Freemen’s Wives, Gloucester
The Offices of the Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Gloucester
To Whom it may concern (Regarding Equal Rights)
I respectfully wish to make a rightful claim on behalf of married wives of borough Freemen of the City of Gloucester to be admitted to ‘Freedom’ in their own right. This claim is based upon parity and the presently accepted modification of customary law.
The claim for admission is based upon recognition in two parts.
Statement made by the respected Gloucester Historian Thomas Rudge published 1811.
Please take note of the second paragraph.
1. 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 each 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.
2. a) The Equality Act, 2010 provides for parity of entitlement between sexes
b) The L. D. E. D. (Democracy) Act, 2009 allows modification to customary law.
I respectfully beg your consideration and permission for any such applicants that may come forward.
Alan Shelley, BA DLA FRSA
Vice President of the Freemen of England & Wales