The Official Web Site of The City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild

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      • My cousin, Frank Derbyshire, while serving in the RAF during the war, was made a Freeman of the City of Coventry in 1944. This has only come to light when he died recently in New Zealand and personal documents and photographs were forwarded to one of my other cousins as part of his estate. We are very interested to trace more details of Frank’s life as the family largely lost contact with him when he emigrated after the war. This includes why he was made a Freeman of Coventry and we hope that you will be able to help us with this. I can email you a copy of the original letter if required. With thanks, PaulR

      • Dear Paul Ravenscroft,
        You will find the reason that Frank Derbyshire was made a Freeman of Coventry by looking on our web site at the page “About the Guild” > “How to Join”.
        Or follow this link: https://coventryfreemensguild.wordpress.com/how-to-join/
        Just a short way down this page you will find a section with the heading “Becoming a Freeman of the City of Coventry”.
        This will tell you all about how a person becomes a Freeman of Coventry.
        The best place to start your research is the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.
        They have a card index of all the Freemen of Coventry, although it is not complete.
        Their web site is at http://www.theherbert.org/
        I hope this helps.
        Best Wishes
        Steven Morson
        Immediate Past Master of the City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild

  1. I am a Freemen of Coventry and have been working and living abroad for many years. I would like to make contact with the Guild and possibly offer support and time to contribute to the organisation. Who should I contact and how?

    Regards

    Alan

    • Hi Alan,
      You would need to join the Guild first. Please go to About > How to Join (on the drop down list of this web site). Download and print off the Guild application form (either the pdf copy or the word copy). If you can fill it in electronically please send your completed copy as an email attachment to thecoventryguild@gmail.com and I will send it on to the Membership Secretary. If you prefer to print the form out and send it by post please tell me in an email (to thecoventryguild@gmail.com) that you are ready to send the form and I will provide you with the address.
      After you have joined the Guild we would be delighted to see you at one of our Guild functions. Also, if you are keen to join the Court and help us to run the Guild we would invite you as an observer to a Guild meeting (held on the second Monday of the month at 19:30pm in the St Mary’s Hall undercroft). When you have been to three meetings as an observer you would be invited to join the Court.

  2. Hello, I became a freeman of Coventry City in the early 1970’s. After serving an apprenticeship. I have been informed that a pension is available. Could you advise me on how I can apply for the pension. Kind regards. Stephen wilde.

  3. Hello this is a message for the membership secretary, I have emailed (5 days ago) requesting the bank transfer details in order to pay my membership as I have mislaid the renewal form. I am unable to find an address to send the payment to either, please can you advise asap so I can do my renewal.

    Regards

    Christopher Hewitt

    • Hi Christopher, I have copied this message to the Membership Secretary.
      Regards
      Steve Morson
      Senior Warden, Chamberlain and Web Master

  4. Dear sir, I am trying to gather some information on my farther and I understand that he was one of the founders of the freemans guild. His name is Frank Walter Chatland, I have seen his name on the plaque on the wall outside st Mary’s hall. If you could give me any information about his role in the guild or any information I would be grateful.

    Kind regards

    Chris Chatland

    • Dear Chris,
      It was wonderful to hear that you are the son of “Frank Walter Chatland” who was one of the “founder members” when the Guild was re-established in 1946. I will look forward to seeing you in June and taking you around St. Mary’s Guildhall.
      Best wishes
      Steven Morson,
      Senior Warden, Chamberlain and Web Master

  5. Hello,
    Whilst reading an old booklet “The Freemen of Coventry” published in April 1992 there is mention made in the section The Freemen and their privileges “- Advancement of education for persons under the age of 25 who are in need of financial assistance through bursariies, maintenance allowances and otherwise promoting the education of such persons.
    Is this something still available ? My daughter is trying to sign up to study and complete an accountancy qualification, but the company she works for will not fund it. She has completed a short apprenticeship ( about 1 year), successfully completing a NVG level 2 and level 3 qualification in customer services, carried out in house at the company, but may struggle with course fees in trying to better herself – any assistance or pointers appreciated.

