The Armorial Bearings of the City of Lancaster
On the 1st April 1974, Lancaster City Council officially merged with Morecambe and Heysham Borough Council, Carnforth Urban District Council, Lancaster Rural District Council and Lunesdale Rural District Council. To mark the occasion and to recognise the five newly merged authorities the original badge was 'retired' and a new badge adorned the Mayoral chain. The 'new' badge uses the Armorial Bearings of the then newly formed Lancaster City Council, which reflects the five merged authorities. These are a complete 'Achievement of Arms', in other words they contain, a shield, a crest, supporters, a badge and motto.
The shield is based on that of the former City and former Rural District of Lancaster. It is divided into white and blue, the liveries of the Duchy of Lancaster, the reigning Sovereign being the Duke of Lancaster.
Across the middle of the shield is the wave, in blue and white, from the former Arms of the Lancaster Rural District, which represents the River Lune.
In the top portion of the shield, is the lion, in blue, from the City Arms, (as it was in the former City supporters and also the former City and former Rural District Council crests).
In the lower portion of the shield, is the fleur-de-lys, from the former Lancaster City Arms. A white fleur-de-lys is the emblem of St. Mary and this represents the historic Priory and Parish Church of St. Mary in Lancaster.
Above the shield is a closed helm, with twisted crest wreath and decorative mantling, again in blue and white. The crest is the fishing boat from the Arms of the former Borough of Morecambe and Heysham and is sat behind five red roses of Lancaster. The roses represent each of the five merged authorities and are a link with the roses in the Arms of the former Lancaster City, Morecambe and Heysham Borough and Lancaster District Councils.
The supporters, in blue, are the Royal Lions and each has a gold collar. From the left hand lion's collar hangs a three tower castle, which is a reminder of Lancaster Castle and of Hornby Castle. The emblem of the former Lunesdale Rural District Council was Hornby Castle. From the collar of the right hand lion, hangs a railway engine wheel, alluding to Carnforth, which was a major railway town for many years.
Each lion rests a foot on a golden wheatsheaf, like that in the former crest of Lancaster Rural District Council and these two refer to the former rural district councils of Lancaster and Lunesdale. The motto is 'LUCK TO LOYNE' and was the motto of the Arms of the former Lancaster City Council. Loyne is an alternative name for Lune, with the River Lune running through the district and in Roman times 'Loyn-castre' was a place of some importance.
The right to the Coat of Arms is conferred by a Grant of Arms under Royal Authority. It is a limited right and one which the Grantee (the City Council) cannot pass on to a third party. A copy of the Grant of Arms is shown below.
TO ALL AND SINGULAR to whom these Presents shall come Sir Anthony Richard Wagner Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order Garter Principal King of Arms, John Riddell Bromhead Walker Esquire Member of the Royal Victorian Order upon whom has been conferred the Decoration of the Military Cross, Clarenceux King of Arms & Walter John George Verco, Esquire, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, Send Greeting WHEREAS JOHN ELLIOT Gentleman Mayor of the CITY OF LANCASTER did represent unto The Most Noble Bernard Marmaduke, Duke of Norfolk, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire upon whom has been conferred the Territorial Decoration, Earl Marshal & Hereditary Marshal of England and One of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, now deceased, that pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1972 the District Council of the District of Lancaster was duly constituted a body corporate on the Twentieth day of June 1973 to administer as from the First day of April 1974 that area theretofore administered by the Lancaster City Council, the Morecambe and Heysham Borough Council, the Carnforth Urban District Council, the Lancaster Rural District Council and the Lunesdale Rural District Council and that Her Majesty The Queen was graciously pleased to grant a Charter conferring upon the said District of Lancaster the status of a Borough and further to grant thereunto the title and dignity of a City from the First day of April 1974 and accordingly the District Council of the District of Lancaster is now the Council of the City of Lancaster That the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Lancaster are desirous of having Armorial Ensigns granted to them in their corporate capacity and he therefore, as Mayor, and on behalf of the said Council did request the favour of His Grace's Warrant for Our granting and assigning such Arms and Crest and in the same Patent such Supporters and such Device or Badge as We may consider fit and proper to be borne and used by the Council of the City of Lancaster on its Common Seal or otherwise according to the Laws of Arms AND FORASMUCH as the said Earl Marshal did by Warrant under his hand and Seal bearing date the Twenty-second day of November 1974 authorise and direct Us to grant & assign such Armorial Ensigns accordingly KNOW YE THEREFORE that We the said Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster in pursuance of His Grace's Warrant and by virtue of the Letters Patent of Our several Offices to each of Us respectively granted do by these Presents grant and assign unto the COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LANCASTER the Arms following that is to say :- Per Fess Wavy Argent and Azure a Fess Wavy between in chief a Lion passant guardant and in base a Fleur de Lys counterchanged And for the Crest on a Wreath of the Colours In Front of a Morecambe Bay Fishing Boat sail set proper five Roses in Fess Gules barbed and seeded proper as the same are in the margin hereof more plainly depicted And by the Authority aforesaid We do further grant and assign the following Device or Badge that is to say :- A Rose Gules barbed and seeded proper enclosed within five Crescents points inward conjoined Or, as herein depicted And by the Authority aforesaid I the Garter do by these Presents further grant and assign unto the COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LANCASTER the Supporters following that is to say :- on either side a lion guardant Azure that on the dexter gorged with a collar pendent therefrom by a Ring or a Grey Stone Castle of three towers proper that on the sinister gorged with a like collar pendent therefrom by a like Ring a Railway Engine Wheel proper each resting the interior hind foot on a Garb fesswise the ears inward Or as the same are also in the margin hereof more plainly depicted the whole to be borne and used for ever hereafter by the Council of the City of Lancaster on its Common Seal or otherwise according to the Laws in Arms IN WITNESS whereof the said Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms have to these Presents subscribed Our names and affixed the Seals of Our several Offices this Fifteenth day of August in the Twenty-fourth year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith and in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-five.
Anthony R. Walker L.S. Garter, J.R.B. Walker L.S. Clarenceux,
Walter J. Verco L.S. Norroy & Ulster.
The Heraldic Badge
The question is often asked as to whether the Council can permit an approved body, organisation or business within its area to use its arms. If that body, organisation or business happens to be a section of the authority itself, i.e. a school under its control, then that is permitted, but if the body, organisation or business is private, it cannot use the Arms of the Council.
However, the Council obtained a Heraldic Badge, which was granted under the same Grant of Arms as the Coat of Arms, which may be used in a variety of ways, for those private organisations who do not come under the Council's control but, who wish to show their local connection, e.g. Local Businesses, The Chamber of Commerce, Sports Clubs, Schools etc.
The Badge features the Red Rose of Lancaster, enclosed within five gold crescents, one for each of the five merged authorities. The Heraldic Badge is used for the Mayor's Consort's 'Badge of Office'.