You are on page 1of 13


APRIL 2016
We are proud to exercising in all that we do, an evidence
have a pivotal role based and pro-active approach in our
in underpinning the role as guardians of such an invaluable
historical values that set of assets.
8 9 serve to sustain in
a traditional, albeit We can celebrate too, the 800th
progressive manner, in Anniversary Year of the Mayoralty and
which from the perspective of Freelage
Contents 12 A Visit to the such a great City.
of the City, we hold in high esteem.
Archives Whilst our prime and overriding
Feedback is welcomed so do not
4 800th Anniversary responsibility is to ensure the Town
14 Superintendent’s Moors are forever held secure as a hesitate to get in touch.
most unique environmental asset, we
8 Michaelmas Guild Report are most understandably mindful of the
prevailing social and political dynamics Sir Leonard Fenwick CBE
9 Christmas Guild 16 Newcastle Guilds hence can give an assurance as to Chairman of the Stewards Committee

10 Upholding Our 18 Annual Church

Principles Parade Editorial
11 Shipwrights’ Day Out 18 Ropemaker Learns Welcome to issue 19 of our magazine,
Traditional Craft the first issue in this, the year of the
800th Anniversary of the awarding by
19 Fact or Fiction King John in 1216, of a Charter to the
11 Burgesses (Freemen) to form Guilds and

22 Diary Dates to elect a Mayor for the City.

We have included a range of topics,
& Notice Board including articles on topical events and
activities as well as some interesting
historical information.

Thanks go to our editorial team, who

as well as developing the presentation
and structure of the magazine, have
written much of the content – we hope
you enjoy it.
The Coat of Arms of the
City of Newcastle upon Tyne

