Freedom of the City of Cork
Roll of the Honorary Burgesses of the City of Cork
The custom of awarding the “Freedom of the City” whereby persons distinguished for public service become Honorary Burgesses of a City dates from the 14th century.
Prior to the reform of the Cork Corporation in 1841 the City was generous in awarding the distinction to prominent representatives, of those thus honoured may be mentioned Dean Swift and Captain Richard Roberts who navigated the “Sirius” the first steamship to cross the Atlantic from Europe Cobh to New York in 1838.
Due to recent acquisitions by the Cork City Library a complete list of the Freemen of the City of Cork including Honorary Freemen for the period 1609-1841 is now available.
Owing to the destruction of municipal documents by fire in the Courthouse in 1891 very few early municipal documents are available except some few items that have recently come to light.
Previous to 1887 the Municipal Privileges Act, 1875, was passed under which Charles S. Parnell and William E. Gladstone were elected Honorary Burgesses, and on August 22nd, 1884, William O’Brien.
Those admitted since 1887 are as follows: