Freemen of the City of Gloucester

Freemen of the City of Gloucester

Extracted from

“The History and Antiquities of Gloucester”

From the Earliest Period

By Thomas Rudge. Publ. Jan 1811

Freemen – The general qualifications of voters arise from the birth or Servitude; every son of a freeman, and every person who has been legally apprenticed to a freeman, and served the whole of his time, has, upon attaining the age of twenty one years, a right to claim the privileges of a burgess, though not resident in the city; Mayor and Corporation also exercise the power of granting the freedom of the city to any persons they may think proper, on payment of a sum of money; and to a certain number every year without purchase, who are called honorary freemen, but cannot vote for members of Parliament till a complete year after their admissions.

It appears also from the minutes of the Corporation Book, that persons marrying the daughters of freemen, have been allowed their freedom, on payment of five pounds, or other small fine; for some years however, this claim has not been made, but if it were made, it is difficult to say what plea could be set up to justify a refusal. Corporation Minutes page 38, 246.

The Freemen’s Oath


YOU shall swear that you shall be a true Liegman, and true Faith and Truth bear unto our Sovereign Lady the Queen’s Majesty, her Heirs and lawful successors, and to your power shall aid and assist the Mayor, Sheriff, and Council of this CITY OF GLOUCESTER, for the time being, and to them shall be obedient for and concerning such Things as they, or any of them, shall lawfully and reasonably will and command you to do: You shall well and truly observe, perform, fulfil, and keep all such Orders and Rules as are, and shall be, made and established by the Council of this City, for the good Government thereof, in all things to you appertaining. You shall also give, yield, and be contributory to and with the Corporation of this City so far forth as you ought, or shall be chargeable to. And you shall not, by Colour of your Freedom, bear out, or cover under you any Foreign Person or Stranger, or their Goods and Chattels: but according to the best of your Skill, Wit, Cunning, and Power, you shall uphold and maintain all the Liberties, Franchises, good Customs, Orders and Usages of this City and Corporation.


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