Osgoode Hall Courtrooms


Above the dais is a beautiful "Coat of Arms". As you can tell by
the shape of the canopy the Coat of Arms was a later addition,
most likely after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. The Coat
of Arms dates to medieval times when symbology was a major
form of visual communication to a largely illiterate public.

Osgoode Hall Courtroom 2 Coat of Arms

In the centre of the Coat of Arms is a shield divided into four
quadrants. The shield displays the kingdoms ruled by the British
Empire. In the upper left and bottom right quadrants is the
British lion. In the bottom left you find the Harp of Tara
representing Ireland. In the upper right is the lion rampant
representing Scotland. Earlier in history, the bottom quadrant
displayed the fleur-de-lis for France but was removed by Henry
Tudor. The Canadian Coat of Arms still displays the fleur-de-lis
symbolizing the dual nature of Canada. A blue garter, represents
the Order of the Garter, surrounding the shield and is inscribed
"Honi soit qui mal y pense" or "evil to him who evil thinks". This
is the motto of the Order and dates back to Edward III and the
Battle of Calais in 1348. The King or Queen is the protector of
this "order of chivalry". On the left and right are the supporters.
Only Royal Coats of Arms can have "supporters". The lion
represents England and the the mythical unicorn represents
Scotland. When James the VI of Scotland became James of
England he introduced the unicorn to the Coat of Arms. Beneath
the Coat of Arms is the motto of the Kings and Queens of
England. "Dieu et mon droit" or God and my right which
translates to I only answer to God. This was first used by
Richard the Lionhearted at the battle of Gissors (France) in
1198. It was adopted by Henry VI as his motto and incorporated
into the Coat of Arms. Atop the shield is the crown of the King
or Queen sitting on a helmet.

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