The Cambridge University Heraldic & Genealogical Society

Examples of Coats of Arms

University of Cambridge


The arms of the University of Cambridge granted in 1573 by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms and a graduate of St. John’s College.

The blazon is:

“Gules, a cross ermine between four lions passant gardant or, and on the cross a closed book fessways gules clasped and garnished gold, the clasps downward”

The original blazon read: “Gules sur ung croix dermines entre quatre Lions passant d’or Livre de gules”

The blazon means:

On a red background (gules), a white cross with black ermine tails (ermine) between four yellow (or) lions walking but with one leg raised (passant) and facing the observer (gardant). On the centre of the cross is a closed red (gules) book with its spine horizontal (fessways) with gold clasps and decoration and the clasps pointing down.

Victoria University of Manchester


The arms of the Victoria University of Manchester (founded 1880). Arms granted to its predecessor, Owen’s College, Manchester on October 14th, 1871.

The blazon is:

“Argent, a serpent nowed vert, on a chief nebulee azure, a sun issuant or.”

The blazon means:

The shield is white (argent) and shows a green (vert) snake (serpent) in the form of a knot (nowed). The top third (chief) is blue (azure) and separated from the rest of the shield by a line which has cloud-shaped waves in it (nebulee). On this top third is a yellow (or) sun emerging from the dividing line (issuant).

University of Nottingham


The arms of the University of Nottingham (founded 1948) granted to University College, Nottingham in 1904 and confirmed in 1948.

The blazon is:

“Barry wavy of six argent and azure, a cross moline gules; on a chief of the last an open book proper clasped or inscribed with the words ‘Quaerenti Ostium’ in Roman characters sable between two domed towers also proper, that to the dexter ensigned with an increscent of the first and that to the sinister with an estoile also or.”

The blazon means:

The shield has six horizontal lines (barry) alternatively white (argent) and blue (azure) and which are wavy. On them is a red (gules) cross of which the arms don’t reach the edge of the shield but which are flared in a certain conventional manner (moline). Above the main part of the shield is a red (gules) horizontal stripe (chief) on which are a book showing the words Quaerenti ostium between two capped towers in their natural colours (proper); above the right (dexter) [to someone standing behind the shield] one is a white (argent) crescent and the above the left is a yellow (or) star with six rays.