|The three-part Lincoln arms: Bishops|
Fleming and Rotherham flank the
arms of the See of Lincoln. In this
version the stags are statant and or.
Nominees: Each of the three arms combined in this unusually tierced per pale (divided vertically into three parts) shield refers to each of the nominees. (1) The arms of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, who founded the College in 1427. (2) The arms of the See of Lincoln (not the Cathedral, as it is listed in some places). The corporate designation of the College is "The Warden or Rector and Scholars of the College of the Blessed Mary and All Saints, Lincoln, in the University of Oxford, commonly called Lincoln College."(3) The arms of Thomas Rotherham (also known as Scot de Rotherham), Bishop of Lincoln, and later Archbishop of York and Lord High Chancellor of England, who re-endowed the College in 1478.
| 1. Left, mullet is not pierced. 2. At top,|
miter is shown from an angle. 3. Right,
in another version, used by Jesus
College, the stags are argent, not or.
Similarity to Jesus College Arms. Lincoln and Jesus are neighbors on Turl Street ("the Turl"), of which the joke is often told: "Q. How is the Church of England like Turl Street?" "A. It runs from the High to the Broad and it has Jesus." An American tourist is said to have entered Lincoln College after the Civil War and asked the porter: "Say, is this Jesus?" To which the porter replied: "You aren't the first person, sir, to confuse Lincoln with Jesus." The Jesus College arms are blazoned Vert three stags trippant argent attired or, which is the same as, or close to, the sinister section of the Lincoln arms. The earliest depiction of the Jesus arms was thought to be about 1590, in a document held by the College of Arms, referring to the stags as having a blue (azure) field, but Peter Donoghue, Bluemantle Pursuivant, reports the arms were more likely added 90 years later, on John Speed’s 1605 Map of Oxfordshire, with a blue field. The green field first appeared in 1619 in an armorial quarry painted by one of the Van Linge brothers, and was generally used by 1730, although horizontal hatchings (indicating azure) were still used on college bookplates as late as 1761. It has been claimed that Jesus stole the three stags from Lincoln, but the counter-argument is that the origins of each are distinct. Lincoln Rector Paul Langford has suggested that Jesus College continued the arms adopted by a theological college founded by Rotherham in his home town – Jesus College, Rotherham – which had been suppressed in the time of Edward VI. Another theory is that the stags derive from the arms of Maud Green, Lady Parr, mother of Catherine Parr, last of the six wives of Henry VIII and stepmother to Elizabeth I. The most likely story is that the arms of the College are those of Bishop Rotherham, and John Speed saw them on Lawrence Hall in Ship Street, given to Rotherham in 1476 and leased to Jesus College in 1572. Speed probably assumed the arms to be those of the College when drawing his map in 1605. The Jesus arms could not be confused with those of Lincoln College, because as of 1574 Lincoln's tripartite shield was confirmed by Portcullis Pursuivant.
Nelson Ong, alumnus of Lincoln College; Prof. Henry Woudhuysen, Rector; and Windsor Herald, May 2017.
Brooke-Little, John P., “The Arms of Oxford University and its Colleges,” Coat of Arms, No. 5, 6 & 7, January-July 1951.
Clark, Andrew, Heraldry of Oxford Colleges," Archaeologica Oxoniensis, II, April 1895, pp. 333-336.
Landon, Perceval, "Notes on the Heraldry of the Oxford Colleges," Archaeologica Oxoniensis, III and IV (July and Oct 1893), esp. pp. 143, 156, 199, 206.
Lincoln College, Website, https://www.lincoln.ox.ac.uk/The-College-Arms.
Warner, Stephen A., Lincoln College Oxford (London: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd., 1908), pp. 38, 38A. Free Google Books edition http://bit.ly/2pj3UF8. Warner consulted the Bodleian, the British Museum library, and the libraries of Queen's College, Oxford and Caius and Sidney Sussex Colleges at Cambridge.
Wikipedia entry on Jesus College, section on Coat of Arms.
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