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SDlje fttorofoe $*, Cambrioge 


One Iioufuina JTopu-9 Pcnttfb. 



pi i 

Copyright, 1888, by F. 3. CHI 

Tie Riverside Press, Cambridge: 
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton and Company. 


REV. PROFESSOR SKEAT has done me the great service of collating Wynken de Worde's 
text of The Gest of Robin Hood, the manuscript of Robin Hood and the Monk and of Robin 
Hood and the Potter, and all the Robin Hood broadsides in the Pepys collection. Mr MAC- 
MATH has collated the fragments of the earlier copy of The Gest which are preserved in the 
Advocates' Library, and, as always, has been most ready to respond to every call for aid. I 
would also gratefully acknowledge assistance received from Mr W. ALDIS WRIGHT, of Trinity 
College, Cambridge ; the Rev. EDMUND VENABLES, Precentor of Lincoln ; Dr FURNIVALL ; 
and, in America, from Mr W. W. NEWELL, Miss FERINE and Mrs DULANT. 

F. J. C. 

FEBRUARY, 1888. 



































146. ROBIN HOOD'S CHASE . . . . 205 












A. Percy Papers, Miss Fisher's MS., No 5, 1780. 

B. 'Johnny Cock,' Pieces of Ancient Poetry from Un 
published Manuscripts and Scarce Books, Bristol, 
1814, [John Fry], p. 53. 

C. ' Johnny Cock,' Pieces of Ancient Poetry, etc., 
p. 51. 

D. 'Johnie of Cockerslee,' Kinloch's annotated copy 
of his Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 38 bis. 

E. ' Johnie o Cocklesmuir,' Kinloch MSS, VII, 29 ; 
Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, p. 36. 

F. ' Johnie of Breadislee,' Scott's Minstrelsy, I, 59, 

G. ' Johnnie Brad,' Harris MS., fol. 25. 

H. ' Johnnie o Cocklesmuir,' Buchan's MSS, I, 82 ; 
Dixon, Scottish Traditional Versions of Ancient Bal 
lads, p. 77, Percy Society, vol. xvii. 

I. ' Johnie of Braidisbank,' MotherwelPs Minstrelsy, 
p. 23. 

J. Chambers, Scottish Ballads, p. 181. 

K. Finlay's Scottish Ballads, I, xxxi: one stanza. 

Ii. Harris MS., fol. 25 b: one stanza. 

M. Froude, Thomas Carlyle, II, 335, New York, 1882, 
supplemented by Mrs Aitken : one stanza. 

THE first notice in print of this precious 
specimen of the unspoiled traditional ballad is 
in Ritson's Scotish Song, 1794, I, xxxvi, note 
25 : the Rev. Mr Boyd, the translator of 
Dante, had a faint recollection of three bal 
lads, one of which was called ' Johny Cox.' 
Before this, 1780, a lady of Carlisle had sent 
a copy to Doctor Percy, A. Scott, 1802, was 
the first to publish the ballad, selecting " the 
stanzas of greatest merit " from several copies 
which were in his hands. John Fry gave two 
valuable fragments, C, B (which he did not 
separate), in his Pieces of Ancient Poetry, 
1814, from a manuscript " appearing to be the 
text-book of some illiterate drummer." * I 
have been able to add only three versions to 
those which were already before the world, A, 
D, G ; and of these D is in part the same as E, 
previously printed by Kinloch. 

* This manuscript, which Fry bought in Glasgow in 
1810, contained several other ballads, "but written so cor 
ruptly as to be of little or no authority." It did not occur 
to Fry that the illiteracy of the drummer gave his ballads 
the best of authority. I have done what I could to recover 
VOL. in. 1 

Pinkerton, Select Scotish Ballads, II, xxxix, 
1783, has preserved a stanza, which he assigns 
to a supposititious ballad of 'Bertram the 
Archer : ' f 

' My trusty bow of the tough yew, 

That I in London bought, 
And silken strings, if ye prove true, 

That my true-love has wrought.' 

This stanza agrees with J 6, and with A 18, 
H 19 in part, and is very likely to belong here ; 
but it might be a movable passage, or com 

All the versions are in accord as to the 
primary points of the story. A gallant young 
fellow, who pays no regard to the game-laws, 
goes out, despite his mother's entreaties, to 
ding the dun deer down. He kills a deer, and 
feasts himself and his dogs so freely on it that 

the manuscript, but in vain, though I had the kindest as 
sistance in Bristol from the Rev. J. Percivall, Mr Francis 
Fry, and Mr J. F. Nicholls. 

t See Motherwell's apt remarks, Minstrelsy, p. 1. 


they all fall asleep. An old palmer, a silly 
auld, stane-auld carl, observes him, and car 
ries word to seven foresters [fifteen B, three 
(?) C]. They beset Johnie and wound him ; 
he kills all but one, and leaves that one, badly 
hurt, to carry tidings of the rest. Johnie 
sends a bird to his mother to bid her fetch him 
away, P 19, 20, cf. B 13 ; a bird warns his 
mother that Johnie tarries long, H 21 (one of 
Buchan's parrots). The boy in A 20, 21 is ev 
idently a corruption of bird. Information is 
given the mother in a different way in L. B-G 
must be adjudged to be incomplete ; I-M are 
mere fragments. H has a false and silly con 
clusion, 22-24, in imitation of Robin Hood and 
of Adam Bell. Mrs Harris had heard another 
version besides G (of which she gives only one 
stanza, L), in which " Johnie is slain and 
thrown owre a milk-white steed ; news is sent 
to Johnie's mother, who flies to her son." It 
is the one forester who is not quite killed that 
is thrown over his steed to carry tidings home, 
F 18, G 11. D 19, E 17, and Mrs Harris's 
second version are, as to this point, evidently 

The hero's name is Johnny Cock, B 2, C 1 ; 
Johny Cox, Rev. Mr Boyd ; John o Cockis 
(Johny Cockis ?), H 17 ; Johny o Cockley's 
Well, A 14 ; o Cockerslee, D 14 ; of Cockie- 
law, in one of the versions used by Scott for 
F ; o Cocklesmuir, E 13, H 15. Again, Johnie 
Brad, G 1, L ; Johnie o Breadislee, F 14 ; 
Braidislee, J 2. 

The hunting-ground, or the place where 
Johnie is discovered, is up in Braidhouplee, 
down in Bradyslee, A 6, high up in Bradyslee, 
low down in Bradyslee, A 12 ; Braidscaur 
Hill, D 6, Braidisbanks, D 12, I 1 ; Bride's 
Braidmuir, H 2, 5 ; Broadspear Hill, E 2, 5 ; 
Durrisdeer only in F 4. The seven foresters 
are of Pickeram Side, A 3, 19 ; of Hislinton, 
F 9. B I 1 reads, Fifteen foresters in the braid 
alow ; which seems to require emendation, per- 

* "It is sometimes said that this outlaw possessed the old 
Castle of Morton in Dumfriesshire, now ruinous. . . . The 
mention of Durisdeer, a neighboring parish, adds weight to 
the tradition." Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 1833, III, 
114 f. Mr W. Bennett, writing in 1826 in The Dumfries 
Monthly Magazine, III, 250, of which he was editor, speaks 
of a field a little to the southwest of Lochmaben as still show- 

haps simply to Braid alow, perhaps to Braidk 

With regard to the localities in A, Percy 
notes that Pickeram Side is in Northumbria, 
and that there is a Cockley Tower in Erring- 
side, near Brady's Cragg, and a Brady's Cragg 
near Chollerford Bridge. There is a Cockley, 
alias Cocklaw, in Erringside, near Chollerton, 
in the south division of Tynedale Ward, par 
ish of St John Lee. The Erring is a small 
stream which enters the Tyne between Chol 
lerton and Chollerford. Again, Cocklaw 
Walls appears in the map of the Ordnance 
Survey, a little to the north and east of Cock- 
ley in Erringside, and Cocklaw Walls may rep 
resent the Cockley's Well of the ballad. 
(Percy notes that Cockley's Well is said to 
be near Bewcastle, Cumberland.) I have not 
found Brady's Cragg or Pickeram Side in the 
Ordnance Survey maps, nor indeed any of the 
compounds of Braidy or Braid anywhere. 

There is a Braid a little to the south of 
Edinburgh, Braid Hills and Braid Burn ; and 
Motherwell, Minstrelsy, p. 17, says that there 
is tradition for this region having been the 

Scott's copy, F, lays the scene in Dumfries 
shire, and there is other tradition to the same 

Percy was struck with the occurrence of 
the wolf in A 17, found also in B 10, C 5. He 
considered, no doubt, that the mention of the 
wolf was a token of the high antiquity of the 
ballad. " Wolues that wyryeth men, worn- 
men and children " are spoken of in Piers 
Plowman, C, Passus, X, v. 226, Skeat, 1886, 
I, 240, and the C text is assigned to about 
1393. Holinshed (1577), I, 378, says that 
though the island is void of wolves south of 
the Tweed, yet the Scots cannot boast the 
like, since they have grievous wolves. 

F is translated by Schubart, p. 187 ; Wolff, 

ing the trace of a circular tower, which was " called Cockies- 
field, from one John Cock, or O'Cock, who had there his res 
idence, and who during his lifetime was one of the most 
renowned freebooters in Annandale." Mr Macmath, who 
pointed out the passage to me, observes that in Thomson's 
map of Dumfriesshire, 1828, the name is given " Cocket- 
field," and that there is also a Cocket Hill. 


Halle der Volker, I, 41, Hausschatz, p. 224; p. 127 b; by Loeve-Veimars, p. 296. Grundt- 
Doenniges, p. 10 ; Gerhard, p. 51 ; R. von Bis- vig, p. 269, No 41, translates a compound of 
marck, Deutsches Museum, 1858, I, 897 ; P, I, B (Kinloch's Ancient Scottish Ballads, 

Cesare Cantu, Document! alia Storia Univer- 
sale, V, 806 ; in Le Magasin Pittoresque, 1838, 

p. 36), and B ; Knortz, Schottische Balladen, 
No 18, a mixture of P and others. 

Communicated to Percy by Miss Fisher, of Carlisle, 1780, 
No 5 of MS. 

1 JOHXY he has risen up i the morn, 

Calls for water to wash his hands ; 
But little knew he that his bloody hounds 
Were bound in iron bands, bands 
"Were bound in iron bands 

2 Johny's mother has gotten word o that, 

And care-bed she has taen : 
' Johny, for my benison, 

I beg you '1 stay at hame ; 
For the wine so red, and the well baken bread, 

My Johny shall want nane. 

3 ' There are seven forsters at Pickeram Side, 

At Pickeram where they dwell, 

And for a drop of thy heart's bluid 

They wad ride the fords of helL" 

4 Johny he 's gotten word of that, 

And he 's turnd wondrous keen ; 
He 's put off the red scarlett, 

And he 's put on the Lincolm green. 

5 With a sheaf of arrows by his side, 

And a bent bow in his hand, 
He 's mounted on a prancing steed, 
And he has ridden fast oer the strand. 

6 He 's up i Braidhouplee, and down i Bradys- 


And under a buss o broom, 
And there he found a good dun deer, 
Feeding in a buss of ling. 

7 Johny shot, and the dun deer lap, 

And she lap wondrous wide, 
Until they came to the wan water, 
And he stemd her of her pride. 

8 He 'as taen out the little pen-knife, 

'T was full three quarters long, 
And he has taen out of that dun deer 
The liver bot and the tongue. 

9 They eat of the flesh, and they drank of the 


And the blood it was so sweet, 
Which caused Johny and his bloody hounds 
To fall in a deep sleep. 

10 By then came an old palmer, 

And an ill death may he die ! 
For he 's away to Pickram Side, 
As fast as he can drie. 

11 ' What news, what news ? ' says the Seven 


' What news have ye brought to me ? * 
' I have noe news,' the palmer said, 
' But what I saw with my eye. 

12 ' High up i Bradyslee, low down i Bradiss- 


And under a buss of scroggs, 
there I spied a well-wight man, 
Sleeping among his dogs. 

13 ' His coat it was of light Lincolm, 

And his breeches of the same, 

His shoes of the American leather, 

And gold buckles tying them.' 

14 Up bespake the Seven Forsters, 

Up bespake they ane and a' : 

O that is Johny o Cockleys Well, 

And near him we will draw. 

15 the first y stroke that they gae him, 

They struck him off by the knee ; 
Then up bespake his sister's son : 
' O the next '11 gar him die ! ' 


16 ' O some they count ye well-wight men, 

But I do count ye nane ; 
For you might well ha wakend me, 
And askd gin I wad be taen. 

17 ' The wildest wolf in aw this wood 

Wad not ha done so by me ; 
She 'd ha wet her foot ith wan water, 

And sprinkled it oer my brae, 
And if that wad not ha wakend me, 

She wad ha gone and let me be. 

18 ' bows of yew, if ye be true, 

In London, where ye were bought, 
Fingers five, get up belive, 

Manhuid shall fail me nought.' 

19 He has killd the Seven Forsters, 

He has killd them all but ane, 
And that wan scarce to Pickeram Side, 
To carry the bode-words hame. 

20 ' Is there never a boy in a' this wood 

That will tell what I can say ; 
That will go to Cockleys Well, 

Tell my neither to fetch me away ? ' 

21 There was a boy into that wood, 

That carried the tidings away, 
And many ae was the well- wight man 
At the fetching o Johny away. 


Pieces of Ancient Poetry from Unpublished Manuscripts 
and Scarce Books, Bristol, 1814, p. 53. 

1 FIFTEEN foresters in the Braid alow, 

And they are wondrous fell ; 
To get a drop of Johnny's heart-bluid, 
They would sink a' their souls to hell. 

2 Johnny Cock has gotten word of this, 

And he is wondrous keen ; 

He['s] custan off the red scarlet, 

And on the Linkum green. 

3 And he is ridden oer muir and muss, 

And over mountains high, 
Till he came to yon wan water, 
And there Johnny Cock did lie. 

4 They have ridden oer muir and muss, 

And over mountains high, 
Till they met wi' an old palmer, 
Was walking along the way. 

5 ' What news, what news, old palmer ? 

What news have you to me ? ' 
' Yonder is one of the proudest wed sons 
That ever my eyes did see.' 

6 He 'a taen out a horn from his side, 
And he blew both loud and shrill, 
Till a' the fifteen foresters 

Heard Johnny Cock blaw his horn. 

7 They have sworn a bluidy oath, 

And they swore all in one, 
That there was not a man among them a' 
Would blaw such a blast as yon. 

8 And they have ridden oer muir and muss, 

And over mountains high, 
Till they came to yon wan water, 
Where Johnny Cock did lie. 

9 They have shotten little Johnny Cock, 

A little above the ee : 

' For doing the like to me. 

10 ' There 's not a wolf in a' the wood 

Woud ' ha ' done the like to me ; 
'She 'd ha' dipped her foot in coll water, 

And strinkled above my ee, 
And if I would not have waked for that, 

' She 'd ha ' gane and let me be. 

11 ' But fingers five, come here, [come here,] 

And faint heart fail me nought, 
And silver strings, value me sma things, 
Till I get all this vengeance rowght ! ' 

12 He ha[s] shot a' the fifteen foresters, 

Left never a one but one, 
And he broke the ribs a that ane's side, 
And let him take tiding home. 

13 '. . . a bird in a' the wood 

Could sing as I could say, 
It would go in to my mother's bower, 
And bid her kiss me, and take me away.' 


Pieces of Ancient Poetry from Unpublished Manuscripts 
and Scarce Books, Bristol, 1814, p. 51. 

1 JOHNNY COCK, in a May morning, 

Sought water to wash his hands, 
And he is awa to louse his dogs, 
That 's tied wi iron bans. 
That 's tied wi iron bans 

2 His coat it is of the light Lincum green, 

And his breiks are of the same ; 
His shoes are of the American leather, 
Silver buckles tying them. 

3 ' He ' hunted up, and so did ' he ' down, 

Till ' he ' came to yon bush of scrogs, 
And then to yon wan water, 
Where he slept among his dogs. 

4 Johnny Cock out-shot a' the foresters, 
And out-shot a the three ; 

Out shot a' the foresters, 

Wounded Johnny aboun the bree. 

5 ' Woe be to you, foresters, 

And an ill death may you die ! 
For there would not a wolf in a' the wood 
Have done the like to me. 

6 ' For ' 't would ha ' put its foot in the coll water 

And ha strinkled it on my bree, 
And gin that would not have done, 
Would have gane and lett me be. 

7 ' I often took to my mother 

The dandoo and the roe, 
But now I '1 take to my mother 
Much sorrow and much woe. 

8 ' I often took to my mother 

The dandoo and the hare, 
But now I '1 take to my mother 
Much sorrow and much care.' 

Kinloch's annotated copy of his Ancient Scottish Ballads, 
p. 38 bis: a West-Country version. 

1 UP Johnie raise in a May morning, 

Calld for water to wash his hands, 
And he has calld for his gude gray hunds, 
That lay bund in iron bands, bands 
That lay bund in iron bands 

2 ' Ye '11 busk, ye '11 busk my noble dogs, 

Ye '11 busk and mak them boun, 
For I 'm going to the Braidscaur hill, 
To ding the dun deer doun.' 

3 Whan Johnie's mither gat word o that, 

On the very bed she lay, 

Says, Johnie, for my malison, 

I pray ye at hame to stay. 

4 Your meat sail be of the very, very best, 

Your drink sail be the same, 
And ye will win your mither's benison, 
Gin ye wad stay at hame. 

5 But Johnie has cast aff the black velvet, 

And put on the Lincoln twine, 

And he is on to gude greenwud, 
As fast as he could gang. 

6 His mither's counsel he wad na tak, 

He 's aff, and left the toun, 

He 's aff unto the Braidscaur hill, 

To ding the dun deer doun. 

7 Johnie lookit east, and Johnie lookit west, 

And he lookit aneath the sun, 
And there he spied the dun deer sleeping, 
Aneath a buss o whun. 

8 Johnie shot, and the dun deer lap, 

And he 's scaithed him in the side, 
And atween the water and the wud 

He laid the dun deer's pride. , 

9 They ate sae meikle o the venison, 

And drank sae meikle o the blude, 
That Johnie and his twa gray hunds 
Fell asleep in yonder wud. 

10 By ther cam a silly auld man, 

And a silly auld man was he, 
And he 'a aff to the proud foresters, 
As fast as he could dree. 



11 ' What news, what news, my silly auld man ? 

What news ? come tell to me : ' 
' I heard na news, I speird na news 
But what my een did see. 

12 ' As I cam in by Braidisbanks, 

And doun amang the whuns, 

The bonniest youngster eer I saw 

Lay sleepin amang his hunds. 

13 ' His cheeks war like the roses red, 

His neck was like the snaw ; 
His sark was o the holland fine, 
And his jerkin lac'd fu braw.' 

14 Up bespak the first forester, 

The first forester of a' : 
this is Johnie o Cockerslee ; 
Come draw, lads, we maun draw. 

15 Up bespak the niest forester, 

The niest forester of a' : 
An this be Johnie o Cockerslee, 
To him we winna draw. 

16 The first shot that they did shoot, 

They woundit him on the bree ; 
Up bespak the uncle's son, 
' The niest will gar him die.' 

17 The second shot that eer they shot, 

It scaithd him near the heart ; 
' I only wauken,' Johnie cried, 
' Whan first I find the smart. 

18 ' Stand stout, stand stout, my noble dogs, 

Stand stout, and dinna flee ; 
Stand fast, stand fast, my gude gray hunds, 
And we will gar them die.' 

19 He has killed six o the proud foresters, 

And wounded the seventh sair : 
He laid his leg out owre his steed, 
Says, I will kill na mair. 

20 ' Oh wae befa thee, silly auld man, 

An ill death may thee dee ! 

Upon thy head be a' this blude, 

For mine, I ween, is free.' 


Kinloch's MSS, VII, 29 : from recitation in the North 

1 JOHNIE rose up in a May morning, 

Calld for water to wash his hands, 
And he has calld for his gud gray hunds, 
That lay bund in iron bands, bands 
That lay bund in iron bands 

2 ' Ye '11 busk, ye '11 busk my noble dogs, 

Ye '11 busk and mak them boun, 
For I 'in gaing to the Broadspear hill, 
To ding the dun deer doun.' 

3. Whan Johnie's mither heard o this, 

She til her son has gane : 
' Ye '11 win your mither's benison, 
Gin ye wad stay at hame. 

4 ' Your meat sail be o the very, very best, 

And your drink o the finest wine ; 
And ye will win your mither's benison, 
Gin ye wad stay at hame.' 

5 His mither's counsel he wad na tak, 

Nor wad he stay at hame ; 
But he 's on to the Broadspear hill, 
To ding the dun deer doun. 

6 Johnie lookit east, and Johnie lookit west, 

And a little below the sun, 
And there he spied the dun deer lying sleeping 
Aneath a buss o brume. 

7 Johnie shot, and the dun deer lap, 

And he has woundit him in the side, 
And atween the water and the wud 
He laid the dun deer's pride. 

8 They ate sae meikle o the venison, 

And drank sae meikle o the blude, 
That Johnie and his twa gray hunds 
Fell asleep in yonder wud. 

9 By there cam a silly auld man, 

A silly auld man was he, 
And he 's aff to the proud foresters, 
To tell what he did see. 


10 ' What news, what news, my silly auld man, 

"What news ? come tell to me : ' 
' Na news, na news," said the silly auld man, 
' But what mine een did see. 

] 4 Up bespak the niest forester, 

The niest forester ava : 
' An this be Johnie o Cocklesmuir, 
To him we winna draw.' 

11 ' As I cam in by yon greenwud, 

And doun amang the scrogs, 

The bonniest youth that ere I saw 

Lay sleeping atween twa dogs. 

12 ' The sark that he had on his back 

Was o the holland sma, 
And the coat that he had on his back 
Was laced wi gowd fu braw.' 

13 Up bespak the first forester, 

The first forester ava: 
' An this be Johnie o Cocklesmuir, 
It 's time we war awa.' 

15 The first shot that they did shoot, 

They woundit him on the thie ; 
Up bespak the uncle's son, 
The niest will gar him die. 

16 ' Stand stout, stand stout, my noble dogs, 

Stand stout, and dinna flee ; 
Stand fast, stand fast, my gude gray hunds, 
And we will mak them dee.' 

17 He has killed six o the proud foresters, 

And he has woundit the seventh sair ; 
He laid his leg out oure his steed, 
Says, I will kill na rnair. 

Scott's Minstrelsy, I, 59, 1802; made up from several 
different copies. Nithsdale. 

1 JOHNIE rose up in a May morning, 

Called for water to wash his hands : 
' Gar loose to me the gude graie dogs, 
That are bound wi iron bands.' 

2 When Johnie's mother gat word o that. 

Her hands for dule she wrang : 
' O Johnie, for my bennison, 
To the grenewood dinna gang ! 

3 ' Eneugh ye hae o the gude wheat-bread, 

And eneugh o the blude-red wine, 
And therefore for nae vennison, Johnie, 
I pray ye, stir frae hame.' 

4 But Johnie 's buskt up his gude bend bow, 

His arrows, ane by ane, 
And he has gane to Durrisdeer, 
To hunt the dun deer down. 

5 As he came down by Merriemass, 

And in by the benty line, 
There has he espied a deer lying, 
Aneath a bush of ling. 

6 Johnie he shot, and the dun deer "lap, 

And he wounded her on the side, 

But atween the water and the brae, 
His hounds they laid her pride. 

7 And Johnie has bryttled the deer sae weel 

That he 's had out her liver, and lungs,' 
And wi these he has feasted his bludey hounds 
As if they had been erl's sons. 

8 They eat sae much o the vennison, 

And drank sae much o the blude, 

That Johnie and a' his bludey hounds 

Fell asleep as they had been dead. 

9 And by there came a silly auld carle, 

An ill death mote he die ! 
For he 's awa to Hislinton, 

Where the Seven Foresters did lie. 

1 ' What news, what news, ye gray-headed carle ? 

What news bring ye to me ? ' 
' I bring nae news,' said the gray-headed 

' Save what these eyes did see. 

11 ' As I came down by Merriemass, 

And down amang the scroggs, 

The bonniest childe that ever I saw 

Lay sleeping amang his dogs. 

12 ' The shirt that was upon his back 

Was o the holland fine ; 


The doublet which was over that 
"Was o the Lincome twine. 

13 ' The buttons that were on his sleeve 

Were o the gowd sae gude ; 
The gude graie hounds he lay amang, 
Their mouths were dyed wi blude." 

14 Then out and spak the first forester, 

The heid man ower them a' : 
If this be Johnie o Breadislee, 
Nae nearer will we draw. 

15 But up and spak the sixth forester, 

His sister's son was he : 
If this be Johnie o Breadislee, 
We soon shall gar him die. 

16 The first flight of arrows the foresters shot, 

They wounded him on the knee ; 
And out and spak the seventh forester, 
The next will gar him die. 

17 Johnie 's set his back against an aik, 

His fute against a stane, 
And he has slain the Seven Foresters, 
He has slain them a' but ane. 

18 He has broke three ribs in that ane's side, 

But and his collar bane ; 
He 's laid him twa-fald ower his steed, 
Bade him carry the tidings hame. 


O is there na a bonnie bird 
Can sing as I can say, 

Could flee away to my mother's bower, 
And tell to fetch Johnie away ? ' 

20 The starling flew to his mother's window- 


It 'whistled and it sang, 
And aye the ower-word o the tune 
Was, Johnie tarries lang ! 

21 They made a rod o the hazel-bush, 

Another o the slae-thorn tree, 
And mony, mony were the men 
At fetching our Johnie. 

22 Then out and spake his auld mother, 

And fast her teirs did fa ; 
Ye wad nae be warnd, my son Johnie, 
Frae the hunting to bide awa. 

23 ' Aft hae I brought to Breadislee 

The less gear and the mair, 
But I neer brought to Breadislee 
What grieved my heart sae sair. 

24 ' But wae betyde that silly auld carle, 

An ill death shall he die ; 
For the highest tree on Merriemass 
Shall be his morning's fee." 

25 Now Johnie's gude bend bow is broke, 

And his gude graie dogs are slain, 
And his bodie lies dead in Durrisdeer, 
And his hunting it is done. 


Harris MS., fol. 25 : from Mrs Harris's recitation. 

1 JOHNNIE BRAD, on a May mornin, 

Called for water to wash his hands, 
An there he spied his twa blude-hounds, 
Waur bound in iron bands, bands 
Waur bound in iron bands 

2 Johnnie 's taen his gude bent bow, 

Bot an his arrows kene, 
An strippit hirasel o the scarlet red, 
An put on the licht Lincoln green. 

3 Up it spak Johnnie's mither, 

An' a wae, wae woman was she : 

I beg you bide at hame, Johnnie, 
I pray be ruled by me. 

4 Baken bread ye sail nae lack, 

An wine you sail lack nane ; 
Oh Johnnie, for my benison, 
I beg you bide at hame ! 

5 He has made a solemn aith, 

Atween the sun an the mune, 
That he wald gae to the gude green wood, 
The dun deer to ding doon. 

6 He luiket east, he luiket wast, 

An in below the sun, 
An there he spied the dun deer, 
Aneath a bush o brume. 


7 The firsten shot that Johnnie shot, 

He wounded her in the side ; 
The nexten shot that Johnnie shot, 
I wat he laid her pride. 

8 He 's eaten o the venison, 

An drunken o the blude, 
Until he fell as sound asleep 
As though he had been dead. 

9 Bye there cam a silly anld man, 

And a silly auld man was he, 
An he 's on to the Seven Foresters, 
As fast as he can flee. 

10 ' As I cam in by yonder haugh, 

An in among the scroggs, 
The bonniest boy that ere I saw 
Lay sleepin atween his dogs.' 

11 The firsten shot that Johnnie shot, 

He shot them a' but ane, 
An he flang him owre a milk-white steed, 
Bade him bear tidings hame. 

Buchan's MSS, I, 82 ; Dixon, Scottish Traditional Ver 
sions of Ancient Ballads, p. 77, Percy Society, vol. xrii. 

1 JOHNXIE raise up in a May morning, 

Calld for water to wash his hands, 
And he 's commant his bluidy dogs 

To be loosd frae their iron bands, bands 
To be loosd frae their iron bands 

2 ' Win up, win up, my bluidy dogs, 

Win up, and be unbound, 
And we will on to Bride's Braidmuir, 
And ding the dun deer down.' 

3 When his mother got word o that, 

Then she took bed and lay ; 
Says, Johnnie, my son, for my blessing, 
Ye '11 stay at hame this day. 

4 There 's baken bread and brown ale 

Shall be at your command ; 
Te '11 win your mither's blythe blessing, 
To the Bride's Braidmuir nae gang. 

5 Mony are my friends, mither, 

Though thousands were my foe ; 
Betide me life, betide me death, 
To the Bride's Braidmuir I '11 go. 

6 The sark that was on Johnnie's back 

Was o the cambric fine ; 
The belt that was around his middle 
Wi pearlins it did shine. 

7 The coat that was upon his back 

Was o the linsey brown ; 
And he 's awa to the Bride's Braidmuir, 
To ding the dun deer down. 

8 Johnnie lookd east, Johnnie lookd west, 

And turnd him round and round, 
And there he saw the king's dun deer, 
Was cowing the bush o brune. 

9 Johnnie shot, and the dun deer lap, 

He wounded her in the side ; 
Between him and yon burnie-bank, 
Johnnie he laid her pride. 

10 He ate sae muckle o the venison. 

He drank sae muckle bleed, 
Till he lay down between his hounds, 
And slept as he 'd been dead. 

11 But by there came a stane-auld man, 

An ill death mat he dee ! 
For he is on to the Seven Foresters, 
As fast as gang could he. 

12 ' What news, what news, ye stane-auld man? 

What news hae ye brought you wi ? ' 
' Nae news, nae news, ye seven foresters, 
But what your eyes will see. 

13 ' As I gaed i yon rough thick hedge, 

Amang yon bramly scroggs, 
The fairest youth that eer I saw 
Lay sleeping between his dogs. 



14 ' The sark that was upon his back 

Was o the cambric fine ; 
The belt that was around his middle 
Wi pearlins it did shine.' 

15 Then out it speaks the first forester : 

Whether this be true or no, 
O if it 's Johnnie o Cocklesmuir, 
Nae forder need we go. 

16 Out it spake the second forester, 

A fierce fellow was he : 
Betide me life, betide me death, 
This youth we '11 go and see. 

17 As they gaed in yon rough thick hedge, 

And down yon forest gay, 
They came to that very same place 
Where John o Cockis he lay. 

18 The first an shot they shot at him, 

They wounded him in the thigh ; 
Out spake the first forester's son : 
By the next shot he maun die. 

19 ' O stand ye true, my trusty bow, 

And stout steel never fail ! 

Avenge me now on all my foes, 
Who have my life i bail.' 

20 Then Johnnie killd six foresters, 

And wounded the seventh sair ; 
Then drew a stroke at the stane-auld man, 
That words he neer spake mair. 

21 His mother's parrot in window sat, 

She whistled and she sang, 
And aye the owerturn o the note, 
' Young Johnnie 's biding lang." 

22 When this reached the king's own ears, 

It grievd him wondrous sair ; 
Says, I 'd rather they 'd hurt my subjects all 
Than Johnnie o Cocklesmuir. 

23 ' But where are all my wall-wight men, 

That I pay meat and fee, 
Will gang the morn to Johnnie's castle, 
See how the cause may be.' 

24 Then he 's calld Johnnie up to court, 

Treated him handsomelie, 
And now to hunt in the Bride's Braidmuir, 
For life has license free. 

MotherwelTs Minstrelsy, p. 23. 

1 JOHNIE rose up in a May morning, 

Called for water to wash his hands, hand 
And he is awa to Braidisbanks, 

To ding the dun deer down, down 
To ding the dun deer down 

2 Johnie lookit east, and Johnie lookit west, 

And it 's lang before the sun, 
And there he did spy the dun deer lie, 
Beneath a bush of brume. 

3 Johnie shot, and the dun deer lap, 

And he 's woundit her in the side ; 
Out then spake his sister's son, 

' And the neist will lay her pride.' 

4 They 've eaten sae meikle o the gude venison, 
And they 've drunken sae muckle o the 


That they 've fallen into as sound a sleep 
As gif that they were dead. 

5 ' It 's doun, and it 's doun, and it 's doun, doun, 

And it 's doun amang the scrogs, 
And there ye '11 espy twa bonnie boys lie, 
Asleep amang their dogs.' 

6 They waukened Johnie out o his sleep, 

And he 's drawn to him his coat : 
' My fingers five, save me alive, 
And a stout heart fail me not ! ' 



Chambers's Scottish Ballads, p. 181, stanzas 13, 16, 17, 
21, 22, 23, 26: from the recitation of a lady resident at 

1 His coat was o the scarlet red, 

His vest was o the same ; 
His stockings were o the worset lace, 
And buckles tied to the same. 

4 ' O wae be to you seven foresters ! 

I wonder ye dinna think shame, 
You being seven sturdy men, 
And I but a man my lane. 

5 ' Now fail me not, my ten fingers, 

That are both long and small ! 
Now fail me not, my noble heart ! 
For in thee I trust for all. 

2 Out then spoke one, out then spoke two, 

Out then spoke two or three ; 
Out spoke the master forester, 
' It 's Johnie o Braidislee. 

3 ' If this be true, thou silly auld man, 

Which you tell unto me, 
Five hundred pounds of yearly rent 
It shall not pay your fee.' 

6 ' Now fail me not, my good bend bow, 

That was in London coft ! 
Now fail me not, my golden string, 
Which my true lover wrocht ! ' 

7 He has tossed him up, he has tossed him doun, 

He has broken his collar-bone ; 
He has tied him to his bridle reins, 
Bade him carry the tidings home. 

Finlay's Scottish Ballads, I, xxxi. 

' THERE 's no a bird in a' this foreste 

Will do as meikle for me 
As dip its wing in the wan water 

An straik it on my ee-bree.' 

Harris MS., fol. 25 b. 

BUT aye at ilka ae mile's end 

She fand a cat o clay, 
An written upon the back o it 

' Tak your son Johnnie Brod away.' 


Froude's Life of Carlyle, 1795-1875, II, 335, New York, 
1882, completed by a communication of Mr Macmath : as 
sung by Carlyle's mother. 

'O BUSK ye, busk ye, my three bluidy 

O busk ye, and go with me, 
For there 's seven foresters in yon forest, 

And them I want to see.' see 

And them I want to see 

A. ' The Seven Forsters at Pickeram Side ' is a 

title supplied by Percy. 
6 2 . I wun is added by Percy, at the end. 
7 s , 17 s . one water. 

15 1 . Oh. 19 4 . bord words, or bood words. 
B follows C in Fry without a break. Words dis 
tinguished by ' ' in B, C are emendations or 


additions of Fry. 4, 5 come between 12 and 


I 1 , braid alow. 10 1 . the word. 10 6 . would have. 
ll a . hearted. 13 s . bows. 
4 3 . Out-shot. 
" There is a West-Country version of this bal 

lad, under the title of Johnie of Cockerslee, 



differing very little from the present. The 
variations in the reading I have marked at 
their respective places." Kinloch, Assum 
ing that Kinloch has given all the varia 
tions (which include six entire stanzas), the 
West-Country version is reproduced by com 
bining these readings with so much of the 
other copy, Kinloch 's Ancient Scottish Sal- 
lads, p. 38, as did not vary. 15 8 . Kinloch 
neglected to alter Cocklesmuir here. 

B. 6 s . lying is struck through, probably to im 
prove the metre. Kinloch made two slight 
changes in printing. 

H. 5 1 . Mony ane. (?) 9 1 . Johnnie lap : probably 

an error of the copyist. 
9 2 , 18 2 . wound : cf. 20 2 . 
21 4 . bidding. 

Dixon has changed stane-auld to silly-auld in 
II 1 , 12 1 , 20 s ; Cockis to Cockl's in 17<; and 
has Scotticised the spelling. 

I. Motherwett notes a stanza as wanting after 3, 
some stanzas as wanting after 4, 5. 

J. " The version of the ballad here given is partly 
copied from those printed in the Border 
Minstrelsy and in the publications of Messrs 
Kinloch and Motherwell, and is partly taken 
from the recitation of a lady resident at 
Peebles and from a manuscript copy sub 

mitted to me by Mr Kinloch. The twelfth, 
thirteenth, fourteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, 
twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, 
twenty-sixth, and twenty-seventh stanzas are 
here printed for the first time." Chambers. 
The lith stanza had been printed by Scott, 
F 12 ; the 23d, repeated here (6), by Pinker- 
ton ; the 27lh is D 20. The first half of the 
\1th is D 13 1 ' 2 , and the remainder Cliam- 
bers's own : compare his 11 and P 11, from 
which it seems to have been made. 

L. "I have heard another version, where Johnnie 
is slain and thrown ' owre a milk-white 
steed.' News is sent to Johnnie's mother, 
who flies to her son ; But aye at ilka ae 
mile's end, etc." 

M. "While she [Carlyle's mother] was at Craigen- 
puttock, I made her train me to two song- 
tunes ; and we often sang them together, and 
tried them often again in coming down into 
Annandale." The last half of the stanza is 
cited. Letter of T. Carlyle, May 18, 1834, 
in Froude's Life, 1795-1835, II, 335. 
" Mrs Aitken, sister of T. Carlyle, sent me 
[January 15, 1884] the first two lines to 
complete the stanza of this Johny Cock, but 
can call up no more of the ballad." Letter 
of Mr Macmath. 


Sloane MS., 2593, fol. 14 b, British Museum. 

PRINTED by Ritson, Ancient Songs, 1790, 
p. 48, and by Thomas Wright, Songs and 
Carols (selected from the Sloane MS.), No X, 
London, 1836, and again in his edition of the 
whole MS. for the Warton Club, 1856, p. 42. 
The manuscript is put at about 1450. 

Wright remarks on the similarity of the 
name Gandelyn to Gamelyn in the tale as 

signed to the Cook in some manuscripts of the 
Canterbury Tales, and on the resemblance of 
the tale of Garnelyn to Robin Hood story. 
But he could hardly have wished to give the 
impression that Robin in this ballad is Robin 
Hood. This he no more is than John in the 
ballad which precedes is Little John ; though 
Gandelyn is as true to his master as Little 



John is, and is pronounced to be by the king, 
in ' Robin Hood and the Monk.' Ritson gave 
the ballad the title of ' Robin Lyth,' looking 
on the ' lyth ' of the burden as the hero's sur 
name ; derived perhaps from the village of 
Lythe, two or three miles to the north of 
Whitby. A cave on the north side of the 
promontory of Flamborough, called Robin 
Lyth's Hole (popularly regarded as the strong 
hold of a pirate), may have been, Ritson 
thinks, one of the skulking-places of the Robin 

who fell by the shaft of Wrennok. " Robin 
Hood," he adds, " had several such in those 
and other parts ; and, indeed, it is not very 
improbable that our hero had been formerly in 
the suite of that gallant robber, and, on his 
master's death, had set up for himself." 
Thought is free. 

Translated by Grundtvig, Engelske og skot- 
ske Folkeviser, page 44, No. 6. 

1 I HEEDE a carpyng of a clerk, 

Al at jone wodes ende, 
Of gode Robyn and Gandeleyn ; 

Was ]>er now o]>er pynge. 
Robynw lyth in grene wode bowndyw 

2 Stronge theuys wern J>o chylderm now, 

But bowmen gode and hende ; 
He wentyw to wode to getyw hewt fleych, 
If God wold it hewi sende. 

3 Al day wewtyw po chylderm too, 

And fleych fowndyw he now, 
Til it were a-geyn euyw ; 

J>e chylderiw wold gow horn. 

4 Half aw honderid of fat falyf der 

He comyw a-}on, 
And alle he wern fayr and fat i-now, 

But markyd was 'per now : 
' Be dere God,' seyde gode Robyn, 

' Here of we xul haue on." 

5 Robyre bent his joly bowe, 

Tper in he set a flo ; 
f>e fattest der of alle 
]?e herte he clef a to. 

6 He hadde not pe der i-flawe, 

Ne half out of pe hyde, 
There cam a schrewde arwe out of pe west, 
}>at felde Robertas pryde. 

7 Gandeleyn lokyd hym est and west, 

Be euery syde : 
' Hoo hat myw mayster slayin ? 

Ho hat dow pis dede ? 
Xal I neuer out of grene wode go 

Til I se [his] sydis blede.' 

8 Gandeleyn lokyd by/re est and lokyd west, 

And sowt vnder pe sunwe ; 
He saw a lytil boy 

He clepyw Wrennok of Donne. 

9 A good bowe in his hond, 

A brod arwe ]>er ine, 
And fowre and twenti goode arwys, 

Trusyd in a prumme : 
' Be war pe, war pe, Gandeleyn, 

Her-of pu xalt haw summe. 

10 ' Be war pe, war pe, Gawdeleyn, 

Her of pu gyst plente : ' 
' Euer on for aw oper,' seyde Gandeleyn ; 
' Mysauwter haue he xal fle. 

11 ' Qwer-at xal our marke be ? ' 

Seyde Gandeleyn : 
' Eueryche at opms herte,' 
Seyde Wrennok ageyn. 

12 ' Ho xal jeue pe ferste schote ? ' 

Seyde Gawdeleyn : 
' And I xul $eue pe on be-forn,' 
Seyde Wrennok ageyn. 

13 Wrennok schette a ful good schote, 

And he schet not to hye ; 
}>row pe sawchopis of his bryk ; 
It towchyd neyper thye. 

14 ' Now hast pu jouyw me on be-forn,' 

Al pus to Wrennok seyde he, 
' And prow pe myjt of our lady 
A betters I xal jeue pe.' 

15 Gandeleyn bent his goode bowe, 

And set per in a flo ; 



He schet prow his grene certyl, 
His herte he clef on too. 

16 ' Now xalt pu neuer jelpe, Wrennok, 

At ale ne at wyn, 
pat pu. hast slawe goode Robyw, 
And his knaue Gandeleyn. 

17 ' Now xalt pu neuer jelpe, Wrennok, 

At wyn ne at ale, 
f>at pu hast slawe goode Robyra, 
And Gandeleyw his knaue.' 

Robyw ly?th in grene wode bowndyw 

Written continuously, without division of stanzas 4*. I now. 4'. Robyn wanting. 5 1 . went. 

or verses. The burden, put after 1, stands at 7 6 . Ti I. 9 s . & xx. 10 2 . hir. 12 s . jewe. 12 4 

the head of the ballad. 14 s . p u myjt. 17 4 . Gawdelyyn : knawe. 

And. for & always. I 4 , gynge. Last line : bowdyi. 




a. Two fragments, stanzas 113 4 -128 2 , 161M70, of an 
edition by John Byddell, London, 1536 : Library of 
the University of Cambridge.* 

d. 'Adam Bell, dim of the Clough, and William of 
Cloudesle,' James Roberts, London, 1C05 : Bodleian 
Library, C. 39, Art. Selden. 

b. A fragment, stanzas 53 8 -lll 8 , by a printer not iden- e. Another edition with the same title-page: Bodleian 
tided: formerly in the possession of J. Payne Collier.-) 1 Library, Malone, 299. 

c. ' Adambel, Clym of the cloughe, and Wyllyam of 
cloudesle,' William Copeland, London [1548-68] : 
British Museum, C. 21, c. 644 

f. ' Adam Bell, Clime of the Cloug[he], and William 
off Cloudeslee,' Percy MS., p. 390: British Museum. 
Hales and Furnivall, III, 76. 

'ADAM BELL' is licensed to John Kynge 
in the Stationers' Registers, 19 July, 1557- 
9 July, 1558 : Arber, I, 79. Again, among 
copies which were Sampson Awdeley's, to 
John Charlewood, 15 January, 1582 ; and, 
among copies which were John Charlwoode's, 
to James Robertes, 31 May, 1594 : Arber, II, 
405, 651. Seven reprints of the seventeenth 

* Colophon : [PJrynted at London, in Fletestretc, at [the 
si]gne of the Sonne, by, me lohn [I?y]ddell. In the yere 
of our lord god m.ccccc.xxxvj. The seconde daye of June, 
lohu Byddell. 

Eight lines wanting: 120 3 . 4 ; 121; 168 s - 4 . Mutilated at 
the beginning: 169; 170. Mutilated at the end: 164 1 ; 
165'; 167 1 . 

t Eleven lines wanting : 60 2 ' 3 - 4 ; 67 4 ; 68 1 - 2 ; 100 s ; 104*; 

century, later than d, are noted in Mr W. C. 
Hazlitt's Handbook, p. 35. 

The larger part of a has been reprinted by 
Mr F. S. Ellis, in his catalogue of the library 
of Mr Henry Huth, I, 128 f, 1880. b was 
used by Mr W. C. Hazlitt for his edition of 
the ballad in Remains of the Early Popular 
Poetry of England, II, 131. || c was reprinted 

105 1 - 2 ; 110*. Mutilated at the beginning: 61-64 1 ; 64 8 -67 3 ; 
TSMiS 1 ; 90 4 ' 5 ' 6 ; 96 4 ; lOoMlO 3 ; 111 1 ' 2 . Mutilated at the 
end: 60 1 ; 101 3 ; 102 3 ; 103 1 ; 104 2 ' 3 . Elsewhere: 97 2 ' 3 ; 104 1 . 

J Colophon. Imprinted at London, in Lothburye, by 
Wyllyam Copeland. 

" Two leaves, discovered in the pasteboard or fly-leaves 
of a book received from abroad." 

|| b was kindly copied for me by Mr J. P. Collier in 1857. 



by Percy in his Reliques, 1765, I, 129, with 
corrections from f ; and by Ritson, Pieces of 
Ancient Popular Poetry, 1791, p. 5, with the 
necessary emendations of Copland's somewhat 
faulty text, d is followed by a Second Part, 
described by Ritson, in temperate terms, as 
" a very inferior and servile production." It 
is here given (with much reluctance) in an 

Adam Bell, Glim of the Clough, and Wil 
liam of Cloudesly, outlawed for breach of the 
game-laws, swear brotherhood, and betake 
themselves to Inglewood, a forest adjacent to 
Carlisle. William is a wedded man, and one 
day tells his brethren that he means to go to 
Carlisle to see his wife and children. Adam 
would not advise this, lest he should be taken 
by the justice. William goes to Carlisle, nev 
ertheless, knocks at his window, and is admit 
ted by Alice, his wife, who tells him with a 
sigh that the place has been beset for him a 
half year and more. While they make good 
cheer, an old woman, whom William had kept 
seven years for charity, slips out, and informs 
the justice that William is come to town.* 
The justice and the sheriff come presently 
with a great rout to take William. Man and 
wife defend the house till it is set on fire. Wil 
liam lets his wife and children down with 
sheets, and shoots on till his bowstring is burnt, 
then runs into the thick of his foes with 
sword and buckler, but is felled by doors and 
windows thrown on him, and so taken. The 
sheriff orders the gates of Carlisle to be shut 
close, and sets up a gallows to hang William. 
A boy, friendly to the family, gets out at a 
crevice in the wall, and carries word to Adam 
and dim, who instantly set out for the res 

Adam and Clim find the gates shut so fast 
that there is no chance of getting in without 
a stratagem. Adam has a fair written letter 
in his pocket : they will make the porter think 
that they have the king's seal. They beat on 
the gate till the porter comes, and demand to 

be let in as messengers from the king to the jus 
tice. The porter demurs, but they browbeat 
him with the king's seal ; he opens the gate ; 
they wring his neck and take his keys. First 
bending their bows and looking to the strings, 
they make for the market-place, where they 
find Cloudesly lying in a cart, on the point 
to be hanged. William sees them, and takes 
hope. Adam makes the sheriff his mark, Clim 
the justice ; both fall, deadly wounded ; the 
citizens fly ; the outlaws loose Cloudesly's 
ropes. William wrings an axe from the hand 
of an officer, and smites on every side ; Adam 
and Clim shoot till their arrows are gone, then 
draw their swords. Horns are blown, and the 
bells rung backwards ; the mayor of Carlisle 
comes with a large force, and the fight is hot 
ter than ever. But all for naught, for the 
outlaws get to the gates, and are soon in In 
glewood, under their trysty-tree. 

Alice had come to Inglewood to make 
known to Adam and Clim what had befallen 
her husband, but naturally had not found 
them, since they were already gone to Wil 
liam's rescue. A woman is heard weeping, 
and Cloudesly, taking a turn to see what this 
may mean, comes upon his wife and three 
boys. Very sad she is, but the sight of her 
husband makes all well. Three harts are 
killed for supper, and William gives Alice the 
best for standing so boldly by him. The out 
laws determine to go to the king to get a char 
ter of peace. William takes his eldest son 
with him, leaving Alice and the two younger 
at a nunnery. The three brethren make their 
way to the king's presence, without leave of 
porter or announcement by usher, kneel down 
and hold up their hands, and ask grace for 
having slain the king's deer. The king in 
quires their names, and when he hears who 
they are says they shall all be hanged, and or 
ders them into arrest. Adam Bell once more 
asks grace, since they have come to the king 
of their free will, or else that they may go, 
with such weapons as they have, when they 

Mr Collier described his fragment as " a scrap which once * This old woman gives the title ' Auld Matrons ' to a bal- 

formed the fly-leaf of a book." Hazlitt says that the type is lad in Buchan's larger collection, II, 238, in which kitchen- 

clearly older than Copland's, and very like Wynkyn de tradiiion has made over some of the incidents in the First 

Worde's. Fit of Adam Bell. 



will ask no grace in a hundred years. The 
king replies again that all three shall be 
hanged. Hereupon the queen reminds the 
king that when she was wedded he had prom 
ised to grant the first boon she should ask ; 
she had hitherto asked nothing, but now begs 
the three yeomen's lives. The king must 
needs consent. 

Immediately thereafter comes information 
that the outlaws had slain the justice and 
the sheriff, the mayor of Carlisle, all the con 
stables and catchpolls, the sergeants of the 
law, forty foresters, and many more. This 
makes the king so sad that he can eat no more ; 
but he wishes to see these fellows shoot that 
have wrought all this woe. The king's archers 
and the queen's go to the butts with the three 
yeomen, and the outlaws hit everything that 
is set up. Cloudesly holds the butts too wide 
for a good archer, and the three set up two 
hazel rods, twenty score paces apart; he is a 
good archer, says Cloudesly, that cleaves one 
of these. The king says no man can do it; 
but Cloudesly cleaves the wand. The king 
declares him the best archer he ever saw. 
William says he will do a greater mastery : 
he will lay an apple on his son's head (a boy 
of seven), and split it in two at six score paces. 
The king bids him make haste so to do : if he 
fail, he shall be hanged ; and if he touch the 
boy, the outlaws shall be hanged, all three. 
Cloudesly ties the child to a stake, turning its 
face from him, sets an apple on its head, and, 
begging the people to remain quiet, cleaves 
the apple in two. The king gives Cloudesly 
eighteen pence a day as his bowman, and 
makes him chief rider over the North Coun 
try. The queen adds twelve pence, makes him 
a gentleman of cloth and fee and his two bro 
thers yeomen of her chamber, gives the boy 
a place in her wine-cellar, and appoints Alice 
her chief gentlewoman and governess of her 
nursery. The yeomen express their thanks, 
go to Rome [to some bishop, in the later 
copy] to be absolved of their sins, live the 
rest of their lives with the king, and die good 
men, all three. 

The rescue of Robin Hood by Little John 
and Much in No 117, sts 61-82, has a general 

resemblance to the rescue of Cloudesly by 
Adam and Glim in this ballad, st. 52 ff. The 
rescue of Will Stutly has also some slight sim 
ilarity : cf. No 141, sts 26-33, and 70, 79-81, of 
'Adam Bell.' 

The shooting of an apple from a boy's head, 
sts 151-62, is, as is well known, a trait in 
several German and Norse traditions, and 
these particular feats, as well as everything 
resembling them, have been a subject of eager 
discussion in connection with the apocryphal 
history of William Tell. 

The Icelandic saga of Dietrich of Bern, 
compiled, according to the prologue, from Low 
German tales and ballads, narrates that young 
Egil, a brother of Weland the Smith, came 
to Nidung's court with the fame of being the 
best bowman in the world. Nidung, to prove 
his skill, required Egil [on pain of death] to 
shoot an apple from the head of his son, a 
child of three years, only one trial being per 
mitted. Egil split the apple in the middle. 
Though allowed but one chance, Egil had pro 
vided himself with three arrows. When asked 
why, he answered the king that the two oth 
ers were meant for him, if he had hit the boy 
with the first. Saga Biftriks Konungs af 
Bern, ed. linger, c. 75, p. 90 f ; Peringskib'ld, 
Wilkina Saga, c. 27, p. 63 f ; Raszmann, Die 
Deutsche Heldensage, II, 247 f; the Swedish 
rifacimento, Sagan om Didrik af Bern, ed. 
Hylte'n-Cavallius, c. 73, p. 54. The Icelandic 
saga was composed about 1250. 

Saxo, writing about 1200, relates nearly the 
same incidents of Toko, a man in the service 
of King Harold Bluetooth (f c. 985). Toko, 
while drinking with comrades, had bragged 
that he was good enough bowman to hit the 
smallest apple on top of a stick at the first shot. 
This boast was carried to the king, who ex 
acted a fulfilment of it on pain of death ; but , 
the apple was to be set on the head of Toko's 
son. The father exhorted the boy to stand 
perfectly still, and, to make this easier, turned 
the child's face from, the direction of the shot ; 
then, laying out three arrows from his quiver, 
executed the required feat. When the king 
asked why he had taken three arrows, Toko 
replied, To wreak the miss of the first with 



the points of the others. Saxo Grammati- 
cus, Gesta Danorum, Book x, ed. Holder, 
p. 329 f. 

The White Book of Obwalden, written about 
1470, informs us that Tell, a good archer, 
having refused to bow to Gesler's hat, was or 
dered by the landvogt to shoot an apple from 
the head of one of his children. Unable to 
resist, Tell laid-by a second arrow, shot the 
apple from the child's head, and being asked 
why he had reserved the other arrow, re 
plied that if the first had missed he would 
have shot Gesler or one of his men with the 

This story is introduced into a piece of 
verse on the origin of the Swiss confederacy, 
of nearly the same date as the prose docu 
ment. In this the landvogt says to Tell that 
if he does not hit with the first shot, it will 
cost him his life ; the distance is one hundred 
and twenty paces, as in the English ballad, 
and Tell says simply that he would have shot 
the landvogt if he had hit his son.f (Tell 
uses a cross-bow, not the long-bow, as the 

Henning Wulf, a considerable person in 
Holstein, who had headed an unsuccessful out 
break against Christian the First of Denmark, 
was captured and brought before the king. 
The king, knowing Henning to be an incom 
parable archer, ordered him to shoot an ap 
ple from the head of his only son, a child : if 
he succeeded, he was to go free. The exploit 
was,happily accomplished. But Henning had 
put a second arrow into his mouth, and the 
king asked the object. The second arrow 
was for the king, had the boy been hit. Hen 
ning Wulf was outlawed. The story, which 

* Vischer, Die Sage von der Befreiung der Waldstadte, 
pp 33, 36 f ; Rochholz, Germania, XIII, 56 f. " Wa er das 
nit hette gethan, so hette er selbs miissen darumb sterben : " 
Russ's Chronicle, 1482, Vischer, p. 50. 

t Liliencron, Die historischen Volkslieder der Deutschen, 
II, 109, Xo 147 ; Buhme, p. 47, No 10 ; Vischer, p. 46 ; Roch 
holz, Tell u. Gessler, p. 180; Tobler, p. 3. This or a like 
song was known to Russ, 1482. Tschudi, about a hundred 
years later, c. 1570, says that tbe child was five or six, 
not more than six, years old: Vischer, p. 122. There is 
another, but later and even worse, " song " about William 
Tell and the confederacy: Bohme, Noll, p. 49;Wunder- 
horn, 1808, II, 129; etc. 

^ Miillenhoff, Sagen, u. a. w., der Herzogthumer Schleswig 
VOL. in. 3 

is put at 1472, is the subject of a painting 
preserved in a church. J 

The Norwegian king, Haraldr HarSraSr 
(t 1066), who has a grudge against Hemingr, 
son of Aslakr, undertakes to put him to proof 
in shooting, swimming, and snow-shoe sliding. 
They go to a wood, and both execute extraor 
dinary feats with bow and lance ; but Hem 
ingr is much superior to the king. The king 
orders Hemingr to shoot a nut from his bro 
ther Bjorn's head, on pain of death for missing. 
Hemingr would rather die than venture such 
a shot ; but his brother offers himself freely, 
and undertakes to stand still. Then let the 
king stand by Bjb'rn, says Hemingr, and see 
whether I hit. But the king prefers to stand 
by Hemingr, and appoints somebody else to 
the other position. Hemingr crosses himself, 
calls God to witness that the king is responsi 
ble, throws his lance, and strikes the nut from 
his brother's head, doing him no harm. Hem- 
ings Dattr, Flateyjarb6k, III, 405 f (1370- 
80); Miiller, Sagabibliothek, III, 356 ff. 
This story was probably derived from an old 
song, and is preserved in Norwegian and Fa 
roe ballads : ' Harald kongin og Hemingen 
unge,' Landstad, Norske Folkeviser, No 15, A, 
B, pp. 177-188 ; ' Geyti Aslaksson,' Hammers- 
haimb, Fseroiske Kvseder, No 17, A-C, n, 149- 
163. In Norwegian A, 5-10, the shot is ex 
acted under pain of imprisonment. Hemingen 
insists that the king shall take a place near 
his brother [son], whom he exhorts to stand 
erect and bold ; one half of the nut falls, the 
other is left on the head ; the king asks what 
was to have been done with a second arrow 
which Hemingen had secreted, and is answered 
as in the previous cases. The first and last 

Holstein n. Lauenburg, p. 57, No 66. The story is local 
ized at another place in Holstein, with the change of apple 
to pear: Liitolf, Germania, VIII, 213. 

Torfseus, in his history of Norway, III, 371, speaks of 
a ballad about Heming sung in his time, c. 1700, which 
would seem to have been the same as this, only somewhat 
fuller. Landstad, p. 187. 

These ballads represent the king as regarding himself as 
quite unapproachable in athletic exercises. The little boy 
of ballads, smadrengin, kongins liiil svein, Norwegian B, 
Faroe A, or, in a Faroe variation (Hammershaimb, p. 161), 
Harald's queen, intimates knowledge of an equal or supe 
rior. Harald answers, in true ballad style, in Faroe A 6, 
If he is not my better, you shall burn for it. In Norwe- 



of these incidents are wanting in B (19-22). 
In the Faroe ballad, A, 53-62, the king tells 
Geyti (whom he also calls Hemingur) that he 
must shoot a nut from his brother's head. 
Geyti asks the king to go to the wood with him 
to see the result, invokes God and St Olav, 
hits the nut without touching his brother. It 
is not till the next day that the king asks 
Geyti why he had two arrows with him in 
the wood. 

The same story, pleasingly varied for the 
occasion, .is found in the saga of the Norwe 
gian king Olafr Tryggvason (f 1000). The 
king hears that EindriSi, a handsome, rich, 
and amiable young man, is unconverted. Ein 
driSi is a good swimmer, bowman, and dirk- 
thrower. Olafr, a proficient in all such exer 
cises, proposes to try masteries with him in 
the feats which he has repute for, on the terms 
that if EindriSi is beaten he shall be baptized, 
but if victor shall hold such faith as he will. 
The first trial is in swimming, and in this 
Olafr shows unequivocal superiority. The 
next day they shoot at a target, and the ad 
vantage, after two essays, is rather with Ein- 
dridi. The king compliments Eindridi ; but 
the issue between them is not yet decided. 
This fine young fellow's salvation is at stake, 
and expedients which one might otherwise 
scruple at are justifiable. Olafr knows that 
Eindridi tenderly loves a pretty child, four or 
five years old, his sister's son. This boy shall 
be our target, says the king. A chessman 
(the king-piece) on his head shall be the 
mark, to be shot off without hurting the boy. 
EindriSi must needs submit, but means to 
have revenge if the child comes to harm. The 
king orders a cloth to be passed round the 
boy's head, each end of which is to be held 
firmly by a man, so as to prevent any stirring 
when the whiz of the arrow is heard. Olafr 
signs both himself and the point of his arrow 
with the cross, and shoots ; the arrow takes off 

gian B, Fiiroe A, the king immediately sets out to find his 
rival. Cf. Charlemagne and King Arthur, I, 275, 279, and 
the beginning of ' King Estmere,' II, 51, and Landstad, p. 
177, note I. 

* The Witches' Hammer was composed in 1486, and Pun- 
ker is there recorded to have exercised his devil's craft sixty 
years before. Elsewhere Punker [Pumper] is said to have 

the chessman, passing between it and the * 
head, grazing the crown and drawing some 
little blood. The king bids EindriSi take his 
turn ; but EindrioTs mother and sister beg him 
with tears to desist, and he, though ready to 
take the risk, yields to their entreaties, and 
leaves the victory with Olafr. On the third 
day there is a match at a game with dirks. 
For a time no one can say which does the 
better ; but in the end Olafr performs feats 
so marvellous as in EindriSi's conviction to 
demonstrate the assistance of a deity: where 
fore he consents to be baptized. Saga Olafs 
Tryggvasonar, Fornmanna Sbgur, II, 259-74, 
c. 235; Flateyjarb6k, I, 456-64, cc. 359-64. 

Punker, a warlock of Rorbach (a town not 
far from Heidelberg), had obtained from the 
devil, as the regular recompense for his having 
thrice pierced the crucifix, the power of mak 
ing three unerring shots daily, and had so been 
able to pick off in detail all but one of the gar 
rison of a besieged town. To put his skill to 
proof, a certain nobleman ordered him to 
shoot a piece of money from his own son's 
head. Punker wished to be excused, for he 
feared that the devil might play him false ; 
but being induced to make the trial, knocked 
the coin from the boy's cap, doing him no 
damage. Before shooting, he had stuck an 
other arrow into his collar, and asked why, 
replied that if the devil had betrayed him, 
and he had killed the child, he would have 
sent the other bolt through the body of the 
person who had obliged him to undertake the 
performance. Malleus Maleficarum, Pars II, 
Qugestio I, c. xvi.* The date of the transac 
tion is put at about 1420. 

The last three forms of this tradition have 
the unimportant variations of brother and 
brother, or uncle and nephew, for father and 
son, and of nut, chessman, or coin for apple. 

