An ancient ceremony is expected to be held in Stafford next month.
People who are qualified to become a ‘Burgess’ – a role previously known as Freeman – will be invited to the special court to take place in November.
The role dates back to the 17th century and allowed the title holder to vote for a member of parliament. Today, as well as having your name entered on the official ‘roll,’ it entitles a Burgess to an allotment at Coton Fields in Stafford.
Potential candidates can apply to Stafford Borough Council at any time during the year if they are a descendant of a Burgess or if they have served an apprenticeship or nationally recognised qualification in Stafford Borough – such as an NVQ level 3 or degree – and then practised the skills obtained in the area for at least two years.
All the applicants will take an ancient oath and pay a shilling (five pence) to the Mayor’s Sergeant at the ceremony on Wednesday 13 November in the presence of the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Gareth Jones.
A transcript of the charter given by King John to the Freemen of Stafford, as well as other information, can be found on the Stafford Burgesses Guild website at www.staffordfreemen.org.uk.
Anyone interested in becoming a Burgess should contact the borough council at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01785 619196.