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The Bridgwater Maces
from the Bridgwater Town Council Archive

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"All three are of the Restoration Period and the largest, the Warwick Mace, dates from the first year of Charles the Second's reign - 1660. This is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship in silver, and measures 3ft 2in from the acorn at the smaller end to the cross surmounting an orb - badly restored in brass - at the larger end. The Royal Arms are contained in a circular plaque beneath the arcading of the crown, below the base of which, in relief, is the inscription "Charles II, King of England, Scotland, Ireland and France, 1660." The head is divided into four panels, each separated by a grotesque cayatid figure, and enclosing within scroll-work and escutcheon, one of which contains the Bridgwater town arms - a castellated bridge - and the others a cotised cross on a gold ground."

"The whole is richly ornamented with the Stuart symbols of acorns and oak leaves, worked in repousse and chased, and supported by four cast scroll-brackets."

"The shaft is divided into three unequal parts below the head by two gadrooned knops, the oak leaf and acorn motive being engraved throyghout its entire length. The foot also containes repoussé ornament, and together with the knops, brackets, head and crown is of silver gilt."

"There is no doubt that this mace was carried when the ill-fated Duke of Monmouth was proclaimed King in Bridgwater Market Place in July 1685, and in all probability it preceded James II on the occasion of his visit to the town in 1686."

"The two smaller maces - each measuring 2ft 7in long - are similar in most respects to the largest except that they are not surmounted by crowns, having a cresting of entwined oak leaf ornament with escutcheons instead. In two of the panels a crown above a sprigged rose takes the place of the cotised cross."


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Webpage 1 March 2013. All Content © Bridgwater Heritage Group, unless otherwise stated (Dr P E Cattermole image of crest on Warwick mace). All rights reserved, do not reproduce material without permission.

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