The story is German-Scandinavian, and not 
remarkably extended.! The seven versions 

been torn to pieces by oppressed peasants in 1420. The name 
is spelled Puncler in the edition of 1620, pp 248 f, and Pun 
cher in the edition followed by Grimm. See Rochholz in 
Germania, XIII, 48-51. 

t The Tell story, complete, Apfelschuss, Felsensprung 
und Tyrannenmord, is said to occur among the Finns and 
the Lapps : E. Pabst, cited by Pfannenschmid, Germania, 



agree in two points : the shot is compulsory ; 
the archer meditates revenge in case he harms 
the person on whose head the mark is placed.* 
These features are wanting in the English 
ballad. William of Cloudesly offers of his 
own free motion to shoot an apple from his 
son's head, and this after the king had de 
clared him the best archer he had ever seen, 
for splitting a hazel-rod at twenty score paces; 
so that the act was done purely for glory. To 
be sure, the king threatens him with death if 
he does not achieve what he has undertaken, 
as death is also threatened in four of the seven 
German-Scandinavian stories for refusal to try 
the shot or for missing ; but the threats in 
sts 154 f of the English ballad are a revival of 
the vow in sts 119 f. Justice has been balked 
by the unconditional boon granted the queen ; 
aggravating and exasperating circumstances 
have come to light since this unadvised grace 
was conceded, and a hope is presented for a 
pretext under which the king may still hang 
the outlaws, all three. The shooting of the 
apple from the boy's head, isolated from any 
particular connection, is perhaps all of the 
German-Scandinavian story that was known 
to the English ballad-maker, and all minor re 
semblances may well be fortuitous.! 

If the shooting of an apple by somebody 
from somebody's head is to be regarded as the 
kernel of the story, its area may then be con 
siderably extended. 

Castre'n heard the following story among 
the Finns in Russian Karelia. Robbers had 
carried a man off over a lake. The son of the 

IX, 5. Particulars, which are very desirable, are not given. 
This would not add much to the range of the story. 

* In the prose Hemings Battr, the intent to take ven 
geance appears from Hemingr's wish that the king should 
stand close to the mark ; in the ballads he reserves an ar 
row. In the (5lafs Saga, EindriSi openly announces his pur 
pose ; in all but this version (treating the prose Hemings 
Battr and the ballads as one), the archer provides himself 
with two arrows, or three. 

t Such as the penalty for missing, as above said ; or Tell's 
shooting at a hundred and twenty paces, and bearing 
Cloudesly's name, William. If the coincidence as to the 
distance should be held to be very important, I, for one, 
should have no objection to admitting that this part of the 
ballad may be derived from the Tell story. 

J. Grimm remarked in 1813, Gedanken iiber Mythos, Epos 
nnd Geschichte (Kleinere Schriften, IV, 77), that the simi- 

captive, a boy of twelve, followed along the 
other side of the lake, threatening to shoot 
them if they did not let his father go. These 
threats, for a time, only procured worse treat 
ment for the prisoner ; but at last the boy was 
told that his father should be released if he 
could shoot an arrow across the water and 
split an apple laid on his father's head. This 
the boy did, and his father was liberated. 
CastreVs Reiseerinnerungen aus den Jahren 
1838-44, ed. Schiefner, p. 89 f. 

A Persian poet introduces into a work 
composed about 1175 this anecdote. J A dis 
tinguished king was very fond of a beautiful 
slave, so much so that he was never easy un 
less he was in some way engaged with him. 
When the king amused himself with shoot 
ing, this slave would tremble with fear, for the 
king would make his mark of an apple placed 
on his favorite's head, split the apple, and in 
so doing make the slave sick with alarm. 

J. Grimm had seen a manuscript of travels 
in Turkey, in the Cassel library, with a pic 
ture of an archer aiming at an apple on a 
child's head. Deutsche Mythologie, I, 317, 
note, ed. 1875. 

With regard to the Persian story, Benfey 
observes that it must be admitted as possible 
that the shooting of an apple from the head 
of a beloved person may have been pitched 
upon in various localities, independently, as 
the mark of supreme skill in archery, but 
that this is not likely, and that the history of 
tradition requires us rather to presume that 
the conception was original in one instance 

larity of the names Tell, Bell, Velent, Bellerophon (see a 
little further on, p. 21), could hardly fail to strike even a 
superficial observer, and also pointed to the identity of Tell's 
and Cloudesly's Christian name. In his Deutsche Mytholo 
gie, I, 317, ed. 1875, it is simply said that the surname Bell, 
as well as Cloudesly's Christian name, is suggestive of Wil 
liam Tell. 

t The poet is Mohammed ben Ibrahim, 1119-c. 1230, and 
he bore the honorary title of Furid Uddin (Pearl of Reli 
gion), and the sobriquet of Attar, perfumer. The title of 
the poem is The Language of Birds. Garcin de Tassy, La 
Poesie Philosophique et Religieuse chez les Persans, Extrait 
de la Revue Contemporair.e, t. xxiv, pp. 4, 35. " Nur den 
Apfel treffen wir hier. . . . Es bleibt also weiter nichts iibrig 
als anzunehmen dass die persische Sage ... in die grau- 
esten Urzeiten des arischen Alterthums hinanfreichen muss." 
(Pfannenschmid, in Germania, X, 26 f.) A rapid inference. 



only, and borrowed in the remainder ; in which 
case the borrowing would be by the West from 
the East, and not the other way. We can 
come to no decision, however, he adds, until 
the source of the Persian story, or some older 
form of it, shall have been discovered. (Got- 
tinger Gelehrte Anzeigen, 1861, p. 680.) The 
cautiousness of the imperial scholar is worthy 
of all imitation. The Persian saga, as it is 
sometimes called, is, in the perhaps mutilated 
form in which we have it, an inconsistent and 
inept anecdote; the German - Scandinavian 
saga is a complete and rational story. In 
this story it is fundamental that the archer 
executes a successful shot under circumstances 
highly agitating to the nerves ; he risks the 
life of a beloved object, and in the majority 
of versions his own life is at stake besides. 
That the act must be done under compulsion 
is the simplest corollary. If the archer is cool 
enough to volunteer the shot, then the chief 
difficulty in making it is removed. This is a 
fault in the English ballad, where the father 
is unconcerned, and all the feeling is shown 
by the spectators. Cloudesly had already 
split a hazel - rod at twenty score paces ; 
what was it for him to hit an apple at six 
score ? * 

But we are still far from covering the range 
of stories which have been treated as having 
some significant relation to that of Egil. Any 
shot at an apple, any shot at an object on a 
child's person (provided the case be not a fact 
and recent), has been thought worth quoting, 
as a probable sprout from the same root. For 
examples : In an Esthonian popular tale, one 
Sharpeye hits an apple which a man a long 
way off is holding by his mouth. In a Ser 
vian poem, the hero, Milosch, sends an arrow 
through a ring, and hits a golden apple on the 
point of a lance. Bellerophon's sons, Hippo- 
lochus and Isandrus, disputing which should 

* EindriSi also had accomplished a harder shot before he 
tried the chessman. But Hemingr, having done what was 
thought a masterly thing in cleaving a nut, is compelled to 
knock the same nut, shooting at the same distance, from his 
brother's head. 

t Das Inland, No 39, p. 630, cited by Eochholz, Tell und 
Gessler, p. 40 f. Gerhard's Wila, I, 147 f, cited by Roch- 
holz, p. 39 f. Eustathius to Iliad, xii, 101, first cited by 

be king of the Lycians, it was proposed that 
the question should be settled by seeing which 
could shoot through a ring placed on the 
breast of a child lying on his back. Laoda- 
mia, sister of the competitors, offered her son 
Sarpedon for the trial, and the uncles, to show 
their appreciation of such handsome behavior, 
resigned their claims in favor of Sarpedon. 
The shot, we may understand, did not come 

With regard to all this series of stories, and 
others which have been advanced as allied, 
more will be required to make out a substan 
tial relationship than their having in common 
a shot at some object in contiguity with a 
living human body, be the object an apple, or 
whatever else. The idea of thus enhancing 
the merit or interest of a shot is not so in 
genious that one instance must be held to be 
original, and all others derivative. The archer 
Alcon, according to Servius,J was wont to 
shoot through rings placed on men's heads. 
Sir John Malcolm (Kaye's Life, II, 400) was 
told that at Mocha, when the dates were ripe, 
a stone, standing up some three inches, would 
be put on the head of a child, at which two 
or three of the best marksmen would fire, 
with ball, at thirty-one yards distance. A 
case was reported, about fifty years ago, of a 
man in Pennsylvania shooting a very small 
apple from the head of another man. A 
linen-weaver was judicially punished at Spires, 
some thirty years ago, for shooting a sheet of 
paper from his son's hand, and afterwards a 
potato (" also einen Erdapfel," Rochholz !) 
from the boy's head.|| The keel-boat men of 
the Mississippi, in their playfulness, would cut 
the pipe out of a companion's hat-band at a 
long distance. " If they quarreled among 
themselves, and then made friends, their test 
that they bore no malice was to shoot some 
small object from each other's heads," such as 

Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie (who says, "Es stimmt auch 
theilweise," p. 317, ed. 1875) ; by others later. 

} To Virgil, Eel. v, 11, cited by Ideler, Die Sage von 
dem Schuss des Tell, p. 59, note 3. 

Hisely, Recherches Critiques sur 1'Histoire de Guil- 
laume Tell, p. 590. 

|| Pfannenschmid, in Germania, X, 25; Rochholz, Tell 
uud Gessler, p. 41 f. 



an apple. Such feats have of late been com 
mon on the American stage. 

Whatever may be thought of the linen- 
weaver at Spires, it will scarcely be main 
tained that the Mississippi keel-boat men shot 
at apples in imitation of William Tell. As 
to the selection of an apple, it seems enough 
to say that an apple makes a convenient mark, 
is familiar to temperate climates, and at hand 
at almost any part of the year.* But the 
chief point of all to be borne in mind is, that 
whether the Mississippi boatmen took their 
cue, directly or indirectly, from William Tell, 
they do not become mythical personages by 
virtue of their repeating his shot. None the 
more does William of Cloudesly. A story 
long current in Europe, a mythical story if 
you please, could certainly be taken up by an 
English ballad-maker without prejudice to the 
substantial and simply romantic character of 
his hero.f 

The late Mr Joseph Hunter unhesitatingly 
declared Adam Bell " a genuine personage of 
history," and considered that he had had " the 
good fortune to recover from a very authentic 
source of information some particulars of this 
hero of our popular minstrelsy which show 
distinctly the time at which he lived." 

" King Henry the Fourth, by letters en 
rolled in the Exchequer, in Trinity Term, in 
the seventh year of his reign [1406], and 
bearing date the 14th day of April, granted 
to one Adam Bell an annuity of 41. 10s. issu 
ing out of the fee-farm of Clipston, in the 
forest of Sherwood, together with the profits 
and advantages of the vesture and herbage 

* T. B. Thorpe, Reminiscences of the Mississippi, in Har 
per's New Monthly Magazine, XII, 30. A story is there 
related of a famous Mike Fink's striking an apple from a 
man's head by shooting between it and the skull, like the 
Scandinavian marksmen. In Captain Mayne Reid's Scalp 
Hunters, or Romantic Adventures in Northern Mexico, ch. 
22, we are told of an Indian's shooting a prairie-gourd from 
the head of his sister, which may or may not be an inven 
tion. The title of the chapter is A Feat & la Tell, and 
this may perhaps be the only foundation for an assertion 
that the Tell story had been found in Mexico ; at least, in 
quiries have not brought to light any other. 

t For the interpretation which has been put upon the Tell 
story, see, among many, Pfannenschmid, in Germania, 
X, 1^10; Rochholz, Tell und Gessler, in Sage und Ge- 

of the garden called the Halgarth, in which 
the manor-house of Clipston is situated. 

" Now, as Sherwood is noted for its con 
nection with archery, and may be regarded 
also as the patria of much of the ballad po 
etry of England, and the name of Adam Bell 
is a peculiar one, ^this might be almost of 
itself sufficient to show that the ballad had a 
foundation in veritable history. But we fur 
ther find that this Adam Bell violated his 
allegiance by adhering to the Scots, the king's 
enemies ; whereupon this grant was virtually 
resumed, and the sheriff of Nottinghamshire 
accounted for the rents which would have 
been his. In the third year of King Henry 
the Fifth [1416], the account was rendered 
by Thomas Hercy, and in the fourth year by 
Simon Leak. The mention of his adhesion 
to the Scots leads us to the Scottish border, 
and will not leave a doubt in the mind of 
the most sceptical that we have here one of 
the persons, some of whose deeds (with some 
poetical license, perhaps) are come down to 
us in the words of one of our popular ballads." 
(New Illustrations of the Life, Studies, and 
Writings of Shakespeare, I, 245 f, 1845.) 

Mr Hunter's points are, that an Adam Bell 
had a grant from the proceeds of a farm in 
the forest t>f Sherwood, that Adam Bell is a 
peculiar name, and that his Adam Bell ad 
hered to the king's enemies. To be sure, 
Adam Bell's retreat in the ballad is not Sher 
wood, in Nottinghamshire, but Englisbwood, 
or Inglewood, in Cumberland (an old hunting- 
ground of King Arthur's, according to several 
romances), a forest sixteen miles in length, 

The mildew of myth spreads, of course, from William to 
his comrades. J. Grimm, in his Gedanken iiber Mythos, 
etc., 1813, interprets dim, Cloudesly, and Clough all in 
the sense of nail, sharp point, arrow ; and as Bell is e'Aos, 
Tell is telum, Toko ri^av, and Egil is igel, hedgehog, and 
therefore the spine of the hedgehog, and therefore dart, the 
names are all one as to meaning. But Grimm appears to 
have been less confident about these etymologies in later 
days. Sir G. W. Cox, on the other hand, says that Cloudes- 
ly's name marks him as an inhabitant of Cloudland. (Mean 
while, every likelihood favors the derivation of Cloudesly 
from clud, rock, and leah, lea, and the interpretation of 
Clim as Clem and of Clough as ravine.) Cloudesly and his 
mates are all the more mythical because they are three, and 
because, as it is asserted, Robin Hood is mythical, with 
whom they are, one and all, assumed to be identical. 



reaching from Carlisle to Penrith.* But it 
would be captious to insist upon this. Robin 
Hood has no connection in extant ballads 
with the Cumberland forest, but Wyntoun's 
Scottish Chronicle, c. 1420, makes him to 
have frequented Inglewood as well as Barns- 
dale, f The historical Adam Bell was granted 
an annuity, and forfeited it for adhering to 
the king's enemies, the Scots ; the Adam Bell 
of the ballad was outlawed for breaking the 
game-laws, and in consequence came into con 
flict with the king's officers, but never adhered 
to the king's enemies, first or last, received 
the king's pardon, was made yeoman of the 
queen's chamber, dwelt with the king, and 
died a good man. Neither is there anything 
peculiar in the name Adam Bell. Bell was 
as well known a name on the borders J as 
Armstrong or Graham. There is record of 
an Adam Armstrong and an Adam Graham ; 
there is a Yorkshire Adam Bell mentioned 
in the Parliamentary Writs (II, 508, 8 and 
17 Edward II,) a hundred years before Hun 

ter's annuitant ; a contemporary Adam Bell, 
of Dunbar, is named in the Exchequer Rolls 
of Scotland under the years 1414, 1420 
(IV, 198, 325) ; and the name occurs repeat 
edly at a later date in the Registers of the 
Great Seal of Scotland. 

The placability of the king in this ballad is 
repeated in the Gest of Robin Hood, and is 
also exhibited in the Tale of Gamelyn, where 
Gamelyn is made justice of all the free forest, 
as William is here made chief rider over all 
the North Country. The king, besides, for 
gives all Gamelyn's eight young men, and 
puts them in good office. The king of the 
outlaws, in the tale, had previously made his 
peace without any difficulty. Vv 888-94, 

Translated, after Percy's Reliques, by Bod- 
mer, II, 78 ; by Fouque", Biisching, Erzahlun- 
gen, u. s. w., des Mittelalters, I, 1 ; the third 
Fit, by Knortz, Lieder und Romanzen Alt- 
englands, No 70. 

a 1 MEKT it was in grene forest, 

Amonge the leues grene, 
Where that men walke both east and west, 
Wyth bowes and arrowes kene, 

2 To ryse the dere out of theyr denne ; 

Suche sightes as hath ofte bene sene, 
As by th[r]e yemen of the north countrey, 
By them it is as I meane. 

3 The one of them hight Adam Bel, 

The other Clym of the Clough, 
The thyrd was William of Cloudesly, 
An archer good ynough. 

4 They were outlawed for venyson, 

These thre yemen euerechone ; 

* Camden, Britannia, II, 175, ed. 1772. King Edward the 
First, when hunting in this forest, is said to have killed two 
hundred bucks in one day. For Arthur's hunting there, 
see Robaon, Three Early English Metrical Romances, p. 
26, LV, p. 59, V 1 ; Madden's Syr Gawayne, p. 298, v. 16 ; 
this book, I, 294, st. 9, etc. 

t Cronykil of Scotland, Book vii, v. 3523 f, ed. Laing, 
II, 263. 

They swore them brethen vpon a day, 
To Englysshe-wood for to gone. 

5 Now lith and lysten, gentylmen, 

And that of myrthes loueth to here : 
Two of them were single men, 
The third had a wedded fere. 

6 Wyllyam was the wedded man, 

Muche more then was hys care : 
He sayde to hys brethen vpon a day, 
To Carelel he would fare, 

7 For to speke with fayre Alse hys wife, 

And with hys chyldren thre : 

' By my trouth,' sayde Adam Bel, 

' Not by the counsell of me. 

{ John Bell robbed the Chamberlain's men of cattle, 1337 : 
Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, II, 437. The Bells are in 
cluded with the Grahams, Armstrongs, and others, among 
the bad and more vagrant of the great surnames of the bor 
der, by the Lord Warden of the Marches of England, 1593 
(Rymer's Foedera, XVI, 183, ed. 1727, cited by Bishop 
Percy), and had no better estimation in Scotland. 



8 ' For if ye go to Caerlel, brother, 

And from thys wylde wode wende, 
If the justice mai you take, 
Your lyfe were at an ende.' 

9 ' If that I come not to morowe, brother, 

By pryme to you agayne, 
Truste not els but that I am take, 
Or else that I am slayne.' 

10 He toke hys leaue of hys brethen two, 

And to Carlel he is gone ; 
There he knocked at hys owne wyndowe, 
Shortlye and anone. 

11 ' Wher be you, fayre Alyce, my wyfe, 

And my chyldren three ? 
Lyghtly let in thyne husbande, 
Wyllyam of Cloudesle.' 

12 ' Alas ! ' then sayde fayre Alyce, 

And syghed wonderous sore, 
' Thys place hath ben besette for you 
Thys halfe yere and more.' 

13 'Now am I here,' sayde Cloudesle, 

' I woulde that I in were ; 
Now feche vs meate and drynke ynoughe, 
And let vs make good chere.' 

14 She feched him meat and drynke plenty, 

Lyke a true wedded wyfe, 
And pleased hym with that she had, 
Whome she loued as her lyfe. 

15 There lay an old wyfe in that place, 

A lytle besyde the fyre, 
Whych Wyllyam had found, of cherytye, 
More then seuen yere. 

16 Up she rose, and walked full styll, 

Euel mote she spede therefoore ! 
For she had not set no fote on ground 
In seuen yere before. 

17 She 'went vnto the justice hall, 

As fast as she could hye : 
' Thys nyght is come vn to thys town 
Wyllyam of Cloudesle.' 

18 Thereof the iustice was full fayne, 

And so was the shirife also : 

' Thou shalt not trauaile hether, dame, for 

nought ; 
Thy meed thou shalt haue or thou go.' 

19 They gaue to her a ryght good goune, 

Of scarlat it was, as I heard say[n]e ; 
She toke the gyft, and home she wente, 
And couched her doune agayne. 

20 They rysed the towne of mery Carlel, 

In all the hast that they can, 
And came thronging to Wyllyames house, 
As fast [as] they might gone. 

21 Theyr they besette that good yeman, 

Round about on euery syde ; 
Wyllyam hearde great noyse of folkes, 
That heytherward they hyed. 

22 Alyce opened a shot-wyndow, 

And loked all about ; 

She was ware of the justice and the shrife bothe, 
Wyth a full great route. 

23 ' Alas ! treason,' cryed Alyce, 

' Euer wo may thou be ! 

Go into my chambre, my husband,' she sayd, 
' Swete Wyllyam of Cloudesle.' 

24 He toke hys sweard and hys bucler, 

Hys bow and hy[s] chyldren thre, 
And wente into hys strongest chamber, 
Where he thought surest to be. 

25 Fayre Alice folowed him as a louer true, 

With a pollaxe in her hande : 
' He shalbe deade that here cometh in 
Thys dore, whyle I may stand.' 

26 Cloudesle bent a wel good bowe, 

That was of trusty tre, 
He smot the justise on the brest, 
That hys arrowe brest in thre. 

27 ' God's curse on his hartt,' saide William, 

' Thys day thy cote dyd on ; 
If it had ben no better then myne, 
It had gone nere thy bone.' 

28 ' Yelde the, Cloudesle,' sayd the justise, 

' And thy bowe and thy arrowes the fro : ' 
' Gods curse on hys hart,' sayde fair Al[i]ce, 
' That my husband councelleth so.' 



29 ' Set fyre on the house,' saide the sherife, 

' Syth it wyll no better be, 
And brenne we therin William,' he saide, 
' Hys wyfe and chyldren thre.' 

30 They fyred the house in many a place, 

The fyre flew vpon hye ; 
' Alas ! ' than cryed fayr Alice, 
' I se we shall here dy.' 

31 William openyd hys backe wyndow, 

That was in hys chambre on hye, 
And wyth shetes let hys wyfe downe, 
And hys chyldren thre. 

32 ' Haue here my treasure,' sayde William, 

' My wyfe and my chyldren thre ; 
For Christes loue do them no harme, 
But wreke you all on me.' 

33 Wyllyam shot so wonderous well, 

Tyll hys arrowes were all go, 
And the fyre so fast vpon hym fell, 
That hys bo[w]stryng brent in two. 

34 The spercles brent and fell hym on, 

Good Wyllyam of Cloudesle ; 
But than was he a wofull man, and sayde, 
Thys is a cowardes death to me. 

35 ' Leuer I had,' sayde Wyllyam, 

' With my sworde in the route to renne, 
Then here among myne ennemyes wode 
Thus cruelly to bren.' 

36 He toke hys sweard and hys buckler, 

And among them all he ran ; 
Where the people were most in prece, 
He smot downe many a man. 

37 There myght no man stand hys stroke, 

So fersly on them he ran ; 
Then they threw wyndowes and dores on him, 
And so toke that good yeman. 

38 There they hym bounde both hand and fote, 

And in depe dongeon hym cast ; 
' Now, Cloudesle,' sayde the hye justice, 
' Thou shalt be hanged in hast.' 

39 ' One vow shal I make,' sayde the sherife, 

'A payre of new galowes shall I for the 

And al the gates of Caerlel shalbe shutte, 
There shall no man come in therat. 

40 Then shall not helpe Glim of the Cloughe, 

Nor yet Adam Bell, 
Though they came with a thousand mo, 
Nor all the deuels in hell.' 

41 Early in the mornyng the justice vprose, 

To the gates fast gan he gon, 
And commaunded to be shut full cloce 
Lightile euerychone. 

42 Then went he to the market-place, 

As fast as he coulde hye ; 
A payre of new gallous there dyd he vp set, 
Besyde the pyllory. 

43 A lytle boy stod them amonge, 

And asked what meaned that gallow-tre ; 
They sayde. To hange a good yeaman, 
Called Wyllyam of Cloudesle. 

44 That lytle boye was the towne swyne-heard, 

And kept fayre Alyce swyne ; 
Full oft he had sene Cloudesle in the wodde, 
And geuen hym there to dyne. 

45 He went out of a creues in the wall, 

And lightly to the woode clyd gone ; 
There met he with these wyght yonge men, 
Shortly and anone. 

46 ' Alas ! ' then sayde that lytle boye, 

' Ye tary here all to longe ; 
Cloudesle is taken and dampned to death, 
All readye for to honge.' 

47 ' Alas ! ' then sayde good Adam Bell, 

' That euer we see thys daye ! 
He myght her with vs haue dwelled, 
So ofte as we dyd him praye. 

48 ' He myght haue taryed in grene foreste, 

Under the shadowes sheene, 
And haue kepte both hym and vs in reaste, 
Out of trouble and teene.' 

49 Adam bent a ryght good bow, 

A great hart sone had he slayne ; 
' Take that, chylde,' he sayde, ' to thy dynner, 
And bryng me myne arrowe agayne.' 


50 ' Now go we hence,' sayed these wight yong men, 

' Tary we no lenger here ; 
We shall hym borowe, by Gods grace, 
Though we bye it full dere.' 

51 To Caerlel went these good yemen, 

In a mery mornyng of Maye : 
Her is a fyt of Cloudesli, 
And another is for to saye. 

52 And when they came to mery Caerlell, 

In a fayre mornyng-tyde, 
They founde the gates shut them vntyll, 
Round about on euery syde. 

53 ' Alas ! ' than sayd good Adam Bell, 

' That euer we were made men ! 
b. These gates be shyt so wonderly well, 
That we may not come here in.' 

54 Than spake Clymme of the Cloughe : 

With a wyle we wyll vs in brynge ; 
Let vs say we be messengers, 

Streyght comen from oure kynge. 

55 Adam sayd, I haue a lettre wryten wele, 

Now let vs wysely werke ; 
We wyll say we haue the kynges seale, 
I holde the porter no clerke. 

56 Than Adam Bell bete on the gate, 

With strokes greate and stronge ; 

The porter herde suche a noyse therate, 

And to the gate faste he thronge. 

57 ' Who is there nowe,' sayd the porter, 

' That maketh all this knockynge ? 
' We be two messengers,' sayd Clymme of the 

' Be comen streyght frome oure kynge.' 

58 ' We haue a lettre,' sayd Adam Bell, 

' To the justyce we must it brynge ; 
Let vs in, oure message to do, 

That we were agayne to our kynge.' 

59 ' Here cometh no man in,' sayd the porter, 

' By hym that dyed on a tre, 
Tyll a false thefe be hanged, 
Called Wyllyam of Clowdysle.' 

60 Than spake that good [yeman Clym of the 


And swore by Mary fre, 
If that we stande long wythout, 

Lyke a thefe hanged shalt thou be.] 

VOL. III. 4 

61 [Lo here] we haue got the kynges seale ; 

[What ! l]ordane, arte thou wode ? 
[The p]orter had wende it had been so, 
[And Ijyghtly dyd of his hode. 

62 ' [Welco]me be my lordes seale,' sayd he, 

' [For] that shall ye come in : ' 

[He] opened the gate ryght shortly, 

[An] euyll openynge for hym ! 

63 ' [Njowe we are in,' sayd Adam Bell, 

' [T]herof we are full fayne ; 
[But] Cryst knoweth that herowed hell, 
[H]ow we shall come oute agayne.' 

64 ' [Had] we the keys,' sayd Clym of the Clowgh, 

' Ryght well than shokle we spede ; 
[Than] myght we come out well ynough, 
[Whan] we se tyme and nede.' 

65 [They] called the porter to a councell, 

[And] wronge hys necke in two, 
[And] kest hym in a depe dongeon, 
[And] toke the keys hym fro. 

66 ' [N]ow am I porter,' sayd Adam Bell; 

' [Se], broder, the keys haue we here ; 
[The] worste porter to mery Carlell, 
[That ye] had this hondreth yere. 

67 ' [Now] wyll we oure bowes bende, 

[Into the t]owne wyll we go, 
[For to delyuer our dere] broder, 
[Where he lyeth in care and wo.' 

68 Then they bent theyr good yew bowes, 

And loked theyr striwges were round ;] 
The market-place of mery Carlyll, 
They beset in that stounde. 

69 And as they loked them besyde, 

A payre of newe galowes there they se, 
And the iustyce, with a quest of swerers, 
That had iuged Clowdysle there hanged to be. 

70 And Clowdysle hymselfe lay redy in a carte, 

Fast bounde bothe fote and hande, 
And a strong rope aboute his necke, 
All redy for to be hangde. 

71 The iustyce called to hym a ladde ; 

Clowdysles clothes sholde he haue, 
To take the mesure of that good yoman, 
And therafter to make his graue. 

72 ' I haue sene as greate a merueyll,' sayd 


' As bytwene this and pryme, 
He that maketh thys graue for me, 
Hymselfe may lye therin.' 



73 ' Thou spekest proudely,' sayd the iustyce ; 

' I shall hange the with my hande : ' 
Full well that herde his bretheren two, 
There styll as they dyd stande. 

74 Than Clowdysle cast hys eyen asyde, 

And sawe hys bretheren stande, 
At a corner of the market-place, 

With theyr good bowes bent in theyr hand, 
Eedy the iustyce for to chase. 

75 ' I se good comforte,' sayd Clowdysle, 

' Yet hope I well to fare ; 
If I myght haue my handes at wyll, 
[Ryght IJytell wolde I care.' 

76 [Than b]espake good Adam Bell, 

[To Clymjme of the Clowgh so fre ; 
[Broder], se ye marke the iustyce well ; 
[Lo yonjder ye may him se. 

77 [And at] the sheryf shote I wyll, 

[Stronjgly with an arowe kene ; 
[A better] shotte in mery Carlyll, 
[Thys se]uen yere was not sene. 

78 [They lo]used theyr arowes bothe at ones, 

[Of no] man had they drede ; 
[The one] hyt the iustyce, the other the sheryf, 
[That b]othe theyr sydes gan blede. 

79 [All men] voyded, that them stode nye, 

[Whan] the iustyce fell to the grounde, 
[And the] sheryf fell nyghe hym by ; 
[Eyther] had his dethe's wounde. 

80 [All the c]ytezeyns fast gan fle, 

[They du]rste no lenger abyde ; 
[There ly]ghtly they loused Clowdysle, 
[Where he] with ropes lay tyde. 

81 [Wyllyam] sterte to an offycer of the towne, 

[Hys axe] out his hande he wronge ; 
[On eche] syde he smote them downe, 
[Hym thojught he had taryed to longe. 

82 [Wyllyam] sayd to his bretheren two, 

[Thys daye] let vs togyder lyue and deye ; 
[If euer you] haue nede as I haue nowe, 
[The same] shall ye fynde by me. 

83 [They] shyt so well in that tyde, 

For theyr strynges were of sylke full sure, 
That they kepte the stretes on euery syde ; 
That batayll dyd longe endure. 

84 They fought togyder as bretheren true, 

Lyke hardy men and bolde ; 
Many a man to the grounde they threwe, 
And made many an herte colde. 

85 But whan theyr arowes were all gone, 

Men presyd on them full fast ; 
They drewe theyr swerdes than anone, 
And theyr bowes from them caste. 

86 They wente lyghtly on theyr waye, 

With swerdes and buckelers rounde ; 
By that it was the myddes of the daye, 
They had made many a wounde. 

87 There was many a noute-horne in Carlyll 


And the belles backwarde dyd they rynge ; 
Many a woman sayd alas, 
And many theyr handes dyd wrynge. 

88 The mayre of Carlyll forth come was, 

And with hym a full grete route ; 
These thre yomen dredde hym full sore, 
For theyr lyue's stode in doubte. 

89 The mayre came armed, a full greate pace, 

With a polaxe in his hande ; 
Many a stronge man with hym was, 
There in that stoure to stande. 

90 The mayre smote at Clowdysle with his byll. 

His buckeler he brast in two ; 
Full many a yoman with grete yll, 

' [Al]as, treason ! ' they cryed for wo. 
' [Ke]pe we the gates fast,' they bad, 

' [T]hat these traytours theroute not go.' 

91 But all for nought was that they wrought, 

For so fast they downe were layde 
Tyll they all thre, that so manfully fought, 
Were goten without at a brayde. 

92 ' Haue here your keys,' sayd Adam Bell, 

' Myne offyce I here forsake ; 
Yf ye do by my councell, 
A newe porter ye make.' 

93 He threwe the keys there at theyr hedes, 

And bad them evyll to thryue, 

And all that letteth ony good yoman 

To come and comforte his wyue. 

94 Thus be these good yomen gone to the wode, 

As lyght as lefe on lynde ; 
They laughe and be mery in theyr mode, 
Theyr enemyes were farre behynde. 

95 Whan they came to Inglyswode, 

Under theyr trysty-tre, 
There they founde bowes full gode, 
And arowes greate plente. 

96 ' So helpe me God,' sayd Adam Bell, 

And Clymme of the Clowgh so fre, 



' I wolde we were nowe in mery Carlell, 
[Bejfore that fayre meyne.' 

97 They set them downe and made good chere, 

And eate an[d drjanke full well : 
Here is a fytte [of] these wyght yongemen, 
And another I shall you tell. 

98 As they sat in Inglyswode, 

Under theyr trysty-tre, 

Them thought they herde a woman [wepe], 
But her they myght not se. 

99 Sore syghed there fayre Alyce, and sayd, 

Alas that euer I se this daye ! 
For now is my dere husbonde slayne, 
Alas and welawaye ! 

100 Myght I haue spoken wyth hys dere breth- 


With eyther of them twayne, 
[To shew to them what him befell] 
My herte were out of payne. 

101 Clowdysle walked a lytell besyde, 

And loked vnder the grene wodde lynde ; 
He was ware of his wyfe and his chyldre[n 

Full wo in herte and mynde. 

102 ' Welcome, wyfe,' than sayd Wyllyam, 

' Unto this trysty-tre ; 

I had wende yesterdaye, by swete Sai[nt John], 
Thou sholde me neuer haue se.' 

103 ' Now wele is me,' she sayd, ' that [ye be here], 

My herte is out of wo : ' 
' Dame,' he sayd, ' be mery and glad, 
And thanke my bretheren two.' 

104 ' Here of to speke,' sayd Ad[am] Bell, 

' I-wys it [is no bote] ; 
The me [at that we must supp withall, 
It runneth yet fast on fote.' 

105 Then went they down into a lauwde, 

These noble archares all thre, 
Eche of the]m slewe a harte of grece, 
[The best tjhey coude there se. 

106 ' [Haue here the] best, Alyce my wyfe,' 

[Sayde Wyllya]m of Clowdysle, 
' [By cause ye so] boldely stode me by, 
[Whan I w]as slayne full nye.' 

107 [Than they] wente to theyr souper, 

[Wyth suc]he mete as they had, 

[And than]ked God of theyr fortune ; 
[They we]re bothe mery and glad. 

108 [And whan] they had souped well, 

[Certayne] withouten leace, 
[Clowdysle] sayde, We wyll to cure kynge, 
[To get v]s a chartre of peace. 

109 [Alyce shal] be at soiournynge, 

[In a nunry] here besyde ; 
[My tow sonn]es shall with her go, 
[And ther the]y shall abyde. 

110 [Myne eldest so]ne shall go with me, 

[For hym haue I] no care, 
[And he shall breng] you worde agayne 
[How that we do fare. 

111 Thus be these wig]ht men to London gone, 

[As fast as they ma]ye hye, 
[Tyll they came to the kynges] palays, 
c. There they woulde nedes be. 

112 And whan they came to the kynges courte, 

Unto the pallace gate, 
Of no man wold they aske leue, 
But boldly went in therat. 

113 They preced prestly into the hall, 

Of no man had they dreade ; 
The porter came after and dyd them call, 
a. And with them began to [chyde.] 

114 The vssher sayd, Yemen, what wolde ye 


I praye you tell me ; 
Ye myght thus make offycers shent : 
Good syrs, of whens be ye ? 

115 ' Syr, we be outlawes of the forest, 

Certayne withouten leace, 
And hyther we be come to our kynge, 
To get vs a charter of peace.' 

116 And whan they came before our kynge, 

As it was the lawe of the lande, 
They kneled downe without lettynge, 
And eche helde vp his hande. 

117 They sayd, Lorde, we beseche you here, 

That ye wyll grannte vs grace. 
For we haue slayne your fatte falowe dere, 
In many a sondry place. 

118 ' What is your names ? ' than sayd our kynge, 

' Anone that you tell me : ' 
They sayd, Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, 
And Wylliam of Clowdesle. 



119 ' Be ye those theues,' than sayd our kynge, 

' That men haue tolde of to me ? 
Here to God I make a vowe, 
Ye shall be hanged all thre. 

120 ' Ye shall be dead without mercy, 

As I am kynge of this lande : ' 
c. He commanded his officers euerichone 
Fast on them to lay hand. 

121 There they toke these good yemen, 

And arested them all thre : 
' So may I thryue,' sayd Adam Bell, 
' Thys game lyketh not me. 

a. 122 ' But, good lorde, we beseche you nowe, 

That ye wyll graunte vs grace, 
In so moche as we be to you commen ; 
Or elles that we may fro you passe, 

123 ' With suche weapons as we haue here, 

Tyll we be out of your place ; 

And yf we lyue this hondred yere, 

We wyll aske you no grace.' 

124 ' Ye speke proudly,' sayd the kynge, 

' Ye shall be hanged all thre : ' 
' That were great pity,' sayd the quene, 
' If any grace myght be. 

125 ' My lorde, whan I came fyrst in to this lande, 

To be your wedded wyfe, 
The fyrst bone that I wolde aske, 
Ye wolde graunte me belyfe. 

126 ' And I asked you neuer none tyll nowe, 

Therfore, good lorde, graunte it me : ' 
' Nowe aske it, madame,' sayd the kynge, 
' And graunted shall it be.' 

127 ' Than, good lorde, I you beseche, 

The yemen graunte you me : ' 
' Madame, ye myght haue asked a bone 
That sholde haue ben worthe them thre. 

128 ' Ye myght haue asked towres and towne[s], 

Parkes and forestes plentie : ' 
c. ' None so pleasaunt to mi pay,' she said, 
' Nor none so lefe to me.' 

129 ' Madame, sith it is your desyre, 

Your askyng graunted shalbe ; 
But I had leuer haue geuen you 
Good market-townes thre.' 

130 The quene was a glad woman, 

And sayd, Lord, gramarcy ; 
I dare vndertake for them 
That true men shall they be. 

131 But, good lord, speke som mery word, 

That comfort they may se : 
' I graunt you grace,' then said our kiwg, 
' Wasshe, felos, and to meate go ye.' 

132 They had not setten but a whyle, 

Certayne without lesynge, 
There came messe?igers out of the north, 
With letters to our kyng. 

133 And whan the came before the kynge, 

The kneled downe vpon theyr kne, 
And sayd, Lord, your offycers grete you wel, 
Of Caerlel in the north cuntre. 

134 'How fare[th] my justice,' sayd the kyng, 

' And my sherife also ? ' 
' Syr, they be slayne, without leasynge, 
And many an officer mo.' 

135 ' Who hath them slayne ? ' sayd the kyng, 

' Anone thou tell me : ' 
' Adam Bel, and Clime of the Clough, 
And Wyllyam of Cloudesle.' 

136 ' Alas for rewth ! ' then sayd our kynge, 

' My hart is wonderous sore ; 
I had leuer [th]an a thousand pounde 
I had knowne of thys before. 

137 ' For I haue y-graunted them grace, 

And that f orthynketh me ; 
But had I knowne all thys before, 
They had ben hanged all thre.' 

138 The kyng opened the letter anone, 

Hym selfe he red it tho, 

And founde how these thre outlawes had slaine 
Thre hundred men and mo. 

139 Fyrst the justice and the sheryfe, 

And the mayre of Caerlel towne ; 
Of all the constables and catchipolles 
Alyue were left not one. 

140 The baylyes and the bedyls both, 

And the sergeauntes of the law, 
And forty fosters of the fe 
These outlawes had y-slaw ; 

141 And brokew his parks, and slaine his dere ; 

Ouer all they chose the best ; 

So perelous outlawes as they were 

Walked not by easte nor west. 



142 When the kynge this letter had red, 

In hys harte he syghed sore ; 
' Take vp the table,' anone he bad, 
' For I may eate no more.' 

143 The kyng called hys best archars, 

To the buttes with hym to go ; 
' I wyll se these felowes shote,' he sayd, 
' That in the north haue wrought this wo.' 

144 The kynges bowmen buske them blyue, 

And the quenes archers also, 
So dyd these thre wyght yemen, 
Wyth them they thought to go. 

145 There twyse or thryse they shote about, 

For to assay theyr hande ; 
There was no shote these thre yemen shot 
That any prycke might them stand. 

146 Then spake Wyllyam of Cloudesle ; 

By God that for me dyed, 
1 hold hym neuer no good archar 
That shuteth at buttes so wyde. 

147 ' Wherat ? ' then sayd our kyng, 

' I pray thee tell me : ' 
' At suche a but, syr,' he sayd, 
' As men vse in my countree." 

148 Wyllyam wente into a fyeld, 

And his to brethren with him ; 

There they set vp to hasell roddes, 

Twenty score paces betwene. 

149 ' I hold him an archar,' said Cloudesle, 

' That yonder wande cleueth in two : ' 
' Here is none suche,' sayd the kyng, 
' Nor none that can so do.' 

150 ' I shall assaye, syr,' sayd Cloudesle, 

' Or that I farther go : ' 
Cloudesle, with a bearyng arow, 
Claue the wand in to. 

151 ' Thou art the best archer,' then, said the kireg 

' Forsothe that euer I se : ' 
' And yet for your loue,' sayd Wylliam, 
' I wyll do more maystry. 

152 'I haue a sonne is seuen yere olde; 

He is to me full deare ; 
I wyll hym tye to a stake, 
All shall se that be here ; 

153 ' And lay an apple vpon hys head, 

And go syxe score paces hym fro, 
And I my selfe, with a brode arow, 
Shall cleue the apple in two.' 

154 'Now hast the,' 'then sayd the kyng; 

' By him that dyed on a tre, 
But yf thou do not as thou hest sayde, 
Hanged shalt thou be. 

155 ' And thou touche his head or gowne, 

In syght that men may se, 
By all the sayntes that be in heavew, 
I shall hange you all thre.' 

156 ' That I haue promised,' said William, 

' I wyl it neuer forsake ; ' 
And there euen before the kynge, 
In the earth he droue a stake ; 

157 And bound therto his eldest sonne, 

And bad hym stande styll therat, 
And turned the childes face fro him, 
Because he shuld not sterte. 

158 An apple vpon his head he set, 

And then his bowe he bent ; 
Syxe score paces they were outmet, 
And thether Cloudesle went. 

159 There he drew out a f ayr brode arrowe ; 

Hys bowe was great and longe ; 
He set that arrowe in his bowe, 
That was both styffe and stronge. 

160 He prayed the people that was there 

That they would styll stande ; 
' For he that shooteth for such a wager, 
Behoueth a stedfast hand.' 

161 Muche people prayed for Cloudesle, 
a. That hys lyfe saued myght be, 

And whan he made hym redy to shote, 
There was many a wepynge eye. 

162 Thus Clowdesle clefte the apple in two, 

That many a man it se ; 
' Ouer goddes f orbode,' sayd the kynge, 
' That thou sholdest shote at me ! 

163 ' I gyue the .xviii. pens a daye, 

And my bowe shalte thou here, 
And ouer all the north countree 
I make the chefe rydere.' 



164 ' And I gyue the .xii. pens a day,' sayd the 


' By God and by my faye ; 
Come fetche thy payment whan thou wylt, 
No man shall say the naye. 

165 ' Wyllyam, I make the gentylman 

Of clothynge and of fee, 

And thy two brethren yemen of my chambr[e], 
For they are so semely to se. 

166 ' Your sone, for he is tendre of age, 

Of my wyne-seller shall he be, 
And whan he commeth to mannes state, 
Better auaunced shall he be. 

167 ' And, Wylliam, brynge me your wyfe,' sayd 

th[e quene] ; 
Me longeth sore here to se ; 

She shall be my chefe gentylwomau, 
And gouerne my nursery.' 

168 The yemen thanked them full courteysly, 

And sayd, To Rome streyght wyll we 


[Of all the synnes that we haue done 
To be assoyled of his hand. 

169 So forth]e be gone these good yemen, 

[As fast a]s they myght hye, 
[And aftjer came and dwelled with the kynge, 
[And dye]d good men all thre. 

170 [Thus e]ndeth the lyues of these good ye 


[God sen]de them eternall blysse, 
[And all] that with hande-bowe shoteth, 
[That of] heuen they may neuer mysse ! 

Deficiencies in a, b are supplied from c unless 70 2 . 

it is otherwise noted. 7 1 3 . 

a. 120 1 . deed. 72 1 . 

b. 87 1 . an oute home. The emendation is Prof. 73 s . 

Sheafs. 74 2 , 

99 1 ' 2 . and sayd begins the second line. 74 2 . 

100 s . supplied from d, e. 74 5 . 

c. 5 s . singele. II 1 . be your. 13 2 . In woulde. 75 2 . 
16 2 . spende. 17 : , 107 1 . whent. 18 s . fore. 77 1 . 
22 1 . shop-wyndow. 22 4 . great full great. 78 1 . 
23 s . Gy. 26 1 . welgood. 30 s . Alece. 79 2 . 
33 2 . all gon. 81 4 . 
34 8 ' 4 . and sayde begins the fourth line. 82 4 . 
44 2 . there Alyce. 44 4 . geuend. 84 1 . 
46 4 . Allreadye. 48 4 . in reaffte [?]. 86 s . 
51 1 . Cyerlel. 52 1 . CareleU. 88 4 . 

Variations from b. 90 2 . 

53*. shut : wonderous. 91 1 . 

54 1 , 56 1 , 64 s , 76 1 , 85 8 , 102 1 , 107 1 . Then. 92 2 ' 1 , 

64 s . Lee. 54 4 . come nowe. 55 s . seales. 92*. 

56 s . a wanting. 56 4 . faste ivanting. 94 a . 

57 4 . come ryght. 58 2 . me for we. 94 4 . 

59 1 . commeth none. 59 2 . Be : vpon. 95 2 . 

61 s . went. 62 1 . he saide. 62 s . full shortlye: 95 s . 

63 1 . are we. 63 s . know. 96 1 . 

64 4 , 79 2 , 106 4 , 108 1 . When. 972. 

65 1 . a wanting. 65*. hys keys. 97 4 . 

66", 67", 76 s . brother. 66 4 . hundred. 98 s . 

68 1 . They bent theyr bowes. Then, good yew 98 4 . 

from e, f. 991. 

68 s . in mery. 68 4 . in wanting. 99 2 . 

69*. And they : squyers. 100 4 , 

bounde wanting. 71 2 . Cloudesle. 

good wanting : yeman, and ye always, 

as, 88 s , 90 8 , 93 s , 94 1 . 

Cloudesli. 73 2 . the hange. 

that wanting : brtehren, or, breehren. 

82 1 , 84 1 , 100 1 , 103 4 . brethen. 

stande wanting. 74 s . marked. 

to chaunce. 75 1 . good wanting. 

will. 76 1 . Then spake. 76 s . Brother. 

shyrfe. 77 2 . an wanting. 

thre arrowes. 78 4 . there sedes. 

fell downe. 81 2 . out of. 

he taryed all to. 82 2 . togyder wanting. 

shall you. 83 1 . shot. 83 s . sede. 

The : together. 85 2 . preced to. 

mas myd. 87 2 . they wanting. 

For of theyr lyues they stode in great. 

brust. 90". euyll. 90 6 . That. 

y' y e . 91 2 . to fast. 91 4 . at wanting. 

Transposed : Yf you do, etc., Myne offce. 
do we. 93 1 . theyr keys, 
lyghtly as left. 94 s . The lough an. 
fere. 95 1 , 98 1 . Englyshe. 
Under the : trusty, and 98 2 . 
There wanting. 95 4 . full great. 
God me help. 96 s . nowe wanting. 
drynke. 97 s . fet of. 
And wanting : I wyll. 
They thaught : woman wepe. 

the fayre ; and sayde begins the next line. 
I sawe. 100 2 . Or with. 100 s . ivanting. 

put out. 102 2 . Under thus trusti. 



102 4 . had se. 106 1 , 109 1 . Alee. 

106 s . by me. 107 1 . theyr wanting. 

107 2 - 8 . Transposed : And thanked, etc., "Wyth 


108 2 . without any. 109 1 . Alee shalbe at our. 
110 s . you breng. Ill 1 , these good yemen. 
Ill 2 , myght hye. Ill 3 , pallace. 

Variations from a. 

114 s . you. 115". without any. 115 s . become. 
116 1 . the kyng. 116 s , 117 1 . The. 
117 1 . beseche the. 

118 1 . be your nams : then, and 119 1 . 
122 2 . you graunt. 123 s . hundreth. 
124 s . then sayd. 126 1 . you wanting. 
127 2 . These : ye. 127 4 . all thre. 
128 1 . town. 137 1 . hauy graunted. 153 1 . apele. 

Variations from a. 

162 2 . myght se. 162 4 . sholdest wanting. 
164 1 . .xvii. 164 3 . when. 165 1 . the a. 
166 8 . estate. 167 2 . her sore. 
167 4 . To gouerne. 168 1 . thanketh. 
168 2 . To some bysshop wyl we wend. 
169 1 . begone : there good. 
170 4 . they wanting. 
a bout, a gayne, a monge, a none, a byde, a 

lyue, ther at, etc., are joined. 
d, e, f. The readings of all three are the same 

unless divergence is noted. 
I 1 , f. in the. I 8 , whereas men hunt east. 
2 1 . raise. 2 2 . d. sights haue oft. 
e. sights haue not oft. f. has oft. 
2 s . three yeomen. 2 4 . as wanting. 
3 2 . Another. 4 2 . thre wanting. 

d, e. euery chone. f. eueryeche one. 
4 3 . brethren on a. 4 4 . English wood. 

5 2 . And wanting : mirth. 5 s . e. were wanting. 
6 s . brethren, and generally, e. on a. 
7 1 . There to : Alice. 7 2 . f. with wanting. 
8 1 . e, f . we go. d. Carlell, and generally. 

e, f. Carlile, and generally. 

8 8 . If that : doe you. 8 4 . life is. 

9 8 . Trust you then that, d, f. tane. 

e. taken. II 1 . Alice he said. 

II 2 . My wife and children three. 

11". owne husband, f. thy. 

12 2 . e, f. very sore. 

12 4 . d, f. halfe a. e. Full halfe a. 

13 1 . e. I am. 13 2 . d. f. in I. e. in we. 

14 1 . d. fet. 14 2 . d. true and. 

14 3 . e. what she. 15 1 . d. in the. 

15 2 . little before. 16 1 . rose and forth she goes. 

16 2 . e. might. 16*. not wanting. 

16 4 . e. yeeres. f. not 7 yeere. 17 1 . into. 

17 8 . night she said is come to towne. 

18 1 . e. Thereat. 

18 2 . e. was wanting, f. And wanting. 

18 3 . e. dame wanting. 18 4 . ere. 
19 2 . d, e. as wanting, d, e, f. saine. 
20 1 . raised. 20". that wanting. 

20 3 . e. And thronging fast vnto the house. 

20 4 . As fast as. e. gan. 

21 1 . the good yeoman. 21 2 . Round wanting. 

21 3 . d. of the folke. e. of folke. 
f. of the folkes. 

21 4 . thetherward : fast for they. 

22 1 . back for shot. 22 s . e. bothe wanting. 

e, f. second the wanting. 

22 4 . e, f. And with them. e. a great rout. 
f . a full great. 

23 1 . then cryed. 23 s . e, f. second my want 
ing, f. sweet husband. 

24". e. second hys wanting. 24 s . the /or hys. 

f. He went. 24 4 . f. the surest. 

25 1 . Alice like a louer true. 25 2 . f. Tooke a. 
25 8 . d, f. Said he shall die that commeth. 

e. Said he shall dye. 26 1 . right good. 
26 2 . of a. 26 4 . burst. 

27 4 . had beene neere the. 

28 2 . d. second thy wanting, e. thine arrowes. 

f. the bow and arrowes. 

29 2 . d, e. Sith no better it will be. 
29 s . burne : saith. f. burne there. 
29 4 . and his. SO 1 , f. The/or they: and of ten. 

30 2 . d, e. vp wanting, f. fledd on. 

30 3 . then, and generally, e, f. said faire. 

30 4 . e. we here shall, f. here wee shall. 

31 1 . a for hys. 

31 2 . second on wanting, d. was on. 
31 s . And there : he did let downe. 
31 4 . His wife and children. 

32 1 . f. Haue you here. 

32 2 . d, f. second my wanting. 

32 1 , 2 . e. wanting. 32". f. Gods lone. 

33 2 . d, f. agoe. e. go. 

33 3 . the wanting, about for vpon. 
S3 4 , f. burnt. 34 1 . fell vppou. 

34 3 ' 4 . and sayde begins the fourth line. 

35 1 . e, f. had I. 35 2 . runne. 

35". e. amongst, d, f . my. 35 4 . So : burne. 

36 1 . buckler then. 36 2 . f. amongst. 

36 3 . people thickest were. 

37 *. man abide, e, f. strokes. 37 2 . e. run. 

37". f. Then the : att him. e. doore. 

37 4 . that yeoman, f. And then the. 

38 1 . both wanting. 38 2 . in a. 

38*. d, e. then said, d, f. hye wanting. 



39 2 . e. gallowes them shalt haue. 

39*. d. al wantiny. 40 1 . There, f. helpe yett. 

40". f. a 100 d men. 41 1 . arose. 

41 2 . f. can he. 41 s . d. them to: full wanting. 

e, f. to shut close. 42 s . d, e. he set vp. 

f. There he new a paire of gallowes he sett vpp. 
42 4 . f. Hard by the. 43 2 . meant. 

44 1 . the wanting, f. The litle. 

44 s . f. seene William. 44 4 . e. gaue. 

45 1 . at a creuice of. 

45 2 . wood he ran (ron, runn). f. And wanting. 
45 s . e. he met. e, f. wighty yeomen. 

46 1 . e, f. said the. 46 2 . e, f. You. 

46 s . e, f. tane. e. doomd. 

46 4 . d. Already, e, f. And ready to be hangd. 

47 2 . saw. 

47 3 . d, e. might haue tarried heere with vs. 
f. He had better haue tarryed with vs. 
47*. e. as wanting. 48 1 . haue dwelled. 
48". these for the. f. shaddoowes greene. 
48 8 . haue wantiny : at rest. 48 4 . d, f . of all. 
49 2 . he had. SO 1 , e. we go. 

d. wighty yeomen, e, f. iolly yeomen. 
50 2 . longer. SI 1 , f. bold yeomen. 
51 2 . f. All in a mor[n]inge of May. 

51 4 . f. And wanting. 52 1 . f. to wanting. 
52 2 . f. All in a morning. 52 s . vnto. 
53 8 . wonderous. d, f . be shut. e. are shut, 
f . ffast for well. S3 4 , therein. 54 4 . come. 

e. the king. 55 l . wry ten wanting. 

55 2 . e. Now wantiny. f. wiselye marke. 
56 1 . d, f. at the. f. gates. 56 2 . f. hard and. 
56 s . d, e. a wanting. 

f. marueiled who was theratt. 
56 4 . faste wanting, e, f. gates. 

57 1 . nowe wanting, f. Who be. 

57 2 . f. makes. 57 8 . e. said they then, 
f. quoth Clim. 57 4 . come right. 

58 4 . the for our. 59 l . none in. 59 2 . e. of a. 
59 s . Till that. f. a wanting. 
60 1 . d. the for that. 

e. that good yeman wanting. 

f. spake good Clim. 60 4 . d, f. thou shalt. 
61 1 . got wanting. 

61 8 . d, e. porter wend (weend). 

f. had went wanting. 62 1 . is my : he said. 

62 2 . d. ye shall, e, f. you shall. 

62". e, f. gates, d, e. full shortly. 

f. ryght wanting. 63 1 . are we. 

63 2 . Whereof : are right. 63 8 . d. knowes. 

e, f. Christ he knowes assuredly. 

63 4 . e. come wanting, f . gett out. 

64 18 ' 4 . then, When, and nearly always. 

65 1 . a wanting. 65 8 . cast. 

65*. d, f. his keyes. 66 2 . e. we haue. 

66". in/wto. 66 4 . d. hundred. 

e, f. That came this hundred. 67 1 . we will. 

67 8 . brother. 67 4 . That for Where he. 

68 1 . d. Then: their good. 

e, f . Then : their good yew. 68 s . in for of. 
69 8 . d, f. of squiers. e. squirers. 

69 4 . e, f. That iudged William hanged. 
70 1 . e, f. hymselfe wanting. 

f. ready there in. 70 4 . d, e. Already. 

f. to hange. 71 2 , he should, e. Cloudesle. 

71 s . good wanting. 

71 4 . e. thereby make him a. f. And wanting. 

72 1 . a wanting. 72 s . a graue. 

73 2 . I will thee hang. 73 3 . heard this. 

74 1 . eye. e. William. 

74 2 . two (tow) brethren : stande wanting. 
74 8 . e. the corner : place wel prepard. 
74 4 . d. good wanting : bent wanting. 

e, f. wanting. 74 5 . d, e. the justice to chase. 

f. the iustice to slaine. 75 1 . good wanting. 
75 s . e. hands let free. 75*. d, e. might I. 
76 1 . Then spake. 76". Brother : you. 

76 4 . you. 77 1 . And wanting. 

78 2 . d, e. they had. 

78 s . f. the shirrfe, the other the iustice. 

78". d,.f. can. 79 1 . e. stood them. 

79'. fell wanting. 79 4 . d, e. deaths. 

80 1 . f. flye. 80 2 . d, f. longer. 80 s . e. Then. 

81 1 . d, f. start, e. stept. 81 2 .. out of. 

81 4 . had wanting : all too. f. Hee thought. 

82 1 . e. brethren. 82 2 . togyder wanting. 

83 l . shot, e, f . in wanting. 

83-. full wanting. 83 4 . e. The. 

d, f. long did. 84 1 . like for as. 

85 2 . d, f. pressed to. 85 s . e. swords out anon. 

86 s . d, f. was mid. f. were mid. 

86 4 . had wanting. 

87 1 . e. There was wanting, e, f. Carlilewas. 

87 2 . they wanting, d. backwards. 
88 1 , 89 1 , 90 1 . mayor, maior. 

88 s . fare wanting. 88 4 . For of . 

d. f. they stood in great. 

e. they were in great. 

89 4 . e. Within that stoure. 90". brast. 
d, f. he wanting. 90 s . euill. 
90 4 . f. ffull woe. 90 5 . f. Keepe well. 
90". That. 91 2 . d, e. downe they. 

f. were downe. 91 4 . gotten out. e. of a. 
92 2 . heere I. e. My. 92 s . d, f. you. 
92 4 . doe you. 93 1 . d, f. their keyes at. 
d. head. 93". any. 94 1 . e, f. be the. 



d. word. 94 2 . lightly. 94". f. wood. 

95 1 . d, e. English wood. f. merry greenwood. 

95 2 . the trustie. 95 4 . d. full great. 

96 1 . God me helpe. 96 s . nowe wanting. 
96*. d. manic, e. many. f. meanye. 

17 l . d, f. sate. e. Then sat they. 

97 2 . d, e. drunke. 

97 s . fit of : yeomen for yonge men. 
f. A 2 d ffitt of the wightye. 
97 4 . And wanting : I will. 

98 1 . English wood, d, f. sate. 

98 2 . d, e. trustie. f. the greenwoode. 
98 s . woman wepe. e, f. They. 

98 4 . e, f. could act. 

99 1 . Sore then : there wanting. 

d. f. and sayd begins the next line. 
99 1 , 2 . e. And sayd Alas wanting. 

99 2 . saw. 99 s . f. nowe wanting. 
100 1 . e. spoke. 100 2 . Or with. 

100 s . d, e. To shew to them what him befell, 
f. To show them, etc. 101 l . aside. 

101 2 . f. He looked. 

101 3 . second his wanting. 6. He saw his. 
102 2 . Under, d. this trustie. e. a trusty. 
f. the trustye. 102 4 . d, f. shouldest had. 

e. shouldst had. 103 4 . d, e. brethren. 
104 4 . e. It resteth. 105 1 . the lawnd. 
105 2 . noble men all. 

105 4 . f. that they cold see. 106 2 . f. saith. 

106 3 . Because : by me. 

107 1 . they went : theyr wanting. 

107 8 . for their. 

108 2 , 115 2 . without any leace (lease). 

109 1 . at our. 109 2 . f. Att a. HO 1 . My. 

110 2 . I haue. Ill 1 , good yeomen. 

Ill 2 , d, f. might hye. e. can hye. 

Ill 8 , pallace. Ill 4 , e, f. Where. 

d. neede. e, f. needs. 

112 1 . kings, f. But when. 112 2 . f. & to. 

113 1 . proceeded presently. 113 2 . they had. 

113 4 . e, f. gan. 114 1 . e, f. you. 

114 2 . e, f. to me. 114 s . You : thus wanting. 

114 4 . from for of. 115 2 . f. Certes. 

115 8 . the for our. 116 1 . the for our. 

d, f. when. e. whan. 
117 1 . d, e. beseech thee. 

f. beseeche yee sure. 118 1 . What be. 

e, f . the for onr. 

118 8 . e. They sayd wanting. 
119 1 . d, e. than wanting, f. then. 
e. the for our. 119 2 . of. wanting. 
119 3 . f. Here I make a vow to God. 
119*. You. 120'. f. officer[s] euery one. 
VOL. ni. 5 

121 1 . e. Therefore. 122 3 . doo/orbe: come. 

122 4 . from. 123 2 . d. your wanting. 

123 s . d, e. hundreth : f . 100 d . 

123 4 . d, e. of you. 

f. Of you wee will aske noe. 125 4 . You. 

126 1 . ye. 126 4 . f. itt shalbe. 

127 1 . f. good my. 127 2 . These : ye. 

127 4 . them all. 128 1 . f. You : townes. 

130 2 . e. garmarcie. f. god a mercye. 

130 4 . they shall. 

131 2 . d. they may comfort see. 

6. they might comfort see. 

f. some comfort they might see. 

131 8 . e, f. the for our. 

132 1 . e. sittin. f. sitten. 132 s . came two. 

133 3 . e. our for your. 134 1 . fareth. 

135 1 . e. slaine them. f. then said. 

135 2 . Anone that you. 

135 s . and wanting. 136 1 . f. ffor wrath. 

136 3 . then. f. rather then. 136 4 . of wanting. 

137 *. f. y- wanting. 137 2 . d. forethinketh. 

138 1 . d, f. king he. 

