Diocese of Oxford
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DIOCESE OF OXFORD
Sable, a fesse argent, in chief three demi ladies couped at the waist, heads affrontee, proper, (ducally] crowned Or, arrayed and veiled of the second; in base an ox also argent, horned and hoofed gold, passing a ford barry wavy of six argent and azure.
The arms were recorded at the College of Arms.
The Diocese was founded in 1542 at the Osney Abbey, which was elevated to the seat of the diocese. At the time the diocese had two chapters, one in Osney, the other in St. Frideswide's in Oxford. Already in 1546 seat of the diocese was transferred from Osney to St. Frideswide's.
During the first 4 years the following arms have been attributed to the diocese : Azure, two bendlets or.
The base shows the arms of the city of Oxford The meaning of the heads is not clear; they have been described as a reference to the kings that played a role in the foundation of Oxford University. More likely, they probably represent St. Frideswide and her two patron saints, Cecilia and Catherine.
The arms on a cigarette card, 1907
Arms of Bishops
John Fielder Mackarness (1870-1889)
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Literature : Briggs, 1963; McCarthy: Armoria Sedium.