Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HERALDRY: Regent's Park College, an Oxford PPH

Shield of Regent's Park
College, a Permanent
Private Hall (PPH).
Blazon: Argent on a cross gules an open Bible proper irradiated or the pages inscribed with the words DOMINUS JESUS in letters sable on a chief wavy azure fish or.

Authority: The arms appear to be of no authority and are therefore unofficial. They appear to date to 1927, when the College moved to Oxford.

Full Achievement: The arms have a motto – Omnia probate quod bonus tenet. This is from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Thessalonians 5:21 and is translated: "Test all things; hold fast to that which is good." The achievement includes a crest that appears to be the facade of a building where the college was located in London.

Meaning:  The cross of St George identifies the institution as English.  The Bible and the fish (as symbol of Jesus, from the Greek word for fish ΙΧΘΥΣ, ICHTHUS – an acronym for Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ, Jesus Christ Son of God Savior – identify the institution as Christian. The wavy blue water line in chief suggests the Baptist Church.

Full achievement of the coat of
 arms. The building in the
crest is unidentified.
Institutional History: The Regent’s Park College web site includes a link to the official College site. The College describes itself as having originated as  "an Education Society", called the Baptist Education Society in 1752. In 1810 it evolved into the Stepney Academy in East London. As it pioneered in assisting Baptist students in applying to Oxford, the number of Baptist-affiliated students at Oxford grew nearly nine-fold, from three in 1827 to 26 in 1850. In 1856 it moved seven miles across London to Regent’s Park, and adopted the name of the Park that it still carries. 

Intellectual and Religious History: The College's original mission was to provide a place to study for Nonconformists, followers of religions other than the Church of England. It offered a University-level education in the Arts and Law and trained future Baptist clergy as well as people like classical scholar W. H. D. Rouse. In 1841, Regent’s Park College was affiliated with the newly formed University of London. In 1927, the College moved to its third, current, site in Oxford. In 1957 it became a Permanent Private Hall (PPH) of the University of Oxford.

Other Posts on the Arms of Oxford Colleges and PPHs: Original Article in Oxford Today . Heraldry as Branding . Heraldry as Fun .  Coat of Arms vs. Crest . Sinister Questions . Visit to the College of Arms . Windsor Herald Talks to New Yorkers . Shaming of Harvard Law Shield :: Rapid Expansion of Oxford's Colleges and Halls . Oxford Stars . Links to Heraldry, Oxford, GW . Harris Manchester College . Linacre College . St Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . Alphabetized List of Posts

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