Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Coat of Arms

The History of the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Coat of Arms

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Coat of Arms
Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Coat of Arms

Have you ever wondered how the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Coat of Arms is made up and what the history is behind it all?

ARMS: Per pale indented Argent and Gules on a Chief Or three Torteaux that in the centre charged with a Pierced Cinquefoil Ermine the others each charged with a Mascle Or.

CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours a Dragon Gules preying on a Boar passant Argent.

SUPPORTERS: On either side a Ram reguardant Sable armed Or.

MOTTO: 'POST PROELIA CONCORDIA' - After the battle, concord.

GRANTED: 15th November 1974.

In 1974 The Borough of Hinckley and Bosworth was formed by the amalgamation of the Hinckley Urban District and the Market Bosworth Rural District, except for the Parish of Ibstock.

A breakdown of the Coat of Arms

All these families were prominent in the neighbourhood.

Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester (1208 - 1265)

Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester (1208 - 1265)
Simon de Montfort, in a drawing of a stained glass window found at Chartres Cathedral which is a medieval Catholic cathedral located in Chartres, France, about 50 miles southwest of Paris.

Simon de Montfort gave England its first representative government.

When the English army of King Henry III was conducting a disastrous campaign in Poitou in France the King decided that he needed a quick local victory to boost morale. "We will fight the French, in front of the town of Saintes," declared the King to his barons. The king may well have done so if Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, had not used considerable pressure to force Henry to retreat from the dangerous position in which he had put the army.

Simon de Montfort was to become second only to the King as the most powerful man in England. Simon de Montfort married the king's sister Eleanor, the marriage made de Montfort the King's brother-in-law.

De Montfort, born in France and very much a Frenchman during his early years, had come to England to claim lands which had belonged to his ancestors and which had lapsed. He stayed, and became so much an Englishman that he regarded England as his mother country.

In 1248, trouble broke out in France (Gascony), the most unsettled and distant of the King's possessions. Gascony was badly in need of a firm ruler and since de Montfort was such a man, Henry sent him out as Governor of the province. Within twelve months, he had introduced some form of order, by destroying their castles, besieged the quarrelsome towns and built a chain of forts right across France.

The Gascons hated de Montfort, they petitioned Henry in England and he repaid de Montfort for his good work by siding with the Gascons. When this view was brought to de Montfort, the Earl demanded a public inquiry. De Montfort returned to England, to face a trial for misgovernment with was to take place at Westminster.

For de Montfort, popularly acknowledged as the man who gave us Parliament, had for long been thinking that more people should have more of a say in the government of England. De Montfort won his Gascony trial against the King and although their quarrel was patched up, they continued to hate each other.

There were other barons who were becoming disaffected with the King's irresponsible rule, and they showed it by arriving at a Great Council meeting fully armed. Led by de Montfort, they forced the King to accept reforms, which were called the "Provisions of Oxford." A Parliament was to be called and a permanent council of fifteen, of whom de Montfort was one, was to control the King's actions. Henry, plunged in debt, seemed to have no choice but to agree.

14th May 1264 de Montfort's army met the King's army on the South Downs north of Lewes, Sussex. During the battle Henry III left the safety of Lewes Castle and St. Pancras Priory to engage the Barons in battle and was initially successful, his son Prince Edward routing part of the Baronial army with a cavalry charge. However Edward pursued his quarry off the battlefield and left Henry's men exposed. Henry was forced to launch an infantry attack up Offham Hill where he was defeated by de Montfort's men.

De Montfort's hold on the land was loosened in 1265 the year of the first Parliament and defecting barons hurried to join the growing army of Prince Edward, the King's son who was to become Edward the First.

4th August 1265, Prince Edward met the earl's weakened army at Evesham in Worcestershire. During the battle, de Montfort was soon unhorsed but he fought defiantly on foot and within in a short while he was surrounded and stabbed and mutilated his body horribly.

Simon de Montfort Simon de Montfort
Simon de Montfort in full battle dress and banner

According to Fox-Davies 'Complete guide to heraldry' the banner shown above is borne for the honour of Hinckley.

Sir Wolstan Dixie (1576 - 1630)

Arms of Dixie

Sir Wolstan Dixie of Market Bosworth great-nephew of the first Sir Wolstan Dixie, and father of the 1st Baronet. Knighted by King James I in 1604, then of Appleby Magna. In 1608 he moved to Market Bosworth in 1608 and began work on the original manor house and Dixie Grammar School. In 1614 he was High Sheriff of Leicestershire and in 1625 its representative in Parliament.

Thirty years after his death, in 1660, his son, the then elderly Sir Wolstan Dixie, 1st Baronet was also appointed Sheriff of Leicestershire and created the first of line of the Dixie baronets by Charles II of England when the exiled King returned from France.

Sir Roger de Grey, 1st Lord Grey of Ruthyn (1298 - 1353)

Arms of de Grey

Roger was summoned to parliament as a baron in 1324, he saw much service as a soldier (hundred year war) before his death on the 6th of March 1353.

He was the son of John Grey, 2nd Baron Grey de Wilton, by his second marriage, to Maud Bassett, a daughter of Ralph Bassett, 1st Baron Bassett. He married Elizabeth daughter of John Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings of Bergavenny, by whom he had a son who succeeded as Reginald Grey, 2nd Baron Grey de Ruthyn.

William Ferrers, 1st Baron Ferrers of Groby (1272-1325)

Arm of Ferrers of Groby

William Ferrers obtained, by gift of Margaret de Quincy (1218-1280), his mother, the manor of Groby in Leicestershire, assuming the arms of the family of De Quincy.

William Ferrers married Anne Durward, (daughter of Alan Durward) their son was William de Ferrers, 1st Baron Ferrers of Groby.

William was an important commander in Edward I's wars in Scotland, and his arms are entered on the Falkirk Roll of 1298.

He fought in Flanders in 1295 and helped mount the Siege of Carlaverock in 1300. He saw further service in Scotland in 1303, 1306, 1308 and 1311.

He was summoned to many councils (parliaments) for diplomatic negotiations and ceremonial duties such as Edward II's coronation, and performed other such duties that the Barony was duly created for him.

Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester (1150 - 1204)

Arm of de Beaumont

Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester was an English nobleman and the last of the Beaumont earls of Leicester. He was sometimes known as Robert FitzPernel.

The cinquefoil in the arms illustrated is said by some to represent a pimpernel, as a play on words with Robert's alternative name, Robert fitzPernel.

As a young man, he accompanied King Richard I on the Third Crusade, and it was while the crusading forces rested at Messina, Sicily that Robert was invested with the Earldom of Leicester in early 1191. (His father had died on his way to the Holy Lands in 1190.)

Robert's newly gained estates included a large part of central Normandy. He held castles at Pacy, Pont-Saint-Pierre and Grandmesnil. Earl Robert also was lord of the vast honor of Breteuil, but the family castle there had been dismantled after the 1173-1174 War.

On his return from the crusade, he turned his attentions to the defense of Normandy from the French. After defending Rouen from the advances of Philip II of France, he attempted to retake his castle of Pacy.

Robert was captured by forces of the French king and remained imprisoned for 3 years.

In 1196 he married Loretta de Braose, daughter of William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber. During their time together they had no children.

1204 Robert's death brought the end of the Beaumont male line.

In April 1265, when Simon de Montfort was Steward of England, he sent messengers from Gloucester to Loretta (Roberts wife) at Hackington to try to clarify the "rights and liberties" attached to the office formerly held by her husband.