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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

The Arms of Dover

The Arms of the Borough of Dover
The Arms of Dover were used by the Borough of Dover until Local Government  Reorganisation in 1974. After this they were used by the Charter Trustees of Dover  until 1996, when they were adopted by the newly formed Dover Town Council. The Arms are in trefoil, or three lobed, form. At the top they contain a shield bearing  the Arms of the Cinque Ports, beneath this are devices copied from the seal of the  Borough dating from 1305. Beneath is a ribbon bearing the words “Ville et Portus  Dover” (Town and Port of Dover). The Cinque Port Arms show the front halves of the three lions from the Arms of  England joined to the back halves of three ships. Dover District Council has adopted a  variant of the Cinque Port Arms. The device on the lower left hand side of the Dover Arms is taken from the front of  the Corporate Seal and shows a mediaeval Cinque Ports ship believed to date from  around 1284.  The device on the lower right hand side is from the reverse of the Seal and represents the legend of St Martin of Tours, the Patron Saint of Dover. St Martin is shown on  horseback dividing his clock with his sword for the poor man he meets outside the city gate of Amiens. The Arms of Dover cannot be described as a ‘Coat of Arms’ as they are not registered  with the College of Heralds, technically it is a ‘device’ which was acquired over the  years. An attempt to register the Arms was dropped, as the question of alterations  (some of the items on the Arms are not heraldically correct) and other complications  (mainly financial) arose.