Herring, (fr. hareng, old fr. hairaing), is found more especially for the sake of the play upon its name, and this from the earliest period. The cob, which also supplies a convenient pun, is probably meant for a young herring, though the term is used for the young of other fish.
Sire Johan HERINGAUD, de azur crusule de or a vi harengs de or--Roll, temp. ED. II.
[On seal of John HERINGOL, of Westwell, Kent, temp. HEN. III., is a shield with a border charged with six herrings.]
Sable, three herrings hauriant argent, a chief or--Sir Thomas KYRTON, Sheriff of London, 1533.
Vert, a herring hauriant argent--Benjamin HARENC[Sheriff of Kent, 1777].
Azure, semee of crosslets, three herrings hauriant two and one argent--HERRING, Bp. of Bangor, 1738; Abp. of York, 1743; Abp. of Cant. 1747-57.
Sable, a fesse between six herrings[or sprats] hauriant or--SPRATTON.
Sable, a chevron argent between three cob-fish naiant or; a chief of the last--COBB, Sandringham. [A monument in Adderbury church, Oxfordshire, where a branch of the family resided.]
Gules, a chevron wavy between three cob-fish naiant argent, on a chief of the last two sea-cobs[or gulls] sable[and in one case given as two shovellers sable beaked and legged or]--COBB, Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire.
Party per chevron sable and argent, in chief two sea-cobs[i.e. gulls] respecting each other, and in base a herring naiant or--COBB, Snetisham, Norfolk.
Per chevron gules and sable, in chief two swans respectant, in base a herring proper[otherwise blazoned a herring-cob]--COBB, co. Oxford, [Baronet, 1662].
Of the same family(clupeidœ) as herring are other fishes which are named in heraldry, viz. the sprat, the garvin, and, on account of the name of the bearer, the spalding, which is perhaps, after all, but a local name. There is also the pilchard(Germ. pelzer, lat. clupea pilchardus) of the same family.
Argent, a chevron sable, between three sprats naiant proper--Thomas SPRATT, Bp. of Rochester, 1684-1713.
Azure, three garvin fishes naiant fessways in pale argent--GARVIE, Scotland.
Argent, a chevron sable between three spaldings azure--SPRATT[or SPROTT, Harleian MS. 1404].
Gules, a chevron or between three pilchards naiant argent--Job MILITON[Governor of S.Michael's Mount, temp. HEN. VIII.]
Argent, a chevron gules between two roses in chief and a pilchard naiant--ROSCARRECK, Cornwall.