The heraldic shield was in use by the late 17th century. Its heraldic
description is' Or, a cross square pierced ermine, five chevronells, gules'
The Supporters on either side are a later addition and a privilege granted
by the College of Heralds only to royalty and very ancient families and
corporations. On the dexter (right side, looking from behind) is St Chad,
one of the patron saints of the Cathedral; on the sinister side is a robed
master of St Mary's Guild. The motto "Salve, magna parens", meaning
'Hail, great mother' is Samuel Johnson's greeting to Lichfield in his Dictionary,
and is a tribute to Lichfield as both his native city and the mother city
of the Kingdom of Mercia.
Swords and Maces
Maces were authorised to be carried before the bailiffs by the
Charter of 1662. The present maces date from 1664 (Charles II) and 1690
(William and Mary). The right to have a sword carried in procession dates
from the Charter of 1686 and was presented to the City in that year by
the Recorder, Lord Dartmouth. The sword and maces are carried before the
Mayor on all civic processions.
Civic Plate and Insignia
The Mayor's badge and chain were presented by Colonel Dyott in 1873.
A matching badge and chain for the Mayoress were presented in 1934 by Thomas
Moseley. The Sheriff s badge and chain were presented by S. L. Seckham
in 1895. A matching badge and chain for the Sheriffs Lady were presented
in 1935 by H. Howe Graham. The City has a considerable collection of civic
silver, including a magnificent Ashmole Cup presented by Elias Ashmole
in 1666. The civic sword, 1690 mace, Ashmole Cup, and many other items
of civic plate, are displayed in the Treasury Exhibition at Lichfield Heritage
The right to use a common seal was granted by the Charter of 1548.
The seal portrays three dismembered bodies, depicting the legend of a massacre
of Christians at Lichfield during the Roman occupation. The seal, as remodelled
in 1688, is still used by the Council today.