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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Common Seal of Lyme Regis

The picture on the left shows a reversed photograph of the Borough of Lyme Regis seal matrix, which is on display in the Museum (on loan from Lyme Regis Town Council). The design of the seal is believed to date from the 13th century, when King Edward I granted the town its Royal Charter – although this particular matrix is likely to be of more recent manufacture.

The seal shows a mediaeval-style ship bearing the cross of Saint George on its masthead, together with a scene of the Crucifixion on the left. On the right, St Michael the Archangel (to whom Lyme Regis parish church is dedicated) is seen trampling on a dragon. The Latin inscription reads SIGILLUM COMVNE DE LIM, meaning "Common Seal of Lyme".

The Common Seal of Lyme is featured in a new series on the History of Lyme Regis in Museum Objects on the Museum website, produced by the Museum's research team. If you follow the link, you will find a number of in-depth PDF documents you can download, including one on this subject written by Thea Hawksworth.

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