The school badge is a birthmark that often goes unnoticed. Apart from the top-left quadrant (which clearly refers to a place of learning), each quadrant refers to families who, at one time or another, owned the land on which the school stands.

 

(Top): The Vizor & leaves above the shield are from the City of Birmingham Coat of Arms.

 

  (Top Right): From the Botetourt family’s coat of arms (see opposite). In 1323 the Earl of Dudley died and part of his land was inherited by his daughter, Joan, and her husband, John de Botetourt. Joan and John had one son, who came to own Weoley Castle. It appears that the land then fell into the ownership of the Earl of Warwick by the 1340s.

 

  (Bottom Right):  From the Throckmorton family’s coat of arms (opposite). At some point, the school’s land came to be owned by this very infamous family; owing to their connection to the Gun Powder Plot of 1605. Their descendants still reside in Coughton Court in Alcester.

 

  (Bottom Left): From the Mortimer family’s coat of arms (opposite). In 1349 the Earl of Warwick granted some of his lands between Bromsgrove and Kings Norton to Roger de Mortimer. At the same time, it appears that a tenement farmer, by the name of John Colmer, was forced or required to surrender his land to the Mortimers. John Colmer lost his land but is forever immortalised in our school.

 

(The Bearers): These Lions are the Arms of the Burnell Family. Sir Hugh Burnell became Lord of Frankley by marrying Joyce de Botetourt (see above). This marriage also gave him Weoley Castle. He was created Lord Burnell in 1349 by Edward III and entered parliament.

 

The 14th century was a very turbulent time in English history. Between 1326 and 1330 a bitter family-feud saw King Edward II overthrown by his wife Isabella and her young son, Edward. By 1330, Edward III had shaken off his mother’s dominance and ruled without her interference – or that of her lover, Roger de Mortimer. Isabella was forced into retirement and Roger was executed – giving way to his son, also called Roger de Mortimer (see above). Then, between 1337 and 1453, England was locked in the 100 Years War with France.

 

At the time that John Colmer surrendered his land to the Mortimers, Europe was being visited by the Black Death (1348-1350s), in which 30% to 45% of the population died. It is possible that John Colmer was forced to surrender his land (as so many did at this time) because he was unable to farm it owing to the absence of available farm labourers.