The Coat of Arms of Middlesex County Council was officially granted in 1910, but was based on a device that dated from the Tudor period.
Coats of arms were invented in the Middle Ages for the Kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. That assigned to the Kingdom of the Middle and East Saxons depicted three "seaxes" or short notched swords on a red background. The seaxe was a weapon carried by Anglo-Saxon warriors, and the term "Saxon" may be derived from the word. These arms became associated with the two counties that approximated to the kingdom: Middlesex and Essex. County authorities, militia and volunteer regiments associated with both counties used the attributed arms.
In 1910, it was noted that the county councils of Essex and Middlesex and the Sheriff's Office of the County of London were all using the same arms. Middlesex County Council decided to apply for a formal grant of arms from the College of Arms, with the addition of an heraldic "difference" to the attributed arms. Colonel Otley Parry, a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and author of a book on military badges, was asked to devise an addition to the shield. The chosen addition was a "Saxon Crown", derived from the portrait of King Athelstan on a silver penny of his reign, stated to be the earliest form of crown associated with any English sovereign. The grant of arms was made by letters patent dated 7 November 1910.
The undifferenced arms of the Kingdom were eventually granted to Essex County Council in 1932. Seaxes were also used in the insignia of many of the boroughs and urban districts in the county, while the Saxon crown came to be a common heraldic charge in English civic arms. On the creation of the Greater London Council in 1965 a Saxon crown was introduced in its coat of arms. Seaxes appear in the arms of several London borough councils and of Spelthorne Borough Council, whose area was in Middlesex.
Middlesex County Council
Coat of Arms
|Members 1889-1919||Members 1919-37||Members 1937-46|
|Members 1946-49||Members 1949-58||Members 1958-61|
Greater London Council
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- Doherty, F., The Anglo Saxon Broken Back Seax. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
- Online Etymology Dictionary - Saxon. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
- "Armorial bearings of Middlesex", The Times. London. 7 November 1910.
- The Book of Public Arms, A.C. Fox-Davies, 2nd edition, London, 1915
- Civic Heraldry of England and Wales, W.C. Scott-Giles, 2nd edition, London, 1953
- Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Essex County Council. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
- Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Middlesex (obsolete). Retrieved 20 February 2008
- C W Scott-Giles, Royal and Kindred Emblems, Civic Heraldry of England and Wales, 2nd edition, London, 1953, p.11
- Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Greater London Council. Retrieved 20 February 2008.
- Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Spelthorne Borough Council. Retrieved 20 February 2008
- Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Greater London. Retrieved 20 February 2008.