Borough and council history

The Arms of the Borough of Thurrock

In 1936 Orsett Rural District Council amalgamated with Grays and Purfleet Urban District Councils and Tilbury Town Council, to form Thurrock Urban District Council. At this time Essex County Council enquired to the new council, which Coat of Arms could be used to depict Thurrock on the walls of the County Hall council chambers.

It appears that the first Chairman's badge of Thurrock was not made official until 1942, when the Council adopted H.M.S. Porcupine, a mine sweeper, during 'Thurrock's Warship Week' of that year, a 'Thurrock' badge being made up specially and presented to the ship, in return for a H.M.S. Porcupines badge to be hung in the council chamber. When the ship was unfortunately blown apart by a mine and finally scrapped, the official Thurrock Badge was then returned home.

In the early years of this Council the Chairman's badge became an unofficial 'arms' of the area. It consisted of a central ship in a representation of Tilbury Docks with cranes in the background. The question of the Coat of Arms was raised again in 1947 but it was stated that legally the Council had no secular authority to spend around £150 to obtain a patent of Arms.

However in 1955 such expenditure became legal and on the 20th September 1955 the council made formal application to the Duke of Norfolk, being Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, "to grant and assign such armorial ensigns as may be proper to be borne and used by the Thurrock U.D.C. and its successors". Drafts of designs were received from local people and it was suggested that the motto should be "By Thames to all the World"; Mr. F. J. Jordon, Headmaster of Palmers School and his school colleges in fact carried out the Latin translation. They confirmed the wording as "Secundum Tamesim Quovis Gentium", its translation literally meaning, "Along the Thames to all the peoples of the World".

It was suggested the symbolism used should reflect past events, people and current industries of Thurrock. For example:

  • the albatross on the top represents long journeys by sea from the Thames, to the rest of the world
  • medieval knight in armour depicts Rudolf De Knevyton whose brass image is in Aveley Church
  • wheel represents both Industry and agriculture in Thurrock
  • three ships on a blue wavy band: represents Thurrock's long Association with maritime trade
  • Celtic cross represents the establishment of Christianity in Thurrock by St Cedd in 653AD
  • Tudor rose represents the visit of Queen Elizabeth 1st to Tilbury in 1588
  • Mythical sea lion's tears represents local industry, oil, margarine and cement

A design submitted by Mr TG Pearman of Horndon, appears to have been selected and used as the basis of the Arms. The first official arms of the district were finally granted to the Thurrock Urban District Council in 1957 and were adopted for use on all Council headed note paper and on the Chairman's badge of office.


  • Grays & Thurrock Gazette 8th March 1957