The halberd was an axe blade mounted on a long shaft, used by the Halberdier to swing a clear area around his lord, or to give archers a field of fire; the hook opposite the axe head was used to good effect to pull enemy horsemen to the ground and dispatch the rider, usually struggling to rise in heavy armour.
This halberdier is from the ranks of Sir Robert de Clifford who fell at Bannockburn.
One of Edward’s most trusted commanders, Clifford led a 300-strong cavalry division. On day one of the battle, in an attempt to cut off any potential Scots retreat, he and his men surrounded Randolph’s Schiltron near the village of St Ninians. He was to learn the bitter Schiltron lesson, losing many men and horses all of which met an agonising and gruesome end at the hands of the spearmen.
On the deciding day of battle and desperate to recover reputation and respect, Clifford was equally and uncharacteristically reckless, getting trapped between two Scottish Schiltrons, whose tight-knit numbers recognised the powerful and detested knight at their mercy. There was to be none as they closed on him with relish, their phalanx of spears and pikes giving him no chance of survival. As one of many gestures of respect for formidable opponents, Robert Bruce returned Clifford’s body to England