Freedom of the City of London is a recognition awarded to people who have achieved success, recognition or celebrity in their chosen field. Honorary Freedom of the City of London is a recognition of lifetime achievement or high international standing, and is much rarer than the broader Freedom of the City.
Whilst undoubtedly a privilege, strict instructions are given that the Freedom of the City of London should not be presented to others as being an honour or award. The Freedom of the City of London can be gained through membership of a livery company or by direct application supported by a suitably qualified proposer and seconder. A limited number of Freemen are admitted each year by the Clerk to the Chamberlain of the City of London during a ceremony at Guildhall. A certificate is presented to the recipient.
There is a long-standing tradition of the City admitting women to the Freedom. Although nowadays usually called Freemen as well, the historically correct way of referring to them is
List of Freemen
The mixed list below contains just some of the names of people who have received the Freedom or Honorary Freedom over the years:
Royal Family members, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom:
Presidents of the United States of America
Entrepreneurs and Academics:
Guy Moreton:- Founder and CEO of MorePeople
Cardinals of the Catholic Church
Actors, singers, and artists:
Historically notable Britons:
David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty (awarded on 16 June 1919) 
John Bercow (awarded on 4 July 2016)
William Booth (awarded on 26 October 1906)  
James Brooke (awarded in 1847)
Angela Burdett-Coutts (awarded on 18 July 1872). She was the first woman to be awarded the honorary Freedom.
Austen Chamberlain (awarded on 25 March 1926) 
Sir Alexander Cockburn, 12th Baronet (awarded on 9 March 1876) 
Randall Davidson (awarded in 1928)
Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey (awarded on 23 January 1912) 
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener (awarded on 4 November 1898) 
William Lidderdale (awarded in 1891)
Francis Leopold McClintock (awarded in May 1860)
Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner (awarded on 23 July 1901) 
Florence Nightingale (awarded 16 August 1908). She was the second woman who was awarded honorary Freedom.
James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez John Francis Scott (16 Oct 1796 - 16 Dec 1854)(Awarded 1823) - Son of Warrant Officer John Scott R.N., Purser, Secretary & close friend to Viscount Admiral Horatio Nelson. Warrant Officer Scott was killed on the 21 Oct 1805 whilst standing next to Admiral Nelson on the deck of
HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar 
Henry Morton Stanley (awarded on 13 January 1887)
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
William Fenwick Williams Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley
Kigeli V of Rwanda (awarded on 28 June 2016)  Prince
David Bagration of Mukhrani, Head of the Royal House of Georgia.
Peter Ackroyd (awarded on 15 December 2006) 
Arnold Brown (General of The Salvation Army) Lloyd Searson (awarded on 27 September 2017)
Fredrick Smallbone (Awarded on 31 October 2017)
Gerard Francis Claude Basset OBE (awarded on 1 September 2016) Noel Byrne (Awarded on 20 December 2017) - A dedicated servant to the City and its people.
Bartholomew Broadbent (awarded on 17 January 1985)
Roy Chadwick (awarded in 1943)
Joseph Chamberlain (awarded on 13 February 1902)  Datu Dr Cheong Ming Lam (awarded on 3rd Oct 2009)
Imran Ahmed Chowdhury ( Awarded on 2013)
Shaw Clifton (awarded on 13 September 2007) 
Alastair Cook 
Frederick Cook (awarded on 15 October 1909) 
Tom Cox (Awarded April 2017)
Crista Cullen (awarded on 23 August 2013) 
Nigel Cumberland (Awarded on June 29th 2016)  
Brian Dear (awarded 3 October 2001 for charity work) 
Robin Dunster (awarded on 13 September 2007)  Xohan Duran (awarded on 27 April 2016)
Massimo Ellul (awarded on 26 September 2005)
Liam Hackett (firefighter) (awarded 15 September 2010)  
Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig (awarded on 16 June 1919)  Julia Houghton (Awarded on 13 November 2008)
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, VC (awarded on 5 May 2016) 
Lasse Lehtinen (awarded on 21 September 2007) 
Charles Lindbergh PC Trevor Lock (awarded May 1980) For heroism during the
Iranian Embassy Siege.
Frank Marshall, Baron Marshall of Leeds
Angelo Musa awarded on 19 April 2016. 
Robert Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala Dr. Zenobia Nadirshaw (Awarded on 16 November 2017) - She has been a practicing psychologist for 40 years. She has also served as Governor of London Metropolitan University, as an advisor to the minister of Health and as Trustee of three charitable organizations.
Ari Norman (awarded on 6 November 1992) for services to the British Silver Industry 
Frederick Penny, 1st Viscount Marchwood
Sir Thomas Phillips (voted 26 February 1840, admitted on 7 April 1840)   John-Paul Preston (awarded on 3 January 2018)
William Reid (VC)
John Ross (Arctic explorer) (awarded in March 1834) Simone Lakmaker (awarded 1982)
Omiros D. Sarikas, Worshipful Company of International Bankers, Financier, Investment Banker and Investment Manager
Leonard Alexander Thirkettle (Chief Petty Officer Instructor, Sea Cadet Corps - awarded 2006)
Robin Tilbrook (awarded on 27 September 2011)  Keiron J Trebilcoe (awarded 22 January 2015)
David Weir (awarded on 3 December 2012) 
General Sir James Willcocks (awarded 11 July 1901). Awarded Freedom of the City of London with sword of honour. 
Bob Winter (awarded on 10 September 2007)  Adrian Yeandle (awarded on 8 December 2017)
The granting of the
Honorary Freedom of the City of London (or Freedom Honoris Causa) is extremely rare and generally awarded today only to Royalty, Heads of State, or figures of genuine global standing. It is the greatest honour that is in the power of the City of London to bestow, and usually takes place in Guildhall in the presence of the Common Council and the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, along with invited guests.
The most recent recipient after a gap of some eleven years was
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with the ceremony taking place at Mansion House 2013. In 1996 Nelson Mandela, as President of South Africa, received the same honour. The presentation on such occasions is made by the Chamberlain of London, and is often followed by a banquet at Guildhall or Mansion House. Historically, the first personage to be so honoured was William Pitt the Elder in 1757. However, there are also records of the presentation of such in May 1698 to Philemon Philip Carter, son of Nathaniel Carter (goldsmiths) in the "Freedom of the City Admission Papers" 1681-1930. For many years it was the custom to present the Freedom in specially commissioned and unique gold or silver caskets, the design of which was inspired by the background and the achievements of the individual to which it was presented. More normal today would be to present the honour in the form of a scroll in an inscribed box.
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^ See also:
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