Woodcut of the Shield of the City of London inside a frame.
The Oath of euery Free-man of the City
of London.
YEe shall sweare, that ye shall bee good and true to our Soueraign Lord King Iames, and to the heires of our said Soueraigne Lord the King. Obeysant and obedient shall yée be to the Maior and Ministers of this City. The Franchises and Customes thereof ye shall maintaine, and this City kéepe harmlesse in that that in you is. Ye shall be Contributory to all manner of charges within this City, as Summons, Watches, Contributions, Taskes, Tallages. Lot and Scot, and to all other charges, bearing your part as a Free-man ought to do. Ye shall colour no Forraignes goods, vnder or in your name, whereby the King or this City might or may lose theyr customes or aduantages. Yee shall know no Forraigne to buy or sell any Merchandize, with any other Forraigne within this City or franchise thereof, but ye shall warne the Chamberlaine thereof, or some Minister of the Chamber. Ye shall implead or sue no Freeman out of this City, whiles ye may haue right and law within the same Cittie. Ye shall take none Apprentise, but if he be Frée-borne (that is to say) no Bond-mans Son, nor the childe of any Alien,1 & for no lesse terme then for seuen yeares without fraud or deceit: and within the first yéere ye shal cause him to be enrolled, or else pay such fine as shall be reasonably imposed vppon you for omitting the same. And after his tearmes end, within conuenient time (being required) ye shall make him frée of this City, if he haue wel and truly serued you. Yee shall also kéepe the Kings peace in your owne person. Ye shall know no gatherings, conuenticles, nor conspiracies made against the Kings Peace, but ye shall warne the Maior thereof, or let it to your power. This text has been supplied. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (JJ)A2ll these points and articles ye shal well and truly kéepe, according to the lawes & customes of this City, to your power. So God you helpe. God saue the King.3
Printed by W. Iaggard, Printer to the Honorable City of London.


  1. See the encyclopedia article London Aliens for more information about aliens in early modern London. (KL)
  2. Imperfectly inked type; letter obvious from context. (JJ)
  3. Normally, proclamations and comparable publications end with God save the King centered below the main text. In this case, the compositor was coming to the bottom of the form. The compositor placed God saue the King at the end of the last line, with an offsetting space. The phrase is set in Roman type for emphasis in a document that is primarily blackletter. (TD)

Cite this page

MLA citation

Corporation of London. The Oath of Every Freeman of the City of London. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/OATH1.htm.

Chicago citation

Corporation of London. The Oath of Every Freeman of the City of London. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/OATH1.htm.

APA citation

Corporation of London. 2022. The Oath of Every Freeman of the City of London. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/editions/7.0/OATH1.htm.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Corporation of London
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - The Oath of Every Freeman of the City of London
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/OATH1.htm
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/xml/standalone/OATH1.xml
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#CORP1" type="org">Corporation of London</name></author>. <title level="a">The Oath of Every Freeman of the City of London</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target="https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/OATH1.htm">mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/OATH1.htm</ref>.</bibl>