138 8 . And there : thre wanting. 

139 2 . mayor. 139 3 . catchpoles. 

139 4 . f. but one. 140 1 . bayliffes. 

140 a . forresters. 140 4 . haue. 

f. haue the slawe. 

141 2 . e, f. Of all. f . coice the. 141 8 . d. Such. 

142 2 . hys wanting. 142 8 . d. table he said. 

e. table then said he. f . tables then sayd hee. 
142 4 . e, f. I can. 143 1 . then called. 

143 s . e, f. said he. f. To see. 

143 4 . e. hath. 144'. d, e. buskt: blithe. 

f . archers busket : blythe. 

144 2 . f. Soe did the queenes alsoe. 

144 3 . d, e. thre wanting, f. weightye. 

144 4 . f. They thought with them. 

145 s . thre wanting. 145 4 . them wanting. 

146 2 . e, f. By him. 146 s . d, e. a good. 

f. him not a good. 147 *. e. the for our. 

f. then wanting. 147 2 . to me. 

148 1 . into the. 148 2 . brethren. 

148 4 . f. 400 paces. 

149 4 . For no man can so doo. 

150 1 . f. syr wanting. ISO 2 , further. 

151. d, f. our king, e, f. then wanting. 

152 3 . tie him. 152 4 . e, f. see him. 

154 1 . hast thee. f. then wanting. 

154 s . f. dost : has. 155 4 . you hang. 

156 2 . d, e. I neuer will forsake. 

f. That I will neuer. 157 s . him fro. 

158 8 . out wanting, f. meaten. 

159 2 . e. were. 160 1 . were there. 



160 4 . had neede of a. e, f . steddy. 

162 1 . claue. 162 2 . myght see. d, f. As. 

162 s . Now God forbid then said. 

162 4 . d, e. shouldst. 163 1 . f . gaue : 8 pence. 

163 4 . e. chiefe ranger. 164 1 . xiii. e, f . He. 

165 1 . thee a. 165 3 . f. bretheren. 

165 4 . are louely to. 166 2 . e, f. he shall be. 

166 3 . mans estate, e, f. corns, comes. 

166 4 . d. aduanced I will him see. 

e, f. Better preferred. 167 2 . d. sore for to. 

e. I long full sore to see. f. I long her sore. 
167*. To. 

168 2 . d. To some bishop will we wend, 
e, f. To some bishop we will wend. 
168 4 . at his. 169 1 . e. the good. 
169 2 . they can. d. So fast. 169". and liued. 
169 4 . good yeomen. 170 1 . f. liffe. 
170". f. with a. 170 4 . d, e. they wanting. 
Insignificant variations of spelling are not no 



August 16, 1586, there was entered to Edward 
White, in the Stationers' Registers, ' A ballad of 
William Clowdisley neuer printed before : ' Arber, 
II, 455. This was in all probability the present 
piece, afterwards printed with ' Adam Bell ' as a 
Second Part. The Second Part of Adam Bell was 
entered to John Wright, September 24, 1608: Ar 
ber, III, 390. The ballad is a pure manufacture, 
with no root in tradition, and it is an absurd ex 
travaganza besides. The copy in the Percy Folio, 
here collated with the earliest preserved printed 
copy, has often the better readings, but may have 
been corrected, a has such monstrosities as y-then, 

a. ' The Second Part of Adam Bell,' London, James Rob 
erts, 1605. b. 'Younge Cloudeslee,' Percy MS. p. 398; 
Hales and Furnivall, III, 102. 

1 LIST northernc laddes to blither things 

Then yet were brought to light, 
Performed by our countriemen 
In many a fray and fight : 

2 Of Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, 

And William of Cloudisly, 
Who were in fauour with the king, 
For all their misery. 

3 Yong William of the wine-seller, 

When yeoman he was made, 
Gan follow then his father's steps : 
lie loued a bonny maide. 

4 ' God's crosse,' quoth William, ' if I misse, 

And may not of her speed, 

I 'le make a thousand northern hearts 
For very wo to bleed.' 

5 Gone he is a wooing now, 

Our Ladie well him guide ! 
To merry Mansfield, where I trow 
A time he will abide. 

6 ' Soone dop the dore, fairc Cicelie bright, 

I come with all the hast : 

I come a wooing thee for loue, 

Here am I come at last. ' 

7 'I know you not,' quoth Cicelie tho, 

' From whence that yee bee come ; 
My loue you may not haue, I trow, 
I vow by this faire sonne. 

8 ' For why, my loue is fixt so sure 

Vpon another wight ; 
I swore by sweet Saint Anne, I 'le neuer 
Abuse him, out of sight. 

9 ' This night I hope to see my loue, 

In all his pride and glee ; 
If there were thousands, none but him 
My heart would ioy to see.' 

10 ' God's curse vpon him,' yong William said, 

' Before me that hath sped ! 
A foule ill on the carrion nurse 
That first did binde his head ! ' 

11 Gan William tho for to prepare 

A medicine for that chaffe : 
' His life,' quoth he, ' full hard may fare; 
Hee 's best to keepe alaffe.' 

12 He drew then out his bright brown sword, 

Which was so bright and keene ; 
A stouter man and hardier 
Nere handled sword, I weene. 



13 'Browne tempered, strong, and worthy blade, 

Vnto thy maister show, 
If now to triall thou bee put, 
How thou canst bide a blow.' 

14 Yong William till an oake gan hie, 

Which was in compasse round 
Well six and fifty inches nie, 
And feld it to the ground. 

15 'So mot he fare,' quoth William tho, 

' That for her loue hath laid 
Which I haue loued, and nere did know 
Him suter till that maide. 

1 6 ' And now, deare father, stout and strong, 

William of Cloudesley, 
How happie were thy troubled sonne 
If here I mot thee see. 

17 ' And thy too brethren, Adam Bell 

And Clim of the Clough ; 
Against a thousand men, and more, 
We foure would be enough. 

18 ' Growne it is full foure a clocke, 

And night will come beliue ; 
Come on, thou lurden, Cislei's loue, 
This night must I thee shriue. 

19 'Prepare thee strong, thou fow[l] black caufe ! 

What ere thou be, I weene 
I 'le giue thy coxcomb saick a gird 
In Mansfield as neuer was seene.' 

20 William a yong faune had slaine, 

In Sherwood, merry forrest; 
A fairer faune for man's meat 
In Sherwood was neuer drest. 

21 Hee hied then till a northerne lasse, 

Not halfe a mile him fro ; 
He said, Dop dore, thou good old nurse, 
That in to thee I goe. 

22 ' I faint with being in the wood ; 

Lo heere I haue a kid, 
Which I haue slo for thee and I ; 
Come dresse it then, I bid. 

23 Fetch bread and other iolly fare, 

Whereof thou hast some store ; 
A blither gest this hundred yeare 
Came neuer here before.' 

24 The good old nant gan hie a pace 

To let yong William in ; 
' A happie nurse,' quoth William then, 
' As can be lightly seene. 

25 ' Wend till that house hard by,' quoth he, 

' That 's made of lime and stone, 
Where is a lasse, faire Cisse,' hee said ; 
' I loue her as my owne. 

26 ' If thou can fetch her vnto me, 

That we may merry be, 
I make a vow, in the forrest, 
Of deare thou shall haue fee." 

27 'Rest then, faire sir,' the woman said; 

' I sweare by good Saint lohn, 
I will bring to you that same maide 
Full quickly and anon.' 

28 ' Meane time,' quoth William, ' I Me be cooke 

And see the faune i-drest; 

A stouter cooke did neuer come 

Within the faire forrest.' 

29 Thick blith old lasse had wit enow 

For to declare his minde ; 
So fast she hi'd, and nere did stay, 
But left William behind. 

30 Where William, like a nimble cooke, 

Is dressing of the fare, 
And for this damsell doth he looke ; 
' I would that she were here ! ' 

31 ' Good speed, blithe Cisse,' quoth that old lasse; 

' God dild yee,' quoth Cisley againe ; 
' How done you, nant lone ? ' she said, 
' Tell me it, I am faine.' 

32 The good old lone said weele she was, 

' And common in an arrand till you ; 
For you must to my cottage gone, 
Full quick, I tell you true ; 

83 ' Where we full merry meane to be, 

All with my elder lad : ' 
When Cissley heard of it, truely, 
She was exceeding glad. 

34 ' God's curse light on me,' quoth Cissley tho, 

' If with you I doe not hie ; 
I neuer ioyed more forsooth 
Then in your company.' 

35 Happy the good-wife thought her selfe 

That of her purpose she had sped, 
And home with Cisley she doth come, 
So lightly did they tread. 

36 And comming in, here William soone 

Had made ready his fare ; 
The good old wife did wonder much 
So soone as she came there. 



37 Cisley to William now is come, 

God send her miukle glee ! 
Yet was she in a maze, God wot, 
When she saw it was hee. 

38 ' Had I beene ware, good sir,' she said, 

< Of that it had beene you, 
I would haue staid at home in sooth, 
I tell you very true.' 

39 ' Faire Cisley,' then said William kind, 

'Misdeeme thou not of mee; 
I sent not for thee to the end 
To do thee iniury. 

40 ' Sit downe, that we may talke a while, 

And eate all of the best 
And fattest kidde that euer was slaine 
In merry Sirwood forrest.' 

41 His louing words wan Cisley then 

To keepe with him a while ; 
But in the meane time Cislei's loue 
Of her was tho beguile. 

42 A stout and sturdie man he was 

Of quality and kind, 

And knowne through all the north country 
To beare a noble minde. 

43 ' But what,' quoth William, ' do I care? 

If that he meane to weare, 
First let him winne ; els neuer shall 
He haue the maide, I sweare.' 

44 Full softly is her louer come, 

And knocked at the dore ; 
But tho he mist of Cislei's roome, 
Whereat he stampt and swore. 

45 ' A mischief on his heart,' quoth he, 

'That hath enlured the maide 
To be with him in company ! ' 
He car'd not what he sayd. 

46 He was so with anger mooued 

He sware a well great oth, 
< Deere should he pay, if I him knew, 
Forsooth and by my troth 1 ' 

47 Gone he is to finde her out, 

Not knowing where she is ; 

Still wandring in the weary wood, 

His true-loue he doth misse. 

48 William purchast hath the game, 

Which he doth meane to hold : 
' Come rescew her, and if you can, 
And dare to be so bold ! ' 

49 At length when he had wandred long 

About the forrest wide, 

A candle-light a furlong off 

Full quickly he espied. 

50 Then to the house he hied him fast, 

Where quickly he gan here 
The voice of his owne deere true-loue, 
A making bonny cheere. 

51 Then gan he say to Cisley tho, 

Cisley, come a way ! 

I haue beene wandring thee to finde 
Since shutting in of day. 

52 ' Who calls faire Cisse? ' quoth William then; 

' What carle daves bee so bold 

Once to aduenture to her to speake 

Whom I haue now in hold ? ' 

53 'List thee, faire sir,' quoth Cislei's loue, 

' Let quickly her from you part ; 
For all your lordly words, I sweare 

1 'le haue her, or make you smart.' 

54 Yong William to his bright browne sword 

Gan quickly then to take : 
' Because thou so dost challenge me, 
I 'le make thy kingdome quake. 

55 ' Betake thee to thy weapon strong; 

Faire time I giue to thee ; 
And for my loue as well as thine 
A combat fight will I.' 

56 'Neuer let sonne,' quoth Cislei's loue, 

' Shine more vpon my head, 
If I doe file, by heauen aboue, 
Wert thou a giant bred.' 

57 To bilbo-blade gat William tho, 

And buckler stiffe and strong ; 
A stout battaile then they fought, 
Well nie two houres long. 

58 Where many a grieuous wound was giue 

To each on either part ; 
Till both the champions then were droue 
Almost quite out of heart. 

59 Pitteous mone faire Cisley made, 

That all the forrest rong ; 
The grieuous shrikes made such a noise, 
She had so shrill a tongue. 

60 At last came in the keepers three, 

With bowes and arrowes keene, 
Where they let flie among these two, 
An hundred as I weene. 



61 William, stout and strong in heart, 

When he had them espied, 
Set on corrage for his part ; 
Among the thickst he hied. 

62 The chiefe ranger of the woods 

At first did William smite ; 
Where, at on blow, he smot his head 
Fro off his shoulders quite. 

63 And heing in so furious teene, 

About him then he laid ; 

He slew immediatly the wight 

Was sutor to the maide. 

64 Great moane was then made ; 

The like was neuer heard ; 
Which made the people all around 
To crie, they were so feard. 

65 'Arme! arme!' the country cried, 

'For God's loue quickly hie !' 
Neuer was such a slaughter seene 
In all the north country. 

66 Will[iam] still, though wounded sore, 

Continued in his fight 
Till he had slaine them all foure, 
That very winter-night. 

67 All the country then was raisd, 

The traytor for to take 
That for the loue of Cisley faire 
Had all this slaughter make. 

68 To the woods hied William tho 

'T was best of all his play 
Where in a caue with Cisley faire 
He liued many a day. 

69 Proclamation then was sent 

The country all around, 
The lord of Mansfield should he be 
That first the traytor found. 

70 Till the court these tydings came, 

Where all men did bewaile 
The yong and lusty William, 
Which so had made them quaile. 

71 Hied vp then William Cloudesley, 

And lustie Adam Bell, 
And famous Clim of the Clough, 
Which three then did excell. 

72 To the king they hied them fast, 

Full quickly and anon ; 
Mercy I pray,' quoth old William, 
' For William my sonne.' 

73 ' No mercy, traitors,' quoth the king, 

' Hangd shall yee be all foure ; 
Vnder my nose this plot haue you laid 
To bringe to passe before.' 

74 ' In sooth,' bespake then Adam Bell, 

' 111 signe Your Grace hath seene 
Of any such comotion 

Since with you we haue beene. 

75 ' If then we can no mercy haue, 

But leese both life and goods, 
Of your good grace we take our leaue 
And hie vs to the woods." 

76 ' Arme, arme,' then quoth the king, 

' My merry men euerychone, 
Full fast againe these rebbells now 
Vnto the woods are gone. 

77 ' A, wo is vs ! what shall we doo, 

Or which way shall we worke, 
To hunt them forth out of the woods, 
So traytrouslie there that lurke ? ' 

78 ' List you,' quoth a counsellor graue, 

A wise man he seemd ; 
The[n] craued the king his pardon free 
Vnto them to haue deemd. 

79 ' God's forbod ! ' quoth the king, 

' I neuer it will do ! 

For they shall hang, each mother's sonne ; 
Faire sir, I tell you true.' 

80 Fifty thousand men were charged 

After them for to take ; 
Some of them, set in sundry townes, 
In companies did waite. 

81 To the woods gan some to goe, 

In hope to find them out ; 
And them perforce they thought to take, 
If they might find them out. 

82 To the woods still as they came 

Dispatched still they were ; 
Which made full many a trembling heart, 
And many a man in feare. 

83 Still the outlawes, Adam Bell 

And Clim of the Clough, 
Made iolly cheere with venison, 
Strong drinke and wine enough. 

84 ' Christ me blesse ! ' then said our king, 

' Such men were neuer knowne ; 
They are the stoutest-hearted men 
That mauhoode euer showne. 



85 ' Come, my secretary good, 

And cause to be declared 
A general! pardone to them all, 
Which neuer shall be discared. 

86 ' Liuing plenty shall they haue, 

Of gold and eke of fee, 
If they will, as they did before, 
Come liue in court with me.' 

87 Sodenly went forth the newes, 

Declared by trumpets sound, 
Whereof these three were well aduis'd, 
In caue as they were in ground. 

88 ' But list you, sirs,' quoth William yong, 

' I dare not trust the king ; 
It is some fetch is in his head, 
Whereby to bring vs in. 

89 ' Nay, stay we here : or first let me 

A messenger be sent 
Vnto the court, where I may know 
His Maiestie's intent.' 

90 This pleased Adam Bell : 

' So may we liue in peace, 
We are at his most high command, 
And neuer will we cease. 

91 ' But if that still we shall be vrged, 

And called by traitrous name, 
And threated hanging for euery thing, 
His Highnesse is to blame. 

92 ' JTeare had His Grace subiects more true, 

And sturdier then wee, 
Which are at His Highnesse will ; 
God send him well to bee ! ' 

93 So to the court is yong William gone, 

To parley with the king, 
Where all men to the king's presence 
Did striue him for to bring. 

94 When he before the king was come, 

He kneeled down full low ; 

He shewed quickly to the king 

What duty they did owe ; 

95 In such delightfull order blith, 

The king was quickly wonne 
To comfort them in their request, 
As he before had done. 

96 ' Fetch bread and drinke,' then said His Grace, 

' And meat all of the best ; 
And stay all night here at the court, 
And soundly take thy rest.' 

97 ' Gramercies to Your Grace,' said William, 

' For pardon graunted I see : ' 
' For signe thereof, here take my seale, 
And for more certainty.' 

98 ' God's curse vpon me,' sayd William, 

' For my part if I meane 
Euer againe to stirre vp strife ! ' 
It neuer shall bee seene.' 

99 The nobles all to William came, 

He was so stout and trimme, 

And all the ladies, for very ioy, 

Did come to welcome him. 

100 ' Faire Cisley now I haue to wife, 

In field I haue her wonne ; ' 
' Bring her here, for God's loue,' said they all, 
' Full welcome shall she be [soone].' 

101 Forth againe went William backe, 

To wood that he did hie, 
And to his father there he shewd 
The king his pardone free. 

102 ' Health to His Grace,' quoth Adam Bell, 

' I beg it on my knee ! ' 
The like said Clim of the dough, 
And William of Cloudesley. 

103 To the court they all prepare, 

Euen as fast as they can hie, 
AVhere graciously they were receiud, 
With mirth and merry glee. 

104 Cisley faire is wend alone 

Vpon a gelding faire ; 
A proprer damsell neuer came 
In any courtly ayre. 

105 'Welcome, Cisley,' said the queene, 

' A lady I thee make, 
To wait vpon my owne person, 
In all my chiefest state.' 

106 So quickly was this matter done, 

Which was so hardly doubted, 
That all contentions after that 
From court were quickly rowted. 

107 Fauourable was the king ; 

So good they did him finde, 
The[y] neuer after sought againe 
To vex his royall minde. 

108 Long time they liued in court, 

So neare vnto the king 
That neuer after was attempt 
Offred for any thing. 



109 God aboue giue all men grace 

In quiet for to liue, 
And not rebelliously abroad 
Their princes for to grieue. 

110 Let not the hope of pardon mooue 

A subiect to attempt 

His soueraigne's anger, or his loue 
From him for to exempt. 

Ill But that all men may ready be 

With all their maine and might 
To serue the Lord, and loue the King, 
In honor, day and night ! 

a. I 4 . In mickle. 6 1 . Some. 35 2 . 
13 4 . canst thou. 20 3 . man's y-meat. 35 4 . 
21 2 . he fro. 28 2 . I drest. 40 3 . 
35 2 . That her purpose he had of sped. 45 2 . 
35*. they read. 37 4 . amaze. 52 4 . 
46 1 . was y so. 64 1 . ythen. 76' 2 . euery chone. 57 4 . 
92 1 . more subjects true. 93 s . Which for Where. 661. 

b. I 4 . In many. 5 2 . will for well. 6 1 . Soone. 73 2 . 
6 3 . to thee. 13 1 . sword for strong. 76 2 . 
13 4 . thou canst. 18 4 . I must. 19 1 . ffowle. 79 4 . 
19 4 . was neuer. 20 3 . man's meate. 2 1 2 , him ff roe. &2 1 . 
21 s . dop the. 22 3 . slaine ffor thee & mee. 97 1 . 
28 2 . To see : well drest. 100 4 
31 1 . God speed. 31 3 . doe yee. 105 4 
32 1 . woman for lone. 32 2 . in wanting : to you. 10 

of her purpose shee had sped, 
they did tread. 37 s . a maze. 
The flattest. 44 3 . mist Cisleys companye. 
allured this. 46 1 . soe. 

in my for now in. 57 2 . That was both stiffe. 
Weer neere. 6 1 1 , strong & stout. 
William. 68 2 . Itt was the best. 
You shall be hanged. 73 3 . plott yee have. 
euer-eche one. 78 3 . The craued. 
I tell you verry true. 86 1 . Liuings. 
subiects more true. 93 s . Where. 

Welcome shee shall bee soone. 104 1 . is gone. 
. cheefe estate. 106 4 . rooted. 
: . ff ought for sought. 


a. 'A Gest of Robyn Hode,' without printer's name, c. Douce Fragment, No 16: Bodleian Library, 
date, or place ; the eleventh and last piece in a vol 
ume in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. Re 
printed by David Laing, 1827, with nine pieces 
from the press of Walter Chepman and Androw 
Myllar, Edinburgh, 1508, and one other, by a printer 
unknown, under the title of The Knightly Tale of 
Golagrus and Gawane, and other Ancient Poems. 

d. Douce Fragment, No 17: Bodleian Library. 

e. Douce Fragment, No 16: Bodleian Library.* 

f. ' A Mery Geste of Robyn Hoode,' etc., London, 
Wyllyam Copland, n. d. : British Museum, C. 21. c. 

b. ' A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode,' etc., London, 
Wynken de Worde, n. d. : Library of the University 
of Cambridge. 

g. ' A Merry lest of Robin Hood,' etc., London, printed 
for Edward White, n. d. : Bodleian Library, Z. 3. 
Art. Seld., and Mr Henry Huth's library. 

THE best qualified judges are not agreed as 
to the typographical origin of a : see Dick- 
son, Introduction of the Art of Printing into 

* a preserves stanzas 1-83 4 , 118*-208 3 , 314 2 -349 8 ; with 
defects at 2 2 ' 3 1\ 123 4 -127 3 , 133-136 8 . It has therefore 
about 200 stanzas out of 456. 

Scotland, Aberdeen, 1885, pp 51 ff, 82 ff, 86 f. 
Mr Laing had become convinced before his 
death that he had been wrong in assigning 

C preserves SO^eO 3 ; d, 280-350, very much mutilated ; 
e, 435 4 -450 1 , very much mutilated, e, inserted among the 
Douce fragments, was presented by Mr Halliwell-Phillips. 



this piece to the press of Chepman and Myl- 
lar. The date of b may be anywhere from 
1492 to 1534, the year of W. de Worde's 
death. Of c Ritson says, in his corrected 
preface to the Gest, 1832, I, 2 : By the favor 
of the Reverend Dr Farmer, the editor had 
in his hands, and gave to Mr Douce, a few 
leaves of an old 4to black letter impression 
by the above Wynken de Worde, probably 
in 1489, and totally unknown to Ames and 
Herbert. No reason is given for this date.* 
I am not aware that any opinion has been 
expressed as to the printer or the date of d, e. 
W. Copland's edition, f, if his dates are fully 
ascertained, is not earlier than 1548. Ritson 
says that g is entered to Edward White in 
the Stationers' books, 13 May, 1594. "A 
pastorall plesant commedie of Robin Hood & 
Little John, &c," is entered to White on the 
14th of May of that year, Arber, II, 649: 
this is more likely to have been a play of 
Robin Hood. 

a, b, f, g, are deficient at 7 1 , 339 1 , and mis 
printed at 49, 50, repeating, it may be, the 
faults of a prior impression, a appears, by 
internal evidence, to be an older text than b.f 

Some obsolete words of the earlier copies 
have been modernized in f, g,J, and deficient 
lines have been supplied. A considerable 
number of Middle -English forms remain 
after those successive renovations of reciters 
and printers which are presumable in such 
cases. The Gest may have been compiled at 
a time when such forms had gone out of use, 
and these may be relics of the ballads from 
which this little epic was made up ; or the 
whole poem may have been put together as 
early as 1400, or before. There are no firm 
grounds on which to base an opinion. 

No notice of Robin Hood has been down 
to this time recovered earlier than that which 
was long ago pointed out by Percy as oc 
curring in Piers Plowman, and this, accord 
ing to Professor Skeat, cannot be older than 
about 1377. || Sloth, in that poem, says in 
his shrift that he knows "rymes of Robyn 
Hood and Randolf, erle of Chestre," ^[ though 
but imperfectly acquainted with his pater 
noster : B, passus v, 401 f, Skeat, ed. 1886, 
I, 166. References to Robin Hood, or to his 
story, are not infrequent in the following cen 

* Dr Farmer considered these leaves to be of Rastell's 
printing, and older by some years than b ; which is not 
quite intelligible, since Rastell's work is put at 1517-38. 
c is cited under Rastell's name in Ritson's second edition 
as well as his first. 

t 9 4 , a, allther moste : b, all other moste. (f, g, of all 
other ; b, 283 3 , all ther best ; 284 1 , all theyre best ; f , g, al 
of the best.) 61 4 , a, Muche in fere : b, Much also. 68 4 , a, 
By xxviii (eight and twenty) score: b (f, g), By eyghtene 
score, which gives no meaning. 138 3 , a, frcmbde bested : 
b (f, g), frend. 173 4 , a, same nyght : b, same day. 176 4 , a, 
wode hore : b (f, g), wode tre. 333-, a, on rode : b (f, g), 
on a tre. 343 2 , a, The sherif : b (f, g), The kuyght. 

J 13 3 , a, b, husbonde : f , g, husbandeman. 25G 1 , b, in 
yonder other corser : f , on the other courser : g, in the other 
coffer. 274 4 , 286 2 , 387 4 , 412 2 , b, trystell-tre : f, g, trusty 
tre. 385 1 , b, "tarpe": f, g, scale. 371 4 , b, blyve : f, g, 
blythe, etc. 

111 2 , That all this worlde wrought; 163 2 , The while 
that he wolde ; 316 4 , To mete can they gone ; 72 4 , But his 
bowe tree ; 29 1 , They brought hym to the lodge dore. 

255 4 , To seke a monke's male; 360 3 , He shall haue the 
knyghtes londys ; 369 1 , And I wyll be your lede's man; 
376 1 , Robyn toke the kynge's hors; 366 3 , 367 2 , 3G8 4 , etc. 
336 3 , For our dei e lady loue. 

31 l , With wordes fayre and f re ; 34 4 , Of all these weky's 
thre; 210 2 , Or a man that myrthes can; 31 8 4 , The walle's 
all aboute; 60 2 , 331*, 332 2 , 371 2 , etc. 433 4 , And all his 
menne's fe. 

21 2 , By a derne strete ; 25 1 , Welcome be thou to grene 
wode ; 298 1 , But had I the in grene wode ; 327 3 , 373 3 , 374 s . 

56 4 , Ouer the salte see; 173 4 , That ylke same nyght; 
213 2 , By the hye way; 235 2 , Of all this longe day; 241 ', 
292 4 , 303 2 , 305 1 ', 393 2 , 455*, etc. 25 2 , Hende knyght & fre ; 
113 3 , Out, he sayd, thou false knyght; 242 3 , Therfore I 
cun the more thanke. 

47 2 , 100 2 , By God that made me; 80 4 , To wnlke by his 
syde ; 222 2 , And that shall rewe the ; 297 4 , Other wyse 
thou behote me ; 426 1 , So God me helpe, sayd our kynge. 
d, 282 2 , 31 7 2 , herkeneth. 

|| Ritson had seen, among Peck's collections for the his 
tory of Premonstratensian monasteries, a Latin poem with 
the title Prioris Alnwicensis de bello Scotico apud Dun- 
bar, tempore regis Edwardi I, dictamen, sive rithmus 
Latinus, quo de Willielmo Wallace, Scotico illo Robin 
Whood, pltira sed invidiose canit, and in the margin the 
date 22 Julii, 1304; whence he concluded that Robin Hood 
was both mentioned, and compared with Wallace, in 1304. 
The date refers to matters in the poem. The MS. (Sloane, 
4934, pars n, ff 103-106) is of the eighteenth century, Hardy, 
Descriptive Catalogue, etc., Ill, 279, No 503. The title 
was supplied by Peck, one of whose marks is the spelling 

T Either Randle the second, earl from 1128 to 1153, or 
Randle the third, earl from 1 181 and for fifty years, would 
be likely to be the subject of ballads, but especially the lat 
ter. He figures in the story of Fulk Fitz Warine : Wright, 
p. 149. 



In Wyntoun's Chronicle of Scotland, put 
at about 1420, there is this passage, standing 
quite by itself, under the year 1283 : 

Lytill Ihon and Robyne Hude 
Waythmen ware commendyd gude ; 
In Yngilwode and Barnysdale 
Thai oysyd all this tyme thare trawale. 

Laing, II, 263. 

Disorderly persons undertook, it seems, to 
imitate Robin Hood and his men. In the 
year 1417, says Stowe, one, by his counterfeit 
name called Fryer Tucke, with many other 
malefactors, committed many robberies in the 
counties of Surrey and Sussex, whereupon 
the king sent out his writs for their appre 
hension : Annals, p. 352 b, ed. 1631.* A 
petition to Parliament, in the year 1439, rep 
resents that one Piers Venables, of Derby 
shire, rescued a prisoner, " and after that 
tyme, the same Piers Venables, havynge no 
liflode ne sufficeante of goodes, gadered and 
assembled unto him many misdoers, beynge of 
his clothinge, . . . and, in manere of insur 
rection, wente into the wodes in that contr^, 
like as it hadde be Robyn -hode and his 
meyn : " Rotuli Parliamentornm, V, 16.f 

Bower, writing 1441-47, describes the 
lower orders of his time as entertaining them- 

Cited by Kitson. I have not found the writs. 

t Cited in the Edinburgh Review, 1847, LXXXVI, 134, 
note; and by Hunter, 1852, The Ballad-Hero, Robin Hood, 
p. 58 (where the year is wrongly given as 1432). It appears 
from many cases that the name was very often pronounced 

J " Robertus Hode et Litill-Johanne, cum eorum com- 
plicibus, de quibus stolidum vulgus hianter in comcediis et 
in tragoediis prurientcr festum faciunt, et pras ccteris ro- 
manciis mimos et bardanos cantitare delectantur." 

" Of whom the foolish vulgar in comedies and tragedies 
make lewd entertainment, and are delighted to bear the 
jesters and minstrels sing them above all other ballads : " 
Ritson, whose translation may pass. Ritson rightly ob 
serves that comedies and tragedies here are not to be under 
stood as plays. Then follows this abstract of one of the 
' tragedies.' 

" De quo etiam quajdam commendabilia recitantur, sicut 
patnit in hoc, quod cum ipse quondam in Barnisdale, iram 
regis et fremitnm principis declinans, missam, ut solitus 
erat, devotissime nudiret, nee aliqua necessitate volebat in- 
terrumpere officium, quadam die, cum audiret missam, a 
quodam vicecomite et ministris regis, eum ssepius perprius 
infestantibus, in illo secretissimo loco nemorali ubi missse 
interfuit exploratus, venientes ad eum qui hoc de suis per- 

VOL. in. 6 

selves with ballads both merry and serious, 
about Robin Hood, Little John, and their 
mates, and preferring them to all others ; J 
and Major, or Mair, who was born not long 
after 1450, says in his book, printed in 1521, 
that Robin Hood ballads were in vogue over 
all Britain. 

Sir John Paston, in 1473, writes of a ser 
vant whom he had kept to play Robin Hood 
and the Sheriff of Nottingham, and who was 
gone into Bernysdale : Fenn, Original Let 
ters, etc., II, 134, cited by Ritson. 

Gutch cites this allusion to Robin Hood 
ballads " from Mr Porkington, No 10, f. 152, 
written in the reign of Edward IV : " 

Ther were tynkerris in tarlottus, the met was fulle 

The " sowe sat one him benche " (sic), and harppyd 

Robyn Hoode. 

And again, the name simply, from " a song 
on Woman, from MS. Lambeth, 306, fol. 135, 
of the fifteenth century " : 

He that made this songe full good 

Came of the nortbe and of the sothern blode, 

And somewhat kyne to Robyn Hode. 

Gutch, Robin Hood, I, 55 f. 

These passages show the popularity of 
Robin Hood ballads for a century or more 

ceperunt ut omni annisn fugeret snggesserunt. Quod, ob 
reverentinm sacramenti, quod tune devotissime venerabatur, 
omnino facere recusavit. Sed, ceteris suis ob metum mortis 
trepidantibus, Robertus, in tantum comjsus in eum quern 
coluit, inveritus, cum paucis qui tune forte ei affuerunt ini- 
micos congressus eos de facili devicit, et, de eorum spoliis 
ac redemptione ditatus, ministros ecclesiaj et missas iu ma- 
jore veneratione semper et de post habere prseelegit, atten- 
dens quod vulgariter dictum est : 

Hunc deus exaudit qui missam saepius audit." 

Scotichronicon, ed. Goodall, II, 104. 

Major was in extreme old age in 1524 : see Moir's Wal 
lace, I, iv. " Robertus Hudus Anglus et Paruus loannes, 
latrones famatissimi in nemoribus latuerunt, solum opulen- 
torum virornm bona diripientes. Nnllum nisi eos inuaden- 
tem, vel resistentem pro suarnm rerum tuitione, occiderunt 
Centum sagittarios ad pngnam aptissimos Robertus latro- 
ciniis aluit, quos 400 viri fortissimi inuadere non audebant. 
Rebus huius Robert! gestis tota Britannia in cantibus ntitur. 
Foeminam nullum opprimi permisit, nee pauperum bona 
surripuit, verum eos ex abbatnm bonis ablatis opipare 
panit." Historia Maioris Britannia?, fol. 55 b. 

It will be observed that Wyntoun, Bower, and Mair are 




before the time when the Gest was printed, a 
popularity which was fully established at the 
beginning of this period, and unquestionably 
extended back to a much earlier day. Of 
these ballads, there have come down to us in 
a comparatively ancient form the following : 
those from which the Gest (printed, perhaps, 
before 1500) was composed, being at least 
four, Robin Hood, the Knight and the Monk, 
Robin Hood, Little John and the Sheriff, 
Robin Hood and the King, and Robin Hood's 
Death (a fragment) ; Robin Hood and the 
Monk, No 118, more properly Robin Hood 
rescued by Little John, MS. of about 1450, 
but not for that older than the ballads of the 
Gest ; Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborn, No 
119, Percy MS. c. 1650; Robin Hood's Death, 
No 120, Percy MS. and late garlands; Robin 
Hood and the Potter, No 121, MS. of about 
1500, later, perhaps, than any other of the 
group.* Besides these there are thirty-two 
ballads, Nos 122-153. For twenty-two of 
these we have the texts of broadsides and 
garlands of the seventeenth century,f four of 
the same being also found in the Percy MS. ; 
eight occur in garlands, etc., of the last cen 
tury, one of these same in the Percy MS., and 
another in an eighteenth-century MS. ; one is 
derived from a suspicious nineteenth-century 
MS., and one from nineteenth-century tradi 
tion. About half a dozen of these thirty-two 
have in them something of the old popular 
quality ; as many more not the least smatch 
of it. Fully a dozen are variations, soine- 

* Because comic and not heroic, and because Robin is 
put at a disadvantage. In the other ballads Robin Hood is 
" evermore the best." Though there is humor in the Gest, 
it is kept well under, and never lowers Robin's dignity. 

t The only one of these ballads entered in the Stationers' 
Registers, or known to have been printed, at a date earlier 
than the seventeenth century is No 124, 'Of Wakefylde 
and a Grene,' 1557-58. 

The earliest known copy of Robin Hood's Garland is one 
in the Bodleian Library, Wood, 79, printed for W. Gilbert- 
son, 1663. This contains seventeen ballads. An edition 
of 1670, in the same library, Douce, H. 80, for Coles, Vere 
and Wright, omits the first of these, a version of Robin Hood 
and Queen Katherine which is found nowhere else. There 
is an edition, printed by J. M. for J. Clarke, W. Thackeray, 
and T. Passinger, among Pepys's Penny Merriments, vol. 
iii, and Gutch had a copy, printed for the same, to which 
he gives the date 1686. Garlands of the eighteenth century 
increase the number of ballads to twenty-seven. 

times wearisome, sometimes sickening, upon 
the theme ' Robin Hood met with his match.' 
A considerable part of the Robin Hood poetry 
looks like char-work done for the petty press, 
and should be judged as such. The earliest 
of these ballads, on the other hand, are among 
the best of all ballads, and perhaps none in 
English please so many and please so long. 

That a considerable number of fine ballads 
of this cycle have been lost will appear all 
but certain when we remember that three of 
the very best are found each in only one 

Robin Hood is absolutely a creation of the 
ballad-muse. The earliest mention we have 
of him is as the subject of ballads. The only 
two early historians who speak of him as a 
ballad-hero, pretend to have no information 
about him except what they derive from bal 
lads, and show that they have none other 
by the description 1 they give of him ; this 
description being in entire conformity with 
ballads in our possession, one of which is 
found in a MS. as old as the older of these 
two writers. 

Robin Hood is a yeoman, outlawed for rea 
sons not given but easily surmised, "courte 
ous and free," religious in sentiment, and 
above all reverent of the Virgin, for the love 
of whom he is respectful to all women. He 
lives by the king's deer (though he loves no 
man in the world so much as his king) and 
by levies on the superfluity of the higher 
orders, secular and spiritual, bishops and arch- 

{ In the Stationers' Registers, 1562-63, Arber, I, 204, 'a 
ballett of Robyn Hod ' is licensed to John Aide. The best 
one would expect of this would be a better copy of some later 
bronds-ide. ' Robyn Hode in Barnysdale stode ' is the first 
line of a mock-song introduced into the Morality of the Four 
Elements (which alludes to the discovery of America " within 
this xx. yere") : Halliwell, Percy Society, vol. xxii, p. 51. 
It is mentioned ("As R. H.," etc.) in Udall's translation of 
Erasmi Apothegmata, 1542: Hazlitt, Handbook, pp 513 f. 
This line, Ritson observes, has been repeatedly cited, sin 
gularly enough, in law-cases (and always misquoted : in 
Barnwood stood, in Barnwell stood, upon Gveendale stood) : 
Ritson's Robin Hood, 1832, 1, Ixxxix ft. We find " Robyn 
stode in Bernesdale," Gest, 3 1 ; also, "As Robin Hood in the 
forest stood," No 138, 2 1 ; " When Robin Hood in the green 
wood stood," No 141, 1 1 , both texts very much later than the 
interlude. It is not strictly necessary to assume, as Ritson 
does, that the line belongs to a lost ballad ; it may be from 
some older text of one that we have. 



bishops, abbots, bold barons, and knights,* 
but harms no husbandman or yeoman, and 
is friendly to poor men generally, impart 
ing to them of what he takes from the rich. 
Courtesy, good temper, liberality, and manli 
ness are his chief marks ; for courtesy and 
good temper he is a popular Gawain. Yeo 
man as he is, he has a kind of royal dignity, 
a princely grace, and a gentleman-like refine 
ment of humor. This is the Robin Hood of 
the Gest especially ; the late ballads debase 
this primary conception in various ways and 

This is what Robin Hood is, and it is 
equally important to observe what he is not. 
He has no sort of political character, in the 
Gest or any other ballad. This takes the 
ground from under the feet of those who seek 
to assign him a place in history. Wyntoun, 
who gives four lines to Robin Hood, is quite 
precise. He is likely to have known of the 
adventure of King Edward and the outlaw, 
and he puts Robin under Edward I, at the 
arbitrary date of 1283, a hundred and forty 
years before his own time. Bower, without 
any kind of ceremony, avouches our hero to 
have been one of the proscribed followers of 
Simon de Montfort, and this assertion of 
Bower is adopted and maintained by a writer 
in the London and Westminster Review, 
1840, XXXIII, 424.f Major, who probably 
knew some ballad of Richard I and Robin 
Hood, offers a simple conjecture that Robin 
flourished about Richard's time, " circa hsec 
tempora, ut auguror," and this is the repre 
sentation in Matthew Parker's ' True Tale,' 
which many have repeated, not always with 
ut auguror ; as Scott, with whom no one can 
quarrel, in the inexpressibly delightful Ivan- 

* Knights and squires are exempted in the Gest, 14, in 
consistently with 7, and, as to knights, with the tenor of 
what follows. 

t Bower, as above. The writer in the L. & W. Review 
does not distinguish Fordun and Bower. 

{ Lieut.-Col. Prideaux states the resemblances between 
the story of Fulk Fitz Warine and that of Robin Hood, in 
an interesting article in Notes and Queries, 7th series, II, 
421 ff, and suggests that the latter has borrowed from the 
former. Undoubtedly this might be, but both may have 
borrowed from the common stock of tradition. 

The Finder of Wakefield became, according to his bal- 

hoe, and Thierry in his Conque'te de 1'Angle- 
terre, Book xi, IV, 81 ff, ed. 1830, both of 
whom depict Robin Hood as the chief of a 
troop of Saxon bandits, Thierry making him 
an imitator of Herewavd. Hunter, again, 
The Ballad-Hero, Robin Hood, p. 48, inter 
prets the King Edward of the Gest as Ed 
ward II, and makes Robin Hood an adherent 
of the Earl of Lancaster in the fatal insurrec 
tion of 1322. No one of these theories has 
anything besides ballads for a basis except 
Hunter's. Hunter has an account-book in 
which the name Robin Hood occurs ; as to 
which see further on, under stanzas 414-450 
of the Gest. Hereward the Saxon, Fulk Fitz 
Warine, Eustace the Monk, Wallace, all out 
laws of one kind or another, are celebrated in 
romantic tales or poems, largely fabulous, 
which resemble in a general way, and some 
times in particulars, the traditional ballads 
about Robin Hood ; J but these outlaws are 
recognized by contemporary history. 

The chief comrades of Robin Hood are : 
Robin Hood and the Monk, Little John, 
Scathlok (Scarlok. Scarlet), and Much ; to 
these the Gest adds Gilbert of the White 
Hand and Reynold, 292 f. A friar is not 
a member of his company in the older bal 
lads. A curtal, or cutted friar, called Friar 
Tuck in the title, but not in the ballad, has 
a fight with Robin Hood in No 123, and is 
perhaps to be regarded as having accepted 
Robin's invitation to join his company ; this, 
however, is not said. Friar Tuck is simply 
named as one of Robin's troop in two broad 
sides, No 145, No 147, but plays no part in 
them. These two broadsides also name Maid 
Marian, who appears elsewhere only in a late 
and entirely insignificant ballad, No 150. 

lad, one of Robin Hood's men, but is not heard of in any 
other. Will Stutly is also one in No 141 ; Clifton, No 
145; David of Doncaster, No 152. Robin Hood assumes 
the name Locksley in No 145, and by a blunder Locksley is 
made one of his men in 147 and 153. Scarlet and Scath- 
lock are made two in the Earl of Huntington plays. Graf- 
ton says that the name of William of Goldeshorough was 
graven, amons; others, with that of Robin Hood on Robin's 
tombstone: Chronicle, I, 222, ed. 1809. Ritson says that 
Munday makes Right-hitting Brand one of the band: I 
have not observed this. 



Friar Tuck is a character in each of two 
Robin Hood plays, both of which we have, 
unluckily, only in a fragmentary state. One 
of these plays, dating as far back as 1475, 
presents scenes from Robin Hood and Guy 
of Gisborn, followed, without any link, by 
others from some ballad of a rescue of Robin 
Hood from the sheriff ; to which extracts from 
still other ballads may have been annexed. In 
this play the friar has no special mark; he 
simply makes good use of his bow. The other 
play, printed by Copland with the Gest, not 
much before 1550, treats more at length the 
story of Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar, and 
then that of Robin Hood and the Potter, 
again, and naturally, without connection. 
The conclusion is wanting, and the play may 
have embraced still other ballads. The Friar 
in this is a loose and jovial fellow, and gave 
the hint for Scott's Clerk of Copmanhurst.* 

The second of the Robin Hood plays is 
described in the title as "very proper to be 
played in May-games." These games were 
in the sixteenth century, and, it would seem, 
before, often a medley of many things. They 
were not limited to the first day of May, or 
even to the month of May ; they might occur 
in June as well. They were not uniform, and 
might include any kind of performance or 
spectacle which suited the popular taste. " I 
find," says Stow, " that in the moneth of 
May, the citizens of London, of all estates, 
lightlie in every parish, or sometimes two or 
three parishes joyning together, had their 
several Mayinges, and did fetch in Maypoles, 
with divers warlike shewes, with good archers, 
morrice-dancers, and other devices for pastime 
all the day long ; and towards the evening 
they had stage-playes and bonefires in the 

streetes."f In the Diary of Henry Machyn 
we read that on the twenty-sixth of May, 
1555, there was a goodly May-game at St 
Martins in the Field, with giant and hobby 
horses, morris-dance and other minstrels ; 
and on the third day of June following, a 
goodly May-game at Westminster, with giants 
and devils, and three morris-dancers, and many 
disguised, and the Lord and Lady of the May 
rode gorgeously, with divers minstrels play 
ing. On the thirtieth of May, 1557, there was 
a goodly May-game in Fenchurch Street, in 
which the Nine Worthies rode, and they had 
speeches, and the morris-dance, and the Sow- 
dan, and the Lord and Lady of the May, and 
more besides. And again, on the twenty- 
fourth of June, 1559, there was a May-game, 
with a giant, the Nine Worthies, with 
speeches, a goodly pageant with a queen, St 
George and the Dragon, the morris-dance, and 
afterwards Robin Hood and Little John, and 
Maid Marian and Friar Tuck, and they had 
speeches round about London. (Pp 89, 137, 

In the rural districts the May-game was 
naturally a much simpler affair. The accounts 
of the chamberlains and churchwardens of 
Kingston upon Thames for Mayday, 23 Henry 
VII-28 Henry VIII, 1507-36, contain charges 
for the morris, the Lady, Little John, Robin 
Hood, and Maid Marian ; the accounts for 21 
Henry VII-1 Henry VIII relate to expenses 
for the Kyngham, and a king and queen are 
mentioned, presumably king and queen of 
May ; under 24 Henry VII the "cost of the 
Kyngham and llobyn Hode are entered to 

" A simple northern man " is made to say 
in Albion's England, 1586 : 

Robin Hood presents the friar with a " lady free," not 
named, who may be meant for a degraded Maid Marian, 
such as Falstaff refers to iu 1 Henry IV, III, iii, 129. 

t Stow, Survay of London, 1598, p. 72, in Eitson's excel 
lent note EE, Robin Hood, I, cix if, eJ. 1832, which con 
tains almost all the important information relative to the 
subject. Stow adds that in consequence of a riot on May 
day, 1517, the great Mayings and May-games were not after 
that time " so freely used as afore." 

} These are the people's sports. Hall, fol. Ivi, b, cited 
by Ritson, gives an account of a Maying devised by the 

gnards for the entertainment of Henry VIII and his queen, 
in 1516. The king and queen, while riding with a great 
company, come upon a troop of two hundred yeomen in 
green. One of these, calling himself Robin Hood, invites 
the king to see his men shoot, and then to an outlaws-break 
fast of venison. The royal party, on their return home, 
were met by a chariot drawn by five horses, in which sat 
" the Lady May accompanied with Lady Flora," who saluted 
the king with divers songs. 
Lysons, The Environs of London, I, 225-32. 



At Paske began our .Morris, and ere Penticost our 

Tho Robin Hood, Liell John, Frier Tucke and 

Marian deftly play, 
And Lard and Ladie gang till kirk, with lads and 

lasses gay.* 

Toilet's painted window (which is assigned 
by Douce to about 1460-70, and, if rightly 
dated, furnishes the oldest known representa 
tion of a May-game with the morris) has, 
besides a fool, a piper and six dancers, a May 
pole, a hobby-horse, a friar, and a lady, and 
the lady, being crowned, is to be taken as 
Queen of May. 

What concerns us is the part borne by 
Robin Hood, John, and the Friar in these 
games, and Robin's relation to Maid Marian. 
In Ellis's edition of Brand's Antiquities, I, 
214, note h, we are told that Robin Hood is 
styled King of May in The Book of the Uni 
versal Kirk of Scotland. This is a mistake, 
and an important mistake. In April) 1577, 
the General Assembly requested the king to 
" discharge [prohibit] playes of Robin Hood, 
King of May, and sick others, on the Sabboth 
day." In April, 1578, the fourth session, the 
king and council were supplicated to discharge 
" all kynd of insolent playis, as King of May, 
Robin Hood, and sick others, in the moneth of 
May, played either be bairnes at the schools, 
or others " ; and the subject was returned to 
in the eighth session. We know from various 
sources that plays, founded on the ballads, 
were sometimes performed in the course of 

* The last two lines are to be understood, I apprehend, 
exclusively of the May, and the lord and lady mean Lord 
and Lady of the May. The Lord of Misrule, " with his 
hobby-horses, dragons, and other antiques," used to go to 
church : Stubbes, Anatomy of Abuses, ed. Furnivall, p. 147. 
t Myselfe remembreth of a childe, in contreye native 

A Maygame was of Robyn Hood, and of his traine, that 

To traine up young men, stripplings, and eche other 

younger childe, 
In shooting; yearely this with solempne feast was by 

the guylde 

Or brotherhood of townsmen don, etc. 
Richard Robinson, 1553, in Ritson, p. cxii f, ed. 1832. 
J A Christmas game of very modern date is described in 
The Mirror, XXVI, 42, in which there was a troop of morris- 
dancers with Robin Hood and Maid Marian ; and also Beel- 

the games. We know that archers sometimes 
personated Robin Hood and his men in the 
May-game.f The relation of Robin Hood, 
John, and the Friar to the May-game morris 
is obscure. " It plainly appears," says Rit- 
son, " that Robin Hood, Little John, the 
Friar, and Maid Marian were fitted out at 
the same time with the morris-dancers, and 
consequently, it would seem, united with 
them in one and the same exhibition," mean 
ing the morris. But he adds, with entire 
truth, in a note : " it must be confessed that 
no other direct authority has been met with for 
constituting Robin Hood and Little John in 
tegral characters of the morris-dance.":}: And 
further, with less truth so far as the Friar is 
concerned : " that Maid Marian and the Friar 
were almost constantly such is proved beyond 
the possibility of a doubt." The Friar is found 
in Toilet's window, which Douce speaks of, 
cautiously, as a representation of an English 
May-game and morris-dance. The only "di 
rect authority," so far as I am aware, for the 
Friar's being a party in the morris-dance (un 
connected with the May-game) is the late 
authority of Ben Jonson's Masque of the 
Metamorphosed Gipsies, 1621, cited by Toilet 
in his Memoir ; where it is said that the ab 
sence of a Maid Marian and a friar is a surer 
mark than the lack of a hobby-horse that a 
certain company cannot be morris-dancers. 
The lady is an essential personage in the mor 
ris. [| How and when she came to receive the 
appellation of Maid Marian in the English 

zebub and his wife. Cited by Kuhn, Haupt's Zeitschrift, V, 

The entries in the Kingston accounts for 28 and 29 
Henry VIII, if they refer to the morris-dance only, would 
show the morris to be constituted as follows : 

(28 Henry VIII.) Four dancers, fool, Maid Marian, friar, 
and piper. A minstrel is also mentioned. 

(29 Henry VIII.) Friar, Maid Marian, Morian (Moor?), 
four dancers, fool. This entry refers to the costume of the 
characters, which may account for the omission of the piper. 
Lysons, Environs of London, I, 228 f. 

|| It need hardly be remarked that the morris was neither 
an exclusively English dance nor exclusively a May-game 
dance. A Flemish morris, delineated in an engraving dated 
1460-70, has for personages a lady, fool, piper, and six 
dancers : Donee, p. 446 f. In Robert Laneham's description 
of a bride-ale at Kenilworth, 1575, there is a morris-dance, 
" according to the ancient manner," in the which the parties 



morris is unknown. The earliest occurrence 
of the name seems to be in Barclay's fourth 
Eclogue,* "subjoined to the last edition of 
The Ship of Foles, but originally printed 
soon after 1500 : " Ritson, I, Ixxxvii, ed. 1832. 
Warton suggested a derivation from the 
French Marion, and the idea is extremely 
plausible. Robin and Marion were the sub 
ject of innumerable motets and pastourelles of 
the thirteenth century, and the hero and 
heroine of a very pretty and lively play, more 
properly comic opera, composed by Adam de 
la Halle not far from 1280. We know from 
a document of 1392 that this play was annu 
ally performed at Angers, at Whitsuntide, 
and we cannot doubt that it was a stock-piece 
in many places, as from its merits it deserved 
to be. There are as many proverbs about 
Robin and Marion as there are about Robin 
Hood, and the first verse of the play, derived 
from an earlier song, is still (or was fifty years 
ago) in the mouths of the peasant girls of 
Hainault.f In the May-game of June, 1559, 
described by Machyn, after many other things, 
they had " Robin Hood and Little John," and 
" Maid Marian and Friar Tuck," some dramatic 
scene, pantomime, or pageant, probably two ; 
but there is nothing of Maid Marian in the 
two (fragmentary) Robin Hood plays which 

are Maid Marian, the fool, and six dancers : Furnivall, 
Captain Cox, p. 22 f. A painting of about 1625 has a morris- 
dance of seven figures, a Maid Marian, fool, piper, hobby 
horse, and three dancers. A tract, of Elizabeth's time, speaks 
of " a quintessence, beside the fool and the Maid Marian, 
of all the picked youth, footing the morris about a Maypole," 
to the pipe and tabor, and other music; and a poem of 1614 
describes a country morris-dance of a fool, Maid Marian, 
hobby-horse, and piper : Ellis's Brand, p. 206 f. 

* The well-to-do Codrus says to the starving Menalcas, 
who has been venting his spleen against " rascolde " rivals, 
'Yet would I gladly heare some merv fit 

Of Maide Marian, or els of Robin Hood.' 
Codrus is here only suggesting themes which would be 
agreeable to him. We are not to deduce from his words 
that there were ballads about Maid Marian. But if there 
had been, they would have been distinct from ballads about 
Robin Hood. 

t See Monmerque' et Michel, Theatre Fran<;ai<! an Moyen 
Age, 1842, Notice sur Adam de la Halle, pp 27 ff, the songs, 
pp 31 ff, the play, pp 102 ff ; Ducange. Rnbinetns. Henry- 
son's Robin and Ma'kyne was undoubtedly suggested by 
the French pastorals. 

} I must invoke the spirit of Ritson to pardon the taking 
of no very serious notice of Robin Hood's noble extraction. 

are preserved, both of which, so far as they 
go, are based on ballads. Anthony Monday, 
towards the end of the sixteenth century, 
made a play, full of his own inventions, in 
which Robert, Earl of Huntington, being out 
lawed, takes refuge in Sherwood, with his 
chaste love Matilda, daughter of Lord Fitz- 
waters, and changes his name to Robin Hood, 
hers to Maid Marian. J One S. G., a good 
deal later, wrote a very bad ballad about the 
Earl of Huntington and his lass, the only 
ballad in which Maid Marian is more than a 
name. Neglecting these perversions, Maid 
Marian is a personage in the May-game and 
morris who is not infrequently paired with a 
friar, and sometimes with Robin Hood, under 
what relation, in either case, we cannot pre 
cisely say. Percy had no occasion to speak 
of her as Robin's concubine, and Douce none 
to call her Robin's paramour. 

That ballads about Robin Hood were famil 
iar throughout England and Scotland we know 
from early testimony. Additional evidence 
of his celebrity is afforded by the connection 
of his name with a variety of natural objects 
and archaic remains over a wide extent of 

" Cairns on Blackdown in Somersetshire, 
and barrows near to Whitby in Yorkshire 

The first mention of this seems to be in Grafton's Chronicle, 
1569. Grafton says: In an olde and auncient pamphlet I 
findc this written of the sayd Robert Hood. This man, 
sayth he, discended of a noble parentage ; or rather, beyng 
of a base stocke and linage, was for his manhoode and chiu- 
alry aduaunced to the noble dignitie of an erle. . . . Butaftcr- 
wardes he so prodigally exceeded in charges and expenccs 
that he fell into great debt, by reason whereof so many 
actions and sutes were commenced against him, wherevnto 
he aunswered not, that by order of lawe he was outlawed, 
etc.: I, 221, ed. 1809. (Some such account furnished a 
starting-point for Munday.) Leland also, Ritsou adds, has 
expressly termed him " nobilis " (Ro: Hood, nobilis ille 
exlex), Collectanea, I, 54, ed. 1770, and Warner, in Albion's 
England (1586), p. 132, ed. 1612, calls him a "county": 
Those daies begot some mal-contents, the principal! of whom 
A countie was, that with a troop of yeomandry did roam. 
Ritson also cites the Sloane MS., 715, "written, as it 
seems, toward the end of the sixteenth century ; " and Har- 
leian MS., 1233, which he does not date, but which is of the 
middle of the seventeenth century. Against the sixteenth- 
century testimony, so to call it, we put in that of the early 
ballads, all of which describe Robin as a yeoman, the Gest 
emphasizing the point. 



and Ludlow in Shropshire, are termed Robin 
Hood's pricks or butts ; lofty natural emi 
nences in Gloucestershire and Derbyshire are 
Robin Hood's hills ; a huge rock near Matlock 
is Robin Hood's Tor ; an ancient boundary 
stone in Lincolnshire is Robin Hood's cross ; a 
presumed loggan, or rocking-stone, in York 
shire is Robin Hood's penny-stone ; a foun 
tain near Nottingham, another between Don- 
caster and Wakefield, and one in Lancashire 
are Robin Hood's wells ; a cave in Notting 
hamshire is his stable ; a rude natural rock in 
Hope Dale is his chair ; a chasm at Chats- 
worth is his leap ; Blackstone Edge, in Lan 
cashire, is his bed ; ancient oaks, in various 
parts of the country, are his trees." * All 
sorts of traditions are fitted to the localities 
where they are known. It would be an ex 
ception to ordinary rules if we did not find 
Robin Hood trees and Robin Hood wells and 
Robin Hood hills. But, says Wright, in his 
essay on the Robin Hood ballads (p. 208), 
the connection of Robin Hood's name with 
mounds and stones is perhaps one of the 
strongest proofs of his mythic character, as 

* The Edinburgh Review, LXXXVI, 123 (with a slight 
correction iu one instance), mostly from Ritson, I, cix, 
cxxvi ff, 1832, and from Wright's Essays, etc., II, 209 f, 
1846. Of course the list might be extended : there are some 
additions in The Academy, XXIV, 231, 1883, and four Robin 
Hood's wells iu Yorkshire alone are there noted. 

t A Robin Hood's Stone, near Barnsdale, of what descri]> 
tion we are not told, is mentioned in an account of a prog 
ress made by Henry VII, and Robin Hood's Well, in the 
same region, in an account of a tour made in 1634: Hun 
ter's Robin Hood, p. 61. The well is also mentioned by 
Drunken Barnaby. A Robin Hood's Hill is referred to in 
Vicars' account of the siege of Gloucester in 1643 : The 
Academy, XXIV, 231. 

t Gou.'h, in the Gentleman's Magazine, March 8, 1793, 
cited by Gutch. Wright has, somewhat naively, furnished 
his own refutation : " A large tumulus we know well in our 
own county, near Ludlow in Shropshire, which is also called 
Robin Hood's But, and which affords us a curious instance 
how new stories were often invented to account for a name 
whose original import was forgotten. The circumstances, 
too, in this case, prove that the story was of late invention. 
The barrow, as regarded superstitiously, had borne the name 
of Robin Hood. On the roof of one of the chancels of the 
church of Ludlow, wliich is called Fletchers' chancel, as hav 
ing been, when ' the strength of England stood upon arch 
ery,' the place where the fletchers held their meetings, and 
which is distant from the aforesaid barrow two miles, or two 
miles and a half, there stands an iron arrow, as the sign of 
their craft. The imagination of the people of the place, 

if Robin Hood were conceived of as a giant. 
The fact in question is rather a proof that those 
names were conferred at a time when the real 
character of Robin Hood was dimly remem 
bered. In the oldest ballads Robin Hood is 
simply a stout yeoman, one of the best that 
ever bare bow ; in the later ballads he is re 
peatedly foiled in contests with shepherds and 
beggars. Is it supposable that those who 
knew of him even at his best estate, could give 
him a loggan for a penny-stone ? No one has as 
yet undertaken to prove that the ballads are 
later than the names.f Mounds and stones 
bear his name for the same idle reason that 
" so many others have that of King Arthur, 
King John, and, for want of a better, that of 
the devil." $ 

Kuhn, starting with the assumption that 
the mythical character of Robin Hood is fully 
established (by traditions posterior to the bal 
lads and contradictory to their tenor), has 
sought to show that our courteous outlaw is in 
particular one of the manifestations of Woden. 
The hobby-horse, which, be it borne in mind, 
though now and then found in the May-game 

after archery and fletchers had been forgotten, and when 
Robin Hood was known only as an outlaw and a bowman, 
made a connection between the barrow (from its name) and 
the chancel (from the arrow on its roof), and a tale was in 
vented how the outlaw once stood upon the former and took 
aim at the weathercock on the church steeple ; but the dis 
tance being a little too great, the arrow fell short of its 
mark, and remained np to the present day on the roof of the 
chancel." (Essays, I, 209 f.) 

A correspondent of The Academy, XXIV, 181, remarks 
that one of the Anglo-Saxon charters in Kemble's Codex 
Diplomaticus mentions a " place " in Worcestershire called 
Hddes ac (now Iloclsoak), that there is a village in Notting 
hamshire called Hodsock, that it is improbable that two men 
living in districts so widely apart should each have given 
his name to an oak-tree, and that therefore we may safely 
conclude Hod to be a mythical personage. Somebody's tree 
is given as a boundary mark more than thirty times in these 
charters, somebody's thorn at least ten times, somebody's oak 
at least five times. How often such a mark might occur in 
connection with any particular name would depend upon the 
frequency of the name. Hod or Hdde is cited thirteen 
times by Kemble, and few names occur oftener. The name, 
we may infer, was relatively as common then as it is in 
onr century, which has seen three Admiral Hoods (who, by 
virtue of being three, may be adjudged as mythical by and 
by) and one poet Hood alive together. Why may not three 
retired wicings and one scop, of the name, have been living 
in Berks, Hants, Wilts, and Worcestershire in the tenth cen 



or morris-dance, was never intimately associ 
ated, perhaps we may say never at all associ 
ated, with Robin Hood, represents, it is main 
tained, Woden. The fundamental grounds 
are these. In a Christmas, New Year, or 
Twelfth Day sport at Paget's Bromley, Staf 
fordshire, the rider of the hobby-horse held a 
bow and arrow in his hands, with which he 
made a snapping noise. In a modern Christ 
mas festivity in Kent, the young people would 
affix the head of a horse to a pole about four 
feet in length, and tie a cloth round the head 
to conceal one of the party, who, by pulling a 
string attached to the horse's lower jaw, pro 
duced a snapping noise as he moved along. 
This ceremony, according to the reporter, was 
called a hoodening, and the figure of the 
horse a hooden, "a wooden horse." * The 
word hooden, according to Kuhn, we may un 
hesitatingly expound as Woden ; Hood is a 
corruption of " Hooden," and this Hooden 
again conducts us to Woden. 

