17 April 2013

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws

A little modern mediaevalism for your midweek:

According to the City of London's website, the Freedom of the City is 'one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today ... It is believed that the first Freedom was presented in 1237.'

One of the rights of a Freeman of the City is that of driving sheep and cattle over London Bridge. Very nice, I hear you thinking, but how many drovers visit London today?

Not many, to be sure. But let not a lack of drovers stop a Freeman of London from exercising his rights.

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Steven Fry, actor and Freeman of the City since 2011, certainly didn't let it stop him. Last week he marched firmly across London Bridge with Grace the lamb.


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