The motto of Queens’ College is:

Floreat Domus


May this House Flourish.

Queens’ College is not unique in having this phrase as its motto.

It is not known when this motto was adopted. The earliest examples written on the fabric of the college are from the 1860s, on the Old Hall fireplace.

ImageThe motto of the University of Cambridge is:

Hinc lucem et pocula sacra


[From] here [we receive] light and sacred draughts.

“here” being the University (or the Alma Mater, nursing mother), and “light and sacred draughts” being metaphors for enlightenment and precious knowledge. This motto is seen as the outer ring of the emblem illustrated here, which was used by the University Printer from about 1600 onwards. It has been described as:

An ornamental oval device has in the centre a pedestal, on the front of which is printed ALMA MATER CANTABRIGIA. From behind the pedestal rises a nude female figure, three-quarter length, with flowing hair, crowned with a mural crown rising out of a wreath. In her left hand she holds a cup or chalice, receiving drops [pocula sacra] from a cloud; and in her right hand a sun radiated [lucem]. On each side of the pedestal stands an olive tree; while in the background there is a river, with a sail-boat on one side, and a rowing-boat on the other. Beyond under the sun is a castle, or a church; and under the chalice a town with spires and towers. The whole is surrounded by the motto Hinc lucem et pocula sacra. [1928, p.12]

That description omits to mention that Alma Mater is shown with milk flowing from both breasts.

Sources and Further Reading

1928: The Emblem, the Arms & the Motto of the University of Cambridge : Notes on their use by University Printers, by Henry Paine Stokes; (OCLC 607065965)
1986: facsimile reprint; (OCLC 17225580)
2003: facsimile reprint. (ISBN 978-0-521-16635-5)