seals of yeovil borough

Common seals of Yeovil

Examples of Portreeve's Seal 1815 and Borough Seal 1877


Yeovil was officially designated as a Borough in 1854 and at left is an example of the Seal of the Borough of Yeovil used by the Corporation.  It is from a document in my collection dated 1877 and is based on the original fourteenth century town seal used by the town's Lord and his Portreeve.

The main shield depicts Saint John the Baptist, standing beneath an arch with trees either side. He is holding a shield with a representation of the Agnus Dei, the Lamb of God.

The seal is a device for making an impression in wax, or other medium, and is also the impression thus made. The purpose was to authenticate the document.

The sealing process is essentially that of a mould, with the final image represented on the device for making the impression by a mirror-image design, incised in sunken relief, or intaglio. The seal-making device is also referred to as the seal matrix or die; the imprint it creates as the seal impression.

The seal impression in this photograph measures three inches (75mm) across and is reproduced here almost actual size (depending on your screen resolution). Impressed into red candle wax, it was placed on a bright green silk square attached to the vellum (calfskin) document.

The Portreeve's Seal photographed below, is from a document of 1815.


From my collection