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FOULED ANCHOR ORIGIN

Wednesday April 14th, 2010
ImageFOULED ANCHOR

The subject of a million and more tattoos, the fouled anchor is possibly the most iconic nautical image in the world. The insignia of a anchor entwined in rope or chain has been used for over 500years and has its origins in British naval Service traditions.

In the late 16th Century the fouled anchor was adopted as the official seal of Lord Admiral Charles Lord Howards of Effingham. It had already been used by the Lord High Admiral of Scotland a hundred years earlier. The anchor itself was used as a heraldic device in ancient British coats of arms and more recently made famous by 20century cartoon icon Popeye who’s forearms adorned ink impressions of anchors.
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Comments (2)
01/03/2021 @ 10:31 am
Harbourguides Crew
FOULED ANCHOR ORIGIN
Hi Rob
Sounds very feasible. There are sometimes different opinions with some of these old nautical sayings and the version you have suggested sounds good to us.
Thanks
Harbourguides Crew
01/03/2021 @ 7:38 am
rob
FOULED ANCHOR ORIGIN
Actually, I think the symbol was originally used to represent St Clement in the 2nd century BC who was martyred by the Romans when the tossed him overboard into the black sea with an anchor tied around his neck. The fouled anchor then became the symbol of this saint and he also then was adopted as the patron saint of mariners from this time onwards. There are various versions of this anchor but in its upright position and with the rope fouled is the original version for Saint Clement, other modified versions are later incarnations. The British Navy versions are generally displayed with the anchor in the horizontal position to show Lord High Admiral and the rope has a coil rather than lying ¨foul¨ about the anchor as in St Clements version. Later the Admiralty victualing office used two anchors as their emblem during 17th and 18th century.
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