City of London". BBC News. 20 March 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. 
  27. ^ "Must win Ireland, says Lloyd George" (PDF). The New York Times. 1917-04-28. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  28. ^ See: Acceptance Speech
  29. ^ "Cardinal Martino awarded Freedom of the City of London". Independent Catholic News. 6 May 2013. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. 
  30. ^ "Speech by Lord Milner" (PDF). The New York Times. 1901-07-24. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  31. ^ "Last Crown Prince of Austria receives the Freedom of the City of London" (Press release). City of London. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  32. ^ "Pavarotti receives freedom of the City of London" (Press release). British Red Cross. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  33. ^ "Freedom of London for Col. Roosevelt" (PDF). The New York Times. 1910-03-04. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  34. ^ Rowling, J.K. "J.K. Rowling". TM Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  35. ^ Pimlott Baker, Anne (2004). "Audrey Russell". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  36. ^ "London Honors Gen. Smuts" (PDF). The New York Times. 1917-05-02. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  37. ^ See: Acceptance Speech
  38. ^ See
  39. ^ "London 2012 athlete David Weir given City of London freedom". BBC News. 3 December 2012. 
  40. ^ "The city and Sir James Willcocks" The Times (London). Friday, 12 July 1901. (36505), p. 11.
  41. ^ "President Wilson's Speech At the Guildhall in London" (PDF). The New York Times. 1918-12-29. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  42. ^ "Lord Provost of Glasgow to receive Freedom of City of London" (Press release). City of London. 2007-09-05. Retrieved 2007-11-14.