LITHE and listen, Gentlemen, That be of free-born blood: I shall you tell of a good yeoman, His name was Robin Hood.
- (start of Lyttle Geste of Robyn Hood).
Robin Hood is the lead character of a series of folktales first printed in the 15th century and is still appearing in various media to this day. His story has developed over the years (like that of King Arthur) and it is not clear when it might have originated.
The early tales of Robin Hood
Copies have been found of 4 tales relating to Robin Hood. They portayed him as an outlaw who assisted a knight, killed Guy of Gisborne, did archery, was the enemy of the Sheriff of Nottingham, and robbed a bishop but never mentioned anything about giving to the poor, nor was he necessarily a noble. The only king mentioned is a King Edward.
- Robin Hood and the Monk (c1450)
- Robin Hood and the Sheriff (1475)
- Robin Hood and the Potter (1500)
- Lyttle Geste of Robyn Hood and his meyne (1508)
The development of Robin Hood
An early reference that is normally related to Robin Hood was a French pastourelle about "Jeu de Robin et Marion" but its connection to the tales does not go beyond the romance of two people who have the same name as two characters of the modern tales.
Perhaps one of the more significant references, historically, is dissected by JC Holt in his book, and has to do with the clandestine insertion of a rhyme naming the outlaw, and several of his fellows and rivals, into a [?14th?] century Parliamentary roll.
Who was Robin Hood?
There is no clear indication whether there ever was a Robin Hood who was an outlaw, a knight or anything like the character in the tales. Likewise, historians are still arguing over where exactly his headquarters were located.
This article is just a stub initially based on Cian's memory of the research he had previously conducted.