What’s in a name?

There have been many versions of St Loye through the ages. He signed himself Eligius, the Latin form of his name, which comes from eligere meaning to choose. Here’s an example of his signature. 

Signature of St Loye

Loye also appears as Eloy, Éloy, Éloi and Loy. Other variants of Eligius include Eligio and Eligiusz. Would you call your child Eligius?

My name is Clare, but is often mis-spelled Claire. Then there are the variants Clair, Clara, Klara, Chiara, Clarissa, Chiara, and so on. The Irish County Clare comes from the name of a small bridge. Otherwise, Clare and the others come from the Latin for clear or bright.

What about your name? What are its origins and what does it mean?

The Working with Gold logo

I wanted a logo for Working with Gold that was distinctive and related to St Loyes. I didn’t want generic community-style clipart, or something abstract that was a logo for the sake of having a logo. Thankfully, St Loye is the patron saint of gold smiths, and gold was a good avenue to pursue.

The Royal Society of Chemistry website includes a periodic table of alchemy. Gold is one of seven metals and represents perfection. Here are the symbols for gold that I considered adapting.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.I love this image. It’s really strong, and incorporates the L and O of Loyes. The different shapes within it could represent different aspects of the ward and connections between them. It also has echoes of smithying. I just wasn’t sure how to stretch the design to make it work on the web, in print, on stamps, etc etc. I hope to use it in a specific project.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.Gold also represents the sun in astrology. The rays could either represent connections, or be stubs of boundaries with other areas. It also reflects St Loyes being in the east of the city where the sun rises. However, I decided it was too ‘wispy’.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.This is the main symbol for gold. It could represent the boundary of St Loyes, and for example the Middlemoor roundabout. St Loyes is a sort of ‘digestive system’ for Exeter, as a hub for transport, a source of raw materials for building, and a location for utilities and communications companies. So this image lends itself to being extended with concentric rings, indicating the ripple effect from St Loyes to the rest of the city.

Alchemical symbol for gold. Source: Royal Society of Chemistry.This version also reflects the different aspects of St Loyes within the boundary: residential, public/education, office, retail, industrial. There are five gold rings!!!!! I thought I could adapt it with any number of rings as needed, it could make discs with hole(s) cut out. And it’s a strong symbol in either colour or B&W.

As regards a colour scheme, what better than to go for gold?! So there we have it!

Potted biography of St Loye

Petrus christus, sant'eligio nella bottega di un orafo 01.jpgSt Loye was born in about 588 near Limoges, close to the middle of what is now France.

He trained and worked as a goldsmith, rising to master of the mint and then councillor to the King of the Franks. He took advantage of royal favour to obtain alms for the poor, ransom slaves, and give criminals decent burials. He founded several monasteries, and built and restored churches in Paris. In 642, he was (unwillingly) appointed Bishop of Noyon-Tournai with the unanimous approval of clergy and people.

He died on 1 December 660, and 1 December is now his feast day.

Among many other patronages, St Loye is the patron saint of horses and those who work with them, goldsmiths, other metalworkers, coin collectors, veterinarians, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) corps in the British Army. He is particularly honoured in parts of northern France and Belgium.

So how did St Loye become connected with Exeter?

It probably relates to the dedication of the Chapel of St Loye (not actually within the current St Loyes ward boundaries). According to Historic England’s listing of the Chapel, it “was built by Henry Twill in 1377 and was dedicated to St Loye the patron saint of metal workers.” The dedication is unusual; it is the only one known in Devon or Cornwall. Maybe it was simply the whimsy of the local lord of the manor.