The arms were officially granted on May 21, 1947.
In 1936 the then Chairman of Worcestershire County Council invited Councillors to subscribe to the cost of obtaining a formal Coat of Arms. Between then and 1940 sufficient funds were in fact raised, but the Second World War caused the matter to be postponed. Eventually the College of Arms granted the Coat of Arms by Letters Patent on 21 May 1947 at a cost of £100. These arms were used until Worcestershire County Council ceased to exist on 31 March 1974
The College of Arms granted approval for the Arms to be re-used in 1997 because the nature and boundaries of the 1998 county are so similar to that which existed before 1974. The Order in Council allowing re-use of the Arms was laid on 23 October 1997.
The arms show a tree bearing black pears. Black pears appear in the arms of the city of Worcester, and as such have long been considered a county badge.
The gold mural crown was included in grants of arms to many County Councils.
The arms were officially granted on June 10, 1963.
The arms are based upon the unofficial arms previously used by the Borough, which were adopted at some point in the 18th century, as they appear in that form in a cartouche on Doharty’s 1753 map of the town. There seems little doubt that the Borough appropriated, with the substitution of bezants for plates, the existing arms of Kidderminster Inn, a house in Chancery Lane in London occupied by lawyers of the Court of Chancery. Kidderminster Inn had been built by Edmund Kedermister or Kidderminster of Langley Marish, Buckinghamshire around 1600, and he adapted his family coat of arms (Azure two chevronels Or between three Bezants) for the arms of the building. When the Corporation of Kidderminster, realising, it would seem, that the arms of Kidderminster Inn were an adaptation of those of the Kidderminster family, took details from both sources, e.g. the bezants from the family coat of arms and the four roundels per chevron from those of Kidderminster Inn. Another theory is that the black roundels added for difference may have been suggested by the red roundels in the arms of the See of Worcester.
When the new arms were granted in 1963, the gold roundels or bezants were removed and the black roundels or pellets were increased. The bee symbolises industry and the two shuttles represent the carpet trade of the town.
The kid and cross, symbolising a minster church, are a canting or punning in visual terms reference to the name ‘Kidderminster’.
The ram symbolises the wool used in carpet-making and the stag is from the heraldry of the Clares. Sir Ralph Clare of Caldwell was first High Steward of the Borough and an important local landowner.
1791 Worcestershire Kidderminster Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: A wool pack between palm branches. PAYABLE | AT . T . SANTER | KIDDERMINSTER in three lines above
Reverse: Shield of arms dividing the date 17-91, between laurel branches. HALFPENNY.
D&H Worcestershire No: 23 A. 22
There has always been a lot of controversy surrounding Worcester’s Coat of Arms and there have been many variations made during its long history. In 1864 the Coat of Arms was described as such:
“A quarterly sable and gules over all a castle triple towered argent on a canton of the last a fess between three pears sable”.
Translated into everyday terms this meant a black a red shield divided into quarters with a silver coloured three turreted castle in the upper right-hand quarter with a horizontal stripe across the middle of the shield between three black pears.
However until the beginning of the 17th Century the Coat of Arms displayed the castle alone but in 1634 the ‘castle’ coat was registered along with the coat bearing the black pears and were described as the ancient and modern arms of the City of Worcester.
Tradition has it that it was during the visit of Queen Elizabeth I to Worcester in 1575 that Worcester acquired its second coat of arms featuring the black pears. It is said that during her procession through the streets of Worcester the Queen saw a pear tree which had been planted in the Foregate in her honour. She was so pleased at the appropriateness of the tree growing right in the heart of a fruit growing region, that she bade the city add the emblem of pears to its Coat of Arms.
It may be legend too that the Worcester Archers rallied under the pear trees before the battle of Agincourt and it is interesting to note that the pear blossom was borne as a badge by the Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry from the beginning of this century until 1956.
The City’s motto Civitas in Bello et Pace Fidelis – ‘The City faithful in war and in peace’ – is thought to refer to the City’s support of the Stuart cause. In 1621 Worcester was granted a charter by James I declaring the City to be a county in itself, separate from the County of Worcestershire – ‘The County of the City of Worcester’. This distinction came to an end with the reform of the local government in 1974.
1788 Worcestershire Worcester Halfpenny Conder Token
Obverse: Visit of George III August 6-8 1788 W. A. & CO.
Reverse: A shield crowned, inscribed WORCESTER . AUGUST . 6 . 7 & 8 . in four lines, M . B . F . ET . H . REX . F . D . B . E T . L . D . S . R . I . A . T . ET . E . 1 7 8 8 .
D&H Worcestershire No. 33 A. 30