Why The Legend Of Robin Hood May Be Wrong

MessageToEagle.com – According to legend, Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw from Nottingham, UK. Living in Sherwood Forest, he was famous for robbing from the rich and giving to the poor.

Now, according to new research, it seems we will have to re-evaluate Robin Hood’s true origin. Is everything we know about the legend of Robin Hood really wrong?

The legend of Robin Hood is believed to date back to the reign of King John in the 13th century.

He was one of three prominent outlaws, including Fulk Fitzwarin and Eustace the Monk, but while the latter two were clearly identified historical figures, it is unclear who exactly Robin Hood was.
Forests during this time were covered by forest law and were protected as private places for the king, where he could hunt.
Many fugitives used these areas, however, to hide out and both Sherwood and Barnsdale Forest feature heavily in the legends.

Robin Hood was first referred to in the late 14th century and tales throughout the 15th century including such tales as Robin Hood and the Monk, and Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne.

During this time, there are also accounts of people taking on the name Robin Hood, or Robehod, to imitate the original, which is why there is some confusion over his true identity.

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

The tales place Robin Hood in the north, but refer to both Barnsdale and Sherwood.

Experts believe the legend may have derived from two separate sources, and could have referred to two separate ‘Robin Hoods’.

See also:

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Unraveling The Secret History Of King Arthur And Robin Hood

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An epitaph recorded in 1702 claims Robin Hood was buried in Kirklees Priory, in West Yorkshire, where the legend claims he was killed, supposedly by the Sheriff of Nottingham, and dates to 1247. According to Carolyn Dalton, a curator from a Doncaster museum says Robin Hood spent his entire life in Barnsdale, Doncaster and Pontefract. He was also buried in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

“It’s more than likely that Robin Hood was a Yorkshireman. Robin Hood’s links to Yorkshire are far stronger historically, the oldest and most detailed stories give details of the north Doncaster and Pontefract area.

I think over the years Yorkshire hasn’t made much of the connection.

In terms of where Robin and his men lived, history points to Barnsdale near Doncaster,’ Dalton says.

Legend has always stated the leader of the Merry Men originated from Sherwood Forest – the stomping ground of his archenemy, the Sheriff of Nottingham, but it seems Hood came from a different region.

“One of the earliest stories of the outlaw, The Gest of Robin Hood, is set in Barnsdale Forest, just north of Doncaster, near Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery has unveiled an exhibition exploring its links to Robin to mark this year’s St Leger horse racing festival.

The town council is also inviting members of the public to support the claims in a visitors’ poll,” Daily Mail reports.

Robin Hood

Medieval artefacts are on display as part of the exhibition, which opened this week, while the question of whether Doncaster can claim Robin will be decided in the visitors’ poll.
Ms Dalton is also keen to set up a Robin Hood trail in the area.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for tourism, said: ‘Robin Hood’s links to Doncaster and the rest of Yorkshire are perhaps more convincing than Nottingham’s, so I’m hoping the exhibition will be interesting and thought-provoking.’

This is not the first time a custody battle between Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire has been fought.

In 2004, Doncaster was accused of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ when it named its airport after the hero who robbed from the rich to feed the poor.

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