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The Armorial Bearings of the City of Carlisle
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The obverse is the Virgin Mary enthroned, holding the infant Saviour on her knee and having a fleur-de-lis in her right hand: on an inner circle is the angelic salutation AVE : MARIA : GRATIA : PLENA. And on an outer circle the same legend as on the reverse. The accompanying woodcut gives the obverse and reverse of the seal from Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary.

   Among the Corporation muniments is a safe-conduct of the date of 1462 with this seal appended thereto, [k] and I give here an engraving of the central portion of the reverse of the seal; the same matrices are now in use that were in use in 1462.

   This coat, a red cross fleurie between four red roses in a golden field, is on the fly-leaf of the “Dormont Book,” dated 1561. In this instance the ends of the


[k]  “Letters of safe conduct for fifteen days from James III., King of Scotland, for Richard, Earl of Warwick; William, Earl of Kent; John, Bishop of Durham; John, Lord Montagu; Ralph, Baron of Greystoke; and others travelling into Scotland. Dated at Dumfries, June 17, 1462, sub magno sigillo nostro [transl.: under our great seal]. The seal of the City of Carlisle, however, (through some cause hitherto unexplained) is appended to this document. Obverse and reverse are as above described.” From catalogue Archaeological Museum formed at Carlisle, 1859.

   This safe conduct is now, 1880, with the Corporation muniments, and it is printed in the Archaeological Journal, vol. 17, p. 54, where Mr. Albert Way describes the seal, and calls the roses sex-foils. He describes the reverse – “a plain cross with a sex-foiled flower at the intersection, between four sex-foils.” Although he calls the cross plain, it does not extend to the margin of the field, and broadens out at the ends of its arms; see the engraving. Mr Way considers the document to be a copy, merely, of a deed “sub magno sigillo nostro” to which the Carlisle seal has been fixed as evidence that it is a true copy.