Window cleaner becomes freeman of Lancaster

The new Freemen of the City of Lancaster with Susan Parsonage, new chief executive of Lancaster City Council, Robert Redfern, mayor of Lancaster, and mayoress Linda Redfern (centre).
The new Freemen of the City of Lancaster with Susan Parsonage, new chief executive of Lancaster City Council, Robert Redfern, mayor of Lancaster, and mayoress Linda Redfern (centre).

A window cleaner is among 11 people who have been named Freemen of the City of Lancaster.

Kevin Smith from Morecambe will now have the right to pasture a limited number of beasts on the Marsh and enter Lancaster city free from the payment of tolls.

The other new Freemen were Bernard Brockbank, Christopher George Fawcett, Gemma Sarah Anne Fawcett, Hannah Catherine Fawcett, Rebecca Alison Lesley Fawcett, Rachel Clare Maultby, Rebekah Louise Maultby, Janet Margaret Parkinson, Dallas William Rankin and Brian Redhead.

Nowadays the role carries few rights, but remains popular amongst those who are proud of their heritage.

Those eligible to apply to become a Freeman include sons or daughters of a Freeman or Freewoman, those who have served an apprenticeship to a Freeman or Freewoman of the city for seven years, anyone born within the old city boundaries or who has lived within the old city boundaries for a period of seven consecutive years.

You also have to be 16 or over.

The new Freemen could, in time, also be eligible for their share of an annual payment known as ‘Marsh Grass’. This stems from 1900 when the Lancaster Corporation secured Parliamentary powers under which the Freemen’s rights in the Marsh were extinguished subject to the payment by the Corporation of £13 per annum. Each year the 80 senior Freemen (or their widows) resident within the old city boundaries are entitled to claim the payment.