Glosyng is a ful glorious thing certayn. 

The sport referred to is explained in Pegge's 
Alphabet of Kenticisms (collected 173536), 
under the name hooding, as a country 
masquerade at Christmas time, which in Der 
byshire they call guising, and in other places 
mumming; and to the same effect in the Rev. 
W. D. Parish's Dictionary of the Kentish 
Dialect (soon to be published) under hood 
ening, which word is an obvious corruption, 
or secondary form, of hooding. The word 

* Plot's History of Staffordshire, p. 434, cited in Ellis's 
Brand, 1, 383 ; The Mirror, XX, 419, cited by Kuhn, Haupt's 
Zeitschrift, V, 474 f. The Kentish sport is also described 
in the Rev. W. D. Parish's Dictionary of the Kentish Dia 
lect, p. 77, under Hoodening. 

t In West Worcestershire h is put for w, "by an em 
phatic speaker," in such words as wood, wool : Mrs Cham 
berlain's Glossary. Hood for wood occurs in East Sussex ; 
also in Somerset, according to Halliwell's Dictionary. 
The derivation of Hood from wood has often been sug 
gested : as by. Peele, in his Edward I, " Robin of the Wood, 
alias Robin Hood," Works, Dyce, I, 162. The inventive 
Peck was pleased always to write Robin Whood. 

} The Hobby-Horse, Schimmel, Fastnachtspferd, Herbst- 
pferd, Adventspferd, Clievalet, Cheval Mallet, is maintained 
by Mannhardt to be figurative of the Corn-Sprite, Kornda- 
mon ; niclits anderes als das Koruross, Vegetationsross, nicht 
aber eine Darstullung Wodans, wie man nach Kuhns Vor- 

hooding, applied to the sport, means just what 
it does in the old English hooding-cloth, a 
curtain ; that is, a covering, and so a disguise 
by covering. It is true that wooden is pro 
nounced hooden,f or ooden, in Kent, and that 
the hobby-horse had a wooden head, but it 
is quite inconceivable that the sport should 
receive its name from a circumstance so sub 
ordinate as the material of which the horse 
was made. Such an interpretation would 
hardly be thought of had not hooding in its 
proper sense long been obsolete. That this 
is the case is plain from two facts : the hood 
ing used to be accompanied with carol-singing, 
and the Rev. Mr Parish informs us that carol- 
singing on Christmas Eve is still called hood 
ening at Monckton, in East Kent. The form 
Hooden, from which Robin's name is asserted 
by Kuhn to be corrupted, is invented for the 
occasion. I suppose that no one will think 
that the hobby-horse-rider's carrying a bow 
and arrows, in the single instance of the Staf 
fordshire sport, conduces at all to the identi 
fying of Robin Hood with the hobby-horse. 
Whether the Hobby-Horse represents Woden 
is not material here. It is enough that the 
Hobby-Horse cannot be shown to represent 
Robin Hood.ij: 

I cannot admit that even the shadow of a 
case has been made out by those who would 
attach a mythical character either to Robin 
Hood or to the outlaws of Inglewood, Adam 
Bell, dim of the Clough, and William of 

gang jetzt allgemein annimmt : Mannhardt, Mythologische 
Forschungen, in Qnellen u. Forschungen, LI, p. 1C5. " Man 
sieht den Uugrund der bei dcutschen Mythologen so belieb- 
ten Identifizierung von Robin Hood und Wodan : " Mann 
hardt, Wald- u. Feldkulte, I, 546, note 3. 

The reasoning, in the instance of Robin Hood, has been 
signally loose and incautious ; still, the general conclusion 
finds ready acceptance with mythologists, on one ground or 
another, and deductions are made with the steadiness of a 
geometer. Robin Hood, being one of the " solar heroes," 
" has his faint reflection in Little John, who stands to him 
in the same relation as Patroclus to Achilles," etc. "Maid 
Marian will therefore be the dawn-maiden, to be identified 
with Briscis," etc. "Friar Tuck is one of the triumvirate 
who appear also in the Cloudesly and Tell legends," etc. 
And again, by an interpreter of somewhat different views : 
"though a considerable portion of this story is ultimately 
derived from the great Aryan snn-myth, there is the strong- 


Ballads of other nations, relating to classes 
of men living in revolt against authority and 
society, may be expected to show some kind 
of likeness to the English outlaw-ballads, and 
such resemblances will be pointed out upon 
occasion. Spanish broadside ballads dating 
from the end of the sixteenth century com 
memorate the valientes and guapos of cities, 
robbers and murderers of the most flaunting 
and flagitious description : Duran, Roman- 
cero, Nos 1331-36, 1339-43, II, 367 ff.* These 
display towards corregidores, alcaides, custom 
house officers, and all the ministers of gov 
ernment an hostility corresponding to that of 
Robin Hood against the sheriff ; they empty 
the jails and deliver culprits from the gallows ; 
reminding us very faintly of the Robin Hood 
broadsides, as of the rescues in Nos 140, 141, 
the Progress to Nottingham, No 139, in which 
Robin Hood, at the age of fifteen, kills fifteen 
foresters, or of Young Gam well, in No 128, who 
begins his career by killing his father's stew- 
ard.f But Robin Hood and his men, in the 
most degraded of the broadsides, are tam'e in 
nocents and law-abiding citizens beside the 
guapos. The Klephts, whose songs are pre 
served in considerable numbers, mostly from 
the last century and the present, have the 
respectability of being engaged, at least in 
part, in a war against the Turks, and the 
romance of wild mountaineers. They, like 
Robin Hood, had a marked animosity against 

est reason for believing that the Anglian Hod was not origi 
nally a solar personage, but a degraded form of the God o 
the Wind, Hermes- Woden. The thievish character of this 
divinity explains at once why his name should have been 
chosen as the popular appellation of an outlaw chief." (The 
Academy, XXIV, 250, 384.) 

The Potter in the later Play of Robin Hood (not in the 
corresponding ballad) wears a rose garland on his head. So 
does a messenger in the history of Fulk Fitz Warine, 
Wright, p. 78, not to mention other cases referred to by Rit- 
son, Robin Hood, II, 200, ed. 1832. Fricke, Die Robin-Hood 
Balladen, p. 55, surmises that the rose garland worn by the 
Potter may be a relic of the strife between Summer and 
Winter ; and this view, he suggests, would tend to confirm 
" the otherwise well-grounded hypothesis " that Robin Hood 
is a mythological personage. 

* " Desde la ultima decada del siglo xvi hasta pocos anos 
hace, no eran ya los he'roes del pueblo ni los Bernardos, ni 
los Cides, ni los Pulgares, ni los Garcilasos, ni los Ce'spedes, 
ni los Paredes, porque sn pueblo estaba muerto 6 trasfor- 
mado en vulgo, y este habia sustituido a aquellos los guapos 
VOL. in. 7 

monks, and they put beys to ransom as he 
would an abbot or a sheriff. There are 
Magyar robber-ballads in great number ; J 
some of these celebrate Shobri (a man of this 
century), who spares the poor, relieves beg 
gars, pillages priests (but never burns or 
kills), and fears God : Erdelyi's collection, I, 
194-98, Nos 237-39; Arany-Gyulai, II, 56, 
No 49 ; Kertbeny, Ausgewahlte Ungarische 
Volkslieder, pp 246-251, Nos 136-38; Aig- 
ner, pp 198-201. Russian robber-songs are 
given by Sakharof, under the title Udaluiya, 
Skazaniya, 1841, 1, iii, 224-32 ; Ralston, Songs 
of the Russian People, pp 44-50. There are 
a few Sicilian robber-ballads in Pitre', Canti 
pop. Siciliani, Nos 913-16, II, 125-37. 

The Gest is a popular epic, composed from 
several ballads by a poet of a thoroughly con 
genial spirit. No one of the ballads from 
which it was made up is extant in a separate 
shape, and some portions of the story may 
have been of the compiler's own invention. 
The decoying of the sheriff into the wood, 
stanzas 181-204, is of the same derivation as 
the last part of Robin Hood and the Pot 
ter, No 121, Little John and Robin Hood 
exchanging parts ; the conclusion, 451-56, is 
of the same source as Robin Hood's Death, 
No 120. Though the tale, as to all important 
considerations, is eminently original, abso 
lutely so as to the conception of Robin Hood, 
some traits and incidents, as might be ex- 
Francisco Este"ban, los Correas, los Merinos, los Salinas, los 
Pedrajas, los Moutijos." (Duran, p. 389, note.) 

t Bernardo del Montijo, Duran, No 1342, kills an alcalde 
at the age of eighteen, " con bastante causa : " upon which 
phrase Duran observes, " para el vulgo era bastante causa, sin 
duda, el ser alcalde." Beginning with so much promise of 
spirit, he afterwards, in carrying off his mistress, who was 
about to be wedded against her will, kills six constables, a 
corregidor, the bridegroom, and a captain of the guard. For 
differences, compare the English broadside R. H. and Allen- 
a-Dale, No 138. 

{ " Doch sind sie meist ohne grosseii poetischen Werth, 
nur als Zengniss fur die Denkweise des Volkes iiber die ' ar- 
men Bursche,' die es lange nicht fiir so grosse Verbrecher 
halt als der Staat, und die es, ihre Vorurtheile theileud, im 
Gegentheile oft als kuhne Freiheitshelden betrachtet, die 
gegen grossere oder kleinere Tyranneu sich zu erheben und 
denselben zu trotzen wagen, und als ungerecht verfolgte 
Sohne seines Stammes in Schutz nimmt gegen die fremden 
Gesetzvollstrecker." ( Aigner, Ungarische Volksdichtungen, 
p. xxvi f.) 



pected, are taken from what we may call the 
general stock of mediaeval fiction. 

The story is a three-ply web of the adven 
tures of Robin Hood with a knight, with the 
sheriff of Nottingham, and with the king 
(the concluding stanzas, 451-56, being a mere 
epilogue), and may be decomposed accord 
ingly. I. How Robin Hood relieved a knight, 
who had fallen into poverty, by lending him 
money on the security of Our Lady, the first 
fit, 1-81; how the knight recovered his 
lands, which had been pledged to Saint Mary 
Abbey, and set forth to repay the loan, the 
second fit, 82-143 ; how Robin Hood, hav 
ing taken twice the sum lent from a monk of 
this abbey, declared that Our Lady had dis 
charged the debt, and would receive nothing 
more from the knight, the fourth fit, 205- 
280. II. How Little John insidiously took 
service with Robin Hood's standing enemy, 
the sheriff of Nottingham, and put the sheriff 
into Robin Hood's hands, the third fit, 144- 
204 ; how the sheriff, who had sworn an oath 
to help and not to harm Robin Hood and his 
men, treacherously set upon the outlaws at a 
shooting-match, and they were fain to take 
refuge in the knight's castle ; how, missing of 
Robin Hood, the sheriff made prisoner of the 
knight ; and how Robin Hood slew the sheriff 
and rescued the knight, the fifth and sixth 
fit, 281-353. III. How the king, coming in 
person to apprehend Robin Hood and the 
knight, disguised himself as an abbot, was 
stopped by Robin Hood, feasted on his own 
deer, and entertained with an exhibition of 
archery, in the course of which he was 
recognized by Robin Hood, who asked his 
grace and received a promise thereof, on con 
dition that he and his men should enter into 
the king's service ; and how the king, for a 
jest, disguised himself and his company in 
the green of the outlaws, and going back to 
Nottingham caused a general flight of the 
people, which he stopped by making himself 
known ; how he pardoned the knight ; and 

how Robin Hood, after fifteen months in the 
king's court, heart-sick and deserted by all 
his men but John and Scathlock, obtained a 
week's leave of the king to go on a pilgrim 
age to Saint Mary Magdalen of Barnsdale, and 
would never come back in two-and-twenty 
years, the seventh and eighth fit, 354450. 
A particular analysis may be spared, seeing 
that many of the details will come out inci 
dentally in what follows. 

Barnsdale, Robin Hood's haunt in the 
Gest, 3, 21, 82, 134, 213, 262, 440, 442, is 
a woodland region in the. West Riding of 
Yorkshire, a little to the south of Pontefract 
and somewhat further to the north of Don- 
caster. The river Went is its northern boun 
dary. " The traveller enters upon it [from 
the south] a little beyond a well-known place 
called Robin Hood's Well [some ten miles 
north of Doncaster, near Skelbrook], and he 
leaves it when he has descended to Went- 
bridge." (For Wentbridge, see No 121, st. 
6 ; the Gest, 135 1 .) A little to the west is 
Wakefield, and beyond Wakefield, between 
that town and Halifax, was the priory of 
Kyrkesly or Kirklees. The Sayles, 18, was a 
very small tenancy of the manor of Pontefract. 
The great North Road, formerly so called, 
and here, 18, denominated Watling Street 
(as Roman roads often are), crosses Barns- 
dale between Doncaster and Ferrybridge.* 
Saint Mary Abbey, " here besyde," 54, was 
at York, and must have been a good twenty 
miles from Barnsdale. The knight, 126 4 , is 
said to be " at home in Verysdale." Wyres- 
dale (now Over and Nether Wyersdale) was 
an extensive tract of wild country, part of 
the old forest of Lancashire, a few miles to 
the southeast of Lancaster. The knight's son 
had slain a knight and a squire of Lancaster, 
a, Lancashire, b, f, g, 53. It is very likely, 
therefore, that the knight's castle, in the orig 
inal ballad, was in Lancashire. However this 
may be, it is put in the Gest, 309 f, on the 
way between Nottingham and Robin Hood's 

J. Hunter (Critical and Historical Tracts, No IV), guard, sometimes of eight archers, sometimes of twelve, or, 

whom I follow here, shows that Barnsdale was peculiarly further south, none at all ; but when they passed from 

unsafe for travellers in Edward the First's time. Three ec- Pontefract to Tickhill, the number was increased to twenty, 

clesiasties, conveyed from Scotland to Winchester, had a propter Barnsdale : p. 14. 



retreat, which must be assumed to be Barns- 
dale. From it, again, Barnsdale is easily 
accessible to the knight's wife, 334 f .* Wher 
ever it lay or lies, the distance from Notting 
ham or from Barnsdale, as also the distance 
from Nottingham to Barnsdale (actually 
some fifty miles), is made nothing of in the 
Gest.f The sheriff goes a-hunting ; John, 
who is left behind, does not start from Not 
tingham till more than an hour after noon, 
takes the sheriff's silver to Barnsdale, f runs 
five miles in the forest, and finds the sheriff 
still at his sport: 155 f, 168, 176-82. We 
must not be nice. Robin Hood has made a 
vow to go from London to Barnsdale barefoot. 
The distance thither and back would not be 
much short of three hundred and fifty miles. 
King Edward allows him a seven-night, and 
no longer, 442 f. The compiler of the Gest 
did not concern himself to adjust these mat 
ters. There was evidently at one time a 
Barnsdale cycle and a Sherwood cycle of 
Robin Hood ballads. The sheriff of Notting 
ham would belong to the Sherwood series 
(to which Robin Hood and the Monk apper 
tains). He is now a capital character in all the 
old Robin Hood ballads. If he was adopted 
from the Sherwood into the Barnsdale set, 
this was done without a rearrangement of the 

5-7. Robin Hood will not dine until he has 
some guest that can pay handsomely for his 
entertainment, 18, 19, 206, 209 ; dinner, ac 
cordingly, is sometimes delayed a long time, 
25, 30, 143, 220 ; to Little John's impatience, 
5, 16, 206, 211. This habit of Robin's seems 
to be a humorous imitation of King Arthur, 
who in numerous romances will not dine till 
some adventure presents itself ; a custom 

which, at least on one occasion, proves vexa 
tious to his court. Cf. I, 257 f. 

8-10. Robin's general piety and his special 
devotion to the Virgin are again to be re 
marked in No H8. There is a tale of a knight 
who had a castle near a public road, and 
robbed everybody that went by, but said his 
Ave every day, and never allowed anything 
to interfere with his so doing, in Legenda 
Aurea, c. 51, Griisse, p. 221 ; Hagen, Ge- 
sammtabenteuer, III, 563, No 86; Morlini 
Novelise, Paris, 1855, p. 269, No 17, etc. 

1315. Robin's practice corresponds closely 
with Gamelyn's : 

Whil Gamelyn was outlawed hadde he no cors ; 
There was no man that for him ferde the wors 
But abbotes and priours, monk and chanoun ; 
On hem left he no-thing, whan he mighte hem nom. 
vv 779-82, ed. Skeat. 

Fulk Fitz Warine, nor any of his, during 
the time of his outlawry would ever do hurt 
to any one except the king and his knights : 
Wright, p. 77 f. 

45. " Distraint of knighthood," or the prac 
tice of requiring military tenants who held 
20 I. per annum to receive knighthood, or pay 
a composition, began under Henry III, as early 
as 1224, and was continued by Edward I. 
This was regarded as a very serious oppres 
sion under James I and Charles I, and was 
abolished in 1642. Stubbs, Constitutional 
History, II, 281 f; Hallam, Constitutional 
History, ed. 1854, I, 338, note x, II, 9, 99. 

6266. The knight has no security to offer 
for a loan " but God that dyed on a tree," 
and such security, or that of the saints, is per 
emptorily rejected by Robin ; but when the 
knight says that he can offer no other, unless 


* Hunter suspects that the Nottinghamshire knight, Sir 
Richard at the Lee, in the latter half of the Gest, was orig 
inally a different person from the knight in the former half, 
" the knight of the Barnsdale ballads," p. 25. Fricke makes 
the same suggestion, Die Robin-Hood Balladen, p. 19. This 
may be, but the reasons offered are not quite conclusive. 

t And so, as to Nottingham and Barnsdale, in No 118 ; 
and perhaps No 121, for the reference to Wentbridge, st. 6, 
would imply that Robin Hood is in Barnsdale rather than 

J I say Barnsdale, though the place is not specified, and 
though Sherwood would remove or reduce the difficulty as 

to distance. We have nothing to do with Sherwood in the 
Gest : a rational topography is out of the question. In the 
seventh fit the king starts from Nottingham, 365, walks 
" down by yon abbey," 368, and ere he comes to Notting 
ham, 370, falls in with Robin, 375. 

This was a custom of Arthur's only upon certain holi 
days, according to the earlier representation, but in later 
accounts is made general. For romances, besides these 
mentioned at I, 257, in which this way of Arthur's is noted 
(Rigomer, Jaufre, etc.), see Gaston Paris, Les Romans en 
vers du Cycle de la Table Ronde, Histoire Litt. de la 
France, XXX, 49. 



it be Our Lady, the Virgin is instantly ac 
cepted as entirely satisfactory. In a well- 
known miracle of Mary, found in most of the 
larger collections, a Christian, who resorts to 
a Jew to borrow money, tenders Jesus as se 
curity, and the Jew, who regards Jesus as a 
just man and a prophet, though not divine, is 
willing to lend on the terms proposed. The 
Christian, not being able, as he says, to pro 
duce Jesus Christ in person, takes the Jew 
to a church, and, standing before an image of 
the Virgin and Child, causes him to take the 
hand of the Child, saying, Lord Jesus Christ, 
whose image I have given as pledge for this 
money, and whom I have offered this Jew as 
my surety, I beg and entreat that, if I shall 
by any chance be prevented from returning 
the money to this man upon the day fixed, 
but shall give it to thee, thou wilt return it 
to him in such manner and form as may please 
thee. In the sequel this miraculous interpo 
sition becomes necessary, and the money is 
punctually restored, the act of grace being im 
plicitly or distinctly attributed to Mary rather 
than her Son ; distinctly in an English form 
of the legend, where the Christian, especially 
devoted to the Virgin, offers Saint Mary for 
his borrow: Horstmann, Die altenglischen 
Marienlegenden des MS. Vernon, in Archiv 
fur das Studium der neueren Sprachen, LVI, 
232, No 6.* 

107. The abbot had retained the chief jus 
tice " by robe and fee," to counsel and aid him 
in the spoliation of the knight, 93. Taking 
and giving of robes and fees for such purposes 
is defined as conspiracy in a statute of Ed 
ward I, 1305-06 ; and by another statute, 20 
Edward III, c. vi, 1346, justices are required 
to swear that they will take robes and fees 
from no man but the king: et que vos ne 
prendrez fee, tant come vos serez justicz, ne 

* Pothouis Liber de Miraculis S. D. G. Marise, c. 33, p. 
377 ; Vincentius B., Speculum Hist., vii. c. 82. Mussafia, 
Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akad., Phil.-Hist. Classe, 
CXIII, 960-91, notes nine Latin copies, besides that attrib 
uted to Potho, in MSS mostly of the 13th century. Gautier 
de Coincy, ed. Poquet, cols. 543-52 ; Adgar's Marienlegen 
den, Neuhaus, p. 176, No 29; Miracles de Nostre Dame par 
Personnages, G. Paris et U.Robert, VI, 171-223, No 35 ; 
Romania, VIII, 16, No 3 (Provenfal). Berceo, in Sanchez, 
II, 367, No 23. Unger, Mariu Saga, No 15, pp. 87-92, 1064- 

robes, de nul homme, graunt ne petit, sinoun 
du roi meismes. Statutes of the Realm, I, 
145, 305 : cited by J. Lewelyn Curtis, in 
Notes and Queries, S. I, VI, 479 f. All the 
English judges, including the chief justice, 
were convicted of bribery and were removed, 
under Edward I, 1289. 

121. The knight would have given some 
thing for the use of the four hundred pound 
had the abbot been civil, though under no ob 
ligation to pay interest. In 270 the knight 
proffers Robin twenty mark (3J per cent) for 
his courtesy, which seemingly small sum was 
to be accompanied with the valuable gift of a 
hundred bows and a hundred sheaf of peacock- 
feathered, silver-nocked arrows. But though 
the abbot had not lent for usury, still less had 
he lent for charity. The knight's lands were to 
be forfeited if the loan should not be punctu 
ally returned, 86 f, 94, 106 ; and of this the 
knight was entirely aware, 85. "As for mort 
gaging or pawning," says Bacon, Of Usury, 
" either men will not take pawns without use, 
or, if they do, they will look precisely for the 
forfeiture. I remember a cruel moneyed man 
in the country that would say, The devil take 
this usury ; it keeps us from forfeitures of 
mortgages and bonds." But troubles, legal 
or other, might ensue upon this hard-dealing 
unless the knight would give a quittance, 
117 f. 

13537. A ram was the prize for an ordi 
nary wrestling- match ; but this is an occa 
sion which brings together all. the best yeo 
men of the West Country, and the victor is to 
have a bull, a horse saddled and bridled, a 
pair of gloves, a ring, and a pipe of wine. In 
Gamelyn " there was set up a ram and a ring," 
v. 172. 

181-204. The sheriff is decoyed into the 
wood by Robin Hood in No 121, 56-69, No 

67. Mone's Anzeiger, VIII, col. 355, No 8, as a broadside 
ballad. Afanasief, Skazki, vii, No 49, as a popular tale, 
the Jew changed to a. Tartar, and the Cross taken as surety, 
Ralston, Russian Folk-Tales, p. 27. " God borg " in Al 
fred's Laws, c. 33, Schmid, Gesetze der Angelsachsen, p. 
88 f., was perhaps only an asseveration with an invocation of 
the Deity, like the Welsh "briduw." And so " Ich wil dir 
got ze biirgen geben," " Got den wil ich ze biirgen ban," 
in the Ritter v. Staufenberg, vv 403, 405, Janicke, Alt- 
deutsche Studien. 



122, A, 18-25, B, 20-27, as here by Little 
John. Fulk Fitz Warine gets his enemy, 
King John, into his power by a like stratagem. 
Fulk, disguised as a collier, is asked by King 
John if he has seen a stag or doe pass. He 
has seen a horned beast ; it had long horns. 
He offers to take the king to the place where 
he saw it, and begs the king to wait while he 
goes into the thicket to drive the beast that 
way. Fulk's men are in the forest: he tells 
them that he has brought the king with only 
three knights ; they rush out and seize the 
king. Fulk says he will have John's life, but 
the king promises to restore Fulk's heritage 
and all that had been taken from him and his 
men, and to be his friend forever after. A 
pledge of faith is exacted and given, and very 
happy is the king so to escape. But the king 
keeps the forced oath no better than the sheriff. 
Wright, p. 145 ff. There is a passage which 
has the same source, though differing in de 
tails, in Eustace the Monk, Michel, pp. 36-39, 
vv 995-1070. The story is incomparably bet 
ter here than elsewhere. 

213-33. The black monks are Benedictines. 
There are two according to 213 f, 218, 225 4 , 
but the high cellarer only (who in 91-93 is 
exultant over the knight's forfeiture) is of con 
sequence, and the other is made no account of. 
Seven score of wight young men, 229 3 , is the 
right number for a band of outlaws ; so Gam- 
elyn, v. 628. The sheriff has his seven score 
in Guy of Gisborn, 13. 

243-47. " What is in your coffers ? " So 
Eustace the monk to the merchant, v. 938, p. 
34, Michel : " Di-moi combien tu as d'ar- 
gent." The merchant tells the exact truth, 
and Eustace, having verified the answer by 
counting, returns all the money, saying, If you 
had lied in the least, you would not have car 
ried off a penny. When Eustace asks the 
same question of the abbot, v. 1765, p. 64, the 
abbot answers, after the fashion of our cel 
larer, Four silver marks. Eustace finds thirty 
marks, and returns to the abbot the four which 
he had confessed. 

213-272. Nothing was ever more felici 
tously told, even in the best dit or fabliau, than 
the " process " of Our Lady's repaying the 

money which had been lent on her security. 
Robin's slyly significant welcome to the monk 
upon learning that he is of Saint Mary Ab 
bey, his professed anxiety that Our Lady is 
wroth with him because she has not sent him 
his pay, John's comfortable suggestion that 
perhaps the monk has brought it, Robin's 
incidental explanation of the little business in 
which the Virgin was a party, and request to 
see the silver in case the monk has come upon 
her affair, are beautiful touches of humor, 
and so delicate that it is all but brutal to 
point them out. The story, however, is an 
old one, and was known, perhaps, wherever 
monks were known. A complete parallel is 
afforded by Pauli's Schimpf und Ernst, No 59 
(c. 1515). A nobleman took a burgess's son 
prisoner in war, carried him home to his cas 
tle, and shut him up in a tower. After lying 
there a considerable time, the prisoner asked 
and obtained an interview with his captor, and 
said : Dear lord, I am doing no good here to 
you or myself, since my friends will not send 
my ransom. If you would let me go home, I 
would come back in eight weeks and bring you 
the money. Whom will you give for surety ? 
asked the nobleman. I have no one to offer, 
replied the prisoner, but the Lord God, and 
will swear you an oath by him to keep my 
word. The nobleman was satisfied, made his 
captive swear the oath, and let him go. The 
hero sold all that he owned, and raised the 
money, but was three weeks longer in so do 
ing than the time agreed upon. The noble 
man, one day, when he was riding out with a 
couple of servants, fell in with an abbot or 
friar who had two fine horses and a man. 
See here, my good fellows, said the young 
lord ; that monk is travelling with two horses, 
as fine as any knight, when he ought to be 
riding on an ass. Look out now, we will play 
him a turn. So saying, he rode up to the 
monk, seized the bridle of his horse, and 
asked, Sir, who are you ? Who is your lord ? 
The monk answered, I am a servant of God, 
and he is my lord. You come in good time, 
said the nobleman. I had a prisoner, and set 
him free upon his leaving your lord with me 
as a surety. But I can get nothing from this 



lord of yours ; he is above my power ; so I will 
lay hands on his servant ; and accordingly 
made the monk go with him afoot to the castle, 
where he took from him all that he had. 
Shortly after, his prisoner appeared, fell at 
his feet, and wished to pay the ransom, beg 
ging that he would not be angry, for the 
money could not be got sooner. But the no 
bleman said, Stand up, my good man. Keep 
your money, and go whither you will, for your 
surety has paid your ransom. Ed. Oester- 
ley, p. 49. The gist of the story is in Jacques 
de Vitry, Sermones Vulgares, fol. 62, MS. 
17,509, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Scala 
Celi (1480), 159 b, " De Restitucione," and 
elsewhere: see Oesterly's note, p. 480. A 
very amusing variety is the fabliau Du povre 
Mercier, Barbazan et Meon, III, 17 ; Mon- 
taiglon et Raynaud, II, 114 ; Legrand, III, 93, 
ed. 1829.* 

293 3 . Reynolde. Possibly Little John bor 
rows this Reynolde's name in 149, but there 
is no apparent reason why he should. In 
the following very strange, and to me utterly 
unintelligible, piece in Ravenscroft's Deuter- 
omelia, which may have been meant to have 
only enough sense to sing, Renold, a miller's 
son, mickle of might (was he rechristened 
Much ?), becomes one of Robin Hood's men. 
(Deuteromelia, p. 4 : London, for Tho. Ad 
ams, 1609.) 

1 BY Lands-dale hey ho, 

By mery Lands-dale hey ho, 
There dwelt a jolly miller, 

And a very good old man was he, hey ho. 

2 He had, he had and a sonne a, 

Men called him Renold, 
And mickle of his might 
Was he, was he, hey ho. 

3 And from his father a wode a, 

His fortune for to seeke, 
From mery Lands-dale 

Wode he, wode he, hey ho. 

4 His father would him seeke a, 

And found him fast a sleepe ; 
Among the leaves greene 
Was he, was he, hey ho. 

5 He tooke, he tooke him up a, 

All by the lilly-white hand, 
And set him on his feet, 

And bad him stand, hey ho. 

6 He gave to him a benbow, 

Made all of a trusty tree, 
And arrowes in his hand, 
And bad him let them flee. 

7 And shoote was that that a did a, 

Some say he sKot a mile, 
But halfe a mile and more 
Was it, was it, hey ho. 

8 And at the halfe miles end, 

There stood an armed man ; 
The childe he shot him through, 
And through and through, hey ho.f 

9 His beard was all on a white a, 

As white as whale is bone, 

His eyes they were as cleare 

As christall stone, hey ho. 

10 And there of him they made 

Good yeoman, Robin Rood, 
Scarlet, and Little John, 
And Little John, hey ho. 

302-05. The Klepht Giphtakis, wounded 
in knee and hand, exclaims : Where are you, 
my brother, my friend ? Come back and take 
me off, or take off my head, lest the Turk 
should do so, and carry it to that dog of an 
All Pacha. (1790. Fauriel, I, 20 ; Zambelios, 
p. 621, No 32 ; Passow, p. 52, No 61.) 

35759. The king traverses the whole 
length of Lancashire and proceeds to Plump- 
ton Park, missing many of his deer. Camden, 
Britannia, II, 175, ed. 1772, places Plumpton 
Park on the bank of the Petterel, in Cumber- 

* Le Doctrinal de Sapience, fol. 67 b, cited by Legrand, presently wins a hundred marks of the saint, and makes the 
is not to the purpose. Scala Celi refers to a Speculum receiver pay. (The story has in one point a touch of the 
Exemplorum. " -...-,... , ^ T 

In Peele's Edward I, the friar, having lost five nobles at 
dice to St Francis, pays them to St Francis 1 receiver ; but 

French fabliau.) Peele's Works, ed. Dyce, I, 157-61. 
t hey hoy. 



land, east of Inglewood. (Hunter, p. 30, 
citing no authority, says it was part of the 
forest of Knaresborough, in Yorkshire.) Since 
this survey makes the king wroth with Robin 
Hood, we must give a corresponding extent 
to Robin's operations. And we remember 
that Wyntouu says that he exercised his pro 
fession in Inglewood and Barnsdale. 

371 ff. The story of the seventh fit has a 
general similitude to the extensive class of 
tales, mostly jocular, represented by ' The King 
and the Miller ; ' as to which, see further on. 

403-09. The sport of " pluck-buffet " (424 3 ) 
is a feature in the romance of Richard Cosur 
de Lion, 762-98, Weber, II, 33 f. Richard 
is betrayed to the king of Almayne by a min 
strel to whom he had given a cold reception, 
and is put in prison. The king's son, held 
the strongest man of the land, visits the pris 
oner, and proposes to him an exchange of this 
sort. The prince gives Richard a clout which 
makes fire spring from his eyes, and goes off 
laughing, ordering Richard to be well fed, so 
that he may have no excuse for returning a 
feeble blow when he takes his turn. The 
next day, when the prince comes for his pay 
ment, Richard, who has waxed his hand by 
way of preparation, delivers a blow which 
breaks the young champion's cheek-bone and 
fells him dead. There is another instance in 
' The Turke and Gowin,' Percy MS., Hales 
and Furnivall, I, 91 ff. 

414-450. Robin Hood is pardoned by King 
Edward on condition of his leaving the green 
wood with all his company, and taking service 
at court. In the course of a twelvemonth,* 
keeping up his old profusion, Robin has spent 
not only all his own money, but all his men's, 
in treating knights and squires, and at the 
end of the year all his band have deserted 
him save John and Scathlock. About this 
time, chancing to see young men shooting, 
the recollection of his life in the woods comes 
over him so powerfully that he feels that he 
shall die if he stays longer with the king. 
He therefore affects to have made a vow to 
go to Barnsdale " barefoot and woolward." 

* 435. The three in 433, as in 416, is for rhyme, and 
need not be taken strictly. 

Upon this plea he obtains from the king leave 
of absence for a week, and, once more in the 
forest, never reports for duty in two and 
twenty years. 

Hunter, who could have identified Pigro- 
gromitus and Quinapalus, if he had given his 
mind to it, sees in this passage, and in what 
precedes it of King Edward's trip to Notting 
ham, a plausible semblance of historical real- 
ity.f Edward II, as may be shown from 
Rymer's Foedera, made a progress in the 
counties of York, Lancaster, and Nottingham, 
in the latter part of the year 1323. He was 
in Yorkshire in August and September, in 
Lancashire in October, at Nottingham No 
vember 923, spending altogether five or six 
weeks in that neighborhood, and leaving it a 
little before Christmas. " Now it will scarcely 
be believed, but it is, nevertheless, the plain 
and simple truth, that in documents preserved 
in the Exchequer, containing accounts of ex 
penses in the king's household, we find the 
name of Robyn Hode, not once, but several 
times occurring, receiving, with about eight 
and twenty others, the pay of 3d. a day, as 
one of the ' vadlets, porteurs de la chambre ' of 
the king ; " these entries running from March 
24, 1324, to November 22 of the same year. 
There are entries of payments to vadlets 
during the year preceding, but unluckily the 
accountant has put down the sums in gross, 
without specifying the names of persons who 
received regular wages. This, as Hunter re 
marks, does not quite prove that Robyn Hode 
had not been among these persons before 
Christmas, 1323, but, on the other hand, ac 
count-book evidence is lacking to show that 
he had been. Hunter's interpretation of the 
data is that Robyn Hode entered the king's 
service at Nottingham a little before Christ 
mas, 1323. If this was so, his career as porter 
was not only brief, but pitiably checkered. 
His pay is docked for five days' absence in 
May, again for eight days in August, then for 
fifteen days in October. "He was growing 
weary of his new mode of life." Seven days, 
once more, are deducted in November, and 

t Critical and Historical Tracts, No IV, Robin Hood, p. 
28 ff. 



under the 22d of that month we find this 
entry: Robyn Hode, jadys un des porteurs, 
poar cas qil ne poait pluis travailler, de donn 
par comandement, v. s. After this his name 
no longer appears. 

A simple way of reading the Exchequer 
documents is that one Robert Hood, some 
time (and, for aught we know, a long time) 
porter in the king's household, after repeat 
edly losing time, was finally discharged, with 
a present of five shillings, because he could not 
do his work. To detect " a remarkable coin 
cidence between the ballad and the record" 
requires not only a theoretical prepossession, 
but an uncommon insensibility to the ludi 
crous.* But taking things with entire seri 
ousness, there is no correspondence between 
the ballad and the record other than this : 
that Robin Hood, who is in the king's service, 
leaves it; in the one instance deserting, and 
in the other being displaced. Hunter himself 

does not, as in the case of Adam Bell, insist 
that the name Robin Hood is " peculiar." 
He cites, p. 10, a Robert Hood, citizen of 
London, who supplied the king's household 
with beer, 28 Edward I, and a Robert Hood 
of Wakefield, twice mentioned, 9, 10 Edward 
II. f Another Robert Hood at Throckelawe, 
North umbria, is thrice mentioned in the Ex 
chequer Rolls, Edward I, 19, 20, 30: Rot. 
Orig. in Cur. Scac. Abbrev., I, 69, 73, 124. 
A Robert Hood is manucaptor for a burgess 
returned from Lostwithiel, Cornwall, 7 Edward 
II, Parliamentary Writs, II, 1019, and an 
other, of Howden, York, 10 Edward III, is 
noted in the Calendar of Patent Rolls, p. 125, 
No 31, cited by Ritson. In all these we have 
six Robin Hoods between 30 Edward I and 10 
Edward III, a period of less than forty years. 

433, 435-50 are translated by A. Griin, 
p. 166. 

a. 1 LYTHE and listin, gentilmen, 
That be of f rebore blode ; 
I shall you tel of a gode yemaw, 
His name was Robyw Hode. 

2 Robyw was a prude outlaw, 

[Whyles he walked on grounde ; 
So curteyse an outla\ve] as he was one 
Was never non i'owide. 

3 Robyw stode in Bernesdale, 

And lenyd hym to a tre ; 
And bi hywi stode Litell Johnw, 
. A gode yeman was he. 

4 And alsoo dyd gode Scarlok, 

And Much, the miller's son ; 

* Think of Robin as light porter, Robin who had been 
giving and taking buffets that might fell an ox. Think of 
him as worn out with the work in eleven months, and 
dropped for disability. Think of his being put on three 
pence a day, after paying his yeomen at thrice the rate, 171, 
not to speak of such casual gratuities as we hear of in 382. 
" There is in all this, perhaps, as much correspondency as 
we can reasonably expect between the record and the bal 
lad," says Hunter, p. 38. 

t Hunter asks if it is not possible to find in this Robert 
Hood of Wakefield, near Barnsdale, " the identical person 
whose name has been so strangely perpetuated." This Rob- 

There was none ynch of his bodi 
But it was worth a grome. 

5 Than bespake Lytell John?t 

All vntoo Robyn Hode : 
Maister, and ye wolde dyne betyme 
It wolde doo you moche gode. 

6 Than bespake hym gode Robyn : 

To dyne haue I noo lust, 
Till that I haue som bolde barow, 
Or som vnkouth gest. 

That may pay for the best, 

Or som knyght or [som] squyer, 

That dwelleth here bi west. 

ert Hood woujd be a person of some consideration, and he 
would thus be qualified " for his station among the vadlets 
of the crown," three-penny vadlets, Great Hob, Little 
Coll, Robert Trash, and their fellows. The Wakefield 
Robert's wife was named Matilda, "and the ballad testi 
mony is not the Little Gest, but other ballads of uncer 
tain antiquity, that the outlaw's wife was named Matilda, 
which name she exchanged for Marian when she joined him 
in the green-wood." fPp 46-48.) Hunter has made a trivial 
mistake about Matilda : she belongs to Munday's play, and 
not to the ballads (ballad) he has in mind. 



8 A gode maner thaw had Robyn ; 

In londe where that he were, 
Euery day or he wold dyne 
Thre messis wolde he here. 

9 The one in the worship of the Fader, 

And another of the Holy Gost, 
The thirde of Our dere Lady, 
That he loued allther moste. 

10 Robyw loued Oure dere Lady ; 

For dout of dydly synne, 
Wolde he neuer do co?wpani harme 
That any womaw was in. 

11 ' Maistar,' tha?* sayde Lytil Johim, 

' And we our horde shal sprede, 
Tell vs wheder that we shal go, 
And what life that we shall lede. 

12 ' Where we shall take, where we shall leue, 

Where we shall abide behywde ; 
Where we shall robbe, where we shal reue, 
Where we shal bete and bynde.' 

13 ' Therof no force,' than sayde Robyn ; 

' We shall do well inowe ; 
But loke ye do no husbonde harme, 
That tilleth with his ploughe. 

14 ' No more ye shall no gode yeman 

That walketh by grene'-wode shawe ; 
Ne no knyght ne no squyer 
That wol be a gode felawe. 

15 ' These bisshoppes and these archebishoppes, 

Ye shall them bete and bynde ; 
The hye sherif of Notyingham, 
Hym holde ye in your mynde.' 

16 ' This worde shalbe holde,' sayde Lytell Johnre, 

' And this lesson we shall lere ; 

It is fer dayes ; God sende vs a gest, 

That we were at cure dynere ! ' 

17 'Take thy gode bowe in thy howde,' sayde 

Rob[yn] ; 

' Late Much wewde with the ; 

And so shal Willyawi Scarlo[k], 

And no man abyde with me. 

18 ' And walke vp to the Saylis, 

And so to Watliwge Stret[e], 

And wayte after some vnkuth gest, 
Vp chaunce ye may them mete. 

19 ' Be he erle, or ani barore, 

Abbot, or ani knyght, 
Bringhe hym to lodge to me ; 
His dyner shall be dight.' 

20 They wente vp to the Saylis, 

These yeman all thre ; 
They loked est, they loke[d] weest ; 
They myght no man see. 

21 But as they loked in to Bernysdale, 

Bi a derne strete, 
Than came a knyght ridinghe ; 
Full sone they gan hym mete. 

22 All dreri was his semblaunce, 

And lytell was his pryde ; 

His one fote in the styrop stode, 

That othere wauyd beside. 

23 His hode hanged in his iyn two ; 

He rode in symple aray ; 

A soriar man than he was one 

Rode neuer in somer day. 

24 Litell Johim was full curteyes, 

And sette hym on his kne : 
' Welcom be ye, gentyll knyght, 
Welcom ar ye to me. 

25 ' Welcom be thou to grene wode, 

Hende knyght and fre ; 
My maister hath abides you fastinge, 
Syr, al these oures thre.' 

26 ' Who is thy maister ? ' sayde the knyght ; 

Johnre sayde, Robyn Hode ; 
' He is [a] gode yoman,' sayde the knyght, 
' Of hym I haue herde moche gode. 

27 ' I graunte,' he sayde, ' with you to wende, 

My bretherne, all in fere ; 
My purpos was to haue dyned to day 
At Blith or Dancastere.' 

28 Furth than went this gentyl knight, 

With a carefull chere ; 
The teris oute of his iyen ran, 
And fell downe by his lere. 



29 They brought hym to the lodge-dore ; 

Whan Robyn hym gan see, 
Full curtesly dyd of his hode 
And sette hym on his knee. 

30 ' Welcome, sir knight,' than sayde Robyn, 

' Welcome art thou to me ; 
I haue abyden you fastinge, sir, 
All these ouris thre.' 

31 Than answered the gentyll knight, 

With wordes fayre and fre ; 
God the saue, goode Robyn, 
And all thy fayre meyne. 

32 They wasshed togeder and wyped bothe, 

And sette to theyr dynere ; 
Brede and wyne they had right ynoughe, 
And noumbles of the dere. 

33 Swannes and fessauntes they had full gode, 

And foules of the ryuere ; 
There fayled none so litell a birde 
That euer was bred on bryre. 

34 ' Do gladly, sir knight,' sayde Robyn ; 

' Gramarcy, sir,' sayde he ; 
' Suche a dinere had I nat 
Of all these wekys thre. 

35 ' If I come ageyne, Robyn, 

Here by thys contre, 
As gode a dyner I shall the make 
As that thou haest made to me.' 

36 ' Gramarcy, knyght,' sayde Robyn ; 

' My dyner whan that I it haue, 
I was neuer so gredy, bi dere worthy God, 
My dyner for to craue. 

37 ' But pay or ye wende,' sayde Robyn ; 

' Me thynketh it is gode ryght ; 
It was neuer the maner, by dere worthi God, 
A yoman to pay for a knyhht.' 

38 ' I haue nought in my coffers,' saide the 


' That I may profer for shame : ' 
' Litell Johnw, go loke,' sayde Robyn, 
' Ne let nat for no blame. 

39 ' Tel me truth,' than saide Robyn, 

' So God haue parte of the : ' 

' I haue no more but ten shelynges,' sayde the 

' So God haue parte of me.' 

40 If thou hast no more,' sayde Robyn, 

' I woll nat one peny ; 
And yf thou haue nede of any more, 
More shall I lend the. 

41 ' Go nowe f urth, Littell Johnw, 

The truth tell thou me ; 
If there be no more but ten shelinges, 
No peny that I se.' 

42 Lyttell John?i sprede downe hys mantell 

Full fayre vpon the grounde, 
And there he f'onde in the knyghtes cofer 
But euen halfe [a] pounde. 

43 Littell Johnw let it lye full styll, 

And went to hys maysteer [full] lowe ; 
' What tidynges, Johnw ? ' sayde Robyn ; 
' Sir, the knyght is true inowe.' 

44 ' Fyll of the best wine,' sayde Robyn, 

' The knyght shall begynne ; 
Moche wowder thmketh me 

Thy clot[h]ynge is so thin[n]e. 

45 ' Tell me [one] worde,' sayde Robyn, 

' And counsel shal it be ; 
I trowe thou warte made a knyght of force, 
Or ellys of yemanry. 

46 'Or ellys thou hast bene a sori husbande, 

And lyued in stroke and stryfe ; 
An okerer, or ellis a lechoure,' sayde Robyn, 
' Wyth wronge hast led thy lyfe.' 

47 ' I am none of those,' sayde the knyght, 

' By God that made me ; 
An hundred wywter here before 
Myn auncetres knyghtes haue be. 

48 ' But oft it hath befal, Robyn, 

A man hath be disgrate ; 
But God that sitteth in heuen aboue 
May amende his state. 

49 ' Withyn this two yere, Robyne,' he sayde, 

' My neghbours well it knowe, 
Foure hundred pounde of gode money 
Ful well than myght I spende. 



50 ' Nowe haue I no gode,' saide the knyght, 

' God hath shaped such an ende, 
But my chyldren and my wyf e, 
Tyll God yt may amende.' 

51 ' In what maner,' than sayde Robyn, 

' Hast thou lorne thy rychesse ? ' 
' For my greate foly,' he sayde, 
' And for my kynd[e]nesse. 

52 ' I hade a sone, forsoth, Robyn, 

That shulde hau[e] ben myn ayre, 
Whanne he was twenty wynter olde, 
In felde wolde iust full fayre. 

53 ' He slewe a knyght of Lancaster, 

And a squyer holde ; 
For to saue hym in his ryght 
My godes both sette and solde. 

54 ' My londes both sette to wedde, Robyn, 

Vntyll a certayn day, 
To a ryche abbot here besyde 
Of Seynt Mari Abbey.' 

55 ' What is the som ? ' sayde Robyn ; 

' Trouth than tell thou me ; ' 
' Sir,' he sayde, ' foure hundred pounde ; 
The abbot told it to me.' 

56 ' Nowe and thou lese thy lond,' sayde Robyn, 

' What woll fall of the ? ' 
' Hastely I wol me buske,' sayd the knyght, 
' Ouer the salte see, 

57 ' And se w[h]ere Criste was quyke and dede, 

On the mount of Caluere ; 
Fare wel, frende, and haue gode day ; 
It may no better be.' 

58 Tens fell out of hys iyen two ; 

He wolde haue gone hys way : 
' Farewel, frende, and haue gode day ; 
I ne haue no more to pay.' 

59 ' Where be thy frendes ? ' sayde Robyn : 

' Syr, neuer one wol me knowe ; 
While I was ryche ynowe at home 
Great boste than wolde they blowe, 

60 ' And nowe they renne away fro me, 

As bestis on a rowe ; 

They take no more hede of me 
Thanne they had me neuer sawe.' 

61 For ruthe thanne wept Litell Johnw, 

Scarlok and Muche in fere ; 
' Fyl of the best wyne,' sayde Robyn, 
' For here is a symple chere. 

62 ' Hast thou any frende,' sayde Robyn, 

' Thy borowe that wolde be ? ' 
' I haue none,' than sayde the knyght, 
' But God that dyed on tree.' 

63 ' Do away thy iapis,' than sayde Robyn, 

' Thereof wol I right none ; 
Wenest thou I wolde haue God to borowe, 
Peter, Poule, or Johnw ? 

64 ' Nay, by hym that me made, 

And shope both sonne and mone, 
Fynde me a better borowe,' sayde Robyn, 
' Or money getest thou none.' 

65 ' I haue none other,' sayde the knyght, 

' The sothe for to say, 
But yf yt be Our dere Lady ; 

She fayled me neuer or thys day.' 

-(.66 'By dere worthy God,' sayde Robyn, 

' To seche all Englonde thorowe, 
Yet fonde I neuer to my pay 
A moche better borowe. 

67 ' Come nowe f urth, Litell Johnw, 

And go to my tresoure, 
And bringe me foure hundered pound, 
And loke well tolde it be.' 

68 Furth than, went Litell Johnre, 

And Scarlok went before ; 
He tolde oute foure hundred pounde 
By eight and twenty score. 

69 ' Is thys well tolde ? ' sayde [litell] Much ; 

Johnre sayde, ' What gre[ue]th the ? 
It is almus to helpe a gentyll knyght, 
That is fal in pouerte. 

70 ' Master,' than sayde Lityll John, 

' His clothinge is full thynne ; 
Ye must gyue the knight a lyueray, 
To lappe bis body therin. 



71 ' For ye haue scarlet and grene, mayster, 

And man[y] a riche aray ; 
Ther is no marchauwt in mery Englond 
So ryche, I dare well say.' 

72 ' Take hym thre yerdes of euery colour, 

And loke well mete that it be ; ' 
Lytell Johnw toke none other mesure 
But his bowe-tree. 

73 And at euery handfull that he met 

He leped footes three ; 
' What deuylles drapar,' sayid litell Muche, 
' Thynkest thou for to be ? ' 

74 Scarlok stode full stil and loughe, 

And sayd, By God Almyght, 

Johnn may gyue hym gode mesure, 

For it costeth hym but lyght. 

75 ' Mayster,' than said Litell Johnw 

To gentill Robyn Hode, 
' Ye must giue the knig[h]t a hors, 
To lede home this gode.' 

76 ' Take hywi a gray coursar,' sayde Robyw, 

' And a saydle newe ; 
He is Oure Ladye's messangere ; 
God graunt that he be true.' 

77 ' And a gode palfray,' sayde lytell Much, 

' To mayntene hym in his right ; ' 
' And a peyre of botes,' sayde Scarlock, 
' For he is a gentyll knight.' 

78 ' What shalt thou gyue hym, Litell John ? ' 

said Robyra ; 

' Sir, a peyre of gilt sporis clene, 
To pray for all this company ; 
God briwge hym oute of tene.' 

79 ' Whan shal mi day be,' said the knight, 

' Sir, and your wyll be ? ' 
' This day twelue moneth,' saide Robyn, 
' Vnder this grene-wode tre. 

80 ' It were greate shame,' sayde Robyn, 

' A knight alone to ryde, 
Withoute squyre, yoman, or page, 
To walke by his syde. 

81 ' I shall the lende Litell John, my man, 

For he shalbe thy knaue ; 

In a yema[n]'s stede he may the stande, 
If thou greate nede haue.' 


82 Now is the knight gone on his way ; 

This game hym thought full gode ; 
Whawne he loked on Bernesdale 
He blessyd Robyw Hode. 

83 And wharene he thought on Bernysdale, 

On Scarlok, Much, and Johnw, 
He blyssyd them for the best company 
b. That euer he in come. 

84 Then spake that gentyll knyght, 

To Lytel Johan gan he saye, 
To-morrowe I must to Yorke toune, 
To Saynt Mary abbay. 

85 And to the abbot of that place 

Foure hondred pounde I must pay ; 
And but I be there vpon this nyght 
My londe is lost for ay. 

86 The abbot sayd to his couent, 

There he stode on grounde, 
This day twelfe moneth came there a knyght 
And borowed foure hondred pounde. 

87 [He borowed foure hondred pounde,] 

Upon all his londe fre ; 

But he come this ylke day 

Dysheryte shall he be. 

88 ' It is full erely,' sayd the prybure, 

' The day is not yet ferre gone ; 
I had leuer to pay an hondred pounde, 
And lay downe anone. 

89 ' The knyght is ferre beyonde the see, 

In Englonde is his ryght, 

And suffreth honger and colde, 

And many a sory nyght. 

90 ' It were grete pyte,' said the pryoure, 

' So to haue his londe ; 
And ye be so lyght of your consyence, 
Ye do to hym moch wronge.' 

91 ' Thou arte euer in my berde,' sayd the abbot, 

' By God and Saynt Rycharde ; ' 



With that cam in a fat-heded monke, 
The heygh selerer. 

92 ' He is dede or hanged,' sayd the monke, 

' By God that bought me dere, 
And we shall haue to spende in this place 
Foure hondred pounde by yere.' 

93 The abbot and the hy selerer 

Sterte forthe full bolde, 
The [hye] iustyce of Englonde 
The abbot there dyde holde. 

94 The hye iustyce and many mo 

Had take in to they[r] honde 
Holy all the knyghtes det, 

To put that knyght to wronge. 

95 They demed the knyght wonder sore, 

The abbot and his meyne : 
' But he come this ylke day 
Dysheryte shall he be.' 

96 ' He wyll not come yet,' sayd the iustyce, 

' I dare well vndertake ; ' 
But in sorowe tyme for them all 
The knyght came to the gate. 

97 Than bespake that gentyll knyght 

Untyll his meyne : 
Now put on your symple wedes 
That ye brought fro the see. 

98 [They put on their symple wedes,] 

They came to the gates anone ; 
The porter was redy hymselfe, 
And welcomed them euerychone. 

99 ' Welcome, syr knyght,' sayd the porter ; 

' My lorde to mete is he, 
And so is many a gentyll man, 
For the loue of the.' 

100 The porter swore a full grete othe, 

' By God that made me, 

Here be the best coresed hors 

That euer yet sawe I me. 

101 ' Lede them in to the stable,' he sayd, 

' That eased myght they be ; ' 
' They shall not come therin,' sayd the knyght, 
' By God that dyed on a tre.' 

102 Lordes were to mete isette 

In that abbotes hall ; 

The knyght went forth and kneled downe, 
And salued them grete and small. 

103 ' Do gladly, syr abbot,' sayd the knyght, 

' I am come to holde my day : ' 
The fyrst word the abbot spake, 
' Hast thou brought my pay ? ' 

104 ' Not one peny,' sayd the knyght, 

' By God that maked me ; ' 
' Thou art a shrewed dettour,' sayd the abbot ; 
' Syr iustyce, drynke to me. 

105 ' What doost thou here,' sayd the abbot, 

' But thou haddest brought thy pay ? ' 
' For God,' than sayd the knyght, 
' To pray of a lenger daye.' 

106 ' Thy daye is broke,' sayd the iustyce, 

' Londe getest thou none : ' 
' Now, good syr iustyce, be my frende, 
And fende me of my fone ! ' 

107 ' I am holde with the abbot,' sayd the iustyce, 

' Both with cloth and fee : ' 
' Now, good syr sheryf, be my frende ! ' 
' Nay, for God,' sayd he. 

108 ' Now, good syr abbot, be my frende, 

For thy curteyse, 

And holde my londes in thy honde 
Tyll I haue made the gree ! 

109 ' And I wyll be thy true seruaunte, 

And trewely serue the, 
Tyl ye haue foure hondred pounde 
Of money good and free.' 

110 The abbot sware a full grete othe, 

' By God that dyed on a tree, 
Get the londe where thou may, 
For thou getest none of me.' 

111 ' By dere worthy God,' then sayd the knyght, 

' That all this worlde wrought, 
But I haue my londe agayne, 
Full dere it shall be bought. 


; God, that was of a mayden borne, 
Leue vs well to spede ! 



For it is good to assay a frende 
Or that a man haue nede.' 

113 The abbot lothely on hym gan loke, 

And vylaynesly hym gan call ; 
' Out,' he sayd, ' thou false knyght, 
Spede the out of my hall ! ' 

114 ' Thou lyest,' then sayd the geutyll knyght, 

' Abbot, in thy hal ; 
False knyght was I neuer, 
By God that made vs all.' 

115 Vp then stode that gentyll knyght, 

To the abbot sayd he, 
To suffre a knyght to knele so longe, 
Thou canst no curteysye. 

116 In ioustes and in tournement 

Full ferre than haue I be, 
And put my selfe as ferre in prees 
As ony that euer I se. 

117 ' What wyll ye gyue more,' sayd the iustice, 

' And the knyght shall make a releyse ? 
And elles dare I safly swere 

Ye holde neuer your londe in pees.' 

118 ' An hondred pounde,' sayd the abbot ; 

The justice sayd, Gyue hym two ; 
' Nay, be God,' sayd the knyght, 
a. ' Yit gete ye it not so. 

119 ' Though ye wolde gyue a thousand more, 

Yet were ye neuer the nere ; 
Shall there neuer be myn heyre 
Abbot, iustice, ne frere.' 

120 He stert hym to a borde anone, 

Tyll a table rounde, 
And there he shoke oute of a bagge 
Euere four hundred pound. 

121 ' Haue here thi golde, sir abbot,' saide the 


' Which that thou lewtest me ; 
Had thou ben curtes at my comynge, 
Rewarded shuldest thou haue be.' 

122 The abbot sat styll, and ete no more, 

For all his ryall fare ; 
He cast his hede on his shulder, 
And fast began to stare. 

123 ' Take me my golde agayne,' saide the 


' Sir iustice, that I toke the : ' 
' Not a peni,' said the iustice, 
' Bi Go[d, that dyjed on tree.' 

124 ' Sir [abbot, and ye me]n of lawe, 
b. Now haue I holde my daye ; 

Now shall I haue my londe' agayne, 
For ought that you can saye.' 

125 The knyght stert out of the dore, 

Awaye was all his care, 
And on he put his good clothynge, 
The other he lefte there. 

126 He wente hym forth full mery syngynge, 

As men haue tolde in tale ; 
His lady met hym at the gate, 
At home in Verysdale. 

127 ' Welcome, my lorde,' sayd his lady ; 

' Syr, lost is all your good ? ' 
' Be mery, dame,' sayd the knyght, 
a. ' And pray for Robyn Hode, 

128 ' That euer his soule be in blysse : 

He holpe me out of tene ; 
Ne had be his kyndenesse, 
Beggers had we bene. 

129 ' The abbot and I accorded ben, 

He is semed of his pay ; 
The god yomare lewt it me, 
As I cam by the way." 

130 This knight than dwelled fayre at home, 

The sothe for to saye, 
Tyll he had gete four hundred pound, 
Al redy for to pay. 

131 He purueyed \am an hundred bowes, 

The strynges well ydyght, 
An hundred shefe of arowes gode, 
The hedys burneshed full bryght ; 

132 And euery arowe an elle longe, 

With pecok wel idyght, 
Inocked all vrith whyte siluer ; 
It was a semely syght. 

133 He purueyed hym an [hondreth men], 

Well harness[ed in that stede], 



b. And hym selfe in that same sete, 
And clothed in whyte and rede. 

134 He bare a launsgay in his honde, 

And a man ledde his male, 
And reden with a lyght songe 
Vnto Bernysdale. 

135 But as he wewt at a brydge ther was a wraste- 

And there taryed was he, 
And there was all the best yemen 
Of all the west countree. 

136 A full fayre game there was vp set, 

A whyte bulle vp i-pyght, 
A grete courser, with sadle and brydil, 
a. With golde burnyssht full bryght. 

137 A payre of gloues, a rede golde rynge, 

A pype of wyne, in fay ; 
What man that bereth hym best i-wys 
The pryce shall here away. 

138 There was a yoman in that place, 

And best worthy was he, 
And for he was ferre and frembde bested, 
Slayne he shulde haue be. 

139 The knight had ruthe of this yoman, 

In place where he stode ; 
He sayde that yoman shulde haue no harme, 
For loue of Robyn Hode. 

140 The knyght presed in to the place, 

An hundreth folowed hym [free], 
With bowes bent and arowes sharpe. 
For to shende that companye. 

141 They shulderd all and made hym rome, 

To wete what he wolde say ; 

He toke the yemara hi the hawde, 

And gaue hym al the play. 

142 He gaue hym fyue marke for his wyne, 

There it lay on the molde. 
And bad it shulde be set a broche, 
Drynke who so wolde. 

143 Thus longe taried this gentyll knyght, 

Tyll that play was done; 
So longe abode Robyn fastinge, 
Thre houres after the none. 


144 Lyth and lystyn, gentilmen, 

All that nowe be here ; 

Of Litell John?!, that was the knightes man, 
Goode myrth ye shall here. 

145 It was vpon a mery day 

That yonge men wolde go shete ; 
Lytell John?i fet his bowe anone, 
And sayde he wolde them mete. 

146 Thre tymes Litell Johnre shet aboute, 

And alwey he slet the wande ; 
The proude sherif of Notingham 
By the marke's can stande. 

147 The sherif swore a full greate othe : 

' By hym that dyede on a tre, 
This mare is the best arsche"re 
That euer yet sawe I [me.] 

148 ' Say me nowe, wight yonge man, 

What is nowe thy name ? 
In what countre were thou borne, 
And where is thy wonynge wane ? ' 

149 ' In Holdernes, sir, I was borne, 

I-wys al of my dame ; 
Mew cal me Reynolde Grenelef 
Whan I am at home.' 

150 ; Sey me, Reyno[l]de Grenelefe, 

Wolde thou dwell with me ? 

And euery yere I woll the gyue 

Twenty marke to thy fee.' 

151 ' I haue a maister,' sayde Litell Johnw, 

' A curteys knight is he ; 
May ye leue gete of hym, 
The better may it be.' 

152 The sherif gate Litell John 

Twelue monethes of the knight ; 
Therfore he gaue him right anone 
A gode hors and a wight. 

153 Nowe is Litell John the sherife's man, 

God lende vs well to spede ! 
But alwey thought Lytell John 
To quyte hym wele his mede. 



154 ' Nowe so God me helpe,' sayde Litell John, 

' And by my true leutye, 
I shall be the worst seruaunt to hym 
That euer yet had he.' 

155 It fell vpow a Wednesday 

The sherif on huntynge was gone, 
And Litel John lay in his bed, 
And was foriete at home. 

