History of the Mayor of Hillingdon

Learn about the history of the Mayor's office.

Freedom of the borough

Before 1835, Freemen existed in many boroughs as a constituent part of the Corporation. Freemen enjoyed special rights, dependent on local customs, including rights of pasturage on corporate land and exemptions from certain tolls and dues.

Since the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835, borough councils have continued to be given the power to appoint Freemen, but the law has gradually reduced the privileges associated with that office.

The Local Government Act of 1972 introduced a major change in the powers and structures of local authorities. Borough councils can designate persons of distinction and persons who have rendered eminent services, as Freemen of the Borough. This is usually carried out at a specially convened meeting of the whole council, which includes a ceremony where an illuminated scroll is usually presented to the recipient.

In the situation where a regiment or RAF station is admitted as a Freeman, tradition also allows the military unit to parade in the town with fixed bayonets, a regimental band playing, as well as colours flying.

'The Freedom' is the highest tribute that a borough can bestow, and although in modern times it is an honour only and confers no legal rights, Honorary Freemen are invariably invited to take part in all important ceremonial occasions in the borough.

1979 - William Darrell Charles JP

1981 - George Hooper Esq

1987 - Oswald Garvin MBE JP

1987 - Ernest Lloyd Ing JP

1990 - Simon Gelberg Esq

2006 - Edwin Hales Esq

2006 - Alfred Langley Esq

2006 - Albert Tyrrell MBE JP

2007 - Kenneth Guy Esq

2007 - Michael Craxton Esq

2007 - David Brough Esq

2012 - Natasha Baker MBE

2014 - Josephine Barrett JP

2014 - Paul Harmsworth

2014 - Shirley Harper-O'Neill

2014 - John Major

2014 - Wing Commander (Ret'd) Edna Partridge CVO OBE AE DL

2014 - David Payne

2014 - Jill Rhodes JP

2014 - David Routledge MBE

2018 - George Cooper

2018 - Catherine Dann

2018 - Mohammed Khursheed

2022 - Sir Raymond Puddifoot MBE

2022 - Jean Palmer OBE

1960 - Royal Air Force Uxbridge

2000 - Royal Air Force Northolt

2007 - 47 (Middlesex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron

Page last updated: 21 Apr 2022