THE BOAST OF HERALDRY - THE POMP OF POWER (2)


  Examples of Heraldry relating to Thurrock
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Thurrock Church Brasses

The Arms of the Borough of Thurrock began as a grant by the College of Arms to the Urban District Council in 1957. Supporters were added in 1977 after elevation to a Borough in 1974. Here we have an example of allusive heraldry so prevalent in local authority coats of arms.

Albatross - represents long journeys beginning and ending in Thurrock (Tilbury)
Wheel - industry and agriculture
Propeller - the ship repair industry
Boats -
commerce along the Thames; sailing barges which are now a rare sight on the Thames were built and manned from Grays.
Celtic Cross -
the establishment, by St.Cedd in the seventh Century, of the Christian church in Thurrock.
Tudor rose -
commemorates the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Tilbury in 1588. The key part of her stirring speech is worth recalling:

" Let tyrants fear; I have come amongst you at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved in the midst and heat of battle, to live or die amongst you all, to lay down for my God, and my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king."

The knight in armour is the 'supporter', Ralph Kneventon, Knight of Aveley in 1370. He has his dog with him as can be seen on his brass in Aveley church. A curious thing about this brass is that it records that in 1370 the Dominical letter was F. This refers to the day of the week on which January 1st fell i.e. the sixth day of the week, Saturday! He is standing on a keyside with its mooring ring alluding to Tilbury docks which were opened in 1886.

The sea-lion supporter is holding a block and tackle recording the fact that there was a fishing fleet at Grays in days gone by. He is spotted with drops.

black drops - represent the oil industry ( e.g. Shell)
white - cement industry (e.g.Tunnel Cement)
yellow - margarine and soap industry (e.g. Unilever and Procter & Gamble).

The blue and white bars recall the barry coat of the de Graies who gave their name to the town.

The motto, proposed by Eric Bohm, senior classics master at Palmer's school reads:
'Secundum Tamesim Quovis Gentium'
'By Thames to all the peoples of the World'

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