Making the freeman cut at the stationers Cutlock test does its job


My standard ‘Cutlock test’ of new online databases has come up with the goods on the recently released ‘Norwich Freemen Records Online’. Just using Cutlock as the search term throws up one result, John Cutlock as a new freeman in May 1857. This is down to his apprenticeship – at the 1851 census 15-year old great great great uncle John was recorded as an apprentice to a law stationer. The search result includes ‘linked records’, as there will be a sponsor for any new freeman (later, any new freewoman too), here showing his master as John Thomas Stephens, law stationer.

John’s father, also John, was a weaver. A good step up? By 1871 John junior had moved on from living in the somewhat notorious Norwich yards to the delights of the Heigham area of Norwich.

Seven hundred years of freemen

The Freemen of Norwich have begun putting these records online to mark the 700th anniversary of the Freemen Registers. Those from 1714 to the present day are already available, with earlier sets to follow. Thanks to WDYTYA? magazine weekly email newsletter for the heads-up.

Other names and notes

Now to check other possible Norwich names – any useful spot will be added below.

Plenty of Howes, but none from the HWNS line. No Cullums!

Jack Richard Boddy – admitted as a freeman 12 Jan 1944, via patrimony, father Percy James Boddy bricklayer. The freeman lineage goes back (per current online records) to William Boddy, dyer, admitted by patrimony 26 Jun 1783, father William, worstead weaver.

A search on ‘worstead weaver’ as the occupation shows 6,163 results (there are currently only about 20,000 records in total) – the display is quite reasonably limited to a thousand. As part of the family traces back to Worstead, nice to see that the original spelling has been retained, rather than the more common worsted!

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