Reference code(s): COL/CC/FAC
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
Title: COURT OF COMMON COUNCIL: FREEDOM APPLICATIONS COMMITTEE
Level of description: sub-fonds
Extent: 0.05 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London
The concept of the Court of Common Council grew from the ancient custom of the Folkmoot, when the assent of the citizens to important acts was obtained. This custom was continued by the Mayor who consulted the Commons several times during the 13th century. From 1376 the assembly began to meet regularly and was referred to as the Common Council. It was decided that the Council should be made up of persons elected from each Ward. By 1384 a permanent Common Council chosen by the citizens was established for all time. The Council assumed legislative functions and adopted financial powers, confirmed by Charters of 1377 and 1383. The Council has often used these powers to amend the civic constitution, regulate the election of Lord Mayor and other officials, and amend the functions of the City courts. The Council was judged so successful in the conduct of its duties that it was the only Corporation unreformed by Parliament following the Municipal Corporations Commission report of 1837, while the Corporation Inquiry Commission of 1854 suggested only minor reforms. The work of the Council is conducted by a number of committees, while the whole Council has the right to approve policy, confirm major decisions and sanction expenditure. The committees handle many aspects of the running of the City including land and estates, finance and valuation, open spaces, street improvement and town planning, public health, police, Port of London, civil defence, airports, libraries, markets, education, and law. The Town Clerk has held responsibility for recording the minutes of the Council and its committees since 1274.
The privileges of the Freedom of the City of London were sought for centuries by those who wished to exercise a retail trade or handicraft within the City. Among the privileges were immunity from toll at markets and fairs throughout London, freedom from impressment into the armed forces and the right to vote at ward and parliamentary elections. Most of the practical advantages of the Freedom disappeared in the 19th century, but it is still a necessary qualification for the holding of civic office, such as Lord Mayor, Alderman, Sheriff or Common Councilman, or for admission to one of the City Livery Companies. The Freedom Applications Committee was appointed by resolution of Common Council, 30 April 1953, upon a recommendation of the Special Committee to the Committee of the whole Court.
Scope and content/abstract:
Minutes of the Freedom Applications Committee, 1953-1994. Please note these records are closed until 2070.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material: English
System of arrangement:
In sections according to catalogue.
Conditions governing access:
Not available for general access.
Conditions governing reproduction:
Copyright City of London.
Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:
Immediate source of acquisition:
Corporation of London Records Office.
Existence and location of originals:
Existence and location of copies:
See also COL/CC/FDC: Freedom Committee (19th century) and COL/CHD/FR: Chamberlain's Department: Freedoms.
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009