    Regards,
    Keith Thomas

    • Dear Mr Thomas I am currently checking for any possibility of funding from the Guild Charity, but as I understand it grants are only available for Guild members. Are either of you a Guild member or at least a Freemen of Coventry?
      From
      Steven Morson
      Web Master

    • Dear Mr Thomas,
      Having checked with the Guild members who are on the board of the Freemen’s Charity, they say that you are referring to the Guild booklet which is dated 1979. This is an old booklet which has since been updated. The paragraphs in question refer to the ‘General Charities’ which, whilst giving preference to Freemen, implies that non Freemen can also benefit subject to the discretion of the Trustees.
      However, the Coventry Freemen’s Charity established in 1978 is not part of ‘General Charities’.
      We therefore suggest that you look up the following charities:
      “The General Charity Of The City Of Coventry” (http://www.coventry.org.uk/info/1254/) Telephone: 024 7622 2769 – Hill Street, Coventry, CV1 4AN
      or
      “The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity” http://www.stwcharity.co.uk/

      On behalf of the City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild, may I wish you and your daughter much success in the future.

      Best wishes
      Steven Morson,
      Web Master

  6. Hi Hilda
    As per our emails (so that anyone searching this database can read my reply)
    We can send out a request to all the Wardens of our Guild Court to see if they remember a particular individual, stating where they did their apprenticeship and where they subsequently worked. If we definitely know that the person was a member of the Coventry Guild we could use our Facebook sites and magazine to invite other Guild members to get in touch if they knew the person you are seeking.
    If you know the exact date the person became a Freeman of Coventry you could check the archives office at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, as they have an index of many (but not all) Freemen.
    The only other chance is if the person received a Freeman’s Seniority Payment [called the ‘Freemen’s pension’]. Then they would be recorded in the books of the Coventry Freemen’s Charity – so you could write the Trustees at Abbey House, Manor Road, Coventry CV1 2FW.
    The Freeman’s Seniority Payment is granted to anyone of pension age who has previously obtained their “Freedom of Coventry”.
    But in order to receive it the Freeman has to live within the boundary of Coventry, so if the person lived outside of this Coventry boundary it may be that they never claimed it.
    But if the person concerned has claimed this payment, and still claims it, his current address would be known. Although the Freemen’s Charity would not be able to divulge any details about the person you are seeking, they might be able to pass on your name to them.
    Best wishes
    Steven Morson, Deputy Master of the Guild

  7. It is with regret that must inform you of the passing of Carl Frederick Lloyd, of Hawthorndene, Australia on 4th September, 2015.

    • Dear Mr. Tony Frizell,
      It was with great shock and sadness that I read your message regarding your wife’s step-father, Carl Frederick Lloyd, who passed away at Hawthorndene, Australia on 4th September, 2015. It was about this time last year that Carl asked to join the Guild and it is with great sadness that I will inform our Membership Secretary of his passing. On behalf of the Master of the City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild, the members of the Court and all Guild members may I offer you and your family our sincere condolences.
      Steven Morson
      Deputy Master and Webmaster of The City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild

  8. I am a Freeman, through serving my apprenticeship at Renold Chain, Spon End – 1959 to 1964. I have not joined the Guild.

    My youngest daughter has recently enquired of me if my “Freeman” status can be passed on to my children – i.e., is it hereditory?

    Best wishes

    Eric Hollingsworth

    • Dear Eric
      Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately the Freeman status cannot be transferred to others, as the Freedom of Coventry is, uniquely, only obtained by serving an apprenticeship – subject to certain conditions. Most other towns and cities hereditarily pass on the freedom to family members.
      Best wishes – Peter Wilford Master of the Freemen’s Guild

    • Dear Mrs Titley,
      Thank you for letting the Guild know about the sad death of your cousin Mr John Richard Enstone.
      On behalf of the Master of the Guild, Past Masters and members of the Court may I please send our condolences to you and the family.
      Regards
      Steven Morson
      Deputy Master

  9. The Coventry Freemen’s Charity
    This is a payment of £50 per quarter year, paid directly into the bank accounts of Freemen of the City of Coventry who are retired.
    The payment is made to both Freemen and their widows.
    Widows of Freemen can still apply to receive this pension, in their own right, even if their spouse was not receiving the payment when they died.
    To be entitled to this pension, you must be a Freeman of the City of Coventry, aged 65 or over, fully retired and living within a 7 mile radius of St. Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry. Widows must also be living within the 7 mile radius of St. Mary’s Guildhall.
    Anyone who is seeking to enquire about this pension, for themselves or on behalf of a Freeman or the widow of a Freeman, is advised to seek an application form from Mr. David Evans, at Fox Evans Chartered Accountants, who administer the funds on behalf of the Coventry Freemen’s Charity.
    The telephone number is 024 7625 7317.
    The web site for Fox Evans Chartered Accountants is: http://www.foxevans.co.uk/
    The postal address is: Coventry Freemen’s Charity, Abbey House, Manor Road, Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 2FW
    Please do not apply via this Coventry Freemen’s Guild web site, as you will be asked to take in a copy of your Oath of a Freeman to the office of Fox-Evans Accountants to verify your eligibility.