Front cover photograph & Guild swearing

in photographs taken by Steve Brock.
Edited by Freemen of Newcastle Upon Tyne Editorial Team
Official Photographer, Steve Brock Photography.
Copies available from The Newcastle Upon Tyne Freemen Magazine, Moor Bank Lodge,
Tel 01912863430 Claremont Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 4NL
FreemenMagazine 3
Estate or Demesne thus ensuring loyalty and his son Richard I. Richard wasn’t particularly
800th Anniversary an income stream. The King generally used
sheriffs and bailiffs to manage the towns and
interested in the administration of England but
spent much of his reign fighting the French
In 1216 King John granted Newcastle cities in his estate. They were responsible for king over his French lands or on Crusade to
administering justice and collecting taxes on the Holy Land. His mother Eleanor effectively
upon Tyne its first Mayor and the City is
his behalf. However towards the end of the governed in his absence but the wars and
celebrating the 800th anniversary this
Norman period, Newcastle was allowed to crusades were expensive, especially when
year. Why did this happen, what was
pay its taxes through a fee farm. A fee farm Richard was captured by the French king
Newcastle like in 1216 and what did the was nothing to do with agriculture but meant while on his way home and a huge ransom
change mean for Newcastle? that the King farmed out tax collection to a had to be paid for his release. When he died
contractor rather than using his own officials in 1199 the Treasury was empty.
to collect it. The fee farmer paid a lump sum
There has been a settlement on the site of Richard was succeeded by John, the
to the king then raised the taxes from the
Newcastle since Roman times when a bridge youngest of Henry II’s five sons. As the
inhabitants. The contract to be fee farmer
over the Tyne was built as part of Hadrian’s youngest, John was never expected to
was generally put out to tender as it was a
Wall project. This was followed by a fort to become king. Henry II didn’t initially grant him
lucrative job; the farmer kept any surplus he
protect the bridge and a settlement grew any lands and he acquired the nickname
collected over the sum demanded by the
around this. Lackland. However as his elder brothers
king. In Newcastle however, the fee farm
rebelled and squabbled in the course of their
Not a lot is known about Newcastle in the was put in the hands of the burgesses and
father’s long reign, he came into favour and
Dark Ages but after the invasion of the Angles their representatives. This gave the burgesses
was granted various titles and estates. Three
and the establishment of the Kingdom considerable autonomy and a satisfactory
of his brothers predeceased their father and
of Northumbria, it was possibly the site of income. The king no doubt expected
Richard had no children so John became
one of the royal villas used by the King. The to secure the loyalty of this strategically
Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries important town.
ended the Kingdom of Northumbria but Our view of John tends to be informed
The Norman dynasty ended in 1154 when
Monkchester, as Newcastle was then known, by tales of Robin Hood. He didn’t have
Stephen was succeeded by his nephew
continued to grow as a trading centre and the military skills of his father and brother
Henry II the first of the Plantagenets. Henry
port. and by the end of his reign virtually all his
was Duke of Anjou and his wife was Eleanor
French possessions had been lost. He is said
After the Norman invasion in 1066, the town of Aquitaine. With his own lands, those of
by historians to have been petty, spiteful
(Newcastle only became a city in 1882) grew his wife and the Norman lands he inherited,
and cruel and he certainly had major
in importance as it was the most easterly Henry controlled most of western France as
disagreements with the Pope and with the
crossing point of the Tyne. The crossing gave well as being King of England. He was an
barons, the latter leading to Magna Carta in
access to the northernmost parts of the energetic reforming king but unsurprisingly
Kingdom and was important in defending much of his time and energy was consumed
the country against the Scots. As part of the by his French lands. However he did find On the plus side he is considered to have
process of bringing the north under his control, time to reform the English legal system and been a good administrator and continued his
William had the first castle built in around restore the royal finances. As the majority of father’s reforms of the legal system. Income
1080. his income came from Royal Demesnes it was from royal demesnes had decreased,
important that they were administered well. especially as Richard had sold many royal
At this time England was a feudal society.
possessions. John looked for new ways of
Most of the country was managed by the His effect on Newcastle was significant.
raising money. He imposed taxes on land
nobility or barons; most of the rural population The old castle was replaced by a stone
owners but also raised substantial sums from
were serfs working for them in exchange for castle at considerable expense making the
the sale of appointments and of charters.
the use of land. There were also freemen, defence of the town more effective. He also
essentially a middle class who were permitted reformed the borough’s administration. The Despite his bad press, John was a friend to
or obliged to bear arms: the nobility were burgesses in Newcastle found the Norman Newcastle. He completed the defences
obliged to raise armies for the sovereign. system restrictive as over the years they had and had a large hall built to be a royal
In boroughs freemen were also known as developed many customs derived from residence and court used by the Sheriff of
burgesses. Anglo-Saxon and Danish law. Henry granted Northumberland. This was on the site of the
the burgesses further rights and powers and Moot Hall. More importantly he granted
The Normans designated many towns and
exempted them from some taxes. (or sold) the burgesses a number of charters
cities, including Newcastle, as Royal Boroughs
defining their rights and responsibilities and
and governed them as part of their Royal Henry died in 1189 and was succeeded by
giving them further freedom to run the town.
4 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 5
A charter was and still is the means by which The service also marked the 800th regional capital.
a monarch grants rights and authority. In the The Freemen of anniversary of the creation of the Burgesses,
Even in 1216 it had an important strategic
Middle Ages charters were sold for planned known today as the Freemen, who
new towns such as Liverpool and to allow Newcastle have joined historically collected tolls and charges from
role which is partly why King John bestowed
the charter to the Burgesses, who then went
towns to set up markets. They were used strangers. There were three distinct classes
extensively by medieval monarchs who in partnership with of freemen. 1st, those having fellowship
on to elect the first mayor of Newcastle.
governed as they moved around the country with the Twelve Mysteries or the Fifteen We have grown into a City known all over
no doubt listening to special pleading and Newcastle City council Bye-trades: those belonging to the former the world for strength and the resilience of
weighing up their options. Parliament was an enjoyed the ancient right of sending two our communities, and I hope that Geordies
advisory body of barons, generally ignored to celebrate the 800th of each Mystery to the election of mayors, everywhere will join with us in celebrating
by John. and those belonging to the latter trades what promises to be an exciting year.
In 1216, John signed the charter which we
anniversary of the the privilege of sending one from each
society. Those in fellowship with the other
are now celebrating. It gave Newcastle
a mayor who replaced the King’s officers
mayoralty of Newcastle. Companies of the town, who are without
This year’s celebrations also include:
this privilege; but they are qualified to sit
in administering justice and managing the Newcastle’s Lord Mayor supported upon juries, to enfranchise their apprentices,
town. John also allowed the burgesses to A calendar of public events
by the Freemen of the City and other to perambulate the boundaries. Those
form twelve guilds and gave those guilds including a picnic on Exhibition
civic dignitaries attended a Service of in fellowship with the whole body, called
the power to appoint the mayor. This was an Park
Thanksgiving to mark the start of the the Freedom of the Town, and which may
important increase in independence as the
800th anniversary celebrations of the be enjoyed without any connexion with A major education programme for
chief official in the town was now elected
mayoralty of Newcastle at St Nicholas the Company: it entitles a burgess to vote schoolchildren
by the burgesses (or at least some of them)
Cathedral on Tuesday 2nd February. for a representative in parliament, to an
rather than by the King. It was in effect An exhibition at the City Library
During the service there were exemption from tolls, quay-dues, to two
the beginning of the end of feudalism in
addresses by Nick Forbes, Leader of stints on the common pasture, and to
transfer the franchise to his sons.
the City Council, and a reading by
Guilds, as we know, controlled trade and
Sir Leonard Fenwick, Chairman of the The long unbroken chains of office of the
markets but looked after their members. King
Freemen of Newcastle. Mayor and the Freemen is credited with
John approved twelve guilds or Mysteries
giving Newcastle stability, social cohesion,
and they were responsible for the election of
justice, law and administration which has
the mayor. These original guilds were all of
own candidate. This led to riots and the enabled it to grow into a major trading and
merchants. Little is known of the first mayor,
murder of John of Denton. King Edward III had commercial centre with a strong identity
Daniel son of Nicholas.
to resume control of the town for a while, and and sense of community.
We have to assume that Newcastle was then granted another charter giving the craft Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Ian Graham,
given these freedoms because it was an guilds a say in the running of the town. This said: “The Office of Mayor is one of the
important strategic town with its location on gave rise to a complicated election process oldest surviving civic institutions in the city.
the Tyne and proximity to the Scottish border. whereby the guilds elected the Mayor and It’s an honour and a privilege to be Lord
By granting these freedoms no doubt John twenty four councillors. The election was Mayor - especially in this landmark year.
hoped to secure its loyalty to the Crown. It held annually and accompanied by great
certainly worked for a while; in the fourteenth feasting. David Wilson, Vice Chairman of the
century mayors led troops into battle Freemen of Newcastle said, Newcastle is a
alongside the King when he was fighting the The burgesses continued to elect the Mayor strong city; proud of its long history and rich
Scots. And of course John would also have and run the Corporation until the 1830s when heritage. Apart from a few incursions, it has
raised some money by granting the charter. the Reform Acts introduced the beginnings of managed to evolve over hundreds of years
local democracy as we know it. because of the Freemen and Mayoralty
John died later in 1216, still fighting his barons
Newcastle’s Mayor became a Lord Mayor who have skilfully governed it through good
Inevitably there were problems in Newcastle.
from 1905. The Lord Mayor is now chosen by and bad times.
The freemen of the craft guilds became
unhappy with the power of the merchant the City Council and as well as representing The charter for a mayor and burgesses
guilds which elected the Mayor. Things came and promoting the city, he or she chairs City initiated governance for the city from which
to a head in 1341 when John of Denton was Council meetings, signs legal documents and democracy and legislation flowed so it
elected for the fourth time. The craft guilds of course swears in freemen. was quite a thing. It will give us the chance
accused him of corruption and elected their to celebrate some achievements of the
last 800 years which makes Newcastle the
6 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 7
Michaelmas Guild There were 11 applicants for committee
consequently a ballot was not required.
12th October 2015 F.H. Alder: H. Alder: P. Anderson: C.G.
Atkinson: N.B. Atkinson: A.R. Bainbridge: Sir
The Close Guild started at 10am with L.R. Fenwick: K. Hall: J. Johnson: D.M. Loraine
prayers, then following the company roll call (Resigned 3rd February 2016): H.D.Wilson:
the election of the Stewards Committee took were duly elected. Sir Leonard Fenwick was
place, the Chairman informed Guild that W. re-elected as Chairman: David Wilson as
(Bill) Frizzle and Ian. F. Miller were stepping Vice Chairman, both unanimously.
down from the Stewards Committee, he
The Close Guild finished at 11.45am, Open
thanked Bill for his incredible 40 years’
Guild commenced. At the end of the
service on Committee, in addition to his
proceedings the calling of the names by
committee service Bill was our representative
on the Exhibition Park trust. Ian for his
32 years on committee and his tireless
the Lord Mayor’s Principle Secretary Brenda
Joyce, of those claiming their right to be
sworn in, the Guild was closed and the Lord
Christmas Guild
contribution to the TMMC as a Trustee and Jake Shepherd, Tanners Julie Ann Ridden, House Carpenters Charlotte F.B. Manchester, House Carpenters Francesca Lilley,
Mayor presided over the swearing in of 26 Ropemakers Victoria Lister, Claudia Atkinson-Baxter, Ropemakers Benjamin S.M. Patterson, Taylors Carmen Alder, Dominique
visitor, work which he intended to continue,
new Freemen. Alder, Butchers Corrina Collington, Coopers.
both were presented with a gift of wine.

