Lyttle Geste of Robyn Hood

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A Lyttle Geste of Robyn Hood (aka A Gest of Robyn Hode, aka A Lyttle Geste of Robyn Hode and his Meiny) was a ballad on Robin Hood published first c1510. It includes some elements included in the slightly earlier ballads of Robin.

The Merry Men include Little John, Much and Will Scarlet but there is no Marian mentioned, nor is there any equivalent character.

Plot synopsis

Robin stops a rich traveller, and gives him a forest banquet. In payment, the traveller is robbed. The Merry Men stop a knight who is debt £400 to the local authorities, so they use the traveller's money to help him.

Robin decides to enter an archery competition run by the Sheriff of Nottingham and wins it. The Sheriff orders his arrest, Robin is wounded but escapes to the residence of the knight. The knight will only surrender to the King, who eventually arrives, but Robin has escaped. The knight is captured but Robin rescues him and the Sheriff is killed. The king hunts for Robin disguised as an abbot and his monks. When Robin captures him and all is revealed, the king grants an amnesty to Robin.

Robin serves the king in court for 15 years until he again becomes an outlaw in the Greenwood for more than 22 years. He is eventually beguiled by a prioress and betrayed to Sir Roger of Doncaster.

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