A short while back Ipswich High School raised the question of where the school badge of Woolverstone Hall School originated as they were preparing some new artwork.
This initiated some research, and it is the shield from the Coat of Arms belonging to the ‘Wolverston’ family, and certainly dates back to Henry VI and probably to Hamon de Wolverston in 1291. The earliest depiction is of a knight from a 1445 manuscript ‘Sir Thomas Holme’s Book of Arms’ in the British Library.
The Norman French description is
“Sable a fess undee’ between 3 wolves’ head coupe’ Or”
Translation: Black background, with a wavy horizontal bar between 3 gold wolves’ heads.
The first son of a marriage inherited the Arms. However, by the late 16 th century Thomas Wolverston had no male heirs. His only daughter Elizabeth was also entitled to its use, and she married William Latymer of Freston.
A descendant went on to found the Latymer schools in London (1624), and the school badge of the one in Edmonton has the Wolverston Arms incorporated with Latymer.
Mary Wolverston (1525-c.1590) was married to John Killigrew, a Cornish pirate. Mary’s father Philip Wolverston was dubbed ‘the gentleman pirate of Suffolk’. He was obviously a man living beyond his means as he was fined in 1553 for selling the bells of St Michaels church for £20, and had various lawsuits against him. He sold the estate in 1580 to Thomas Gawdy (presumably to meet his debts) and as his son Thomas had no male heirs the title and Arms became extinct.
You will note that the WH School badge usually has a dark blue background rather than black – I can only assume that this was done for expediency as the blazers themselves were dark blue. I have also not been able to find out why the wolves’ heads and horizontal bar have a speckled design – a possible explanation is that in a non-coloured heraldic drawing gold is represented by dots – maybe they just got left on there by mistake? Possibly an embroidery error? Or maybe it just differentiates it from the true Coat of Arms, which no one has claimed since about 1600.