Thursday, 9 February 2012
More upon the double armed man...
"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.' 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. 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. 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. 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.