Page researched by Doug Lambert and Mike Garrett.
The Bear and Ragged Staff The   origins   of   these   emblems   are   lost   in   the   distant   past,   but   have   been   associated   with   the   earls   of   Warwick   since   at   least   as   early   as   the   14th century.   William   Dugdale,   writing   in   the   1650s,   said   that   Arthgal,   an   Earl   of   Warwick   at   the   time   of King   Arthur,   thought   that   his   name   came   from   the   Welsh   "artos"   or   bear.   He   also   suggested   that   the ragged   staff   was   chosen   because   Morvidus,   Earl   of   Warwick,   killed   a   giant   with   the   broken   branch   of a   tree.   Of   course,   neither   of   these   earls   really   existed   and   Dugdale   was   just   recalling   medieval legends. The bear was a common heraldic device and implied boldness and courage. The   bear   and   the   ragged   staff   were   first   used   by   the   Beauchamp   family,   who   became   earls   of Warwick   in   1268,   as   a   badge   or   mark   of   identity   in   to   addition   to   their   own   coat   of   arms. At   first   the emblems   seem   to   have   been   used   independently.   The   bear   alone   appears   on   the   tomb   of   Thomas Beauchamp   I   (died   1369),   in   the   chancel   of   St   Mary’s   Church   in   Warwick.   In   1387   Thomas   Beauchamp II   (Earl   from   1369   to   1402)   owned   a   bed   of   black   material   embroidered   with   a   golden   bear   and   silver staff,   which   is   the   earliest   known   occurrence   of   the   two   emblems   together.   His   great   seal   of   1397 depicts   the   Beauchamp   coat   of   arms   between   two   bears,   and   his   privy   (or   private)   seal   of   the   same date   a   bear   on   all   fours   with   a   ragged   staff   behind.   The   great   seal   of   his   son,   Richard   Beauchamp (earl   from   1402   to   1439),   has   a   crest   supported   by   two   bears   each   holding   a   ragged   staff.   His   tomb (in   the   centre   of   the   Beauchamp   Chapel   on   the   south   side   of   St   Mary’s   Church)   has   an   inscription   in   which   the   words   are   separated   alternatively   by bears and ragged staffs. Richard is known to have used banners embroidered with bears or ragged staffs, though apparently not the two combined. Another   Earl   of   Warwick   to   use   the   two   devices   together   regularly   was   Richard   Neville,   the   "Kingmaker",   who   married   Richard   Beauchamp’s   daughter and   heir.   From   at   least   as   early   as   1454   he   used   a   seal   bearing   the   impression   of   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   to   authenticate   deeds   and   letters.   However, he also used them as separate badges: in 1458 his retainers are recorded as wearing red coats with silver staffs only embroidered front and rear. Robert   Dudley,   Earl   of   Leicester,   favourite   of   Queen   Elizabeth   I,   and   great-great-great-great-grandson   of   Richard   Beauchamp,   is   known   to   have   used the   combined   device   of   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   frequently.   It   can   be   seen   in   many   places   on   the   walls   of   the   Leicester   Hospital   in   Warwick,   which   he founded   in   1571,   and   on   a   chimney   piece   in   his   castle   of   Kenilworth.   Inventories   of   the   furnishings   of   the   castle   mention   cushions,   bedcovers,   and bookbindings decorated with the design, and his suit of armour (now in the Royal Armoury) is heavily decorated with ragged staffs. In   1759   Francis   Greville,   Earl   Brooke   of   Warwick   Castle,   was   created   Earl   of   Warwick   (the   Greville   family   were   distantly   related   to   the   Beauchamps, and   had   acquired   Warwick   Castle   in   1604).   The   following   year   Francis   obtained   a   grant   for   himself   and   his   heirs   of   "the   crest   anciently   used   by   the Earls of Warwick", that is "a bear erect argent, muzzled gules, supporting a ragged staff of the first". This   crest   has   been   used   by   the   earls   of   Warwick   to   the   present   day,   but   over   the   centuries   has   also   come   to   be   associated   with   the   county.   Thus   the 1st   Warwickshire   Militia   regiment   (originally   raised   in   1759,   but   reorganised   under   the   Earl   of   Warwick   as   Lord   Lieutenant   in   1803)   bore   the   bear   and ragged   staff   as   its   collar   badge   until   attached   to   the   Royal   Warwickshire   Regiment   in   1881.   The   Warwickshire   Constabulary   (founded   in   1857)   also adopted   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   as   their   badge.   Warwickshire   County   Council   (formed   in   1889)   obtained   the   permission   of   the   Earl   of   Warwick   to adopt the bear and ragged staff for their common seal in 1907, and many other organisations have since followed this lead. The Cross-Crosslets The   "three   cross-crosslets   gules   on   the   chief   or"   in   the   county’s   arms   are   taken   from   the   arms   of   the Beauchamps,   who   were   earls   of   Warwick   from   1268   to   1449.   They   are   perhaps   the   most   famous   of   all the   families   which   have   held   the   earldom   of   Warwick,   and   this   together   with   the   world-wide   fame   of the   Beauchamp   Chapel   in   St   Mary’s   Church   in   Warwick   makes   the   inclusion   of   their   arms   in   the County’s armorial bearings particularly appropriate. The Mural Crown The   crown   over   the   shield   is   known   as   a   mural   crown,   because   it   looks   as   if   it   were   made   of   stone. Mural   crowns   have   battlements   to   resemble   the   walls   of   a   medieval   town.   The   symbol   is   commonly used in the arms of county or borough councils. Use of the Coat of Arms These   arms   are   specific   to   the   County   Council,   and   may   only   be   used   by   it.   However,   the   bear   and   ragged   staff   is   widely   used   to   denote   a   connection with   the   county   and   there   is   no   restriction   on   its   general   use,   provided   that   it   is   not   identical   to   the   versions   used   by   either   the   earls   of   Warwick   or the   County   Council.   If   you   wish   to   use   the   line   drawing   the   usual   colouring   is   silver   bear   and   staff,   with   a   gold   collar   and   chain,   and   a   red   muzzle, standing   on   a   red   background.   Please   note   that   the   bear   should   be   muzzled   and   chained   to   distinguish   it   from   the   crest   of   the   earls   of   Warwick,   where the bear is muzzled but not chained. Information courtesy of Warwickshire County Council.
Motel Branding