Posted on 30th January 2021
Robin Hood or Robin of Loxley is a folk hero from the Medieval period of England, specifically around the rule of Richard the Lionheart. He is as popular today as he was then.
While Richard was away on crusade, England was being ruled by his brother King John. He was not a fair ruler and he taxed the people of England heavily with the poor becoming poorer still. Royal subjects and local leaders however gained much wealth, all at the expense of the poor.
One such leader was the Sheriff of Nottingham and he was to become the enemy of Robin Hood. Nottingham cared little for the starving poor and was more interested in increasing his own wealth and stature.
Robin Hood lived in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham with his followers, known as his ‘Merry Men’. These included; Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, Little John, Much the Miller’s son and Alan-a-Dale.
There are many versions of the Robin Hood story, but he is best remembered and portrayed in pictures as a skilled archer wearing the colour Lincoln green and fighting for the rights of the poor. He is known for ‘Robbing from the rich and giving to the poor’.
As nobles travelled through Sherwood Forest in their coaches, they were stopped by Robin Hood and his Merry Men and robbed of the wealth including money, jewellery and even their clothing. Robin then passed these riches onto the poor and held feasts for the starving to be fed.
John did not like the fact his nobles were being robbed as this affected the wealth of the crown. To have an outlaw roaming Nottinghamshire without being caught, made him look bad and showed his misrule for what it was.
Sir Guy of Gisbourne was to marry the noble Maid Marian at King Johns request, but unwilling to marry, Marian joined Robin Hood’s adventures instead and became a member of his ‘Merry Men’.
Ballads of Robin Hood date back as far as the 14th Century and by the 15th Century he was also associated with May Day celebrations, with many people dressing up as Robin and his Merry Men during these celebrations.
Through the years there have been many story books written, television series and films made about Robin Hood. It is a wonderful story of ‘good defeating bad’ and will continue to be enjoyed by children for many more centuries to come.
Tagged as: Myths and Legends
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