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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 1  1858  page 76

Hackington, or St Stephen's’, Canterbury. Collar of SS. 
By Edward Foss, F.S.A.

several able papers in the ' Gentleman's Magazine,' and also in the interesting pages of 'Notes and Queries,' has treated the subject in a manner which causes great regret at his non-performance of a promise he long ago made, of an extended work on the whole question. 
   The letters SS are stated by Nicholas Harpsfield, in his 'Ecclesiastical History' (1622), to be the initials of St. Simplicius, a just and pious Roman senator, who suffered martyrdom under Diocletian late in the third century. But this far-fetched theory, being founded on the presumption that the use of the collar was confined to sacred or judicial personages, is deprived of all its weight by the fact that the distinction was principally worn in the earliest times by persons totally unconnected with either religion or law.
   Another theorist makes the letter the initial of the Countess of Salisbury, thus connecting it with the Order of the Garter; a third says that it means " Soissons," and was given by Henry V. in honour of St. Crespin and St. Crespinian, the martyrs of that place, on whose anniversary the battle of Agincourt was fought. But the former event occurred some years before, and the latter some years after, the use of the collar was introduced." 
   Signum," in its simple meaning of a badge of honour, is another interpretation: and Mr. "Willement, in his ' Royal Heraldry' (1812), refers it to " Soverayne," the motto of Henry IV. Mr. John Gough Nichols's answer to this is quite conclusive,—that it is not likely that Richard II. would have worn it (as he is stated to have done) had the letter borne that signification.
   We have been told also that the letters mean the "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus," of the Salisbury Liturgy and Ritual;1 but we have no other instance of the devices of livery collars in England partaking of religious allusion.
   1 'Notes and Queries,' First Series, vol. ii. p. 280.

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