Part 1 HERE
More History Stuff.
The Guildhall was used by the Freemen of Newcastle. The origins of the Freemen are obscure, but the modern view is the possibility that the origins are partly Anglo-Saxon but also partly British and partly Roman. There were, broadly speaking three classes of people – nobles, free men and slaves. The free men were a middle class, comprised of those who were permitted and obliged to carry arms. .Free men were the inhabitants of Burghs, communities which had gradually come together for purposes of mutual defence. They were without overlords and cultivated the arable & common land and also established the customary rules that regulated their own dealings and their local justice. They paid their taxes and dues direct to the King. These rules were administered by the community in their Moot or Assembly. King John, by Charter, granted Newcastle to the Freemen at an annual payment of £100 which appeared until quite recently in the City’s annual accounts. This Charter and its successors were repeatedly confirmed by successive Sovereigns who granted many further privileges to the Freemen.
About the end of the 12th century the leading Freemen combined together in a Guild known as the Guild Merchant, which was granted a Charter in 1216, for the purpose of controlling the trade of the town. This Guild soon obtained control of the town’s affairs. Other merchant guilds of Drapers (wool merchants), Mercers and Boothmen (corn merchants) were formed during the 13th century but these were later absorbed into the Merchant Adventurers who claimed to be the original Merchant Guild.
The different guilds coats of arms are all displayed around the Guildhall.
The Mayors Parlour is where the Freemen held their council meetings, and apart from having wonky walls and floor, is quite spectacular.
These old paintings of C17 Newcastle have unfortunately have been ‘restored’ by a madman, who basically painted over them 🙄 god knows what this next one on the right is all about.
After we’d finished at the Guildhall, Sophie and I had a wander down the Quayside, and took a few more pictures, and were treated to a great sunset.
More information on the Freemen at this website .
and the full album with loads more pictures can be found HERE