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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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Incorporated into : 1920 Edinburgh city (1975 Edinburgh District Council (1996 Edinburgh City))

Arms (crest) of Leith

Official blazon

Argent, in the sea Proper, an ancient galley with two masts sails furled Sable, flagged Gules, seated therein the Virgin Mary with the infant Saviour in her arms and a cloud resting over their heads all also Proper.

In an Escrol below the Shield is placed this Motto "Persevere".


The arms were granted on February 27, 1889.

Leith was created a Burgh of Barony de novo in favour of the City of Edinburgh.

The arms show the Virgin and Child seated in a ship with a cloud above. The parish church of South Leith is dedicated to St. Mary, and the ship is for the port and its sea-going trade. The significance of the cloud is not clear; it appears that, during the discussions about the Grant of arms, the Town Clerk's suggestion that what appeared above the Virgin's head (and the ship) in an impression of an old Burgh seal was a protecting cloud, was accepted by Lord Lyon Burnett.

Seal of Leith

The 1563 seal (Ewe, 1972)
Coat of arms (crest) of Leith

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

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935
Coat of arms (crest) of Leith

The arms in the town
Coat of arms (crest) of Leith

The arms on a monument in Edinburgh Old Town

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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink  
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Literature: Porteous, 1906; Urquhart, 1974