Crosier, or Crozier, (lat. Crocia, a crook, fr. Croc, not from crux or cross): this word is properly restricted to the crook of an Archbishop, a Bishop, on an Abbot.
The Archbishop, besides his Crosier, made use also of a Staff surmounted by a cross; that of the Pope having a triple cross. That of the see of Canterbury is represented as surmounted by a cross formy. In actual examples, some few of which remain, the Archbishop's Staff is found to be of various patterns and highly ornamented. The annexed cut represents the Staff of Archbishop Warham(who died 1520), from his tomb at Canterbury. It is borne of this form, but not so highly ornamented, in the ensigns of the archiepiscopal sees of Canterbury, Armagh, and Dublin.
The Crosier of a bishop ends in a curve resembling that of a shepherd's crook, from which there is every reason to believe it was derived, notwithstanding the opinion of some, that its origin is to be traced to the lituus of the priesthood of pagan Rome. There are many existing specimens of episcopal staves, which, while they all retain the general form of a crook, differ very much in their enrichments. In heraldry the simple form shewn in the margin is generally adopted.
The Crosier and Staff surmounted by a cross are, however, often confounded under the general term Pastoral Staff, and the French term Crosse is used equally for the crosier as for the staff with the cross.
Azure, a crosier in pale or, ensigned with a cross formée argent, surmounted of a pall of the last, edged and fringed of the second, charged with four crosses formée fitchée sable--See of CANTERBURY.
Azure, on a chevron gules between three Cornish choughs as many pastoral staves erect or--Henry DEANE, Bp. of Bangor, 1496; Bp. of Salisbury 1500; afterwards Abp. Cant. 1501-30.
Azure, a bend or; over all a crosier in bend sinister, the staff argent, the crook or--Abbey of S.Agatha, RICHMOND, Yorkshire.
Argent, three bars gules, over all a crosier in bend, staff argent, head or--Gilbertine Priory at ALVINGHAM, co. Lincoln.
Azure, two crosiers endorsed in saltire or; in chief a mitre of the last--See of ARGYLL, Scotland.
Azure, two pastoral staves in saltire, and a mitre in chief or--SPOFFORD, Bp. of Hereford, 1522-48.
Gules, three lions passant guardant, over all a crosier, the staff gules, crook sable, all within a bordure of the last bezanty--Cistercian Abbey at VALE ROYAL, Cheshire.
Gules, a crosier reversed in bend sinister, surmounted by a sword in bend dexter proper; on a chief argent a thistle leaved also proper--CHURCH, Hampton.
Argent, a bishop's crook in pale sable--M'LAURIN, Dreghorn.
The pastoral staves of Abbots resembled those of bishops, and were no doubt equally ornamented, especially when the Abbot was head of the Mitred Abbeys. However, it seems there was a custom to attach a small pallium, called also sudarium, or strip, to the crosier of Abbots to distinguish them from those of Bishops, though it was not generally adhered to; and this seems to be represented on the insignia of S.Benet's, HULME. Examples are also found of Abbesses represented with a pastoral staff, as on the brass of ISABEL HERVEY, Abbess of Elstow, Bedfordshire(ob. A.D. 1524).
Sable, a crosier in pale or, garnished with a pallium crossing the staff argent[otherwise, having two ribbons entwined about it] between two ducal coronets of the second[otherwise between four crosiers or]--Abbey of S.BENET'S, HELME, Norfolk.
The following Abbeys, Priories, &c., bear the crosier in their insignia--
ALVINGHAM, Lincoln; BARDNEY, Lincoln; BYLAND, Yorkshire; BOXLEY, Kent; BUCKFESTRE, Devon; BURSCOUGH, Lancashire; BUTLEY, Suffolk; CUMBERMERE, Cheshire; DELACRE, Stafford; DEREHAM, Norfolk; FEVERSHAM, Kent; FURNESS; HALES; LLANDAFF; LANGDON, Kent; MALMESBURY, Wilts; MISSENDEN, Bucks; RICHMOND, Yorkshire(S.Agatha); Ditto, (S.Martin's); SHREWSBURY; STRATFORD, Essex; THAME, Oxon; THORNEY, Cambridge; THORNTON, Lincoln; VALE ROYAL, Cheshire; WARSOP, Notts; WENDLING, Norfolk; WESTMINSTER; WIRKSOPP, Notts.
The following Sees also bear the crosier in their insignia:--
ARGYLL; BARBADOS; CALCUTTA; CLONFORT and KILMACDAUAGH; CORK and ROSS; ELPHIN; GALLOWAY; JAMAICA; KILLALA and ACHONRY; KILMORE; LLANDAFF; LEIGHLIN and FERNS; LIMERICK; QUEBEC, &c.