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Why The Legend Of Robin Hood Is More Complex Than Previously Thought And Possibly Wrong


Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com – According to legend, Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw from Nottingham, UK. Living in Sherwood Forest, he was well-known for robbing the wealthy and giving to the poor.

The legend of Robin Hood is believed so far again to the reign of King John within the thirteenth century.

He was certainly one of three distinguished outlaws, together with Fulk Fitzwarin and Eustace the Monk. Still, whereas the latter two have been recognized historic figures, it’s unclear who precisely Robin Hood was.

Why The Legend Of Robin Hood Is More Complex Than Previously Thought And Possibly Wrong

Movie poster for the 1922 United Artists Robin Hood movie, starring Douglas Fairbanks. Credit: Public Domain

It was a time when forests have been coated by forest regulation and guarded as non-public locations for the king, the place he might hunt.
However, many fugitives used these areas to cover out, and Sherwood and Barnsdale Forest function closely within the legends.

Were There Two Different Robin Hoods?

“Robin Hood was first referred to within the late 14th century, and tales all through the fifteenth century, together with such tales as Robin Hood and the Monk and Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne.

During this time, there are additionally accounts of individuals taking up the identify Robin Hood, or Robehod, to mimic the unique, which is why there may be some confusion over his true id.

The tales place Robin Hood within the north however discuss with each Barnsdale and Sherwood.

Experts consider the legend could have derived from two separate sources and will have referred to 2 totally different ‘Robin Hoods.’ 1

Robin Hood –  From A  Teutonic Knight, Saint To God Wodan And Much More

In the previous, some English and a number of other German students urged the origin of Robin Hood has its beginnings with the Teutonic Knights. There have been additionally speculations Robin Hood was a patron saint. In 1835, the German philologist Jacob Grimm wrote that Robin Hood resembled Knecht Ruprecht.

“Then, another German philologist, Adal Kuhn, gave the hero a completely German pedigree by identifying him as Wodan.” 2

Wodan was the Norse variant of Odin.

“Kuhn argued that certain phonological changes produced the name Hood from Wodan and the Robin from the familiar German Ruprecht, Wodan’s popular name. Kuhn began citing analogous seasonal festivals still observed in both England and Germany.” 2

It was yet one more idea trying to make clear the id of Robin Hood.

Why The Legend Of Robin Hood Is More Complex Than Previously Thought And Possibly Wrong

Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne combating. From Robin Hood and the Men of the Greenwood by Henry Gilbert (1912). Credit: Public Domain

Truth to be advised, “there was a succession of legendary Robin Hoods, every attended by a idea explaining not solely the origin of the hero however of all folklore, or not less than all fantasy.

In this scheme of issues, with one idea answering all questions in regards to the hero, one legendary Robin Hood is totally different from one another. All that is still fixed is the hero’s identify, and what’s hooked up to it’s typically bizarre and all the time ingenous.” 2

Is Robin Hood Buried In Yorkshire?

Yet, in accordance with one other idea put ahead by some historians and scientists, Robin Hood could have been initially from Yorkshire, the place he additionally died.

One of the earliest tales of the outlaw, The Gest of Robin Hood, is about in Barnsdale Forest, simply north of Doncaster, close to Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

An epitaph recorded in 1702 claims Robin Hood was buried in Kirklees Priory, in West Yorkshire, the place the legend claims he was killed, supposedly by the Sheriff of Nottingham, and dates to 1247.

Robin Hood

An epitaph recorded in 1702 claims Robin Hood was buried in Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, the place the legend claims he was killed, supposedly by the Sheriff of Nottingham. This grave (pictured) dates to 1247

Carolyn Dalton, a curator from a Doncaster museum, says Robin Hood spent his total life in Barnsdale, Doncaster, and Pontefract. He was additionally buried in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

“It’s greater than doubtless that Robin Hood was a Yorkshireman. Robin Hood’s hyperlinks to Yorkshire are far stronger traditionally, the oldest and most detailed tales give particulars of the north Doncaster and Pontefract space.

I believe over time, Yorkshire hasn’t made a lot of the connection.

In phrases of the place Robin and his males lived, historical past factors to Barnsdale close to Doncaster,’ Dalton says.

Legend has all the time acknowledged the chief of the Merry Men originated from Sherwood Forest – the stomping floor of his archenemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham. Still, it appears Hood got here from a distinct area.

The fascinating legend of Robin Hood continues to be alive and possibly in the future,

Written by – Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com

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Expand for references

  1. Victoria Woollaston – Was Robin Hood From Yorkshire? Daily Mail
  2. Simeone, William E. “The Mythical Robin Hood.” Western Folklore17, no. 1 (1958): 21–28.




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