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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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Arms (crest) of Ipswich

Official blazon

Arms : Per pale Gules and Azure in the first a Lion rampant Gold armed and langued Azure in the second three demi Boats of the third.
Crest : On a Wreath Or and Gules a demi Lion Or supporting a Ship Sable.
Supporters : Two Horses of the Sea commonly called Neptune's Horses maned and fined Gold.


The arms were officially granted on August 29, 1561.

The arms are based on the arms of the Cinque Ports, the five harbour towns that were supposed to provide support for the Royal Navy for several centuries. The common arms of these cities were English lions with ship-hull tails.

Seal of Ipswich

Medieval seal of Ipswich.
Arms (crest) of Ipswich

The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
Arms (crest) of Ipswich

The arms on a Wills's cigarette card, 1906

The arms on postcard (pre 1910)
Arms (crest) of Ipswich

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935
Arms (crest) of Ipswich

The arms on a postcard, 1970s

The actual wording of the 1561 charter

To all and singuler as well kinges heraldes and Offycers of armes as nobles gentlemen and others which these presente shall see or here Wyllyam Heruye esquyre otherwyse named Clarencieulx principall heralde & kinge of armes of the sowthe East & west parties of this realme of engla'd sendith due com'endac'ons & gretinge. fforasmoche as auncyentlye from the begin'ynge the renowne off auncient cytes & townes corporat bath ben com'endid to the worlde by sondry signes & tokens in shilde called armes which ar none other thing then demonstrac'ons of the good deserts and lawdable acte and costomes of the inhabitante of the same; Emong the which I the said Olarencieulx kinge of armes haue at this present specially noted the right wourshipfull & well disposed persons the baylyffe & burgesses of the towne of Ypswiche who hath well & wourshipfully guyded & behaued themselues in all hu'ble obedience towarde theyr prince and contrey from the begynnynge, so that they by theyr seuere orders and couragious procedings bane rather augmentid the estate and com'enwealth of theyr sayd towne then otherwyse decayed the same, wherby they haue well merited and deseruid to be in all places of honnor & wourship accepted and receyned and to haue, vse & beare such signes & tokens in shilde called armes as shalbe mete & conuenyent for a further declarac'on of theyr comendable procedings herin. And wheras at this p'sent John Gardyner and Jeffrey Gylbert bayliffe of the. sayde towne of Ypswiche beinge vncerteyne of the auncient armes belonginge to theyr saide Towne and corporac'on and not willinge to do any thinge preiudiciall to any manner of person or persons hath instantlye requyred me, the saide Clarencieulx kinge of armes, to make searcbe in the registers and recordes of myne Offyce and to assigne vnto them theyr right & auncient armes. Wher­ vppon consideringe theyr requeste so iuste and resonable I have accordinglye made searche in my sayde regesters and recordes and haue fownde the antyquyte therof, so that I coulde not without theyr great preiudyce alter or change the same, but accordinge to my callinge in offyce ratyfye and confyrme theyr saide auncient armes as followithe. That is to saye partye par pale gulz and azure in the firste a Lyon rampant regardant golde arrnyd and langued azure, in the second thre demy botes of the thirde. And for a testimonye and further encrease of theyr wourshippes, I haue graunted and assigned vnto them for an augmentac'on of theyr sayde armes healme & Creaste to supporters, that is to saye vppon the healme a demy lyon golde supportinge a shyppe sables on a wreathe argent and sables ma'teled gulz dobled argent, and for theyr supporters two horse!'\ of the sea argent cornmonlye called neptunus horsses manyd and ffynnyd golde supportinge the owlde and auncyent armes belonginge to theyr towne and corporac'on as more playnelye aperith depicted in this marge't, which armes healme & Creast with the two supporters I the sayde Clarencieulx kinge of armes, by powre and auctoryte to myne office anexed and graunted vnder the great seale of England haue ratefyed and confirmed geuen and graunted and by these presentes do ratefy and confyrrne geue and graunte vnto the sayde John Gardener and Jeffery Gylbert at this present baylyffe of the sayde towne of Ypswyche and to all the burgesses and comunaltye of the hole corporac'on of the sayde towne of Ypswyche and to theyr successors for euermore by the name of baylyffe burgesses and comunaltye, and the same armes healme and Crest to vse beare & show in shild seal ban'er bannere or banner-rowles st.anderd or standerde pennon or pen'ons pencell or pencells to theyr hon'or and wourshippes at theyr lybertye and pleasures without Impediment lett or interrupc'on of any person or persons. In 11ittnes wherof I the sayde Clarencieulx kinge of armes haue herunto subscrybed my name and sealid the same with the seale of myne offyce and the seale of myne armes the xxth daye of August in the yeare of owre lorde god 1561 and in the third yeare of the reigne of our moste dread souereigne Ladye Elizabeth by the grace of god Queene of England ffraunce and Yrland deffendor of the faythe &c.

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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink Ralf Hartemink arms.jpg

Literature : Information provided by the Ipswich Council.