Wednesday 8 February 2012

Help with the double armed man sought

Can anyone help me with information/a photograph of the "device" which allowed the man to fix his bow onto the pike or vice versa? I have never seen one  and am hoping to model such a figure.Information about this would be really helpful- thanks in advance.
BTW a big thanks to Jimho for pointing to me to the 1780 book.


  1. I've not met this before, but it might be worth trying an enquiry with the Grand National Archery Society,(official body for archery in GB) at

  2. Not sure, though it's interesting and 2 thoughts come to mind. First, a early variation of the 17c Russian musketeer chaps we see with a berdische(?) axe that doubles as a musket rest. Or second, just a pure invention or a theory that never got much beyond the suggestion stage - a bit like the Macedonian phalanx idea that was intended to mix bows and pikes in one formation.

  3. Spoke earlier before I checked - apologies. Just found this on Wikipedia -
    "Before the English Civil War, a pamphlet by William Neade entitled The Double-Armed Man advocated that soldiers be trained in both the longbow and pike; this advice was followed only by a few town militias."
    Seems maybe more suggestion than real.

  4. As above I always understood it more to be an idea or theory than a practical proposition, but based on the image it looks like there is no device, the pike is just held in the same hand as the bow presumably a piece of rope round the wrist and wrapped round the pike would do it..

  5. Hi Alan. I seem to remember reading there was an enterprising bowyer who advocated the use of the bow over the musket just before the Civil War and came up with this idea. I have had a go firing a longbow (badly) and held a pike on many occasions in my unenlightened youth, and reckon it would be impossible to do both, even if the bow were tied to the pike somehow. Still it would make a good figure (or even a regiment of them)

  6. Hi Alan,

    I had never heard of the book until you mentioned here on your site. It looked intriguing so I googled it and, low and behold, there was a link to it in a TMP thread! Serendipity. I hope that you have some luck with the deciphering, I'm curious to hear about what you learn.


  7. I have seen this in some of my ECW books but never seen any figures, I would love to know how this was done. I think the pike was short than a normal pike, but I am guessing there.

  8. Thanks for the comments.I have been fascinated by this figure for years. Men did indeed drill with pike and bow just prior to the ecw. I am sure sense prevailed and such a double armed man never really saw the light of day on the battlefield...
    However as Mike says it would make a good figure/small unit.
    My understanding is that Neade (?) invented some device/clip etc to facilitate using pike and bow together.I am fascinated to know more...
    I used to carry a pike in my Sealed Knot days and cannot imagine trying to discharge an arrow,let alone accurately, whilst doing so. I intend to probe deeper and will let you know if i glean more info...