Saturday, 14 September 2013
The fable creature (bottom photo) is holding a banner with Thomas Wolsey's coat of arms when he was Archbishop of York. The left part of the banner is the coat of arms of the archbishopric of York while the right is Wolsey's personal emblem. Notice that the banner has been crowned with a Cardinal's hat - a very obvious reference to his appointment from the Pope. It should be said, however, that the Cardinal's hat is not a part of the actual emblem but is a part of that of the Christ Church.
Cardinal Wolsey's personal coat of arms is now that of the Christ Church which he founded. Like the one beneath it is crowned with a Cardinal's hat though a black one. Wolsey was born in Suffolk and as such he has symbols belonging to the nobles of that shire. The silver cross is from the Uffolk Earls of Suffolk while the four blue leopards from both the Dukes of Suffolk and the de la Pole Earls. Notice the Tudor rose topping all this as a reference to Henry VIII and his house of Tudor. The red lion is the chosen emblem of Pope Leo X who was Wolsey's patron. The two black birds are derived from Thomas à Becket's coat of arms.
It can be found on all the buildings that Wolsey created and I am sure that if you search Hampton Court Palace you will find at least one example of this coat of arms as a reminder of the palace's original builder.