The Gild of Freemen of the City of York


To apply for admission to the Freedom of the City of York the easiest method is probably to fill in an application form and send it, with the relevant evidence and processing fee, to the address below.

Joanne Lowe

Electoral Services
City of York Council
West Offices
Station Rise

Tel: (01904) 551050

The deadline for receipt of applications for admittance at the next Freedom Courts, to be held at the Guildhall in October 2017, is 31 July 2017. Applications received after 31 July 2017 will be carried forward to 2018.

Click here to download an application form.  

Click here for more information on the Freedom of the City of York.


For those that are interested there are still two possible ways to become a Freeman of York - by
birthright or by servitude. York City Council holds a Freedom Court annually in the Guildhall where new members are admitted to the Freedom. The Court is presided over by the Lord Mayor. Most new members gain their Freedom by birthright but there are occasional claimants by servitude as well.

Patrimony (birthright)
All the children of a Freeman are eligible once they reach the age of 21. A claim may be made through either a parent, grandparent, great grandparent or great great grandparent (whether living or dead).

To become a Freeman by servitude a candidate needs to be accepted as an apprentice to a master craftsman for five years. The master craftsman himself is required to be a Freeman of York. This is obviously quite difficult to achieve now as there are very few apprenticeships available.

If you are accepted as being qualified to be admitted you will receive an invitation to the Freedom Court, presided over by the Lord Mayor, and held in the Guildhall annually (if the number of applicants is great, and time allows, there may be two Courts in a single year). Having been 'identified' by an elder blood relation, according to the ancient custom, you will stand with the other candidates and recite the Freeman's declaration followed by the ancient oath of obedience.

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