1349 : John Pluck - A Canterbury Freeman


Source: Canterbury Corporation Archives: R/F 6: Kent Archaeological Society xviii 203
Title: Canterbury Freemen's Roll 23-24 Edward II
Date: 1349/50
Place: Canterbury

Admitted by redemption

Entrant: Johannes Pluck

Fine: 16s 8d.

From mediaeval times most cities or large towns were governed or controlled by a body of men known as freemen. Freemen were granted the freedom of the city or borough and had a number of rights or privileges which depended on local custom and the city or borough's charter. Freedom may also have included the right to carry on a craft or trade.
Admitted by redemption means that he became a freeman on payment of a fee. Other methods of becoming a freeman were by patrimony, i.e. by having a father who was a freeman, or by serving an apprenticeship in a craft or trade. Fine does not have its modern meaning - it simply means the payment of a fee.

Sixteen shilling and eightpence, or 200 pence, is worth about £300 today. At that time it would have taken a carpenter about 50 days to have earned that amount.

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