FreemEn of the City of London
The medieval term ‘freeman’ meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land. Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free – hence the term ‘freedom’ of the City.
From the Middle Ages to the Victorian era, the Freedom was the right to trade, enabling members of a Guild or Livery to carry out their trade or craft in the Square Mile.
A fee or fine would be charged and in return the Livery Companies would ensure that the goods and services provided would be of the highest possible standards. In 1835, the Freedom was widened to incorporate not just members of Livery Companies but also people living or working in the City or those with a strong London connection.
From the City of London website
Documents show that several notable Grenfells were made Freemen of the City of London:
|John Grenfell||Ironmongers||29 September 1797|
|George St Leger Ommanney Grenfell||Founders||12 November 1840|
|Henry Riversdale Grenfell||Director of the Bank of England||Coopers||8 June 1892|
|George Grenfell||Merchant||Founders||31 January 1904|
|Lord Grenfell||Field Marshall British Army||Gardeners||15 July 1913|
|John Sidney Granville Grenfell||Gardeners||9 December 1913|
|Edward Charles GRENFELL||Merchant Banker||Needleworkers||8 May 1922|