Judas College, Cambridge (originally the arms of Trepenny, Barons St Just)

    sa 30 plates 6,6,6,6,4,2 


Around 1388 Sir John Trepenny (“Black Jack of Cornwall” c1327 – 1403) famously boasted he was “twice the man than is this feeble Prince” referring to Richard II, second son of Edward, the Black Prince, with whom Black Jack had fought shoulder to shoulder at Crecy. Both Richard’s father and elder brother, Edward of Angouleme, had predeceased his grandfather, Edward III. On Edward’s death in 1377, therefore, Richard ascended the throne as a boy of ten. The title Duke of Cornwall had been revived for Richard after his father’s death and, as such, his arms were Sable fifteen Bezants (think Duchy Originals), a coat based on that of Richard, the first Duke of Cornwall 1209 – 1272. Making good his earlier boast, Black Jack adopted Sable thirty Plates as his own arms in support of Henry Bolinbroke, Richard II’s cousin and eventual usurper. After Henry IV’s seizure of the throne, Black Jack was rewarded for his support with the Barony of St Just and its tin revenues. In the mid 15th century a gentler, more pious Lord St Just established from these revenues what was first known as the “Refuge Contemplative of the Holy Sacrifice” on the site of Juden’s Hall in the burgeoning University of Cambridge. By the 1530s its members had become a byword for unctuous hypocrisy and it was this, coupled with the college’s origins and the Trepenny arms - which had been appropriated by the College - that caused it to become known as Judas. From the Reformation the name stuck.

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