The Mayor's role and history
The Coat of Arms
Since Warrington received its Charter of Incorporation as a borough on 3 April 1847 it has used three armorial bearings, of which only two were authentic and granted by the Sovereign through the College of Arms, or Herald's College.
1847 - 1897
The first arms were merely an adaptation of the Seal of the Borough. They can still be seen on the centre arch of the town hall gates, and consisted of a central shield bearing the six lioncels of the De Vilars family (first Lord of Warrington), behind which are two flags bearing the emblems of Lancashire and Cheshire (lions passant and garbs or wheatsheaves). In some representations of these arms there was a small plaque at the top bearing the words 'Anno decimo Victoria Regina' (the tenth year of the reign of Queen Victoria).
The second arms were applied for by the Mayor James Fairclough, and a Grant of Arms was issued by the College of Arms on 18 May 1897. These arms, which can also still be seen in several places about the town including the fire station on Winwick Road, consisted of a shield of ermine bearing the six lioncels, symbolising the family of the first Lord of Warrington, Paganus de Vilars, around which was a blue border bearing eight golden covered cups representing the Boteler family (whom succeeded the de Vilars). The crest used was the unicorn rampant holding a flag on which were the emblems of Lancashire and Cheshire, because of Warrington's position on the borders of both counties.
1974 - Present
On reorganisation of local government in 1974, it was no longer possible to use the arms granted to the old county borough of Warrington, and it was therefore necessary to apply to the Earl Marshall for a new Patent of Arms. These arms were designated by Mr J R Rimmer, Director of the Museum and Art Gallery, and were approved by the Kings of Arms in March 1974. The object of the design was to incorporate in the bearings charges to represent the five local authorities and two county areas which were combined the form the new borough of Warrington, which for the first time in history was to be wholly in the county of Cheshire. Since the borough was still to be called Warrington, the larger lower part of the shield was used to represent the old county borough of Warrington and consists of the ermine background and six lioncels of the first Lord of Warrington, Paganus de Vilars.
On a golden bar going across the centre of the shield was placed a red lion passant regardant between two red roses. The lion represents Lancashire county, being the arms of Edmund the first Earl of Lancaster and reminds us that a large part of the new borough had been for many years in the county. The red roses were used to represent Golborne Urban District and Warrington Rural District. The former of these two authorities being the only other of the five combining authorities to have official arms, and on its arms the red rose was a charge.
At the top of the shield was placed a wolf's head between two garbs or wheatsheaves. The wolf's head in silver on a black background represents Cheshire county, the area in which the new borough now lies, for it was the charge used on the arms of the first Earl of Chester, Hugh Lupus. The two garbs in gold on a blue background represent the two Cheshire authorities incorporated in the new borough - Lymm Urban District Council and Runcorn Rural District Council. The crest used was again the rampant unicorn of the Boteler family, but it was necessary to add the Cheshire sword between its forelegs as a distinguishing device.
The motto 'DEUS DAT INCREMENTUM' was that used by the old county borough council and roughly translated means 'God giveth the increase'.