Monday, December 7, 2015

HERALDRY: Trinity College, Oxford (Updated Apr. 15, 2016)

Shield of Trinity Coat of Arms, granted
 by Sir Christopher Barker, Garter King of
Arms, to Sir Thomas Pope.
The following extends the discussion of Oxford college coats of arms in Oxford Today, Michaelmas issue, pp. 45-50.

Blazon: Per pale or and azure on a chevron between three griffins' heads erased four fleurs-de-lys all counter-changed. ("Counter-changed" is a translation of the Latin transmutatus and the French de l'un en l'autre.)

Authority: Patent granted from Sir Christopher Barker, Garter King of Arms, June 26, 1535: Party per pale or and azure on a cheveron between three gryphons heads eraſed four fleur de lys all countercharged. The following year, October 15, 1536, "he [Thomas Pope] was knighted by Henry eighth, amid the ſolemnities attending the creations of the earl of Southampton, and the gallant Edward Seymour, earl of Hertford, afterwards the famous duke of Somerſet." (Warton, 1753, 16-17.)

Full Achievement of Trinity College
Coat of Arms. Source: Brooke-
Little (1951).

Full Achievement: The full achievement of arms includes two griffins azure and or as a crest on a crown. See arms at right from the collection of Oxford college coats of arms that John P. Brooke-Little (1927-2006) published in 1951 under the auspices of the Heraldry Society. He rose to become Clarenceux King of Arms, second-highest-ranking officer at the College of Arms.

Nominee of Arms: Sir Thomas Pope, Founder, a Hertfordshire man who shared his family arms with the college at its foundation in 1555 and asked for daily prayers in perpetuity, a request that has reportedly been honored ever since. The arms are on his tomb in the College Chapel.

Institutional History: Durham College was founded in about 1286 for the Benedictine monks of Durham and was a cell of that monastery. In 1544 it was suppressed as part of Edward VI's extension of Henry VIII's acquisition of the property of the Roman Catholic monasteries. Eleven years later, almost immediately upon the accession of Mary Tudor, Sir Thomas purchased the old Durham property and founded on it Trinity College. Sir Thomas, who was a Roman Catholic, made a founder's plea to future generations of students to pray for his soul. He and his wife may have been concerned about his possible punishment in the next life for having enriched himself as a manager of the sale of monastic properties on behalf of  Henry VIII and his successors.

Physical History Highlights: Trinity used the old buildings of Durham College, especially those clustered now around what is called Durham Quad. For example, the Old Library at Trinity has windows from the Durham College Chapel, including one showing the coat of arms of an ancestor of George Washington. The current Trinity College Chapel was built in 1691 in the presidency of Dr. Bathurst; the carvings by Grinling Gibbons have recently been restored using the highest standards of care and the chapel will reopen soon.

Intellectual and Religious History: Because of its Catholic founder, Trinity College has continued to have an allegiance among Roman Catholics, although its chapel has Church of England services. It has consistently over the years attracted students from Ampleforth College, for example. It also seems to have had a way of pushing high-church Anglicans toward Rome. John Henry (later Cardinal) Newman was a student at Trinity College and later converted to Roman Catholicism. Ronald Knox was appointed Trinity's (Anglican) Chaplain during the administration of Herbert Blakiston. When students went to war, enrollment plummeted, Knox resigned for lack of meaningful work, and eventually converted to Rome. He returned to Oxford as its Catholic Chaplain at the Newman Center; Trinity's Fellows elected him a member of the common room and he ate at the college regularly. Other famed Trinity Alumni leaders include: the first and second Lords Baltimore (George Calvert, founder of what became the State of Maryland, and his two son Cecil; another son  Leonard was Governor; all three were alumni); Lord Wilmington, Prime Minister; William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, PM; Lord North, PM under George III; Lord Stanhope, Whig Leader. Famed Trinity Alumni writers include: Viscount Bryce (The American Commonwealth), Lord Clark (Civilization), James Elroy Flecker, Walter Savage Landor, and Q (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch).

Related Heraldic Highlights: As mentioned, both of the first two Lord Baltimore were alumni of Trinity College. The City of Baltimore, Md., is named after Cecil. The name of the Baltimore Orioles came from the black and red colors in the coat of arms granted to the second Lord Baltimore. Trinity College's former Senior Tutor, Michael Maclagan, was also Richmond Herald of the College of Arms. The current President of Trinity, Sir Ivor Roberts, is a Welshman and former H.M. Ambassador to Italy. His granted coat of arms uses a Welsh motto Bid ben, bid bond, translated into Latin as Fiat princeps, fiat pons–"Be a leader, be a bridge."

Sources 
Barnard, Francis Pierrepont and Shepard, Major T. Arms & Blazons of the Colleges of Oxford. London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Brooke-Little, John P., "The Arms of Oxford University and Its Colleges," The Heraldry Society, 1951.

Clerehugh, R. H. A. A Concise Guide to Colleges of Oxford University. Oxford: The Chapter House, Christ Church, 10th ed., 1992.

Warton, Thomas, B.D., Fellow of Trinity College and F.S.A., The Life of Sir Thomas Pope: Founder of Trinity College Oxford. London: Thomas Cadell in the Strand, 1753, 2nd ed., 16-17.

Acknowledgment
Thanks to Paul Walton for showing me his copies of the Barnard & Shepard and Clerehugh books and to Claire Hopkins for directing me to useful sources,

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 . Lincoln CollegeSt Catherine's . St Cross College . St Edmund Hall . Trinity College :: Regent's Park College . St Benet's Hall . 

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