No. 200

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  January 2022


George Robson (FN 57-64) has submitted the following, taken from an old Bulletin, regarding the school badge.

A correspondent has suggested that members would be interested to have some information about the Arms reproduced on blazer, car and other badges. It may be wise to preface this brief description by emphasising that the school does not possess its own coat of arms and has merely ‘borrowed’ that of its Founder, and that many of the reproductions have been far from accurate. This appears to have been due sometimes to incorrect interpretation of correct heraldry, but probably more often to the difficulty of reproducing the details and colours in a small space at reasonable cost. For the sake of simplicity, heraldic terms have been avoided wherever possible.

Archbishop Grindal’s Arms consist of two coats on one shield. That on the left facing the viewer contains the Arms of the See of Canterbury. They consist of a blue background on which is a white Y-shaped pall, edged and fringed with gold and ornamented with four black crosses which represent the pins to hold the pall in place. Behind the pall appears the top and bottom of a white upright staff headed by a gold cross which looks like, but is not actually a Maltese cross. The other half contains Grindal’s personal Arms which comprise a shield divided into four quarters by a cross. In the top left and bottom right quarters are blue doves on a gold background and in the other two quarters white (or silver) doves on a blue ground. The cross itself is coloured gold where it verges on the blue, and black, sprinkled with white ermine spots, where it verges on the gold.

The school badge has indulged in several variations. In the last century, the Arms were sometimes surmounted by an ark with a dove carrying an olive branch flying above it; the two halves of the shield were reversed incorrectly and beneath was the motto ‘Ingredere ut Proficias’. I am not sure when the present reproduction was introduced but, presumably for reasons of brevity, the motto became “Expecta Dominum”, the ark was deleted and the dove with olive branch has been retained only for the OSB Club’s badge and buttons.

There has been much argument about the species of bird, and some reproductions may have justified the guesses ranging from hawks to penguins, but there is little doubt that doves are intended and they would certainly seem appropriate for a gentle and peaceful prelate. I understand that the Arms may be seen in a stained glass window in the Hall of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

(The current school’s motto is a reversion to ‘Ingredere ut Proficias’.  Ed.)

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