Warm welcome to new Freemen

The latest group of people to be admitted as Freemen of Berwick were installed at a ceremony held in The William Elder Building on Tuesday.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 10:10 am
The latest group to be admitted as Freemen of Berwick, with the Mayor of Berwick and his Sheriff. They each signed the ancient Guild book. Picture by Steve Cozens.

Berwick Freemen claim descent from forebears in the times of 11th Century King David (Scotland). Sons of Freemen could apply to be declared Freemen and in the 21st Century, daughters were also permitted to lay claim to be Freemen.

Four sons and five daughters lay their claims before the Mayor of Berwick, Coun Alan Bowlas. They were as follows: Sister Hazel Ferguson Waide Smith (Smith), Elaine Cockburn (Cockburn), Marcus Johnathon Mace (Mace), Kai Niall Ross Dempsey (Sanderson), Sheila Cockburn Storey (Cockburn), Jordan Paul Swaby (Weatherburn), Hannah Rose Swaby (Weatherburn), James Alexander Konstanczak (How), Emilia Sophie Konstanczak (How).

The names in brackets are the surnames of the parent or grandparent through which they can claim to be made freemen.

The Mayor said: “I am delighted to welcome you to a Guild whose membership spreads to the four corners of the globe.

“I have no doubt that you will seek to foster and increase your interest in the town and the Guild, becoming an ambassador for them and representing their interests wherever you go in the footsteps of your forefathers.”

The Sheriff, Canon Alan Hughes, added his welcome with the following: “Mr Mayor, chairman of the Freemen’s Guild, ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to add my welcome to you as newly admitted Freemen of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

“I am honoured to join with you in today’s ceremony and congratulate you on your admission, and offer my warmest wishes for the future.”

The ceremony concluded with Michael Herriott, chairman of Berwick Freemen, giving a talk on the history of the Guild and its contribution to Berwick community life.