1831 - about 1900 Freemen, 1070 resident and 830 non-resident

The Roll of the Freemen of the City of Canterbury from A.D. 1392 to 1800 by Joseph Meadows Cowper, F.S.A.

The first freeman of the city by apprenticeship was Jeremy Oxenbregge 1502

A freeman certificate in my collection for Charles Dunn, Tailor 1845


*was a Edward (or Edmund) DUNN, Freeman of Canterbury, Tailor 1640


"John WHITFIELD left by will dated in 1687, the sum of £150., to be lent in sums of £25. each, gratuitously, for five years, to poor tradesmen, freemen of the city. Out of money left by the testator, £25. has been lost by bad securities; the balance at the disposal of the trustees is £125." 1838D


Queen Elizabeth, in the 12th year of her reign, confirms to the Mayor of Canterbury the privilege of making a freeman according to the annual custom; and a few years later, the privilege which a freeman's daughter had of making her husband free of the city, and which privilege had been disputed, was fully estblished. COT

1640. Mr. William Somner presents to the mayor and commonalty his book intitled, "The Antiquities of Canterbury." In the year preceding, the corporation had voted this gentleman the freedom of the city, as a mark of thier respect. HT

1693. A Common Hall of the freemen is holden in the Guildhall, when the question of granting freedom to a Walloon is agitated and determined in the negative. HT

1704. One hundred and seventy-four persons are admitted to the freedom, in the course of this mayoralty. HT

At the late election for Canterbury, a question was agitated whether freemen who had received any relief within a year, were thereby disqualified to vote. Mr. Serjeant Marshall clearly showed, that poverty was no disqualification at common law, and cound not be peaded unless warranted by the immemorial usage of the place; and that, consequently, as no such usage had ever prevailed at Canterbury, a pauper had the same right to vote as any other freeman. It was determined accordingly, that all voters of this description should remain on the poll.

The Monthly Magazine 1796 pg. 436


© T. Machado 2007