Monday, March 20, 2023

Yet Another Cambridge College Coat of Arms

I know, it shouldn't be a surprise that there were a lot of different college's coats of arms to be seen about town in Cambridge, England. And today, we're going to look at yet another one!

These are, as clearly noted on the banner above the doorway, the arms of Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge.

The arms are blazoned: Argent a bend engrailed sable (for Radcliffe), impaling Or a pheon azure (for Sidney.

They are the arms of the foundress of the College, Lady Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex, widow of Thomas Radcliffe, third Earl of Sussex. She died in 1589, her will making a provision for the establishment of a new college at Cambridge.

Some records (not, alas, among the Sidney muniments, nor in the official records of the College of Arms in London, aside from 17th century note in a "book of entrances" at the College of Arms stating that "Sidney Sussex College bears these two [the arms of Sidney and Sussex] impaled") indicate that these arms were granted to the College in 1675 by Sir Edward Walker, Garter King of Arms.

Extending along the front of the building on either side of the main entranceway were a display of pennants (or penoncels) displaying alternately the arms of the College and the words "Sidney Sussex College University of Cambridge".

I must admit, it makes me wonder what other uses for heraldic penoncels might be found for decorative purposes about my home. Just sayin'.

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