Last week I had the honour of becoming a Freeman of the City of London as I joined the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. The first Freedom was presented in 1237 it is believed to be one of our oldest traditions. So officially being a ‘freeman’ means I am no longer the property of a feudal lord and enjoy privileges such as the right to earn money or own land.
Today the Freedom is more closely associated to the Livery Companies which are basically London’s ancient and modern trade associations and guilds. Currently there are one hundred and ten such companies focusing today on charitable-giving, networking opportunities and the ability to be involved or vote for senior civic roles such as the Sheriffs or Lord Mayor of London.
My father joined his Livery Company when he worked in the contract cleaning industry and became master, which afforded him a great opportunity to give something back and support his industry. This early awareness of the City of London is one of the reasons I wanted to join the WCIT and be involved in such a historic institution.
So I understand I am now afforded the right to heard sheep across London Bridge as part of receiving a Freedom, so if you hear of any serious delays in the Southwark area you will know who is responsible!