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Staff: the term is usually qualified by some word expressing its special purpose or character, such as Pilgrim's or Palmer's staff, q.v.; pike-staff, generally drawn like the first figure of the pilgrim's staff, but without the hook; flag-staff; quarter-staff, used by foresters, &c.; Cross-staff, q.v., and pastoral-staff, see under Crosier. Sometimes the kind of staff is implied, as a Banner and staff(see under Paschal Lamb); a crozier with the staff of such a tincture, &c.

Sable, three pikestaves argent, two and one, on the top of each an annulet or--PIKE, Gottenburgh, Sweden; granted 1751.

Argent, a chevron erminois between three flag-staves proper--HAWKE.

Azure, a chevron between three quarter-staffs argent--LONGSTAFF.

Gules, a griffin segreant or, holding a flag-staff bendy argent and sable, thereon a banner flowing to the dexter of the third, charged with an imperial eagle of the fourth--GABOTT, Acton-Burnell; also GARBETT. [Given by the Emperor Maximilian, Visit. London, 1568.]

Per chief indented azure and or; over all in bend a crosier, the staff gules, the crook of the first--Cistercian Abbey of BUCKLAND, co. Devon.

The staff raguly, or ragged-staff, occurs very frequently, and the term implies a branch of a tree, with the twigs lopped, and resembling a club. It is generally drawn couped, and then the term trunked is used; when throughout the better blazon would be a fesse or bend raguly. It will be observed that it is sometimes represented flammant, but perhaps in that case a fire-brand raguly would be the better blazon.


Azure, a fesse quarterly sable and argent between three ragged staves bendways or--WOODHOUSE, Calais.

Argent, a ragged staff embowed to the sinister gules--ALTEN.

Argent, two ragged staves couped at the ends embowed one to the other sable--BOWSTOCK.

Argent, a lion rampant sable supporting a ragged staff azure--WILLISBY.

Sable, an eagle displayed argent, armed and standing upon a ragged staff fesswise or--BARLOW, co. Lancaster.

Sable, on a chevron argent between three staves raguly or, inflamed proper, a fleur-de-lys azure between two Cornish choughs--MERYCK, Bp. of Sodor and Man, 1575-99.

Argent, three staves raguly sable, flammant at the top proper--LAYLAND.

The shepherd's staff or crook is a long staff slightly curved at the top, or at least less so than the staff represented under crosier.

Vert, two shepherd's crooks in saltire or between three lambs passant, two and one argent--James SHEPHERD, New Green, Surrey.

Sable, two shepherd's crooks in saltire or between three garbs of the second--BENNETTE.

Some peculiar names occur, e.g. a Jacob's staff(possibly a shepherd's crook, but probably St.James' pilgrim's staff); the crutch staff, i.q. potent, and the Jedburgh staff. The Patriarchal staff is a staff surmounted by a double or Patriarchal cross, See Cross, §28.

Azure, a Jacob's staff in pale between two estoiles or--John THURLOW, Burnham Overy, Norfolk; [granted 1664].

Gules, on a horse salient argent furnished azure a chevalier armed at all points grasping in the right hand a kind of lance called the Jedburgh staff proper--Burgh of JEDBURGH, Scotland.

The term staves is used in the sense of the handles of axes. See battle-axe, (hafted is a better term). Also of the rays of an escarboucle, q.v. Staved is also applied to branches; see under Tree.

With the staff may be grouped examples of the club(fr. massue), see Mace; also the truncheon; the first being usually held by a savage or woodman(see under Man), and is not uncommonly held by such when appearing as supporters. The club also has been drawn so as to be mistaken for the icicle. See Gouttes.

Argent, a savage gules, holding a club over the shoulder vert--GILHAM.

Argent, three spiked club sable--BARSTON.

Argent, a chevron between three truncheons, each held in a sinister hand couped at the wrist or--STEVENSON.

Azure, three clubs[? icicles] in bend or--HARBOTTLE.

D'argent, a trois massues garnies de pointes de gueules rangées en fasce--BRUSSE, Pays Bas.

De gueules, à trois massues renversées d'argent--MACE, Normandie.

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