Becoming a member of the City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild
In order to join in the Guild activities and events, you need to become a member of The City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild.
All Freemen of Coventry are eligible to join the Guild.
The annual subscription rates are £15 per year (reduced to only £8 for retired Freemen)
You will find a link to download the application form (in pdf and doc format) below. Please download one of these forms, print it out and complete it. Then you can send the completed form to the Guild Membership Secretary, as an email attachment, after you have scanned your completed form back into your computer (the email address for the Membership Secretary is on the form). If you prefer to send your application form by post please send the Membership Secretary an email in order to obtain his postal address. If you decide to apply by post, you can send a cheque for one years membership with your postal application. If you apply by email please ask the Membership Secretary for details of paying by Electronic Fund Transfer.
Please note: there are no reduced costs for joining part way through a year.
Becoming a Freeman of the City of Coventry
In Coventry the only way a person can become a Freeman of the City is by servitude. This is rather unique, since in other cities people become Freemen by redemption (payment of a fee) or by patrimony (if your father or mother is, or was, a Freeman of that city).
Rules for Admittance to the Freedom of the City of Coventry
Qualifying Period of Service
The trades and professions concerned are recognised as the appropriate bodies to determine periods of apprenticeship for their own purposes but it does not necessarily follow that these periods should be the sole qualification for admission to the Freedom of the City. Accordingly the qualifying period is defined as follows:-
- The service of not less than 5 years full-time apprenticeship; or
- The service of such lesser period of apprenticeship as is required to be served in a particular trade or profession (as prescribed from time to time by National or Local Agreements or Professions’ requirements relating to that trade or profession) supplemented after apprenticeship (but not necessarily consecutively) by an appropriate period of employment (but not necessarily with the same employer) in the same trade or profession and within the qualifying area (or elsewhere in the employment of a firm with a principal or major place of business in the qualifying area) so as to complete in total a period of 5 years service.
It follows from the above that pre-apprenticeship periods at a school or college will not to count for Freedom purposes and only that time served after the date of the Agreement signed or sealed between the apprentice and the master will count.
It should be noted that the supplementary period of employment after apprenticeship referred to in (1) above, does not need to be continuous (e.g. if a supplementary period of two years was required, two separate years could be worked with a break in between.)
Qualifying Area of Service
The area has been extended to that covered by a circle drawn with a radius of four and a half miles from St. Mary’s Hall or the actual boundary of the City, which ever is the larger.
The Qualifying Age of 21 years
The age qualification has been removed since five years will need to be served under (1) above. This age will take all school leavers up to 21 years of age or over by the time they take the Freemen’s Oath.
Am I eligible to become a Freeman of the City of Coventry?
The West Midlands County Council Act 1980 states that to qualify for the Freedom of the City you must have completed an apprenticeship under an enrolled Deed:
for a company whose address is within 4.5 miles of St Mary’s Guildhall or within the City boundary
that was at least a five year apprenticeship
if less than five years, has been supplemented by work in the same trade to which you were apprenticed, to make up a total of five years (it does not matter if you changed your employer or if there was a gap between your apprenticeship and your additional work).
How do I apply to become a Freeman of the City of Coventry?
If you think you qualify please complete an application form and return a signed copy to Lord Mayor’s Office.
Freedom of the City of Coventry
Lord Mayor’s office
Tel: 024 7683 3100
Fax: 024 7683 3078
Application form for admission to the Freedom
Download an application form and explanatory notes about applying for the freedom of the City of Coventry
Application form for admission to the Freedom ( DOC – 98.5 KB)
Application form for admission to the Freedom ( PDF – 251.45 KB)
Otherwise, please use the Coventry Council web link below:
Have you lost or damaged your Freeman’s Certificate?
Use the Coventry Council web page link (above) and ask the Lord Mayor (via the email address shown) for a new certificate. This will be subject to a fee as directed by the Lord Mayor’s Office.