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The Armorial Bearings of the City of Carlisle
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 field a red cross fleurie or patee; and that a member of that family, Hildredus de Carliol, or de Carlisle, was sheriff of Carlisle (not Cumberland) in the reigns of Henry I. and Henry II.

   Another local hero, Andrew de Harcla, the gallant defender of Carlisle in the siege by Robert Bruce in 1315, also bore Argent, a plain red cross, cantoning a martlet. [q] A beautiful initial letter on the Charter granted to Carlisle by Edward II. represents Harcla, recognisable by the arms on his shield, defending Carlisle with great vigour and force. The citizens evidently thought much of him, and probably remembered his banner and arms long after Andrew de Harcla had gone to his death-verse on Haribee Hill, but the colour of his shield, and the shape of his cross differ from those of the City of Carlisle. That City probably took its arms from those of the family of De Carlisle.

   It yet remains to account for the red roses. I think that those have been adopted in honour of the Virgin Mary, whose cult prevailed extensively in Carlisle, and whose emblem the red rose is. [r]  The Cathedral was dedicated to

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[q]  In Nicholas’s Roll is –

   “Sire Michel de Herteclaue de argent a une crois de goules. Sire Andrew de Herteclaue meisme les armes e un merelot de sable.”

[r]  The usual emblem flowers of the B.V.M. are the lily and the flowering almond. But she is addressed in the ancient sequences as “Rosa sine spina” [transl.: rose without thorn] – “Rosa spinis carens” [transl.: rose lacking thorns] – “Rosa speciosa” [transl.: shining rose] – “Rosa mystica” in the Litany of Loretto. Strictly her rose was the rose of Jericho, which was called “Rosa Mariae,” and should be represented with four petals. I do not think this rule was adhered to, for on an aumry in the Cathedral I find the five-petaled rose, and Prior Gondibar, whose initials are also there, probably intended to honour the patroness of the Cathedral. It may be added that the lily took its origin, together with the rose, as an emblem of the Virgin Mary from a misapplication of a passage of Scripture – “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys” (Song of Solomon, ii-1). The early commentators all applied this passage to Christ or (and more correctly) to his Bride the Church. But when, in later times the cultus of the Virgin Mary was developed, the words were assigned to her. The “rose” here is not a rose at all, but to judge from the Hebrew words used, some bulbous plant growing on the plains, and, probably, a narcissus. Hence the terms, addressed to the Virgin Mary, “Rosa sine spina,” “Rosa spinis carens,” were perhaps more correct than was intended. The so-called rose of Jericho, sometimes mentioned in this connection, was simply a curious plant (Anastatica hierochuntina) picked up by the pilgrims on the hot sandy plains near Jericho, and from its dry ligneous character easily conveyed home as a relic. I am indebted to Canon Prescott for some of the above information; also to Mr. Bellasis and the Rev. T. Lees.

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