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Apply for Colchester Freeburgess status


Date: July 2018

The application period for Colchester residents eligible for the ceremonial Freeburgess title is now open.

Colchester residents can find the application form to download online. Applications are welcomed up to 5pm on Thursday 12 September 2018 – ahead of the next ceremony on Tuesday 9th October 2018, when the status will be conferred by Colchester’s Mayor Councillor Peter Chillingworth.

The Freeburgess title is a ceremonial honour dating back to the 1189 Royal Charter of Richard the Lionheart, which can be bestowed on Colchester residents.

Successful applicants need to either have been apprenticed for seven years to a member of the Guild of Master Craftsman who also holds the title, or have a parent or grandparent with Freeburgess status.

Over 400 Master Craftsman trades and crafts qualify for the title – from traditional occupations, such as cabinet makers, tree surgeons and coffin makers, to modern skills including aluminium fabrication and asbestos products and removal.

The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Peter Chillingworth, said: “While Freeburgess status is now simply a ceremonial honour, its continued existence plays an important part in keeping our long history and heritage alive.

“Whether residents think they qualify through parentage or master craftsmanship, I encourage them to apply ahead of the Town Hall ceremony this autumn.”

For more information on the Mayor and Town Hall heritage visit

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