York (England)

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Official blazon

Argent on a Cross Gules five Lions passant guardant Or.

Origin/meaning

When the arms were officially granted is not known, but it is likely that the arms were granted by King Edward III (1327-1377). He made York his capital when fighting the Scots. The arms show the cross of St. George, the patron saint of England, and the lion of England. The arms were officially recorded in 1587 after the 1584 Visitation.

The right to use the sword, mace and cap by the mayor of York was granted in 1396 by King Richard II, when York received county status. The cap is normally only used by dukes, not by cities. Even though these attributes are not formally granted, they have been used behind the arms since the 18th century.


The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905

The arms on a Wills's cigarette card, 1906

The arms on a Dexters cigarette card, 1905

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1925

The arms on Thomson and Porteous cigarette card, 1906

The arms on a token or medal from 1811

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Literature : Scott-Giles, C.W. : Civic heraldry of England and Wales, London, 1932 and information provided by the York Council.