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Burley and Stronginthearm are Crossbow makers to the nobility, and manufacturers of a full catalog of personal arms and military weapons systems, including:

  • The "Meteor" automated throwing-star hurler. It was backed up with an unusual guarantee: money back if not completely decapitated;
  • Mark IV "Dervish" Razor Bolas;
  • "Viper" Mk 3 crossbows, which kill people but leave buildings standing, costing over AM$ 100 each;
  • "Shureshotte Five", a bow for the expert (with muscles; it has a hundred-pound draw);
  • The "Streetsweeper" axe ("Win By A Neck!");
  • The "Great Leveller" Cart-Mounted Ten-Bank 500-Pound Crossbow;

The high-tech, collapsible "Piecemaker" Mark IX crossbow was banned as uncomfortably filling a place between the "one-shot" and the gonne. One of three remaining samples was buried in the cellar of One Scoone Avenue, however, and one of its special bolts turns up mysteriously in Snuff.

Their products, sold in order to help peace-loving friendly states perform minor police actions in unruly outlying parts of their nations (naturally) are renowned Disc-wide, a fact Samuel Vimes acknowledged when he personally equipped the Watch in Bonk with "everything in their current catalogue, and send the bill to me". The firm would be a great military asset to the city but for the fact that they sell arms all over the continent, and to Klatch.

Mr. Burleigh runs the business and financial side; he is also the President of the Guild of Armourers. Rarely seen Pors Stronginthearm, who makes a brief appearance as a Dwarf civic dignitary in Thud!, seems to be the technical genius behind the product. Their partnership has entered the language signifying serious, expensive armament, as some say "This house protected by Smith and Wesson", elsewhere in the multiverse.

It has also come to mean a top-notch job, which speaks volumes for their craftsmanship.

The firm has been in existence for about 25 years before the latest books, as Sam Vimes had a rather embarrassing moment in Night Watch after being blown back about 30 years in time:

'Yeah? On whose authority?'
Vimes swung his crossbow up. 'Mr Burleigh and Mr Stronginthearm,' he said, and grinned.
The two guards exchanged glances. 'Who the hell are they?' said one.
There was a moment of silence followed by Vimes saying, out of the corner of his mouth: 'Lance-Constable Vimes?'
'What make are these crossbows?'
'Er... Hines Brothers, sir. They're Mark Threes.'
'Not Burleigh and Stronginthearm?'
'Never heard of them, sir.'
Damn. Five years too early, thought Vimes. And it was such a good line, too.

Mr Burleigh, or perhaps members of the Burleigh family, have since diversified into other interesting related businesses which no doubt capitalise on marketing interesting spin-offs from arms and armour technology. These include:-

  • Burleigh and Spoke
  • James and Burleigh, in Coney Catcher Road* (H5 - I5), who specialise in making birdcages.


For the non-British, the renowned English armaments genius of the XIX century William George Armstrong certainly rings a bell about the origin of the name.

The name Burleigh & Stronginthearm appears to echo the Roundworld tradition of dynamic weapons manufacturing duos such as Smith & Wesson and Heckler & Koch.

It is worth also noting that Burleigh is a homonym for "burly", a word meaning well-built and physically powerful. Hence "burly and strong in the arm", which can be considered a case of nominative determinism.