A Statement on behalf of Freemen and Guilds of England and Wales
1) ‘Freedom’ in the context of the Guilds of Freemen in England and Wales, has no connection with the release from the bondage of slavery, but rather the completion of a term of servitude through apprenticeship and the hereditary rights acquired through it. Nor must it be confused with the ‘honorary Freedom’ conferred on individuals by some cities, towns, or boroughs.
2) The power to create Freemen is not in the hands of the Association of Freemen of England & Wales, which has no overarching authority or control. Nor is it carried out by the Guilds within the respective cities, towns, or boroughs. It is (and always has been) conducted by individual Mayoral offices. The Association likewise has no power to rule on any related action at a local level.
3) Evolving history is choosing to review and condemn the practice of slavery and those who profited from slavery in times gone by. Our Association would agree with and support those popular sentiments today as just and proper.