Civic Honours

There are three main honours that we award to people who have made a significant contribution to the city of Sheffield: Honorary Freedom of the City of Sheffield, Sheffield Legend and Civic Award.

Recipients of Honorary Freedom of the City of Sheffield

This is the highest honour which the city can give. It is awarded to people or groups of people who have given outstanding service to the city. Honorary Freedom has been granted to individuals including Nelson Mandela, Jessica Ennis, Helen Sharman, and to groups including the Yorkshire Regiment.

Honorary Freedom of the City of Sheffield

The following is a complete list of recipients of the Honorary Freedom of the City of Sheffield and their date of admission:

  • 25 October 1899: His Grace The Duke of Norfolk, EM, KG
  • 25 October 1899: Sir Frederick Thorpe Mappin, Bart, MP
  • 25 October 1899: Sir Henry Stephenson, Kt
  • 13 August 1902: General Viscount Kitchener of Khartoum, GCB, GCMG, OM
  • 10 June 1903: The Rt. Hon. Sir Marcus Samuel (Lord Mayor of the City of London)
  • 26 May 1916: The Rt. Hon. William Morris Hughes, MP, LLD (Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia )
  • 10 October 1917: Lt-Gen. The Rt. Hon. Jan Christian Smuts, KC (Prime Minister of South Africa)
  • 10 October 1917: Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO 
  • 13 August 1919: The Rt. Hon. David Lloyd George, OM, MP, DCL, PC (Prime Minister) 
  • 13 August 1919: Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, KT, GCB, KCB, KCIE, GCVO, KCVO, CB, ADC 
  • 13 August 1919: Admiral Sir David Beatty, GCB, GCVO, KCB, KCVO, DSO, MVO (Admiral of the Fleet)
  • 10 August 1921: The Rt. Hon. W F Massey, LLD (Prime Minister of New Zealand)
  • 21 April 1922: Alderman Sir William E Clegg, CBE, LLD
  • 9 November 1923: The Rt. Hon. W L MacKenzie King, CMG, MA, LLD (Prime Minister of Canada)
  • 9 November 1923: The Rt. Hon. S M Bruce, MC (Prime Minister of Australia) 
  • 30 July 1924: The Rt. Hon. Sir Samuel Roberts, Bart, MA, JP, DL
  • 30 July 1924: Alderman Robert Styring, LLD, JP
  • 30 July 1924: Alderman William Farewell Wardley, JP
  • 24 March 1926: Doctor Henry Coward, Mus.Doc (Oxon), MA
  • 30 November 1926: The Hon. J G Coates, MC (Prime Minister of New Zealand)
  • 4 December 1929: The Rt. Hon. James Ramsay MacDonald, MP, LLD, JP (Prime Minister)
  • 4 December 1929: Alderman John George Graves, JP
  • 4 December 1929: Alderman Henry Kenyon Stephenson, DSO, VD, DL, JP, LLD 
  • 4 December 1929: Mr Cecil Henry Wilson, MP, JP
  • 29 October 1930: The Rt. Hon. Richard Bedford Bennett, KC, MP, LLD, (Prime Minister of Canada) 
  • 29 October 1930: The Rt. Hon. James Henry Scullin, MP 
  • (Prime Minister of Australia)
  • 6 June 1939: The Rt. Revd. Leonard Hedley Burrows, DD, D.Litt (First Bishop of the Diocese of Sheffield)
  • 6 June 1939: Sir Robert Abbott Hadfield, Bart, FRS, DSc, D.Met, JP
  • 6 June 1939: Mr Harry Brearley (the inventor of Stainless Steel)
  • 6 October 1943: The Rt. Hon. Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, CH, FRS, MP (Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister of Defence)
  • 7 March 1945: Alderman Frank Thraves, JP
  • 7 March 1945: Alderman Harold Warters Jackson, LLB 
  • 7 March 1945: Alderman Alfred James Bailey, JP
  • 7 March 1945: Alderman Arthur James Blanchard, JP
  • 1 October 1947:The Rt. Hon. Albert Victor Alexander, PC, CH, LLD, MP (Minister of Defence
  • 7 September 1949: Mr Charles William Beardsley, OBE, JP
  • 7 September 1949: Mrs Ann Eliza Longden, JP
  • 2 September 1959: Alderman Charles William Gascoigne, CBE, BEM
  • 2 September 1959: Alderman Mrs Grace Tebbutt, JP 
  • 2 September 1959: Alderman Percival John Mann Turner, CBE, JP
  • 3 January 1962: The Rt. Revd. Leslie Stannard Hunter, MA, DD, DCL, LLD (Lord Bishop of Sheffield)
  • 3 January 1962: Alderman Albert Smith
  • 7 April 1965: The Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, OBE, MP (Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury) 
  • 7 April 1965: Alderman Herbert Keeble Hawson
  • 7 April 1965: Alderman Samuel Hartley Marshall, JP
  • 7 April 1965: Alderman James Wilfred Sterland, OBE, JP
  • 7 April 1965: Dr. John Macnaghten Whittaker, FRS, (Vice-Chancellor, University of Sheffield)
  • 3 April 1968: Dr. Albert Ballard, CBE, LLD
  • 3 April 1968: Sir Stuart Goodwin, DL, LLD, JP
  • 13 July 1970: Mr John Burns Hynd, MP (MP for Attercliffe Division of City from 1944 to 1970)
  • 13 July 1970: Sir Peter Geoffrey Roberts, Bart, MA, MP (MP for Ecclesall Division of City from 1945 to 1950 and for Heeley Division of City from 1950 to 1966)
  • 1 November 1978: The Rt. Hon. James Callaghan, MP 
  • (Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury) 
  • 1 November 1978: County Councillor Sir Charles Ronald Ironmonger
  • 1 November 1978: Councillor Isidore Lewis, LLD, JP
  • 1 November 1978: Mr Stanley Lester Speight, OBE, MIEx(Grad), FIM
  • 2 December 1981: Mr George Caborn 
  • 2 December 1981: Prof. Ronald Stanley Illingworth, MD (Leeds) Hon. MD (Sheffield) Hon.D.Sc (Baghdad) FRCP, DPH, DCH, FRPS
  • 3 July 1991: Ms Helen Sharman BSc C.Chem (the first Briton to journey into space)
  • 15 May 1991: Councillor William Owen, JP
  • 15 February 1993: Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (President of the African National Congress)
  • 7 April 1993: Mr Derek Dooley (footballer)
  • 29 July 1998: The Rt. Hon. Dr. Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, MP (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
  • 29 July 1998: Dr. Peter Horton, Hon.LittD. BSc
  • 29 July 1998: H.M.S. SHEFFIELD
  • 7 November 2001: The Chestnut Troop, 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery; 38th Signal Regiment (Volunteers); 212 (Yorkshire) Field Hospital (Volunteers); and The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) – subsequently conferred to the Yorkshire Regiment
  • 6 March 2002: 106 (West Riding) Field Squadron (Air Support) (Volunteers)
  • 5 October 2005: Michael Paul Vaughan (Captain of England Cricket Team)
  • 5 October 2005: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Leader of National League for Democracy in Burma) – The Freedom of the City was removed on 1 November 2017
  • 2 November 2005: Sebastian Newbold Coe OBE, The Right Honourable The Lord Coe of Ranmore
  • 6 September 2006: The Yorkshire Regiment (formed by an amalgamation of three historic County Regiments including the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment)
  • 3 June 2009: The Lindsays (Ronald Birks, Peter Cropper, Bernard Gregor-Smith and Robin Ireland)
  • 4 July 2012: Mrs. Tawakel Karman (Yemeni Human Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner)
  • 5 September 2012: Ms. Jessica Ennis MBE (Olympic, World and European Heptathlon Champion)
  • 18 October 2014: 64 Signal Squadron (transferring the Freedom from the 38 Signal Regiment owing to the 38 Regiment’s withdrawal from the Army’s Order of Battle)
  • 3 April 2019: John Burkhill BEM (fundraising)
  • 14 December 2022: The Right Honourable Mr Richard Caborn