156 Therfore he was fastiwge 

Til it was past the none ; 
' Gode sir stuarde, I pray to the, 

Gyue me my dynere,' saide Litell John. 

157 ' It is longe for Grenelefe 

Fastiwge thus for to be ; 
Therfor I pray the, sir stuarde, 
Mi dyner gif me.' 

158 ' Shalt thou neuer ete ne drynke,' saide the 


' Tyll my lorde be come to towne : ' 
' I make myn auowe to God,' saide Litell John, 
' I had leuer to crake thy crowne.' 

159 The boteler was full vncurteys, 

There he stode on flore ; 
He start to the botery 
And shet fast the dore. 

160 Lytell Johnw gaue the boteler suche a tap 

His backe went nere in two ; 
Though he liued an hundred ier, 
The wors shuld he go. 

161 He sporned the dore witA his fote ; 

It went opew wel and fyne ; 
And there he made large lyueray, 
Bothe of ale and of wyne. 

162 ' Sith ye wol nat dyne,' sayde Litell John, 

' I shall gyue you to drinke ; 
And though ye lyue an hundred wynter, 
On Lytel Johnw ye shall thinke.' 

163 Litell John ete, and Litel John drank, 

The while that he wolde ; 
The sherife had in his kechyn a coke, 
A stoute man and a bolde. 

164 ' I make myn auowe to God,' saide the coke, 

' Thou arte a shrewde hynde 

In ani hous for to dwel, 
For to aske thus to dyne.' 

165 And there he lent Litell John 

God[e] strokis thre ; 
' I make myn auowe to God,' sayde Lytell 

'These strokis lyked well me. 

166 ' Thou arte a bolde man and hardy, 

And so thmketh me ; 
And or I pas fro this place 
Assayed better shalt thou be.' 

167 Lytell Johnre drew a ful gode sworde, 

The coke toke another in hande ; 
They thought no thynge for to fle, 
But stifly for to stande. 

168 There they faught sore togedere 

Two myle way and well more ; 
Myght neyther other harme done, 
The mountnaunce of an owre. 

169 ' I make my?z auowe to God,' sayde Litell 


' And by my true lewte, 
Thou art one of the best sworde-men 
That euer yit sawe I [me.] 

170 ' Cowdest thou shote as well in a bowe, 

To grene wode thou shuldest with me, 
And two times in the yere thy clothinge 
Chaunged shulde be ; 

171 ' And euery yere of Robyn Hode 

Twewty merke to thy fe : ' 
' Put vp thy swerde,' saide the coke, 
' And felowes woll we be.' 

172 Thanne he fet to Lytell Johnra 

The nowmbles of a do, 
Gode brede, and full gode wyne ; 
They ete and drank theretoo. 

173 And when they had dronkyn well, 

Theyre trouthes togeder they plight 
That they wo[l]de be with Robyn 
That ylke same' nyght. 

174 They dyd them to the tresoure-hows, 

As fast as they myght gone ; 



The lokkes, that were of full gode stele, 
They brake them euerichone. 

175 They toke away the siluer vessell, 

And all that thei mig[h]t get ; 
Pecis, masars, ne sponis, 
Wolde thei not forget. 

176 Also [they] toke the gode pews, 

Thre hundred pounde and more. 
And did them st[r]eyte to Robyn Hode, 
Under the grene wode hore. 

.177 ' God the saue, my dere mayster, 

And Criste the saue and se ! ' 
And thanne sayde Robyn to Litell Johnw, 
Welcome myght thou be. 

178 ' Also be that fayre yeman 

Thou bryngest there with the ; 
What tydynges fro Noty[n]gham ? 
Lytill Johnra, tell thou me.' 

179 ' Well the gretith the proude sheryf, 

And sende[th] the here by me 
His coke and his siluer vessell, 

And thre hundred pounde and thre.' 

180 ' I make myne avowe to God,' sayde Robyn, 

' And to the Trenyte, 
It was neuer by his gode wyll 
This gode is come to me.' 

181 Lytyll Johnw there hym bethought 

On a shrewde wyle ; 
Fyue myle in the forest he ran, 
Hym happed all his wyll. 

182 Than he met the proude sheref, 

Huntynge with houndes and home ; 
Lytell Johnra coude of curtesye, 
And knelyd hym beforne. 

183 ' God the saue, my dere mayster, 

And Criste the saue and se ! ' 
' Reynolde Grenelefe,' sayde the shryef, 
' Where hast thou nowe be ? ' 

184 ' I haue be in this forest ; 

A fayre syght can I se ; 
It was one of the fayrest syghtes 
That euer yet sawe I me. 

185 ' Yonder I sawe a ryght fayre harte, 

His coloure is of grene ; 
Seuen score of dere vpon a herde 
Be with hym all bydene. 

186 ' Their tynde's are so sharpe, maister, 

Of sexty, and well mo, 
That I durst not shote for drede, 
Lest they wolde me slo.' 

187 ' I make myn auowe to God,' sayde the shyref, 

' That syght wolde I fayne se : ' 
' Buske you thyderwarde, mi dere mayster, 
Anone, and wende vriih me.' 

188 The sherif rode, and Litell Johmi 

Of fote he was full smerte, 
And whane they came before Robyn, 
' Lo, sir, here is the mayster-herte." 

189 Still stode the proude sherief, 

A sory man was he ; 
' Wo the worthe, Raynolde Grenelefe, 
Thou hast betrayed nowe me.' 

190 'I make myn auowe to God,' sayde Litell 


' Mayster, ye be to blame ; 
I was mysserued of my dynere 
Whan I was with you at home.' 

191 Sone he was to souper sette, 

And serued well with siluer white, 
And whan the sherif sawe his vessell, 
For sorowe he myght nat ete. 

192 ' Make glad chere,' sayde Robyn Hode, 

' Sherif, for charite, 
And for the loue of Litill Johnw 
Thy lyfe I graunt to the.' 

193 Whaw they had souped well, 

The day was al gone ; 
Robyn cowmaude[d] Litell Johnw 
To drawe of his hosen and his shone ; 

194 His kirtell, and his cote of pie, 

That was fured well and fine, 
And to[ke] hym a grene mawtel, 
To lap his body therin. 

195 Robyn comwauwdyd his wight yonge men, 

Vnder the grene-wode tree, 



They shulde lye in that same sute, 
That the sherif myght them see. 

196 All nyght lay the proude sherif 

In his breche and in his [s]chert ; 
No wonder it was, in grene wode, 
Though his syde's gan to smerte. 

197 ' Make glade chere,' sayde Robyn Hode, 

' Sheref , for charite ; 
For this is our ordre i-wys, 
Vnder the grene-wode tree.' 

198 ' This is harder order,' sayde the sherief, 

' Than any ankir or frere ; 
For all the golde in mery Englonde 
I wolde nat longe dwell her.' 

199 ' All this twelue monthes,' sayde Robin, 
i ' Thou shalt dwell with me ; 

I shall the teche, proude sherif, 
An outlawe for to be.' 

200 ' Or I be here another nyght,' sayde the sherif, 

' Robyn, nowe pray I the, 
^ Smyte of miju hede rather to-morowe, 
And I forgyue it the. 

201 ' Lat me go,' thaw sayde the sherif, 
, ' For saynte charite, 

And I woll be the best[e] frende 
That euer yet had ye.' 

202 ' Thou shalt swere me an othe,' sayde Robyn, 

' On my bright bronde ; 
.\Shalt thou neuer awayte me scathe, 
By water ne by lande. 

203 ' And if thou fynde any of my men, 

By nyght or [by] day, 
Vpon thyn othe thou shalt swere 
To helpe them tha[t] thou may.' 

204 Nowe hathe the sherif sworne his othe, 

And home he began to gone ; 
He was as full of grene wode 
As euer was hepe of stone. 


205 The sherif dwelled in Notingham ; 

He was fayne he was agone ; 
And Robyn and his mery men 
Went to wode anone. 

206 ' Go we to dyner,' sayde Littell Johnw ; 

Robyn Hode sayde, Nay ; 
For I drede Our Lady be wroth with me, 
For she sent me nat my pay. 

207 ' Haue no doute, maister,' sayde Litell Johnw ; 

' Yet is nat the sonne at rest ; 

For I dare say, and sauely swere, 

The knight is true and truste.' 

208 ' Take thy bowe in thy hande,' sayde Robyn, 

' Late Much wende with the, 

And so shal Wyllyam Scarlok, 

b. And no man abyde with me. 

209 ' And walke vp vnder the Sayles, 

And to Watlynge-strete, 
And wayte after some vnketh gest ; 
Vp-chaunce ye may them mete. 

210 ' Whether he be messengere, 

Or a man that myrthes can, 
Of my good he shall haue some, 
Yf he be a pore man.' 

211 Forth then stert Lytel Johan, 

Half in tray and tene, 
And gyrde hym with a full good swerde, 
Under a mantel of grene. 

212 They went vp to the Sayles, 

These yemen all thre ; 
They loked est, they loked west, 
They myght no man se. 

213 But as [t]he[y] loked in Bernysdale, 

By the hye waye, 

Than were they ware of two blacke monkes, 
Eche on a good palferay. 

214 Then bespake Lytell Johan, 

To Much he gan say, 
I dare lay my lyfe to wedde, 

That [these] monkes haue brought our pay. 



215 ' Make glad chere,' sayd Lytell Johan, 

' And frese your bowes of ewe. 
And loke your herte's be seker and sad, 
Your strynges trusty and trewe. 

216 ' The monke hath two and fifty [men,] 

And seuen somers full stronge ; 
There rydeth no bysshop in this londe 
So ryally, I vnderstond. 

217 ' Brethern,' sayd Lytell Johan, 

' Here are no more but we thre ; 
But we brynge them to dyner, 
Our mayster dare we not se. 

218 ' Bende your bowes,' sayd Lytell Johan, 

' Make all yon prese to stonde ; 
The formost monke, his lyfe and his deth 
Is closed in my honde. 

219 ' Abyde, chorle monke,' sayd Lytell Johan, 

' No f erther that thou gone ; 
Yf thou doost, by dere worthy God, 
Thy deth is in my honde. 

220 ' And euyll thryfte on thy hede,' sayd Lytell 


' Ryght vnder thy hattes bonde ; 
For thou hast made our mayster wroth, 
He is fastynge so longe.' 

221 ' Who is your mayster ? ' sayd the monke ; 

Lytell Johan sayd, Robyn Hode ; 
' He is a stronge thefe,' sayd the monke, 
' Of hym herd I neuer good.' 

222 'Thou lyest,' than sayd Lytell Johare, 

' And that shall rewe the ; 
He is a yeman of the forest, 
To dyne he hath bode the.' 

223 Much was redy with a bolte, 

Redly and anone, 
He set the monke to-fore the brest, 
To the grounde that he can gone. 

224 Of two and fyfty wyght yonge yemen 

There abode not one, 
Saf a lytell page and a grome, 

To lede the somers with Lytel Johan. 

225 They brought the monke to the lodge-dore, 

Whether he were loth or lefe, 

For to speke with Robyn Hode, 
Maugre in theyr tethe. 

226 Robyn dyde adowne his hode, 

The monke whan that he se ; 
The monke was not so curteyse, 
His hode then let he be. 

227 'He is a chorle, mayster, by dere worthy 


Than sayd Lytell Johan : 
' Thereof no force,' sayd Robyn, 
' For curteysy can he none. 

228 ' How many men,' sayd Robyn, 

' Had this monke, Johan ? ' 
' Fyfty and two whan that we met, 
But many of them be gone.' 

229 ' Let blowe a home,' sayd Robyn, 

' That felaushyp may vs knowe ; ' 
Seuen score of wyght yemen 
Came pryckynge on a rowe. 

230 And euerych of them a good mantell 

Of scarlet and of raye ; 
All they came to good Robyn, 
To wyte what he wolde say. 

231 They made the monke to wasshe and wype, 

And syt at his denere, 
Robyn Hode and Lytell Johare 
They serued him both in-fere. 

232 ' Do gladly, monke,' sayd Robyn. 

' Gramercy, syr,' sayd he. 
' Where is your abbay, whan ye are at home, 
And who is your avowe ? ' 

233 ' Saynt Mary abbay,' sayd the monke, 

' Though I be symple here.' 
' In what offyce ? ' sayd Robyn : 
' Syr, the hye selerer.' 

234 ' Ye be the more welcome,' sayd Robyn, 

' So euer mote I the ; 
Fyll of the best wyne,' sayd Robyn, 
' This monke shall drynke to me. 

235 ' But I haue grete meruayle,' sayd Robyn, 

' Of all this longe day ; 
I drede Our Lady be wroth with me, 
She sent me not my pay.' 



236 ' Haue no derate, mayster,' sayd Lytell Johan, 

' Ye haue no nede, I saye ; 
This rnonke it hath brought, I dare well swere, 
For he is of her abbay.' 

237 ' And she was a borowe,' sayd Robyn, 

' Betwene a knyght and me, 
Of a lytell money that I hym lent, 
Under the grene-wode tree. 

238 ' And yf thou hast that syluer ibrought, 

I pray the let me se ; 
And I shall helpe the eftsones, 
Yf thou haue nede to me.' 

239 The monke swore a full grete othe, 

With a sory chere, 

' Of the borowehode thou spekest to me, 
Herde I neuer ere.' 

240 ' I make myn avowe to God,' sayd Robyn, 

' Monke, thou art to blame ; 
For God is holde a ryghtwys man, 
And so is his dame. 

241 ' Thou toldest with thyn owne tonge, 

Thou may not say nay, 
How thou arte her seruaunt, 
And seruest her euery day. 

242 ' And thou art made her messengere, 

My money for to pay ; 
Therfore I cun the more thanke 
Thou arte come at thy day. 

243 ' What is in your cof ers ? ' sayd Robyn, 

' Trewe than tell thou me : ' 
' Syr,' he sayd, ' twenty marke, 
Al so mote I the.' 

244 ' Yf there be no more,' sayd Robyn, 

' I wyll not one peny ; 
Yf thou hast myster of ony more, 
Syr, more I shall lende to the. 

245 ' And yf I fynde [more,' sayd] Robyn, 

' I-wys thou shalte it for gone ; 
For of thy spendynge-syluer, monke, 
Thereof wyll I ryght none. 

246 ' Go nowe forthe, Lytell Johan, 

And the trouth tell thou me ; 

If there be no more but twenty marke, 
No peny that I se.' 

247 Lytell Johan spred his mantell downe, 

As he had done before, 
And he tolde out of the monke's male 
Eyght [hondred] pounde and more. 

248 Lytell Johan let it lye full styll, 

And went to his mayster in hast ; 
' Syr,' he sayd, ' the monke is trewe ynowe, 
Our Lady hath doubled your cast.' 

249 ' I make myn avowe to God,' sayd Robyn 

' Monke, what tolde I the ? 
Our Lady is the trewest woman 
That euer yet founde I rne. 

250 ' By dere worthy God,' sayd Robyn, 

' To seche all Englond thorowe, 
Yet founde I neuer to my pay 
A moche better borowe. 

251 ' Fyll of the best wyne, and do hym drynke,' 

sayd Robyn, 

' And grete well thy lady hende, 
And yf she haue nede to Robyn Hode, 
A frende she shall hym fynde. 

252 ' And yf she nedeth ony more syluer, 

Come thou agayne to me. 
And, by this token she hath me sent, 
She shall haue such thre.' 

253 The monke was goynge to London ward, 

There to holde grete mote, 
The knyght that rode so hye on hors, 
To brynge hym vnder fote. 

254 ' Whether be ye away ? ' sayd Robyn : 

' Syr, to maners in this londe, 
Too reken with our reues, 

That haue done moch wronge.' 

255 ' Come now forth, Lytell Johan, 

And barken to my tale ; 

A better yemen I knowe none, 

To seke a monke's male.' 

256 ' How moch is in yonder other corser ? ' sayd 

' The soth must we see : ' 



' By Our Lady,' than sayd the monke, 
' That were no curteysye, 

257 ' To bydde a man to dyner, 

And syth hym bete and bynde.' 
' It is our olde maner,' sayd Robyn, 
' To leue but lytell behynde.' 

258 The monke toke the hors with spore, 

No lenger wolde he abyde : 
' Askii to drynke,' than sayd Robyn, 
' Or that ye forther ryde.' 

259 ' Nay, for God,' than sayd the monke, 

' Me reweth I cam so nere ; 
For better chepe I myght haue dyned 
In Blythe or in Dankestere.' 

260 ' Grete well your abbot,' sayd Robyn, 

' And your pryour, I you pray, 
And byd hym send me such a monke 
To dyner euery day.' 

261 Now lete we that monke be styll, 

And speke we of that knyght : 
Yet he came to holde his day, 
Whyle that it was lyght. 

262 He dyde him streyt to Bernysdale, 

Under the grene-wode tre, 
And he founde there Robyn Hode, 
And all his mery meyne. 

263 The knyght lyght doune of his good palfray ; 

Robyn whan he gan see, 
So curteysly he dyde adoune his hode, 
And set hym on his knee. 

264 ' God the saue, Robyn Hode, 

And all this company : ' 
'Welcome be thou, gentyll knyght, 
And ryght welcome to me.' 

265 Than bespake hym Robyn Hode, 

To that knyght so fre : 
What nede dryueth the to grene wode ? 
I praye the, syr knyght, tell me. 

266 'And welcome be thou, ge[n]tyll knyght, 

Why hast thou be so longe ? ' 
' For the abbot and the hye iustyce 
Wolde haue had my londe.' 

267 ' Hast thou thy londe [a]gayne ? ' sayd Robyn ; 

' Treuth than tell thou me : ' 
' Ye, for God,' sayd the knyght, 
' And that thanke I God and the. 

268 ' But take not a grefe,' sayd the knyght, ' that 

I haue be so longe ; 
I came by a wrastelynge, 
And there I holpe a pore yeman, 
With wronge was put behynde.' 

269 'Nay, for God,' sayd Robyn, 

' Syr knyght, that thanke I the ; 
What man that helpeth a good yeman, 
His frende than wyll I be.' 

270 ' Haue here foure hoadred pounde,' thaw sayd 

the knyght, 

' The whiche ye lent to me ; 
And here is also twenty marke 
For your curteysy.' 

271 'Nay, for God,' than sayd Robyn, 

' Thou broke it well for ay ; 
For Our Lady, by her [hye] selerer, 
Hath sent to me my pay. 

272 ' And yf I toke it i-twyse, 

A shame it were to me ; 

But trewely, gentyll knyght, 

Welcom arte thou to me.' 

273 Whan Robyn had tolde his tale, 

He leugh and had good chere : 
' By my trouthe,' then sayd the knyght, 
' Your money is redy here.' 

274 ' Broke it well,' sayd Robyn, 

' Thou gentyll knyght so fre ; 
And welcome be thou, ge[n]tyll knyght, 
Under my trystell-tre. 

275 ' But what shall these bowe's do ? ' sayd 


' And these arowes ifedred fre ? ' 
' By God,' than sayd the knyght, 
' A pore present to the.' 

276 ' Come now forth, Lytell Johan, 

And go to my treasure, 
And brynge me there foure hondred pounde ; 
The monke ouer-tolde it me. 



277 ' Haue here foure hondred pounde, 

Thou gentyll knyght and trewe, 
And bye hors and harnes good, 
And gylte thy spores all newe. 

278 ' And yf thou fayle ony spendynge, 

Com to Robyn Hode, 
And by my trouth thou shall none fayle, 
The whyles I haue any good. 

279 ' And broke well thy foure hondred pound, 

Whiche I lent to the, 
And make thy selfe no more so bare, 
By the counsell of me.' 

280 Thus than holpe hym good Robyn, 

The knyght all of his care : 
God, that syt in heuen hye, 
Graunte vs well to fare ! 


281 Now hath the knyght his leue i-take, 

And wente hym on his way ; 
Robyn Hode and his mery men 
Dwelled styll full many a day. 

282 Lyth and lysten, gentil men, 

And herken what I shall say, 
How the proud[e] sheryfe of Notyngham 
Dyde crye a full fayre play ; 

283 That all the best archers of the north 

Sholde come vpon a day, 
And [he] that shoteth allther best 
The game shall bere a way. 

284 He that shoteth allther best, 

Furthest fayre and lowe, 
At a payre of fynly buttes, 
Under the greue-wode shawe, 

285 A ryght good arowe he shall haue, 

The shaft of syluer whyte, 
The hede and the feders of ryche rede golde, 
In Englond is none lyke. 

286 This than herde good Robyn, 

Under his trystell-tre : 
' Make you redy, ye wyght yonge men ; 
That shotynge wyll I se. 

287 ' Buske you, my mery yonge men, 

Ye shall go with me ; 
And I wyll wete the shryues fayth, 
Trewe and yf he be.' 

288 Whan they had theyr bowes i-bent, 

Theyr takles fedred fre, 
Seuen score of wyght yonge men 
Stode by Robyns kne. 

289 Whan they cam to Notyngham, 

The buttes were fayre and longe ; 
Many was the bolde archere 
That shoted with bowes stronge. 

290 ' There shall but syx shote with me ; 

The other shal kepe my he[ue]de, 
And stande with good bowes bent. 
That I be not desceyued.' 

291 The fourth outlawe his bowe gan bende, 

And that was Robyn Hode, 
And that behelde the proud[e] sheryfe, 
All by the but [as] he stode. 

292 Thryes Robyn shot about, 

And alway he slist the wand, 
And so dyde good Gylberte 
Wyth the whyte hande. 

293 Lytell Johan and good Scatheloke 

Were archers good and fre ; 
Lytell Much and good Reynolde, 
The worste wolde they not be. 

294 Whan they had shot aboute, 

These archours fayre and good, 
Euermore was the best, 
For soth, Robyn Hode. 

295 Hym was delyuered the good arowe, 

For best worthy was he ; 

He toke the yeft so curteysly, 

To grene wode wolde he. 

296 They cryed out on Robyn Hode, 

And grete homes gan they bio we : 
' Wo worth the, treason ! ' sayd Robyn, 
' Full euyl thou art to knowe. 

297 ' And wo be thou ! thou proude sheryf , 

Thus gladdynge thy gest ; 



Other wyse thou behote" me 
In yonder wylde forest. 

298 ' But had I the in grene wode, 

Under my trystell-tre, 
Thou sholdest leue me a better wedde 
Than thy trewe lewte.' 

299 Full many a bowe there was bent, 

And arowe's let they glyde ; 
Many a kyrtell there was rent, 
And hurt many a syde. 

300 The outlawes shot was so stronge 

That no man myght them dryue, 
And the proud[e] sheryfes men, 
They fled away full blyue. 

301 Robyn sawe the busshement to-broke, 

In grene wode he wolde haue be ; 
Many an arowe there was shot 
Amonge that company. 

302 Lytell Johan was hurte full sore, 

With an arowe in his kne, 
That he myght neyther go nor ryde ; 
It was full grete pyte. 

303 ' Mayster,' then sayd Lytell Johan, 

' If euer thou loue[d]st me, 
And for that ylke lorde's loue 
That dyed vpon a tre, 

304 ' And for the medes of my seruyce, 

That I haue serued the, 
Lete neuer the proude sheryf 
Alyue now fynde me. 

305 ' But take out thy browne swerde, 

And smyte all of my hede, 
And gyue me woundes depe and wyde ; 
No lyfe on me be lefte.' 

306 ' I wolde not that,' sayd Robyn, 

' Johan, that thou were slawe, 

For all the golde in mery Englonde, 

Though it lay now on a rawe.' 

307 ' God forbede,' sayd Lytell Much, 

' That dyed on a tre, 
That thou sholdest, Lytell Johan, 
Parte our company.' 

308 Up he toke hym on his backe, 

And bare hym well a myle ; 
Many a tyme he layd hym downe, 
And shot another whyle. 

309 Then was there a fayre castell, 

A lytell within the wode ; 

Double-dyched it was about, 

And walled, by the rode. 

310 And there dwelled that gentyll knyght, 

Syr Rychard at the Lee, 
That Robyn had lent his good, 
Under the grene-wode tree. 

311 In he toke good Robyn, 

And all his company: 
'Welcome be thou, Robyn Hode, 
Welcome arte thou to me ; 

312 ' And moche [I] thanke the of thy confort, 

And of thy curteysye, 
And of thy grete kyndenesse, 
Under the grene-wode tre. 

313 ' I loue no man in all this worlde 

So much as I do the ; 

For all the proud [e] sheryf of Notyngham, 
Ryght here shalt thou be. 

314 ' Shyt the gates, and drawe the brydge, 
a. And let no man come in, 

And arme you well, and make you redy, 
And to the walles ye wynne. 

315 ' For one thynge, Robyn, I the behote ; 

I swere by Saynt Quyntyne, 
These forty dayes thou wonnest with me, 
To soupe, ete, and dyne.' 

316 Bordes were layde, and clothes were spredde, 

Redely and anone ; 
Robyw Hode and his mery men 
To mete can they gone. 

317 Lythe and lysten, gentylmen, 
And herkyn to your songe ; 
Howe the proude shyref of Notyngham, 
And men of armys stronge, 



318 Full fast cam to the hye shyref, 

The centre vp to route, 
And they besette the knyghte's castell, 
The walles all aboute. 

319 The proude shyref loude gan crye, 

And sayde, Thou traytour knight, 
Thou kepest here the kynges enemys, 
Agaynst the lawe and right. 

320 ' Syr, I \vyll auowe that I haue done, 

The dedys that here be dyght, 
Vpon all the landes that I haue, 
As I am a trewe knyght. 

321 ' Wende f urth, sirs, on your way, 

And do no more to me 
Tyll ye wyt oure kynges wille, 
What he wyll say to the.' 

322 The shyref thus had his answere, 

Without any lesynge ; 
[Fu]rth he yede to London towne, 
All for to tel our kiwge. 

323 Ther he telde him of that knight, 

And eke of Robyn Hode, 
And also of the bolde archars, 
That were soo noble and gode. 

324 ' He wyll auowe that he hath done, 

To mayntene the outlawes stronge ; 
He wyll be lorde, and set you at nought, 
In all the northe londe.' 

325 ' I wil be at Notyngham,' saide our kynge, 

' Within this fourteenyght, 
And take I wyll Robyre Hode, 
And so I wyll that knight. 

326 ' Go nowe home, shyref,' sayde our kynge, 

' And do as I byd the ; 
And ordeyw gode archers ynowe, 
Of all the wyde contre.' 

327 The shyref had his leue i-take, 

And went hym on his way, 
And Robyn Hode to grene wode, 
Vpon a certen day. 

328 And Lytel John was hole of the arowe 

That shot was in his kne, 

And dyd hym streyght to Robyn Hode, 
Vnder the grene-wode tree. 

329 Robyra Hode walked in the forest, 

Vnder the leuys grene ; 
The proude shyref of Notyngham 
Thereof he had grete tene. 

330 The shyref there fayled of Robyn Hode, 

He myght not haue his pray ; 
Than he awayted this gentyll knyght, 
Bothe by nyght and day. 

331 Euer he waytcd the gentyll knyght, 

Syr Richarde at the Lee, 
As he went on haukynge by the ryuer-syde, 
And lete [his] haukes flee. 

332 Toke he there this gentyll knight, 

With men of armys stronge, 
And led hym to Notyngham warde, 
Bounde bothe fote and hande. 

333 The sheref sware a full grete othe, 

Bi hywi thfft dyed on rode, 
He had leuer tha?i an hundred pound 
That he had Robyw Hode. 

334 This harde the knyghtes wyfe, 

A f ayr lady and a free ; 
She set hir on a gode palfrey, 
To grene wode anone rode she. 

335 Whawne she cawi in the forest, 

"Vnder the grene-wode tree, 
Fonde she there Robyra Hode, 
And al his fayre mene. 

336 ' God the saue, gode Robyn, 

And all thy company ; 
For Our dere Ladyes sake, 
A bone graunte thou me. 

337 ' Late neuer my wedded lorde 

Shamefully slayne be ; 
He is fast bowne to Notingham warde, 
For the loue of the.' 

338 Anone than saide goode Robyn 

To that lady so fre, 
What man hath your lorde [i-]take? 




' For soth as I the say ; 
He is nat yet thre myles 
Passed on his way.' 

340 Vp than sterte gode Robyn, 

As man that had ben wode : 
' Buske you, my mery men, 
For hym that dyed on rode. 

341 ' And he that this sorowe forsaketh, 

By hym that dyed on tre, 

Shall he neuer in grene wode 

No lenger dwel with me.' 

342 Sone there were gode bowes bent, 

Mo than seuen score ; 
Hedge ne dyche spared they none 
That was them before. 

343 ' I make myn auowe to God,' sayde Robyn, 

' The sherif wolde I f ayne see ; 
And if I may hym take, 
I-quyte shall it be.' 

344 And whan they came to Notingham, 

They walked in the strete ; 
And with the proude sherif i-wys 
Sone can they mete. 

345 ' Abyde, thou proude sherif,' he sayde, 

' Abyde, and speke with me ; 
Of some tidiwges of oure kinge 
I wolde fayne here of the. 

346 ' This seuen yere, by dere worthy God, 

Ne yede I this fast on fote ; 
I make myn auowe to God, thou proude' 

It is nat for thy gode.' 

347 Robyn bent a full goode bowe, 

An arrowe he drowe at wyll ; 
He hit so the proude sherife 

Vpon the grounde he lay full still. 

348 And or he myght vp aryse, 

On his fete to stonde, 
He smote of the sherifs hede 
With his bright[e] bronde. 

349 ' Lye thou there, thou proude' sherife, 

Etiyll mote thou cheue ! 
VOL. in. 10 

There myght no man to the trnste 
b. The whyles thou were a lyue.' 

350 His men drewe out theyr bryght swerdes, 

That were so sharpe and kene, 
And layde on the sheryues men, 
And dryued them downe bydene. 

351 Robyn stert to that knyght, 

And cut a two his bonde, 
And toke hym in his hand a bowe, 
And bad hym by hym stonde. 

352 ' Leue thy hors the behynde, 

And lerne for to renne ; 
Thou shalt with me to grene wode, 
Through myre, mosse, and fenne. 

353 ' Thou shalt with me to greng wode, 

Without ony leasynge, 
Tyll that I haue gete vs grace 
Of Edwarde, our comly kynge.' 


354 The kynge came to Notynghame, 

With knyghtes in grete araye, 
For to take that gentyll knyght 
And Robyn Hode, and yf he may. 

355 He asked men of that countrS 

After Robyn Hode, 
And after that gentyll knyght, 
That was so bolde and stout. 

356 Whan they had tolde hym the case 

Our kynge vnderstode ther tale, 
And seased in his honde 
The knyghtes londes all. 

357 All the passe of Lancasshyre 

He went both ferre and nere, 

Tyll he came to Plomton Parke ; 

He faylyd many of his dere. 

358 There our kynge was wont to se 

Herde's many one, 
He coud vnneth fynde one dere, 
That bare ony good home. 

359 The kynge was wonder wroth withall, 

And swore by the Trynyte, 



' I wolde I had Robyn Hode, 
With eyen I myght hym se. 

360 'And he that wolde smyte of the knyghtes 


And brynge it to me, 
He shall haue the knyghtes londes, 
Syr Rycharde at the Le. 

361 ' I gyue it hym with my charter, 

And sele it [with] my honde, 
To haue and holde for euer more, 
In all mery Englonde.' 

362 Than bespake a fayre olde knyght, 

That was treue in his fay : 

A, my leege lorde the kynge, 

One worde I shall you say. 

363 There is no man in this countre 

May haue the knyghtes londes, 
Whyle Eobyn Hode may ryde or gone, 
And here a bowe in his hondes, 

364 That he ne shall lese his hede, 

That is the best ball in his hode : 
Giue it no man, my lorde the kynge, 
That ye wyll any good. 

365 Half a yere dwelled our comly kynge 

In Notyngham, and well more ; 

Coude he not here of Robyn Hode, 

In what countre that he were. 

366 But alway went good Robyn 

By halke and eke by hyll, 
And alway slewe the kynges dere, 
And welt them at his wyll. 

367 Than bespake a proude fostere, 

That stode by our kynge's kne : 
Yf ye wyll se good Robyn, 
Ye must do after me. 

368 Take fyue of the best knyghtgs 

That be in your lede, 
And walke downe by yon abbay, 
And gete you monkes wede. 

369 And I wyll be your ledes-man, 

And lede you the way, 
And or ye come to Notyngham, 
Myn hede then dare I lay, 

370 That ye shall mete with good Robyn, 

On lyue yf that he be ; 
Or ye come to Notyngham, 
With eyen ye shall hym se. 

371 Full hast[e]ly our kynge was dyght, 

So were his knyghtes fyue, 
Euerych of them in monke's wede, 
And hasted them thyder blyve. 

372 Our kynge was grete aboue his cole, 

A brode hat on his crowne, 
Ryght as he were abbot-lyke, 
They rode up in-to the towne. 

373 Styf bote's our kynge had on, 

Forsoth as I you say ; 
He rode syngynge to grene' wode, 
The couent was clothed in graye. 

374 His male-hors and his grete somers 

Folowed our kynge behynde, 
Tyll they came to grene wode, 
A myle vnder the lynde. 

375 There they met with good Robyn, 

Stondynge on the waye, 
And so dyde many a bolde archere, 
For soth as I you say. 

376 Robyn toke the kynges hors, 

Haste'ly in that stede, 
And sayd, Syr abbot, by your leue, 
A whyle ye must abyde. 

377 ' We be yemen of this foreste, 

Vnder the grene'-wode tre ; 
We lyue by our kynge's dere, 
[Other shyft haue not wee.] 

378 ' And ye haue chyrches and rente's both, 

And gold full grete plente 1 ; 
Gyue vs some of your spendynge, 
For saynt[e] charyte'.' 

379 Than bespake our cumly kynge, 

Anone than sayd he ; 
I brought no more to grene' wode 
But forty pounde with me. 

380 I haue layne at Notyngham 

This fourtynyght with our kynge, 



And spent I haue full moche good, 
On many a grete lordynge. 

381 And I haue but forty pounde, 

No more than haue I me ; 
But yf I had an hondred pounde, 
I wolde vouch it safe on the. 

382 Robyn toke the forty pounde, 

And departed it in two partye ; 
Halfendell he gaue his mery men, 
And bad them mery to be. 

383 Full curteysly Robyre gan say ; 

Syr, haue this for your spendyng ; 
We shall mete another day ; 

' Gramercy,' than sayd our kynge. 

384 ' But well the greteth Edwarde, our kynge, 

And sent to the his seale, 
And byddeth the com to Notyngham, 
Both to mete and mele.' 

385 He toke out the brode targe, 

And sone he lete hym se ; 
Robyn coud his courteysy, 
And set hym on his kne. 

386 ' I loue no man in all the worlde 

So well as I do my kynge ; 
Welcome is my lorde's seale ; 
And, monke, for thy tydynge, 

387 ' Syr abbot, for thy tydynges, 

To day thou shalt dyne with me, 
For the loue of my kynge, 
Under my trystell-tre.' 

388 Forth he lad our comly kynge, 

Full fayre by the honde ; 

Many a dere there was slayne, 

And full fast dyghtande. 

389 Robyn toke a full grete home, 

And loude he gan blowe ; 
Seuen score of wyght yonge men 
Came redy on a rowe. 

390 All they kneled on theyr kne, 

Full fayre before Robyn : 
The kynge sayd hym selfe vntyll, 
And swore by Saynt Austyn, 

391 ' Here is a wonder semely syght ; 

Me thynketh, by Goddes pyne, 
His men are more at his byddynge 
Then my men be at myn.' 

392 Full hast[e]ly was theyr dyner idyght, 

And therto gan they gone ; 
They serued our kynge with al theyr myght, 
Both Robyn and Lytell Johan. 

393 Anone before our kynge was set 

The fatte venyson, 

The good whyte brede, the good rede wyne, 
And therto the fyne ale and browne. 

394 ' Make good chere,' said Robyn, 

' Abbot, for charyte ; 

And for this ylke tydynge, 

Blyssed mote thou be. 

395 ' Now shalte thou se what lyfe we lede, 

Or thou hens wende ; 
Than thou may enfourme our kynge, 
Whan ye togyder lende.' 

396 Up they sterte all in hast, 

Theyr bowe's were smartly bent ; 
Our kynge was neuer so sore agast, 
He wende to haue be shente. 

397 Two yerde's there were vp set, 

Thereto gan they gange ; 

By fyfty pase, our kynge sayd, 

The merkes were to longe. 

398 On euery syde a rose-garlonde, 

They shot vnder the lyne : 
'Who so fayleth of the rose-garlonde,' sayd 

' His takyll he shall tyne, 

399 ' And yelde it to his mayster, 

Be it neuer so fyne ; 
For no man wyll I spare, 
So drynke I ale or wyne : 

400 ' And bere a buffet on his hede, 

I-wys ryght all bare : ' 
And all that fell in Robyns lote, 
He smote them wonder sare. 

401 Twyse Robyn shot aboute, 

And euer he cleued the wande, 



And so dyde good Gylberte 
With the Whyte Hande. 

402 Lytell Johan and good Scatheloeke, 

For nothynge wolde they spare ; 
When they fayled of the garlonde, 
Robyn smote them full sore. 

403 At the last shot that Robyn shot, 

For all his frendes fare, 

Yet he fayled of the garlonde 

Thre fyngers and mare. 

404 Than bespake good Gylberte, 

And thus he gan say ; 
' Mayster,' he sayd, ' your takyll is lost, 
Stande forth and take your pay.' 

405 ' If it be so,' sayd Robyn, 

' That may no better be, 
Syr abbot, I delyuer the myn arowe, 
I pray the, syr, serue thou me.' 

406 ' It falleth not for myn ordre,' sayd our kynge, 

' Robyn, by thy leue, 
For to smyte no good yeman, 
For doute I sholde hym greue.' 

407 ' Smyte on boldely,' sayd Robyn, 

' I giue the large leue : ' 
Anone our kynge, with that worde, 
He folde vp his sleue, 

408 And sych a buffet he gaue Robyn, 

To grounde he yede full nere : 
' I make myn avowe to God,' sayd Robyn, 
' Thou arte a stalworthe frere. 

409 ' There is pith in thyn arme,' sayd Robyn, 

' I trowe thou canst well shete : ' 
Thus our kynge and Robyn Hode 
Togeder gan they mete. 

410 Robyn behelde our comly kynge 

Wystly in the face, 
So dyde Syr Rycharde at the Le, 
And kneled downe in that place. 

411 And so dyde all the wylde outlawes, 

Whan they se them knele : 
' My lorde the kynge of Englonde, 
Now I knowe you well. 

412 ' Mercy then, Robyn,' sayd our kynge, 

' Vnder your trystyll-tre, 
Of thy goodnesse and thy grace, 
For my men and me ! ' 

413 ' Yes, for God,' sayd Robyn, 

' And also God me saue, 
I aske mercy, my lorde the kynge, 
And for my men I craue.' 

414 ' Yes, for God,' than sayd our kynge, 

' And therto sent I me, 
With that thou leue the grene wode, 
And all thy company ; 

415 ' And come home, syr, to my courte, 

And there dwell with me.' 
' I make myn avowe to God,' sayd Robyn, 
' And ryght so shall it be. 

416 ' I wyll come to your courte, 

Your seruyse for to se, 
And brynge with me of my men 
Seuen score and thre. 

417 ' But me lyke well your seruyse, 

I [wyll] come agayne full soone, 
And shote at the donne dere, 
As I am wonte to done.' 


418 ' Haste thou ony grene cloth,' sayd our 

' That thou wylte sell nowe to me ? ' 
' Ye, for God,' sayd Robyn, 
' Thyrty yerdes and thre.' 

419 ' Robyn,' sayd our kynge, 

' Now pray I the, 
Sell me some of that cloth, 
To me and my meyne.' 

420 ' Yes, for God,' then sayd Robyn, 

' Or elles I were a fole ; 
Another day ye wyll me clothe, 
I trowe, ayenst the Yole.' 

421 The kynge kest of his cole then, 

A grene garment he dyde on, 
And euery knyght also, i-wys, 
Another had full sone. 



422 Whan they were clothed in Lyncolne grene, 

They keste away theyr graye ; 
' Now we shall to Notyngham,' 
All thus our kynge gan say. 

423 They bente theyr bowes, and forth they went, 

Shotynge all in-fere, 
Towarde the towne of Notyngham, 
Outlawes as they were. 

424 Our kynge and Robyn rode togyder, 

For soth as I you say, 
And they shote plucke-buffet, 

As they went by the way. 

425 And many a buffet our kynge wan 

Of Robyn Hode that day, 
And nothynge spared good Robyn 
Our kynge in his pay. 

426 ' So God me helpe,' sayd our kynge, 

' Thy game is nought to lere ; 
I sholde not get a shote of the, 
Though I shote all this yere.' 

427 All the people of Notyngham 

They stode and behelde ; 
They sawe nothynge but mantels of grene 
That couered all the felde. 

428 Than euery man to other gan say, 

I drede our kynge be slone ; 
Come Robyn Hode to the towne, i-wys 
On lyue he lefte neuer one.' 

429 Full hast[e]ly they began to fle, 

Both yemen and knaues, 
And olde wyues that myght euyll goo, 
They hypped on theyr staues. 

430 The kynge l[o]ughe full fast, 

And commaunded theyru agayne ; 
When they se our comly kynge, 
I-wys they were full fayne. 

431 They ete and dranke, and made them glad, 

And sange with notes hye ; 
Than bespake our comly kynge 
To Syr Rycharde at the Lee. 

432 He gaue hym there his londe agayne, 

A good man he bad hym be ; 

Robyn thanked our comly kynge, 
And set hym on his kne. 

433 Had Robyn dwelled in the kynges courte 

But twelue monethes and thre, 
That [he had] spent an hondred pounde, 
And all his mennes fe. 

434 In euery place where Robyn came 

Euer more he layde downe, 
Both for knyghtes and for squyres, 
To gete hym grete renowne. 

435 By than the yere was all agone 

He had no man but twayne, 
Lytell Johan and good Scathelocke, 
With hym all for to gone. 

436 Robyn sawe yonge men shote 

Full fayre vpon a day ; 
' Alas ! ' than sayd good Robyn, 
' My welthe is went away. 

437 ' Somtyme I was an archere good, 

A styffe and eke a stronge ; 
I was compted the best archere 
That was in mery Englonde. 

438 ' Alas ! ' then sayd good Robyn, 

' Alas and well a woo ! 
Yf I dwele lenger with the kynge, 
Sorowe wyll me sloo.' 

439 Forth than went Robyn Hode 

Tyll he came to our kynge : 
' My lovde the kynge of Englonde, 
Graunte me myn askynge. 

440 ' I made a chapell in Bernysdale, 

That semely is to se, 
It is of Mary Magdaleyne, 
And thereto wolde I be. 

441 ' I myght neuer in this seuen nyght 

No tyme to slepe ue wynke, 
Nother all these seuen dayes 
Nother ete ne drynke. 

442 ' Me longeth sore to Bernysdale, 

I may not be therfro ; 
Barefote and wolwarde I haue hyght 
Thyder for to go.' 



443 ' Yf it be so,' than sayd our kynge, 

' It may no better be, 
Seuen nyght I gyue the leue, 
No lengre, to dwell fro me.' 

444 ' Gramercy, lorde,' then sayd Robyn, 

And set hym on his kne ; 
He toke his leue full courteysly, 
To grene wode then went he. 

445 Whan he came to grene wode. 

In a mery mornynge, 
There he herde the notes small 
Of byrdes mery syngynge. 

446 ' It is ferre gone,' sayd Robyn, 

' That I was last here ; 
Me lyste a lytell for to shote 
At the donne dere.' 

447 Robyn slewe a full grete harte ; 

His home than gan he blow, 

That all the outlawes of that forest 

That home coud they knowe, 

448 And gadred them togyder, 

In a lytell throwe. 
Seuen score of wyght yonge men 
Came redy on a rowe, 

449 And fayre dyde of theyr hodes, 

And set them on theyr kne : 
' Welcome,' they sayd, ' our [dere] mayster, 
Under this grene-wode tre.' 

450 Robyn dwelled in grene wode 

Twenty yere and two ; 
For all drede of Edwarde our kynge, 
Agayne wolde he not goo. 

451 Yet he was begyled, i-wys, 

Through a wycked woman, 
The pryoresse of Kyrkesly, 
That nye was of hys kynne : 

452 For the loue of a knyght, 

Syr Roger of Donkesly, 

That was her owne speciall ; 

Full euyll mote they the ! 

453 They toke togyder theyr counsell 

Robyn Hode for to sle, 
And how they myght best do that dede, 
His banis for to be. 

454 Than bespake good Robyn, 

In place where as he stode, 
' To morow I muste to Kyrke[s]ly, 
Craftely to be leten blode.' 

455 Syr Roger of Donkestere, 

By the pryoresse he lay, 

\ And there they betrayed good Robyn Hode, 
Through theyr false playe. 

456 Cryst haue mercy on his soule, 

That dyed on the rode ! 
For he was a good outlawe, 
And dyde pore men moch god. 

Here begynneth a gest of Robyn Hode. 
1-12. Printed without division of stanzas or 


2 2 ' 3 . Deficiency supplied from b. 
4 1 . gooe. 4 2 . milsers. 4 s . yuch. 
6 4 . vnkoutg. 7 1 . lacking in all. 
S 4 . .iij. messis. 9 s . The .iij. 9 4 . all ther. 
13*. tillet. 15*. mynge. 18 s . vnknuth. 
32 s . ynought. 33 1 . ' f elsauntes. 37 1 . wened. 
38'. Late for Litell, which all the others have. 
39 2 . of for haue. 39 8 . but .xx. : see 42 4 . 
41*. nowne. 41 s . .xx. felinges. 
46 2 . in strocte. 46 s . And. 
47 s . And. 47 4 . haue bene. 
50 2 ' 3 . The verses are transposed.' 
50 2 . God had. 54 2 . Vutyll. 66 s . to may. 

68 4 . Bo .xxviij. 70 4 . To helpe : cf. 194 4 . 
77 s . betes. 78 2 . clere. 79 8 . .xij. 82 1 . ou. 
82 3 . bernedtale. 83 s . for he. 
83 4 -118 8 . wanting; supplied from b. 
119 1 . a .M. 120 4 . Euew .cccc. 121 2 . thon. 
123 4 . Bi god ... on tree. The tops of d 
and of th, and a part of dy, remain. 

124 1 . Sir ... n of lawe. 

124 2 . Only the top 0/"N remains. 

124 2 127 s . wanting, being torn away ; sup 
plied from b. 

128 2 . Ha. 130". .cccc. li. 131 1 ' 3 . an .C. 

131 s . aroswe. 132 1 . an ille. 

132 s . Worked all. 

133 1 - 2 . He purneyed hym an. Only a part of 
n in the last word remains. Well harness. 



Only a part of n and the tops of ess re 

133 3 -136 8 . wanting ; supplied from b. 

138 2 . End. 143 1 . louge. 143 2 . doue. 

150*. tho thy. 160 s . Thougt : an C. 

160 4 . he be go. 161". And therfore. 

162 2 . gyne. 163 2 . he wol be. 

164 2 . read hyne ? 165 3 . anowe. 

168 4 . mountnauuce. 175 s . wasars. 

179' 2 . sende the. Perhaps sent the, as in 
384 2 (b). 

ISO 1 , abowe. 181". v myle. 

182 2 . Hnntynge. 183 3 . Rrynolde. 

185 s . vij. score. 187 1 . sliyrel. 

199 1 . this xij. 201 s . thy best. 202". scade. 

206 1 . Johu. 206 4 . pray. 

208 4 -314 1 . wanting ; supplied from b. 

315 s . These xl. : with men. 321 s . welle. 

330 1 . fayles. 331 s . ryner. 333 3 . an C. li. 

339 3 . myeles. 349 s . to thy. 

From 349 4 wanting; supplied from b. 
b. Title-page : Here begynneth a lytell geste of 
Robyn hode. At the head of the poem : 
Here begynneth a lytell geste of Eobyn 
hode and his meyne, And of the proude 
Sheryfe of Notyngham. 

2 4 . y-founde. 3 3 . lohan : and always. 

4 1 . Scathelock. 4 3 . no. 5 1 . be spake hym. 

5 8 . yf ye. 6 1 . hym wanting. 6 2 . I haue. 

6*. that wanting. 6 4 . vnketh. 

7 1 . wanting. 7 s . knygot or some squyere. 

8 4 . Thre. 9 2 . The other. 

9 s . was of. 9 4 . all other nioste. 

11 s . that wanting : gone. II 4 . that wanting. 

13 1 . than wanting. 13 4 . tylleth. 

14 4 . wolde. 15 4 . ye wanting. 

16 1 . beholde : Ihoan. 16 2 . shall we. 

17 1 . Robyn. 17 3 . Scathelocke. 

18 3 . vnketh. 20. vnto. 20 2 . yemen. 

21 1 . to wanting. 21 3 . came there. 

22 1 . then was all his semblaunte. 

23 1 . hangynge ouer. 23 4 . somers. 

24 1 . full wanting. 24 4 . you. 26 1 . is your. 

26 s . is a. 27 2 . all thre. 28 1 . went that. 

29 1 . vnto. 29 2 . gan hym. 30 2 . thou arte. 

30'. abyde. 32 2 . set tyll. 

32 8 . right wanting. 33 8 . neuer so. 

35 4 . that wanting. 36". whan I haue. 

38". Lytell lohan : Robyn hode. 

39 1 . than wanting. 39 2 . god haue. 

39 s , 41 8 . but .x. s. 40 1 . thou haue. 

40 4 . len. 41 4 . Not one. 42 4 . halfe a. 

43 2 . full lowe. 43 8 . tydynge. 43 4 . inough. 

44 4 . clothynge : thynne. 45 1 . one worde. 
45 s . thou were. 46 2 . in stroke. 
46 4 . hast thou. 47 1 . of them. 
47 s . An .C. wynter. 47 4 . haue be. 
49 1 . within two or thre. 49*. hondreth. 
50 2 - 3 . The verses are transposed. 
50 2 . hath shapen. 

51 1 . than wanting. 53 1 . of Lancastshyre. 
53 4 . both. 54 1 . beth. 56 2 . What shall. 
57 4 . may not. 58 s . frendes. 
59 2 . knowe me. 60 4 . had wanting. 
61 2 . Scathelocke and Much also. 
62 1 . frendes. 62 2 . borowes that wyll. 
62 4 . on a. 63 1 . waye : than wanting. 
63 3 . I wyll. 64 3 . me wanting. 
67 4 . loke that it well tolde. 
68 2 , 74 1 , 77 s , 83 2 . Scathelocke. 
68 4 . By eyghtene. 69 1 . lytell Much. 
69 2 . greueth. 70 4 . To helpe. 71 2 . many a. 
72 2 . it well mete it be. 73 l . And of. 
73 2 . lept ouer. 73 s . deuylkyns. 
73 4 . for wanting. 74 s . hym the better. 
74 4 . Bygod it cost him. 75 1 . than wanting. 
75 2 . All vnto Robyn. 75 s . an hors. 
75 4 . al this. 76 4 . God leue. 78 2 . clere. 
80 s . Without. 81 1 . lene. 82 1 . went on. 
82 2 . he thought. 83 1 . bethought. 
87 l . wanting. 88 3 . hondrde. 
89 2 . he is ryght. 98 1 . wanting. 
113 2 . gan loke. 118 4 . grete ye. 
119 2 . were thou. 121 4 . Rewarde. 
123 4 . By god that dyed on a tree. 
124 1 . Syr abbot, and ye men of lawe. 
128 2 . of my. 128 s . not be. 
130 s . got foure hondreth. 131 2 . dyght. 
132 s . I nocked. 

133 1 ' 2 . purueyed hym an hondreth men 
Well harneysed in that stede. 
135 1 . Qy ? But at Wentbrydge ther was. 
136 2 . bulle I vp pyght. 137 2 . in good fay. 
137 8 . that wanting. 138 s . frend bestad. 
138 4 . I-slayne. 139 2 . where that. 
140 2 . hondred : fere for free. 145 2 . shote. 
146 1 . shot. 146 2 . sleste. 146 4 . gan. 
147 4 . euer wanting : I me. 148 4 . wan. 
149 1 . sir wanting : bore. 150 2 . Wolte. 
151 s . gete leue. 153 2 . Ge gyue. 
155 1 . befell. 156 s . to wanting. 
156 4 . me to dyne. 157 2 . so longe to be. 
157 s . sir wanting. 157 4 . gyue thou. 
159 s . the wanting. 160 1 . a rap. 
160 2 . yede nygh on two. 160 s . an .c. wynter. 
160 4 . wors he sholde go. 161 2 . went vp. 



161 s . there : made a. 161 4 . and wyne. 

163 1 . second John wanting. 

163 2 . whyle he. 164 s . an householde to. 
165 s . to God wanting. 

165 4 . lyketh : me wanting. 166 1 . and an. 

167 1 . ful wanting. 168 2 . well wanting. 

169 4 . I me. 170 4 . I-chaunged. 

173 4 . same day. 174 s . of full wanting. 

175 8 . and spones. 175 4 . they none. 

176 1 . they toke. 176 s . dyde hym. 

176*. wode tre. 178 1 . And also. 

179 2 . sende the : cf. 384 2 . 

181 1 . hym there. 181 2 . whyle. 

181 4 . at his. 182 2 . hounde. 182 s . coud his. 

184". syght. 185 1 . I se. 185 8 . an herde. 

186 1 . His tynde. 188 s . afore. 

188 4 . sir wanting. 189 4 . now be trayed. 

191 2 . well wanting. 191 8 . se his. 

192 1 . Make good. 192 4 . lyfe is graunted. 

193 2 . a gone. 193 8 . commaunded. 

194 1 . cote a pye. 194 2 . well fyne. 

194 s . toke. 195". They shall lay : sote. 

196 1 . laye that. 196 4 . sydes do smerte. 

199 1 . All these. 

200 1 . Or I here a nother nyght sayd. 

200 2 . Ipraye. 200 8 . to-morne. 

201 s . the best. 201 4 . That yet had the. 

202 s . Thou shalt neuer a wayte me scathe. 

203 2 . or by. 204 1 . haue : I-swore. 

205 2 . that he was gone. 205 s . had his. 

206 4 . pay. 207 4 . trusty. 208 8 . Scathelock. 

209 s . after such. 

210 8 ' 4 . Or yf he be a pore man 

Of my good he shall haue some. 
214 4 . these wanting. 
215 2 . frese our : leese your ? dress your ? 
216 1 . .lii. : men wanting. 218 2 . you for yon. 
224 1 . .lii. 231 4 . serued them. 
240 3 . ryghtwysnmn. 240 4 . his name. 
242 1 . art nade. 243 4 . Also. 
245 1 . more sayd wanting. 
247 4 . hondred wanting. 267 1 . gayne. 
272 1 . I toke it I twyse : the second I is prob 
ably a misprint. 

279 1 . thy .cccc. li. 280 2 . all of this. 
283 8 . all ther best. 284 1 . all theyre best. 
292 a . they slist. 293 2 . acchers. 299 1 . beut. 
305 8 . dede, second d inverted. 
314 4 . walle. 315 8 . These twelue : with me. 
316 1 . were wanting. 316 4 . gan they. 
317 2 . vnto. 319 s . enemye. 
319 4 . Agayne the lawes. 320 2 . dedes thou. 
321 1 . doth. 322 s . yode. 323 1 . tolde. 

323 4 . That noble were. 

324 1 . He wolde : had. 324 8 . He wolde. 

325 1 . woll: sayd the. 

326 1 . nowe wanting : thou proud sheryf : 
sayde our kynge wanting. 

326 2 . the bydde. 329 4 . Therfore. 
330 1 . fayled. 330 4 . and by. 
331 1 . a wayted that. 331 4 . let his. 
332 s . hym home. 332 4 . honde and fote. 
333 2 . on a tre. 

334 1 . harde wanting : This the lady, the. 

334 2 . andfre. 335 1 . to the. 335 2 . tre tre. 
336 1 . God the good : saue wanting. 

336 s . lady loue. 337 1 . Late thou neuer. 

337 2 . Shamly I slayne be. 

337". fast I-bounde. 338 2 . lady fre. 

338 s . I take. 338 4 , 339 1 . wanting. 

339 4 . on your. 340 2 . As a : be. 

340*. yonge men. 340 4 . on a. 341 2 . on a. 

341". wode be. 341 4 . Nor. 342 1 . i bent. 

342". spare. 343 J . The knyght. 

343 4 . I-quyt than. 344 4 . gan. 346 2 . so fast. 

346 4 . At is. 347 1 . full wanting. 

347 2 . at his. 349 2 . thou thryue. 

349 s . to the. 351 2 . his hoode. 

356 2 . vnder-stonde. 363 2 . hane. 

368 s . walked ; qy ? walketh : by your. 

371 4 . blyth. 

377 4 repeats verse 2 : Other shyft haue not 

we, Copland and Ed. White's copies. 
381 4 . I vouch it halfe on the. f and g : I 

would geue it to thee. 
385 1 . brode tarpe. Copland and Ed. White's 

copies : seale for tarpe. 
400 2 . A wys. 401 4 . the good whyte. 
402 4 . sore. 409 2 . shote. 
409 4 . than they met. f, they gan : g, gan 

they mete. 
412 1 ' 2 . Copland and Ed. White : sayd Robyn 

to our king, Vnder this. 

417 2 . Copland and Ed. White : I wyll come. 
421 s . had so I wys : so Copland and Ed. 


423 1 . Theyr bowes bente : cf. f, g. 
433 2 . .xii. 

433 8 . he had in Copland and Ed. White. 
436 2 . ferre : fayre in G, Copland and Ed. 

437 s . was commytted. Copland and Ed. 

White : was commended for. 
440 1 . bernysdade. 441 2 . Qy ? No tyme slepe. 
443 1 . he so. 449 s . our dere in e. 
454 2 . places. 



Explycit. kynge Edwarde and Robyn hode 
and Lytell Johan Enprented at London 
in fletestrete at the sygne of the sone By 
Wynken de Worde. 

a bode, a gast, a gone, a nother, a vowe, be 
fore, be gan, be spake, for gone, i brought, 
launs gay, out lawes, to gyder, vnder take, 
etc., etc., are printed abode, etc., etc. ; I 
wys, i-wys ; & and. 

It will be understood that not all probable 
cases of e have been indicated. 

c. 26 4 . myche. 28 4 . ere /or lere. 

29 2 . hym gan, as in a. 29*. he wanting. 
30 s . abyde. 30 4 . oures. 32 1 . wesshe. 
32 2 . sat tyll. 32*. ryght inough, as in a. 
33 s . non so lytell, as in a* 34 2 . Garmercy. 
34 4 . all this. 3o 4 . that wanting, as in b. 
36 a . it wanting. 37 2 . Me thynkc. 
38'. Lytell Johan. as in b. 

39 1 . then sayd, as in a. 

39 2 . haue parte of the. 39 8 , 41 s . .x. s. . 
40 1 . haue. as in b. 40 4 . len, as in b. 
41 4 . Not one. as in b. 42 4 . halfe a. 
43 2 . full lowe, as in b. 

43 s . tydynge, as in b. 44 s . Myche, thyket. 

45 1 . one worde, as in b. 45 s . were, as in b. 

46 1 . haste be. 46 2 . stroke. 

46 s . And, as in a. 46 4 . hast led. as in &. 

47 1 . nene of tho. 47 s . An .c. wynter. 

47 4 . haue be. 48 s . that syt. 

49 1 . this two yere, as in a. 49 2 . well knowe. 

50 2 - 8 . order as in a, b. 

50". hath shapen, as in b. 

51 1 . than wanting, as in b. 51 2 . thou lose. 

53 1 . lancasesshyre. 53 4 . bothe, as in a, b. 

54 1 . bothe, as in a. 

56 2 . shall fall, as in b. 57 1 . wher. 

57 4 . noo better, as in a. 

58 1 . eyen has fallen into the next line (eyen 


58*. frende, as in a. 
58 4 . I ne haue noo nother. 59 1 . the frendes. 

d. 280 2 . all of this, as in b. 281 4 . full styll. 
282 2 . [her] keneth. 283 s . all thee beste. 
284 1 . all there beste. 286". ye wanting. 
287*, 288 1A ". cut off. 289 1 - 2 . transposed. 
290 s . I bent. 291 1 . can bende. 

291 4 . as he. 292 1 . shet. 292 2 . they clyft. 
293 1 . Scathelocke. 293 2 . good in fere. 
295 4 . then wolde. 296*. can they. 
296 s . the wanting. 

297. cut off, except ylde forest in line 4. 
302 2 . on his. 302". go ne. 303 2 . louest. 
VOL. m. 11 

305 1 . all out. 305 8 . woundes depe. 

306 M . cut off. 

306 4 . now wanting: only the lower part of 

the words of this line remains. 
307 1 . vpon. 310 s . Robyn hode lente. 
312 1 . myche thanket he of the. 
312 s . the grete. 314 4 . walle, as in b. 
315. nearly all cut away. 317 2 . herkeneth to. 
319 s . enmye, as in b. 319 4 . lawes, as in b. 
320 2 . [tjhou here, as in b. 
323 3 - 4 , 324 1 - 2 . wanting. 
324 s . He wolde. as in b. 

326 1 . Goo home thou proude sheryf . as in b. 

326 2 . the bydde, as in b. 
329 4 . Therfore, as in b. 

331 1 . wayted thys gentyll. 331 4 . his haukes. 

332 M , 333 1 *. wanting. 

334 2 . and a, as in a. 334 s . a wanting. 

336 s . ladye loue, as in b. 

337 3 . bounde, as in b. 

338 2 . so wanting. 338*. I take. 

338 4 , 339 1 . wanting, as in a, b. 

339 4 . has only [y]our way. 340 2 . be wode. 

340 s . mery yonge men, as in b. 

340 4 . on rode, as in a. 

341 2 . only [th]at dyed on preserved. 

342. wanting. 343 4 . then shall, as in b. 

344 4 . can they, as in a. 

346 2 . so faste, as in b. 

346 4 . It is not, as in a. 

347 *. full godd, as in a. 

347 a . at wyll, as in a. 

349 2 . thryue, as in b. 349 s . to the struste. 

350 3 . bothe sharp. 

e. 436 2 . Full fayre. 436 4 . is gone. 
437 s . comitted. 441 2 . to slepe. 

