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Thread: The Freedom of Liverpool

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Default The Freedom of Liverpool

    Hi all

    Many famous Scousers mentioned in this section of the website have been given the Freedom of the City of Liverpool which is also awarded to non-Scousers as well.

    But what is the history of the tradition? When did it begin? A friend on another forum asked about it, and I give his email and my reply below. You will see that I somehow doubt that the explanation for the act of conferring the Freedom of Liverpool given today was the same as it was when the tradition began.

    Chris


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    Does anyone know of a website that explains the Freedom of Liverpool honor is detail. I've searched and only find releases announcing additions to the Rolls.

    Thanks.

    Gary

    *******************

    Hi Gary

    Here's some piece of information that might help you in your enquiry about the award of Freedom of the City of Liverpool.

    The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Ron Gould, said: "The Freedom of Liverpool is awarded to people who show courage, strength, kindness, and who dedicate their lives to making a real difference to the lives of others.

    From "Freedom of Liverpool delivered to New York" August 28, 2003 at http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/News/newsdetail_0436.asp

    That explanation sounds a bit too latterday and there is probably an earlier meaning. Will continue to research and check some books I have on Liverpool history.

    Also found this:

    "Oldest and Youngest awarded Freedom of the City" July 5, 2007, athttp://www.liverpool.gov.uk/News/newsdetail_1724.asp

    ONE of Liverpool's oldest, and the youngest services are to be granted the city's top honour.

    The Merseyside branch of St. John Ambulance, founded in September 1877, and the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment which was formed just days ago on Saturday 1 July 2006, will be honoured by Liverpool City Council at an Extraordinary meeting next week (Wednesday 12 July). . . .

    Council leader Warren Bradley said: "All my colleagues and I at the City Council are delighted to add both groups to the prestigious list of Liverpool organisations, and individuals, which are leaders in their field.

    "I am immensely proud of the services they give to Merseyside, and indeed this country, and it is fitting that they are added to the Freedom Roll, which is the highest honour the city can bestow on an association or institution."
    Christopher T. George
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    Thanks Chris, now we need a list of those who have this honor.
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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    Thanks Chris, now we need a list of those who have this honor.
    Hi Kev

    Possibly the Council could provide such a list and maybe also a history of the origins of the tradition. I assume they may have emulated another city in instituting it.

    Here's something else I found, so maybe the giving of the Freedom of the City of Liverpool began in 1900:

    "Around 50 people have been granted the Freedom of Liverpool at the Town Hall since 1900, including Nelson Mandela, the Beatles, Ken Dodd and Simon Weston, as well as Liverpool poets Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri."

    From "Be treated like royalty in special Town Hall visit!", Council press release, 1 August, 2003.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Also just found this:

    "Freedom of the City is an award made by some municipalities in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and Italy to esteemed members of its community; such people may then be termed Freemen or Freewomen of the City. Key to the City is a similar award made in several other countries, and is more prevalent in the United States."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_City

    They give a list of cities that give the Freedom of the City and who they gave it to. . . . Liverpool isn't on it!!!! I will fix that shortly.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    I've decided that the Council's 2003 press release talking about fifty people getting the Freedom of the City since 1900 may actually mean that it may have begun before that year -- maybe the Council can clarify that for us. It appears, going by the Wiki site, that London was the first city to begin to confer the honour of Freedom of the City and that was way back in 1237!!!

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Not much use to you Chris I know, but all those who have won the "Freedom of the City" are listed around the entrance of the Town Hall on plaques. Town Hall is open to the public for tours until 17th August.

    Amongst those given the honour are the 4 Beatles, Paisley (not Shankley), Bessie Braddock (the only woman - Margaret Simey declined), Ken Dodd, Rex Makin, Nelson Mandela, General Kitchener (I think), and many more I can't remember off-hand. There's also a seperate plaque for those who got group "Freedoms" - Granada (!), the 2 football teams, the New York Firemen and so on.
    Last edited by julieoapw; 08-11-2007 at 11:21 PM.

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