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Chronicles from the Archives: The Origin of the Sedbergh Wolf

The Origin of the Sedbergh Wolf

The Sedbergh Wolf has come to symbolise team-work, community, loyalty, competition, striving to achieve, passion and creativity. But how did this iconic image come to be associated with Sedbergh School?

Sedbergh School was founded by Roger Lupton who was Provost of Eton College, Canon of Windsor and chaplain to Kings’ Henry VII and Henry VIII. Lupton was advisor to the monarchs during the fraught separation from the roman catholic church.

Lupton was granted a coat of arms by King Henry VII which included three wolf heads. These refer to his surname Lupton which is derived from the Latin word lupus meaning wolf. In heraldry more widely the wolf represents the noble or courageous and is often used to symbolise perseverance.

Other elements of Lupton’s coat of arms include three lilies representing the virgin Mary, escallop shells symbolising the pilgrimage of Santiago de compostela, a popular religious pilgrimage during Lupton’s lifetime and the Tau cross to symbolise the support that Christ gives as well as referring to St Anthony’s Hospital of which Lupton was master.

Katy de la Rivière
School Archivist


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