441 s . Nor of all. 441 4 . Noutter etc nor. 
442 1 . longeth so sore to be in. 
442 s - 4 , 443 1 ' 2 . wanting. 446 4 . donde. 
447 s . can he. 447 s . outlawes in. 
449 s . our dere. 

f . Title : A mery geste of Robyn Hoode and of 

hys lyfe, wyth a newe playe for to be played 
in Maye games, very plesaunte and full of 
pastyme. At the head of the poem : Here 
begynneth a lyttell geste of Robyn hoode 
and his mery men, and of the proude 
Shyryfe of Notyngham. 

Insignificant variations of spelling are not 

I 2 , freborne. 2 4 . yfounde. 

3 2 . lened vpon a. 3 s . stode it-anting. 

4 1 . Scathelocke : and always. 4 2 . mylners. 



4 s . was no. 5 3 . if ye. 6 1 . hym wanting. 64 3 . 

6*. vnketh. 7 1 . wanting. 67 4 . 

7 s . or some squyer. 9 2 . The other. 69 1 . 

9 s . was of. 9 4 . of all other. 70 4 . 

11 3 . that wanting : shall gone. 72 2 . 

11 4 . that wanting. 13 1 . than wanting. 73 2 . 
13 s . husbandeman. 13 4 . with the. 73 4 . 
14 4 . That would. 15 4 . ye wanting. 74 s . 
16 2 . shaU we. 16 3 . farre. 75 1 . 
18 1 . Nowe walke ye vp vnto the Sayle. 75 s . 
18 s . vnketh. 18 4 . By chaunce some may ye. 76 4 . 
19 1 . cearle misprinted for earle. 78' 2 . 
19 3 . hym then to. 20 1 . went anone vnto. 79 4 . 
21 1 . loked in B. 82 2 . 
21' 2 . deme (for derne) strate. 84 1 . 
21 s . there wanting. 87 1 . 
22 1 . drousli (droufli ?) than : semblaunt. 87 4 , 
23 1 . hawged ouer : eyes. 23 4 . on sommers. 89 4 . 
24 1 . fuU wanting. 24 4 . are you. 93 3 . 
25 3 . you wanting. 26 1 . is your. 96 1 . 
26 3 . is a. 26 4 . haue I harde. 98 1 . 

27 1 . graunt the : wynde. 101' 

27 2 . brethren all three. 28 1 . went that. 103 s 
28 3 . eyes. 29 1 . vnto. 29 2 . gan hym. 104 2 . 
29 4 . downe on. 30 2 . thou art. 106 4 . 
30 s . you wanting. 32 s . right ivanting. 112 2 . 
33 3 . fayleth neuer so. 33 4 . was spred. 113 1 . 
35 4 . that wanting. 115 4 . 

36 1 . I thank the, knyght, then said. 119 2 . 

36 2 . when I haue. 121 s . 

36 3 . By god I was neuer so gredy. 121 4 . 
37 s . dere wanting. 122*. 
38 3 . LytellJohn: Robyn hoode. 123 4 . 
39 1 . than wanting. 40 1 . thou haue. 128 3 . 
40 8 . I shall lende. 41 4 . Not any penny. 129 4 . 
42 4 . halfe a. 43 2 . full lowe. 131 2 . 
43 4 . inowe wanting. 45 1 . me one. 132 3 . 
45 s . thou were. 46 1 . Or yls els : haste by. 133 s . 
46 2 . stroke. 46 4 . thou ivanting. 135 1 . 
47 1 . of them. 47 3 , 49 s , 55 s , etc. hundreth. 136 2 . 
48 2 . hat be. 49 1 . two or three yerers. 137 2 . 
49 2 . wanting. 50 2 ' 3 . transposed. 138 3 . 
50 2 . hath shopen. 50 4 . god it amende. 140 1 . 
51 1 . than wanting. 51 2 . lost thy. 141 l . 
52 s . wenters. 53 1 . Lancastshyre. 142 2 . 
56 2 . What shall. 58'. eyes. 58 3 . frendes. 143 4 . 
58 4 . ne wanting. 59 2 . knowe mee. 146 2 . 
59 3 . Whyles. 59 4 . boste that. 147 2 . 
60 4 . had wanting : neuer me. 147 4 . 
61 2 . Much also. 62 1 . frendes. 148 s . 
62 2 . borowes : wyll. 62 s . than wanting. 149 1 . 
62 4 . on a. 63 1 . than wanting. 151 s . 
63 3 . I haue. 64 1 . made me. 153". 

me ivanting. 65 3 . yf wanting. 
it well tolde. 68 4 . eyghten score, 
lyttell Much. 69 2 . greueth. 
To wrappe. 71 2 . muche ryche. 
that well mete it. 73 1 . And of. 
lept ouer. 73 s . What the deuils. 
for wanting. 74 1 . lought. 
hym the better. 74 4 . By god it cost, 
than wanting. 75 2 . All unto R. 
that knight an. 75 4 . al this. 
God lende that it. 78 1 . shal. 
clene. 78 4 . out wanting. 
Under the. 81 3 . may stande. 
he thought. 83 4 . came, 
spake the. 86 s . xij monethes. 
wanting. 87 2 . his lande and fee. 
95 4 . Disherited. 89 2 . is his. 
sore. 91 3 . came. 92 4 . poundes. 
The highe. 94 2 . taken, 
not ivanting. 96 3 . teme to. 
wanting. 100 3 . corese. 
'. The shal. 102 4 . saluted. 
: . that the. 103 4 . me my. 
. hath made. 105 4 . To desyre you of. 
. defend me from. Ill 1 , then wanting. 

Sende. 112 3 . a assaye. 

on then gan. 113 2 . wanting. 

canst not. 118 4 . Ye get ye it. 

were thou. 120 s . of wanting. 

Haddest thou. 

I would haue rewarded thee. 

royall chere. 122 4 . fast gan. 

on a. 124". I shall. 

not be. 129 2 . is wanting. 

came. 130 s . got. 

stringes were well dyght. 

And nocked y c were with. 

sute. 134 s . And rode. 

But wanting : by a bridg was. 

vp ypyght. 136 4 . burnisshed. 

in good fay. 137 s . that ivanting. 

fayre and frend. 139 2 . where y e he. 

the wanting. 140 2 . him in fere. 

sjioldreth and : come for rome. 

laye than. 142 4 . And drynke. 

the wanting. 145 2 . shute. 

alway cleft. 146 4 . gan. 

a wanting. 

That euer I dyd see. 148 1 . me thou. 

thou wast. 148 4 . wining. 

sir wanting. 150 2 . Wylt. 

gete leue. 152 s . gaue to him anone. 

He geue vs. 154 1 . me wanting. 



154 4 . he had yete. 156 8 . to wanting. 214?. 

156*. me meate. 157 1 . to long. 215 2 . 

157 2 . Fasting so long to. 157 s . sir wanting. 215 3 . 

157*. geuethou. 158 4 . had lere. 218 2 . 

160 1 . rappe. 160 2 . backe yede nygh into. 220 1 . 

160 3 . lyueth an hundreth wynter. 221 1 . 

160 4 . worse he should go. 161 2 . went vp. 222 2 . 
161 s . And there : a wanting. 223 2 . 
161*. of wanting. 162 s . liue this. 224 1 . 
162 4 . shall ye. 163 1 . and also dronke. 224 2 . 
163 2 . that he. 164 2 . hyne,.per/iaps rightly. 229 1 . 
164 s . an householde to. 164 4 . For wanting. 231 4 . 
165 s . to God wanting. 234 2 . 
165 4 . do lyke wel me. 166 1 . a hardy. 236 2 . 
167 1 . ful wanting. 167 s . for wanting. 236 3 . 
168 2 . wel wanting. 169 4 . I me. 238 1 . 
170 4 . Chaunged it should. 238 4 . 
173 4 . same day at nyght. 174 1 . The hyed. 241 2 . 
175 1 . the wanting. 175 s . masers and. 242 s . 
175 4 . they non. 176 1 . they toke. 243 4 . 
176 2 . and three. 176 3 . And hyed. 244 2 . 
176 4 . wode tree. 244 4 . 
177 4 . Welcome thou art to me. 245 1 . 

178 1 . And so is that good. 245 4 . 

178 2 . That thou hast brought wyth the. 247 1 . 
179 s . And he hath send the. 247 4 . 
179 3 . His cope. 180 1 . advow. 249 2 . 
181 1 . there wanting. 181 4 . at his. 252 1 . 
182 3 . coulde his. 184 1 . haue nowe. 256 1 . 
185 1 . I se. 185 s . of wanting : a. 256 2 . 
186 1 . tyndes be. 187 3 . Buske the. 259 4 . 
188 3 . afore. 188 4 . sir wanting. 263 1 . 
189 3 . worthe the. 189 4 . now betrayed. 263 s . 
191 2 . weU wanting. 192 1 . good chere. 266 4 . 
192 4 . lyfe is graunted. 193 2 . commaunded. 267 s . 
194 1 . cote a pye. 194 s . toke. 268 1 . 
195 1 . wight yemen. 268 s . 
195 s . shall : in that sorte. 269 1 . 
196 1 . that proude. 196 4 . sydes do smarte. 269 2 . 
197 1 . chere wanting. 270 1 . 
198 4 . dwel longe. 199 1 . these. 270 3 - 4 
200 1 . Or I here another nyght lye. 271 1 . 
201 s . the best. 272 1 . 
202 s . Thou shalt neuer wayte me skathe. 272 4 . 
202 4 . nor by. 203 2 . by day. 204 1 . swore. 273 2 . 
204 2 . he wanting. 204 4 . was any man. 274 4 . 
205 2 . that he was gone. 275 s . 
206 2 . Hode wanting. 206 4 . pay. 276 2 . 
209 1 . walke wanting : into the. 277*. 
209*. And loke for some straunge. 277 4 . 
209 4 . By chaunce you. 210 2 . a wanting. 279 2 . 
210 3 - 4 . as in b. 211 1 . sterte. 211 2 . fraye. 280 3 . 
212 1 . went than vnto. 213 1 . as he. 283*. 

can. 214 4 . these monkes. 

And bende we. 

harte. 216 1 . but hi men. 

Make you yonder preste. 

An euell. 220 2 . vnder the. 

What hyght your. 

shall sore rewe. 223 1 . a bowe. 

Eedy. 223 4 . gan. 

twoo and fifty wyght yemen. 

abode but. 226 2 . whan he did se. 

an. 231 1 . The made. 

serued them. 

mote I thryue or the. 

Ye nede not so to saye. 

hath brought it. 237 1 . And wanting. 

broughte. 238 s . the eft agayne. 

of me. 240*. right wise. 

mayest. 242 1 . made wanting. 

I do the thanke. 

So mote I thryue or the. 

not out one. 244 s . hast nede. 

shall I : to wanting. 

fyne more sayd. 

Thereof I wyll haue. 

John layd. 247 s . he wanting. 

hundreth poundes. 248 4 . cost. 

that tolde. 249*. the trust. 

And she haue nede of ony. 

And what is on the other courser. 

sothe we must. 256 3 . than wanting. 

second in wanting. 

light fro his. 263 2 . can. 

Eight curteysly. 265 1 . good Robin. 

They would. 267 1 . agayne. 

than sayd. 267 4 . that wanting. 

no grefe : printed in two lines. 

dyd helpe. 

Now, by my treuthe than sayd. 

For that, knight, thanke. 

poundes. 270 3 . there. 

. printed in one line. 

than wanting. 271*. her high. 

And I should take : twyse. 

thou art. 273 1 . And whan. 

laughed and made. 

Under this trusty. 275 2 . fethered. 

gentyl knyght. 

My wyll done that it be. 

bye the a hors. 

the for thy (as me. be for my, by). 

I dyd lende. 280 2 . of all his. 


they that shote al of the best. 



283*. The best. 284 1 . al of the best. 

284 3 . of goodly. 285 3 . fethers. 

286 2 . his trusty. 286", 288". wyght yemen. 

287 1 . mery yemen. 287 s . I shall knowe. 

288 2 . Their arowes fethere free. 

289 3 . archers. 289 4 . shote. 

291 l . can. 292". he clefte. 

292 4 . the lylly white. 294 1 . Whan that. 

294". than was. 294 4 . good Robin. 

295 1 . To him. 295". gyft full. 

295*. than would. 296 2 . gan the. 

297 2 . Thus chering. 

297 s . Another promyse thou made to me. 

297 4 . Within the wylde. 

298 1 . And I had y e in the gr[e]ne forest. 

298 2 . trusty tree. 298 s . me leue. 
300*. away belyue. 301 4 . Amonge the. 
302 1 . John he was hort. 302 2 . in the. 
303 2 . loues. 304 4 . nowe to. 

305 2 . smite thou of. 

305 s . woundes so wyde and longe. 

305 4 . That I after eate no breade. 

306 1 . that wanting. 30G 2 . slayne. 

306'. Though I had it all by me. 

307 1 . forbyd that : Much then. 

307 4 . Depart. 308*. another a whyle. 

312 1 . I do the thankes for thy comfort. 

312 2 - 8 . And for. 313 1 . all the. 314 1 . Shutte. 

314 4 . wall. 315 1 . the hote. 

315 s . Thou shalt these xij dayes abide. 

316 2 . Redye. 316 4 . gan. 317 2 . vnto the. 

317 s . Howe the proude shirife began. 

319 1 . can. 319 8 . kepest there. 319 4 . lawes. 

320 4 . am true. 321 2 . do ye no more vnto. 

322". he went. 323 4 . That noble were and. 

324 1 . He wolde : had. 324 s . He wold. 

325 1 . the kynge. 

326 1 . Go home, thou proude sheryfe. 

326". the bydde. 329 4 . Therfore. 

330 1 . Therhe. 330 s . that gentyl. 

330 4 . and by. 331 1 . awayted that. 

331 4 . his hauke. 332 1 . misprinted To be. 

332 8 . him home to. 332 4 . Ybounde. 

333 2 . on a tree. 333 4 . robin hode had he. 

334 1 . Then the lady the. 334 2 . a wanting. 

335 1 . to the. 335 8 . There she found. 

336 1 . Robyn Hode. 336 s . ladyes loue. 

337 1 . Let thou. 337 2 . to be. 337 8 . bound. 

338 2 . so u-anting. 338 s . ytake. 

338 4 . The proude shirife than sayd she. 

339. Only this : He is not yet passed thre 

myles, You may them ouertake. 
340 2 . a man : ben. 340 8 . mery yemen. 

340 4 . on a tree. 341 2 . on a tree. 

341 s ' 4 . And by him that al thinges maketh 

No lenger shall dwell with me. 
342 1 . ybent. 343 2 . The knight would. 

343 3 . And yf ye he may him take. 

343 4 . Yquyte than shall he bee. 

344 4 . gan the. 34G 2 . so fast. 346 4 . That is. 

347 1 . full wanting. 347 2 . at his. 

349 2 . may thou thryue. 349 3 . to the. 

349 4 . thou wast. 351 1 . start. 

351 2 . cut into. 354 4 . and wanting. 

355 1 . them for men. 356 2 . vnderstode. 

357 1 . the compasse. 357 2 . He wend. 

358 2 . a one. 358 3 . fyude any. 359 4 . eyes. 

360 s . He should. 361 2 . it with. 364 8 . to no. 

366 2 . By halte. 366 4 . And vsed. 

368 2 . That we be. 368 4 . walked : by your. 

369 2 . on the. 369 4 . I saye. 370 4 . eyes. 

371 1 . hastely. 371 s . They were all in. 

371 4 . thyther blythe. 375 2 . Standinge by. 

376 1 . toke wanting. 376 4 . you. 

377 4 . Other shyft haue not we. 

378 2 . And good. 380 3 . full wanting. 

381 8 . a. 381 4 . I would geve it to the. 

382 2 . And deuyde it than did he. 

382 3 . Half he gaue to. 384 2 . He hath sent. 
384 3 . to wanting. 384 4 . and to. 

385 1 . brode seale. 385 2 . lete me. 

387 4 . trusty tre. 388 1 . he had. 

38S 4 . fast was. 389 2 . he can it. 

389 3 . wyght yemen. 389 4 . Came runnyng. 

391 2 . pene. 392 1 . hastely : dyght. 392 2 . can. 

394 4 . Blessed may. 395 2 . that thou. 

395 3 . maiest. 395 4 . together by lente. 

396 4 . ben. 397 1 . werd. 397 2 . can the. 

397 8 . fifty space. 398 2 . The. 

400 1 - 2 . A good buffet on his head bare, For 

that shalbe his fyne. 
400 s . And those : fell to. 
401 4 . the lilly white hande. 
404 2 . And than he. 405 4 . syr wanting. 
406 1 . the kyng. 407". largely. 407 4 . folded. 
408 1 . geue. 408 4 . a tall. 409 2 . can wel. 
409 4 . Togeder they gan. 410 1 . Stedfastly in. 
411 2 . they sawe. 411 4 . wele. 
412 1 . than sayd Robin. 412 2 . this trusty. 
412 4 . for me. 

413 1 . And yet sayd good Robin. 

413 2 . As good god do me. 413 3 . aske the. 
413 4 . I it. 414 1 . than wanting. 

41 4 2 . Thy peticion I graunt the. 

414 8 . So y' thou wylt leue. 

415 1 . syr wanting. 415 2 . There to. 



417 1 . But and I lyke not. 417 2 . I wyll. 22". 

417'. I was. 418 2 . now sell. 23 1 . 

419 s . To sel to me. 420 1 . for good. 24 1 . 

420 8 . And other. 421 1 . his cote. 25 s . 

421 3 . had so ywys. 26 4 . 

421 4 . They clothed them fuU soone. 28 1 . 
422 3 . shal we. 422 1 . All this our kyng can. 29 2 . 
423 1 . The bent their bowes. 424 2 . and as. 30 2 . 
424*. And aU they shot 32 s . 
425*. kyng whan he did paye. 33 4 . 
426 1 . the kyng. 428 1 . to the other can. 36 1 . 
429 1 . hastely. 430 2 . them to come, 36 2 . 
430 3 . sawe. 431 4 . of the. 432 s . Robin hode. 36 s . 
433 1 . Robm hode : dwelleth. 37 1 . 
433 3 . That he had. 434 2 . lay. 37 s . 
434 s . and squyers. 435 1 . all gone. 38 a . 
436 4 . wend. 437*. commended for. 39 1 . 
438 2 . Alas what shaU I do. 439*. my. 40*. 
440*. And there would I faene be. 42 4 . 
441 1 . might no time this seuen nightes. 43 4 . 
441*. Neyther all this. 441*. eate nor. 45 s . 
442 s -. wolward haue I. 443 3 . nyghtes. 46 2 . 
446'. I haue a lyttell lust. 447 2 . can. 47 1 . 
448 s . wyght yemen. 448*. Came runnyng. 47 4 . 
449 4 . Under the. 450 1 . dwelleth. 49 1 . 
450". yeres. 450 3 . Than for all. 49 2 . 
452 2 . Donkester. 452 s . wanting. 50 2 -' 
452 4 . For euyll mot thou the. 50 4 . 

Thus endeth the lyfe of Robvn hode. 51 . 

54 1 . 

Title and heading as in f. 58 s . 

I 2 , free borne. I 4 , yfound. 59 2 . 

2 2 . Whilst : on the. 3 2 . leaned vpon a. 60 4 . 

3 s . stode wanting. 61 1 . 

4 1 . Scathlock, and always. 4 2 . milners. 61 2 . 

4 s . was no. 5 1 . bespake him. 5 s . if you 62 2 . 

6 1 . hym wanting : Robin hood. 6 2 . I haue. 62 4 . 

6 3 . that wanting. 6 4 . vnketh. 7 1 . wanting. 63 2 . 

7 s . or some squire. 9 2 . The other. 64 2 . 

9 s . was of. 9 4 . of all other. 10 1 . he loued. 64 8 . 

11 s . what way we : gone. II 4 . that wanting. 65 4 . 

13 1 . than wanting. 13 s . you : husbandman. 68 s . 

13 4 . with the. 14 1 . you. 14 4 . That would. 69 1 . 

15 1 . These wanting. 15 4 . ye wanting. 70 4 . 

16 1 . be wanting. 16 a . shall we. 72 2 . 

17 2 . goe with. 73". 

18 1 . Now walke ye vp vnto the shore. 74 1 . 

18 4 . By chance some may ye meet. 74 s . 

19 s . him then. 20 1 . went anon vnto. 75 l . 
21 1 . looked in. 21 2 . a deme. 

21 s . came there. 76 1 . 
22 1 . A\\dTO\iflye, perhaps (wrongly) drouslye : 

semblant. 79 . 

on the. 22*. The other, 
ouer his eyes. 23 4 . on summers, 
full wanting. 24*. you. 
you wanting. 26 1 . is your. 26 s . is a. 
haue I. 27 2 . bretheren all three, 
went that. 28 s . eyes. 29 l . vnto the. 
gan him. 29 s . he did. 29 4 . downe on. 
thou art. 30 s . you wanting. 
right wanting. 33 3 . neuer so. 
was spread. 35 4 . that wanting. 
I thanke thee knight then said, 
when I haue. 

By God I was neuer so greedy, 
ere you. 37 2 . Me thinke is. 
dere wanting. 
Little John : Robin hood, 
than wanting. 40 1 . thou haue. 
I shall. 41 4 . Not any peny. 
halfe a. 43 2 . full lowe. 
inowe wanting. 45 1 . one word, 
thou wert : a wanting. 46 1 . hast be. 
stroke. 46 4 . With whores hast thou. 
of these. 47 s . An hundreth winters, 
haue be. 48 1 . of it. 48 2 . disgrast. 
Within 2 or 3 yeares : said he. 
wanting. 49 s , 55 s , 67 s , etc. hundreth. 
'. transposed. 50 2 . hath shapen. 
God it amend. 51 1 . than wanting. 
lost. 52 s . winters. 53 1 . Lancashire, 
landes be. 56 2 . What shall. 58 1 . eyes, 
friends. 58 4 . ne ivanting. 
a one : knowe me. 59 s . Whiles, 
had wanting. 

misprinted ruthe they went. 
Much also. 62 1 . friends, 
borrowes : will. 62 s . than wanting. 
on a. 63 1 . thy iest : than wanting. 
I will. 63 s . will God. 64 1 . made me. 
doth misprinted for both, 
me wanting. 65 s . yf wanting. 
faileth. 67 4 . it well tolde. 
tolde forth. 68 4 . eighteene score, 
little much. 69 2 . grieued. 69*. fallen. 
To wrap. 71 2 . much rich, 
that well ymet it. 73 1 . And of. 
leped ouer. 73 4 . for wanting. 
full wanting: laught. 
the better measure. 74 4 . By God it cost, 
than wanting. 75 2 . All vnto R. 
an. 75 4 . all his good. 
God lend that it be. 78 2 . clene. 
bring them. 79 3 . months. 
Vnder the. 81 s . the wanting. 



82 2 . he thought. 160 1 . 

83 4 . came. 84 1 . spake the. 160 8 . 

85 s . vpon wanting. 161 2 . 

86 s . months : there wanting. 87 l . wanting. 161 4 . 

87". land and fee. 87 4 , 95 4 . Disherited. 162 s . 

88 s . a. 88 4 . lay it. 89 2 . is his. 89 4 . sore. 163 1 . 

90*. You doe him. 92 4 . pounds. 164 1 . 

93 1 . and high. 93 2 . Stert. 93 3 . The high. 164 s . 

94 2 . taken. 95 s . comes. 96 1 . not wanting. 165 s . 

96 s . to them. 98 1 . wanting. 166 1 . 

100 8 . best corse. 100 4 . I wanting. 167 2 . 

101 1 . them to. 101 s . come there. 168 2 . 

102 4 . saluted. 103 4 . me my. 170 4 . 

104 2 . hath made. 105 4 . To desire of. 173 s . 

106 4 . defend me against. 109". wanting. 174 2 . 

110 s . thy lande. Ill 1 , then wanting. 174 4 . 

112 2 . Send. 113 1 . on them. 113 2 . wanting. 175 s . 

113 4 . Step thee : of the. 116 1 . tournaments. 176 1 . 

116 2 . farre that. 117 2 . a wanting. 176 3 . 

117 s . Or else : safely say. 177 s . 

118 4 . Ye get not my land so. 177 4 . 

119 1 . thousand pound more. 178 1 . 

119 2 . were thou. 121' 2 . that wanting. 178 2 . 

121 3 . Hadst. 179 2 . 

121 4 . I would haue rewarded thee. 180 2 . 
122 2 . royall cheere. 122 4 . gan. 181 s . 
123 2 . to "thee. 123 4 . on a. 182 2 . 
124 1 . and you. 124 2 . held. 183 1 . 
128 s . had not. 129 2 . is wanting. 183*. 
129 4 . came on the. 130 s . got. 185 1 . 
132 s . And nocked they were with. 186 1 . 
133 s . suite. 134 s . And rode. 187 s . 
135 1 . As he went vp a bridge was. 188'. 
136 1 - 2 . wanting. 136 s . with a. 189 s . 
137 2 . in good. 137 3 . that wanting. 190 1 . 
138 s . friend bested. 138 4 . Yslaine. 192 1 . 
139 2 . where that. 139 3 . the yeoman. 192 4 . 
139 4 . the loue. 140 2 . him in feare. 193 s . 
141 1 . all wanting. 142 1 . markes. 194 1 . 
142 4 . And drinke. 143 2 . that the. 195 1 . 
143 4 . the wanting. 146 2 . alway claue. 195 s . 
146 4 . gan. 147 4 . euer I did see. 196 1 . 
148 1 . me thou. 148 s . wast thou. 197 1 . 
148 4 . wonning. 149 1 . sir wanting. 199 1 . 
149 2 . al wanting. 150 2 . Wilt. 200 1 . 
151 s . ye get leave. 152 s . to him anon. 200 2 . 
153 2 . He giue vs. 154 1 . me wanting. 200 4 . 
154 4 . he had yet. 155 1 . befell. 155 4 . forgot. 202". 
156 2 . the wanting. 156 s . to wanting. 203 2 . 
156 4 . me meat. 157 2 . Fasting so long to. 204 s . 
157 s . sir wanting. 157*. giue thou. 205 2 . 
158 1 . Shalt neither eat nor drinke. 206 4 . 
159 1 . was vncourteous. 159 2 . on the. 209 1 . 

a rappe. 160 2 . backe yede nigh. 

liueth : winters. 160 4 . he still shall goe. 

ope. 161 3 . there : a large. 

and wine. 162 1 . you. 

you liue this. 162 4 . shall ye. 

eat and also drunke. 163 3 . in the. 

my. 164 2 . hine : perhaps rightly. 

an housholde for. 

to God wanting. 165*. doe like well. 

and a. 167 1 . ful wanting. 

toke wanting. 167 s . for wanting. 

well wanting. 169 4 . euer I saw yet. 

changed it should. 17 1 4 , we will. 

ylke day at. 174 1 . They hied. 

they could. 174 s . full ivanting. 

euery one. 175 1 . the wanting. 

masers and. 175 4 . they none. 

Also they. 176 2 . and three. 

And hied them to. 176 4 . wood tree. 

And thou. 

Welcome thou art to me. 

And so is that good yeoman. 

That thou hast brought with. 

He hath sent thee here. 179 s . His cup. 

And by. 181 1 . there wanting. 

he ran wanting. 181 4 . at his. 

hound. 182 s . could his. 

saue thee. 183' 2 . you saue. 

haue you. 184 1 . haue now be in the. 

I see. 185 8 . of wanting. 

tindes be. 187 1 . my. 

Buske thee. 188 2 . A foote. 

afore. 188 4 . sir wanting. 

worth thee. 189 4 . nowe wanting. 

Litell wanting. 191 2 . well wanting. 

Make good. 192 2 . of for for. 

life is graunted. 193 1 . had all. 

commanded. 193 4 . hose and shoone. 

coate a pie. 194 s . tooke. 

wight yeomen. 

That they shall lie in that sorte. 

lay that. 196 4 . sides doe smart. 

chere wanting. 198 4 . dwell long. 

All this. 

Or I heere an other night lie. 

I pray. 200 s . my : to morne. 

wanting. 201 8 . the best. 

Thou shalt : wait : scath. 202 4 . nor by. 

or else by. 204 2 . home againe to. 

as wanting. 204 4 . was any man. 

that he was gon. 206 2 . But Robin said. 

pay. 207 8 . dare sweare. 

walke wanting : into the. 



209 3 . And looke for some strange. 

209 4 . By chance you. 210 2 . a wanting. 
210H as in b, excepting goods for good. 
211 2 . in a fray. 212 1 . went then vnto. 
213 1 . as they. 213 s . They were ware. 
214 4 . These monkes. 215 2 . And bend we. 
215 3 . looke our. 

216 1 . hath but fifty and two man. 

216*. royall. 217 1 . Bretheren. 

218 2 . Make you yonder priest. 220 1 . An. 

221 1 . What bight your. 222 2 . sore rue. 

223 1 . a bowe. 223 2 . Eeady. 

223 4 . ground he gan. 

224 1 . two and fiftie wight yeomen. 

224 2 . abode but. 225 s . Hode wanting. 
226 1 . downe. 226 2 . when he did. 
226 4 . let it. 229 1 . blowe we. 

231 4 . seruedhim. 232 s . you. 

234 2 . So mote I thriue of thee. 

236 2 . You neede not so to say. 

236 s . hath brought it. 23T 1 . And wanting. 

238 1 . hast the mony brought. 

238 s . eft againe. 238 4 . need of. 240 1 . my. 

241 2 . not denay. 242 1 . made wanting. 

242'. I doe thee thanke. 243 2 . Truth. 

243 4 . So mought I thriue and thee. 

244 2 . not take one. 244 3 . hast need of. 

244 4 . shall I : to wanting. 

245 1 -- finde more said. 245 3 . spending-money. 

245 4 . Thereof I will haue. 

246 4 . penny let me. 247 1 . John laid. 

247 2 . he wanting. 247 4 . Eight hundreth. 

248 s . true now. 248 4 . cost. 

249 2 . Monke that. 251 1 . and to. 

251 s . need of. 252 1 . haue need of any. 

256 1 . And what is in y e other coffer. 

256 2 . we must. 256 3 . than wanting. 
258 2 . he wanting. 259 4 . or D. 
263 1 . light from his. 263 2 . can. 
263 3 . Eight for So: down. 

265 1 . bespake good Robin : Hode wanting. 

266 3 . For wanting. 266 4 . They would. 

267 3 . then said. 267 4 . And that. 

268 1 . take no griefe. 268 3 . did I helpe. 

268 4 . they put. 269 1 . Now by my truth then. 

269 2 . For that knight thanke. 

270 1 . than wanting. 

270 s . there is : also wanting. 

271 1 . then said. 271 8 . her hie. 

272 1 . And I should take it twice. 

272 2 . for me. 273 1 . And when. 

273'. He laughed and made. 274 4 . this trusty. 
275 1 . do he said. 275 2 . fethered. 

275 s . the gentle. 

276 3 . My will doone that it be. 

276 3 . Go and fetch me foure : pounds. 

277 3 . buye thee. 278 s . shalt not. 

278 4 . Whilste I. 279 1 . weU for. 

279 2 . I did send. 280 J . of all his. 

280 3 . sitteth. 281 1 . take. 281 2 . wend. 

283 3 . And they that shoote all of the best 

283 4 . The best. 284 1 . all of the best 
284 3 . of goodly. 285 1 . he should. 
285 3 . and feathers. 285 4 . the like. 

286 2 . his trusty. 

286 3 . ye ready you wight yeomen. 

287 l . merry yeomen. 287*. I shall know. 

288 2 . Their takles. 

288 8 . of wanting : wight yeomen. 

289 3 . were: archers. 289 4 . shot. 

291 1 . The first. 291 4 . the buttes where. 

292 2 . he claue. 292 4 . lilly-white. 

293 4 . they would. 294 3 . then was. 

295 1 . To him. 295 3 . guift fuU. 

295 4 . then would. 296 2 . A great horn gan he. 

297 1 . be to thee. 297 2 . Thus cheering. 

297 3 . An other promise thou madest to me. 

297 4 . Within the greene. 

298 1 . But and I had thee there againe. 

298 2 . the trusty. 298". giue me. 
299 3 . was torne. 300 4 . away beliue. 
301 1 . broke. 301 4 . the for that. 
302 1 . he was. 302 2 . on the knee. 
303 2 . you loued. 305 2 . thou off. 

305 3 . wounds so wide and long. 

305 4 . That I after eat no bread. 

306 1 . that wanting. 306 2 . wert slaine. 

306 4 . Though I had it all by me. 

307 1 . forbid that : Much then. 

307 4 . Depart. 

308 s . he set. 310 2 . of the. 

311 s . be thou wanting. 

312 1 . I do thee thanke for. 

312H And for. 313 1 . all the. 

314*. the wall. 315 1 . thee hite. 

315 2 . And sweare. 

315 3 . Thou shalt these twelue daies abide with 

316 2 . Ready and. 316 4 . gan. 
317 2 . hearken vnto the. 317*. sheriffe began. 
319 s . there : enemies. 319 4 . all law. 
320 1 . what I. 320 4 . a, wanting. 
321 s . doe ye. 321 s . you wit your. 
322 8 . he went. 323 4 . noble were and. 
324 1 . He would : had. 324 s . He would. 
325 1 . said the. 325 4 . will I. 


326 1 . Goe home thou proude : sayde our kynge 

326 2 . I you bid. 329 4 . Therefore had. 
330 1 . there he. 330 3 . that gentle. 
331 1 . Euer awaited that. 331 2 . of the. 
331 4 . his hauke. 

332 1 . To betray this gentle knight. 

332 s . him home. 332 4 . Ybound. 

333 2 . on a tree. 333 s . had rather then a. 

333 4 . That Eobin hood had hee. 

334 1 . Then the lady the. 334 2 . a wanting. 

335 1 . to the. 335 s . There found she. 

335 4 . merry menye. 336 s . loue for sake. 

337 1 . Let thou. 337". bound. 

338 2 . so wanting. 338 s . thy lord ytake. 

338 4 . The proud sheriffe then said she. 

339. he is not yet passed three miles, 

you may them ouertake : 

340. Vp then start good Robin, 

as a man that had been wake : 
Buske ye, my merry yeomen, 

for him that dyed on a tree. 
341 2 . on a tree. 

341 s . And by him that all things maketh. 
341 4 . shall dwell. 342 1 . ybent. 342 2 . More. 
342 s . they spared none. 343 2 . The knight. 
343 8 . if ye may him ouertake. 
343 4 . then shall he. 344 s . gan. 
345 2 . so fast. 345 4 . thy boote. 
347 1 . full wanting. 347 2 . at his. 
349 1 . the for thou. 349 2 . may thou. 
349 s . tothee. 

350". it on. 350 4 . driue. 351 2 . cut in. 
353 2 . leasind. 354 4 . hode if. 
355 1 . them for men. 356 2 . vnderstood. 
356 4 . all the knights land. 
357 1 . The compasse of. 357 2 . wend. 
358 2 . many a one. 358 s . finde any. 
359 4 . eyes. 360 2 . vnto. 360 s . He should. 
360 4 . of for at. 361 2 . it with. 362 s . O my. 
364 2 . his best. 364 s . to no. 366 2 . halt. 
366 s . he slew. 366 4 . And vsed. 
368 2 . now be. 368 s . by your. 
368 4 . a monks. 369 1 . lodesman. 
369 2 . on the. 369 4 . come at. 
370 4 . eyes. 371 1 . hastily. 
371 s . They were all : monks weeds. 
371 4 . thither blithe. 372 4 . to wanting. 
374 1 . sommer. 374 s . Vntill. 375 2 . by the. 
376 s . sayd wanting. 376 4 . you. 
377 4 . Other shift haue not wee. 
378 2 . good for gold. 380 s . full wanting. 
381 1 . I wanting. 381 s . an. 

381 4 . I would giue it to thee. 

382 2 . And deuided it then did he. 

382 s . Halfe he gaue to. 382 4 . to wanting. 

383 2 . Syr wanting. 384 2 . He hath sent. 

385 1 . broad seale. 386 3 . be my. 

387 1 . tyding. 387 4 . the trusty. 

388 1 . he had. 388 4 . fuU was fast. 

389 2 . gan it. 389 s . wight yeomen. 

389 4 . running for redy. 392 1 . hastily: dight. 

392 2 . can. 393 4 . the good ale browne. 

394 4 . may thou. 395 1 . I for we. 

395 2 . Or that. 395 s . maist. 395 4 . be lend. 

396 4 . beene. 397 2 . can. 

400 1 ' 2 . A good buffet on his head beare for 

this shall be his fine. 
400 s . And those : fell in. 401 2 . claue. 
401 4 . lilly white. 403 2 . Fore : freends faire. 
. 403 s . of wanting. 404 2 . then for thus. 
405 4 . syr wanting. 406 1 . said y e . 
406 2 . be for by, as often. 407 2 . largely. 
407 4 . folded. 408 4 . a tall frier. 409 2 . can. 
409 4 . gan they meet. 410 2 . Stedfast in. 
411 1 . the said ! 411 2 . sawe. 
412 1 . said Robin to. 412 2 . this trusty. 
412 4 . and for mee. 

413 1 . And yet said good R. 

413 2 . As good God do me. 413 3 . aske thee. 
413 4 . I it. 414 1 . than wanting. 

414 2 . Thy petition I graunt thee. 

414 s . So that thou wilt leaue. 

415 1 . syr wanting. 415. There to dwell. 

417 1 . But and I like not. 417 2 . I will. 

417 4 . I was. 418 2 . nowe ivanting. 

419 s . To sell. 421 1 . his cote. 

421 s . had so ywis. 

421 4 . They clothed them full. 422 2 . the gray. 

422 s . Now shall we. 422 4 . All this : can. 

423 1 . They bent their. 424 s . And all they. 

425 4 . -king when he did pay. 426 1 . said the. 

426 4 . I shot. 428 1 . togither can. 

428 4 . leaueth not one. 429 1 . hastely. 

430 2 . to come againe. 430 s . saw our. 

431 4 . of the. 432 s . Robin hood. 

433 1 . Robin hood dwelled. 

433 s . That he had. 434 s . and squires. 

434 4 . a great. 435 1 . gone. 

435 4 . hym wanting. 436 2 . faire. 

436 4 . wend. 437 3 . was commended for the. 

438 2 . Alas what shall I doe. 

440 4 . there would I faine be. 

441 1 . might no time this : nights. 

441 a . one for ne. 441 s . all this. 

441 4 . nor for ne. 442 s . haue I. 



443 s . nights. 446*. I haue a little lust for. 
447 2 . can. 448 8 . wight yeomen. 
448 4 . running for redy. 449*. Vnder the. 
450 2 . yeeres. 450*. Then for dred. 
452 2 . Dankastre. 452*. wanting. 

452 4 . For euill : they thee. 
455 s . good wanting. 

Thus endeth the life of Robin hood 



'Guye of Gisborne,' Percy MS., p. 262 ; Hales and Furnivall, II, 227. 

FIRST printed in the Reliques of Ancient 
English Poetry, 1765, I, 74, and, with less 
deviation from the original, in the fourth edi 
tion, 1794, I, 81. Reprinted from the Re 
liques in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, I, 114. 

Robin Hood has had a dream that he has 
been beaten and bound by two yeomen, who 
have taken away his bow. He vows that he 
will have vengeance, and sets out in search 
of them with Little John. Robin and John 
shoot as they go, till they come to the green 
wood and see a yeoman leaning against a tree, 
clad in a horse-hide, with head, tail, and mane. 
John proposes to go to the yeoman to ask his 
intentions. Robin considers this to be forward 
of John, and speaks so roughly to him that 
John parts company, and returns to Barns- 
dale. Things are in a bad way there : the 
sheriff of Nottingham has attacked Robin's 
band ; two have been slain ; Scarlett is flying, 
and the sheriff in pursuit with seven score 
men. John sends an arrow at the pursuers, 
which kills one of them ; but his bow breaks, 
and John is made prisoner and tied to a tree. 

Robin learns from the man in horse-hide 
that he is seeking Robin Hood, but has lost 
his way. Robin offers to be his guide, and as 
they go through the wood proposes a shoot 
ing-match. Both shoot well, but Robin so 
much the better that the other breaks out into 

* The sheriff flees from Barnsdftle "towards his house 
in Nottingham," in stanza 57. In fact, though these places 

VOL. III. 12 

expressions of admiration, and asks his name. 
Tell me thine first, says Robin. " I am Guy 
of Gisborne ; " " and I Robin Hood, whom 
thou long hast sought." They fight fiercely 
for two hours ; Robin stumbles and is hit, but 
invokes the Virgin's aid, leaps up and kills 
Guy. He nicks Guy's face so that it cannot 
be recognized, throws his own green gown 
over the body, puts on the horse-hide, and 
blows Guy's horn. The sheriff hears in the 
sound tidings that Guy has slain Robin, and 
thinks it is Guy that he sees coming in the 
horse-hide. The supposed Guy is offered any 
thing that he will ask, but will take no re 
ward but the boon of serving the knave as 
he has the master. Robin hies to Little John, 
looses him, and gives him Sir Guy's bow. 
The sheriff takes to flight, but cannot outrun 
John's arrow, which cleaves his heart. 

The beginning, and perhaps the develop 
ment, of the story might have been more lucid 
but for verses lost at the very start. Robin 
Hood dreams of two yeomen that beat and 
bind him, and goes to seek them, " in green 
wood where they be." Sir Guy being one, the 
other person pointed at must of course be the 
sheriff of Nottingham (who seems to be be 
yond his beat in Yorkshire,* but outlaws can 
raise no questions of jurisdiction), in league 
with Sir Guy (a Yorkshireman, who has done 

are fifty miles apart, this ballad treats them as adjacent. 
Seep. 50 f. 



many a curst turn) for the capture or slaying 
of Robin. The dream simply foreshadows 
danger from two quarters. But Robin Hood 
is nowhere informed, as we are, that the 
sheriff is out against him with seven score 
men, has attacked his camp, and taken John 
prisoner. He knows nothing of this so far 
on as stanza 45 3 , where, after killing Guy, he 
says he will go to Barnsdale to see how his 
men are faring. Why then does he make his 
arrangements in stanzas 42-45 2 , before he re 
turns to Barnsdale, to pass himself off for Sir 
Guy ? Plainly this device is adopted with the 
knowledge that John is a prisoner, and as a 
means of delivering him ; which all that fol 
lows shows. Our embarrassment is the greater 
because we cannot point out any place in the 
story at which the necessary information could 
have been conveyed ; there is no cranny where 
it could have been thrust in. It will not be 
enough, therefore, to suppose that verses have 
dropped out ; there must also have been a con 
siderable derangement of the story. 

The abrupt transition from the introductory 
verses, 1, 2 1 ' 2 , is found in Adam Bell, and the 
like occurs in other ballads. 

A fragment of a dramatic piece founded on 
the ballad of Guy of Gisborne has been pre 
served in manuscript of the date of 1475, or 
earlier.* In this, a knight, not named, en 
gages to take Robin Hood for the sheriff, and 
is promised gold and fee if he does. The 
knight accosts Robin, and proposes that they 
shoot together. They shoot, cast the stone, 
cast the axle-tree, perhaps wrestle (for the 

Formerly among Sir John Fenn's papers (for the his 
tory of which see Gaivdner, Paston Letters, I, vii. ff ) ; now 
in the possession of Mr William Aldis Wright, of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. The fragment, Mr Wright informs 
me, is written on a paper which was evidently the last half- 
leaf of a folio MS. On the back are various memoranda, 
and among them this: It m . Rd of Rechard Wytway, penter 
[or peuter], for hes hosse rent, in full payment, Ix [ix ?] s', 
the vij day of November, a Ed. iiij" xv [1475]. The gram 
matical forms of themselves warrant our putting the compo 
sition further back. This interesting relic has already been 
printed in Notes and Queries, First Series, XII, 321, from 
a very incorrect copy mnde by I)r Stukely. It is given here 
from a transcript made for me by Henry Bradshaw, of hon 
ored memory. Mr Wright has compared this with the 

knight has a fall), then fight to the utterance. 
Robin has the mastery, cuts off the knight's 
head, and dons his clothes, putting the head 
into his hood. He hears from a man who 
comes along that Robin Hood and his men 
have been taken by the sheriff, and says, Let 
us go kill the sheriff. Then follows, out of 
the order of time, as is necessary in so brief a 
piece, the capture of Friar Tuck and the 
others by the sheriff. The variations from 
the Percy MS. story may be arbitrary, or may 
be those of another version of the ballad. The 
friar is called Tuck, as in the other play : see 
Robin Hood and the Potter. 

' Syr sheryffe, for thy sake, 
Robyn Hode wull Y take.' 
' I wyll the gyffe golde and fee, 
This beheste pou holde me.' 

' Robyn Hode, ffayre and fre, 
Vndre this lynde shote we.' 
' With the shote Y wyll, 
Alle thy lustes to full fyll.' 

' Have at the pryke ! ' 

' And Y cleue the styke.' 

' Late vs caste the stone.' 

' I graunte well, be Seynt John.' 

' Late vs caste the exaltre.' 

' Have a f oote be-fore the ! 

Syr knyght, ye haue a falle.' 

' And I the, Robyn, qwyte shall.' 

' Owte on the ! I blowe niyn home.' 

' Hit ware better be vnborne.' 

1 Lat vs fyght at ottraunce.' 

' He that fleth, God gyfe hym myschaunce ! 

original, and given me the history of the paper, so far as 

This paper, as far as we can see, came into Sir John 
Fenn's hands in company with the Paston Letters. In a let 
ter of the date 1473, Sir John Paston writes: W. Woode, 
whyche promysed ... he wold never goo fro me, and ther 
uppon I have kepyd hym thys iii yer to pleye Seynt Jorge, 
and Robyn Hod and the Shryff off Nottyngliam, and now, 
when I wolde have good horse, he is gone into Bernysdale, 
and I without a keeper. Fenn, Original Letters, etc., 1787, 
II, 134, cited by Ritson ; Gairdner, Paston Letters, III, 89. 
The play cited above might be called one of Robin Hood 
and the Sheriff of Nottingham, and may possibly have been 
the very one in which William Wood was used to perform, 
before he went " into Barnysdale," that is, ran away from 



Now I haue the maystry here', 
Off I smyte this sory swyre. 
This knyghtys clothis wolle I were, 
And in iny hode his hede woll here. 
Welle mete, felowe myn : 
What herst J>ou of gode Robyn ? ' 
' Robyn Hode and his menye 
With the sheryff takyn be.' 
' Sette on foote with gode wyll, 
And the sheryffe wull we kyll.' 

' Beholde wele Ffrere Tuke, 

Howe he dothe his bowe pluke. 

3eld yow, syrs, to the sheryfE[g], 

Or elles shall your bowe's clyffe'.' 

' Nowe we be bownden alle in same ; 

Frere [T]uke, pis is no game.' 

' Co[m]e pou forth, J>ou fals outlawe : 

pou shall b[e] hangyde and ydrawe.' 

' Now, alias ' what shall we doo ! 

We [mjoste to the prysone goo.' 

' Opy[n] the yatis faste anon, 

An[d] [d]oo theis thevys yniie gon.' * 

Ritson pointed out that Guy of Gisborne is 
named with " other worthies, it is conjectured 
of a similar stamp," in a satirical piece of 
William Dunbar, ' Of Sir Thomas Norray.' 

Was never vyld Robeine wnder bewch, 
Nor $et Roger of Clekkinsklewch, 

So bauld a bairne as he ; 
Gy of Gysburne, na Allan Bell, 
Nor Simones sonnes of Quhynfell, 

At schot war nevir so slie.f 

Ed. John Small, Part II, p. 193. 

Gisburne is in the West Riding of York 
shire, on the borders of Lancashire, seven 
miles from Clitheroe. 

He that had neither beene a kithe nor kin 
Might haue seene a full fayre sight, 36 W , 

anticipates Byron : 

By heaven, it is a splendid sight to see, 

For one who hath no friend, no brother, there. 
Childe Harold, I, 40 1 ' 2 . 

Translated, after Percy's Reliques, by Bod- 
mer, II, 128 ; La Motte Fouque, in Busching's 
Erzahlungen, p. 241 ; Doenniges, p. 174 ; An- 
astasius Griin, p. 103 ; Cesare Cantu, Docu- 
menti, etc., p. 799 (the first thirty-seven 

1 WHEN shawes beene sheene, and shradds full 


And leeues i>oth large and longe, 
Itt is merrry, walking in the fayre fforrest, 
To heare the small birds songe. 

2 The woodweele sang, and wold not cease, 

Amongst the leaues a lyne : 
And it is by two wight yeomen, 
By deare God, that I meane. 

' Me thought they did mee beate and binde, 

And tooke my bow mee froe ; 
If I bee Robin a-liue in this lande, 

I 'le be wrocken on both them to we.' 

4 ' Sweauens are swift, master,' quoth lohn, 

' As the wind that blowes ore a hill ; 
Ffor if itt be neuer soe lowde this night, 
To-morrow it may be still.' 

5 ' Buske yee, bowne yee, my merry men all, 

Ffor lohn shall goe with mee ; 
For I 'le goe seeke yond wight yeomen 
In greenwood where the bee.' 

6 The cast on their gowne of greene, 

A shooting gone are they, 
Vntill they came to the merry greenwood, 

Where they had gladdest bee ; 
There were the ware of [a] wight yeoman, 

His body leaned to a tree. 

* The [d]oo in the last line is not quite certain. I am court fool. He is mentioned in James TV's Treasurer's Ac- 

not sure that the parts are always rightly assigned in the counts, 1503-12. See Laing's Dunbar, II, 307 f. Allan 

third dialogue. Bell being sly at shot, it is probable that Allan is miswrit- 

t Norray should be Nornee, or Norny, the name of a ten in the MS. for Adam. 



7 A sword and a dagger he wore by his side, 

Had beene many a mans bane, 
And lie was cladd in his capull-hyde, 
Topp, and tayle, and mayne. 

8 ' Stand you still, master,' qwoth Litle lohn, 

' Vnder this trusty tree, 
And I will goe to yond wight yeoman, 
To know his meaning trulye.' 

9 ' A, lohn, by me thou setts noe store, 

And that's a ffarley thinge ; 

How offt send I my men beffore, 

And tarry my-selfe behinde ? 

10 ' It is noe cunning a knaue to ken, 

And a man but heave him speake ; 
And itt were not for bursting of my bowe, 
lohn, I wold thy head breake.' 

11 But often words they breeden bale, 

That parted Robin and lohn ; 
lohn is gone to Barn[e]sdale, 
The gates he knowes eche one. 

12 And when hee came to Barnesdale, 

Great heauinesse there hee hadd ; 
He ffound two of his fellowes 
Were slaine both in a slade, 

13 And Scarlett a ffoote flyinge was, 

Ouer stockes and stone, 
For the sheriffe with seuen score men 
Fast after him is gone. 

14 ' Yett one shoote I 'le shoote,' sayes Litle lohn, 

' With Crist his might and mayne ; 
I 'le make yond fellow that flyes soe fast 
To be both glad and ffaine. 

15 lohn bent vp a good veiwe bow, 

And ffetteied him to shoote ; 
The bow was made of a tender boughe, 
And fell downe to his foote. 

16 'Woe worth thee, wicked wood,' sayd Litle 


' That ere thou grew on a tree ! 
Ffor this day thou art my bale, 
My boote when thou shold bee ! ' 

17 This shoote it was but looselye shott, 

The arrowe flew in vaine, 

And it mett one of the sheriffes men ; 
Good \Villiam a Trent was slaine. 

18 It had beene better for William a Trent 

To hange vpon a gallowe 
Then for to lye in the greenwoode, 
There slaine with an arrowe. 

19 And it is sayd, when men be mett, 

Six can doe more then three : 
And they haue tane Litle lohn, 
And bound him ffast to a tree. 

20 ' Thou shait be drawen by dale and downe,' 

qwoth the sheriffe, 
' And hanged hye on a hill : ' 
' But thou may ffayle,' quoth Litle lohn, 
' If itt be Christs owne will.' 

21 Let vs leaue talking of Litle lohn, 

For hee is bound fast to a tree, 
And talke of Guy and Robin Hood, 
In the green woode where they bee. 

22 How these two yeomen together they mett, 

Vnder the leaues of lyne, 
To see what marchandise they made 
Euen at that same time. 

23 ' Good morrow, good fellow,' qwoth Sir Guy ; 

' Good morrow, good ffellow,' qwoth hee ; 
' Methinkes by this bow thou beares in thy 

A good archer thou seems to bee.' 

24 ' I am wilfull of my way,' qwoth Sir Guye, 

' And of my morning tyde : ' 
' I 'le lead thee through the wood,' qwoth Robin, 
' Good ffellow, I 'le be thy guide.' 

25 ' I seeke an outlaw,' qwoth Sir Guye, 

' Men call him Robin Hood ; 
I had rather meet with him vpon a day 
Then forty pound of golde.' 

26 ' If you tow mett, itt wold be seene whether 

were better 

Afore yee did part awaye ; 

Let vs some other pastime find, 

Good ffellow, I thee pray. 

27 ' Let vs some other masteryes make, 

And wee will walke in the woods euen ; 



Wee may chance mee[t] with Robin Hoode 
Att some vnsett steven.' 

28 They cutt them downe the sumwier shroggs 

WAich grew both vnder a bryar, 
And sett them three score rood in twinn, 
To shoote the prickes full neare. 

29 ' Leade on, good ffellow,' sayd Sir Guye, 

' Lead on, I doe bidd thee : ' 
' Nay, by my faith,' quoth Robin Hood, 
' The leader thou shalt bee.' 

30 The first good shoot thai Robin ledd 

Did not shoote an inch the pricke ffroe ; 
Guy was an archer good enoughe, 
But he cold neere shoote soe. 

31 The second shoote Sir Guy shott, 

He shott within the garlande ; 
But Robin Hoode shott it better then hee, 
For he cloue the good pricke-wande. 

32 ' Gods blessing on thy heart ! ' sayes Guye, 

' Goode ffellow, thy shooting is goode ; 
For an thy hart be as good as thy hands, 
Thou were better then Robin Hood. 

33 ' Tell me thy name, good ffellow,' qwoth Guy, 

' Vnder the leaues of lyne : ' 
' Nay, by my faith,' qwoth good Robin, 
' Till thou haue told me thine.' 

34 ' I dwell by dale and downe,' qwoth Guye, 

' And I haue clone many a curst turne ; 
And he that calles me by my right name 
Calles me Guye of good Gysborne.' 

35 ' My dwelling is in the wood,' sayes Robin ; 

' By thee I set right nought ; 
My name is Robin Hood of Barnesdale, 
A ffellow thou has long sought.' 

36 He that had neither beene a kithe nor kin 

Might haue seene a full fayre sight, 

To see how together these yeomen went, 

With blades both browne and bright. 

37 To haue seene how these yeomen together 


Two howers of a summers, day ; 

Itt was neither Guy nor Robin Hood 

That Settled them to flye away. 

38 Robin was reacheles on a roote, 

And stumbled at that tyde, 
And Guy was quicke and nimble with-aU, 
And hitt him ore the left side. 

39 ' Ah, deere Lady ! ' sayd Robin Hoode, 

' Thou art both mother and may ! 
I thinke it was neuer mans destinye 
To dye before his day.' 

40 Robin thought on Our Lady deere, 

And soone leapt vp againe, 
And thus he came with an awkwarde stroke ; 
Good Sir Guy hee has slayne. 

41 He tooke Sir Guys head by the hayre, 

And sticked itt on his bowes end : 

' Thou hast beene traytor all thy liffe, 

WAich thing must haue an ende.' 

42 Robin pulled forth an Irish kniffe. 

And nicked Sir Guy in the fface, 
That hee was neuer on a woman borne 
Cold tell who Sir Guye was. 

43 Saies, Lye there, lye there, good Sir Guye, 

And with me be not wrothe ; 
If thou haue had the worse stroakes at my 

Thou shalt haue the better cloathe. 

44 Robin did off his gowne of greene, 

Sir Guye hee did it throwe; 

And hee put on that capull-hyde, 

That cladd him topp to toe. 

45 ' The bowe, the arrowes, and litle home, 

And with me now I 'le beare ; 

Ffor now I will goe to Barn[e]sdale, 

To see how my men doe ffare.' 

46 Robin sett Guyes home to his mouth, 

A lowd blast in it he did blow ; 
That beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham, 
As he leaned vnder a lowe. 

47 ' Hearken ! hearken ! ' sayd the sheriffe, 

' I heard noe tydings but good ; 
For yonder I heare Sir Guyes home bio we, 
For he hath slaine Robin Hoode. 

48 ' For yonder I heare Sir Guyes home blow, 

Itt blowes soe well in tyde, 



For yonder comes thai wighty yeoman, 
Cladd in his capull-hyde. 

49 ' Come hither, thou good Sir Guy, 

Aske of mee what thou wilt haue : ' 
'I'le none of thy gold,' sayes Robin Hood, 
' Nor I 'le none of itt haue. 

50 ' But now I haue slaine the master,' he sayd, 

' Let me goe strike the knaue ; 
This is all the reward I aske, 
Nor noe other will I haue.' 

51 ' Thou art a madman,' said the shiriffe, 

' Thou sholdest haue had a knights ffee ; 
Seeing thy asking [hath] beene soe badd, 
Well granted it shall be.' 

52 But Litle lohn heard his master speake, 

Well he knew that was his steuen ; 
' Now shall I be loset,' quoth Litle lohn, 
' With Christs might in heauen.' 

53 But Robin hee hyed him towards Litle lohn, 

Hee thought hee wold loose him beliue ; 
The sheriffe and all his companye 
Fast after him did driue. 

54 ' Stand abacke ! stand abaeke ! ' sayd Robin ; 

' Why draw you mee soe neere ? 

Itt was neuer the vse in our countrye 

One's shrift another shold heere.' 

55 But Robin pulled forth an Irysh kniffe, 

And losed lohn hand and ffoote, 
And gaue him Sir Guyes bow in his hand, 
And bade it be his boote. 

56 But lohn tooke Guyes bow in his hand 

His arrowes were rawstye by the roote ; 
The sherriffe saw Litle lohn draw a bow 
And Settle him to shoote. 

57 Towards his house in Nottingara 

He filed full fast away, 

And soe did all his companye, 

Not one behind did stay. 

58 But he cold neither soe fast goe, 

Nor away soe fast runn, 
But Litle lohn, with an arrow broade, 
Did cleaue his heart in twinn. 

I 1 . When shales beeene. I 4 , birds singe. 

2 1 . woodweete. 2 s . by 2. II 1 . ball. 

12". 2 of. 13 3 . with 7. 

15 1 . veiwe. The word is partly pared away. 

15 4 . footee. 18 1 . a william. 19 2 . 6 can ... 3. 

21 4 . in they green. 22 1 . these 2. 

23 4 . archer : an e has been added at the end. 

25 4 . 40!'. 

27 4 . a stroke before the v of steven. Furnivall. 
28 s . 3 score. 31 1 . 2f. 32 s . for on. 
37 2 . 2 howers. 44 1 . did on. 55 1 . kniffee. 



. MS. of about 1450: Cambridge University Library, 
Ff. 5. 48, fol. 128 b. b. One leaf of a MS. of the 

same age, containing stanzas 69 8 -72, 77 3 -80 2 ; 
ford Ballads, vol. i, art. 6, British Museum. 

a is printed from the manuscript in Ja- Hartshorne's Ancient Metrical Tales, p. 179, 
mieson's Popular Ballads, II, 54, 1806; 1829 ; Ritson's Robin Hood, ed. 1832, II, 221, 



collated by Sir Frederic Madden. Here 
printed from a fresh transcript, carefully re 
vised by Rev. Professor Skeat. 

On a bright Whitsuntide morning, Robin 
Hood, not having "seen his Savior " for more 
than a fortnight, resolves to go to mass at 
Nottingham. Much advises that he take 
twelve yeomen with him for safety, but Robin 
will have only Little John. They improve 
the time, while on their way to church, by 
shooting for a wager. Robin scornfully of 
fers John three to one ; but John neverthe 
less wins five shillings of his master, at which 
Robin loses his temper, and strikes John. 
John will be his man no more, and returns to 
the wood. Robin, sorry for this consequence 
of his bad humor, goes on to Nottingham 
alone. A monk at Saint Mary's church rec 
ognizes Robin, and gives information to the 
sheriff, who comes with a large force to arrest 
the king's felon. Robin kills or wounds many 
of the posse, but his sword breaks upon the 
sheriff's head. In some way which we do not 
learn, owing to verses lost,* Robin's men hear 
that their master has been taken. They are 
all out of their wits but Little John. Mild 
Mary, he tells his comrades, will never forsake 
one who has been so long devoted to her, and 
he, with her help, will see to the monk. The 
next day John and Much waylay the monk, 
who is carrying letters to the king conveying 
the tidings of Robin's capture ; they kill him, 
take the letters, and carry them to the king 
themselves. The king gives them twenty 
pounds for their news, and makes them yeo 
men of the crown ; he sends his privy seal to 
the sheriff by John, commanding that Robin 
Hood shall be brought to him unhurt. The 
sheriff, upon receiving the seal, makes John 
good cheer, and goes to bed heavy with wine. 
John and Much, while the sheriff is sleeping, 

* The gap at SO 2 occurs between two pages, and is pecu 
liarly regrettable. The former reading of " Robyns men " in 
30 1 made matters much worse, since there was no way of ac 
counting for the appearance of his men at this point. We 
must suppose that some one of Robin's many friends carries 
the news of his capture to his band, and not simply that; 
with this there must have come information that their leader 
was to be held to await knowledge of the king's pleasure, 
otherwise delay would be dangerous, and summary measures 
for his deliverance be required. 

make their way to the jail. John rouses the 
porter, runs him through,! an d takes his keys, 
unbinds Robin Hood, and puts a good sword 
in his hand ; they leap from the wall where it 
is lowest. The sheriff finds the jailer dead in 
the morning, and searches the town for his 
captive; but Robin is in merry Sherwood. 
Farewell now, says John ; I have done thee a 
good turn for an ill. Nay, says Robin, I make 
thee master of my men and me. So shall it 
never be, answers John ; I care only to be a 
comrade. The king hears that Robin has es 
caped, and that the sheriff is afraid to show 
himself. Little John has beguiled us both, 
says the king. I made them yeomen of the 
crown, and gave them pay with my own hand! 
Little John loves Robin Hood better than he 
does us. Say no more. John has beguiled 
us all. 