How can I help now I am a Freeman?

This is one of the questions I am frequently asked Help protect our environment, keep your own local
by new Freemen who have just been sworn in. area looking good and tidy, join one of the local
In fact there are many things that any Freeman parks groups (e.g. Friends of Exhibition Park, Friends
can do to ‘help’. of Leazes Park, Friends of Jesmond Dene etc.).
Let us start with the oath; when you are sworn in Help with voluntary groups or charities.
as a Freeman you undertake to defend the City Defend the Town Moors against encroachment
and “…. observe and keep to the best of your – there will always be those who are desirous of
Power, all lawful Ordinances made by Common ‘developing’ on the green space. Fight against any
Consent, on High Court days; and all other such proposals – be vocal, make your voice heard.
things you shall do that belong to a FREEMAN of
Support the Freemen – help publicise the good
the said City.”
work of the Freemen in protecting our environment,
‘Defending’ the City in the past mainly related enabling a wide range of events etc.
to physically protecting the City from attack,
Support Freemen events – e.g. the annual parade
today the ‘Defending’ can take on a much
and Church Service (this is not about religion – it is
wider meaning extending to the well being
your heritage).
of the City – its environment, its status, its
development, its economy. So how can we Support your Company of Freemen – Attend the
help with these things? The list is as wide as your Head meeting.
imagination, it could include:
Ensure the continuity of your Company of Freemen
Be proud of your City and your heritage by encouraging your eligible family members to
take up their Freelage. Keep your Senior Steward
Respect our City and encourage others to do so.
(and our Administration Office) aware of any
Promote our City to others. Talk about the City in a
address changes – it is so easy to lose touch with
positive light, defend the City if others criticise it.
Freemen due to not having their current contact
Help develop our community – participate in details.
community events, help with the organisation if you
Most importantly enjoy being a Freeman, enjoy your
are able.
City, enjoy your Town Moors and the air and exercise
Barber Surgeons Ricky Stephenson, Lee Stephenson, Joe Stephenson Bricklayers Dominic George Lunn Cordwainers Amanda
Kirkup Goldsmiths Simon Richard Clark, Helen Lucy Clark, Adam John Bainbridge House Carpenters Carole Mary Brown Play a role in the community (as a volunteer e.g. you can have on them.
Manchester, Denise Davison, Juliet Tate, Justine Helen Tate, Karen Louise MacCabe Joiners Stephen Joures, Joanne Frances school helper, school governor, residents association
Thank you for being a Freeman
Christie Master Mariners Sarah Hall Saddlers Craig Cable Shipwrights Carly Blackburn Slaters and Tylers Harry Thomas Adair, member/officer, neighbourhood watch).
Timothy Blackett, Christopher Paul Brown, Martin John Brown, Luke Alexander Adair Tanners Carol Thoburn, Ian David Sparham and ‘Defending’ our City!
Taylors Christopher James Wright

8 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 9
Strength in upholding our principles Shipwrights’
The Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne are custodians of 1200 acres of Town Moors secured by
an act of Parliament and continue today as the strongest freelage in the UK, all thanks to the
Freemen Guilds of today holding firm on the principles, values and the rules and orders put in Day Out
place by our ancestors. This is the very bedrock of our strength and very existence. On 24 October a party of Shipwrights visited
the Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle.

