The use of the mace as a symbol of authority dates back many years, probably to the 11th or 12th century, when a club was a common weapon. Knights started emblazoning their coats of arms on the handle knobs of the clubs which their heralds carried so that people would know that the heralds were properly authorised, and the symbol became more and more ornate as time passed, even though the club fell out of use as a serious weapon. What we now call the head of the mace started off as the handle - the much plainer end was originally the bit that did the real damage!
Dorchester's maces are made of silver gilt and both carry the date 28 December 1728. They are smaller than many but still follow the pattern decreed by King Charles I in 1649.
Click here to see the face of the mace representing Dorchester;
Click here to see the face representing England;
Click here to see the face representing Scotland;
Click here to see the face representing Ireland;
Click here to see the Royal Coat of Arms inside the head of the mace.