Brackley

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  • Overseas possessions
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BRACKLEY

Incorporated into: 1974 South Northamptonshire (2021 West Northamptonshire)

Arms (crest) of Brackley

Official blazon

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Origin/meaning

The arms were officially granted on ?

The original seal was the coat of arms of Edward, the 3rd Earl of Derby, who played a big part in politics from the reign of Henry VIII, until his death during Elizabeth's reign. He was the Lord of the Manor for Brackley, at a time when the town was a 'nomination' or 'product' borough, (because of it's association with wool). He managed to get Parliamentary recognition for the town, as a result of which, two members were elected and sent to parliament. Members to Parliament; by his interest their franchise was renewed; and their trade which had long been sunk and decayed, by this great revival of their privileges began once more to increase and flourish. As a further mark of his favour, he granted them the eagle and child, the cognizance of his family, for a common seal, which they made use of and claim as their coat of arms belonging to the corporation."This seal was described in about 1618, as 'a round seal containing a representation of a swaddled baby, with an eagle with raised wings standing on it, and round the edge the inscription "Sigillum Burgi De Brackley."

Several stories were told to try and explain the significance of the Eagle and the Child. One involves the Lord of the Manor, an elderly, childless man, who adopted an infant which an eagle had brought unhurt to her eyrie in Terlestowe Wood. He named the child Oskell, and made him his heir. Oskell became the father of Isabel who married Sir John Stanley, (1350-1414), who was the founder of the Stanley fortunes.A second story involves Sir Thomas de Lathorn of Inlain. He had an illegitimate son Oskatel, whom he disowned, leaving his daughter Isabel to inherit the estate. Sir Thomas assumed the crest of 'an eagle on wing turning her head back and looking in a sprightly manner as for something she had lost.' The Stanleys later altered this and included the swaddled child. Both versions of the story are now considered to be myths!

The second Brackley seal was originally the family crest of the second Earl of Bridgewater, John Egerton, and was presented by him in the 17th Century to the Borough, because the original seal had decayed. The Egerton and Stanley families intermarried and so the present seal is the arms of Egerton quartered with those of the Stanley family.


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