Each year the Company Stewards come a Freemen of City of Newcastle. Recently
The tunnel was completed in 1842 and was used
together at the three Guilds to actively ensure there had been a proposal for Guild to seek
to transport coal from Spital Tongues Colliery
that the Stewards Committee carry out their the removal of the ‘born in wedlock’ rule, this
to staiths at the mouth of the Ouseburn. This
duties in fulfilling our statutory obligations and was twice overwhelmingly rejected by Guild, the Ouseburn Trust (full details are available on
wasn’t the shortest route to the river but it was
the directions of the Stewards of the various in doing so Guild sent a clear message that we their website). The tour lasted 2 hours though
the cheapest. If the coal had been taken
Guilds by upholding our rules and orders and will defend the principles which the Freemen of their leaflet said one hour, and we were
directly to the river at Elswick it would have been
traditional values. Newcastle believe in and have protected over provided with hard hats and torches. The
necessary to pay keelmen to transport it under
the centuries. guides are all volunteers. Our guide Claire was
There have been many times we have been the low Georgian Tyne Bridge to the ships which
called upon to defend all that we hold dear, not The Newcastle Freemen numbers continue to would take it to London. The colliery owners very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and gave
least in 1972 when the Local Government Act rise with over 1800 all sworn in by complying originally suggested a waggon way over the us a comprehensive history of the tunnel with
threatened the 1774 Act and our very existence with our rules. As with many choices in life being Town Moor but the Freemen said no and the plenty of stories to keep our attention.
but the Freemen of Newcastle stepped up to married before the birth of a child is a matter tunnel was constructed. It is an appropriate place for a Shipwrights’ visit
the plate and worked with City legal officers to of choice for the parents. We should all ensure as it links the area where they plied their trade
Although the tunnel was a financial success, the
construct the Town Moor Act 1988; in particular our children understand the rules of admission, with the Town Moor. Some of our party had
colliery wasn’t and both the colliery and tunnel
protecting the Town Moors from those who cast in doing so they can then make the choice relatives who had used the tunnel as an air raid
closed in 1860. Both ends of the tunnel were
an envious eye over this prized land asset of whether they comply with our rules to ensure shelter in WWII when living in Byker. And if you
blocked off but it gained a new purpose during
incalculable value. The 26 active Guilds along their children are given the same opportunity as need refreshment after the tour, there are some
the Second World War when it was used as an
with the Town Moor Act 1988 ensure our right their parents gave them to become Freemen good pubs in the area.
air-raid shelter. New access points were made in
to graze the cattle, the public’s right of air and of Newcastle, because the alternative is to
the City Centre and at Ouse Street; the current It is our intention to have a tour of the old Holy
exercise is assured and not an inch of Town disenfranchise the child and that family line from
entrance. Jesus Hospital on City Road sometime in the
Moor will be lost. More recently in 2010 we were the freelage forever.
instrumental in lobbying Parliament to affect The Tunnel was recently repaired with funding spring.
We should never lose sight of the fact that the
the Local Democracy, Economic Development from the Heritage Lottery and tours are run by
Freemen of Newcastle have a proud heritage
and Construction Bill which gave the right for the
based in a Country with a strong Christian
admission of daughters. We exercise the same
heritage which is reflected in our rules, rules
diligence in defending our rules and orders.
which are worth defending.
Our rule on hereditary admission is simply that
any child born in wedlock may on reaching the
age of 20 apply to be sworn in and become

