Three generations given freedom of the City of York

The Lord Mayor of York, Coun Keith Hyman, with Hazel Hague, master of the Gild of Freemen and 21 members of the same family given the freeman honour

The Lord Mayor of York, Coun Keith Hyman, with Hazel Hague, master of the Gild of Freemen and 21 members of the same family given the freeman honour

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

THREE generations of one family with strong links to the city have become Freemen of the City of York at an historic ceremony.

The Freedom of the City of York is an honour which dates back to the 13th Century, and is now granted by City of York Council.

Once a year, the council holds a Freedom Court in the Guildhall, when the Lord Mayor and the Gild of Freemen bestow the honour.

Last week, a special ceremony was held for the Ward family to coincide with their family reunion at the Elmbank Hotel, The Mount, with about 70 members of the family, from as far away as Berkshire, Hampshire and London in attendance.

They were all relatives of Walter Ward, a Freeman of York, who owned a glass and china business in Micklegate.

Peter Raeburn-Ward, who lives in Reading, was among members of the family given the same honour in 1980, and was proud to see his children Charlotte, Simon and James made Freemen.

He said: “It is a particularly poignant ceremony for us, because Harry Ward, Walter’s son, our uncle and Fiona’s great uncle, was president and founder of the Freemen of England, and a former Master of the York Gild.

“Harry battled tirelessly to maintain the traditions and the rights of Freemen and it was through him that female descendants of Freemen had the same rights.

“The family are very grateful to the excellent support of Joanne Lowe of electoral services at City of York Council, who has been a tower of strength in organising the administration of the ceremony, and to the Lord Mayor, Master of the Gild of Freemen and the Clerk who have given up their weekend to make the special freedom court possible.”

As part of the ceremony, the Lord Mayor Keith Hymen presented each applicant with a certificate.

The following people were made Freemen of the City: Helen Pedder, 54, of Islington; Martin Pedder, 53, of Bury; Clare Pedder, 49, of Long Ditton; Elizabeth Scarborough (nee Pedder), 44, of Newbury; John Ward, 50, of York; Victoria Ward, 26, of York; Chantal Ward, 21, of York; Michael Garbutt, 72, of Birmingham; Allen Mills, 76, of Oxford; Charlotte Fripp, 41, of St Agnes; Simon Raeburn-Ward, 39, of Reading; James Raeburn-Ward, 27, of London; Jenifer Harding, 68, of Hythe; Sarah Lusty, 42, of Fulham; Matthew Harding, 41, of Richmond; Lucy Hurfurd, 39, of Surrey; Sophie Nicholls, 33, of Winchester; Nicholas Raeburn-Ward, 40, of South Croydon; Samantha King-Smith, 36, of West Wickham; Andrew Ward, 46, of Leeds; Russell Ward, 45, of Bramhall.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:19pm Wed 1 May 13

inthesticks says...

I`m sure they are all lovely people but isn`t it time this thing was stopped. Can someone point out whether it has any meaning or is of any benefit to society in 2013?
I`m sure they are all lovely people but isn`t it time this thing was stopped. Can someone point out whether it has any meaning or is of any benefit to society in 2013? inthesticks
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Wed 1 May 13

NoMorePlease says...

A joke that being a relative can qualify even if no connections with the city. It should be for service rendered.
A joke that being a relative can qualify even if no connections with the city. It should be for service rendered. NoMorePlease
  • Score: 0

7:47pm Wed 1 May 13

Geoffers says...

My thoughts exactly!
Why should being merely a relative qualify people for such on honour?
My thoughts exactly! Why should being merely a relative qualify people for such on honour? Geoffers
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 2 May 13

Minsterred says...

So a large group of people living hundreds of miles from York in Surrey, Birmingham etc, are given the freedom of a city they don't even live in or anywhere near? I'm confused.. Good luck to them though but it seems very odd?
So a large group of people living hundreds of miles from York in Surrey, Birmingham etc, are given the freedom of a city they don't even live in or anywhere near? I'm confused.. Good luck to them though but it seems very odd? Minsterred
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree