ONLY - Town in United Kingdom permitted to display Royal Arms of England as Town Coat of Arms
Posted by: MeerRescue
N 51° 18.982 E 000° 53.338
31U E 352886 N 5687123
Quick Description: The ONLY town in the United Kingdom permitted to use the Royal Arms of England, unchanged, as it's own Coat of Arms - The Faversham Town Council Coat of Arms, proudly displayed on street furniture in Market Street, Faversham, Kent, UK.
Location: South East England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/13/2012 7:32:08 AM
Waymark Code: WME7AN
The Faversham Town Council's Coat of Arms bearing the Royal Arms of England. In
heraldic terms it features "gules, three gold lions passant guardant" In
layman's terms it means "on a red background, three gold lions with their right
forepaws raised and their heads facing the viewer." The first Royal Arms of
England took their present form in the reign of King Richard I (1189-1199).
The Faversham Town Council have reproduced the reverse of the second Common Seal
of their predecessor, the Borough of Faversham. In the 18th century, tokens
bearing the same seal were used by trader throughout the realm due to a shortage
The second seal design is thought to date from the reign of King Edward I
(1272-1307) Round the arms of the Seal is the Latin inscription "REGIS UT ARMA
REGO LIBERA PORTUS EGO" This translates to "SINCE I BEAR ARMS FOR THE KING
WITHOUT CHARGE I AM A FREE PORT". This is in reference to the Town's corporate
membership of the Confederation of Cinque Ports as a limb (associated port) of
Dover. This suggests that in return for the town’s services to the King, he
granted it the privilege of using his Royal arms, without variation, as its own.
Because there was no Royal Navy until the 16th century, the terms of its
membership to the Confederation of Cinque Ports meant that Faversham would
provide ships and crew when required for the defence of the realm, in return it
would be considered out of the jurisdiction of the County of Kent and enjoy the
many privileges that came with it.
In 1933 it was noted by a heraldry expert that no grant of arms to the then
Borough of Faversham had survived in any official record held. This is hardly
surprising since the records do not go back the the 13th century! However, he
did cite a 1619 source that suggested that the three lions' hindquarters should
be in silver, not gold. this prevailed until Faversham Town Council sought a
resolution to their claim that they were entitled to "bear Royal Arms of
England". The outcome was that in 1990 the College of Arms confirmed that
indeed, when surrounded by it's proud Latin inscription, (see above) the Royal
Arms of England, with 3 gold lions could remain in use.
(details from faversham.org)