Freedom of Cardiff: List of recipients from 1886

Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Dame Shirley Bassey Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, and now Dame Shirley Bassey - all given the freedom of Cardiff

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Dame Shirley Bassey becomes only the 61st person to receive the honour of the Freedom of the City of Cardiff.

It is the highest honour that the city can bestow on an individual, and was first awarded in 1886.

In 2008, councils set out to formalise who could be recognised with the title, demanding that recipients must fulfil at least one of the following criteria:

  • An individual or organisation of outstanding and acknowledged merit, with close links to the City and County of Cardiff.
  • An individual or organisation who has made an outstanding and acknowledged contribution to the development of Cardiff, the Capital City for Wales.
  • An individual or organisation who demonstrates outstanding and acknowledged achievements on the international stage that have served to benefit the international community.

Unlike freeman honours awarded in cities such as London, the Cardiff title is purely honorary, without any special privileges.

In London, being given the freedom of the city historically bestowed the right to herd sheep over London bridge, to go about the city with a drawn sword, and if convicted of a capital offence, to be hung with a silken rope.

Honorary Freemen of Cardiff: Awarded:

Source: Cardiff City Council

Alderman Andrew Fulton (Mayor, 1834-35)

31 March,1886

Alfred Thomas Esquire (Lord Pontypridd)

(Mayor 1880-81)

13 August, 1888

The Rt Hon William Ewart Gladstone MP

6 July, 1889

His Royal Highness Albert Victor Christian Edward, Duke of Clarence and Avondale

17 September, 1890

Sir Henry M Stanley

27 March, 1891

The Rt Hon David Evans (Lord Mayor of London 1881-82)

1 July, 1892

General The Rt Hon Lord Roberts

26 January, 1894

Sir Edward James Reed, Knight Commander of the Bach, MP

28 September, 1895

His Royal Highness Albert Edward,

The Prince of Wales, Knight of the Garter

27 June, 1896

The Rt Hon Robert George Windsor-Clive,

Lord Windsor, PC, Lord Lieutenant County

of Glamorgan (Mayor 1895-96)

3 June, 1897

Alderman David Jones, JP (Mayor 1888-89)

18 April, 1898

Major General The Rt Hon Lord Kitchener

2 Dec, 1897

Lord Baden Powell

29 May, 1903

Sir William Thomas Lewis, Bart, KCVO (Lord Merthyr of Senghenydd)

10 March, 1905

His Royal Highness George Frederick Ernest Albert, The Prince of Wales, KG (King George V)

29 June, 1905

The Rt Hon O. Lloyd George, MP

24 June, 1908

The Rt Hon Viscount Tredegar

25 October, 1909

Alderman Francis John Bearan, JP (Mayor 1901-02)

10 October, 1910

Charles Thompson, Esquire of Penhill Close, Llandaff

28 October, 1912

Sir William James Thomas, Kt

12 April, 1915

The Rt Hon Williams Morris Hughes

24 March, 1916

The Rt Hon Baron Rhondda of Llanwern. MA, Dt

27 October, 1916

The Rt Hon Massey

8 May, 1917

General The Rt Hon Jan Christian, Smuts, PC, KC, MP

27 October, 1917

The Rt Hon Sir Robert Laird Borden

24 July, 1918

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, KG (Duke of Windsor)

26 June, 1919

Joseph Larke, Wheasley, Esquire,

Town Clerk 1879-1919

13 October, 1919

Alderman Sir Charles Hayward Bird, Kt, CBE, JP (Lord Mayor 1910-11)

5 July 1923

His Royal Highness Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, Duke of York, KG (King George VI)

22 October, 1926

The Rt Hon Lord Glanely

26 March, 1928

Sir William Reardon Smith, Bart

26 March, 1928

Ex-Alderman Herbert Metford Thompson, LLD, JP

14 April, 1930

Lord Davies of Llandinam, MA, LLD

26 October, 1931

Alderman Sir Illtyd Thomas, Kt, JP, OL

26 October, 1931

His Royal Highness Prince George Edward

Alexander Edmond, GCVO, KG (Duke of Kent)

25 October, 1932

The Rt Hon John Viscount Sankey of Moreton, PC, CBE, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain

5 March, 1934

The Rt Hon The Earl of Plymouth, PC

26 October, 1936

The Rt Hon Lord Nuffield of Nuffield, OBE, DCL

26 October, 1936

The Rt Hon Lord Portal of Laverstoke, DSO, MVO

15 October, 1937

Alderman F.H. Turnbull, OBE, JP

15 October, 1937

Alderman R.G. Hill-Snook

10 February, 1947

Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (HM The Queen)

27 May, 1948

The Rt Hon Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill,

CH, MP (Sir Winston, L.S, KG, OM, CH, MP)

16 July, 1948

Alderman Sir William Richard Williams, JP

11 May, 1954

Alderman Sir Herbert Hiles, MBE, JP

11 May, 1954

HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG

1 December, 1954

The Rt Hon Gwilym Lloyd-George, TD, JP, MP (Viscount Tenby of Bulford)

26 October, 1956

HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

5 July, 1969

The Rt Hon James Callaghan, MP

16 March, 1975

The Rt Hon Viscount Tonypandy, George Thomas

16 March, 1975

HRH The Princess of Wales

29 October, 1981

His Holiness Pope John Paul II

2 June, 1982

Sir Cenydd Treherne, KG, TD, MA, LLD, JP Lord Lieutenant of the Counties of Glamorgan

29 January, 1985

Mr Philip Dunleavy, CBE, JP

25 January, 1993

Nelson Mandela

16 June, 1998

Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos

4 December, 2000

Tanni Grey Thomson, OBE

27 November, 2003

Colin Jackson, CBE

27 November, 2003

Sir Tasker Watkins, VC, GBE, PC, DL

12 April, 2006

HMS Cardiff HMS Cardiff - now decommissioned, its crews were given freedom of the city in 1988

In addition to individuals receiving freedom of the city, several organisations have also been recognised:

Freedom of the City of Cardiff: Date:

Source: Cardiff City Council

Welch Regiment

10 June, 1944

Her Majesties Welsh Regiment of Foot Guards

27 April, 1957

The Royal Regiment of Wales

11 June, 1969

The Royal Welch Fusiliers

7 November, 1963

The 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

29 July, 1985

HMS Cardiff

3 February, 1988

The National Union of Mine Workers (South Wales Area)

1 April, 1995

The Merchant Navy Association (Wales)

3 September, 2002

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