On 14th December Jessica Kingsley was granted Freedom of the City of London at a short ceremony at the Guildhall.
As a ‘freeman’, in earlier times, Jessica would now have the right to earn money and own land, along with the right to herd sheep over London Bridge and draw a sword in the City. Jessica is unlikely to be taking advantage these ‘rights’ in the near future, or of the further privilege of being drunk and disorderly without fear of arrest! As part of the ceremony Jessica received the book of ‘Rules for the Conduct of Life’, written by the Lord Mayor, 1737-8.
Jessica was granted freedom of the City as a member of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, which is still a very active Company to this day, and unlike most of the other Guilds, is unusual in that almost all the Freeman and Liveryman of the Guild are actively engaged in the original business for which it was founded – the book trade. The Company was founded as a Guild in 1403 and today has members from across the media and holds a variety of events throughout the year.
More information about the Freedom of the City and the Company of Stationers can be found on the City of London website or the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers website.