Heron, (fr. héron): this and its allies the hernshaw, bittern, and fencock, are borne by several families; but, as will be seen in most cases, allusively. Probably no great distinction can be made in the several drawings except, perhaps, in the case of the spoonbill; indeed, there appears to be some confusion in blazoning the arms bearing these devices, and a further confusion between such and those bearing the crane and the stork. It will, however, be seen that the Heron proper is found in arms of ancient date. It is generally drawn standing but rare examples occur of it being blazoned volant.
Odinel HERON d'azur a trois herons d'argent--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
Sire Odynel HERON de argent a iij herons de azure--Roll, temp. ED. II.
Sire Roger HERON de goules a iij herons de argent--Ibid.
Sire Johan HEROUN de azure iij herouns de argent--Ibid.
Sable, a heron within a bordure argent--MATTHEWS.
Azure, a bendlet between two herons[otherwise blazoned cranes] argent--HYGHAM.
Gules, three herons argent, a bend engrailed or--HERON[in Canterbury Cathedral].
Sable, a bend argent between three heron's heads erased of the second--GLOVER.
Gules, three heronshaws[otherwise blazoned storks, and perhaps really pewits] or--TYRWHITT, co. Lincoln.
Or, on a chevron engrailed sable between three heronshaws[otherwise blazoned storks] argent, a plain chevron or--LYMINGTON, co. Chester.
Argent, a bittern[otherwise blazoned 'a fencock'] sable, membered gules--MATTHEW.
Sable, a bittern argent--ASBITTER.
Gules, three bitterns argent--BITTENNECK, or BITTERER.
Azure, on a bend or, within a bordure argent, three bitterns sable, membered gules--READE.
Gules, on a fesse or between three mascles ermine, each charged with three drops sable, a trefoil slipped azure between two bittern's heads erased of the field beaked argent, and about their necks a leash of the last--THACKER, co. Derby, granted 1538.
Or, a fesse wavy sable between three fencocks proper--FENCOTE, co. York.
Or, a heron volant proper; on a chief sable three escallops of the first--GRAHAM, Scotland.
With these may be associated the spoonbill(platalea), of which the head occurs only, and the French aigrette, with its remarkable tuft, but no example of an egret has been noted in English arms.
Argent, three spoonbill's heads erased argent beaked or--Sir John LACY, Cornwall.
D'azure, à trois aigrettes d'argent becqueés et membreés sable--ALLIGRET, Champagne.