Coat of arms of the London Borough of Camden

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Coat of arms of Camden. The elephant in the crest should be black, and not grey as it is depicted here, and the fountains on the supporters should be in silver and blue, not silver and black.

The coat of arms of the London Borough of Camden is the official heraldic arms of the London Borough of Camden. The arms were granted on 10 September 1965. The borough was formed by the merger of three former boroughs, the Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead, the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn and the Metropolitan Borough of St. Pancras, and symbols from their old coats of arms were taken over to the new borough arms.

The red cross on a silver field is the cross of St. George, which was present in the former coat of arms of Holborn and represents the patron saint of two parishes there and their churches, the churches of St. George the Martyr, Holborn and St. George's, Bloomsbury. The gold mitre, like that in the former coat of arms of Hampstead, refers to the Westminster Abbey which held the Manor of Hampstead for six centuries up until 1539. The black chief with three silver scallops is the same as the chief in the former coat of arms of Holborn and scallops were also present in the arms of St. Pancras; the scallops are taken from the family arms of Russell, Dukes of Bedford, who used to own land in these areas.

The mural crown in the crest is a common heraldic symbol for local municipal authority but in these arms it is also a reminder that Camden is adjacent to the old city wall of the City of London. The elephant (which should be black according to the blazon, the image here depicts it wrongly) is taken from the arms of Marquess Camden, since Camden Town is named for the first Earl Camden, father of the first Marquess Camden. An elephant like this was also present in the shield in the coat of arms of St. Pancras, but the wreath of holly around its neck in the Camden crest is taken from the coat of arms of Hampstead and originally from the old seal of the vestry in Hampstead.

The supporters are derived from the arms of Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn, both situated in the borough; the lion is originally for the De Lacy family, Earls of Lincoln, whose London home became Lincoln's Inn, while the griffin stands for Gray's Inn. The supporters are both differenced by a collar bearing three mullets and hanging from each is a heraldic fountain (which should be depicted in silver and blue since no other tinctures are specified for them in the blazon, not silver and black as they are wrongly depicted here). The three mullets of each collar symbolise the three boroughs merged to form Camden while their total number, six, represent the number of old parishes in Camden. The fountains reflects the name of Holborn, originally 'old bourne' or may represent the canals and waterways of the borough.

The motto, 'non sibi sed toti', is Latin for 'not for self but for all'. It was previously used by Holborn.[1][2]

Blazon[edit]

Arms: Argent on a Cross Gules a Mitre Or a Chief Sable thereon three Escallops Argent. Crest: On a Wreath of the Colours issuant from a Mural Crown Argent a demi Elephant Sable armed Or about the neck a Wreath of Holly fructed proper. Supporters: On the dexter side a Lion and on the sinister side a Griffin Or each gorged with a Collar the dexter Argent charged with three Mullets Sable the sinister Gules charged with three Mullets Or and pendent from the collar of each a Fountain. Motto: 'NON SIBI SED TOTI' - Not for self but for all.

Badge[edit]

On a Roundel tierced in pairle reversed Gules Azure and Sable fimbriated Or an Elephant's Head erased Argent armed Or.

References[edit]