About Us

The Guild of Freemen Lodge No. 3525 was consecrated at 4.45 on Thursday 15th June 1911 by the then Grand Secretary, V.W. Bro. Sir Edward Letchworth along with, amongst others, V.W. Bro. The Rt. Revd. Thomas Stevens, PGC, the Bishop of Barking. This took place in perhaps one of the most magnificent temples in the world, in the Great Eastern Hotel, Bishopsgate St., EC2.

Below is a picture of that magnificent Temple where our Lodge was consecrated.

We are also a Hall Stone Jewel Lodge which was presented to us by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Duke of Connaught which affirms that our predecessors contributed worthily to the building of Freemasons Hall, a memorial to the thousands of gallant Brethren who sacrificed their lives during the First World War. The names of the 1,321 qualifying subscribing Lodges have their names and numbers inscribed on the marble wall panels in the first vestibule and the stairs leading up from the tower entrance at 6 Freemasons’ Hall.

Below is a picture of the Hall Stone Jewel which is worn by the Worshipful Master

We at the Guild of Freemen Lodge are a group of friendly guys in an innovative and growing lodge who meet on a regular basis four evenings a year. Our members come from all walks of life. These ranges to those who love working with their hands to qualified and professional people. Currently the age of our members ranges, from 30 to 88 with two members being in the Lodge for over 50 years. We also have a number of fathers whose own sons have since joined Freemasonry.

The Guild of Freemen Lodge is unique, as it is the only Craft Lodge in the City of London and under Metropolitan Grand Lodge authorisation which, as a pre-requisite for new members, requires that they are a Freeman of the City of London. As without being a Freeman of the City of London, one is unable to become a member of the Guild of Freemen Lodge No. 3525. Suitable candidates will of course, be assisted to become a Freeman.

Becoming a Freeman of the City of London is seen as a privilege and eagerly sought by suitable candidates. The title "A Freeman of the City of London" goes as far back as when William the Conqueror granted the good citizens of London a Charter.

Our members have joined Guild of Freemen Lodge No. 3525 for a variety of reasons. Some are attracted by the valuable work that the movement performs in raising money for charity. Where the greatest part goes to non-Masonic charities – local, national and international. They also assist the community such as carrying out voluntary work. Some have joined because of the unique fellowship and friendship it provides, others to enjoy the theatrical aspects that it brings.

We have social “Ladies Evenings and Weekends” as a way of saying thank you to our wives and partners for their support. We also have other social events such as visits to the Houses of Parliament, Windsor Castle, Bletchley Park and barbeques. These provide opportunities to have both quality time with your partner and also to meet other members and couples and parties interesting in learning more about Masonry.

Please feel free to have a look at our "Questions and Answers" to see if we have managed to answer any questions you may have.

Further Historical reading

The Freeman of the City of London

History and origins

The medieval term 'Freeman' meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land. Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free – hence the term 'Freedom' of the City.

From the Middle Ages and the Victorian era, the Freedom was the right to trade, enabling members of a Guild or Livery to carry out their trade or craft in the Square Mile. A fee or fine would be charged and in return the Livery Companies would ensure that the goods and services provided would be of the highest possible standards. In 1835, the Freedom was widened to incorporate not just members of Livery Companies but also people living or working in the City or those with a strong London connection.

Modern Freedom

Today, most of the practical reasons for obtaining the Freedom of the City have disappeared. It nevertheless remains as a unique part of London’s history to which many people who have lived or worked in the City have been proud to be admitted. There are three methods of obtaining the Freedom of The City. They being patrimony, servitude or redemption. Patrimony is of a right, being borne to a Freemason. Servitude is also of a right having served an apprenticeship with a Freeman. Freedom by redemption comes by application supported by two Liverymen which is accepted by the Chamberlain’s Court, and by payment of a fee.

Prior to 1996, the Freedom was only open to British or Commonwealth Citizens. Now, however, it has been extended globally and persons of any nationality may be admitted either through nomination or by being presented by a Livery Company. There is a long standing tradition of admitting women. The Freedom of the City today is still closely associated with membership of the City Livery Companies.

City Livery Companies

Livery origins

Some Guilds can trace their origins back to the 12th century, with the earliest charter still in existence being granted to the Weavers' Company in 1155.

Those working in the same craft lived and work near each other, grouping together to regulate competition within their trade and maintain high standards. The early London Guilds benefited their members and customers alike, controlling the manufacture and selling of most goods and services in the Square Mile.

As the Guilds became more established, many set up their headquarters in large houses or Halls. As well as a meeting place, these became the venue for settling trade or domestic disputes. London street-names today still bear witness to areas where individual trades gathered and flourished.

Modern Livery companies

The Livery companies and the City of London have grown up together. They share common goals and since the earliest beginnings of the City have both been strong and active in its support. The Livery companies are integral to the City's governance : each year Liverymen elect the Sheriffs of the City of London, endorse the election of the Lord Mayor and play a prominent part in major events.

The City of London is the oldest continuous municipal democracy in the world and predates Parliament.

Today, there are more than 100 Liveries and though trading conditions changed, since their inception, their work is as pertinent as it always has been. Different in size, structure and interests they share the same ethos: supporting trade, education, charity and fellowship, working in the best interests of the communities in which they operate.

The charitable dimension of their work now amounts to over £40m each year.