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Pomegranate Seal Engraving, Chesterfield, c 1900 ?
c 1900 ?
About this image
Probably a Victorian engraving of the old Corporation Seal.
The earliest seal used by the Corporation depicted a pomegranate tree and dates back to the 13th century. A drawing of this seal was taken by the Heralds in the Visitation of 1611 and is preserved in the British Museum. During the 17th century, however, a new seal "Azure, a fess Or, over all a lozenge Argent" was in use and was formally adopted in 1818. On 13th June, 1893, the council unanimously resolved "That the arms of the Borough be resumed and used and a seal engraved with a pomegranate tree eradicated and fructed be and the same hereby adopted as and for the Corporate Common Seal of the Borough; and that the arms and Seal now in use be disvouched and the Seal destroyed in the presence of the Mayor and the Town Clerk".
It has been suggested that the pomegranate motif was taken from the arms of Katherine of Aragon. There seems to be no reason why this should be so. The family of Whittington of which members were prominent in Chesterfield's early history had a pomegranate in the family coat of arms. It is therefore likely that the members of the Whittington family would use their own seal on official documents. This may explain the use of the pomegranate tree in the 13th century seal.