Middlesbrough applied for a coat of arms in 1853. The motto Erimus means We Shall Be.
The Lion in the coat of arms is the Lion of De Brus. The De Brus family owned much of the land around Middlesbrough. Robert De Brus VIII became Robert Bruce, who declared himself Scottish king after he had murdered his cousin and rival to the throne in a church. Edward I wasn’t too pleased with this and confiscated much of Robert’s lands in the north east of England. Robert and his generals took their revenge by coming down from Scotland and raided the area for season after season. He razed Acklam to the ground and continually ravaged the crops leaving the people in famine.
The Three ships signified the importance of shipping and shipbuilding to the town. In 1974, when the new county of Cleveland was created, the central ship of the crest was replaced with an estoile, from the arms of Captain Cook.