HistoricaLeigh: The Right to Bear Arms

June 3, 2019 by Carole Mulroney

A recent clear out of old papers in the  Heritage Centre revealed some interesting snippets.

In 1976 the newly formed Leigh Society wrote to Southend Borough Council asking if it could adopt, as its emblem, the coat of arms of the former Leigh Urban District Council which was lost in the amalgamation with Southend in 1913. The interesting reply from the Borough Council was that the grant of arms to a local authority did not permit it to be passed on to a successor authority and the Coat of Arms of Leigh Urban District Council ceased to exist when that authority ceased.  The Borough could therefore not give permission to use the armorial insignia and suggested that the Society write to the College of Arms.

This it duly did. The grand reply came from the Hubert Chesshyre, Rouge Croix Pursuivant.  As far as he could see armorial bearings were never granted to Leigh Urban District Council so the possibility of transfer did not arise.   

He also advised that if the emblem was heraldic in nature it would be unwise for the Society to adopt it in case it resembled the officially registered arms, crest or badge emblem of another family or institution. It would nevertheless be sensible to carry out a search by the Registrar of Trademarks before using it.

So, is this why the crest of Leigh Town Council, which is reflected in the windows of the police station, shows the cockle boat pointing in one direction whilst the crest of the Society points in the other?

Answers on a postcard.

This article is by Carole Mulroney of Leigh Lives - www.leighlives.co.uk
To read all of Carole's previous article of the History of our little town, click here 


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