Cromwell Coat of Arms and Motto

A coat of arms was a badge adopted by warlike families and later by certain corporations.  It originated in the shield carried by warriors and was ornamented to distinguish the different bearers.  Shields were covered with paint, metal or hide, “colours”, “metals” and “furs”, which were classed as “tinctures” and constituted the “field”.  The shields were usually strengthened by bands of material (“ordinaries”) and ornamented with other symbols that were called “charges”.

When the College was able to adopt its arms, it strengthened its connection to the Lord Protector by securing permission from the surviving head of the Cromwell family to bear Oliver Cromwell’s personal arms; a lion argent rampant on a field sable.

The Cromwell family motto Pax quaeritur bello“Peace is sought through War”, did not reflect the vision of the Cromwell College founders and was changed to Ubi spiritus ibi libertas,  “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty,” a more suitable affirmation of the dreams, vision and aspirations of the founders of Cromwell College. This motto comes from the Latin version of the Second Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians, Ch 3, Verse 17.  “Now the Lord is Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

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