CHESTERFIELD (Derbyshire). Has no armorial bearings. The laie seal showed an escutcheon charged with a fesse and thereon a lozenge. No tinctures were shown, but upon the Corporation notepaper the fesse was engraved " or." The field and lozenge being left argent, this, of course, was bad heraldry. The legend is " Burg de Chesterfield."
But the Town-Clerk has been good enough to forward me a printed notice (as under) relating to a resolution of the Council. Only the device upon the seal is officially made use of, but the subjoined notice seems to contemplate armorial usage; and therefore it cannot be too widely known that as arms the design is bogus and not of the least authority. It is a pity that when the matter was under consideration and a change contemplated, a proper and formal grant of arms was not obtained. The notice runs : —
" The Arms on the small silver Seal of seventeenth century date, enlarged about 1818 for the Seal lately in use, are, as often has been pointed out, bad heraldry, namely, metal on metal — a mistake that probably arose through the blunder of an uneducated engraver.
" The seventeenth century Arms, according to the College of Arms, were those lately used, but tinctured ' gules on a fesse or a lozenge azure.'
"These Arms were never formally granted. There is no explanation forthcoming why they were ever adopted and used, and they are certainly no older than the seventeenth century. There was no reason why they should not be discarded. On the contrary, there is abundant proof of the old Arms (or badge) on the Corporate Seal of the Borough, which were in use for some centuries before the seventeenth century Arms were used, and there was every reason to assume the old, or, proper, Arms without alteration, particularly as they are unique and highly interesting.
" From the nature of the art shown in the impression of the old Borough Seal attached to the Charter of Elizabethan date, and from the style of lettering, it is certain that the Seal from which this impression was taken was of thirteenth century date, and hence, in all probability, was the first Seal designed after the granting to the Borough of Henry UI.'s Charter. Heraldically the Arms of the Elizabethan Seal may be described as a Pomegranate Tree, eradicated and fructed. By ' eradicated ' is meant showing its roots ; by ' fructed,' in a state of fruition. Then as to colours, this can only be surmised ; but if used as Arms as well as a Seal, they will be needed. Dr Cox suggests that the field should be ' gules ' or red, and the tree ' proper,' that is, according to nature. The
description would then read, ' Gules a pomegranate tree eradicated and fructed proper.' ' Proper' would give the colours of the tree dark-green ; of the roots brown ; of the fruit yellow. The fruit is intended to be represented ' seeded,' that is, burst in the centre and showing the seeds, which was usual in the heraldic Pomegranates ; the seeds would be 'gules' or red.
" It may be added that the town of Tregony, Cornwall, has for its Arms a single Pomegranate ; so too has the Kingdom of Granada — but Chesterfield is the only instance in heraldry, private or corporate, of a Pomegranate Tree, though other trees occur rarely as Arms. The emblematic meaning of Pomegranate is 'good.'
"The Council, on the 13th June 1893, unanimously resolved ' that the Arms of the Borough be resumed and used, and a Seal engraved with a Pomegranate tree eradicated and fructed be, and the same was adopted as and for the Corporate Common Seal of the Borough, and that the Arms and Seal of the Borough then in use be disavouched, and the Seal destroyed in the presence of the Mayor and Town-Clerk.'
" Herewith is sent a wax impression of the new Corporate Seal referred to in the resolution."
Original Source bookofpublicarms00foxd_djvu.txt near line 6491.