The First Lady Freemen in 900 years

.. and the first is a Cooper!

On Monday April 12th 2010, at a ceremony in the Guildhall on Newcastle's historic Quayside, women where admitted to the Freelage for the first time in over 900 years, and the first Lady Freemen to be sworn in was a member of the Coopers Company of Freemen, Ms. Nina Luena Blenkinsop.

In another first for the City of Newcastle upon Tyne and, in particular, The Coopers Company, on July 29th 2010 triplets Dr. Helen Blenkinsop, and her sisters Elizabeth Blenkinsop and Catherine Crocker were sworn in at a ceremony in the Silver Room at Newcastle Civic Centre in front of Lord Mayor Brenda Hindmarsh.

Helen, a clinical psychologist, Elizabeth, a lawyer, and Catherine, a primary school teacher, were watched by their parents as they held a musket and Bible and signed the oath.

Catherine, whose husband is also a Freeman, said: "We're really please and excited to be here. It is an honour to be able to carry on the family tradition."

The family's relationship with the Freemen of Newcastle can be traced as far back as 1757, when the triplets' ancestor John was sworn in on April 21.

He was apprenticed to Michael Hymers, a Newcastle Cooper, for seven years and became the family's first Freeman.

Read the full story here.