The earliest surviving grant of arms is dated 4th August 17 Elizabeth (1575). However, the text of this grant makes clear it is a grant of augmentation to an existing coat of arms by the addition of a crest and supporters. The document states that the arms have been borne by the town since the reign of Henry VI (king from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471). No grant of arms from this reign is known, but Henry did grant a number of important charters to the town and the arms may have been adopted at the same time as one of these charters.

The Arms
The arms are depicted on a shield which is divided into two approximately equal parts, one above the other. The upper half is white (or silver) and has two red roses side by side; the lower half is red and has one white (or silver) rose in the centre.

The Crest
The crest sits above the arms and consists of a sliver Knight's helmet with a wreath of silver and red, surmounted by a green mound with a golden castle. The figure of the queen rises out of the castle, holding in her right hand the sword of Justice and in her left the balance of equity.

On either side of the arms are two ships floating on the sea. Two golden lions rise from the fore part of the ships and confront each other in rampant pose, supporting the coat of arms with their forepaws.

Southampton Coat of Arms

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