Morpeth

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Official blazon

Arms : Barry of ten argent and gules, a tower triple-towered Or; a bordure azure charged with eight martlets gold.
Motto: Inter silvas et fiumina habitans.

Origin/meaning

The arms were officially granted on May 20, 1552.

The seal of Roger de Merlay I in 1166 bore a device of a floriated design upon the branches of which sat four merles - or blackbirds, probably a pun on the name of de Merlay. His son's seal was similar to that of his father. About 1255, however, Roger de Merlay III - the first of the family whose arms assumed a heraldic form - discarded this and adopted a seal depicting three gold merles flying up a blue shield. Ten years later he had the middle part of his shield painted in stripes of silver and red within a blue border upon which were eight golden merles. He thus combined upon the coat of arms the birds of his own family with the bars of the Stuttevilles, from whose family his grandmother was descended. When the arms were granted to Morpeth, he retained 'a parcel' of the arms of the 'Noble and Valiant Knight, Sir Roger de Merlay, for a perpetual memory of his goodwill towards the town' but introduced the castle turret.

The motto means: " Dwelling amid woods and streams."

The arms are now used, without the motto, by the town council.


The arms in the town

The arms in the town

The Morpeth arms (London)

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Literature : Briggs, 1974; http://www.morpethherald.co.uk/news/local-news/town-leads-the-way-in-getting-a-coat-of-arms-1-8122834