Medway Council Heritage Services catalogues
  • Title
    Appointments and elections of officials
  • Reference
  • Date
  • Level of description
  • Extent
    c.10 boxes
  • Administrative history / biography
    Admission to the Freedom of the City was by right of birth (son of a freeman), purchase, apprenticeship to a freeman or gift. The freemen had the right to elect the mayor and Members of Parliament as well as the right to trade in the City. The Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 put an end to these privileges: any ratepayer who was a resident for at least three years in the City of Rochester could vote in the council elections and the right to trade was no longer exclusive to the freemen. From 1295 until 1885, Rochester returned two Members of Parliament. Only the freemen were entitled to vote for the MPs until the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. From 1885 Rochester returned only one MP, and in 1918 it was split between the Chatham, Gillingham and Medway constituencies. From 1950, the Chatham seat became the Rochester and Chatham seat and remained so until 1983.
  • Scope and content
    This sub-collection comprises all records regarding appointments and elections of officials and admission to the Freedom of the City.
  • Related material
    Within the town clerk’s records there are files on elections (RCA/TC1/5) and honorary freedoms (RCA/TC1/39), and registers of elections and councillors (RCA/TC2/1). For voters’ lists see RCA/TC/V.