Sheffield Legends

Sheffield Legends recognises people from Sheffield, or those who have an association with the city, who have achieved national or international acclaim. The Legends are celebrated with their names on a plaque on the paved area outside of the Town Hall.

The Legends

These are the legends that have been identified and recognised so far. New legends are identified each year:

  • Gordon Banks – England’s World Cup winning goalkeeper
  • Sean Bean – film and TV actor
  • Joe Cocker – singing legend
  • Sebastian Coe – Olympic medal winner and President of the International Association of Athletics Federation
  • Derek Dooley – one of Sheffield’s most respected footballers
  • Dame Margaret Drabble – internationally respected novelist and critic
  • Dame Jessica Ennis – Olympic Champion, double Outdoor and Indoor World Champion athlete
  • Professor Barry Hancock – OBE, world renowned cancer expert
  • Brendan Ingle – world famous boxing manager and trainer
  • Def Leppard – top-selling rock band
  • Nick Matthew - world squash champion
  • David Mellor - internationally renowned cutlery designer
  • Michael Palin - famous film and television personality
  • Steve Peat - champion downhill mountain biker
  • Helen Sharman - first British astronaut
  • Joe Simpson - renowned mountaineer, author and motivational speaker
  • Joe Scarborough - one of Sheffield’s finest artists
  • Michael Vaughan - one of this country’s most successful cricket captains
  • Clinton Woods - world champion boxer
  • Grace Clough - Paralympic gold medallist, rowing
  • Tony Foulds - Mi Amigo Memorial

Civic Award

Established in 2010, the Civic Award is for people who have made a significant contribution to life in Sheffield, are a leader in their field or have helped put Sheffield on the map.

This is a chance to recognise an ‘unsung hero’ with a personal thank you from the City of Sheffield’s Lord Mayor.


Nominees must have been born in Sheffield or have a very strong association, and achieved recognition at a national or international level. 

Please use our 'Ask us a question' link to send us your nomination.

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