Norwich Freemen Records Online (NFRO) has been created by the Freemen of Norwich to provide a fully searchable and freely accessible online database of all those men, and eventually women, admitted to the freedom of Norwich over the last 700 years.
The database is being launched in phases. The first phase, now live, includes the most recent freemen registers from 1714 to the present day, nearly 20,000 entries. These will be followed by the medieval and early modern registers from 1317 to 1713, and in due course by the information on ‘citizens’, as freemen were also known, from the Enrolled Deeds from 1285. On completion it will amount to some 35,000 entries.
Each admission provides the name of the new freeman, his trade or occupation, method of entry – be it apprenticeship, patrimony, purchase – the name of the father or master and the date of admission. Taken together, they provide an extraordinary insight into the social, economic, political and cultural structure of Norwich.