Applicants who achieve Freedom of the Company must then obtain the Freedom of the City of London before they are eligible to join the Livery; however the Company will sponsor and assist throughout that process.
Applicants that become a Freeman of the Company are generally expected to proceed to become a Liveryman of the Company, which is by invitation and subject to available places within the Company’s charter limit. It is only for Liverymen who can fully participate in and enjoy the full benefits and activities of the Company.
The Freedom of the City of London is undertaken by the Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall. Today most of the practical reasons for obtaining the Freedom of the City have disappeared. It nevertheless remains as a unique part of London’s history to which many people who have lived or worked in the City have been proud to be admitted.
Prior to 1996, the Freedom was only open to British or Commonwealth Citizens. Now, however, it has been extended globally and persons of any nationality may be admitted either through nomination or by being presented by a Livery Company.
The City of London is keen to maintain the Freedom as a living tradition. The Freedom is open to all who are genuinely interested or invited to it. It is now open to overseas nationals as well as UK citizens. The City Freemen comprises of a very broad cross-section of the population.
The usual procedure is to become a Freemen of your livery company first and then apply for the City Freedom. All Redemption Freedom applications to the Chamberlain’s Court are then approved by the Court of Aldermen. A timetable of closing dates is published annually which is linked to Court of Aldermen meetings, usually seven annually. There is a fee currently £170.