Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club, if known)
1858 (Harrow Football) A free kick is a reward for fair catch, if you additionally call „three yards“. If in Harrow the ball was caught near the opponent’s goal, you could jump 3 yd for reaching the goal or went back and take a free kick as a place kick.
1858 (Sheffield FC) A free kick ist a reward for having first touched the ball after it into the touch or behind the goal. This reward was, depending on the place a throw-in, goal kick or corner kick. When taking a free kick, all players have to stay 6 yd away from the ball or stand on the goal line until the ball is kicked. All free kicks are indirect free kicks.
1863 (Cambridge University) A free kick is a reward for fair catch. The kick may be taken in any manner. All players must be at least 10 yd away from the ball until the ball is kicked and no player is offside.
1863 (FA) A free kick ist a reward for having first touched the ball after it into the touch or behind the goal. This reward was, depending on the place a throw-in, goal kick or corner kick. When taking a free kick, all players have to stay 6 yd away from the ball or stand on the goal line until the ball is kicked. All free kicks are indirect free kicks.
1869 (Sheffield FA) Only the players of the opposing team must be 6 yd away from the ball until it is kicked.
1872 (FA) After the prohibition of Fair Catch (1871) the free kick was handed out as a penalty for an infringement of the law (Harrow Chequers). Initially, it is not specified more precisely in the law when the free kick is handed out.
1874 (FA) Every free kick is an indirect free kick, i.e. a goal cannot be scored directly by it (Harrow Chequers). It was handed out as a penalty for an infringement of the laws of the goal kick, corner kick and offside and handball – all during the game. If a player behaves ungentlemanly during a stoppage in the game, before or after the game, no free kicks may be taken, but cautions and dismissals may be given.
1875 (FA) The free kick is kicked at the point where the infringement of the law occurred (Royal Engineers).
1877 (FA) Added: It was handed out as a penalty for an infringement of the determination of the choice of ends.
1901 (IFAB) Added: It was handed out as a punishment for infringement of the penalty law and the dropped ball law. (Law 8 is describing and regulating the dropped ball now.)
1903 (IFAB) Added: A free kick is a penalty for an infringement of this law.
1924 (IFAB) The corner kick is modified from an indirect to a direct free kick (SFA).
1938 (IFAB) If a direct free kick goes in the own goal, no goal is obtained. The match is restarted with a corner kick for the opposing team. If an indirect free kick goes into the goal (regardless of whether the own or the opposite one), the free kick must be repeated.
1963 (IFAB) If a player dances or gestures before a free kick to confuse his/her opponent, he/she must be cautioned for ungentlemanly behaviour (FIFA).
1969 (IFAB) In a free kick no offside is possible. (When it was taken back, I haven’t found out yet.)
1978 (IFAB) If a free kick is given to a team in its own goal area, the free kick may be taken from any point within the goal area (FA).
1993 (IFAB) If the offside position occurs in the goal area, the subsequent indirect free kick may be taken from any point within the goal area (IFA).

 

Proposals for law amendments that were not accepted:

year club/association proposal reaction
1874 Harrow Chequers There should also be free kicks for infringement of the law 15 (= throw-in) and the choice and the change of ends. rejected