Leeds nostalgia: Leeds gets its coat of arms back... in 1985

Leeds's historic coat of arms, pictured, dominated by its three owls, was set to make a welcome return to official council correspondence.

Saturday, 28th April 2018, 12:40 pm

The heraldic symbol had disappeared from all official council documents, except those of the Mayor of Leeds, in 1974, when local government was re-organised. They were replaced by three interconnected arrows, meant to represent Leeds’s three motorways, the A1, M1 and M62.

Part of the design of the coat of arms comes from Thomas Danby (1631-1667), the first mayor of Leeds after the city received its charter in 1661 from King Charles II.

Danby was son of Sir Thomas Danby who had served with the Royalists during the English Civil War - the family had held property in Leeds since the 15th Century.

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Part of Danby’s crest included three ‘mullets’ seen on the black bar. These were star-shaped bits of metal thrown under the hooves of an enemy horse in battle.

The Latin motto, Pro Rege et Lege, means “For King and the law”.

These owls came from the Coat-of-Arms belonging to Sir John Savile the first Alderman of Leeds. The owls are European eagle owls.