An object lesson in history
The Marlborough Times and Wilts and Berks County Paper - Saturday, October 11th, 1902
The four lights of the bay are occupied by the arms of the Rulers of this country who granted the charters to Marlborough, namely, King John, A.D. 1204; King Henry IV, A.D. 1408; Queen Elizabeth, A.D. 1576; and Cromwell. It will be noticed that the arms of King John consisted of the three lions of England. By King Henry IV's time the arms had been changed to incorporate France, and comprised the lions of England quartered with the fleur-de-lys of France. The latter had, in Queen Elizabeth's time, changed to what is known heraldically as France modern, that is three fleur-de-lys. This shield also gives a harp for Ireland and a lion rampant, ducally crowned, for Wales. An exact copy is given of the seal adopted by Cromwell within ten days of the execution of Charles I. It consists of the cross of St. George in two quarterings, saltaire of St. Andrew (the arms of Scotland) in another quarter, and the harp of Ireland, in the centre being a lion (the arms of his family). Above these are the arms of the Borough of Marlborough, which are thus described by Waylen:- "Per Saltire, Gules and Azure; In chief, a Bull passant, Argent, armed Or: in fess, two Capons, Argent: In base, three greyhounds courant in fale, Argent. On a chief, Or, a pale charged with a Tower triple-towered, Ox; between two Roses, Gules. Crest - On a wreath, a Mount, Vert, culminated by a Tower triple-towered, Argent. Supporters - Two Greyhounds, Argent." It would be difficult to imagine any method by which the realities of our national and municipal history could be more vividly brought home to the minds of the rising generation than by spending half-an-hour in viewing these heraldic devices and in listening to a description of them by someone qualified to convey the necessary information.