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Admission to Borough (town or city) Freedom

Admission to Borough (town or city) Freedom

An Aide Memoire Recently, there has been a little confusion regarding the suitability of candidates and of their initiation. My following comments will apply singularly to borough (hereditary) freedom. I fully understand the dwindling nature of the uptake of candidates and am sympathetic toward its restoration. Firstly I will eliminate those seeking ‘Honorary’ freedom by alternative means. For example associate freemen of trade gilds/guilds. Such gilds are autonomous and possibly may engage associates of their gild. The Town Mayor’s Office…

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Abstract Reflections

Abstract Reflections

Of schoolboy walks through Dingley-dell on the way to church on Sundays ‘Righteousness’ or rectitude is the quality or state of being morally correct and justifiable. It can be considered synonymous with “rightness” or being “upright” or to-the-light and visible. It can be found in several religions and traditions. “ He does not die that can bequeath, Some influence on the land he knows. Or dares, persistent, interweave. Love permanent with the wild hedgerows”. Of the Norman church, St Mary’s,…

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The Red Triangle Club for Young Gentlemen

The Red Triangle Club for Young Gentlemen

I recently happened upon an interesting article concerning the origins of the YMCA. In a book about Wealdstone Village, Harrow, it refers to an old corrugated ‘Mission Hall’ that once stood in the High Street which became the local YMCA. This story recounts the background of Mr Jabez Barnes who came to live in Hindes Road Wealdstone, in order to have access to the railway for London and his business in Birmingham. Mr Barnes was a Somerset man, born in…

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Sudbury Manor, Harrow Middlesex

Sudbury Manor, Harrow Middlesex

St Mary’s, Harrow-on-the-Hill The hill at Harow is prominent over the landscape of London. In ancient times a small ‘Green Hill’ hamlet below the forested hill, developed in stature to become the London retreat of the Archbishops of Canterbury. It is reasonable to assume that, in later times, during the reign of the powerful Archbishop Simon of Sudbury, it would adopt the residential placename of Sudbury. It may also be intriguing to note that this lovely church had previously been…

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Tribute to a Campaigning Countryman

Tribute to a Campaigning Countryman

Tony J. Drake MBE 1923-2012 The intrepid Tony, a friend to many, was a lifelong hiker and devoted rambler. His love of freedom was deeply engrained. He was out canoeing on the Mediterranean at 16 when he was advised of the outbreak of the War. At 18 he volunteered to join the Royal Airforce and became a radar technician. Tony was always at his element in the open countryside or climbing mountains. He would also walk the urban footpaths and…

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FEW AGM 2023

FEW AGM 2023

Report and Message from the Vice President to F.E.W. AGM, Lincoln, 2023 There is little for me to report on recent activities of the Executive which has been very quiet. FEW has had several setbacks following the Covid epidemic and is suffering a slow recovery of our activities. To this end a Working Group is busy looking at policies and practices to advance the prospective future of the Association. You may be aware that I am in poor health and…

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Three Old Plumptonians

Three Old Plumptonians

‘Tenacious Trio’- BBBF ‘Old Boys’ born March/April 1940 The quintessential countryside of John Constable and the Suffolk Stour Valley is not typical of the varied English landscapes. However, the sight of agricultural activity will always enhance the rural scene. A Three-part Song I’m just in love with all these three, The W’eald an’ the Marsh an’ the Down countrie; Nor I don’t know which I love the most, The W’eald or the Marsh or the white chalk coast. I’ve buried…

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Freemen’s Wives, Gloucester

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…

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Illegitimacy (re Succession)

Illegitimacy (re Succession)

Background to the Law regarding Custom The Statute of Merton (1235) declared “he is a bastard that is born before the marriage of his parents”. Even when the parents could not marry or if both were separately married or when the relationship was incestuous. The Poor Law of 1576 accentuated* this law in its dealings. *An illegitimate person cannot inherit ‘real property’. The 1976 Legitimacy Act states (apart from Section 1) that nothing in this Act shall affect the succession…

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The Company of Merchants of the Staple of England

The Company of Merchants of the Staple of England

The Company of Merchants of the Staple of England is one of the oldest mercantile corporations in England. It is rare (possibly unique), in being ‘of England’ and not bounded by any city or municipality.  It dates back as far as 1282 or even further, when it appears a group of 26 wool merchants founded The Company.  The Dukes of Burgundy and Counts of Flanders granted it charters. The Merchants were in Bruges in 1282, Dordrecht in 1285, Antwerp in 1296 and…

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