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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Brown bill  A bill or halberd of the 16th and 17th centuries. See 4th Bill.
    Many time, but for a sallet, my brainpan had been cleft with a brown bill.   --Shak.
 Note:The black, or as it is sometimes called, the brown bill, was a kind of halberd, the cutting part hooked like a woodman's bill, from the back of which projected a spike, and another from the head.