10 FreemenMaga- FreemenMagazine 11
behalf or to do business with
A visit to the Archives. other craft guilds. At a meeting
held on the thirty-first day of
January 1666, Gawen Reed
Like many of the Incorporated Companies, the Coopers
and Nicholas Brown both
Company does not have a Constitution or a set of rules. paid the Company the sum
Instead, it relies on the basic principles of good governance of one shilling for taking an
and common sense, and when these are not sufficient, for apprentice, or Journeyman,
instance where matters of discipline are concerned, we fall into their workshops.
back upon our ancient Rule Book and Ordinary, which are
held in trust at the City’s Archives. However, a significant
proportion relate to fines
imposed for breaking
Company ‘rules’. A fine of
The City’s Archives are A loose-leaf folder details three pence would commonly
presently located at Blandford the documents held in trust be imposed for speaking out
House, Newcastle, which also by the Archive. The earliest of turn. On 11th July 1666,
houses The Discovery Museum. documents available were John Todd was fined one
The main thoroughfare takes our Rules Book, dated 1510, shilling for proclaiming “God!
you past Charles Parsons’ and a copy of the Company’s But it’s hot!” and at the same
record breaking Turbinia, Ordinary from 1536. meeting, Thomas Robson was
which dominates the entrance fined three pence for smoking
The Ordinary is an extremely
foyer. The archive itself is on the without leave.
fragile parchment sheet,
ground floor towards the rear
about fifteen inches by ten Missing a meeting carried
of the building and is accessed
inches. Hard to imagine that a heavier penalty. On 30th
via an imposing oak-panelled
this document was created June 1664, Daniel Stanger
corridor replete with Art Deco
when Elizabeth the First was on and Bartholmew Hall were
stained glass, which betrays
the throne. fined sixpence for being
the building’s original purpose. Nicholas Brown were fined one shilling for openly
Built in 1899, Blandford House Sadly, most of the text was absent without permission.
brawling within the Meeting House.
was the headquarters of illegible to my untrained On 4th February 1670 Thomas
the Co-operative Wholesale eye but the collection of Richardson, Richard Smith and A few names do appear more than others. For
Society and the distribution signatures, each in a different Thomas Pearson were each instance, at a meeting held on the 18th May 1665,
centre for over 100 Co-op hand, was mostly legible. fined for attending a funeral Thomas Betson was fined for saying ‘unbrotherly
stores across the region. Presumably these signatures when they should have been words’ and that he cared ‘not a fart for the
belong to the founding at the Company Meeting, Company’. On 23rd June 1656, a complaint
Upon entering the archive, the which seems a bit harsh when was made against Betson by Company Keeper
members of the Company.
custodians explain the rules viewed from our perspective. Gawen Reed for pulling Reed by the hair.
and regulations governing The Company Rules Books
access to the various artefacts, were more informative. The Heavier fines were imposed Neither were our ancestors beyond a childish
and the charges levied when earliest entry was from 1510 for ‘dodgy’ practices, such joke. On 7th May 1666, Thomas Robson was
taking photographs. For although there were several as reusing butter caskets and fined for coming to the Meeting House without
instance, you cannot use any older entries without a date. thereby tainting the beer. On a cloak. Curiously, on the line below, we find two
writing implement which might The handwriting was extremely 1st October 1666, Humphrey entries stating that John Cramlington and William essential. An entry dated 19th June 1656 details a
leave a permanent mark variable, reflecting the change Davison was fined three pence Lumsden were each fined one shilling for hiding fine of six shillings and eight pence levied against
so only pencils are allowed. in Secretary from year to year. for selling an unmarked Firkin Thomas Robson’s cloak. Barnard Simpson, Andrew White and several
Scrap paper is available but In some cases, the script is and, at the same meeting, others for “abusing of the Stewards, contrary
Bartholmew Burrell was fined Bad behaviour away from the Meeting House was to order.” In today’s money this is over fifty
a small donation is required if clearly legible. In others, it is an
six shillings and eight pence for strongly discouraged. On 29th November 1668, pounds each and would be clearly intended to
you find yourself with nothing indecipherable scrawl.
calling away men from Robert William Leach was fined six shillings for beating encourage respect for the those in charge of the
to scribble on.
Many of the entries allude Jackson’s shop. Thomas Pearson. On the line below, we find that Company.
To the best of my knowledge, to the working practices of George Lumsden was similarly fined for beating
only Company Stewards can the Company. There are The behavior within the William Leach, it would appear, at the same I came away with a better understanding of our
view original documents. descriptions of apprentices Meeting House was sometimes funeral. As might be expected, Coopers were ancestors, of their practices and habits, and their
Company Keepers must use starting work, contributing to less than gentlemanly. On 27th required to uphold and maintain the good name crimes and misdemeanors. Perhaps more so, I
one of the Microfiche viewers, the business, and thereafter January 1669, William Leach of the Company and a heavy fine was levied came away thankful that our Head Meetings are
which can be booked in being admitted to the and Nicholas Brown were against any Company Keeper who broke that far more orderly than in former times. Mostly.
advance. Company. Company Keepers fined six shillings for calling rule.
would pay the Company to each other “a rogue”. On 17th David Hughes
make ‘introductions’ on their April 1660, Anthony Walker and Respect for the Company Stewards was deemed Senior Steward. Coopers Company.