Too much could not be said in praise of this 
ballad, but nothing need be said. It is very 
perfection in its kind ; and yet we have oth 
ers equally good, and beyond doubt should 
have had more, if they had been written down 
early, as this was, and had not been left to 
the chances of tradition. Even writing would 
not have saved all, but writing has saved this 
(in large part), and in excellent form. 

The landscape background of the first two 
stanzas has been often praised, and its beauty 
will never pall. It may be called landscape 
or prelude, for both eyes and ears are ad 
dressed, and several others of these woodland 
ballads have a like symphony or setting : 
Adam Bell, Robin Hood and the Potter, Guy 
of Gisborne, even the much later ballad of 
The Noble Fisherman. It is to be observed 
that the story of the outlaw Fulk Fitz Warine, 
which has other traits in common with Robin 
Hood ballads, begins somewhat after the same 
fashion. J 

t The porter or warden, in such cases, may commonly 
look to have his neck wrung, to be thrown over the wall, 
into a well, etc. : compnre Adam Bell, st. 65 ; Jock o the 
Side, sts 13, 14; the Tale of Gamelyn, Skeat, v. 303-05; 
Fulk Fitz Warine, Wright, pp 44, 82 f ; King Horn. ed. 
Wissmann, vv 1097-99 ; Romance de don Gaiferos, F. Wolf, 
Ueber eine Sammlung spanischer Romanzen, p. 76, Wolf y 
Hofmann, Primavera, II, 148, No 174; etc. 

t En le temps de Averyl e May, quant les prees e les 
herbes reverdissent, et chescune chose vivaunte recovre ver- 



Robin Hood's devotion to the Virgin, st. 34, 
is a feature which reappears in Robin Hood 
and the Potter, Guy of Gisborne, Robin 
Hood and the Curtal Friar, and above all in 
The Gest. His profound piety, as evinced in 
stanzas 6, 7, and again in 8, 9 of The Gest, 
is commemorated by Bower in a passage in 
the Scotichronicon, of about the same date as 
the manuscript of the present ballad (1450), 
which we have every reason to assume to be 
derived from a lost ballad.* Robin Hood had 
mass regularly sung at Barnsdale, nor would 
he suffer the office to be interrupted for the 
most pressing occasion. (We know from The 
Gest, st. 440, that he had a pretty chapel 
there, dedicated to Mary Magdalen.) One 
day, while so engaged, he was informed that 
the sheriff and his men, old foes of his, had 
tracked him to the very retired part of the for 
est where the service was going on, and was 
urged to fly with his best speed. This, for 
reverence of the sacrament, which he was then 
most devoutly adoring, he utterly refused to 
do, and then, while the rest were fearing for 
their lives, trusting in him whom he wor 
shipped, fell upon his enemies, with a few of 
his followers who had rallied to him, and ea 
sily put them to rout. Enriched with their 
spoil and ransom, he was led to hold the 
ministers of the church (but apparently not 
" bishops and archbishops," Gest, st. 15) and 
masses in greater veneration than ever, mind 
ful of the common saw, God hears the man 
who often hears the mass.f 

There is a general resemblance between the 
rescue of Robin Hood in stanzas 61-81 and 
that of William of Cloudesly in Adam Bell, 

tue, heaute e force, les mountz e les valeys retentissent des 
douce chauntz des oseylouns, e les cuers de chescune gent, 
pur la beaute du temps e la sesone, mountent en haut e 
s'enjolyvent, etc. : Wright, Warton Club, 1855, p. 1 ; Steven 
son, Radulphi de Coggesliall Chronicon Anglicnnum, etc., 
p. 277. 

* Already cited at p. 41. Bower wrote 1441-47, and died 
1449 : Skene, Johannis de Fordun Chronica, pp xv, xli. 
t Par cest exemple bien veons 

Que li clous Deux en qui creons 

Ame et chierist et honneure 

56-94, and the precaution suggested by Much 
in the eighth stanza corresponds to the warn 
ing given by Adam in the eighth stanza of 
the other ballad. There is a verbal agree 
ment in stanzas 71 of the first and 66 of the 
second. J Such agreements or repetitions are 
numerous in the Robin Hood ballads, and in 
other traditional ballads, where similar situa 
tions occur. 

Robin Hood's rescue of Little John, in Guy 
of Gisborne, after quarrelling with him on a 
fanciful provocation, is a partial offset for Lit 
tle John's heart -stirring generosity in this 
ballad. We have already had several cases of 
ballads in which the principal actors exchange 

That portion of ' Robin Hood's Death ' in 
which Robin Hood gets angry with Scarlet, 
and shoots with Little John on his way to be 
let blood, may have been transferred, at least 
in part, from Robin Hood and the Monk. 

It is hardly worth the while to ask whether 
the monk in this ballad is the same who is 
pillaged in The Gest. So rational a sugges 
tion as that more than one monk must have 
fallen into Robin's hands, in the course of his 
long and lucrative career, may not be conclu 
sive, but we may rest certain that there were 
many Robin Hood ballads besides the few old 
ones which have come down to us ; and if so, 
there would be many variations upon so agree 
able a topic as the depleting of overstocked 

Translated, after Jamieson, by Grundtvig, 
Engelske og skotske Folkeviser, p. 148, No 
24 ; by Anastasius Griin, p. 89. 

Celui qui volentiers demeure 

Pour oir messe en sainte eglise, etc. 

' Du chevalier qui ooit la messe, et Notre-Dame estoit 
pour lui au tournoiement,' Barbazan et Me"on, Fabliaux, 
1808, I, 86. 

J These resemblances are noted by Fricke, Die Robin 
Hood Balladen, a dissertation, reprinted in Archiv fur das 
Studium der neueren Sprachen (vol. 69), in which the rela 
tions of the ballads in question are discussed with sagacity 
and vigilance. 



1 IN somer, when pe shawes be sheyne, 

And leves be large and long, 
Hit is full mery in feyre foreste 
To here pe f oulys song : 

2 To se pe dere draw to pe dale, 

And leve pe hilles hee, 
And shadow hew in })e leves grene, 
Vnder the grene-wode tre. 

3 Hit befel on Whitsontide, 

Erly in a May mornyng, 
The son vp feyre can shyne, 
And the briddis mery can syng. 

4 'This is a mery mornyng,' seid Litull 


' Be hym fat dyed on tre ; 
A more mery man pen I am one 
Lyves not in Cristiante. 

5 ' Pluk vp pi hert, my dere mayster,' 

Litull John can sey, 
' And thynk hit is a full fayre tyme 
In a mornyng of May.' 

6 ' 3e, on thyng greves me,' seid Robyn, 

' And does my hert mych woo ; 
J>at I may not no solem day 
To mas nor matyns goo. 

7 ' Hit is a fourtnet and more,' seid he, 

' Syn I my sauyowr see ; 
To day wil I to Notyngham,' seid Robyn, 
' With pe myght of mylde Marye.' 

8 Than spake Moche, pe mylner sun, 

Euer more wel hym betyde ! 
' Take twelue of pi wyght ^emen, 

Well weppynd, be pi side. 
Such on wolde pi selfe slon, 

J>at twelue dar not abyde.' 

9 ' Of all my mery men,' seid Robyn, 

' Be my feith I wil non haue, 
But Litull John shall beyre my bow, 
Til pat me list to drawe.' 

10 ' JJou shall beyre pin own,' seid Litull Jon, 

'Maister, and I wyl beyre myne, 
And we well shete a peny,' seid Litull Jon, 
' Vnder pe grene-wode lyne.' 

11 ' I wil not shete a peny,' seyd Robyn Hode, 

' In feith, Litull John, vrith the, 
But euer for on as pou shetis,' seide Robyn, 
' In feith I holde pe thre.' 

12 Thus shet pei forth, pese ^emen too, 

Bothe at buske and brome, 
Til Litull John wan of his maister 
Fiue shillings to hose and shone. 

13 A ferly strife fel pern betwene, 

As they went bi the wey ; 
Litull John seid he had won fiue shillings, 
And Robyn Hode seid schortly nay. 

14 With pat Robyn Hode lyed Litul Jon, 

And smote hym with his hande ; 
Litul Jon waxed wroth ]>erwith, 
And pulled out his bright bronde. 

15 ' Were pou not my maister,' seid Litull John, 

' J>ou shuldis by hit ful sore ; 
Get pe a man wher pou w[ilt], 
For pou getis me no more.' 

16 f>en Robyn goes to Notyngham, 

Hym selfe mornyng allone, 
And Litull John to mery Scherwode, 
The pathes he knew ilkone. 

17 Whan Robyn came to Notyngham, 

Sertenly witAouten layn, 
He prayed to God and myld Mary 
To bryng hym out saue agayn. 

18 He gos in to Seynt Mary chirch, 

And kneled down before the rode ; 
Alle pat euer were pe church wt'tAin 
Beheld wel Robyn Hode. 

19 Beside hym stod a gret-hedid munke, 

I pray to God woo he be ! 
Fful sone he knew gode Robyn, 
As sone as he hym se. 

20 Out at pe durre he ran, 

Fful sone and anon ; 
Alle pe jatis of Notyngham 

He made to be sparred euerychon. 

21 ' Rise vp,' he seid, ' pou prowde schereff, 

Buske pe and make pe bowne ; 



I haue spyed pe kynggis felon, 
Ffor sothe he is in pis town. 

22 ' I haue spyed pe false felon, 

As he stondw at his masse ; 
Hit is long of pe,' seide pe munke, 
' And euer he fro vs passe. 

23 ' JH'S traytwr name is Eohyn Hode, 

Vnder pe grene-wode lynde ; 
He robbyt me onys of a hundred pound, 
Hit shalle neuer out of my mynde.' 

24 Vp }>en rose pis prowde shereff. 

And radly made hym jare ; 
Many was pe moder son 

To J>e kyrk wit A hym can fare. 

25 In at pe durres pel throly thrast, 

Wit/i staves f ul gode wone ; 

' Alas, alas ! ' seid Robyn Hode, 

' Now mysse I Litull John.' 

26 But Robyn toke out a too-hond sworde, 

f>at hangit down be his kne ; 
J>er as pe schereff and his men stode thyckust, 
Thedurwarde wolde he. 

27 Thryes thorowout pem he ran pen, 

For sope as I yow sey, 
And woundyt mony a moder son, 
And twelue he slew pat day. 

28 His sworde vpon pe schireff hed 

Sertanly he brake in too ; 
' J>e smyth pat pe made,' seid Robyn, 
' I pray to God wyrke hym woo ! 

29 ' Ffor now am I weppynlesse,' seid Robyn, 

' Alasse ! agayn my wylle ; 
But if I may fle pese traytors fro, 
I wot pei wil me kyll.' 

30 Robyn in to the churche ran, 

Throout hem euerilkon, 

31 Sum fel in swonyng as pei were dede, 

And lay stil as any stone ; 
Non of theym were in her mynde 
But only Litull Jon. 

32 ' Let be yowr rule,' seid Litull Jon, 

' Ffor his luf pat dyed on tre, 
3e pat shulde be du?ty men ; 
Het is gret shame to se. 

33 ' Oure maiste? 1 has bene hard bystode 

And jet scapyd away ; 
Pluk vp yowr hertis, and leve pis mone, 
And harkyn what I shal say. 

34 ' He has seruyd Oure Lady many a day, 

And jet wil, securly ; 
]7e?'for I trust in hir specialy 
No wyckud deth shal he dye. 

35 ' ]7erfor be glad,' seid Litul John, 

' And let pis mournyng be ; 
And I shal be ]>e munkts gyde, 
Wt't/i pe myght of mylde Mary. 

36 . 

' We will go but we too ; 
And I mete hym,' seid Litul John, 

37 ' Loke pat je kepe wel owre tristil-tre, 

Vnder pe levys smale, 
And spare non of this venyson, 
J>at gose in thys vale.' 

38 Fforpe pen went these jemen too, 

Litul John and Moche on fere, 
And lokid on Moch emys hows, 
]?e liye way lay full nere. 

39 Litul John stode at a wyndow in pe mornyng 

And lokid forp at a stage ; 
He was war wher pe munke came ridyng, 
And wit/i hym a litul page. 

40 ' Be my feith,' seid Litul John to Moch, 

' I can pe tel tithyngus gode ; 
I se wher pe munke cmrcys rydyng, 
I know hym be his wyde bode.' 

41 They went in to the way, pese jemew, bope, 

As curtes men and hende ; 
]?ei spyrred tithyngus at pe munke, 
As they hade bene his frende. 

42 ' Ffro whens come je ? ' seid Litull Jon, 

' Tel vs tithyngus, I yow pray, 


Off a false owtlay, [callid Robyn Hode,] 
Was takyn }isterday. 

43 ' He robbyt me and my f elowes bope 

Of twenti marke in serten ; 
If pat false owtlay be takyn, 
Ffor sope we wolde be fayn.' 

44 ' So did he me,' seid pe munke, 

' Of a hundred pound and more ; 
I layde furst hande hym apon, 
3e may thonke me perfore.' 

45 ' I pray God thanke you,' seid Litull John, 

' And we wil when we may ; 
We wil go with you, with yowr leve, 
And bryng yow on yowr way. 

46 ' Ffor Robyn Hode base many a wilde felow, 

I tell you in certen ; 
If pei wist 56 rode pi's way, 
In feith je shulde be slayn.' 

47 As pei went talking be pe way, 

The munke and Litull John, 
John toke pe munkis horse be pe hede, 
Fful sone and anon. 

48 Johne toke pe munki's horse be pe hed, 

Ffor sope as I yow say ; 
So did Much pe litull page, 
Ffor he shulde not scape away. 

49 Be pe golett of pe hode 

John pulled pe munke down ; 
John was nothyng of hym agast, 
He lete hym falle on his crown. 

50 Litull John was so[re] agrevyd, 

And drew owt his swerde in hye ; 
This munke saw he shulde be ded, 
Lowd mercy can he crye. 

51 ' He was my maister,' seid Litull John, 

' pat pou base brow^t in bale ; 
Shalle pou neuer cum at our kyng, 
Ffor to telle hym tale.' 

52 John smote of pe munkt's hed, 

No longer wolde he dwell ; 
So did Moch pe litull page, 
Ffor ferd lest he wolde tell. 

53 J>er pel beryed hem hope, . 

In nouper mosse nor lyng, 
And Litull John and Much infere 
Bare pe letturs to oure kyng. 


He knelid down vpon his kne : 
' God jow saue, my lege lorde, 
Ihesus yow saue and se ! 

55 ' God yow saue, my lege kyng ! ' 

To speke John was full bolde ; 
He gaf hym pe letturs ire his bond, 
The kyng did hit vnfold. 

56 f>e kyng red pe letturs anon, 

And seid, So mot I the, 
per was neuer joman in mery Inglond 
I longut so sore to se. 

57 'Wher is pe munke pat pese shuld haue 

brou^t ? ' 

Oure kyng can say : 
'Be my trouth,' seid Litull John, 
' He dyed after pe way.' 

58 J>e kyng gaf Moch and Litul Jon 

Twenti pound in sertan, 
And made peim ^emen of pe crown, 
And bade peim go agayn. 

59 He gaf John pe seel in hand, 

The sheref for to here, 
To bryng Robyn hym to, 
And no man do hym dere. 

60 John toke his leve at oure kyng, 

J?e sothe as I yow say ; 
J>e next way to Notyngham 
To take, he $ede pe way. 

61 Whan John came to Notyngham 

The }atis were sparred ychon ; 
John callid vp pe porter, 
He answerid sone anon. 

62 ' What is pe cause,' seid Litul Jon, 

' J>ou sparris pe jates so fast ? ' 
' Because of Robyn Hode,' seid [pe] porter, 
' In depe prison is cast. 

63 'John and Moch and Wyll Scathlok, 

Ffor sothe as 1 yow say, 



J>ei slew oure men vpon our wallis, 
And sawten vs every day.' 

64 Litull John spyrred after pe schereff, 

And sone he hym fonde ; 
He oppyned pe kyngus priue seell, 
And gaf hyrn in his honde. 

65 Whan pe scheref saw pe kyngus seell, 

He did of his hode anon : 
' Wher is J>e munke pat bare pe letturs ? ' 
He seid to Litull John. 

66 ' He is so fayn of hym,' seid Litul John, 

' Ff or sope as I yow say, 
He has made hym abot of Westmynster, 
A lorde of pat abbay.' 

67 The scheref made John gode chere, 

And gaf hym wyne of the best ; 
At nyjt pei went to her bedde, 
And every man to his rest. 

68 When pe scheref was on slepe, 

Dronken of wyne and ale, 

Litul John and Moch for sope 

Toke pe way vnto pe jale. 

69 Litul John callid vp pe jayler, 

And bade hym rise anon ; 
He seyd Robyn Hode had brokyn prison, 
And out of hit was gon. 

70 The porter rose anon sertan, 

As sone as he herd John calle ; 
Litul John was redy wit/i a swerd, 
And bare hym to pe walle. 

71 'Now wil I be porter,' seid Litul John, 

' And take pe keyes in honde : ' 
He toke pe way to Robyn Hode, 
And sone he hym vnbonde. 

72 He gaf hym a gode swerd in his hond, 

His hed [ther]wtt/i for to kepe, 
And ther as pe walle was lowyst 
Anon down can pei lepe. 

73 Be pat pe cok began to crow, 

The day began to spryng ; 
The scheref fond pe jaylier ded, 
The comyn bell made he ryng. 

74 He made a crye thoroout al pe tow[n], 

Wheder he be joman or knave, 
Ipat cowpe bryng hym Robyn Hode, 
His warison he shuld haue. 

75 ' Ffor I dar neuer,' said pe scheref, 

' Cum before oure kyng ; 
Ffor if I do, I wot serten 
Ffor sope he wil me heng.' 

76 The scheref made to seke Notyngham, 

Bothe be strete and stye, 
And Robyn was in mery Scherwode, 
As li^t as lef on lynde. 

77 Then bespake gode Litull John, 

To Robyn Hode can he say, 
I haue done pe a gode turne for an euyll, 
Quyte pe whan pou may. 

78 ' I haue done pe a gode turne,' seid Litul] 


' Ffor sothe as I yow say ; 
I haue broujt pe vnder grene-wode lyne ; 
Ffare wel, and haue gode day.' 

79 ' Nay, be my trouth,' seid Robyn Hode, 

' So shall hit neuer be ; 
I make pe maister,' seid Robyn Hode, 
' Off alle my men and me.' 

80 ' Nay, be my trouth,' seid Litull John, 

' So shalle hit neuer be ; 
But lat me be a felow,' seid Litull John, 
' No noder kepe I be.' 

81 Thus John gate Robyn Hod out of pwson, 

Sertan witAoutyn layn ; 
Whan his men saw hym hoi and sounde, 
Ffor sothe they were full fayne. 

82 They filled in wyne, and made hem glad, 

Vnder pe levys smale, 

And ^ete pastes of venyson, 

pat gode was with ale. 

83 Than worde came to oure kyng 

How Robyn Hode was gon, 
And how pe scheref of Notyngham 
Durst neuer loke hym vpon. 

84 Then bespake oure cumly kyng, 

In an angur hye : 



Litull John base begyled pe scherefi, 
In faith so base he me. 

85 Litul John has begyled vs bothe, 

And pat full wel I se ; 
Or ellis pe schereff of Notyngham 
Hye hongut shulde he be. 

86 ' I made hem ^emen of ]>e crowne, 

And gaf hem fee with, my bond ; 
I gaf hem grith,' seid oure kyng, 
' Thorowout all mery Inglond. 

87 ' I gaf theym grith,' pen seid cure kyng ; 

' I say, so mot I the, 
Ffor sothe soch a jeman as he is on 
In all Inglond ar not thre. 

88 ' He is trew to his maister,' seid our kyng ; 

I sey, be swete Seynt John, 
He louys better Robyu Hode 
Then he dose vs ychon. 

89 ' Robyn Hode is e\ier bond to hym, 

Bothe in strete and stalle ; 
Speke no more of this mater,' seid oure kyng 
' But John has begyled vs alle.' 

90 Thus endys the talkyng of the munke 

And Robyn Hode i-wysse ; 
God, pat is ener a crowned kyng, 
Bryng vs all to his blisse ! 

a. A curl over final n, as in Robyn, John, on, 
sawten, etc. ; a crossed h, as in John, mych, 
etc. ; crossed 11, as in full, litull, well, etc. ; 
a hoolced g, as in mornyng, kyng, etc., have 
been treated as not significant. As to 
Robyn, cf. 7 s , II 1 ' 3 , 13 4 , 14 1 , etc., where 
there is simple n ; as to John, 10 1 ' 8 , 14 s , 
31 4 , etc., where ive have Jon ; as to Litull, 
14 1 -", 39 1 , 68 3 , 69 l , 70 3 , 71 1 , where we have 
Litul. And is printed for & ; be twene, be 
fore, be side, be held, be spake, per with, 
thorow out, with outen, etc., are joined. 

3 1 . tide no longer legible. 

7 1 . seid h . . . , illegible after h. 

8 8 - 6 . xij. 10 1 . y nown. 12*, 13. v s'. 

14 1 . lyed before Robyn struck through. 

23". of a C'li. 

27 1 . thorow at : but cf. 30 2 . 27 4 . xij. 

30 1 . Robyns men to the churche ran : Madden. 
There are no men with Robin. " This line 
is almost illegible. It certainly begins with 
Robyn, and the second word is not men. 

/ read it, Robyn into the churche ran." 

30 2 . A gap here between two pages, and there 
are commonly six stanzas to a page. At 
least six are required for the capture of 
Robin Hood and the conveying of the tid 
ings to his men. 

43 2 . Of xx. 

44 1 . me me in my copy, probably by inadver 

44 2 . Of a C li. 

53 1 . hym. 56 1 . Y kyng. 58 2 . xx li. 
77 4 . b has Quit me, which is perhaps better. 
78 2 . perhaps saie ; nearly illegible. 
90 2 . I wysse. 

b. 69 3 . pe prison. 70 4 . throw to. 71 1 . be jayler. 
71 2 . toke. 72 2 . hed ther with. 
72 3 . wallis were. 72 4 . down ther they. 
77 2 . [t]hen for can (?). 77 4 . Quit me. 
78 2 . the saye. 78 s . pe grene. 
79 1 '*. Hode wanting. 





A. ' Robin Hoode his Death,' Percy MS., p. 21; Hales 
and Furnivall, I, 53. 

B. ' Robin Hood's Death and Burial.' a. The Eng 
lish Archer, Paisley, John Neilson, 1786 : Bodleian 

Library, Douce, F. F. 71 (6), p. 81. b. The Eng 
lish Archer, York, printed by N. Nickson, in Fease- 
gate, n. d.: Bodleian Library, Douce, F. F. 71 (4), 
p. 70. 

B is given in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 
183, " from a collation of two different copies " 
of a York garland, "containing numerous va 
riations, a few of which are retained in the 

A. Robin Hood is ailing, and is convinced 
that the only course for him is to go to Kirk- 
lees priory for blooding. Will Scarlet cannot 
counsel this, unless his master take fifty bow 
men with him ; for a yeoman lives there with 
whom there is sure to be a quarrel. Robin 
bids Scarlet stay at home, if he is afraid. 
Scarlet, seeing that his master is wroth, will 
say no more.* Robin Hood will have no one 
go with him but Little John, who shall carry 
his bow. John proposes that they shall shoot 
for a penny along the way, and Robin as 

The opening of the ballad resembles that 
of Robin Hood and the Monk. There Robin's 
soul is ill at ease, as here his body, and he 
resolves to go to Nottingham for mass ; Much, 
the Miller's son, advises a guard of twelve 
yeomen ; Robin will take none with him ex 
cept John, to bear his bow;f and John sug 
gests that they shall shoot for a penny as 
they go. 

A very interesting passage of the story here 

* " You shall never hear more of me " might mean some 
thing stronger, but it is unlikely that Will is BO touchy as 
to throw up fealty for a testy word from a sick man. A 
stanza or more seems to be lost here. Arthur is equally 
hasty with Gawain. He makes his vow to be the bane of 
Cornwall King. It is an unadvised vow, says Gawain. 

And then bespake him noble Arthur, 
And these were the words said he : 

followed, of which we can barely guess the 
contents, owing to nine stanzas having been 
torn away. Robin Hood and John keep up 
their shooting all the way, until they come to 
a black water, crossed by a plank. On the 
plank an old woman is kneeling, and banning 
Robin Hood. Robin Hood asks why, but the 
answer is lost, and it is not probable that we 
shall ever know : out of her proper malig 
nancy, surely, or because she is a hired witch, 
for Robin is the friend of lowly folk. But if 
this old woman is banning, others, no doubt 
women, are weeping, for somehow they have 
learned that he is to be let blood that day at 
the priory, and foresee that ill will come of 
it. Robin is disturbed by neither banning 
nor weeping ; the prioress is his cousin, and 
would not harm him for the world. So they 
shoot on until they come to Kirklees. 

Robin makes the prioress a present of 
twenty pound, with a promise of more when 
she wants, and she falls to work with her 
bleeding-irons. The thick blood comes, and 
then the thin, and Robin knows that there 
has been treason. John asks, What cheer ? 
Robin answers, Little good. Nine stanzas 
are again wanting, and again in a place where 
we are not helped by the other version. John 

Why, if thou be afraid, Sir Gawaine the gay, 
Goe home, and drink wine in thine own country. 

I, 285, sts 33-35. 

t John is again his sole companion when Robin goes in 
search of Guy of Gisborne. The yeoman in stanza 3 should 
be Red Roger; but a suspicion has more than once come 
over me that the beginning of this ballad has been affected 
by some version of Guy of Gisborne. 



must call from the outside of the building, 
judging by what follows. An altercation 
seems to pass between Robin and some one ; 
we should suppose between Robin and Red 
Roger. Robin slips out of a shot-window, 
and as he does so is thrust through the side 
by Red Roger. Robin swoops off Red Roger's 
head, and leaves him for dogs to eat. Then 
Red Roger must be below, and John is cer 
tainly below. He would have seen to Red 
Roger had they both been within. But John 
must be under a window on a different side 
of the building from that whence Robin issues, 
for otherwise, again, he would have seen to 
Red Roger. We are driven to suppose that 
the words in st. 19 pass between Robin above 
and Roger below. 

Though Robin is near his last breath, he 
has, he says, life enough to take his housel. 
He must get it in a very irregular way, but 
he trusts it will " bestand " him.* John asks 
his master's leave to set fire to Kirklees, but 
Robin will not incur God's blame by harming 
any woman [" widow "] at his latter end. Let 
John make his grave of gravel and greet, set 
his sword at his head, his arrows at his feet, 
and lay his bow by his side.f 

B, though found only in late garlands, is 
in the fine old strain. Robin Hood says to 
Little John that he can no longer shoot 
matches, his arrows will not flee ; he must 
go to a cousin to be let blood. He goes, 
alone, to Kirkley nunnery, and is received 
with a show of cordiality. His cousin bloods 
him, locks him up in the room, and lets him 
bleed all the livelong day, and until the next 
day at noon. Robin bethinks himself of es 
caping through a casement, but is not strong 
enough. He sets his horn to his mouth and 
blows thrice, but so wearily that Little John, 
hearing, thinks his master must be nigh to 
death. John comes to Kirkley, breaks the 

* I can make nothing of " give me mood," in 23 1 ' 2 . ' Give 
me God ' or ' Give me my God,' seems too bold a suggestion : 
at any rate I have no example of God used simply for housel. 

t A few verses are wanting at the end. The " met-yard " 
of the last line is one of the last things we should think 
Robin would care for. 

J It seemed to me at one time that there was a direction 
to shoot an arrow to determine the place of a grave also in 
No 16, A 3, 1, 185. 

locks, and makes his way to Robin's presence. 
He begs the boon of setting fire to Kirkley, 
but Robin has never hurt woman in all his 
life, and will not at his end. He asks for his 
bow to shoot his last shot, and where the 
arrow lights there his grave shall be.J His 
grave is to be of gravel and green, long 
enough and broad enough, a sod under his 
head, another at his feet, and his bow by 
his side, that men may say, Here lies bold 
Robin Hood. 

The account of Robin Hood's death which 
is given in The Gest, agrees as to the main 
items with what we find in A. The prioress 
of Kirkesly, his near kinswoman, betrayed 
him when he went to the nunnery to be let 
blood, and this she did upon counsel with Sir 
Roger of Donkester, with whom she was in 
timate. The Life of Robin Hood in the Sloane 
MS, which is mostly made up from The Gest, 
naturally repeats this story. 

Grafton, in his Chronicle, 1569, citing " an 
olde and auncient pamphlet," says : For the 
sayd Robert Hood, beyng afterwardes troubled 
with sicknesse, came to a certain nonry in 
Yorkshire, called Bircklies, where, desiryng 
to be let blood, he was betrayed and bled to 
death : edition of 1809, p. 221. So the Har- 
leian MS, No 1233, article 199, of the middle 
of the seventeenth century, and not worth cit 
ing, but cited by Ritson. According to Stani- 
hurst, in Holinshed's Ireland (p. 28 of ed. of 
1808), after Robin Hood had been betrayed at 
a nunnery in Scotland called Bricklies, Little 
John was fain to flee the realm, and went to 
Ireland, where he executed an extraordinary 
shot, by which he thought his safety compro 
mised, and so removed to Scotland, and died 

Martin Parker's True Tale of Robin Hood, 
which professes to be collected from chroni 
cles, ascribes Robin Hood's death to a faith- 

Now when that ye hear me gie a loud cry, 

Shoot frae thy bow an arrow, and there let me lye. 

But upon considering the corresponding passage in 16 B, 
C, and in 15 B, the idea seems rather to be, that the arrow 
is to leave the bow at the moment when the soul shoots 
from the body. 



less friar, who pretended " in love to let him 
blood," when he had a fever, and allowed him 
to bleed to death. Robin Hood and the Val 
iant Knight, a late and thoroughly worthless 
broadside ballad, says simply, He sent for a 
monk to let him blood, who took his life 

A Russian popular song has an interesting 
likeness to the conclusion of Robin Hood's 
Death. The last survivor of a band of brig 
ands, feeling death to be nigh, exclaims : 

Bury me, brothers, between three roads, 

The Kief, and the Moscow, and the Murom famed 

in story. 

At my feet fasten my horse, 
At my head set a life-bestowing cross, 
In my right hand place my keen sabre. 
Whoever passes by will stop ; 
Before my life-bestowing cross will he utter a 


At the sight of my black steed will he be startled, 
At the sight of my keen sword will he be terrified. 
' Surely this is a brigand who is buried here, 
A son of the brigand, the bold Stenka Razi'n.' 

Sakharof, Skazaniya Russkago Naroda. I, iii, 226.* 

Dimos, twenty years a Klepht, tells his 
comrades to make his tomb wide and high, 
enough for him to fight in it, standing up, 
and to leave a window, so that the swallows 
may tell him that spring has come and the 
nightingales that it is May : Fauriel, I, 56 ; 
Zambelios, p. 607, 13 ; Passow, p. 85. This 
is a song of the beginning of the present 

B is translated in Le Magasin Pittoresque, 
1838, p. 126 f ; by Loeve-Veimars, p. 223 ; 
by Cantu, Document! alia Storia Universale, 
V, m, p. 801; Anastasius Griin, p. 200; 
Knortz, L. u. R. Alt-Englands, No 20. 

Percy MS., p. 21 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 53. 

1 ' I WILL neuer eate nor drinke,' Robin Hood 


' Nor meate will doo me noe good, 
Till I haue beene att merry Churchlees, 
My vaines for to let blood." 

2 ' That I reade not,' said Will Scarllett, 

' M.aster, by the assente of me, 
Without balfe a hundred of yowr best bowmen 
You take to goe with yee. 

3 ' For there a good yeoman doth abide 

Will be sure to quarrell with thee, 
And if thou haue need of vs, master, 
In faith we will not flee.' 

4 'And thou be feard, thou William Scarlett, 

Att home I read thee bee : ' 
' And you be wrothe, my deare master, 
You shall neuer heare more of mee.' 

5 ' For there shall noe man with me goe, 

Nor man with mee ryde, 
And Litle lohn shall be my man, 
And beare my benbow by my side.' 

6 ' You'st beare your bowe, master, your selfe, 

And shoote for a peny with mee : ' 
' To that I doe assent,' Robin Hood sayd, 
' And soe, lohn, lett it bee.' 

7 They two bolde children shotten together, 

All day theire selfe in ranke, 
Vntill they came to blacke water, 
And over it laid a planke. 

8 Vpon it there kneeled an old woman, 

Was banning Robin Hoode ; 
'Why dost thou bann 'Robin Hoode?' said 

* Ralston, Songs of the Russian People, p. 46, who cites Stenka Razin, the chief of the insurgents, after setting for 

B 17, 18. Mr Ralston observes that most of the so-styled several years the forces of the Tsar at defiance, was put to a 

Robber Songs of '.he Russians are reminiscences of the revolt cruel death in 1672 : p. 45, as above, 
of the Don Cossacks against Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich. 



' To giue to Robin Hoode ; 
Wee weepen for his deare body, 
That this day must be lett bloode.' 

10 ' The dame prior is my aunts daughter, 

And nie vnto my kinne ; 
I know shee wold me noe harme this day, 
For all the world to winne.' 

11 Forth then shotten these children two, 

And they did neuer lin, 
Vntill they came to merry Churchlees, 
To merry Churchlee[s] with-in. 

12 And when they came to merry Churchlees, 

They knoced vpon a pin ; 

Vpp then rose dame prioresse, 

And lett good Robin in. 

13 Then Robin gaue to dame prioresse 

Twenty pound in gold, 
And bad her spend while that wold last, 

And shee shold haue more when shee wold. 

14 And downe then came dame prioresse, 

Downe she came in that ilke, 
With a fair off blood-irons in her hands, 
Were wrapped all in silke. 

15 ' Sett a chaffing-dish to the fyer,' said dame 


' And stripp thou vp thy sleeue : ' 
I hold him but an vnwise man 
That will noe warning leeve. 

16 Shee laid the blood-irons to Roim Hoods vaine, 

Alacke, the more pitye ! 
And pearct the vaine, and let out the bloode, 
That full red was to see. 

17 And first it bled, the thicke, thicke bloode, 

And afterwards the thinne, 
And well then wist good Robin Hoode 
Treason there was within. 

18 ' What cheere my master ? ' said Litle lohn ; 

' In faith, lohn, litle goode ; ' 

19 ' I haue upon a gowne of greene, 

Is cut short by my knee, 
And in my hand a bright browne brand 
Thai will well bite of thee.' 

20 But forth then of a shot-windowe 

Good Rofiift Hood he could glide ; 
Red Roger, with a grounden glaue, 

Thrust him through the milke-white side. 

21 But RofoVi was light and nimble of foote, 

And thought to abate his pride, 
Ffor betwixt his head and his shoulders 
He made a wound full wide. 

22 Says, Ly there, ly there, Red Roger, 

The doggs they must thee eate ; 

' For I may haue my houzle,' he said, 

' For I may both goe and speake. 

23 ' Now giue me mood,' Robin said to Litle 


' Giue me mood with thy hand ; 
I trust to God in heauen soe hye 
My houzle will me bestand.' 

24 ' Now giue me leaue, giue me leaue, master,' 

he said, 

' For Christs loue giue leaue to me, 
To set a fier within this hall, 
And to burne vp all Churchlee.' 

25 ' That I reade not,' said RofoVi Hoode then, 

' Litle lohn, for it may not be ; 
If I shold doe any widow hurt, at my latter 

God,' he said, ' wold blame me ; 

26 ' But take me vpon thy backe, Litle lohn, 

And beare me to yonder streete, 
And there make me a full fayre graue, 
Of grauell and of greete. 

27 ' And sett my bright sword at my head, 

Mine arrowes at my feete, 
And lay my vew-bow by my side, 
My met-yard wi . . . . 



a. The English Archer, Paisley, printed by John Neilson 
for George Caldwell, Bookseller, near the Cross, 1786, p. 81, 
No 24. b. The English Archer, York, printed by N. Nick- 
son, in Feasegate, n. d., p. 70. 

1 WHEN Robin Hood and Little John 

Down a down a down a down 
Went oer yon bank of broom, 

Said Robin Hood bold to Little John, 
We have shot for many a pound. 

Hey, etc. 

2 But I am not able to shoot one shot more, 

My broad arrows will not flee ; 
But I have a cousin lives down below, 
Please God, she will bleed me. 

3 Now Robin he is to fair Kirkly gone, 

As fast as he can win ; 
But before he came there, as we do hear, 
He was taken very ill. 

4 And when he came to fair Kirkly-hall, 

He knockd all at the ring, 
But none was so ready as his cousin herself 
For to let bold Robin in. 

5 'Will you please to sit down, cousin Robin,' 

she said, 

' And drink some beer with me ? ' 
' No, I will neither eat nor drink, 
Till I am blooded by thee.' 

6 ' Well, I have a room, cousin Robin,' she said, 

' Which you did never see, 
And if you please to walk therein, 
You blooded by me shall be.' 

7 She took him by the lily-white hand, 

And led him to a private room, 
And there she blooded bold Robin Hood, 
While one drop of blood would run down. 

8 She blooded him in a vein of the arm, 

And locked him up in the room ; 
Then did he bleed all the live-long day, 
Until the next day at noon. 

9 He then bethought him of a casement there, 

Thinking for to get down ; 
But was so weak he could not leap, 
He could not get him down. 

10 He then bethought him of his bugle-horn, 

Which hung low down to his knee ; 
He set his horn unto his mouth, 
And blew out weak blasts three. 

11 Then Little John, when hearing him, 

As he sat under a tree, 
' I fear my master is now near dead, 
He blows so wearily.' 

12 Then Little John to fair Kirkly is gone, 

As fast as he can dree ; 
But when he came to Kirkly-hall, 
He broke locks two or three : 

13 Until he came bold Robin to see, 

Then he fell on his knee ; 
' A boon, a boon,' cries Little John, 
' Master, I beg of thee.' 

14 ' What is that boon,' said Robin Hood, 

' Little John, [thou] begs of me ? ' 
' It is to burn fair Kirkly-hall, 
And all their nunnery.' 

15 ' Now nay, now nay,' quoth Robin Hood, 

' That boon I '11 not grant thee ; 
I never hurt woman in all my life, 
Nor men in woman's company. 

16 ' I never hurt fair maid in all my time, 

Nor at mine end shall it be ; 
But give me my bent bow in my hand, 

And a broad arrow I '11 let flee ; 
And where this arrow is taken up, 

There shall my grave digged be. 

17 ' Lay me a green sod under my head, 

And another at my feet ; 
And lay my bent bow by my side, 

Which was my music sweet ; 
And make my grave of gravel and green, 

Which is most right and meet. 

18 ' Let me have length and breadth enough, 

With a green sod under my head ; 
That they may say, when I am dead 
Here lies bold Robin Hood.' 

19 These words they readily granted him, 

Which did bold Robin please : 
And there they buried bold Robin Hood, 
Within the fair Kirkleys. 



A. 1 s . church Lees : cf. 11'. 2". halfe 100 d . 

3 1 . there is. 6 2 . nor shoote. 7 1 , II 1 . 2. 
8', 18 2 , 27*. half a page gone. 

12 1 . church lees. 13 2 . 20*. 

20 1 . shop for shot. 20 s . grounding. 

24 4 . church lee. 

B. a. Robin Hood's death and burial : shewing 

how he was taken ill, and how he went to 
his cousin at Kirkly-hall, in Yorkshire, who 
let him blood, which was the cause of his 
death. Tune of Robin Hood's last fare- 
wel, etc. 

. 2". fly. 15". burnt for hurt. 19 4 . Kirkly. 
The ballad, as Ritson says, " is made to con 
clude with some foolish lines (adopted from 
the London copy " of R. H. and the Val 
iant Knight) in order to introduce the 

20 Thus he that never feard bow nor spear 

Was murderd by letting blood ; 
And so, loving friends, the story it ends 
Of valiant Robin Hood. 

21 There 's nothing remains but his epitaph now, 

Which, reader, here you have, 
To this very day which read you may, 

As it is upon his grave. 
Hey down a derry derry down 

The epitaph, however, does not follow. 
b. Title as in a, omittiny in Yorkshire and Tune 
of, etc. Printed in stanzas of two long 
lines. The burden is wanting. 

l a . over. 1 s . bold ivanting. 

2 2 . broad wanting: flee. 3 1 . he wanting. 

3 2 . coud wen. 4 1 . when that. 

4 2 . knocked at. 5 4 . I blood letted be. 
6 4 . You blood shall letted be. 

7 2 . let him into. 7 4 . Whilst : down wanting. 

8 1 . in the vein. 8 2 . in a, 8". There. 

9 1 . casement door. 9 2 . to be gone. 

9 4 . Nor he : him wanting. 

10 4 . strong blasts. II 2 . under the. 

11 s . now wanting. 12 2 . he could. 

13 1 . see wanting. 14 1 . quoth for said. 

14 2 . thou begs. 15. wanting. 16 1 . neer. 

16 2 . at my. 16 4 . my broad arrows. 

17 1 ' 2 . To go with 16 8 ' 4 . 

With verdant sods most neatly put, 

Sweet as the green wood tree. 
19 1 . promisd him. 19 4 . Near to : Kirkleys. 
20 1 . that feard neither. 20*. it wanting. 
20 4 . valiant bold. 21 1 . There is. 
21 4 . it was upon the. 
After 19. 

Kirkleys was beautiful of old, 

Like Winifrid's of Wales. 
By whose fair well strange cures are told 

In legendary tales. 
Upon his grave was laid a stone. 

Declaring that he dy'd, 
And tho so many years ago, 
Time can't his actions hide. 

At the end is the epitaph, wanting in a. 

Robin Hood's Epitaph, set on his tomb by the 
Prioress of Kirkley Monastry, in Yorkshire. 

Robert Earl of Huntington 
Lies under this little stone. 
No archer was like him so good, 
His wildness nam'd him Robin Hood. 
Full thirteen years and something more 
These no[r]thern parts he vexed sore : 
Such out-laws as he and his men 
May England never know again. 




Library of the University of Cambridge, MS. E e. 4. 35, fol. 14 b, of about 1500. 

FEINTED from the manuscript in Ritson's 
Robin Hood, 1795, I, 81 ; here from a tran 
script of the original, carefully revised by Rev. 
Professor Skeat. 

Robin Hood sees a potter driving over the 
lea ; the potter has been in the habit of pass 
ing that way, and never has paid toll. Little 
John has had a brush with the potter, and 
offers to lay forty shillings that no man can 
make him leave a pledge. Robin accepts 
the wager, stops the potter, and demands a 
" pledge " ; the potter refuses to leave pledge 
or pay toll, takes a staff from his cart, knocks 
Robin's buckler out of his hand, and, ere 
Robin can recover it, fells him with a blow 
in the neck. Robin owns that he has lost. 
The potter says it is no courtesy to stop a 
poor yeoman thus ; Robin agrees heartily, 
and proposes fellowship, also to change clothes 
with the potter and sell his ware at Notting 
ham. The potter is willing ; John warns his 
master to beware of the sheriff. Robin takes 
his stand near the sheriff's gate, and offers his 
pots so cheap that soon there are but five 
left ; these he sends as a gift to the sheriff's 
wife, who in return asks him to dinner. 
While they are at their meal, two of the 
sheriff's men talk of a shooting -match for 
forty shillings : this the potter says he will 
see, and after a good dinner goes with the 
rest to the butts. All the archers come half 
a bow's length short of the mark ; Robin, at 
his wish, gets a bow from the sheriff, and his 
first shot misses the mark by less than a foot, 
his second cleaves the central pin in three. 
The sheriff applauds ; Robin says there is a 
bow in his cart which he had of Robin Hood. 
The sheriff wishes he could see Robin Hood, 
and the potter offers to gratify this wish on 

the morrow. They go back to the sheriff's for 
the night, and early the next day set forth ; 
the sheriff riding, the potter in his cart. 
When they come to the wood, the potter 
blows his horn, for so they shall know if 
Robin be near ; the horn brings all Robin's 
men. The sheriff would now give a hundred 
pound not to have had his wish ; had he 
known his man at Nottingham, it would have 
been a thousand year ere the potter had 
come to the forest. I know that well, says 
Robin, and therefore shall you leave your horse 
with us, and your other gear. Were it not 
for your wife you would not come off so lightly. 
The sheriff goes home afoot, but with a white 
palfrey, which Robin presents to his wife. 
Have you brought Robin home? asks the 
dame. Devil speed him, answers her spouse, 
he has taken everything from me ; all but 
this fair palfrey, which he has sent to thee. 
The merry dame laughs, and swears that the 
pots have been well paid for. Robin asks 
the potter how much his pots were worth, 
gives him ten pounds instead of the two 
nobles for which they could have been sold, 
and a welcome to the wood whenever he shall 
come that way. 

The Play of Robin Hood, an imperfect 
copy of which is printed at the end of Cop 
land's and of White's edition of The Gest, is 
founded on the ballads of Robin Hood and 
the Curtal Friar and of Robin Hood and the 
Potter. The portion which is based on the 
ballad of Robin and the Potter is given in an 

Robin Hood and the Butcher, No 122, re 
peats many of the incidents of the present 
ballad. The sheriff is enticed into the forest 
(by Little John instead of Robin Hood) in 



The Gest, 181 ff. This part of the story, in 
Robin Hood and the Butcher, is much more 
like that of The Gest than it is in Robin Hood 
and the Potter. We shall have only too 
many variations of the adventure in which 
Robin Hood unexpectedly meets his match in 
a hand-to-hand fight, now with a pinder, then 
with a tanner, tinker, shepherd, beggar, etc. 
His adversaries, after proving their mettle, are 
sometimes invited and induced to join his com 
pany : not so here. In some broadside ballads 
of this description, with an extravagance com 
mon enough in imitations, Robin Hood is 
very badly mauled, and made all but con 
temptible.* In Robin Hood and the Pot 
ter, Little John is willing to wager on the 
result of a trial, from his own experience. 
Will Scadlock is equally confident in Robin 
Hood and the Curtal Friar, perhaps for the 
same reason, although this is not said. In 
Robin Hood and the Shepherd, Little John 
takes his turn after his master, and so with 
three of Robin's men in Robin Hood and the 
Beggar, No 133. 

Hereward the Saxon introduces himself into 
the Norman court as a potter, to obtain in 
formation of an attack which William the 
Conqueror was thought to intend on his 
stronghold at Ely: De Gestis Herwardi 

Saxonis, 24, in Michel, Chroniques Anglo- 
Normandes, II, 69, attributed to the twelfth 
century. Wallace, in like manner, to scout 
in the English camp: Blind Harry's poem, 
ed. Moir, Book Six, v. 435 ff, p. 123 ff. This 
is also one of the many artifices by which 
Eustace the Monk deceives his enemy, the 
Count of Boulogne : Roman d'Eustache le 
Moine, ed. Michel, p. 39, v. 1071 ff, a poem 
of the thirteenth century. See, for Here- 
ward and Eustace, T. Wright's Essays on 
Subjects connected with the Literature, etc., 
of England in the Middle Ages, II, 108 ff, 

Disguise is the wonted and simplest expe 
dient of an outlaw mixing among his foes, 
" wherein the pregnant enemy does much." 
Fulk Fitz Warine takes the disguise of an old 
monk, a merchant, a charcoal-burner ; Here- 
ward, that of a potter, a fisherman ; Eustace 
the Monk, of a potter, shepherd, pilgrim, 
charcoal-burner, woman, leper, carpenter, min 
strel, etc. ; Wallace, of a potter, pilgrim, 
woman (twice), etc., in Blind Harry's poem, 
of a beggar in ballads ; Robin Hood, of a 
potter, butcher,, beggar, shepherd, an old 
woman, a fisherman (?), Guy of Gisborne. 

Translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 76. 

1 IN schomer, when the leves spryng, 

The bloschoms on euery bowe, 
So merey doyt the berdys syng 
Yn wodys merey now. 

2 Herkens, god yemen, 

Comley, corteys, and god, 
On of the best fat yeuer bare bowe, 
Hes name was Roben Hode. 

3 Roben Hood was the yeman's name, 

That was boyt corteys and ffre ; 
Ffor the loffe of owre ladey, 
All wemen werschepyd he. 

* The personage may have been varied in the broadside 
ballads to catch the pence of tanners, tinkers, and the 
rest ; or possibly some member of the respective fraternities 
might do this for the glory of his craft. A parallel case 
seems to be afforded by the well-known German ballad, 

4 Bot as the god yeman stod on a day, 

Among hes mery maney, 

He was ware of a prowd potter, 

Cam dryfyng owyr the ley. 

5 ' Yonder comet a prod potter,' seyde Roben, 

' That long hayt hantyd pis wey ; 
He was neuer so corteys a man 
On peney of pawage to pay.' 

6 ' Y met hem bot at Went-breg,' seyde Lytyll 


' And therefore yeff ell mot he the ! 
Seche thre strokes he me gafe, 
Yet by my seydys cleffe J>ey. 

'Der Zimmergesell und die jnnge Markgrafin,' which is 
also sung of a journeyman shoemaker, tailor, locksmith, 
etc. ; as remarked by A. Griin, Robin Hood, Ein Balladen- 
kranz, p. 47 f. 



7 ' Y ley forty shillings,' seyde Lytyll John, 

' To pay het thes same day, 

Ther ys nat a man among hus all 

A wed schall make hem ley.' 

8 ' Here ys forty shillings,' seyde Roben, 

' More, and thow dar say, 
J>at y schall make ]>at provvde potter, 
A wed to me schall he ley.' 

9 There thes money they leyde, 

They toke het a yeman to kepe ; 
Roben beffore the potter he breyde, 
A[nd] bad hem stond stell. 

10 Handys apon hes hors he leyde, 

And bad the potter stonde foil stell ; 
The potter schorteley to hem seyde, 
Ffelow, what ys they well ? 

11 ' All thes thre yer, and more, potter,' he 


' Thow hast hantyd thes wey, 
Yet were tow neuer so cortys a man 
On peney of pauage to pay.' 

12 'What ys they name,' seyde ]>e potter, 

' Ffor pauage thow aske of me ? ' 
' Roben Hod ys mey name, 
A wed schall thow leffe me.' 

13 ' Wed well y non leffe,' seyde ]>e potter, 

' Nor pavag well y non pay ; 
Awey they lionde ffro mey hors ! 
Y well the tene eyls, be mey ffay.' 

14 The potter to hes cart he went, 

He was not to seke ; 
A god to-hande staffe perowt he hent, 
Beffore Roben he leppyd. 

15 Roben howt with, a swerd bent, 

A bokeler en hes honde ; 
The potter to Roben he went, 

And seyde, Ffelow, let mey hors go. 

16 Togeder then went thes to yemen, 

Het was a god seyt to se ; 
Thereof low Robyn hes men, 
There they stod onder a tre. 

17 Ley tell John to hes ffelowhe[s] seyde, 

' Yend potter well steffeley stonde : ' 

The potter, with a acward stroke, 
Smot the bokeler owt of hes honde. 

18 A[nd] ar Roben meyt get het agen 

Hes bokeler at hes ffette, 
The potter yn the neke hem toke, 
To the gronde sone he yede. 

19 That saw Roben hes men, 

As thay stod onder a bow ; 
' Let vs helpe owre master,' seyde Lytell John, 
' Yonder potter,' seyde he, ' els well hem 

20 Thes yemen went -with a breyde, 

To ther mast[er] they cam. 
Leytell John to hes mast[er] seyde, 
Ho haet the wager won ? 

21 ' Schall y haffe yowre forty shillings,' seyde 

Lytl John, 

' Or ye, master, schall haffe myne ? ' 
' Yeff they were a hundred,' seyde Roben, 
' Y ffeythe, they ben all theyne.' 

22 ' Het ys fol leytell cortesey,' seyde J>e potter, 

' As y haffe harde weyse men saye, 
Yeffe a pore yeman com drywyng on the wey, 
To let hem of hes gorney.' 

23 ' Be reey trowet, thow seys soyt,' seyde Roben, 

' Thow seys god yeme[n]rey ; 
And thow dreyife ffortlie yeuery day, 
Thow schalt neuer be let ffor me. 

24 ' Y well prey the, god potter, 

A ffelischepe well thow haffe ? 
Geffe me they clothyng, and pow schalt hafe 

myne ; 
Y well go to Notynggam.' 

25 ' Y gra[n]t thereto,' seyde the potter, 

' Thow schalt ffeynde me a ffelow gode ; 
Bot thow can sell mey pottys well, 
Com ayen as thow yode.' 

26 ' Nay, be mey trowt,' seyde Roben, 

' And then y bescro mey hede, 
Yeffe y bryng eny pottys ayen, 
And eney weyffe well hem chepe.' 

27 Than spake Leytell John, 

And all hes ffelowhes heynd, 



' Master, be well ware of the screffe of Not- 

Ffor he ys leytell howr ffrende.' 

28 ' Heyt war howte ! ' seyde Roben, 

' Ffelowhes, let me a lone ; 
Thorow the helpe of Howr Ladey, 
To Notynggam well y gon.' 

29 Robyn went to Notynggam, 

Thes pottys ffor to sell ; 
The potter abode with Robens men, 
There he ffered not eylle. 

30 Tho Roben droffe on hes wey, 

So merey ower the londe : 
Her es more, and affter ys to saye, 
The best ys beheynde. 

31 When Roben cam to Notynggam, 

The soyt yef y scholde saye, 
He set op hes hors anon, 

And gaffe hem hotys and haye. 

32 Yn the medys of the towne, 

There he schowed hes ware ; 
' Pottys ! pottys ! ' he gan crey foil sone, 
' Haffe hansell ffor the mare ! ' 

33 Ffoll effen agenest the screffeys gate 

Schowed he hes chaffare ; 
Weyffes and wedowes abowt hem drow, 
And chepyd ffast of hes ware. 

34 Yet, ' Pottys, gret chepe ! ' creyed Robyn, 

' Y loffe yeffell thes to stonde ; ' 
And all that say hem sell 

Seyde he had be no potter long. 

35 The pottys that were werthe pens ffeyffe, 

He solde tham ffor pens thre ; 
Preveley seyde man and weyffe, 
' Ywnder potter schall neuer the.' 

36 Thos Roben solde ffoll ffast, 

Tell he had pottys bot ffeyffe ; 
Op he hem toke of hes care, 

And sende hem to the screffeys weyffe. 

37 Thereof sche was ffoll ffayne, 

' Gereamarsey, ser,' than seyde sche ; 

' When ye com to thes centre ayen, 

Y schall bey of the[y] pottys, so mot y the.' 

38 ' Ye schall haffe of the best,' seyde Roben, 

And sware be the Treneyte ; 
Ffoll corteysley [scjhe gan hem call, 
' Com deyne with the screfe and me.' 

39 ' God amarsey,' seyde Roben, 

' Yowre bedyng schall be doyn ; ' 
A mayden yn the pottys gan bere, 

Roben and ]>e screffe weyffe ffolowed anon. 

40 Whan Roben yn to the hah 1 cam, 

The screffe sone he met ; 
The potter cowed of corteysey, 
And sone the screffe he gret. 

41 ' Lo, ser, what thes potter hayt geffe yow and 


Ffeyffe pottys smalle and grete ! ' 
' He ys ffoll wellcom,' seyd the screffe ; 
' Let os was, and go to mete.' 

42 As they sat at her methe, 

With a nobell chere, 
To of the screffes men gan speke 
Off a gret wager ; 

43 Off a schotyng, was god and ffeyne, 

Was made the thother daye, 
Off forty shillings, the soyt to saye, 
Who scholde thes wager wen. 

44 Styll than sat thes prowde potter, 

Thos than thowt he ; 
As y am a trow cerstyn man, 
Thes schotyng well y se. 

45 Whan they had ffared of the best, 

With bred and ale and weyne, 
To the bottys the made them prest, 
With bowes and boltys ffoll ffeyne. 

46 The screffes men schot ffioll ffast, 

As archares ]>at weren godde ; 
There cam non ner ney the marke 
Bey halffe a god archares bowe. 

47 Stell then stod the prowde potter, 

Thos than seyde he ; 
And y had a bow, be the rode, 
On schot scholde yow se. 



48 ' Thow schall haffe a bow,' seyde the screffe, 

' The best pat thow well cheys of thre ; 
Thou semyst a stalward and a stronge, 
Asay schall thow be.' 

49 The screffe comraandyd a yeman pot stod hem 


Affter bowhes to weynde ; 
The best bow ]>ai the yeman browthe 
Boben set on a stryng. 

50 ' Now schall y wet and thow be god, 

And polle het op to they nere ; ' 
' So god me helpe,' seyde the prowde potter, 
' J>ys ys bot rygjt weke gere.' 

51 To a quequer Roben went, 

A god bolt ovvtbe he toke ; 
So ney on to the marke he went, 
He ffayled not a fothe. 

52 All they schot abowthe agen, 

The screffes men and he ; 
Off the marke he welde not ffayle, 
He defied the preke on thre. 

53 The screffes men thowt gret schame 

The potte? 1 the mastry wan ; 
The screffe' lowe and made god game, 
And seyde, Potter, thow art a man. 


Thow art worthey to bere a bowe 
Yn what plas that pow goe. 

55 ' Yn mey cart y haffe a bowe, 

Ffor soyt,' he seyde, ' and that a godde ; 
Yn mey cart ys the bow 

That gaffe me Robyn Hode.' 

56 ' Knowest thow Robyn Hode ? ' seyde the 


' Potter, y prey the tell thow me ; ' 
' A hundred torne y haffe schot with hem, 
Vnder hes tortyll-tre.' 

57 ' Y had leuer nar a hundred ponde,' seyde pe 

' And sware be the Trenite, 

]?t the ffals outelawe stod be me.' 

58 'And ye well do afftyr mey red,' seyde pe 


' And boldeley go with me, 
And to morow, or we het bred, 
Roben Hode well we se.' 

59 ' Y wel queyt the,' kod the screffe, 

' Y swere be God of meythe ; ' 
Schetyng thay left, and horn J>ey went, 
Her soper was reddy deythe. 

60 Vpon the morow, when het was day, 

He boskyd hem fforthe to reyde ; 
The potter hes cart fforthe gan ray, 
And wolde not leffe beheynde. 

61 He toke leffe of the screffys wyffe, 

And thankyd her of all thyng : 
' Dam, ffor mey loffe and ye well pys were, 
Y geffe yow here a golde ryng.' 

62 ' Gramarsey,' seyde the weyffe, 

' Ser, god eylde het the ; ' 
The screffes hart was neuer so leythe, 
The ffeyre fforeyst to se. 

63 And when he cam yn to the fforeyst, 

Yonder the leffes grene, 
Berdys there sange on bowhes prest, 
Het was gret goy to se. 

64 ' Here het ys merey to be,' seyde Roben, 

' Ffor a man that had hawt to spende ; 
Be mey home I schall awet 
Yeff Roben Hode be here.' 

65 Roben set hes home to hes mowthe, 

And blow a blast pat was ff oil god ; 
J?at herde hes men pat pere stode, 
Ffer downe yn the wodde. 

66 ' I her mey master blow,' seyde Ley tell John, 

They ran as thay were wode. 

67 Whan thay to thar master cam, 

Leytell John wold not spare ; 
' Master, how haffe yow ffare yn Notynggam ? 
How haffe yow solde yowre ware ? ' 

68 ' Ye, be mey trowthe, Leyty[ll] John, 

Loke thow take no care ; 



Y haffe browt the screffe of Notynggam, 
Ffor all howre chaffare.' 

69 ' He ys ffoll wellcom,' seyde Lytyll John, 

' Thes tydyng ys ffoll godde ; 
The screffe had leuer nar a hundred ponde 
He had [neuer sene Boben Hode.] 

70 ' [Had I] west pat befforen, 

At Notynggam when we were, 
Thow scholde not com yn ffeyre fforest 
Of all thes thowsande eyre." 

71 ' That wot y well,' seyde Roben, 

' Y thanke God that ye be here ; 
Thereffore schall ye leffe yowre hors with hos, 
And all yowre hother gere.' 

72 ' That ffend I Godys fforbod,' kod the screffe, 

' So to lese mey godde ; 

73 ' Hether ye cam on hors ffoll hey, 

And horn schall ye go on ffote ; 
And gret well they weyffe at home, 
The woman ys ffoll godde. 

74 ' Y schall her sende a wheyt palffrey, 

Het ambellet be mey ffey, 

75 ' Y schall her sende a wheyt palffrey, 

Het hambellet as the weynde ; 
Nere ffor the loffe of yowre weyffe, 
Off more sorow scholde yow seyng.' 

76 Thes, parted Robyn Hode and the screffe ; 

To Notynggam he toke the waye ; 

Hes weyffe ffeyre welcomed hem horn, 
And to hem gan sche saye : 

77 Seyr, how haffe yow ffared yn grene fforeyst ? 

Haffe ye browt Roben horn ? 
' Dam, the deyell spede hem, bothe bodey and 

bon ; 
Y haffe hade a ffoll gret skorne. 

78 ' Of all the god that y haffe lade to grene wod, 

He hayt take het ffro me ; 
All bot thes ffeyre palffrey, 
That he hayt sende to the.' 

79 With 'pat sche toke op a lowde lawhyng, 

And swhare be hem ]>at deyed on tre, 
' Now haffe yow payed ffor all pe pottys 
That Roben gaffe to me. 

80 ' Now ye be com horn to Notynggam, 

Ye schall haffe god ynowe ; ' 
Now speke we of Roben Hode, 

And of the pottyr ondyr the grene bowhe. 

81 ' Potter, what was they pottys worthe 

To Notynggam pat y ledde witA me ? ' 
' They wer worthe to nobellys,' seyde he, 

' So mot y treyffe or the ; 
So cowde y [haffe] had ffor tham, 

And y had there be.' 

82 ' Thow schalt hafe ten ponde,' seyde Roben, 

' Of money ffeyre and ffre ; 
And yeuer whan thow comest to grene wod, 
Wellcom, potter, to me.' 

83 Thes partyd Robyn. the screffe, and the potter, 

Ondernethe the grene-wod tre ; 
God haffe mersey on Roben Hodys solle, 
And saffe all god yemanrey ! 

2 2 . cortessey. 3 4 . werschep ye. 

4 4 . the lefe. 5 1 , 6 1 . syde. 6'. Seche iij. 

6 4 . pey cleffe by my seydys. 

7 1 , 8 1 , 21 1 , 43". xl s'. 7 s . hys all. 

7*. hem leffe. II 1 . thes iij. II 4 . I peney. 

14 2 . And teke at the beginning of the line 

struck through. 

