This ornate halberd was recovered from the bottom of a ca. 1611-1616 well near the north bulwark of James Fort.
Halberds were carried by the bodyguards of important people. When the newly appointed Governor and Captain General of Virginia, Lord De La Warr, arrived at Jamestown on June 10,1610, he had 50 halberdiers to protect him. He served just ten months in the colony before returning to England.
The iron head on this ceremonial polearm is highly engraved and includes images of griffins, De La Warr’s heraldic crest. The top blade has been purposely bent, perhaps to retrieve items the colonists had lost down the well.