Monday, September 26, 2022

College Arms on the Cambridge Train Station Façade, Part 1


Having covered the non-College arms on the façade of the train station in Cambridge, England, last time (the City of Cambridge, Cambridge University, and four local dignitaries at the time the station was opened in 1845), this post, and the next three following, will cover the arms of individual Colleges that appear on the walls of the station.

Unlike last time, where we went from left to right, for these other train station posts I am going to go in the order in which the photographs were taken, that is to say, right to left.


I am doing it this way only because it's a little easier for me to do them in the order they were taken, rather than the reverse. But it's my blog, and I'm allowed to be a little lazy if I feel like it.

Anyway, from right (beyond the frame of the picture above) to left, we have the arms of:

Girton College. These arms were granted in 1928, and the charges and tinctures are taken from heraldic insignia associated with four individuals concerned in the founding of the College: Mr. H.R. Tomkinson; Madame Bodichon (née Leigh Smith); Henriette Maria, Lady Stanley of Alderley; and Miss Emily Davies:


Fitzwilliam College. The arms were granted in 1974, but were long used by the College's predecessor, Fitzwilliam House, an organization for non-collegiate students:


Downing College. The arms were granted to the College in 1801, and consist of the arms of the founder, Sir George Downing, 3rd Baronet, differenced by the blue border charged with white roses:


Emmanuel College. (We'll be seeing more of the arms of Emmanuel College in later posts.) The arms were granted in 1588, following the Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I and Deed of Foundation in 1584. The lion is taken from the 'ancient arms' of Mildmay (the College was founded by Sir Walter Mildmay) allowed by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms, to the founder on evidence now regarded as suspect:


Trinity College. The arms were attributed to Trinity College in Parker's Catalogus (1572), and they were recorded as the arms of the College by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms in his Visitation of 1575;


and Sidney Sussex College. The arms are those of the foundress, Lady Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex (Radcliffe impaling Sydney). These arms were granted to the College in 1675:


Next time, more Colleges!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Well, Now, How Do I Go About Organizing These Arms!


I mean, really, there are several ways to do it, each and every one of which could be called the "correct" way, and each and every one of which is lacking in one way or another.

What am I talking about organizing? All of the roundels containing coats of arms on the façade of the train station in Cambridge, England. (For just a part of them, see the image directly below.) Because there are a lot of them. One source says there are 32; I only photographed 31, so either I missed one, or there is a duplicate on the façade. (Christ's College and St. John's College both use the same coat of arms, but may have been given separate roundels on the building.)


In any event, some sort of organization is needed, because even 31 coats of arms is a few too many for a single blog post. So in the end, rather that simply going from one end of the station to the other and organizing them from left to right (or from right to left, which is the order in which I took them), I'm going to start in the middle, with the arms of the City and of the University, flanking those of four individuals, "local dignitaries from when the station opened in 1845." All the rest of the arms are those of individual colleges at the University, and we will cover those in the next several posts.

So, to begin:

The City of Cambridge, on the left side of this series:


And the University of Cambridge on the right:


Then between the City and the University, going from left to right, we have:

The arms of Francis George Godolphin D'Arcy D'Arcy-Osborne, 7th Duke of Leeds (High Steward of Cambridge 1836-1850), Quarterly: 1 and 4, Quarterly ermine and azure a cross or (Osborne); 2 and 3, Gules a double-headed eagle displayed between in chief two fleurs-de-lis argent (Godolphin).


The arms of Admiral Charles Philip Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke (Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire 1834-1873), Argent on a saltire azure a bezant.


The arms of Hugh Percy, 3rd Duke of Northumberland (Chancellor of Cambridge University 1840-1847), Quarterly, 1 and 4: Grand-quarterly, i and iv, Or a lion rampant azure; ii and iii, Gules three lucies [they only show the heads of the fishes here, but I suppose they did what they could in the space available to them] haurient argent (Lucy); 3 and 3, Azure five fusils conjoined in fess argent [error: the fusils should be or] (Percy).


