Freedom of the City for TDS Ownernewtdswp2019
On Wednesday 16th February 2022 the TDS team attended the Guildhall, London, to witness our MD Rona Tait, being awarded her ‘Freedom of the City of London’. This was a long awaited day for Rona as she had been due to receive her ‘freedom’ just as the lockdown came into force.
The Freedom of the City ceremony is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today and is said to be a unique part of London’s history.
Interestingly, there is a long-standing tradition of the City admitting women to the Freedom, although nowadays they are referred to as Freemen as well, the historically correct term is Free Sisters.
On arriving at the Guildhall we were greeted by the Beadle – wearing traditional top hat and frock coat. Once inside the Court, the Chamberlain of the Court (wearing a traditional ermine-trimmed gown) performed the ceremony by inviting Rona to recite the ‘Declaration of a Freeman’ and sign the Freeman’s Declaration book. Rona was then presented with ‘The Copy of the Freedom’ this being a parchment certificate, together with the ‘Rules for the Conduct of Life’. These rules date back to the mid 18th century.
Once the ceremony was complete we were then given a tour of the court room and shown photographs and artefacts from previous ‘Citizens of London’, these included celebrities, Florence Nightingale and Winston Churchill.
In the olden days, this ceremony meant that you were no longer a peasant!
Congratulations Rona – what an honour it was to witness such a ceremony.