Guild of Freemen Of Berwick-upon-Tweed



From at least the thirteenth century when there were 24 afeering men there has been an Executive Committee responsible for the day to day running of the Guild. The present Freemen's Committee was formed in accordance with the requirements of the 1926 Act. This Act lays down that all questions coming before the Freemen's Committee are decided by a majority of members present, that the Chairman has both a vote and a casting vote and that a quorum is three. The Act  allows the Committee to set its own rules for subsequent elections and for drawing up any additional rules regarding the conduct of their meetings.

The Committee must carry out the duties given in the 1926 Act, viz. the administration of the statutory income of the Resident Freemen. In practice this Committee carries out all the administration of the Guild. It administers and receives audited accounts of the various Funds. The Guild Committee or Guild members may call a General Meeting of the Guild at any other time of the year to discuss and decide any matter considered of vital importance to the Guild.

The Freemen's Committee holds its first meeting of the year immediately following the Guild AGM. At this meeting the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer are appointed. Those elected also carry out those duties on behalf of the Guild.  It also sets a date for a meeting in December to agree payments from the 1926 Fund. Additional meetings are held throughout the year to deal with the business which arises. A special meeting is held each year to agree payments from the Jane Turner Fleming Fund. This meeting is normally held on the same date as the Guild AGM and immediately prior to the AGM. The traditional date has been the 14th. day of November, unless this is a Saturday or Sunday when these meetings are held on the Friday or Monday. The Committee is responsible for the various Freemen Charities, and  its General and Reserve Funds.