The Freedom of Liverpool
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.
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.
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."
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Thanks Chris, now we need a list of those who have this honor.
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Originally Posted by 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.
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."
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.
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!!!
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.
Also forgot to say that popular legend says if you are a freeman you can use the ferries free of charge and drive a flock of sheep down Dale St. May be a myth though.
Just found this at http://www.civichalls.liverpool.gov....emen/index.asp
One mistake - in the Town Hall, Lennon is listed without his MBE as he sent it back.
Freemen of the City
7th July 1886 Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Clarke GCMB CB CIE
9th November 1889 Sir Andrew Barclay Walker BT DL
7th January 1891 William Cliff Esq JP
3rd June 1891 William Rathbone Esq MP JP DL
3rd June 1891 Henry Tate JP
5th October 1892 The Rt. Hon William Ewart Gladstone MP JP DL
14th February 1894 Samuel Greg Rathbone Esq JP
27th October 1897 Alderman Thomas Hughes JP
17th January 1900 John Brancker Esq JP
24th April 1901 Ben Wolfe Levy Esq
24th April 1901 Henry Yates Thompson Esq
24th April 1901 Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Earl Roberts VC KG KP GCB GCI GCIE
4th June 1902 Alderman Sir William Bower Forwood JP DL
6th August 1902 General Viscount Kitchener GCB OM GCMG
3rd February 1904 The Rt. Hon. Frederick Arthur Earl of Derby KG
3rd February 1904 Robert Durning Holt Esq DL JP
3rd August 1911 Andrew Carnegie Esq LLD
3rd August 1911 Robert Gladstone Esq LLD
3rd July 1912 The Rt. Hon. Edward George Villiers 17th Earl of Derby GCVO CB
29th March 1916 The Rt. Hon. William Morris Hughes
6th September 1916 Alderman Sir William Benjamin Bowring BT DL
6th June 1917 Alderman Sir Charles Petrie JP
4th December 1918 Admiral Sir David Beatty GCB GCVO DSO
4th December 1918 Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig KT GCB OM GCVO KCIE
7th December 1921 John Rankin Esq LLD
2nd September 1925 The Rt. Hon. Sir Archibald Tutton Salvadge PC KBE
24th September 1934 Alderman Sir Thomas White JP
24th September 1934 Alderman Sir James Sexton CBE JP
24th September 1934 Councillor Sir Frederick Charles Bowring DL JP
1st May 1946 The Rt. Hon. Lord Woolton PC CH DL
1st May 1946 Admiral Sir Max Kennedy Horton GCB DSO
1st May 1946 Alderman Alfred Earnest Shennan JP MA
1st May 1946 Alderman Sir Charles Sydney Jones JP MA LLD
30th April 1970 The Rt. Hon. Lord Cohen of Birkenhead MD FROP LOND FRCS ENG DL
30th April 1970 Major Sir Arthur Harold Bibby BT DSO
30th April 1970 Alderman Sir Joseph Jackson Cleary
30th April 1970 Sir Alan Cecil Tod CBE TD
30th April 1970 Mrs Elizabeth Margaret Braddock MP
30th April 1970 John Moores Esq
23rd November 1983 Robert Paisley Esq OBE
7th March 1984 John Lennon MBE
7th March 1984 George Harrison MBE
7th March 1984 Paul McCartney MBE
7th March 1984 Richard Starkey MBE
27th March 1991 Eric Heffer MP
16th March 1994 John Moores Esq CBE DL
6th July 1994 President Mandela
24th August 1994 David Sheppard the Rt. Reverend the Lord Bishop of Liverpool
24th August 1994 Derek Worlock the Most Reverend the Archbishop of Liverpool
24th August 1994 Roy Castle OBE
31st January 2001 Ken Dodd OBE
31st January 2001 Adrian Henri
31st January 2001 Roger McGough
31st January 2001 Brian Patten
31st January 2001 Sir Terry Leahy
31st January 2001 Simon Weston OBE
11th June 2003 Professor Rex Makin
Wonderful, detailed information. Many thanks, Julie!
I am pleased to say that I have now added to the Wiki page on "Freedom of the City" recent well known recipients of the Freedom of the City of Liverpool.
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