skip to content

Cambridge University Library


Among the insignia of the Vice-Chancellor are two signet rings. They do not appear in early lists of the Vice-Chancellors’ tradita, but may be those found in the 1624 list: ‘a gould seale ringe in a little seald box’ and the [vice-chanellor’s] ‘gould ringe seale’. The latter is probably the surviving thumb ring with the University arms, and the other, possibly, the smaller signet ring which has long been its companion, representing Athene, with helmet and spear, and the motto, ‘Si perdam, pereo’ and, on the inner surface, an English motto: ‘My only rest’. Both rings appear in tradita lists, where they survive, thereafter, and the lists for 1633 and 1636, explain the smaller ring as one ‘which Mr Tabor saith hath passed from Vice-Chancellor to Vice-Chancellor for many years as some caution belonging to the chests in the Regent House.’ The rings are described and illustrated in: A. E. Shipley, ‘Cambridge University insignia’, Country Life, 6 Dec. 1919, p. 718 and 719 and illustrated in H. P. Stokes, Ceremonies of the University of Cambridge, (Cambridge, 1927).