Braintree and Bocking
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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom
BRAINTREE AND BOCKING (Rural district council)
Incorporated into: 1974 Braintree
Arms : Gules on a Cross quarter pierced Or two Lions rampant in pale Azure and two Fleurs-de-Lys in fess Vert.
Crest : On a Wreath of the Colours in front of two Swords saltirewise hilts in base Argent enfiled by a Mural Crown Or three pierced Mullets Gules.
Motto: 'HOLD TO THE TRUTH'
The arms were officially granted on March 21, 1927.
The shield itself has no special origin, but the lions and fleur-de-lis (lilies) are derived from arms of two important families. The blue lions are taken from the arms of William of Santa Maria, Bishop of London. He granted Braintree the right to hold a market and fairs. This transformed Braintree from a country village to a market town.
The lilies are taken from the arms of the Courtauld family, who were the first to establish an important manufacture in the town. The three spurs are also taken from the Courtauld arms, as is the motto. The family used the French version, Tiens a la Verite.
The crossed swords are the symbol of St. Paul, as the Bishops of London were for several centuries Lords of the Manor of Braintree. The patron saint of London is St. Paul. The mural crown is the heraldic symbol of masonry and alludes to the new town hall, the gift of William Julien Courtauld.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Index of the siteLiterature: Scott-Giles, C.W. : Civic heraldry of England and Wales, London, 1932; Briggs, G. : Civic and corporate heraldry. Heraldry Today, Ramsbury, 1971.