This is a wax impression of the seal that was attached to important deeds and other documents issued by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. The original matrix is also in the Museum. Kingston received its official incorporation charter from King Edward IV in 1481. With it came the right to use a common seal. The three fish are salmon, commemorating the three salmon fisheries in the Thames at Kingston that were recorded in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book of 1086. The letter below the salmon is either K for 'Kingston' or R for 'Royal'.
Kingston is one of four Royal Boroughs. The others are Windsor and Maidenhead, Kensington and Chelsea and Caernarfon. The name Kingston is derived from king's tun, meaning Royal farm or estate. The first reference to Kingston by name is in a document in the British Library dated 838 telling of a Royal Council held here. King Egbert presided.
Kingston's ancient title of Royal Borough was confirmed by George V in 1927. This is commemorated in a stained glass window in the Museum.