Robin Hood

Loxley outlaw Little John Yorkshire Sherwood Nottingham archer Hathersage Barnsdale Doncaster Kirklees Derbyshire yeoman robinhood

Robin Hood at Loxley

Robin Hood’s pardon reads as follows:-
Robert Hode (Hood) otherwise known as Robert Dore of Wadsley given the King’s pardon on 22nd May 1382” (Roll of King’s Pardons 4-5 Richard II 1382). Loxley is a sub vill. of Wadsley and his pardon was discovered by
David Pilling and Rob Lynley.

For a shorter and more succinct summery click HERE

Robin Hood was born Robert Dore, he killed his stepfather at plough and fled to York via Kirklees presumably to avoid the same fate himself in an honour killing. At Kirklees he met Little John who kept the kine then leaving Kirklees he met with the miller’s son Robertus Hode who was living at York, his father’s name was Johannes Hode who was a baker and a miller and of course a guild member which was a requirement for all traders, Robertus Hode is portrayed in Robin of Sherwood as Robins adopted brother.

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Robin was outlawed for his part in the Peasants Revolt, the cause of the trouble being John Gisbourne who was the corrupt Lord Mayor of York. He was pardoned a few months later by the sheriff, Sir John Saville whose sister was a prioress at Kirklees Priory where Robin Hood’s grave is situated. The Saville family later bought Kirklees. Robin was initially outlawed by Sir Ralph Hastings who was the sheriff of York and his descendants who are the Earls of Huntingdon trace their ancestry back to Loxley through the Talbot and Furnival families. They christen their children Robin Hood as in the “Honourable Aubrey Craven Theophilus Robin Hood Hastings.”

Robin’s birthplace is confirmed by:-
(i) The Encyclopaedia Britannica says the early medieval ballads such as the Geste, Robin Hood and the Monk, Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, Robin Hood and the Potter; indicate that the action took place not in Nottinghamshire but chiefly in South Yorkshire."

(ii) The Sloane manuscript:

Robin’s pardon:

Joseph Hunter, the assistant Keeper of the Public Records and Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries wrote: “These open chases afforded fine opportunities for such marauders as Robin-Hood; who doubtless himself in proper person made some of his first essays in “chasing the fallow deer” in Fulwood and Riveling, lying so near to Loxley, which beyond all competition has the “fairest pretensions” to be the birth-place of that noted outlaw; not sparing perchance the abbot’s herds. (“Fairest pretensions” is an archaic term meaning a claim free of all obstacles. Fulwood and Rivelin chases near Loxley comprised approx 5 sq. miles of fine hunting.)

(v) John Harrison in his “Exact and Perfect Survey and View of the Manor of Sheffield and other Lands” in 1637 wrote “Little Haggas croft wherein is ye foundation of a house or cottage where Robin Hood was born; this piece is compassed about with Loxley Firth” and contains two Roods and 13 square perches.”

Roger Dodsworth the antiquarian wrote, “Robert Lockesley, born in the Bradfield Parish of Hallamshire (Loxley) wounded his stepfather to death at plough, fled into the woods and was relieved by his mother till he was discovered. Then he came to Clifton upon Calder and became acquainted with Little John, that kept the kine. Which said John is buried at Hathersage in Derbyshire where he hath a fair tombstone with an inscription. Mr Long saith that Fabyan saith, Little John was Earl Huntley’s son. After, he joined with Much the Miller’s’s son.”

(vii)  The writer and historian Sir Walter Scott set Ivanhoe featuring Robin Hood and his merry men in South Yorkshire about which he says, “In that pleasant district of merry England which is watered by the river Don, there extended in ancient times a large forest (Wharncliffe Park) covering the greater part of the beautiful hills and valleys which lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster . . . . . and here also flourished in ancient times those bands of gallant outlaws whose deeds have been rendered so popular in English song.”

Dating Evidence
There were no Friars in England until after the deaths of Richard Lionhearted and King John. The first Franciscan friars arrived in England c. 1221 which is five years after the death of King John thereby ruling him out as the monarch of the rhymes who was King Edward, further study indicates it was Edward III.

The author of the Gest tells us Robin Hood and the merry men wore Lincoln Green which was the colour of the king’s archers while Gisbourne provided his men with a form of livery which was illegal for private armies and as the wearing of livery did not begin until the 14th century after the breakdown of feudalism this is another factor that rules out King John.

Barbara A. Buxton writes: – “The legal and royal records for the reigns of Richard I and King John are quite adequate to detail Robin’s offences, but they do not. Neither is the name of the sheriff ever mentioned even though the names of sheriffs were recorded as far back as 1135. There were no friars in the England of King John, the first came to England in 1221

Professor Holt writes:- “It (Major’s conception) was not reinforced by argument, evidence or proof it was simply recycled through later versions of the tale and so became an integral part of the legend.” Neither is this view supported by the earliest ballads that name the reigning monarch as “Edward.”