Medieval seals task 3

Task 3

3. This seal from 1301 is that of nobleman, John de Warenne, earl of Surrey. Noblemen were trained warriors and could be military commanders as well as major landowners, and John de Warenne was no exception. He took part in Edward I’s wars in Wales and Scotland in the 1280s and 1290s among other campaigns and duties. The pattern of squares everywhere on the seal are Warenne’s coat of arms, a chequerboard of gold and blue. Catalogue Ref: E 26/1, B57.

  • How would you describe the figure on the seal?
  • What is he holding?
  • Why do you think he has his coat of arms on everything?
  • Why might this be a useful way to identify himself?
  • What message do you think John de Warenne wants to send with this seal image?
  • Does the seal reveal anything else about the times in which John de Warenne lived?