Diocese of Leicester
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DIOCESE OF LEICESTER
Gules, a pierced cinquefoil ermine, in chief a lion passant guardant grasping in the dexter forepaw a cross crosslet :fitchee Or.
The arms were officially granted on August 12, 1949.
These arms have been in continuous use since the constitution of the Diocese in 1926. They were not, however, granted until 1949.
The cinquefoil is taken as representing the Norman family of Beaumont who held the Earldom of Leicester from 1107 until the death of Robert FitzPernell, the fourth Earl, in 1206. This was the device of Earl Robert and was probably intended for a pimpernel in allusion to his surname. Subsequently it has been taken to stand for the line of the Beaumont Earls of Leicester and as such appears in the arms of the City of Leicester. In this case it is intended to indicate the county of Leicestershire with which (except at four points) the Diocese is co-terminous.
For nearly eight centuries the county was in the pastoral charge of the Bishop of Lincoln being then transferred to that of Peterborough. To express this union with Lincoln one of the two lions from the arms of the Diocese of Lincoln is taken in the chief. The crosslet is taken from the arms of the Diocese of Peterborough, which, being held by the lion, also indicates that Peterborough itself was, until 1541, part of the diocese of Lincoln.
Literature : Briggs, 1962