12 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 13
Superintendent’s We then moved into November which saw
local running club Heaton Harriers host their
annual Memorial Race followed 2 weeks
Report later by their 5 and 10k race events, this date
was shared with the Movember run which
raises awareness and funds for testicular
cancer. Last but not least All Terrain Events
Carrying on from our last edition and my held their usual New Year’s Day Resolution
Superintendent’s report I can now give cross country run which raises funds for both
you an update on our environmental Water Aid and Saint Oswald’s Hospice.
Programme. Our Elizabethan fencing project Our grazing season came to a close on
on Little Moor in Gosforth has now been the 31st of October; Our staff were busy On the 11th of January 2016 demolition /
completed and I am pleased to report that throughout the month assisting the graziers reclamation works started on Intake 3
Scott Fencing working in conjunction with with the removal of their cattle. Feedback which used to be home to Nuns Moor
the Town Moor Staff have done another from our graziers was that of another Brighton Grove Allotments. This is a 12.5
excellent job, not only has it improved the successful grazing season and all are looking acres site which used to have some 120
vista around this parcel of Town Moor land it forward to being invited back for our 2016 plots available for cultivation, unfortunately
has also created a safer environment for the season. a high percentage of plots were not taken
residents that use it. up for this purpose and other parts of the
Our winter works programme got under way site fell into a bad state of repair resulting
Following on in our events calendar, my last with the on-going maintenance in Moor in the association handing back the site to
report brought you up to date to the end of Bank gardens. Billy Harland again using his the Stewards Committee of the Freemen.
July. During the last week in August we had vast knowledge of arboriculture removed W.L.Straughans were awarded the contract
the annual visit from the Circus, this was sited several large species of trees from within and their proposed timescale is 10 weeks
in its usual place on the main Town Moor in the site that were diseased, dying or simply to complete the site clearance and have
the Blue House corner, the circus was with planted in the wrong location and were it ploughed over in readiness for us to take
us for 2 weeks and the attendances were suffering from light degradation. In our back forward into the next phase.
reported as being good and in comparison paddock Billy continued to remove all lower
as with previous years proving that it is a limbs from the trees which will allow our staff Our staff are currently preparing the moors
popular event with the residents in our better access with agricultural plant and for the return of the cattle, as our grazing
region. August Bank holiday weekend machinery. gets under way on the 31st of March. We
hosted the Mela on the newly created will also be continuing with our fertiliser
event site at the Exhibition park end of the Due to the number of hurricanes that programme this year it’s the main Town
Town Moor, although it only operated on the breached our shores this winter several Moor which will be receiving a dressing,
Sunday and Monday organisers reported a conifer trees had uprooted or snapped Town Moor staff member Dave Holland
healthy turn out. Moving into September the clean in half, these were tended to and will be carrying out the harrowing of some
Town Moor once again hosted the Morrison’s along with all the other brash were burned 330 acres in readiness for the fertiliser to be
Great North Run, with some 47000+ people on site. The gardens are now starting to applied once delivered to our premises,
turning out to participate in this fabulous look much healthier and much tidier in hopefully this will be applied before the
event all raising millions for their chosen appearance. cattle return.
Kevin Batey
Town Moor Superintendent.

14 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 15
members. Their hall is on the west side
Newcastle Guilds of the Black Friars. They possess much
valuable property, and their rental
Ancient abstract taken from (BHO) British exceeds £600 per annum. Besides
History Online relieving their sick and indigent brethren,
£8 are paid on the death of a brother or
brother’s wife, and widows receive 2s.
Taylors 6d. per week. William Patterson, and Job
Jameson, jun. are the present stewards.
The oldest record of this fraternity is
dated October 8, 1536, and enjoined, The ancient ordinary of the Skinners’
that every brother, at his setting up Company is dated January 20, 1437. The
shop, should pay a pot of oil to the names of Richard Hall, mayor, Thomas
fellowship; as also thirteen-pence a year Wardell, sheriff, Roger Thornton, Robert
to the stewards for “our Lady-light;” Whelpington, Laurence Acton, Simon
and that each apprentice, or person the body was interred; but if there be a Weldon, and William Ellerby, aldermen,
dirge, then the light to be extinguished occur in it. The society were to meet seven years, on pain of forfeiting 6s.
hired by the week, should pay four-
during the dirge. on the Tuesday after Michaelmas every 8d. “to the light of the said craft;” that
pence per annum, and each hireling
year, unless that festival should fall on no Scotsman born should be taken
three-pence a year to their play when
There is another ordinary of this society, a Monday, and then on the Tuesday apprentice, nor allowed to work in the
it should be performed: also, that any
dated August 12, 1624, confirmed, seven-night following, to choose their town, under a penalty of 40s.
person born a subject of the king, and
free of Newcastle, might set up shop on March 2, 1679; also September 15, stewards, and pass their accounts. The
1707, January 17, 1731, and October different orders it contained, together The society of Skinners and Glovers
payment of £40, with a pound of wax
17, 1737. This society, in 1773, in with others of a subsequent date, were at present consists of 12 members, of
and a pot of oil, on his admittance; as
commemoration of a rule of court transcribed into their present order whom nine belong to the Angus family.
also thirteen-pence to our Lady-light,
having been obtained August 10, that book, 1735. One of these forbade the They possess a parcel of ground called
and eight-pence to the play, which
year, against the magistrates of this use of tobacco at their meetings, under the Dispensary Square, which is let on
exhibited “The Descent into Hell.” That
town, confirming the resident freemen, a penalty of 3d. for every offence. lease, and yields 16 guineas per annum.
no Taylor should work on Saturdays
and widows of freemen, in their right The Glovers still choose three stewards
after eight o’clock in the evening,
to the Castle Leazes, Town, and Nun’s annually, and the Skinners two, who
and should keep holy the Sundays,
vigils, and festival days, on pain of six Moor, for ever, together with £300 costs Skinners and Glovers keep their accounts separately.
pounds of wax for every default. That of suit, presented each of the members
the society should pass their accounts of the committee, who conducted the The Glovers, one of the bye-trades,
on St. John’s day, in every May, and cause of the burgesses, with a gold occur in 1648 as renting part of the
having chosen twelve electors, the said ring, in the signet of each of which, Skinners’ meeting-house, at the annual
twelve should choose the four stewards, under a crystal, was represented, Liberty rent of five shillings. They appear to
the searchers, and auditors. It further stepping out of her temple, with a label have been incorporated with the
ordered, that every brother should be proceeding from her mouth, inscribed— Skinners about the year 1703. In 1712,
at the procession on Corpus Christi ”Town Moor saved, August 10th, 1773.” their meeting-house, on the west side
Day, before it passed the New-gate, on On the inside—”Concordia parvæ of the Black Friars, was repaired at
pain of forfeiting a pound of wax; and res crescunt:” By concord small things their joint expense. The ordinary of the
that each brother should attend in his increase. Round the inner verge— Glovers’ society, dated January 20,
livery. And that the common light of the ”Taylors’ Company to...........” (naming 1436, enjoined them to go together in
fraternity should go before the corpse each member); and round the outer procession at the feast of Corpus Christi,
of every brother when it was carried verge—”Vox Populi Vox Dei:” The voice in a livery, and play their play at their
to church for interment, and continue of the people is the voice of God. This own charge; to choose annually three
there lighted during mass time, and till company at present consists of 46 stewards; that apprentices should serve

