In use since at least 1987
Blazon: Or a saddle sable
The town lies in a saddle-shaped valley between the Jagstrand and Hardbergen mountains, which possibly gave rise to the name, and subsequently the arms.
First Earl of Leicester and Count of Meulan (1040/1050 – 1118)
From p80 of Lacies Nobilitie by Sir John Ferne (1586)
Blazon: Gules a cinquefoil ermine
Robert de Beaumont accompanied William of Normandy into England. He was created the first Earl of Leicester by Henry I in 1107. Ferne holds him in very high regard, particularly for his anti-Papal stance during the Investiture Controversy. As for his arms, Ferne states that “This Cinquefoil Ermine in a field of Mars portendeth the first bearer thereof to have merited honor, as well by the exercise of chivalry and war, as by the proof and excellency of his wisdom.” (72)
Blazon: Per fess I per pale gules a Maltese cross argent and chequy of fifteen azure and the second, II of the third a sword in bend and a spear in bend sinister, points to the chief, surmounted by “Mambrino’s helmet,” all of the second.
This depiction is not particularly accurate; the original blazon specifies that the lower half of the shield should be azure, with argent charges. Inexplicably, the official site of the city uses a very similar depiction as that seen here.
The final charge is a reference to an incident in the Cervantes novel Don Quixote de la Mancha. The titular character sees a barber caught in the rain and wearing a basin as an impromptu hat, and declares this basin to be the fabled helmet of the legendary Moorish king Mambrino, which is supposed to make the wearer invulnerable. The novel also makes reference to the town, and a local legend holds (without much proof) that Cervantes was once imprisoned in a cave near the town.
Blazon: Argent on a cross gules a mitre or; on a chief sable three escallops of the field
Crest: On a wreath of the colors issuant from a mural crown argent a demi-elephant sable armed or and gorged with a wreath of holly fructed proper
Supporters: On the dexter a lion and on the sinister a griffin or, each gorged with a collar, the dexter argent charged with three molets of five points sable, the sinister of the last charged with as many molets of as many points of the second, pendant from each a fountain
Mantling: Gules lined argent
Motto: Non sibi sed toti (Not for self but for all)
The cross, mural crown, and supporters are derived from the arms of the former borough of Holborn, while those of Hampstead yielded the mitre and the holly wreath, and the escallops and elephant are from St. Pancras. The supporters each correspond to one of the Inns of Court in the borough; the lion is for Lincoln’s Inn, and the griffin for Gray’s.
You know what, it could be worse. At least some of the way-too-many charges are interesting – you don’t see a lot of elephants, and I obviously have a soft spot for griffins. Yes, the level of detail on the collars is incredibly nitpicky, and the colors in this depiction don’t entirely match the blazon, but the actual arms themselves aren’t terrible. The argent-cross-gules is a reference to the city arms, and it obeys the laws of tincture, and honestly, the arms of the London boroughs are so weird and visually messy that I’ll just take what I can get.