Jodie Whittaker to receive the Freedom of the City of London

Traditionally it allowed recipients to take their sheep over London Bridge.

Her alter-ego travels through time, but now Doctor Who actress Jodie Whittaker is receiving the Freedom of the City of London.

The tradition dates back to the 13th Century – and many of the privileges associated with the Freedom, such as herding sheep over London Bridge, no longer exist.

More than 100 women will receive the Freedom to mark last year’s centenary of the Representation Of The People Act, which gave some women voting rights.

Ceremonies will take place later this year after the Court of Common Council puts the final seal of approval on the Freedoms.

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker
Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker (Henrik Knudson/BBC)

All 106 women have a connection to the City and Whittaker, 36 – who was born in the village of Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire – is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music And Drama.

Other names include Connie Robins, a florist at Leadenhall Market, the Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally, restaurateur Nicola Farmer and Rachel Levy, principal librarian at the Shoe Lane and Artizan Street libraries.

Today the Freedom is largely symbolic, but in the Middle Ages and the Victorian era, it offered the right to trade or craft in the Square Mile.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “Many congratulations to everyone who accepted the City’s invitation to receive the Freedom of the City of London, among them, a restaurateur, actor, florist, ecologist, beauty salon owner, town planner, and Bishop of London.

“I hope that our new Freemen enjoy attending their ceremonies and will take pride in their Freedom, which is one of our most historic and celebrated traditions.”

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