BELFAST (Co. Antrim).
BELFAST (Co. Antrim). Party per fesse argent and azure, in chief a pile vair, and on a canton gules a bell argent; in base, a ship with sails set argent, on waves of the sea proper. Supporters — (Dexter) a wolf proper, ducally gorged and chained or ; (sinister) a sea-horse gorged with a mural crown proper. Crest — A sea-horse gorged with a mural crown proper. Motto — " Pro tanto quid retribuamus."
Granted by Sir John Bernard Burke, C.B., Ulster King of Arms, 30th June
Upon a seal referred to in the will of Henry Le Squire, dated 1643, and which is still in existence, the arms exactly as granted are engraved, with the solitary exception that the two sea-horses are without mural coronets, and that they are surmounted by an Esquire's helmet and mantling. " Master Le Squire " above mentioned was sovereign of the town 1635-36 and '39. He was then agent and seneschal to the Lord Edward Chichester. The dexter supporter and the pile vair are of course derived from the Chichester achievement.
In Burke's " General Armory" the arms are wrongly blazoned as per fess argent and azure, in chief a pile vair, in base a ship with sails set of the field, on a canton of the second, a tower of the first. Crest — A sea-horse proper. Supporters — (Dexter) a wolf, (sinister) a sea-horse, both proper. The grant is certainly dated later than the last edition of the " Armory," but the arms, so far as the Editor is able to ascertain, have never been so used. This description of them appears to have been taken from a note in the handwriting of Sir William Betham, Ulster King of Arms. For some reason the sea-horses have been frequently wrongly credited with wings. An interesting pamphlet to which I am indebted has been published, entitled, " An Enquiry into the History and Authenticity of the Belfast Arms," and is by John Vinycomb, F.S.A.
Original Source bookofpublicarms00foxd_djvu.txt near line 3325.