Skip to main content  


Freedom ceremonies take place in the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall and are usually conducted by the Clerk of the Court or his Assistant.

Freemen, their nominators and guests are escorted to the Court by the Beadle, who wears a top hat and frockcoat. The Clerk of the Court wears a silk gown, and if the Chamberlain performs the ceremony, he wears the traditional ermine-trimmed gown. The prospective Freeman is invited to read the ‘Declaration of a Freeman’ and to sign the Freeman’s Declaration Book.

The Copy of the Freedom – a parchment document with the name of the recipient beautifully inscribed by a calligrapher – is presented by the Clerk, together with a copy of the ‘Rules for the Conduct of Life’ which date from the mid-18th century. The Clerk or Chamberlain extends the right hand of fellowship to the recipient and greets them as ‘a Citizen of London’.

After the ceremony, there is time for informal questions, the opportunity to view interesting items, photographs and artefacts in the Court Room such as a letter from Nelson and Florence Nightingale’s Freedom casket.

The Declaration

"I do solemnly swear that I will be good and true to our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second; that I will be obedient to the Mayor of this City; that I will maintain the Franchises and Customs thereof, and will keep this City harmless, in that which in me is; that I will also keep the Queen's Peace in my own person; that I will know no Gatherings nor Conspiracies made against the Queen's Peace, but I will warn the Mayor thereof, or hinder it to my power; and that all these points and articles I will well and truly keep, according to the Laws and Customs of this City, to my power."

Non British and British Commonwealth Citizens have the option to substitute “our Sovereign Lady” with “Her Majesty”.