Thursday, 9 February 2012

More upon the double armed man...

I have tried to find out a little more about the double armed man today. I have emailed the Royal Armouries and await their reply with interest.I was fascinated by the above picture with the bow clipped onto the pike .I found this account of Neade and his book- be prepared for some interesting information-


"In 1625 William Neade, archer, published a book called the 'Double-armed Man,' which explained a new exercise combining the use of the bow with the pike. This appears to have been performed before the king, who, though approving the invention, took no steps in the matter till 1633, when, after sundry petitions, he granted a commission to William Neade and his son to teach the use of the bow and pike together, directing the justices, &c., in England to do all they could to assist Neade, and strongly recommending the exercise to the 'chiefe officers and others of our Trayned Bands.'[60] Two years later Neade petitioned, saying that the king having approved the use of the bow and pike together and authorised him to teach the same, he had laid out his whole estate of 600l. and incurred debts in furnishing himself with ammunition for the purpose, but that owing to the evil example of the city of London, this service is wholly neglected, and he prays that the Lord Mayor may be ordered to direct the trained bands to furnish themselves with such ammunition, so that the petitioner may sell what he has provided, and that delinquents who refuse may be proceeded against.[61] It does not appear what was done on this petition, but probably some steps were taken, as in 1637 Neade petitions the Council that some reward may be given to encourage those who practice the exercise of the bow and pike together, and he mentions that this exercise was performed by 300 of the Artillery Company before his Majesty.[62] Two cuts are given from Neade's book, to show his method of combining the use of the bow and pike. (It is curious that the figures, which are those of foot soldiers, have their heels adorned with huge spurs.) This invention of Neade's was many years too late to become popular the musket was rapidly proving its superiority, and the bow falling more and more into disuse; though, in the same year, a commission was issued, ordering the statute 33 Henry VIII. for the maintenance of archery, and two other statutes of 12 Edward IV. and 13 Elizabeth, respecting the importation of bow-staves by merchant strangers, to be enforced.[63] In 1638, Lord Arundell and Surrey says: ' I hold it fit that instantly some quantity of bows with offensive arrows should be poured into our bordering shires of Cumberland, Northumberland, and Westmoreland (already used in archery), and their old arms of spear and jack restored.'[64""

News to me -and you probably too! Anyone I know they were not used in the ecw but they might have been! I hope to have more  information soon and a figure or two within the week.

10 comments:

  1. Interesting find. I had seen pictures of wooden poles used for propping up an early type of musket but never anything regarding a bowman.
    Jeff

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  2. I'm a very long way from knowing anything at all about the ECW but I thought the bow/pike combination looked terribly ungainly. It should be difficult, I would think, to convince troops to stop firing arrows at an advancing foe and put away the bow in order to stand and wait passively with the pike. It would also be difficult to perform this three-handed maneuver at the last second. A pike unit taken unready, still readying themselves, by a swift cavalry charge for example would surely be beaten quite easily...

    Perhaps you know the answer Alan, but did the matchlock finally win out over the bow in Britain because of the effectiveness of the weapon or simply because it is easier to train raw troops in the use of the gun? One would imagine that skilled users of longbows would have made a terrible mess of half-armoured densely grouped men in pike blocks without a whole lot of effort. Matchlocks seem a poor replacement for the punch and rate of fire of the longbow. Perhaps it is the devastating effect of a volley at close or point blank range.

    Your new pictures reminded me, Alan, of some images I have seen of Austrian light infantrymen of the 1790's (sharfschutzen and grenzers) who seem to have been armed, some of the men anyway, with the musket and a short pike which had a hook mi-shaft upon which the musket could rest. Presumably the hook was intended to stabilize the firearm for long-range sniping. No doubt the pike (more like a spear or spontoon actually) could help mount some kind of defense against light cavalry skirmishers as well.

    The following is a link to one such picture (sorry for its length! If it doesnt work, the picture is from the NY public library Vinkhuizen collection site, Austria 1780, image no. 58)

    cheers,
    Jim


    http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=125794&imageID=90317&total=94&num=40&parent_id=120437&word=&s=&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=0&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&lword=&lfield=&imgs=20&pos=58&snum=&e=w

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  5. Sorry for making a mess of your comments page, Alan! The url is very long and I can't seem to paste it all in to the message box and publish it.

    I'll post the picture in question on my Syldavia site.

    Jim

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  6. Very interesting text. Thanks for posting.

    Of most interest to me was that Neade (an archer), was looking to promote and sell his idea and complaining that London was not buying his stock. The double armed man then seems to me to be a commercial exercise by Neade and not necessarily a practical proposition.

    There must be other cases throughout history of businessmen making odd military suggestions in order to make money (Marshal Ney and the balloonist comes to mind).
    cheers,
    Tom

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