Applications open for Freeburgess status ahead of October ceremony

Colchester residents eligible for the ceremonial Freeburgess title are now welcome to apply ahead of October’s ceremony.

The Freeburgess title is now purely a ceremonial honour dating back to the 1189 Royal Charter of Richard the Lionheart, which can be bestowed on Colchester residents.

Successful applicants need to either have been apprenticed for seven years to a member of the Guild of Master Craftsman who also holds the title, or have a parent or grandparent with Freeburgess status.

The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Peter Chillingworth, said: “While Freeburgess status is now simply a ceremonial honour, its continued existence plays an important part in keeping our long history and heritage alive.

“Whether residents think they qualify through parentage or master craftsmanship, I encourage them to apply ahead of the Town Hall ceremony this autumn.”

Colchester residents can find the application form to download online. Applications are welcomed up to 5:00pm on Thursday 12th September 2018 – ahead of the next ceremony on Tuesday 9th October 2018.

At the ceremony, Colchester’s Mayor Peter Chillingworth will confer the status.

Over 400 Master Craftsman trades and crafts qualify for the title – from traditional occupations, such as cabinet makers, tree surgeons and coffin makers, to modern skills including aluminium fabrication and asbestos products and removal.