The time-honored ceremony makes Freeman a freeman in the City of London.
The award is believed to have originated in the 13th century. It allows Freeman to carry out his trade.
Why am I writing about this you might ask yourself, good question, but do you know that being a plasterer you can also gain the freedom 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 and 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 there was a strong London connection.
Through the livery companies, and the plastering trade has a livery company
The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers is one of the Livery Companies in the City of London. The Plaisterers' Company was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1501 and whilst the spelling used in the Charter was "Plaisterer", some later Charters used the alternative spelling of "plasterer", nonetheless, the Company uses the original spelling.
You have to apply to become a member
There are several ways by which prospective members can apply to join the Company, initially as a Freeman and then as a Liveryman. Traditionally, entitlement to admission to the Freedom of the Company was by Servitude and available to those who, having completed a full five year working apprenticeship, were released from their indentures by the Master Plasterer. Servitude has not been used for a number of years by the Company.
Admissions to the Freedom are now either by Patrimony, available to men or women aged 21 or over, whose fathers were already Freemen of the Company at the time of their birth, or by Redemption, for those who do not qualify through Patrimony and whose nomination is proposed and seconded by existing members of the Company.