Freeman/Freemen definition.

A. Clerk (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom did not have the information requested.

A. Clerk (Account suspended)

Dear Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,

"The Magna Carta 1297 in 'Confirmation of Liberties' ,SI states {amongst other things} "We have granted also, and given to all the Freemen of our Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these Liberties under-written, to have and to hold to them and their
Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever"

In addition, in SXXIX 'Imprisonment, &c. contrary to Law.
Administration of Justice' it states "NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor [X1condemn him,] but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or

Therefore, in accordance with the FOI Act, please provide me with your recorded definition of "Freeman" and "Freemen" as mentioned in this act."

Yours faithfully,

A. Clerk

Enquiries (UK Supreme Court), Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request which we received on 11 August 2016.

Please find our response attached.

Kind regards,

Saira Ejaz

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square
Westminster, London

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A. Clerk (Account suspended)

Dear Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Supreme Court of the United Kingdom's handling of my FOI request 'Freeman/Freemen definition.'.

I have it on good authority that indeed you Do have the information I requested.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

A. Clerk

William Arnold, Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

2 Attachments

Dear Sir / Madam


You have requested an internal review of the UKSC’s response of 9
September to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request of 11 August
relating to ‘the definition of “freeman” and “freemen” ’.


I can confirm that, contrary to what you assert in your email of 12
September below, no information on the matters you mention is held by the
UKSC. Since we do not have the information you seek, the question of
releasing it to you simply does not arise.


I therefore confirm the initial response to your FOI request.



William Arnold


Director of Corporate Services


The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Parliament Square

London SW1P 3BD


020 7960 1880


[email address]


From: Paul Brigland
Sent: 15 September 2016 15:47
To: William Arnold <[email address]>
Subject: FW: Internal review of Freedom of Information request -
Freeman/Freemen definition.




Below is the other request for an internal review from Mr Clerk.


Attached is his original FOI request and our reply.




Paul Brigland| Head of Office & Building Services and Departmental Records
Officer  | Supreme Court of the United Kingdom & the Judicial Committee of
the Privy Council | Parliament Square | London | SW1P 3BD | DX: 157230
Parliament Square |
* email: [1][UKSC request email] | ( telephone: +44 (0)20
7960 1983 | [mobile number]


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Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

A Clerk/General Readers

Historically, at the time the Magna Carta was written, it was not common practice for such documents to contain any form of 'table of definitions' as is the case with modern legal documents.

Given that at the time the level of literacy among the population was very low, essentially limited to the clergy, some (by no means all) of the Nobility and some of those engaged in commerce, the expectation was that those capable of reading the document would naturally know what the terms used in it meant.

In the context of the document, the term 'Freeman' references a social class of 'Free Men' - as opposed to those of other social classes existing at the time, such as Slaves, Serfs, Bondsmen, the Indentured, etc.

Those 'Free Men' had been granted certain legal rights over time - including the right to leave a Lord's lands and travel freely, the right to own and work their own lands (subject to certain taxes) and others. None of those rights being held by the other social classes mentioned above.

A remnant of these 'Freemen Rights' continue to exist today, mostly as 'Honorific Titles' with associated 'rights'. Examples would include the right of a Freeman of the City of London to drive (herd) Geese across London Bridge - thereby not having to pay the bridge toll or cross the river by other means, such as ferries/barges for which charges were also levied. Other examples include the right to collect firewood, reeds/rushes (used for roofing and to make lamps) from certain Forests/Riverbanks.

In the context of the request made, the Authority itself would not hold the requested information - that information would be 'held' in various history books/encyclopedia, which within the framework of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are not considered to be information held by an Authority unless actually created by that Authority.

The second part of the request quotes that section of Magna Carta which established the still existing Right of Trial and the principle now commonly known as 'Habeas Corpus' - the right not to be held without trial purely on the whim of the Monarch or any local Lord.

Prior to Magna Carta neither of these rights existed - and Magna Carta itself only extended (granted) those rights to the 'Freeman' social class, not to any of the other above mentioned 'lesser' social classes existing at the time.

The reason why these provisions were included at the demand of the Barons forcing the Monarch to sign Magna Carta (which the Monarch subsequently and almost immediately repudiated once no longer literally signing at the point of a sword, or 'under duress' in modern legal frameworks), was to secure their own safety from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment without trial by the Monarch or their Agents.

Contrary to some interpretations, it is highly unlikely that the Barons/Nobility gave any thought at all to the 'rights' of Freemen other than those within their own social class - except possibly where their 'own' Freemen were considered an asset, in terms of military service or specialist and desirable skills, the arbitrary removal of which would effect the military or economic 'strength' of a Baron/Lord.

As indicated above, very few outside specific social classes (not including most 'Freemen') would have been able to read/understand Magna Carta - even if they had access to a copy or had been told it existed. Very few copies of magna Carta were made at the time of its signing, most being held by the various Barons/Lords who forced the Monarch to sign and some being sent to various Bishops throughout the Kingdom. Of all of these only four copies survive and only one of those has the Royal Seal on it - making it an 'official' copy.

All of the above information is thoroughly documented and freely available publicly at any good library and through any online search engine.

Previous similar requests to various Authorities have yielded exactly the same response in each case, with the possible addition of links or signposting to various reference works on medieval social history and what passed for legal structures, in a time of 'Divine Right of Kings' with the Monarch as supreme arbitrator of law (or Absolute Dictator, which is equally accurate in context until later in history).

Hopefully those reading this summary will find it helpful, if only as a tool/starting point to guide their own deeper research into the common misunderstandings/ignorance associated with the 'Freeman on the Land' school of thought and associated conspiracy theory fantasies.


A. Clerk (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Becky bear. Get a life ;-)

Becky Bbear left an annotation ()

A Clerk:

Thank you for your detailed rebuttal of the facts, stated in my annotation for the benefit/education of interested readers.


A. Clerk (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Kindly refrain from posting your inaccurate drivel on here.