Renfrew (Burgh)

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Incorporated into : 1975 Renfrew District Council

Coat of arms (crest) of Renfrew (Burgh)

Official blazon

Gules, in the sea Proper, a ship with her sails trussed up and mast and tackling, the prow ensigned with the sun and the stern with the moon crescent all Argent, betwixt two escutcheons in the honour point Or, that on the dexter charged with a lion rampant with a double tressure [flowered and] counterflowered Gules, being the Royal coat, that on the sinister with a fess chequy Azure and Argent as the coat of Stewart, and betwixt also as many cross-crosslets fitched of the Second.
The Motto "Deus Gubernat Navem".


The arms were granted on July 7, 1676, coronet added on November 24, 1932.

Renfrew was created a Royal Burgh by King David I between 1124 and 1127 and in 1397 King Robert III confirmed its status as a Royal Burgh.

The arms are similar to the device on the oldest known Burgh seal, of which an impression dated 1555-56 is on record. The ship recalls that Renfrew was once an important port on the river Clyde until the seventeenth century.
The Royal arms recall the long connection between the Burgh and the Crown; in 1404, the title of Baron Renfrew was conferred upon the heir to the Scottish throne and is still borne by him.

The Stewart arms are a reminder that Renfrew was the first abode in Scotland of the Eitzalans, who became High Stewards and later succeeded to the Throne as the House of Stewart.

The sun and moon are common enough features in municipal heraldry, though Porteous makes the interesting suggestion that they may have been included to indicate that out of obscurity (the moon being night) the Stewarts rose to the brilliance of Royalty (the sun being day).

The two cross-crosslets may refer to the Latin motto "God steers the ship".

The arms are now used by the Community Council.

Seal of Renfrew (Burgh)

The 15th century seal (Ewe, 1972)
Seal of Renfrew (Burgh)

The former Burgh seal
Coat of arms (crest) of Renfrew (Burgh)

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

The arms of the Community Council

Literature: Urquhart, 1974; colour image from