Old Trinity: The Campanile’s arms identified

THE CAMPANILE has been a recognisable symbol of this college since it was erected in 1852. Descriptions of its architectural merits can be read in many books about the college, most of them pointing out the four philosophers and the figures representing the branches of learning which are visible on the tower.
All, however, seem to omit any description of the four coats of arms which can be seen on the structure. Perhaps these were easily identifiable by earlier generations and recording something so obvious was not thought necessary. This column hopes to remedy the omission.
The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom can be seen on the Parliament Square side of the Campanile. This version of the royal arms has been in use since Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne in 1837. The blazon, or heraldic language, describing the royal coat of arms is: Quarterly, first and fourth gules three lions passant guardant in pale or armed and langued azure, second quarter or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory gules, third quarter azure a harp or stringed argent.
Facing Library Square can be seen the coat of arms of Trinity College. In 1901 the Ulster King of Arms issued a confirmation of arms to the college which gave the blazon as: Azure, a Bible closed, clasps to the dexter, between in chief, on a dexter a lion passant, on the sinister a harp, all or, and in base a castle with two towers domed, each surmounted by a banner flotant from the sides, argent, the dexter flag charged with a cross, the sinister with a saltire, gules.
However, the Campanile displays a version of the college arms which was popular in college in the 19th century. In this version the lion is passant guardant, or facing the viewer, and the castle’s towers are flamant, or issuing flames, rather than domed and topped with flags as in the definitive arms. This version can also be seen above the entrance to the Museum Building.
On the side of the structure facing Botany Bay are the arms of the marquess of Waterford. Lord John George Beresford, Archbishop of Armagh and Chancellor of the University of Dublin, was the second surviving son of the first marquess of Waterford. Beresford was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University 1829 and Chancellor in 1851. The Campanile was his gift.
The arms of the marquess of Waterford are blazoned: Quarterly, first and fourth, argent, crusilly fitchée three fleurs de lis, within a border engrailed sable; second and third, argent, a chief indented sable.
Facing Fellows’ Square can be seen the arms of Beresford as archbishop of Armagh. The arms of Lord Waterford, as above, are impaled with those of the archbishopric of Armagh – that is, the two shields are joined in one. The arms of the Armagh diocese are described: Azure, an episcopal staff argent, ensigned with a cross patée or, surmounted by a pallium of the second, edged and fringed or, charged with four crosses formée fitchée sable.

THE Central Societies Committee introduced a new scarf last term. The committee members should be commended for creating a garment which is consonant with tradition, and for not contributing to the vast number of forgotten hoodies and T-shirts which satisfy individual designers’ desire for novelty, but little else.
Despite the garment itself being likely to stand the test of time, one wonders why the CSC needs a scarf at all. The group’s purpose is to distribute students’ money to the societies, and it requires no identity of its own. I did seek information on the rationale behind the scarf’s introduction, but received no reply. The committee members’ sartorial efforts would surely be better directed towards encouraging societies to resurrect their own forgotten identities.
The scarf is black with two off-centre touching stripes of just under an inch in width each, one white and one maroon.

WHAT happened to the doctor of divinity degree? The DD has only been awarded only 43 times since 1949, with decreasing regularity as the years have gone by.
The last recipient was the heresiarch Hans Küng, who was awarded the degree honoris causa in 1995. The statutes of Sir William Temple, who was provost from 1609 to 1627, prescribed that candidates for the DD must “deliver three praelections on the errors of the Roman Catholic religion”. Küng has surely done that, having spent a lifetime penning screeds against the Church.
But perhaps it would be best to forget about Fr Küng’s unfortunate degree and return to awarding the doctor in sancta theologia to deserving churchmen – unless there is some impediment of which I am not aware. It would be unfortunate if one of the university’s 10 original degrees were completely abandoned.

THIS column recently pointed out the sad fact that a hood of the incorrect shape is provided to bachelors of arts when they attend Commencements. Since then it has come to my attention that bachelors of medicine are taking their degrees in a hood of Irish simple shape, not the hood shape peculiar to Dublin University. The School of Physic will mark its tercentenary in 2011, and those preparing for the celebrations might take some action to correct this travesty and ensure that the university’s doctors are wearing the correct MB hood by then.

THANKS to Barry Devlin Sch, who wrote to confirm that “plucked” in the poem The Examination Hall means failed. He points out that it is used in Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Its synonym “cautioned” can now be confidently added to the college lexicon.

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