16 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 17
Freemen of Ropemaker Interesting ‘historical’ facts or
Newcastle upon learns ‘fiction’, you decide.
Tyne Annual traditional craft Baths consisted of a Bread was divided according to status.
Church Parade. Today Grand Cayman is famous as one of
big tub filled with hot
water. The man of
Workers got the burnt bottom, the family
got the middle, and guests got the top, or
Sunday 8th May 2016 the World’s financial capitals, however years
ago one of the pillars of its economy was rope the house had the ‘the upper crust’.
The 2016 Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne making. Rope was required for the many ships privilege of the nice
Annual Church Parade will be a high profile (including pirate ships) sailing to and from the clean water, then the
event and will be promoted as part of the Caribbean and rope was a major export of sons and men, and
800th Mayoral Celebrations with the Lord the Island. In earlier years, straw rope made
from the thatch palm was highly prized in
then the women and
Mayor and Sheriff leading the parade, as with
all occasions attended by the Lord Mayor in Cuba and Jamaica for use in shipping, fishing finally the children.
the 800th year the City will be recording the and sugar industries. Exporting rope was Last of all the babies,
event. Cayman’s largest source of revenue. by then the water was
As in previous years we invite Newcastle When visiting Grand Cayman recently the so dirty you could actually lose someone
Freemen to attend, see information in the Senior Steward of the Incorporated Company in it .. Hence the saying ‘Don’t throw the
dates for the diary page. With regard to of Ropemakers, David Wilson, took time out
baby out with the bath water.’
Freemen wishing to attend and assist with to be trained in the traditional craft of rope
logistics it would be of assistance if those making. He was instructed by Mr. Deal Ebanks,
wishing to attend let us know via email, an artisan whose family has been in Cayman Most people got for many generations. He learned how the married in June England is old and small and local folks
Cayman rope is made from the leaves of the
because they started running out of places to bury
Silver Thatch Palm Tree, with the leaves being
torn into fine strips before being twisted tightly took their yearly people, so they would dig up coffins,
together to form the lengths of rope. The bath in May, and take the bones to a bone-house and
resulting rope is very strong and is famously they still smelled reuse the grave. When reopening these
resistant to the effects of sea water. The pretty good in coffins, 1 in 25 coffins were found to have
photographs show David being trained in the
use of a traditional rope twisting machine and June. However scratch marks on the inside and realised
a resulting length of rope which he helped to since they were they had been burying people alive… So
make. starting to smell they would tie a string on the wrist of the
Brides carried a corpse, lead it through the coffin and up
bouquet of flowers to hide the through the ground and tie it to a bell.
body odour. Hence the custom Someone would have to sit out in the
of today of carrying a bouquet graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to
when getting married. listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,
‘saved by the bell’ or considered a ‘dead
They used to use urine to tan animal ringer’.
skins, so families would all pee in a
pot and the once a day it was taken and
sold to the tannery…..if you had to do
this to survive you were ‘piss poor’. But
worse than that were the really poor who
couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…. They
‘didn’t have a pot to piss in’.

18 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 19
The Floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had
something other than dirt. Hence the The Freemen of
saying ‘dirt poor’. The wealthy had slate
floors that would get slippery in the winter Newcastle shop is open
when wet, so they spread thresh (straw)
on the floor to help keep their footing. Freemen of Newcastle upon
As the winter wore on, they added more Tyne pin badges are available
thresh until, when you opened the door it now. The 16mm badge depicts
would all start slipping outside. A piece of the armorial bearings of the
wood was placed in the entrance Hence; City circled by the inscription
a ‘thresh hold’. “Freemen of the City of
Newcastle upon Tyne”.
In those days, they cooked in the scullery Those with money had plates made of
with a big kettle that always hung over pewter. Food with a high acid content
The ever popular multi crested
the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and caused some of the lead to leach onto
the food, causing lead poisoning death. silk ties are back in stock.
added things to the pot. They ate mostly
vegetables and not much meat. They This happened mostly with tomatoes,
so for a next 400 years or so, tomatoes And new for the ladies - 25mm Charm,
would eat the stew for dinner, leaving
were considered poisonous. Necklaces are also available complete
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw- the leftovers in the pot to get cold
on a 60mm chain, both depict the
piled high, with no wood underneath. overnight and start over the next day.
armorial bearings of the City circled by
It was the only place for animals to get Sometimes the stew had food in it that
had been there for days. Hence the the inscription “Freemen of the City of
warm, so all the cats and other small
rhyme; ‘Peas porridge hot, peas porridge Newcastle upon Tyne”.
animals (mice & bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days
sometimes the animals would slip and old’. Sometimes they could obtain pork, Orders to Kevin
fall off the roof….Hence the saying ‘its which made then feel quite special. Batey Town Moor
raining cats and dogs’. There was nothing When visitor’s came they would hang Superintendent
to stop things into the house, this posed a up their bacon to show off. It was a sign at Moozr Bank
real problem in the bedroom where bugs of wealth that a man could ‘bring home Lodge, payment
and other dropping could drop onto the the bacon’. They would cup off a little to with order by
bed. Hence a bed with big posts and a share with guests and would all sit around cheque payable
sheet hung over the top afforded some and ‘chew the fat’. to ‘Freemen of
protection. that’s how canopy beds Newcastle upon
came into existence. Tyne’ - the address can be found at the
rear of the magazine.
Lead cups were used to drink ale
Ties - £27.00
or whiskey, the combination would
sometimes knock the imbibers out for a Pin Badge - £3.00
couple of days. Someone walking along Stick Pin Badge - £4.00
the road would take them for dead and Charm - £6.00
prepare them for burial… They were laid
Necklace - £7.00
out on the kitchen table for a couple of
days and the family would gather around
and eat and drink and wait and see if
they would wake up. Hence the custom
of holding a wake.

