Wheat, (fr. blé): this was represented in the older arms in sheaves only, to which the name Garb was given; and under this term wheat continued to be most frequently represented. Some early examples have been given under Garb, q.v. In later examples it will be seen they are often bended of another tincture. When the term proper is used it probably signifies or.
In later arms ears of wheat or corn have been adopted as devices(and may be represented as in the margin), and of other grains, such as barley, oats, and rye. When bearded they are said to be aulned. To the stalk and eat thus borne the French give the name epis, and when the stalk is of a different tincture it is tigé of such tincture.
The wheat in the arms of the family of GRAUNDORGE(whose name is spelt in a variety of ways) is found blazoned guinea-wheat, but no doubt from the name[i.e. grain d'orge] barley grain is intended. It may be that from a play on the name(grand) the term big-wheat arose, a term adopted in blazoning the arms of BIGLAND and BIGNELL, but White Kennett notes big as a kind of barley.
Azure, a wheatsheaf between three thistles or, all within a bordure of the last--BAIN, Berwick.
Gules, two garbs in saltire or, banded azure--SERJEANTS' INN, Fleetstreet.
Gules, three garbs in bend or, within two bendlets argent and between two lozenges vair--RICKARDS, Westminster.
Vert, a garb banded, and bowed in the head proper--BOWER.
Sable, five garbs in cross or--MEREFIELD, London.
Gules fretty or, on a canton azure two ears of wheat slipped without blades of the second--WHYSHAW, Lees, co. Chester.
Argent, on a fesse gules between six martlets sable three ears of wheat stalked and leaved or--GILLIOT.
Ermine, on three bars humetty sable fifteen wheat ears or, five and five--STOKES.
Sable, two bars ermine between fifteen wheat ears or, five, five and five, a bordure of the second--STOKES.
Per bend sinister azure and argent; on the dexter side three ears of wheat on one stalk or; and on the sinister side three fleurs-de-lis one and two of the first--SOLTAU, co. Devon.
Gules, a chevron between nine ears of wheat tied in three parcels or--JOHN WHEATHAMSTEAD, Abbot of S.Albans, ob. 1464.
Azure, a chevron argent between three ears of corn as the second slipped and bladed or--Thomas EYRE, co. Buckingham, granted 1476.
Ermine; on a chief vert three wheat-sheaves[i.e. garbs] argent--PROSSER.
Vert, on a fesse between three bundles of wheat(or barley), each consisting of as may stalks, one erect and two in saltire or, a greyhound courant argent pied proper--MATCHAM.
D'azur, au fer de moulin d'argent, accosté de deux epis de blé d'or, les tiges passées en sautoir vers la pointe de l'ecu--JACOBE DE NAUROIS, Champagne.
Azure, three ears of guinea-wheat couped and bladed or, two and one--GRAUNDORGE, Donington, co. Lincoln.
Azure, two ears of big-wheat in fesse, stalked and bladed or--Ralph BIGLAND[afterwards] Garter, to whom they were granted 1760.
Ermine, a lion rampant gules, on a chief azure an ear of big-wheat couped and bladed or, between two estoiles argent--BIGNELL, Salisbury.
Gules, three cups or, in the middle fesspoint as many ears of barley, two in saltire and one in pale of the last--GOODALLE, Scotland.
Quarterly, 1 and 4; azure, a dolphin embowed between three ears of barley or, a bordure engrailed of the second; 2 and 3, argent, three eel spears, tynes upwards sable; on a chief azure a lion passant gardant or--John FISHER, Bp. of Rochester, 1504.
Gules, on a chevron argent between three handsfull of barley ears(each containing five) or three bees proper--SMITH, Yarmouth, Norfolk, granted 1722.
Mention is made of oats(fr. avoine) at an early date, when the term aveye is used(see under Garb), and one or two instances occur in later coats of arms. Heraldic writers say the term rizom should be applied to the ears of oats.
Sire .... de BEUMEYS, de azure, a les garbes de aveye de or--Roll, temp. ED. II.
Azure, three oat-sheaves or--BENNIS, Clare, Ireland.
Argent, on a bend azure three oat-sheaves or--OTTLEY, co. Salop.
Quarterly, first and fourth; argent, on a bend azure three oat-sheaves or, second and third, argent, an eagle displayed sable--Adam OTLEY, Bp. of St.David's, 1713-23.
The rye is distinguished from other grain by representing the ear drooping, as shewn in the margin. It is used by one or two families on account of the play upon the name.
Gules, on a bend argent three rye-stalks sable--RYE, Suffolk, 1716.
Argent, a chevron gules between three ears of rye proper, slipped and bladed vert--RIDALE[or RIDELL] Scotland; Baronetcy. 1628.
Argent, a fesse between three rye-sheaves azure--RIDDELL, co. Northumberland.
Argent, five stalks or rye growing out of the ground in base vert--AHRENDS.