Stafford Burgesses

You have reached
the web site of

The Stafford
Freemen's Guild


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This is the place to learn about the past and present activities of holders of this ancient office.

The Web site for the Coton Fields Allotments - the major asset of Stafford Burgesses is

This Company of Freemen or Burgesses is a historic and ancient body committed to the County Town of Staffordshire:
The Borough of Stafford

Stafford Guild will host this year's
AGM Weekend for F.E.W.
from 19th to 21st September 2014

 at Yarnfield Conference Centre, where our successful 2009 meeting was held.

Click here for more information     Click Here for the Application Form

There will be a Swearing-in Ceremony for new burgesses on

Thursday 31st July 2014.

It will again be held in the county Council Chamber, Stafford
Potential candidates should contact the Mayor's Office.

To learn more about Stafford Burgesses click the links below.

The Guild was well represented at Mayor-making on May 10th 2014. Despite the traditional rain it was a splendid occasion marking 400 years since the installation of Mathew Craddock, the first Mayor of Stafford.
Stafford Guild is in the North Midlands Area of the Freemen of England and Wales. Click here for details

The Master and Deputy attended the FEW Court Meeting on Saturday 15th March 2014 at the Freemen's Holt in Leicester

The Courts are where the business of FEW is conducted and reports received from Officers and Wardens.
Sadly they are not well attended, but the picture below shows some of those at the latest meeting.

A Court to Swear-in new burgesses took place in the Council Chamber of Staffordshire County Council, Martin Street on December 12th 2013. The Mayor, Councillor Angela Loughran, presided at the historic event, where nine men and nine ladies took the oath of the burgesses to join the ancient company. This was the first occasion that ladies could be admitted under the heredity rules since they were first adopted some 900 years ago.

Candidates awaiting the summons from the Mayor to make the oath before admission as Burgesses of Stafford.

(the Stafford Guild Mace can just be seen making its first appearance at a Court.

The Court in Session.

The Mayor with Burgesses "new and old".

Photos by Ray Spurway and Paul Milgate ( , where prints can be obtained)

              Click here for more pictures. Hopefully, there will be others in due course.

Regrettably our photographer was not permitted to take pictures for reasons we do not understand.


An announcement was made by the Mayor of Stafford at a Borough Council meeting on 24th September 2013 that the Guild had met all the legal requirements and the rules for admission as a Burgess of Stafford had been revised.

The vote was 98% in favour of the changes, which will bring the Stafford Freedom in line with the requirements of
the 21st century rather than the 12th century.

Click here to read the press statement and see the new rules.            For a breakdown of the vote click here.

The Guildwere invited to the Civic Carol Service at St Mary's Church, Stafford, at 6.30 p.m. on Sunday 22nd December 2013.
10 Members attended in robes, but as usual it was not possible for all to sit together.

The Annual Dinner is scheduled for Friday 31st January 2014 at the Post House, Stafford.
More details soon.

Another of our popular Skittles nights will be held at the Cons Club on 28th February 2014
Some Recent Events
Stafford Radio

The Master was invited by Stafford Radio to talk about the Freemen of Stafford and elsewhere. Presenter Carol Lake, who was recently Sworn in as a Burgess of the Borough of Stafford, presents a show of music and chat with people involved with activities in the town. The discussion covered the origins and the current activities of the burgesses as well as looking at some of the fascinating characters who have been freemen of Stafford. The work of the Freemen of England and Wales (F.E.W.) was discussed, including the fact that Stafford Guild will host their 2014 AGM weekend in September.

Stafford Radio broadcasts, (without adverts), on Sundays on the internet.

A few pictures of the event taken by photographer and Carol's co-presenter Paul Milgate are shown below.

Clockwise from the left:

At the studio in the 200 year old Broad Eye Windmill;

With Carol Lake;

Discussion about Jack Kemp's excellent book about the Stafford freemen since 1100;

In FEW Warden's Robes outside the Mill;

In Stafford Robes outside the radio station.

 Christmas Lunch 2013

The Christmas Lunch at the Constitutional Club took place on15th December 2013.
Some 50 members and guests had an excellent meal and enjoyed good company in a friendly atmosphere. A splendid array of raffle prizes had been donated and it was good to see our President Mr Ely present, as well as some newly appointed burgesses.

There should be pictures here in due course.


Guild Members and Guests
who attended the

Mayor's Ball in November 2013.


Click here soon
for more pictures


The Guild was represented at the Mayor Making ceremony and most braved the elements for the Parade on 11th May 2013.

Some of the Stafford Freemen who attended the 2013 Mayor-making and Remembrance Parades

For some video clips of the event click the links
Guild Members attended the "Save Stafford Hospital March" and were quite noticeable in their robes.
Although the Guild does not get involved in political matters it was felt that any reduction in the status of Stafford and its facilities is a cause of concern.
The Guild wishes to makes it clear that this is entirely separate from condoning any of the appalling errors made at the hospital over the past few years.

The Annual Guild Dinner 2013 took place on 31st January at the Post House in Stafford. Guests of Honour were the Mayor and Mayoress of Stafford, Councillor Brian Cross and Mrs Lilly Cross. Also in attendance were the President of the Freemen of England and Wales, Mr Alan Fallows and Mrs Val Fallows. some thirty Freemen and their guests enjoyed a convivial evening at this pleasant venue.

Click Here for more

pictures of the Dinner courtesy of Mr Ray Spurway

The Annual Meeting of Burgesses to review the Trust and appoint new trustees was held on Monday 21st January 2013 in the Borough Council Offices. All freemen are entitled to attend, indeed it is one of the few duties of a freeman.

Four Freemen Trustees were acknowledged for the sterling work they have undertaken over many years.

Retiring Chairman, Derek Luker and retiring Clerk, Ian Pettifor are seen with long term trustees; Mick Nowoskowski and Reg Rowland, together with the Mayor of Stafford, Councillor Brian Cross, who chaired the meeting.

A Freemen's Court was held on 21st November when 14 applicants were sworn in as Burgesses of the Borough.

The New Burgesses of Stafford with the Mayor and the Master of the Guild

Members of the Guild, in their robes at St Mary's Church for the Mayor's Service.


Stafford Burgesses pose for a picture after the 2012 Remembrance Parade


For more pictures click here

Some 2012 events

The Freemen of Stafford attended and laid a wreath at the Civic Remembrance Ceremony on 11th November.

Sixteen members, most in robes were on parade making it our best turn out for some time.

The AGM of the Stafford Freemen's Guild was be held in the Borough Council Offices at Riverside on 20th November.

The Christmas Lunch was held at the Constitutional Club on Sunday 16th December. Another pleasant social gathering.

The Guild attended the Civic Carol Service at St Mary's on December 16th with robes well in evidence.

Stafford Guild is a member of the Freemen of England and Wales

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