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Author: ashelley

Safeguarding the Tradition of Borough Freedom

Safeguarding the Tradition of Borough Freedom

To the Council of the Executive of F.E.W (15-02-2020) I feel duty bound to bring attention to the weakening of regulatory control over Admissions to Borough Freedom. Firstly, I am one who is ambivalent over the various forms of freemen within our Association. I also recognise the dichotomy affecting our wishes to increase the numbers within our Society. Everyone of us recognise the diminishing nature of take-up of freedom in the modern day. However, this surely must not be allowed…

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Illicit Borough Freedom

Illicit Borough Freedom

For many years the Executive of our Association has been disturbed by the corrupt admissions of ‘Unentitled Freemen’. The dwindling uptake of responsible freemen has generated discussions among the Gilds leading to considerable concern regarding sustainability. Most gild committees are made up of elderly experienced freemen, faced with finding responsible replacements. We must all recognise that Borough Freedom status requires a genuine applicant to be either a descendant or an authorised apprentice. Since the Municipal Corporations Act, 1835 and subsequent…

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LOCAL DEMOCRACY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION ACT 2009

LOCAL DEMOCRACY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION ACT 2009

EXPLANATORY NOTES                                                                      INTRODUCTION  These explanatory notes relate to the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act, which received Royal Assent on 12th November 2009.  They have been prepared by the Department for Communities and Local Government in order to assist the reader of the Act.                                 CHAPTER 5: LOCAL FREEDOMS AND HONORARY TITLES  Introduction and background  63. This Chapter makes amendments to provisions in the Local Government Act 1972 concerning freemen (local freedoms), and honorary aldermen and honorary freemen (honorary titles).  …

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Culture and Chivalry

Culture and Chivalry

English culture is in its customs and traditions coupled with the genteel practices that are its maxim. Despite the dynamic advances of modern society, traditions of the past retain relevant importance. Many institutions are influenced by historic codes of practice that respect a ‘gentle’ behaviour; these can be seen as an example to the world at large. Historic robes and regalia are worn by institutions such as town councils, historic associations, and ancient orders that demonstrate their position of ‘establishment’….

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Shelley Family Origins

Shelley Family Origins

DNA indicates the family originates from Northern Europe and Anglo-Saxon in establishment. The surname Shelley has been attributed to an English locality of that name*. Three locations named Shelley anciently existed, in Suffolk nr Sudbury, in Essex nr Ongar and in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The earliest of these places, recorded in Old English, is ‘Schelfeage’ in Suffolk c 995. In the Domesday Book it is Sceveleia. The name precisely describes the home manor location. ‘Shelley’ is derived from…

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Freemen’s Dictionary and Glossary of Terms

Freemen’s Dictionary and Glossary of Terms

(Old English Trade Descriptions) As a result of a question raised in the Open Forum at the 2012 FEW AGM as to what the difference between a Freeman and a Burgess was, I produced the following paper. To this I have added a dictionary of olden terms relating to civic and trade descriptions for ease of reference. Burgess or Freeman – is there a difference? Some confusion arises out of the use of these two expressions. The terms can be…

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Patron of FEW – The Right Honourable, the Earl Bathurst

Patron of FEW – The Right Honourable, the Earl Bathurst

Popular among the important members of Gloucestershire and Cotswold society, Earl Bathurst is known for his amiable and forthright personality. Hard working, fair minded, and a man of the people with a clear approach to duty and among other things currently an avid supporter of ‘Help the Heroes’. Locally, Lord of Cirencester, serving on several charitable boards, he is a director of the Housing Society and Trustee of the St Lawrence Hospital Trust. As an ambassador of agriculture, his limits…

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Miscellaneous Borough Legislation

Miscellaneous Borough Legislation

Borough Regulation The culture of English society really began in the boroughs created by Alfred the Great. In such an insular self-governing enclosure it was necessary to create rules and regulations. As mentioned previously in my comments on borough freemen, the law of custom determined that responsibilities would be shared upon the kinship of families. The local laws developed and were governed via the Moot hall. Digressions would normally result in monetary fines. Deliberate injuries or crimes against a neighbour…

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Norman family de Clare

Norman family de Clare

The chevrons of the de Clare family can be seen on many civic coats of arms in England and Wales. Our Association of Freemen owe much to this family who have founded freedoms in many boroughs and were instigators of the Magna Carta. Richard de Clare (1035-1090) a Norman kinsman of William the Conqueror, created a dynasty so powerful as to threaten the king. Their lordships stretched across England into Wales and Ireland. When Richard ‘Strongbow’ de Clare, prominent Marcher…

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St Nicholas, the Freemen’s Civic Church, Gloucester

St Nicholas, the Freemen’s Civic Church, Gloucester

This church building has great importance in the history of the ‘Freemen of Gloucester’. Built in the 12th century in the Westgate ward of the old city, it performed a principal part in the support of the ancient burh (borough). The church became redundant in 1971 and is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Strategically located within the early burgage plots it was central in serving the Corporation and the industrious trades merchants of the City. The…

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