|THE HAMPSHIRE ROSE|
THE question of an official emblem for Hampshire County Council first arose soon after the Council's establishment in 1889. At that time, the rose surmounted by a crown was already established as representing Hampshire; variants on this theme had been used since the reign of Charles I, notably in legal documents and on the seal of the Custos Rotulorum (the keeper of the county's records and chairman of Quarter Sessions). After research and discussions, the County Council adopted the former county badge in 1895. This consisted of the rose and crown with a cap surrounded by a wreath of laurel leaves; the first use of this form of the device appears to have been in 1842.
THE red rose had been used as a symbol of Hampshire for much longer. The rose is that of Lancaster, but the story behind its adoption by Hampshire is lost in history. One account holds that the red rose was granted to Hampshire soldiers by Henry V for their valour at the battle of Agincourt, but there is no record confirming this. Another theory traces the link to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, the brother of Edward I. It was Edmund who brought Somborne Hundred into the Duchy of Lancaster in 1283, creating the Hampshire - Lancaster connection. When the Duchy of Lancaster was joined to the Crown by the accession of Henry IV in 1399, the crown would have been added to the red rose of the royal duchy. The crowned rose is featured on the Stockbridge borough mace, dated 1681.
The Hampshire Rose is widely used in the arms of Hampshire people and places. Southampton's arms show three roses; so do those of William of Wykeham, from whom Winchester College and New College, Oxford derived their arms and roses. The arms of Petersfield show a red rose. The rose in the centre of the Round Table in the Great Hall is a Tudor, not a Hampshire, rose, representing the union of York and Lancaster; but the Table was repainted in the reign of Henry VIII, and we do not know what was there before.