Did you know that up until 1835, to be able to do anything fun (practice a trade, not be pressganged, walk about the city with a drawn sword, be hung with a silk rope etc) you needed to possess a Freedom Of The City document alongside your membership to one of the ancient guilds? Well, this certificate (kept in a rather jazzy casket) also entitled you to herd your sheep across London Bridge if need be, something which the present day holders of the Freedom are going to be doing this Wednesday. The Freedom is fairly rare, and usually possessed by lifetime apprentices of Freemen or those who’ve contributed to society. Judi Dench said on recieving her Freedom: ‘I feel very honoured to be receiving the Freedom of the City of London. Moreover, I look forward to being able to drive my sheepover London Bridge, and occasionally wearing a sword in public’. Prepare for a woolly spectacle.
For info, see London Bridge Sheep Drive listing.