THE SEAL OF THE CANADA COMPANY
by Daniel Cogné
Associate Member of the Académie internationale d'héraldique
We find here the seal of the Canada Company, which had an important role in the colonization and development of Upper Canada. This paper impression was affixed in Toronto on 3 January 1844 to a deed of land to William Carroll. Founded in 1824, the Company was granted Armorial Bearings by the English Kings of Arms on 15 June 1825.
They are blazoned as ‘Argent on a cross of St. George Gules a lion passant guardant Or; in the first quarter a beaver, in the second a saw surmounted by an axe in saltire, in the third a plough, and in the fourth a garb, the whole proper; a chief Erminois thereon a rose Gules charged with another Argent barbed and seeded proper between a thistle on the dexter side slipped and leaved and a trefoil on the sinister, both also proper.'
The cross of St. George and the beaver (castor canadensis) shown here were already depicted in the Arms of the Hudson's Bay Company. It is interesting to note the mistake made by the engraver of the seal is that the lion passant found on the cross is not guardant as it should be.
The axe and saw symbolize the lumber business in Upper Canada. The plough and the garb, already found in the Arms of the State of Pennsylvania since 1777, remind us of the agricultural activity of the settlers. The heraldic flowers depicted in chief are obvious ethnic allusions.
A crest and supporters were also granted to the Company. They are not shown here mainly because the Attornies of the Company used a simpler version of the Arms for their seal.
National Archives of Canada, MG 53, A 60. Diam. 68 mm. Photo N103373.
(Reference: Heraldry in Canada/L'héraldique au Canada, Vol XXIII, NO. 5, December 1989)