Freedom of the City is an honor bestowed by a municipality upon a valued member of the community, a visiting celebrity or dignitary and upon military units.

Freedom of the City or Borough is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today. It is believed to have been first presented in the City of London in 1237.

Today this honour is mostly ceremonial, given by the local government in many towns and cities on those who have served in some exceptional capacity, or upon any one whom the city wishes to bestow an honour.

Sunderland started its tradition of granting Freedom of the Borough on the 19 June 1901 and then Freedom of the City on the 26 July 2004.  View a full list of recipients of Freedom of the City.

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