And finally, the arms of John Singleton Copley, 1st Baron Lyndhurst (High Steward of Cambridge University 1840-1863), son of the well-known painter John Singleton Copley. Argent a cross flory sable within a bordure azure charged with eight escallops or [error: the escallops should be argent].


And there you have it! All of the non-College arms on the façade of the Cambridge train station.

Next time, College arms galore!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Sometimes Heraldry Is Just Outside Your Hotel Room Window


On our recent trip to Cambridge, England, we stayed at a hotel in central Cambridge. Looking out the window, as we always do if only to see what the view may be, was a building whose façade was undergoing some renovation, as witnessed by all of the scaffolding.

Here's the view from our window:


And this one was taken from the street level, looking back along the front of the building:


It turns out that this is the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences in Cambridge.

And if you click on the first picture of the Sedgwick, above, to see a larger version, you might notice -- as I did at the time -- a row of shields between the windows of the top floor below the dormer windows. It turns out that these shields are of a number of the colleges of Cambridge University.

And going from right to left, here are close-ups of each of them (most at least partially obscured by the scaffolding). First, we have the arms of Jesus College:


Next, the arms of St. Catherine's College:


Queens College:


Kings College:


Corpus Christi College:


Gonville and Caius College. For those of you who are interested, Caius is pronounced "Kees":


And, finally, the arms of Clare College:


You will be seeing a lot more of these coats of arms, and a bunch of others, many in full color, as I continue our heraldic tour of Cambridge, so keep watching!

Finally, not quite heraldic, as it is something more like an impresa,* we have the main gate into the Sedgwick Museum:


Directly over the central gate is this impresa:


The altar in front of the crowned maiden with milk flowing from both breasts, who holds a sun in her right hand and a covered cup in her left, bears the words Alma Mater Cantabrigia (Cantabrigia being the Latin name of Cambridge). The surround bears the words Hinc lucem et pocula sacra (which Cambridge University says means "From hence we receive light and draughts of sacred learning", though my Latin-English dictionary gave me a much abbreviated form, "Hence the light and sacred cup". Both, I suppose, are reasonable translations. No doubt the trees on either side represent the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge.


Like any good impresa, this one is jam-packed with symbolism and meaning.

Next time, we'll see some more college heraldry. Stay tuned!




* Impresa: a device with a motto used in the 16th and 17th centuries. They were very popular in Italy, and you can even find a book on-line at Google Books about them published in 1555, and again in 1574 with illustrations, the Dialogo dell'imprese militari et amorose, by Paolo Giovio. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Cambridge Union Society and the University's Coat of Arms


So last time, we looked at some of the ways the University of Cambridge uses its arms in and about the City of Cambridge. This time, we're going to look at its use as part of the badge of the Cambridge Union Society (usually just referred to as the Cambridge Union), founded in 1815, a debating and free speech society at the University.

And because the opening ceremony of the conference we attended in Cambridge was held at the Cambridge Union building, we saw many instances of the Cambridge Union badge, which has the arms of the University prominently placed at its center.

And here, in no particular order, we find:










I did find it a bit disconcerting, taking photographs of what I thought was the arms of the University, only to find out on closer inspection that a number of them were, in fact, the badge of the Cambridge Union. Still, if you look carefully, they are easy enough to differentiate. All of the Cambridge Union badges clearly state either around the shield (for the oldest one) or on a scroll beneath the shield, "Cambridge Union Society", and most of the depictions also give the year of the establishment of the Cambridge Union, 1815.

So there you have it! Not the arms of the University of Cambridge per se, but the badge of the Cambridge Union Society which merely incorporates the arms of the University.

Big difference. Big difference. Huge. </Sarcasm off>

No, I get it. I really do. I understand why they have done this.

I just don't necessarily agree with it personally. But there you go; they never asked me before doing it, and I have to assume that they don't care a fig for my opinion about it now.