    • The Qualifying Area of Service for becoming a Freeman of Coventry is part of the text on our web site page called “How to Join”

  10. It is with sadness that I inform you of my fathers passing aged 69. I have been informed that he was a freeman of the city of coventry but can not find confirmation of this. His name is John Edward Millard. I found a copy of the Guildsman on his desk and would like his details added in the obituary section if possible.

  11. my husband joseph michael harris is unable to find his oath of the coventry freemen,s oath.
    can you please me how he can get a copy

    thank you
    freda harris

    • Dear Freda,
      If you require a new Certificate of Freedom for Mr. Joseph Michael Harris, please contact the Lord Mayor’s Office (contact details for the Lord Mayor’s Office is on our web page section titled “How to Join” towards the bottom just below where it says “How do I apply to become a Freeman of the City of Coventry?”)

  12. I regret to inform you that Ray Jilks, who was granted the Freedom of the City, passed away on 29 September 2016.

    • Sorry to hear of your sad loss Kerry. I can inform our Membership Secretary if Mr Ray Jilks was a member of our Guild, but not all Freemen of Coventry join The City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild. Do you know if Ray joined the Guild?

  13. I am a Freeman, through serving my apprenticeship at GEC, Stoke Plant – 1980 to 1984. I have not joined the Guild.

    Due to bad circumstances,i have unfortunately lost my certificate and i was wondering if anyone could tell me how i can get a new one if this is possible?

    Best wishes

    Peter Catlow

    • Dear Mr. Catlow,
      If you go to the page on this web site called “How to Join” you will find a line at the bottom of the page that directs you to the Coventry Council web site (the link is shown just above this line).
      Please use the Lord Mayor’s email or mail address (shown on this page) to request a new certificate. This will be subject to a fee.

    • Dear Peter,
      If you require a new Certificate of your Freedom, please contact the Lord Mayor’s Office (contact details for the Lord Mayor’s Office is on our web page section titled “How to Join” towards the bottom just below where it says “How do I apply to become a Freeman of the City of Coventry?”)

  14. I am a Freeman of Coventry, Served my apprenticeship with F A Sutton and Son Builders, Earlsdon
    the Oath of the Freeman which I was proud to taken on 25th October 1966. Could please let me know I can join, Also is it possible to go into the Guide Hall

    Henry V C Forrister

    • Dear Henry
      On the menu list of our web site you will see the drop down header called “About the Guild”.
      Click on that and select “How to Join” and follow the text and instructions on the download application form

  15. Hi there

    My Dad was a Freeman of the City but sadly passed away last week. How do and Who do I need inform of this as I can’t find any telephone numbers or address on your website? Regards
    Kerry

    • Dear Kerry
      Sorry to hear of the sad loss of your father.
      Although you say that your father was a Freeman of the City of Coventry, he may not have joined the Guild.
      If you can tell me his name I will pass this on to our Membership Secretary and ask him to check.
      Do you know if your father was in receipt of the quarterly Freemen’s Charity payment?
      If he was, you will need to contact Mr. David Evans, at Baldwins (Coventry) Ltd, who administers the funds on behalf of the Coventry Freemen’s Charity.
      The telephone number is 024 7625 7317.
      The postal address is: Coventry Freemen’s Charity, Abbey House, Manor Road, Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 2FW
      This information is on this web site at “About the Guild” > “Freemen’s Charity – Annual Payment”
      Regards
      Steven Morson
      Master
      of
      The City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild

  16. Stratford Herald press enquiry for our business page. Young Apprentice of the Year Award. At a recent awards ceremony Ella Jackson (blue dress) from Robert Welch. Was pictured with GB Olympic athlete David Moorcoroft, Master of the Guild, Steven Morson and one other gentleman – do we know who this person is? He is wearing a chain of office.

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