20 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 21
Hoppings Fair
Diary Dates Friday 17th – 25th June,
Official opening Saturday 1.30pm
Notice Board
18th June 2016.
Easter Guild Michaelmas Guild Bereavements Company Notices
Monday 4th April 2016 Monday 10th October 2016
Ronald Stephenson The Head Meeting
Held upstairs in Newcastle Guildhall (on Held upstairs in Newcastle Guildhall (on
Quayside, bottom of Dean Street) Barber Surgeons of the Shipwrights
Quayside, bottom of Dean Street)
Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards Company will be held
only) begins at 10.30 am. only) begins at 10.00 am. At this particular David Johnson in the Lord Mayor’s
Open Court of Guild (for all Freemen of meeting the Stewards Committee is Taylors Company Parlour of the Guildhall
Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12 democratically elected via ballot for the
noon prompt. on Monday 6th June 2016 at
ensuing year.
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open Hugh Annan 7.30pm and all members are invited
Open Court of Guild (for all Freemen of
Guild in readiness to receive the Lord Mayor. Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12 Tanners Company to attend. Ian Miller. 0191 252 1531
The meeting concludes with new Freemen noon prompt.
being called, and if present being sworn in You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open Kathleen Kennedy
by the Lord Mayor. The Head Meeting of the Tanners
Guild in readiness to receive the Lord Mayor. Ralph Maughan
Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is The meeting concludes with new Freemen Guild will be held at
served in the Merchant Adventurers Court. Coopers Company the Freemen’s Hall,
being called, and if present being sworn in
by the Lord Mayor. Blackfriars, Friars Street,
Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is Ian Charlton
Newcastle upon
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne served in the Merchant Adventurers Court. House Carpenters
Tyne, on Monday
Annual Church Parade Company
Christmas Guild 4th July, commencing at 6.45pm.
Sunday 8th May 2016
Monday 16th January 2017 W.E. Proctor Members are requested to inform
Held in the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas. Held upstairs in Newcastle Guildhall (on the secretary of their attendance
Robing in the Cathedral Refectory at Plumbers Company
Quayside, bottom of Dean Street) via email:
9.30a.m. for commencement of parade Close Court of Guild (for Company Stewards
into the Cathedral at 9.45 a.m. with the Lord Olga Weatherstone or
only) begins at 10.00 am.
Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne. Open Court of Guild (for all Freemen of Shipwrights Company Tel: 07988 533 855 by 27th June
All Newcastle upon Tyne Freemen are Newcastle upon Tyne) commences at 12 2016.
welcome. noon prompt.
Should you need to borrow a robe there will Tom Hogarth
be a small quantity available on the day.
You must be seated by 12 noon for the Open
Guild in readiness to receive the Lord Mayor. Barber Surgeons Company Stewards Committee
To assist on the day, parking will be available The meeting concludes with new Freemen David Loraine
at Moor Bank Lodge and transport at being called, and if present being sworn in
9:00am to and from the Cathedral will be Cordwainers Company
by the Lord Mayor.
Following the proceedings a buffet lunch is
New Stewards Resigned from Stewards
served in the Merchant Adventurers Court. Committee. 3rd February 2016
John Charlton
Tom Charlton Phil Powell
Colliers Company Masons Company

Annual Guild Days Has been co-opted as a member

Colin Angus
of the Stewards Committee.
Christmas Guild - the first Monday after 13th January Skinners & Glovers Company
With his financial expertise Phil will interface
Easter Guild - the first Monday after Easter Monday Claire Cleveland with Committee and our Treasurer in
respect of management of finances of the
Michaelmas Guild - the first Monday after Michaelmas Monday Barber Surgeon Company Town Moor and T.M.M. Charities.

22 FreemenMagazine FreemenMagazine 23
Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne
Superintendent and Office
Mr Kevin Batey,
Moor Bank Lodge, Claremont Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4NL
Tel: 0191 2615970

COPYRIGHT: Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne.

PUBLISHER: Riney Publishing Limited, Sue Riney-Smith
Tel: 01325 304360 Email: