You are here:Home arrow The Armorial Bearings of the City of Carlisle

Cumberland and Westmorland Archives

The Armorial Bearings of the City of Carlisle Print E-mail
Article Index
The Armorial Bearings of the City of Carlisle
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14

Page 8

   I have, therefore, great pleasure in giving above, on page 2, an engraving by Mr. Forbes Nixon, of what it should be. As it generally occurs with the scoring denoting the tinctures, I have desired Mr. Nixon to add the scoring, though it is more correct, and more artistic to leave it out, and he shows the modern usage of making the base of six pieces, and of giving for the castle two towers and a curtain wall, in which a gate.

   All the while that the publishers and printers were inflicting on the citizens of Carlisle as their arms Speed’s enigmatical composition, they ignored in toto a most beautiful achievement which the unreformed Corporation of Carlisle always used, as the reformed Corporation continue to do, though they also use Speed’s.

   The old Corporation of Carlisle used as their armorial bearings, a red cross patee, or fleurie, between four red roses in a golden field, while a fifth red cross [sic – should be rose] is charged on the centre of the cross. For this there is abundant evidence, going back four hundred years and more. It is to be found where one would naturally look for it – on the reverse of the common seal of the City of Carlisle, which is an attentuated cross patee between four roses or sexfoils, within the legend


while a fifth rose or sexfoil is on the centre of the cross. [j]


[j] Mr. Bellasis writes of the roses – “I suppose they are roses; our note of the Common Seal (Dugdale’s Visitation, 1666, c.39, last cal: 38) makes them ‘octofoils,’ and an octofoil is repeated on the centre of the cross, which is almost of a pattee sort, or shape.” Dugdale is not accurate; they are sexfoils on the seal.

   The Dormont Book of 1651 shows the “octofoils,” or sexfoils, to be then understood to be roses.