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List of Freedom of the City recipients

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List of Freedom of the City recipients

The Freedom of the City is an honour bestowed by a city council upon a person (or persons) to whom the city wishes to pay tribute. In medieval times, the title of "freeman" would entitle the bearer to special privileges, such as the right to vote or own property, but few of these privileges are still relevant today; in contemporary society, the granting of the Freedom of the City is seen more as a symbolic gesture. In some countries, esteemed individuals are instead awarded the Key to the City, which usually takes the form of an ornamental key. Other places have their own, unique local variants, such as the white Stetson hats awarded by the Canadian city of Calgary.

Some recipients of the Freedom of the City (or the Key to the City) are local residents who are held in high regard by the community; others are visiting celebrities or dignitaries. This list only includes notable recipients.


Contents

Albania

Tirana

Argentina

Córdoba

Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Canberra

New South Wales

Blacktown

Dubbo

Gosford

Parramatta

Rockdale

  • March 19, 2011: Altiyan Childs, singer-songwriter.[17] Childs' key was revoked in 2012, after he was found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs.[18]

Shellharbour

Sydney

Wollongong

Queensland

Brisbane

Bundaberg

Gold Coast

Ipswich

Logan City

South Australia

Adelaide

  • July 5, 1988: Pelé, footballer [57]
  • November 1990: Cher, an American singer and actress, was awarded the Key to Adelaide after she performed at the 1990 Australian Grand Prix. In April 2012, the key was sold on eBay for US$95,900, causing city officials in Adelaide to express their disappointment. Cher was equally upset, explaining on Twitter that her office "fkd up".[58]
  • December 7, 1993: John Fitzgerald, tennis player [59]
  • February 18, 2004: J. M. Coetzee, author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature [60]
  • October 25, 2004: Rupert Murdoch, media mogul [61]
  • February 7, 2009: Adelaide United FC [62]
  • June 30, 2010: Cheong Liew, chef [63]
  • January 11, 2012: Lance Armstrong, cyclist, was granted the Key to the City in recognition of his efforts to promote the previous year's Tour Down Under. Adelaide's mayor, Stephen Yarwood, visited Armstrong's hometown of Austin, Texas to personally present him with the Key, but Armstrong was in Mexico at the time, so the Key was sent to him by courier instead.[64] On October 30, 2012, Adelaide City Council announced that Armstrong would be stripped of this honour (although the key would not be physically retrieved), after he was found guilty by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.[65]

Mount Gambier

Port Lincoln

Tasmania

Launceston

Victoria

Ballarat

Colac

Geelong

Hawthorn

Horsham

Melbourne

Freedom of the City recipients:

Key to the City recipients:

Mildura

Canada

Keys to the City are awarded in Brampton, Burnaby, Mississauga, Toronto, Winnipeg, Windsor, and Vancouver. Winnipeg also offers honorary citizenship, while Calgary's ceremony is the White Hat Ceremony.

China

Haikou

Colombia

Bogotá

Costa Rica

San José

Jamaica

Kingston

Japan

Tokyo

Mauritius

Port Louis

Morocco

Rabat

Portugal

Lisbon

- "Approved by unanimous votes"

Ireland

Cork

1710 – 1841[142]

1887 – present[143]

Dublin

Notable recipients of the Freedom of the City of Dublin include:[153]

Galway

Notable recipients of the Freedom of Galway include:[182]

Kilkenny

Limerick

Several recipients of the Freedom of Limerick in the years 1900 to 1902 were Boers – Britain's enemy during the Second Boer War. Limerick's city council, at the time composed mostly of Irish nationalists, sympathised with the Boers, and in an expression of solidarity, granted the Freedom to three Boer generals (Louis Botha, Christiaan de Wet, and Koos de la Rey), the presidents of two Boer-ruled countries (Paul Kruger and Martinus Theunis Steyn), and Captain William O'Donnell, an Irish-born soldier fighting on the side of the Boers. None of these six men visited Limerick to have the Freedom officially conferred upon them, and their names are therefore absent from the roll of freemen.[193][194]

Other notable recipients of the Freedom of Limerick include:[195][196]

Waterford

South Africa

Cape Town

  • June 7, 2013: Barack Obama, U.S. President, and his wife, Michelle. The freedom scroll was accepted on their behalf by Acting U.S. Ambassador, Virginia Palmer.[220][221]

United Kingdom

England

Bath

Blackpool

Bracknell

Bradford

Bristol

Bury St Edmunds

  • 1996: Ian McShane, lead actor in the television series Lovejoy, filmed in and around Bury

Canterbury

Derby

Durham

  • December 8, 2008: Bobby Robson, football manager, in honour of his services to football and charitable work [247]

Exeter

Gateshead

Frome

  • May 4, 2010: Jenson Button, Formula One driver, following his victory in the 2009 World Drivers' Championship [256]

Ipswich

Kingston upon Hull

Leeds

Liverpool

The Freedom of Liverpool was first conferred upon the military officer Andrew Clarke on July 7, 1886. Other recipients include four-time Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone in 1892, the Beatles in 1984, and Nelson Mandela in 1994.[275] The Freedom of the City has also been awarded to groups of people on occasion, such as the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims,[276] and the city of New York.[277]

London

Anyone may apply for the Freedom of London. However, the Honorary Freedom is a much higher honor, and cannot be applied for; individuals must be invited to receive the award by the Court of Common Council. Notable recipients include William Pitt the Younger, David Livingstone, Florence Nightingale, Princess Diana, and more recently, Judi Dench, Annie Lennox, and Stephen Fry.[278]

Manchester

Sir William Crossley's Key

Middlesbrough

Newcastle upon Tyne

Notable recipients of the Freedom of Newcastle include:[292]

Norwich

Other recipients of the Freedom of Norwich include playwright Arthur Miller, philanthropist Robert Sainsbury (and his wife, Lisa), Anglia TV, Norwich City F.C., and Norwich Union.[311]

Nottingham

Notable recipients of the Freedom of Nottingham include:[312]

Preston

Portsmouth

Notable recipients of the Freedom of Portsmouth include:[315]

Reading

Salford

Sheffield

Southampton

Sunderland

Wolverhampton

Honorary freemen of Wolverhampton include British Prime Minister Douglas Haig, and athlete Denise Lewis.[340]

York

Isle of Man

Douglas

Northern Ireland

Belfast

Scotland

Aberdeen

Dundee

Edinburgh

Notable recipients of the Freedom of Edinburgh include:[364]

Glasgow

Inverness

Perth

Notable recipients of the Freedom of Perth include:[475]

Stirling

Wales

Cardiff

Notable recipients of the Freedom of Cardiff include:[499]

Newport

Swansea

Other recipients of the Freedom of Swansea include Charles, Prince of Wales, James Callaghan, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Alan Williams, MP for Swansea West.[518]

United States

Viscount Cornbury was the first to receive the Freedom of the City of New York in 1702,[521] and in 1871, Chicago handed out its earliest known Freedom to Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia.[522]

Among the more unusual recipients of Keys to the City are Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (Detroit, 1980), Sam Born, for inventing a machine that mechanically inserted sticks into lollipops (San Francisco, 1916), and Scarlett's Magic (Corona, 2010), a cat listed in the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records as World's Tallest Cat.

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