A Freeman was said to be free of all debt, owing nothing to anyone except God Himself. Freeman is a term which originated in 12th-century Europe and was common as an American Colonial expression in Puritan times. In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a man had to be a member of the Church to be a freeman.
The “Oath of a Freeman” was a loyalty pledge required of all new members of the Massachusetts Bay Company in the 1630s. ( In 1629 the Massachusetts Bay Company had obtained from King Charles I a charter empowering the company to trade and colonize in New England between the Charles and Merrimack rivers. The grant was similar to that of the Virginia Company in 1609, the patentees being joint proprietors with rights of ownership and government. )
trade gild: Alternative Title: gild Guild, also spelled gild, an association of craftsmen or merchants formed for mutual aid and protection and for the furtherance of their professional interests.
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