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The Honourable Company of Freemen of the City of London of North America traces its origins to May 1979, when an inaugural banquet was held in Toronto, Canada. During the long history of the Livery Companies, guilds had merged under pressure of circumstances or joined together in furthering their aims, and these had never been solely concerned with their particular craft or profession. Rather, the object of the guild was to provide moral leadership by setting standards of excellence in trade and probity in public life. Such qualities always need encouragement, whether in medieval England or the New World, and the traditions of the guilds sanctioned the association of Freemen from different Livery Companies for this purpose.

The only real novelty in the context of North America would be one of scale. With modern communications the range could be continental, rather than citywide. Since the fundamental principles of the guilds were shared by all Freemen, whatever their profession, the membership could be drawn from all the Livery Companies.

In 1980, the Lord Mayor of London sent his blessing for the enterprise and approved the name. Its existence was reported to the Guild of Freemen of the City of London, and the Company received permission to use the Coat of Arms of the City of London on its letterhead.

 
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