Heraldic Badge of Droitwich Spa
Accepting that, as a civic authority, only the Town Council was permitted to “bear and use” the Armorial Bearings (Arms and Crest) under the Laws of Arms, the Town Council in 1980 petitioned Garter King of Arms in London for the grant of a Heraldic Badge, which could be displayed by social or sports clubs, other local groups and organisations.
A preliminary design for a Heraldic Badge was prepared early in 1981 and final version received by the Town Council in November 1981 under Letters Patent under the hands and seals of the King of Arms.
The description of the Badge is as follows:
A lion stands in front of a pair of salt barrows against a background Gules (red), the roundel being encircled by a wreath composed of leaves of the wild pear.
The lion and salt barrows require no explanation, being taken from the Coat of Arms. The wreath of wild pear is meant to indicate that Droitwich lies in the County of Worcester, which has pears among its emblems.
The lion was shown “statant” (i.e. standing) on the original design but in the final approved version it is depicted “passant”, as if moving across the salt barrows and occupies the central portion of the roundel.
For those interested in the Armorial Bearings from which the Heraldic Badge is derived, these were granted to the Town and Borough of Droitwich under the hands of the York Herald and Rouge rose Pursuivant at the Heralds Visitation of Worcester in 1634. The description of those Arms is:-
Gules – a Sword of State points downwards
Argent – surmounted of two Lions passant or Impalling Quarterly
First and Fourth – Chequy Argent and Sable
Second and Third – Gules two Barrows erect in fesse Argent
The Droitwich Coat of Arms
In 1215 King John signed a charter that gave the burgesses of the town all the brine pits and salt dues in return for an annual payment of £100. King John thus became a special patron of Droitwich. His coat of arms was two leopards.
The King later sold the annuity to his relative ‘William Long Sword’ hence the addition of the Sword on the original Coat of Arms that was used throughout the thirteenth century.
Heralds, knowing nothing about leopards, always depicted them as lions on all fours! Later the ‘chequers’ were added. These represent the chequered tablecloths on which the salt dues were paid to the burgesses whose office was housed in the Exchequer House on the corner of Friar Street and St. Andrew’s Street and now known as the old Town Hall.
The ‘spoons’ are symbols of the salt industry. They portray the wicker moulds in which the salt was cast. They were known as ‘barrows.’
The Latin inscription under the Coat of Arms reads:
SAL SAPIT OMNIA
‘Salt Flavours All’