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Simon Thorp of CfA is given Freedom of the City

21 October 2013

Congratulations to Simon Thorp of CfA, who was granted the Freedom of the City last week. Simon received the Freedom during a ceremony at the Guildhall in the City of London. It was conferred upon him by the Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court.

Simon took an oath which included obedience to the Lord Mayor. He was congratulated by the Clerk on being the youngest Freeman of the City. The Clerk had said the same to a 101-year-old a few days before, as the 'youngest Freeman of the City' refers to the length of time one has been a Freeman, rather than the Freeman's age. After the ceremony Simon was shown artefacts of previous, very different Freemen including Florence Nightingale and Sir Bob Geldof.

Simon became a Freeman of the City as a result of his involvement with the Upholders Company, of which he is also a Freeman. The Upholders Company is 49th in an 'Order of Precedence' of 109 Livery Companies which operate under Royal Charter in the City of London. Livery Companies pre-date modern democracy and were a precursor to Parliament and the Police.

The Upholders Company started as craft guild for Upholsterers, who would upholster and repair furniture and even coffins. More recently the Upholders were responsible for the upholstery of the chairs used by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on the Royal Barge during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant celebrations last year.

Simon does not have a secret talent for upholstery but rather was admitted to the Company of Upholders as a result of his interest in the traditions of the City, business and personal friendships, and his work in the not-for-profit sector. These days Livery Companies focus on charitable giving as well as scholarships or bursaries, as they promote education. They maintain close links with, and support, the military and regularly loan their premises to organisations to hold educational events. Prospects in the City hopes to be using the Company of Plaisterers Livery Hall soon, to hold an event.

To find out more about Simon's Freedom of the City or how Livery Companies could support your area of business please contact Simon on

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