The Double-Armed Man, by the new Invention: briefly shewing some famous Exploits atchieved by our Brittish Bowmen: with severall Portraitures proper for the Pike and Bow. William NEADE.
The Double-Armed Man, by the new Invention: briefly shewing some famous Exploits atchieved by our Brittish Bowmen: with severall Portraitures proper for the Pike and Bow.

Doubly Lethal

The Double-Armed Man, by the new Invention: briefly shewing some famous Exploits atchieved by our Brittish Bowmen: with severall Portraitures proper for the Pike and Bow.

Large woodcut on title & six full-page woodcuts. 20 unnumbered leaves. Small 4to, 19th-century straight-grain green morocco (joints a little rubbed), single gilt fillet round sides, a.e.g. London: J. Grismand, 1625.

First edition. Neade (fl. 1624-37), an archer, “first came to notice with his attempts to revive the use of the bow in warfare by devising a combined weapon consisting of a bow attached to a movable pivot in the middle of the pike shaft. His object was to enable the pikeman to defend himself and to fight while the enemy were still at a distance, rather than having to wait until they came within reach of his pike. In 1624 he demonstrated this weapon before the king…A manuscript Neade had presented to King Charles was published as [the present work]…

“Despite the earlier royal encouragement, Neade’s invention was not taken up, the bow having by this time been ousted from the battlefield by the musket. Neade, describing himself and his son as ‘instructors in archery to the king,’ complained to the king in 1637 that, despite several demonstrations of his weapon, he had exhausted his entire estate of £600 to no avail, and that through the bad example of the City of London, archery was now generally neglected. There was no official response to these pleas and, apart from some references to his book, nothing further is known of Neade or his son.”–ODNB.

In this work, Neade provides a history of the bow and its mastery by the British people, in which he mentions legendary victories such as “Cresse” (Crécy) and Agincourt. He notes that many abandoned the bow, thinking it obsolete in modern warfare, but counters with his invention: the combination of a pike and bow.

The title-page woodcut and the six fine full-page woodcuts in the text demonstrate the application of Neade’s invention. When the enemy was close enough to engage in hand-to-hand combat, the soldiers could switch quickly from the bow to the pike, allowing the weapon to serve a dual role on the battlefield.

Nice copy with minute burn-hole on title and infrequent minor staining. Bookplate of C. Duffell Faulkner, F.R.H.S.

Price: $9,500.00

Item ID: 5631

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