Pardon me, while I go off to tilt at some other windmill now.

Monday, September 12, 2022

And Then, Of Course ....


After the arms of the City of Cambridge, there are, of course, the arms of the University of Cambridge (Gules on a cross ermine between four lions passant guardant or a closed book fesswise gules clasped and garnished or, the clasps downward, granted in 1573).

If you turn around when leaving the train station, it is one of the first coats of arms you will see in the City.


And, naturally enough, given that Cambridge truly is a "college town", you will find the arms of the University all over the place in a number of different media.

For example, on a gate at one of the (many!) schools there:



Over a doorway at one of the University's constituent colleges:



At the University Press Bookshop:


On a banner inside the Cambridge Union:


In stained glass in a window in the same Union:



And, of course, carved in stone:


It was a treat to see the arms of the University of Cambridge in so many forms in so many different places!

But ... as we will see next time, the Cambridge Union also uses the arms of the University.

Stay tuned for our next exciting episode!

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Variations on a Theme


Cambridge, being a good-sized city in England, and even more, one with a considerable bit of history and patronage by kings, queens, and royal relatives, can boast a lot of depictions of the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom and of England, in various media and covering a span of centuries, with many of the changes that have been made to those arms over the years.

The first one that we saw, being the closest to our hotel, was a very modern depiction of the Royal Arms as currently used by HM Queen Elizabeth II over the door of the Cambridge Magistrates' Court:



We found an older version -- well, okay, several older versions -- of the Royal Arms on the great gate of Trinity College, with its statue of the College's founder, King Edward III, and his several sons:



I must say, though, that the statue of Edward III looks a lot like King Henry VIII, but maybe that's just me, because it clearly labels him as Edvarvs tertivs fvndator (Edward III, Founder) with the date 1337, well before Henry VIII's time.


Here's a close-up of the row of shields:


You can click on the image above to see a full-size photograph.

The arms of King Edward III are in the center, supported by two lions rampant guardant. The other shields are, from left to right:

     Edmund of Langley, Duke of York;
     Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence;
     Edward, Prince of Wales, the Black Prince;
     William of Hatfield, who died as an infant;
     John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; and
     Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester.

Those of you familiar with English history, the Wars of the Roses, or Shakespeare's historical plays will recognize many of those names.

Inside Trinity College, facing the courtyard, is another impressive gate, also with a statue of King Edward III (and this one looks a lot more like him!) along with two depictions of the Royal Arms (Quarterly France modern and England), one of England impaling France modern on a cartouche, and two of England (Gules three lions passant gardant in pale or).



Directly over the doorway and just below the statue of Edward III is the arms of Trinity College, Argent a chevron between three roses gules barbed and seeded proper and on a chief gules a lion passant gardant between two closed books all or.

Elsewhere, we find the same Royal Arms as used by King Henry VIII and some of his predecessors in several different places at King's College, originally founded by King Henry VI.

Over the main gate to Trinity College (and these may very well be the arms of Henry VI, pre-dating Henry VIII):



And in the Great Hall at King's College (these are definitely the arms of King Henry VIII. Notice the crown over the arms in the window, and the red dragon and silver greyhound supporters of the carved and painted arms):



All in all, a nice selection of Royal Arms, Plantagenet, Tudor, and Windsor, in a variety of media, and with both versions used by King Edward III (with the French quarters of the arms being Azure semy-de-lys or and Azure three fleurs-de-lys or).

It's almost enough to make me want to go back and rewatch Shakespeare's historical plays. (Yeah, like I need an excuse to do that! And I've got two sets of those plays - Richard II through Richard III - the 1960 Shakespeare's An Age of Kings and the 2012-2013 The Hollow Crown. Great stuff! Highlights include a young Sean Connery as Hotspur in the earlier series, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III in the later series. But I digress!)

I hope that you have enjoyed these examples of the Royal Arms from Cambridge!