City of London Freedom and Advancement to Livery

INSTRUCTIONS TO FREEMEN ON OBTAINING THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF LONDON

As soon as you are admitted as a Freeman of the Company you are entitled to apply for Freedom of the City of London.

The Freedom may be sought by Redemption (the most common) or by patrimony (i.e. where a parent has been admitted to the Freedom). Though most of the ancient privileges associated with the City Freedom no longer apply, holding the Freedom is still much sought after and is an essential requirement in order to become a Liveryman of a City Livery Company.

The Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court of the City has recently written to Clerks of Livery Companies advising that individuals seeking Freedom of the City of London with the Intervention of a Livery company – as you will be doing - may do this themselves (which will require two separate appointments at the Chamberlain’s Court office, or by the Clerk acting as their proxy (in which case only a single personal appointment at the Chamberlain’s Court will be required.)

Registration in person

If you wish to obtain your Freedom yourself you should telephone the Chamberlain’s Court (telephone numbers: 020 7332 1008, 020 7332 1369 or 020 7332 3055) requesting an appointment, making it clear you are wishing to make an application to obtain the Freedom of the City of London.

The Chamberlain’s Court is accessed via the North entrance to Guildhall, off Aldermanbury, London EC2.

You will need to take with you the following:-

  • Your Company Freedom Certificate
  • A copy of your Birth Certificate (it must be the “long” form containing precise information of location of birth, and full parental details), the short version is not acceptable. If applicable you must produce your adoption Certificate.
  • Documentary evidence of any change of name (Women who use a married name should take their marriage or divorce certificates), (others who use names different to their birth certificate should produce other documentary evidence, i.e. change of name deed, current passport, driving licence or similar evidence.
  • If you are a Naturalised British Subject then your Naturalisation Papers are required
  • Knowledge of your father’s details, including last occupation, and last address
  • Your fee (currently £100) either cash or as a cheque payable to “The Chamberlain of London” (N.B. credit /debit cards are not accepted)

We have been advised, by the Clerk to the Chamberlains Court, that if any of these items are not produced your application will be delayed. If for any reason, you do not have a copy of your full birth certificate, a Full Extract may be obtained from the Family Record Centre by telephoning 0845 603 7788 or applying online at www.gro.gov.uk, similarly the Family Records Centre can provide copies of Marriage or Adoption Certificates. 

Completion of the relevant registration requirement normally only takes about 20 to 30 minutes. The documentation provided will not be retained but details recorded. Your application will be presented for approval at the next meeting of the Court of Aldermen, and depending upon date this can be up to six weeks later.

Registration by the Clerk acting as proxy

In certain circumstances, particularly if very large distances are involved, our Clerk is able to act as proxy for the initial meeting. If you would like the Clerk to act as your proxy, you should contact him (see http://www.taxadvisers.org.uk/contact)

The Clerk will need to explain the circumstances and you will need to provide all the evidence outlined above, along with your cheque. The Clerk will need to retain the documents for a while to present them to the Chamberlain’s Court on your behalf before returning to you Registered Post.

The Freedom Ceremony

You will be advised personally of the outcome of your registration following the next meeting of the Court of Aldermen (they usually sit seven times a year) and you should then make a personal arrangement to attend the Chamberlain’s Court for a formal swearing-in ceremony. Once again you will need to telephone the Court office to make an appointment.

You are more than welcome to take guests to the ceremony that lasts about half an hour, after which you might wish to adjourn somewhere for a small celebration with your guests.

Your sponsor into the Tax Advisers’ Company may also be interested in attending the Ceremony and should be given notice of the date and time you arrange.

Should you wish to attend a formal swearing-in ceremony along with other Tax Advisers, do please contact the Clerk, who will advise if he is aware of any others going the process at the same time. Similarly if you were intending to go alone please contact the Clerk as subject to availability he might be able to attend as a supporter.

Advancement to Livery

Once you have obtained Freedom of the City, you should think about advancing to Livery of the company.

In addition to obtaining your City Freedom, you need to have been a Freeman of the company for at least 12 months and also started to contribute, on a regular basis to one or both of the company charitable funds (usually the Charitable Trust) (see http://www.taxadvisers.org.uk/charitydonations)

The advancement fine, due on the date of the Court meeting that you advance is presently £200.

Should you wish to try and book your actual Freedom ceremony on the day of a Tax Advisers Court Meeting – held in March, June, September, and December each year it is possible to arrange to advance to the Livery on the same day. In such cases please discuss this with the Clerk as early as possible so that the Membership Committee can confirm your advancement.