May 23, 2013 by auntkatefirmin
This is a transcript of a record stored at the London Metropolitan Archives. The record for John Firmin consists of a single sheet only. In the next post I’ll speculate about what this document tells us.
“Tuesday the 27th Day of July 1830, and in the first year of the reign of George William the fourth of the united Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King, &c.
This day Mr. Chamberlain having presented unto this Court John Firmin to be made free of this City as the Nineteenth of Fifty granted unto him by this Court the Eighth day of June 1830 for this City’s use.
It is ordered that the said John Firmin be admitted into the freedom of this City by Redemption in the Company of Loriners paying unto Mr. Chamberlain for this City’s use the sum of Forty six shillings and eight pence. [signed] Woodthorpe.
22nd July 1830 Admitted & Sworn to the Freedom of the above-named Company J Lowell [?]
NB If this Order is not executed in three months it will be void.”
This form, while entirely handwritten, was clearly written out in advance with spaces for the name of the person, the date, and the livery company. It seems that the fee was standard at the time; the equivalent relative to income then and now is £1680. The papers were written far enough in advance that it was necessary to cross out “George” and substitute “William.” (William became king about a month earlier on 26 June 1830). The note at the bottom confirming the admission to the Loriner’s company is written with a different pen and there is a circled notation that might be in pencil with the word, “labourer.” Some of the other freedom records have separate documents showing the applicant’s admission to their Livery Company. Some people are presented by the Mayor rather than the Chamberlain of the Court.
Here is some supplemental reading:
For an excellent discussion of Freedom of the City, download the pdf from the City of London (it may take a minute to load).
Don’t overlook this article about Livery Company Records and family history, complete with links to more resources.
Here’s a quick link to a list of all the Livery Company websites.