16 1 . thes ij. 17 1 . ffelow he seyde. 
17 8 . a caward. 19 2 . onder or ender. 
19 4 . hels : sclo. 20 1 . went yemen. 

VOL. III. 15 

20 2 . To thes. 21 s , 56 s , 57 1 . a c. 

25. st. 29 is wrongly put here. 

25*. yede. 27 2 . ffelow hes. 

28. The order of the lines is 3, 2, 1, 4. 

30 s . Heres. 35\ pens v. 

35 2 . pens iij. d. 36 2 . bot v. 

37 2 . Gere amarsey seyde sche than, with a 

character after sche which is probably an 

abbreviation for ser, as in 62 2 . 



41 4 . to to. 42 1 . methe. 42 3 . ij of. 

43". xl s. 45 s . the pottys. 

45 4 . bolt yt. 48 2 . of iij. 48 s . senyst. 

48 4 . A say. 

50 2 . And [thow] ? The 11 in polle is crossed ; 

potte may have been intended by the writer. 
52*. on iij. 
54 1 ' 2 . No blank here, and none at 57 s , 66 2 ' 8 , 

72 8 ' 4 , 74 W . 
55 8 ' 4 . Yn mey cart ys the bow pat Robyn 

gaffe me. 

56 s . A c. 57 1 , 69 8 . a c. 
59 2 . & swere : meythey. 59 4 . scoper. 
64 s . he schall. 68 1 . I leyty. 
69 4 , 70 1 . He had west pat be fforen. 

74 1 ' 2 . Ought perhaps to be dropped. The 
writer, having got the second verse wrong, 
may have begun the stanza again. 

80 3 . After this line is repeated, Ye schall 
haffe god ynowhe. 

80 4 . bowhes. 81 s . worthe ij. 
81". be there. 82. hafe x li. 
Expleycyt Bobynhode. 

A bowt, a non, be heynde, etc. are joined. 
And for & throughout. Some terminal curls 
rendered with e were, perhaps, mere tricks 
of writing ; as marks over final m, n, in 
cam, on, yemen, etc., crossed double 1 in all, 
etc., a curled n in Roben, have been assumed 
to be. 


THE PLAYE OF ROBYN HODE (vv. 121 ff.) 

As printed by Copland, at the end of his edition 
of the Gest, with a few corrections from White's 
edition, 1634 : Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 199. 
I have not thought it necessary to collate Ritson's 
reprint with Copland. The collations with White 
here are made with the undated copy in the Bod 
leian Library, Z. 3. Art. Seld. 


Lysten, to [me], my mery men all, v. 121 

And harke what I shall say ; 

Of an adventure I shall you tell, 

That befell this other daye. 

With a proude potter I met, 

And a rose-garlande on his head, 

The floures of it shone vnarvaylous freshe ; 

This seven yere and more he hath used this waye, 

Yet was he never so curteyse a potter 

As one peny passage to paye. 130 

Is there any of my mery men all 

That dare be so bolde 

To make the potter paie passage, 

Either silver or golde ? 


Not I master, for twenty pound redy tolde, 135 

For there is not among us al one 

That dare medle with that potter, man for man. 

I felt his handes not long agone, 

But I had lever have ben here by the; 

Therfore I knowe what he is. 140 

Mete him when ye wil, or mete him whan ye shal, 
He is as propre a man as ever you medle[d] withal. 


I will lai with the, Litel John, twenti pound so read, 

If I wyth that potter mete, 

I wil make him pay passage, maugre his head. 145 


I consente therto, so eate I bread; 

If he pay passage, maugre his head, 

Twenti pound shall ye hare of me for your mede. 


Out alas, that ever I sawe this daye ! 

For I am clene out of my waye 150 

From Notyngham towne ; 

If I hye me not the faster, 

Or I come there the market wel be done. 


Let me se, are the pottes hole and sounde ? 

Yea, meister, but they will not bre'ake the ground. 155 


I wil them breke, for the cuckold thi maisters sake ; 
And if they will breake the grounde, 
Thou shalt have thre pence for a pound. 

Out alas! what have ye done? 

If my maister come, he will breke your crown. 160 


Why, thou horeson, art thou here yet? 
Thou shouldest have bene at market. 



I met with Robin Hode, a good yeman ; 

He hath broken my pottes, 

And called you kuckolde by your name. 165 


Thou mayst be a gentylman, so God me save, 

But thou semest a noughty knave. 

Thou callest me cuckolde by my name, 

And I swere by God and Saynt John, 

Wyfe had I never none : 1 70 

This cannot I denye. 

But if thou be a good felowe, 

I wil sel mi horse, mi harneis, pottes and paniers to, 

Thou shalt have the one halfe, and I will have the 


If thou be not so content, 1 75 

Thou shalt have stripes, if thou were my brother. 


Harke, potter, what I shall say: 

This seven yere and more thou hast used this way, 

Yet were thou never so curteous to me 

As one penny passage to paye. 180 


Why should I pay passage to thee? 


For I am Robyn Hode, chiefe gouernoure 
Under the grene-woode tree. 


This seven yere have I used this way up and downe, 
Yet payed I passage to no man, 185 

Nor now I wyl not beginne, to do the worst thou can. 


Passage shalt thou pai here under the grene-wode tre, 
Or els thou shalt leve a wedde with me. 


If thou be a good felowe, as men do the call, 
Laye awaye thy bo we, 190 

And take thy sword and buckeler in thy hande, 
And se what shall befall. 


Lyttle John, where art thou? 


Here, mayster, I make God avowe. 
I tolde you, mayster, so God me save, 195 

That you shoulde fynde the potter a knave. 
Holde your buckeler faste in your hande, 
And I wyll styfly by you stande, 
Ready for to fyghte ; 

Be the knave never so stoute, 200 

I shall rappe him on the snoute, 
And put hym to flyghte. 

The rest is wanting. 

121. to [me], wanting in White. 
142. medled, W. 153. maryet. 
154. the, C.; thy, W. 

186. to do: to wanting in W. 
188. wedded, C.; wed, W. 
196. your, C.; you, W. 


A. 'Robin Hood and the Butcher,' Percy MS., p. 7; 
Hales and Furnivall, I, 19. 

B. 'Robin Hood and the Butcher.' a. Wood, 401, 
19 b. b. Garland of 1663, No 6. c. Garland of 
1670, No 5. d. Pepys, II, 102, No 89. 

OTHER copies, of the second class, are in the 
Roxburghe collection, III, 259, and the Douce 
collection, III, 114. B a was printed, with 
changes, by Ritson, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 

23 ; a copy resembling the Douce by Evans, 
Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 106. 

The story is a variation of Robin Hood 
and the Potter. According to A, the sheriff 



of Nottingham has resolved to have Robin's 
head. A butcher is driving through the 
forest, and his dog flies at Robin, for which 
Robin kills the dog. The butcher under 
takes to let a little of the yeoman's blood for 
this, and there is a bout between staff and 
sword, in which we know that the butcher 
must bear himself well, though just here 
the first of three considerable gaps occurs. 
Robin buys the butcher's stock, changes clothes 
with him, and goes to Nottingham to mar 
ket his flesh. There he takes up his lodg 
ing at the sheriff's, having perhaps concili 
ated the sheriff's wife with the present of a 
fine joint. He sells at so low a rate that 
his stock is all gone before any one else has 
sold a bit. The butchers ask him to drink, 
and Robin makes an appointment with them 
at the sheriff's. A second gap deprives us of 
the knowledge of what passes here, but we 
infer that, as in B, Robin is so reckless of his 
money that the sheriff thinks he can make 
a good bargain in horned beasts with him. 
Robin is ready ; we see that he has come 
with a well-formed plan. The next day the 
sheriff goes to view the livestock, and is 
taken into the depth of the forest ; it turns 
out that the wild deer are the butcher's 

horned beasts. Robin's men come in at the 
sound of his horn ; the sheriff is lightened of 
all his money, and is told that his head is 
spared only for his wife's sake. All this the 
sheriff tells his wife, on his return, and she 
replies that he has been served rightly for not 
tarrying at home, as she had begged him to 
do. The sheriff says he has learned wisdom, 
and will meddle no more with Robin Hood. 

B a omits the brush between Robin and the 
butcher, mostly wanting, indeed, in A also, 
but only because of the damage which the 
manuscript has suffered. 

The passage in which the sheriff is in 
veigled into Robin's haunts has, as already 
mentioned, close affinity with the Gest, 181 ff. 

The first three stanzas of A would not be 
missed, arid apparently belong to some other 

B a is signed T. R., as is also Robin Hood 
and the Beggar in two editions, and these 
we may suppose to be the initials of the per 
son who wrote the story over with middle 
rhyme in the third line of the stanza, a pecu 
liarity which distinguishes a group of ballads 
which were sung to the tune of Robin Hood 
and the Stranger: see Robin Hood and Lit 
tle John, No 125, and also No 128. 

Percy MS., p. 7 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 19. 

1 Bur Robin he walkes in the g[reene] fforrest, 

As merry as bird on boughe, 
But he that feitches good Robins head, 
Hee 'le find him game enoughe. 

2 But Robine he walkes in the greene fforrest, 

Vnder his trusty-tree ; 

Sayes, Hearken, hearken, my inerrymen all, 
What tydings is come to me. 

3 The sheriff e he hath made a cry, 

Hee 'le have my head i-wis ; 

* Fricke, Die Robin-Hood-Balladen, p. 20 f, suggests a 
ballad of Robin Hood and the Sheriff (How Robin took re 
venge for the sheriffs setting a price on his head), which 
may have been blended with another, of the Rescue of a 

But ere a tweluemonth come to an end 
I may chance to light on his. 

4 Robin he marcht in the greene forrest, 

Vnder the greenwood scray, 
And there he was ware of a proud bucher, 
Came driuing flesh by the way. 

5 The bucher he had a cut-taild dogg, 

And at Robins face he flew ; 

But Robin he was a good sword, 

The bucher's dogg he slew. 

6 ' Why slayes thou my dogg ? ' sayes the bucher, 

' For he did none ill to thee ; 

Knight, to form the sixth fit of The Gest ; and points to 
St. 329 of the Gest, ' Robyn Hode walked in the forest,' etc., 
as the probable beginning of such a ballad. 



By all the saints that are in heaven 
Thou shalt haue buffetts three.' 

7 He tooke his staffe then in his hand, 

And he turnd him round about : 
' Thou hast a litle wild blood in thy head, 
Good fellow, thou 'st haue it letten out.' 


' He that does that deed,' sayes Robin, 

' I 'le count him for a man ; 
But that while will I draw my sword, 

And fend it if I can.' 

9 But Robin he stroke att the bloudy bucher, 
In place were he did stand, 

10 ' I [am] a younge bucher,' sayes Robin, 

' You fine dames am I come amonge ; 
But euer I beseech you, good Mrs Sheriffe, 
You must see me take noe wronge.' 

11 ' Thou art verry welcome,' said Master Sher- 

riff's wiffe, 

' Thy inne heere up [to] take ; 
If any good ffellow come in thy companie, 
Hee 'st be welcome for thy sake.' 

12 Robin called ffor ale, soe did he for wine, 

And for it he did pay : 
' I must to my markett goe,' says Robin, 
' For I hold time itt of the day.' 

13 But Robin is to the markett gone, 

Soe quickly and beliue, 
He sold more flesh for one peny 
Then othe[r] buchers did for fine. 

14 The drew about the younge bucher, 

Like sheepe into a fold ; 
Yea neuer a bucher had sold a bitt 
Till Robin he had all sold. 

15 When Robin Hood had his markett made, 

His flesh was sold and gone ; 
Yea he had receiued but a litle mony, 
But thirty pence and one. 

16 Seaven buchers, the garded Robin Hood, 

Ffull many time and oft ; 
Sayes, We must drinke with you, brother 

It 's custome of our crafte. 

17 ' If that be the custome of yowr crafte, 

As heere you tell to me, 
Att four of the clocke in the afternoone 
At the sheriffs hall I wilbe.' 


' If thou doe like it well ; 
Yea heere is more by three hundred pound 
Then thou hast beasts to sell.' 

19 Robyn sayd naught, the more he thought: 

' Mony neere comes out of time ; 
If once I catch thee in the greene fforest, 
Thai mony it shall be mine.' 

20 But on the next day seuen butchers 

Came to guard the sheriffe that day ; 
But Robin he was the whigh[t]est man, 
He led them all the way. 

21 He led them into the greene fforest, 

Vnder the trusty tree ; 
Yea, there were harts, and ther were hynds, 
And staggs with heads full high. 

22 Yea, there were harts and there were hynds, 

And many a goodly ffawne ; 
' Now praised be God,' says bold Robin, 
' All these they be my owne. 

23 ' These are my horned beasts,' says Robin, 

' ~NLaster Sherriffe, w/w'ch must make the 

stake ; ' 

' But euer alacke, now,' said the sheriffe, 
' Thai tydings comes to late ! ' - 

24 Robin sett a shrill home to his mouth, 

And a loud blast he did blow. 
And then halfe a hundred bold archers 
Came rakeing on a row. 

25 But when the came befor bold Robin, 

Even there the stood all bare : 
' You are welcome, master, from Nottingham : 
How haue you sold your ware ? ' 

It proues bold Robin Hood. 



27 ' Yea, he hath robbed me of all my gold 

And siluer thai euer I had ; 
But that I had a verry good wife at home, 
I shold haue lost my head. 

28 ' But I had a verry good wife at home, 

WAich made him gentle cheere, 
And therfor, for my wifes sake, 
I shold haue better favor heere. 

29 ' But such favor as he shewed me 

I might haue of the devills dam, 

That will rob a man of all he hath, 
And send him naked home.' N 

30 ' That is very well done,' then says his wiffe, 

' Itt is well done, I say ; 
You might haue tarryed att Nottingham, 
Soe fayre as I did you pray.' 

31 ' I haue learned wisdome,' sayes the sherriffe, 

' And, wife, I haue learned of thee ; 
But if Robin walke easte, or he walke west, 
He shall neuer be sought for me.' 

a. Wood, 401, leaf 19 b. b. Garland of 1663, No 6. 
c. Garland of 1670, No 5. d. Pepys, II, 102, No 89. 

1 COME, all you brave gallants, and listen a while, 

With hey down, down, an a down 
That are in the bowers within ; 
For of Robin Hood, that archer good, 
A song I intend for to sing. 

2 Upon a time it chanced so 

Bold Robin in forrest did spy 
A jolly butcher, with a bonny fine mare, 
With his flesh to the market did hye. 

3 ' Good morrow, good fellow,' said jolly Robin, 

' What food hast ? tell unto me ; 
And thy trade to me tell, and where thou dost 

For I like well thy company.' 

4 The butcher he answered jolly Robin : 

No matter where I dwell ; 
For a butcher I am, and to Notingham 
I am going, my flesh to sell. 

5 ' What is [the] price of thy flesh ? ' said jolly 


' Come, tell it soon unto me ; 
And the price of thy mare, be she never so dear, 
For a butcher fain would I be." 

6 ' The price of my flesh,' the butcher repli'd, 

' I soon will tell unto thee ; 
With my bonny mare, and they are not dear, 
Four mark thou must give unto me.' 

7 ' Four mark I will give thee,' saith jolly Robin, 

' Four mark it shall be thy fee ; 
Thy mony come count, and let me mount, 
For a butcher I fain would be.' 

8 Now Robin he is to Notingham gone, 

His butcher's trade for to begin ; 
With good intent, to the sheriff he went, 
And there he took up his inn. 

9 When other butchers they opened their meat, 

Bold Robin he then begun ; 
But how for to sell he knew not well, 
For a butcher he was but young. 

10 When other butchers no meat could sell, 

Robin got both gold and fee ; 
For he sold more meat for one peny 
Than others could do for three. 

11 But when he sold his meat so fast, 

No butcher by him could thrive ; 
For he sold more meat for one peny 
Than others could do for five. 

12 Which made the butchers of Notingham 

To study as they did stand, 
Saying, surely he was some prodigal, 
That had sold his father's land. 

13 The butchers they stepped to jolly Robin, 

Acquainted with him for to be ; 
' Come, brother,' one said, ' we be all of one 

Come, will you go dine with me ? ' 



14 Accurst of his heart,' said jolly Robin, 

' That a butcher doth deny ; 
I will go with you, my brethren true, 
And as fast as I can hie.' 

15 But when to the sheriff's house they came, 

To dinner they hied apace, 
And Robin he the man must be 
Before them all to say grace. 

16 ' Pray God bless us all,' said jolly Robin, 

' And our meat within this place ; 
A cup of sack so good will nourish our blood, 
And so I do end my grace. 

17 ' Come fill us more wine,' said jolly Robin, 

' Let us merry be while we do stay ; 
For wine and good cheer, be it never so dear, 
I vow I the reckning will pay. 

18 ' Come, brother[s], be merry,' said jolly Robin, 

' Let us drink, and never give ore ; 

For the shot I will pay, ere I go my way, 

If it cost me five pounds and more.' 

19 ' This is a mad blade,' the butchers then said ; 

Saies the sheriff, He is some prodigal, 
That some land has sold, for silver and gold, 
And now he doth mean to spend all. 

20 ; Hast thou any horn-beasts,' the sheriff repli'd, 

' Good fellow, to sell unto me ? ' 
' Yes, that I have, good Master Sheriff, 
I have hundreds two or three. 

21 ' And a hundred aker of good free land, 

If you please it to see ; 
And I 'le make you as good assurance of it 
As ever my father made me.' 

22 The sheriff he saddled a good palfrey, 

With three hundred pound in gold, 
And away he went with bold Robin Hood, 
His horned beasts to behold. 

23 Away then the sheriff and Robin did ride, 

To the forrest of merry Sherwood ; 
Then the sheriff did say, God bless us this 

From a man they call Robin Hood ! 

24 But when that a little further they came, 

Bold Robin he chanced to spy 
A hundred head of good red deer, 
Come tripping the sheriff full nigh. 

25 ' How like you my hornd beasts, good Master 

Sheriff ? 

They be fat and fair for to see ; ' 
' I tell thee, good fellow, I would I were gone, 
For I like not thy company.' 

26 Then Robin he set his horn to his mouth, 

And blew but blasts three ; 
Then quickly anon there came Little John, 
And all his company. 

27 ' What is your will ? ' then said Little John, 

' Good master come tell it to me ; ' 
' I have brought hither the sheriff of Noting- 

This day to dine with thee.' 

28 ' He is welcome to me,' then said Little John, 

' I hope he will honestly pay ; 
I know he has gold, if it be but well told, 
Will serve us to drink a whole day.' 

29 Then Robin took his mantle from his back, 

And laid it upon the ground, 
And out of the sheriff e['s] portmantle 
He told three hundred pound. 

30 Then Robin he brought him thorow the wood, 

And set him on his dapple gray : 
'O have me commended to your wife at 

home ; ' 
So Robin went laughing away. 

I 2 , bughe. 

1 s . d in head has a tag to it : Fumivatt. 
6 4 . 3. After 9 2 , 17 4 , 25 4 , half a page gone. 
13 4 . 5. 15 4 . 30'f. 17 s . 4. 18". 300?. 
19 3 . cacth : in thy. 20 1 . 7. 24". 100?. 
28 8 . pro for for. 

B. a. Robin Hood and the Butcher. To the Tune 
of Robin Hood and the Begger. 

At the end, T. R. 

Colophon. London. Printed for F. Grove on 
Snow Hill. F. Grove printed 1620-55: 



12 4 . hath sold. 

b. Robin Hood and the Butcher ; shewing how 

he robbed the sheriff of Nottingham. To 
the Tune of Robin Hood and the Begger. 

4 2 . I do. 5 1 . What is price. 10 4 , II 4 . Then. 

12 1 . when misprinted for made. 

12 4 . had sold. 18 1 . brother. 18 s . go on. 

19 8 . hath sold. 21 1 . And an. 21 4 . to me. 

25 1 . Sheriff wanting. 27 4 . with me. 

29 8 . sheriffs. 

c. Title as in b. 

2, 8, and after 8, burden : a hey. 
5 1 . is y e . 10 4 , II 4 . Then. 12 4 . had sold. 
17 2 . do wanting. 18 1 . brother. 18 s . go on. 
18 4 . costs. 19 3 . hath sold. 21 2 . it please. 
21 3 . you wanting. 21 4 . did me. 
24 s . red wanting. 27 2 . pray tell. 
29 s . sheriffs. 

d. Robin Hood and the Butcher. To the Tune 
of Robin Hood and the Beggar. 

Colophon. Printed for I. Clarke, W. Thack 
eray, and T. Passenger. 1670-86 (?). 

Burden. From 2 1 on, With a hey (not With 
hey). Also after the fourth line, With a 
hey, &c. 

I 1 , ye. I 2 , this bower. I 4 , for wanting. 

2-. in the. 5 1 . What's the. o 3 . belt. 

7 s . The. 8 3 . a good. 9 1 . butchers did open. 

10 4 . Then. 12 4 . hath sold. 13 3 . of a. 

14 2 . will deny. 15 3 . Robin Hood. 

16 4 . do wanting. 17 2 . be merry. 

18 1 . brothers. 18 4 . pound or. 

20 1 . thou ivanting : hornd : sheriff then said. 

21 1 . A hundred acres. 22 2 . And with. 

22 3 . And wanting. 26 2 . blew out. 

27 1 . will master said. 27 2 . I pray you come. 

27 3 . hither wanting. 28 1 . then wanting. 

28 3 . were it but. 

29 4 . five for three, wrongly, see 22 2 . 

30 1 . he wanting : through. 



A. ' Robine Hood and Ffryer Tucke,' Percy MS., p. 
10; Hales and Furnivall, I, 26. 

B. ' The Famous Battel between Robin Hood and the 

Curtal Fryer.' a. Garland of 1663, No 11. b.* 
Pepys, I, 78, No 37. c. Garland of 1670. d. Wood, 
401, leaf 15 b. e. Pepys, II, 99, No 86. f. Douce, 
II, 184. 

B also in the Roxburghe collection, III, 16. 

B d was printed in Ritson's Robin Hood, 
1795, II, 58, corrected by b and compared 
with e; and in Evans's Old Ballads, 1777- 
1784, I, 136, probably from the Aldermary 

The opening verses of A are of the same 
description as those with which Nos 117, 118, 
119, and others begin. 1 has been corrupted, 
and 2 also, one would think, as there is no 
apparent reason for maids weeping and young 
men wringing hands in the merry month of 
May. In the first stanza, 

But how many merry monthes be in the yeere ? 
There are 13 in May ; 

The midsummer moone is the merryest of all, 
Next to the merry month of May. 

month in the first and the fourth line 
might be changed to moon, to justify thirteen 
in the second, and to accord with moon in the 
third. For in May, in the second line, we 
may read, I say, or many say. The first 
stanza of No 140, B, runs : 

There are twelve months in all the year, 

As I hear many say ; 
But the merriest month in all the year 

Is the merry month of May. 

* b would have taken precedence of a, having been 
printed earlier (1607-41), but I urn at liberty only to collate 
Pepys copies. The Wood copies of Robin Hood ballads are 
generally preferable to the Pepys. 



Nearly, or quite, one half of A has been 
torn from the manuscript, but there is no rea 
son to suppose that the story differed much 
from that of B. 

Upon Little John's killing a hart at five 
hundred foot, Robin Hood exclaims that he 
would ride a hundred mile to find John's 
match. Scadlock, with a laugh, says that 
there is a friar at Fountains Abbey who will 
beat both John and Robin, or indeed Robin 
and all his yeomen. Robin Hood takes an 
oath never to eat or drink till he has seen that 
friar. (Cf. No 30, I, 275, 279.) Robin goes 
to Fountains Abbey, and ensconces his men 
in a fern-brake. He finds the friar walking 
by the water, well armed, and begs [orders, B] 
the friar to carry him over.* The friar takes 
Robin on his back, and says no word till he is 
over ; then draws his sword and bids Robin 
carry him back, or he shall rue it. Robin 
takes the friar on his back, and says no word 
till he is over ; then bids the friar carry him 
over once more. The friar, without a word, 
takes Robin on his back, and when he comes 
to the middle of the stream throws him in. 
When both have swum to the shore, Robin 
lets an arrow fly, which the friar puts by with 
his buckler. The friar cares not for his ar 
rows, though Robin shoots till his arrows are 
all gone. They take to swords, and fight with 
them for six good hours, when Robin begs 
the boon of blowing three blasts on his horn. 
The friar gives him leave to blow his eyes out : 
fifty bowmen come raking over the lea. The 
friar in turn asks a boon, to whistle thrice in 
his fist. Robin cares not liow much he whis 
tles : fifty good bandogs come raking in a row. 
Here there is a divergence. According to A, 
the friar will match every man with a dog, and 
himself with Robin. God forbid, says Robin ; 
better be matched with three of the dogs than 
with thee. Stay thy tikes, and let us be 
friends. In B, two dogs go at Robin and tear 
his mantle from his back ; all the arrows shot 

* " A wet weary man," A 7 1 , should probably be " wel 
weary." Why should R. H. be wet ? And if wet, he may 
as well be a little wetter. 

t Like terms are assured the cook by John in the Gest, 
sts 170, 171, and offered the Tanner by Robin Hood, R. H. 
and the Tanner, st. 26. Cf. Adam Bell, sts 163-65. 

VOL. III. 16 

at them the dogs catch in their mouths. Lit 
tle John calls to the friar to call off his dogs, 
and enforces his words by laying half a score 
of them dead on the plain with his bow. The 
friar cries, Hold ; he will make terms. Robin 
Hood offers the friar clothes and fee to forsake 
Fountains Abbey for the green-wood. We 
must infer, as in the parallel case of the Pin- 
der of Wakefield, that the offer is accepted, f 
But the Curtal Friar, like the Finder again, 
plays no part in Robin Hood story out of his 
own ballad. 

Robin Hood and the Friar, in both versions, 
is in a genuinely populur strain, and was made 
to sing, not to print. Verbal agreements show 
that A and B have an earlier ballad as their 
common source ; but of this, one or the other 
has retained but little. I cannot think that 
B 33, 34 are of the original matter. It is a 
derogation from Robin Hood's prowess that he 
should have his mantle torn from his back, 
and we may ask why the dogs do not catch 
Little John's arrows as well as others. 

Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, in the West 
Riding of Yorkshire, was a Cistercian monas 
tery, dating from the twelfth century. (It 
is loosely called a nunnery in A 4.) The friar 
is called " cutted " in A and "curtal" in B, 
and these words have been held to mean short- 
f rocked, and therefore to make the friar a Fran 
ciscan. Staveley, The Romish Horseleech, 
speaking of the Franciscans, says at p. 214, 
Experience shews that in some countrys, 
where friers used to wear short habits, the or 
der was presently contemned and derided, and 
men called them curtaild friers. Cited by 
Douce, Illustrations of Shakspere, I, 61. So, 
according to Douce, we may probably under 
stand the curtal friar to be a curtailed friar, 
and in like manner of the curtal dogs. " Cut 
ted " in A can signify nothing but short- 
frocked. In the title of that version, though 
not in the text, the friar is called Tuck, which 
means that he is "ytukked bye," like Chau- 

The 'Life' in the Sloane MS., which is put not much be 
fore 1600, says: He procurd the Pynner of Wakefeyld to 
become one of his company, and a freyr called Muchel ; 
though some say he was an other kynd of religious man, for 
that the order of freyrs was not yet sprung up. 



cer's Friar John, but not that he wears a short 
frock. The friar in the play (see below) has 
a " long cote," v. 46. But I apprehend that 
B has the older word in curtal, and that cur- 
tal is simply curtilarius, and applied to both 
friar and dogs because they had the care and 
keeping of the curtile, or vegetable garden, of 
the monastery.* 

The title of A in the MS. is Robin Hood 
and Friar Tuck; from which it follows that 
the copyist, or some predecessor, considered 
the stalwart friar of Fountains Abbey to be 
one with the jocular friar of the May-games 
and the morris dance. But Friar Tuck, the 
wanton and the merry, like Maid Marian, 
owes his association with Robin Hood prima 
rily to these popular sports, and not in the 
least to popular ballads. In the truly popular 
ballads Friar Tuck is never heard of, and in 
only two even of the broadsides, Robin Hood 
and Queen Katherine and Robin Hood's 
Golden Prize, is he so much as named ; in 
both no more than named, and in both in con 
junction with Maid Marian. 

' The Play of Robin Hood,' the first half of 
which is based on the present ballad, calls the 
friar Friar Tuck, and represents him accord 
ingly. See the Appendix. He is also called 
Tuck in the play founded on Guy of Gis- 

In Munday's Downfall of Robert, Earl of 
Huntington, Friar Tuck is by implication 
identified with the friar who fell into the well, 
Dodsley's Old Plays, ed. Hazlitt, VIII, 185; 
and Mr Chappell is consequently led to say, 
at p. 390 of his 'Popular Music,' that the 
ballad of the Friar in the Well was in all prob 
ability a tale of " Robin Hood's fat friar." 
Cavilling at this phrase of Shakspere's only 
so far as to observe that the friar of the tra 
ditional Robin Hood ballad is as little fat as 
wanton, I need but say that the truth of the 
case had been already accurately expressed by 
Mr Chappell at p. 274 of his invaluable work : 

" the story is a very old one, and one of the 
many against monks and friars in which not 
only England, but all Europe, delighted." 

The boon to blow three blasts on his horn, 
B 25, is also asked by Robin of the Shepherd, 
No 134, st. 15. The reply made by the Shep 
herd, st. 16, is, If thou shouldst blow till to 
morrow morn, I scorn one foot to flee. In 
R. H. Rescuing Three Squires, B 25, when 
Robin, disguised as a beggar, intimates to the 
sheriff that he may blow his horn, the answer 
is nearly the same as here : Blow till both thy 
eyes fall out. In No 127, st. 34 f, Robin asks 
a boon of the Tinker, without specifying what 
the boon is ; the Tinker refuses ; Robin blows 
his horn while the Tinker is not looking. In 
No 135, st. 16 f, Robin asks the three keepers 
to let him blow one blast on his horn, and 
they refuse. This boon of [three] blasts on 
a horn is not an important matter in these 
Robin Hood ballads, but it may be noticed as 
a feature of other popular ballads in which an 
actor is reduced to extremity : as in the Swedish 
ballad Stolts Signild, Arwidsson, II, 128, No 
97, and the corresponding Signild og hendes 
Broder, Danske Viser, IV, 31, No 170, in both 
of which the answer to the request is, Blow as 
much as you will. So in a Russian bylina, 
when Solomon is to be hanged, he obtains per 
mission three several times to blow his horn, 
and is told to blow as much as he will, and 
upon the third blast his army comes to the 
rescue : Rybnikof, II, No 52, Jagid, in Archiv 
fur slavische Philologie, I, 104 ff ; Miss Hap- 
good's Epic Songs of Russia, p. 287 f ; also F. 
Vogt, Salman und Morolf, p. 104, sts 494 ff.f 
Three cries take the place of three blasts, 
upon occasion : as in the case of the unhappy 
maid in the German forms of No 4, I, 32 ff, 
where also the maid is sometimes told to cry 
as much as she wants, and in Gesta Romano- 
rum, Oesterley, cap. 108, p. 440. 

B is translated by Anastasius Grim, p. 124. 

* Curtilarius (Old English cnrtiler) qui curtile curat aut the Portuguese, Poetical Works, 1838, VI, 122, is a variety 

incolit : Ducange. of that of Solomon. There are curious points of resem- 

t I suppose that it must already have been pointed out blance between 'R. H. rescuing Three Squires' and the con- 
that the story of King Ramiro, versified by Southey from elusion of the story of Solomon. 



Percy MS., p. 10; Hales and Furnivall, I, 26. 

1 BUT how many merry monthes be in the 

yeere ? 

There are thirteen, I say; 
The midsummer moone is the merryest of all, 
Next to the merry month of May. 

2 In May, when mayds beene fast weepand, 

Young men their hands done wringe, 

3 Tie . . pe 

Over may noe man for villanie : ' 
Tie never eate nor drinke,' Robin Hood 

' Till I that cutted friar see.' 

4 He builded his men in a brake of fearne, 

A litle from that nunery ; 
Sayes, If you heare my litle home blow, 
Then looke you come to me. 

5 When Robin came to Fontaines Abey, 

Wheras that fryer lay, 
He was ware of the fryer where he stood, 
And to him thus can he say. 

6 A payre of blacke breeches the yeoman had on, 

His coppe all shone of steele, 
A fayre sword and a broad buckeler 
Beseemed him very weell. 

7 ' I am a wet weary man,' said Robin Hood, 

' Good fellow, as thou may see ; 
Wilt beare [me] over this wild water, 
Ffor sweete Saint Charity ? ' 

8 The fryer bethought him of a good deed ; 

He had done none of long before ; 
He hent up Robin Hood on his backe, 
And over he did him beare. 

9 But when he came over that wild water, 

A longe sword there he drew : 
' Beare me backe againe, bold outlawe, 
Or of this thou shalt have enoughe.' 

10 Then Robin Hood hent the fryar on his back, 
And neither sayd good nor ill ; 

Till he came ore that wild water, 
The yeoman he walked still. 

11 Then Robin Hood wett his fayre greene hoze, 

A span aboue his knee ; 

S[ay]s, Beare me ore againe, thou cutted 

12 . 

good bowmen 
[Cjame raking all on a rowe. 

13 ' I beshrew thy head,' said the cutted ffriar, 

' Thou thinkes I shall be shente ; 

I thought thou had but a man or two, 

And thou hast [a] whole conuent. 

14 ' I lett thee haue a blast on thy home, 

Now giue me leaue to whistle another ; 
I cold not bidd thee noe better play 

And thou wert my owne borne brother.' 

15 ' Now fute on, fute on, thou cutted fryar, 

I pray God thou neere be still ; 
It is not the futing in a fryers fist 
That can doe me any ill.' 

16 The fryar sett his neave to his mouth, 

A loud blast he did blow ; 
Then halfe a hundred good bandoggs 
Came raking all on a rowe. 


' Euery dogg to a man,' said the cutted fryar, 
' And I my selfe to Robin Hood.' 

18 'Over God's forbott,' said Robin Hood, 

' That euer that soe shold bee ; 
I had rather be mached with three of the tikes 
Ere I wold be matched on thee. 

19 ' But stay thy tikes, thou fryar,' he said, 

' And freindshipp I 'le haue with thee ; 
But stay thy tikes, thou fryar,' he said, 
'And saue good yeomanry.' 

20 The fryar he sett his neave to his mouth, 

A lowd blast he did blow ; 



The doggs the coucht downe euery one, 
They couched downe on a rowe. 

21 ' What is thy will, thou yeoman ? ' he said, 
' Haue done and tell it me ; ' 

; If that thou will goe to merry greenwood, 


a. Garland of 1663, No 11. b. Pepys, I, 78, No 37. 
C. Garland of 1070, No 10. d. Wood, 401, leaf 15 b. 
e. Pepys, II, 99, No 86. f. Douce, II, 184. 

1 IN summer time, when leaves grow green, 

And flowers are fresh and gay, 
Robin Hood and his merry men 
Were disposed to play. 

2 Then some would leap, and some would run, 

And some would use artillery : 
' Which of you can a good bow draw, 
A good archer to be ? 

3 ' Which of you can kill a buck ? 

Or who can kill a do ? 
Or who can kill a hart of greece, 
Five hundred foot him fro ? ' 

4 Will Scadlock he killd a buck, 

And Midge he killd a do, 
And Little John killd a hart of greece, 
Five hundred foot him fro. 

5 ' God's blessing on thy heart,' said Robin Hood, 

' That hath [shot] such a shot for me ; 
I would ride my horse an hundred miles, 
To finde one could match with thee.' 

6 That causd Will Scadlock to laugh, 

He laughed full heartily : 
' There lives a curtal frier in Fountains Abby 
Will beat both him and thee. 

7 ' That curtal frier in Fountains Abby 

Well can a strong bow draw ; 
He will beat you and your yeomen, 
Set them all on a row.' 

8 Robin Hood took a solemn oath, 

It was by Mary free, 
That he would neither eat nor drink 
Till the frier he did see. 

9 Robin Hood put on his harness good, 

And on his head a cap of steel, 
Broad sword and buckler by his side, 
And they became him weel. 

10 He took his bow into his hand, 

It was made of a trusty tree, 
With a sheaf of arrows at his belt, 
To the Fountains Dale went he. 

11 And comming unto Fountain[s] Dale, 

No further would he ride ; 
There was he aware of a curtal frier, 
Walking by the water-side. 

12 The fryer had on a harniss good, 

And on his head a cap of steel, 
Broad sword and buckler by his side, 
And they became him weel. 

13 Robin Hood lighted off his horse, 

And tied him to a thorn : 
' Carry me over the water, thou curtal frier, 
Or else thy life 's forlorn.' 

14 The frier took Robin Hood on his back, 

Deep water he did bestride, 
And spake neither good word nor bad, 
Till he came at the other side. 

15 Lightly leapt Robin Hood off the friers back ; 

The frier said to him again, 
Carry me over this water, fine fellow, 
Or it shall breed thy pain. 

16 Robin Hood took the frier on 's back, 

Deep water he did bestride, 
And spake neither good word nor bad, 
Till he came at the other side. 

17 Lightly leapt the fryer off Robin Hoods back ; 

Robin Hood said to him again, 
Carry me over this water, thou curtal frier, 
Or it shall breed thy pain. 



18 The frier took Robin Hood on 's back again, 

And stept up to the knee ; 
Till he came at the middle stream, 
Neither good nor bad spake he. 

19 And coming to the middle stream, 

There he threw Robin in : 
' And chuse thee, chuse thee, fine fellow, 
Whether thou wilt sink or swim.' 

20 Robin Hood swam to a bush of broom, 

The frier to a wicker wand ; 
Bold Robin Hood is gone to shore, 
And took his bow in hand. 

21 One of his best arrows under his belt 

To the frier he let flye ; 
The curtal frier, with his steel buckler, 
He put that arrow by. 

22 ' Shoot on, shoot on, thou fine fellow, 

Shoot on as thou hast begun ; 
If thou shoot here a summers day, 
Thy mark I will not shun.' 

23 Robin Hood shot passing well, 

Till his arrows all were gone ; 
They took their swords and steel bucklers, 
And fought with might and maine ; 

24 From ten oth' clock that day, 

Till four ith' afternoon ; 
Then Robin Hood came to his knees, 
Of the frier to beg a boon. 

25 ' A boon, a boon, thou curtal frier, 

I beg it on my knee ; 
Give me leave to set my horn to my 

And to blow blasts three.' 

26 ' That will I do,' said the curtal frier, 

' Of thy blasts I have no doubt ; 
I hope thou 'It blow so passing well 
Till both thy eyes fall out.' 

27 Robin Hood set his horn to his mouth, 

He blew but blasts three ; 
Half a hundred yeomen, with bows bent, 
Came raking over the lee. 

28 'Whose men are these,' said the frier, 

' That come so hastily ? ' 

' These men are mine,' said Robin Hood ; 
' Frier, what is that to thee ? ' 

29 ' A boon, a boon,' said the curtal frier, 

' The like I gave to thee ; 
Give me leave to set my fist to my mouth, 
And to whute whutes three.' 

30 That will I do,' said Robin Hood, 

' Or else I were to blame ; 
Three whutes in a friers fist 
Would make me glad and fain.' 

31 The frier he set his fist to his mouth, 

And whuted whutes three ; 
Half a hundred good ban-dogs 
Came running the frier unto. 

32 ' Here 's for every man of thine a dog, 

And I my self for thee : ' 
'Nay, by my faith,' quoth Robin Hood, 
' Frier, that may not be.' 

33 Two dogs at once to Robin Hood did go, 

The one behind, the other before ; 
Robin Hoods mantle of Lincoln green 
Off from his back they tore. 

34 And whether his men shot east or west, 

Or they shot north or south, 
The curtal dogs, so taught they were, 
They kept their arrows in their mouth. 

35 ' Take up thy dogs,' said Little John, 

' Frier, at my bidding be ; ' 
' Whose man art thou,' said the curtal frier, 
' Comes here to prate with me ? ' 

36 ' I am Little John, Robin Hoods man, 

Frier, I will not lie ; 
If thou take not up thy dogs soon, 
I 'le take up them and thee.' 

37 Little John had a bow in his hand, 

He shot with might and main ; 
Soon half a score of the friers dogs 
Lay dead upon the plain. 

38 ' Hold thy hand, good fellow,' said the curtal 


' Thy master and I will agree ; 

And we will have new orders taken, 

With all the haste that may be.' 



39 ' If thou wilt forsake fair Fountains Dale, 

And Fountains Abby free, 
Every Sunday throughout the year, 
A noble shall be thy fee. 

40 ' And every holy day throughout the year, 

Changed shall thy garment be, 

If thou wilt go to fair Nottingham, 
And there remain with me.' 

41 This curtal frier had kept Fountains Dale 

Seven long years or more ; 
There was neither knight, lord, nor earl 
Could make him yield before. 

A. Half a page is gone after 2 2 , 11 s , 21 3 . 

I I , moones ? I 2 . 13 in May. 

I 4 , month may pass, though moone is expected. 
2 1 ' 2 . might perhaps be intelligible with the 

other half of the stansa. 
10 4 , 20 3 . They. II 1 . eze. 
IS 4 , couwent ? comment ? F. 15 1 . Now fate. 

16 s . 100*. 17 3 ' 4 . bis | 

18 1 . Ever. 18 3 . 3. 

B. a. The famous battel between Robin Hood and 

the Curtal Fryer, near Fountain Dale. 
To a new northern tune. 
4 1 , 6 1 . Sadlock : Scadlock elseivhere. 
15 1 . stept. Cf. 17 l : leapt in b, e. 
19 4 . sing. 

24 3 . his wanting, and in all but b, e. 

24 4 . the wanting, and in all but b, e. 
27 4 . ranking: in d, e, f, ranging. 

32 1 . of thine wanting : found only in b. 
34 4 . catcht : kept in b, d. 35 s . thon. 
b. Title as in a, omitting near Fountain Dale. 
Printed at London for H. Gosson. (1607-41.) 
2 4 . for to. 3 4 , 4 4 , 5 s , 27 s , 31 s . hundreth. 
5 3 . a for an. 5 4 . with wanting. 7 s . and all. 
7 4 . all a on a. 8 1 . Hood he. 
9 2 , 12 2 . And wanting. 10 4 . Fountaine. 

II I . into. II 2 . he would. 

II 8 . he was : of the. 12*. a wanting. 
14 4 , 16 4 . th' other, lo 1 . leapt for stept. 
16 1 . on his. 18 1 . Hood wanting. 

18 2 . in for up. 20 2 . wigger. 20 4 . in his. 
22 1 . Scot: a misprint. 23 2 . gane. 

23*. They for And. 24 1 . of clock of that. 
24 2 . four of th'. 24 s . to his. 24*. of the. 
25 4 . But to. 26 1 . I will. 27 4 . raking. 
28 2 . comes. 
29 4 , 30 3 , 31 2 . whues, unobjectionable : in all 

the rest whutes. 

31 1 . he set. 31 s . of good band-dogs. 
32 1 . man of thine. 32 s . said for quoth. 
34 4 . kept the. 38 4 . that wanting. 
40 1 . through the. 41 2 . and more. 

c. Title as in a, except Dales. 

5 2 . hath wanting. 6 8 , 7 1 . Fountain. 

8 4 . he the frier did. 15 1 . stept. 20 1 . sworn. 

23 1 . shot so. 28 3 . men wanting. 

31 3 . band-dogs. 34 4 . catcht. 35 4 . to me. 
40 2 . garments. 

d. Title as in b. 

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, W. Gilbertson. 


5 s . a. 5 4 . with wanting. 1*. all in. 
II 1 . Fountains. II 2 . farther. 15 1 . stept. 
16 1 . on his. 20 2 . wigger. 23 1 . shot so. 
23 4 . They for And. 24 3 . his wanting. 
24 4 . the wanting. 27*. ranging. 
28 3 . men wanting. 31 1 . he wanting. 
32 1 . of thine wanting. 33 2 . and the other. 
34 4 . They kept. 39 3 . through the. 
40 2 . garments. 

e. Title as in b. 

Printed for W. Thackeray, J. Millet, and A. 

Milbourn. (1680-97 ?) 
2 4 . for wanting. 3 4 , 4 4 . hundreth. 
5 2 . That shot such a shoot. 5*. a for an. 
5 4 . with wanting. 6 s . Fountain. 
7, 8. wanting. 10 2 . made wanting. 
II 1 . Fountain's. II 2 . farther. 11 s . he was. 
12 1 . on wanting. 15 1 . leapt for stept. 
15*. thou fine. 16 1 . on his. 16 s . speak. 
17 s . over the. 20 2 . wigger. 20 s . to the. 
22 a . on wanting. 23 1 . shot so. 

23 2 . were all gane. 23*. They for And. 
24". to his. 24 4 . Of the. 26 1 . I will. 
27 2 . blew out. 27 4 . ranging. 

31 s . bay dogs. 32 1 . Here is. 
34*. The cutrtles. 34 4 . caught the. 
38 1 . Hold thy hand, hold thy hand, said. 
39 1 ' 2 , 41 1 . Fountain. 40 1 . through the. 
40 2 . garments. 41 2 . and for or. 

f . Title as in b. 

London, printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and 

J. Wright. (1655-80.) 
2 a . some wanting, o 2 . shot such a shoot. 
5'. a. 5 4 . with wanting. II 1 . Fountains. 



ll a . farther. 11*. ware. 15 1 . step'd. 

15". thou fine. 16 1 . on his. 

20 2 . wigger. 20 s . to the. 21 s , 34 s . curtie. 

22 2 . on wanting. 23 1 . shot so. 

23 2 . Till all his arrows were. 

23 4 . They for And. 24 s . his wanting. 

24 4 . the wanting. 27 4 . ranging. 

28 s . men wanting. 30 s . fryer. 
31 1 . he wanting. 31 8 . bay-dogs. 
32 1 . Here is : of thine wanting. 
33 2 . and the other. 34 4 . caught the. 
39 2 , 41 1 . Fountain. 39 s , 40 1 . through the. 
40 2 . garments. 41 2 . and more. 




a Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 192, as printed 

by William Copland, at the end of his edition 

of the Gest. 
b. As printed by Edward White, at the end of his 

edition of the Gest : Bodleian Library, Z. 3. 

Art. Seld. 


Now stand ye forth, my mery men all, 

And harke what I shall say; 

Of an adventure I shal you tell, 

The which befell this other day. 
5 As I went by the hygh way, 

With a stout frere I met, 

And a quarter-staffe in his hande. 

Lyghtely to me he lept, 

And styll he bade me stande. 
10 There were strypes two or three, 

But I cannot tell who had the worse, 

But well I wote the horeson lept within me, 

And fro me he toke my purse. 

Is there any of my mery men all 
15 That to that frere wyll go, 

And bryng hym to me forth withall, 

Whether he wyll or no ? 


Yes, mayster, I make God avowe, 
To that frere wyll I go, 
20 And bring him to you, 
Whether he wyl or no. 


Dens hie ! deus Me '. God be here ! 
Is not this a holy worde for a frere? 
God save all this company ! 
25 But am not I a jolly fryer? 

For I can shote both farre and nere, 

And handle the sworde and buckler, 

And this qiiarter-staffe also. 

If I mete with a gentylman or yeman, 
30 I am not afrayde to loke hym upon, 

Nor boldly with him to carpe ; 

If he speake any wordes to me, 

He shall have strypes two or thre, 

That shal make his body smarte. 
35 But, maisters, to shew you the matter 

Wherfore and why I am come hither, 

In fayth I wyll not spare. 

I am come to seke a good yeman, 

In Bernisdale men sai is his habitacion, 
40 His name is Robyn Hode. 

And if that he be better man than I, 

His servaunt wyll I be, and serve him truely; 

But if that I be better man than he, 

By my truth my knave shall he be, 
45 And leade these dogges all three. 


Yelde the, fryer, in thy long cote. 


I beshrew thy hart, knave, thou hurtest my throt[e]. 


I trowe, fryer, thou beginnest to dote; 
Who made the so malapert and so bolde 
50 To come into this forest here, 
Amonge my falowe dere? 


Go louse the, ragged knave. 
If thou make mani wordes, I will geve the on the 


Though I be but a poore fryer. 
55 To seke Robyn Hode I am com here, 
And to him my hart to breke. 


Thou lousy frer, what wouldest thou with hym ? 
He never loved fryer, nor none of freiers kyn. 

Avaunt, ye ragged knave ! 
60 Or ye shall have on the skynne. 




Of all the men in the morning thou art the worst, 
To mete with the I have no lust ; 
For he that meteth a frere or a fox in the morning, 
To spede ill that day he standeth in jeoperdy. 
65 Therfore I had lever mete with the devil of hell, 
(Fryer, I tell the as I thinke,) 
Then mete with a fryer or a fox 
In a mornyng, or I drynk. 


Avaunt, thou ragged knave ! this is but a mock ; 
70 If thou make mani words thou shal have a 


Harke, frere, what I say here : 
Over this water thou shalt me bere, 
The brydge is borne away. 

To say naye I wyll not; 

75 To let the of thine oth it were great pitie and sin ; 
But up on a fryers backe, and have even in ! 


Nay, have over. 


Now am I, frere, within, and thou, Robin, without, 
To lay the here I have no great doubt. 
80 Now art thou, Robyn, without, and I, frere, within, 
Lye ther, knave ; chose whether thou wilte sinke 
or swym. 


Why, thou lowsy frere, what hast thou done? 


Mary, set a knave over the shone. 


Therfore thou shalt abye. 


85 Why, wylt thou fyght a plucke ? 


And God send me good lucke. 


Than have a stroke for fryer Tucke. 


Holde thy hande, frere, and here me speke. 

Say on, ragged knave, 
90 Me semeth ye begyn to swete. 


In this forest I have a hounde, 

I wyl not give him for an hundreth pound. 

Geve me leve my borne to blowe, 

That my hounde may knowe. 


95 Blowe on, ragged knave, without any double, 
Untyll bothe thyne eyes starte out. 
Here be a sorte of ragged knaves come in, 
Clothed all in Kendale grene, 
And to the they take their way nowe. 


100 Peradventure they do so. 

I gave the leve to blowe at thy wyll, 
Now give me leve to whistell my fyll. 


Whystell, frere, evyl mote thou fare ! 
Untyll bothe thyne eyes stare. 


105 Now Cut and Bause ! 

Breng forth the clubbes and staves, 
And downe with those ragged knaves ! 


How sayest thou, frere, wylt thou be my man, 
To do me the best servyse thou can? 
110 Thou shalt have both golde and fee. 

After ten lines of ribaldry, which have no per 
tinency to the traditional Robin Hood and Friar, 
the play abruptly passes to the adventure of Robin 
Hood and the Potter. 

a. Ritson has been followed, without collation with 

35. maister. 64. spede ell. 

70. you, you for thou, thou. 82. donee. 
104. starte. 

b. 13. he wanting. 15. to the. 23. word of. 
81. Not. 35. maister. 41. if he. 43. be a. 
59. ye ti-antmg. 61. in a. 

65. had rather : of hell loantina. 70. y": y". shalt. 
81. choose either sinke. 97. Here is. 
103. might thou. 104. stare. 





A. a. Wood, 402, leaf 43. b. Garland of 1663, No 4. 
c. Garland of 1670, No 3. d. Pepys, II, 100, No 
87 a. e. Wood, 401, leaf 61 b. 

B. Percy MS., p. 15 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 32. 

PRINTED in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 
16, from one of Wood's copies, " compared 
with two other copies in tbe British Museum, 
one in black letter : " Evans, Old Ballads, 
1777, 1784, I, 99. 

There is another copy in the Roxburghe 
collection, III, 24, and there are two in the 

' A ballett of Wakefylde and a grene ' is 
entered to Master John Wallye and Mistress 
Toye, 19 July, 1557-9 July, 1558: Station 
ers' Registers, Arber, I, 76. 

The ballad is one of four, besides the Gest, 
that were known to the author of the Life 
of Robin Hood in Sloane MS., 715, which 
dates from the end of the seventeenth century. 
It is thoroughly lyrical, and therein " like the 
old age," and was pretty well sung to pieces 
before it ever was printed. A snatch of it is 
sung, as Ritson has observed, in each of the 
Robin Hood plays, The Downfall of Robert, 
Earl of Huntington, by Anthony Munday, 
and The Death of Robert, Earl of Hunting- 
ton, by A. Munday and Henry Chettle, both 
printed in 1601. 

At Michaelmas cometh my covenant out, 

My master gives me my fee ; 
Then, Robin, I '11 wear thy Kendall green, 

And wend to the greenwood with thee. 

O there dwelleth a jolly pinder 
At Wakefield all on a green.* 

Silence sings the line 'And Robin Hood, 
Scarlet, and John,' 3 2 , in the Second Part of 

Dodsley's Old Plays, 4th ed., by W. C. Hazlitt, VIIL 
196, 232. 

VOL. in. 17 

King Henry Fourth, V, 3, and Falstaff ad 
dresses Bardolph as Scarlet and John in the 
first scene of The Merry "Wives of Windsor. 
In Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, V, 4, 
Dyce, I, 295, we have : " Let not . . . your 
Robinhoods, Scarlets, and Johns tie your affec 
tions in darkness to your shops." Scarlet and 
John, comrades of Robin Hood from the be 
ginning, are prominent in many ballads. 

Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John have left 
the highway and made a path over the corn,f 
apparently in defiance of the Pinder of Wake- 
field, who has the fame of being able to exact 
a penalty of trespassers, whatever their rank. 
The Pinder bids them turn again ; they, being 
three to one, scorn to comply. The Pinder 
fights with them till their swords are broken. 
Robin cries Hold ! and asks the Pinder to 
join his company in the greenwood. This 
the Pinder is ready to do at Michaelmas, 
when his engagement to his present master 
will be terminated. Robin asks for meat and 
drink, and the Pinder offers him bread, beef, 
and ale. 

The adventure of the ballad is naturally 
introduced into the play of George a Greene, 
the Pinner of Wakefield, printed in 1599, 
reprinted in Dodsley's Old Plays (the third 
volume of the edition of 1825), and by Dyce 
among the works of Robert Greene. George 
a Greene fights with Scarlet, and beats him ; 
then with Much (not John), and beats him ; 
then with Robin Hood. Robin protests he is 
the stoutest champion that ever he laid hands 

t A very serious offence : see E. Peacock, Hales and 
Furnival], Percy Folio Manuscript, I, Ixii, note to p. 34. 



George, wilt thou forsake Wakefield 

And go with me ? 
Two liveries will I give thee every year, 

And forty crowns shall be thy fee. 

George welcomes Robin to his house, offer 
ing him wafer-cakes, beef, mutton, and veal. 
(Dyce, II, 196 f.) 

The scene in the play is found in the prose 
history of George a Green, London, 1706, of 
which a copy is known, no doubt substantially 
the same, of the date 1632. The Pinner here 
fells ' Slathbatch,' Little John, and the Friar, 
before his bout with Robin. See Thorns, A 
Collection of Early Prose Romances, II, 44- 
47, and the prefaces, p. viii ff, p. xviii f, for 
more about the popularity of the Pinner's 

Wakefield is in the West Riding of the 
county of York. 

Richard Brathwayte, in a poetical epistle 
" to all true-bred northerne sparks of the gen 
erous society of the Cottoneers," Strappado 
for the Divell, 1615 (cited by Ritson, Robin 
Hood, ed. 1795, I, xxvii-ix), speaks of 

The Pindar's valour, and how firme he stood 
In th' townes defence gainst th' rebel Robin Hood ; 
How stoutly he behav'd himselfe, and would, 
In spite of Robin, bring his horse to th' fold : 

from which we might infer that according 
to one account the Pinder had impounded 
Robin's horse. But as Robin Hood, in this 
passage, is confounded with the rebel Earl of 
Kendal, or some one of his adherents, it is 
safe to suppose that Brathwayte has been 
twice inaccurate.* 

The ballad is so imperfect that one might 
be in doubt whether the Pinder fights with 
Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John all together 
or successively. But to suppose the Pinder 
capable of dealing with all three at once 
would be monstrous, and we see from the 
History and from Greene's play that the Pin 

der must take them one after the other, and 
Robin the last of the three. 

There are seven other ballads, besides The 
Pinder of Wakefield, in which Robin Hood, 
after trying his strength with a stout fellow, 
and coming off somewhat or very much the 
worse, induces his antagonist to enlist in his 
company. Several of these are very late, 
and most of them imitations, we may say, of 
the Pinder, or one of the other. These bal 
lads are : Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar ; 
Robin Hood and Little John ; Robin Hood 
and the Tanner ; Robin Hood and the Tinker, 
28 ff; Robin Hood Revived; Robin Hood 
and the Ranger ; Robin Hood and the Scotch 
man. We might add Robin Hood and Maid 
Marian. The episode of Little John and the 
Cook, in the Gest, 165-171, is after the same 
pattern. There is another set in which a 
contest of a like description does not result in 
an accession to the outlaw-band. These are 
Robin Hood and the Potter ; Robin Hood and 
the Butcher ; Robin Hood and the Beggar, I ; 
Robin Hood and the Beggar, II (Robin Hood 
first beaten, then three of his men severely 
handled) ; Robin Hood and the Shepherd 
(Robin Hood overmastered, Little John on 
the point of being beaten, etc.) ; The Bold 
Pedlar and Robin Hood (John outmatched 
first, then his master) ; Robin Hood's De 
light (combat between Robin Hood, Little 
John, and Scadlock and three Keepers) ; 
Robin Hood and the Pedlars (again three to 

There are, as might be expected, frequent 
verbal agreements in these ballads, and many 
of them are collected by Fricke, Die Robin- 
Hood-Balladen, pp 91-95. 

The fights in these ballads last from an 
hour, Gest, st. 168, to a long summer's day, 
in this ballad, st. 6. In Robin Hood and 
Maid Marian, st. 11, the time is at least an 
hour, or more ; in Robin Hood and the Tanner, 

* Further OD, Brathwayte alludes to a difference between but only George does the fighting there. It is mere care- 
Robin Hood and the Shoemaker of Bradford, which had lessness when Munday, 'Downfall,' etc., applies the name 
been treated of by stage-poets. This refers to the fight of George a Greene to the Shoemaker of Bradford (Hazlitt, 
that Robin Hood and George a Green have with the shoe- as above, p. 151). In the same play and the same scene 
makers, in chap, xii of the History (Thorns, p. 52 f), which he makes Scathlock and Scarlet two persons, 
is introduced into Robert Greene's play (Dyce, p. 199 f), 




st. 20, two hours and more ; in Robin Hood 
and the Ranger, st. 12, three hours ; in Robin 
Hood and the Curtal Friar, B 24, and Robin 

Hood and the Shepherd, st. 11, from ten 
o'clock till four ; in Robin Hood's Delight, st. 
11, from eight o'clock till two, and past. 

a. Wood, 402, leaf 43. b. Garland of 1663, No 4. 
C. Garland of 1670, No 3. d. Pepys, II, 100, No 87 a. 
e. Wood, 401, leaf 61 b. 

1 IN Wakefleld there lives a jolly pinder, 

In Wakefield, all on a green ; (b is) 

2 ' There is neither knight nor squire,' said the 


' Nor baron that is so bold, (bis) 
Dare make a trespasse to the town of Wake- 

But his pledge goes to the pinfold.' (bis) 

3 All this beheard three witty young men, 

'T was Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John ; 
With that they spyed the jolly pinder, 
As he sate under a thorn. 

4 ' Now turn again, turn again,' said the pinder, 

' For a wrong way have you gone ; 
For you have forsaken the king his highway, 
And made a path over the corn.' 

5 ' O that were great shame,' said jolly Robin, 

' We being three, and thou but one : ' 
The pinder leapt back then thirty good foot, 
'T was thirty good foot and one. 

6 He leaned his back fast unto a thorn, 

And his foot unto a stone, 
And there he fought a long summer's day, 

A summer's day so long, 
Till that their swords, on their broad bucklers, 

Were broken fast unto their hands. 

7 ' Hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' said Robin 


' And my merry men euery one ; 
For this is one of the best pinders 
That ever I try'd with sword. 

8 ' And wilt thou forsake thy pinder his craft, 

And live in [the] green wood with me ? 

9 ' At Michaelmas next my covnant comes out, 

When every man gathers his fee ; 
I 'le take my blew blade all in my hand, 
And plod to the green wood with thee.' 

10 ' Hast thou either meat or drink,' said Robin 

' For my merry men and me ? 

11 ' I have both bread and beef,' said the pinder, 

' And good ale of the best ; ' 
' And that is meat good enough,' said Rohm 

' For such unbidden guest. 

12 ' wilt thou forsake the pinder his craft, 

And go to the green wood with me ? 
Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year, 
The one green, the other brown [shall be].' 

13 ' If Michaelmas day were once come and gone 

And my master had paid me my fee, 
Then would I set as little by him 
As my master doth set by me.' 

Percy MS., p. 15 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 32. 

1 < Bur hold y . . hold y . . . ' says Robin, 

'My merrymen, I bid yee, 
For this [is] one of the best pindars 
That euer I saw with mine eye. 



2 ' But hast thou any meat, thou iolly pindar, 
For my merrymen and me ? ' 

3 ' But I haue bread and cheese,' sayes the 


' And ale all on the best : ' 
' That 's cheere good enoughe,' said Robin, 
' For any such vnbidden guest. 

4 ' But wilt be my man ? ' said good Robin, 

' And come and dwell wt'th me ? 

And twise in a yeere thy clothing [shall] 

If my man thou wilt bee, 
The tone shall be of light Lincolne greene, 

The tother of Picklory.' 

5 ' Att Michallmas comes a well good time, 
When men haue gotten in their ffee ; 

I 'le sett as litle by my master 
As he now setts by me, 

I 'le take my benbowe in my hande, 
And come into the grenwoode to thee.' 

A. The second and fourth lines were repeated in 

a. The lolly Finder of Wakefield. 

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. G[i]l- 
ber[t]son. (F. Coles, 1646-1674 ; T. Vere, 
1648-1680; W. Gilbertson, 1640-1663. 

I 1 , their. 

3 1 . witty, which all have, is a corruption of 

10 1 . laid. 13 4 . by my. 

b, c. Robin Hood and the jolly Finder of Wake- 

field, shewing how he fought with Robin 
Hood, Scarlet, and John a long summer's 
day. To a Northern tune. 
b. I 1 , there dwels. 2 4 . it goes. 4 1 . saith. 

5 1 . a for great : saith. II 2 . all. 11 s . that 'a. 
12 1 . thy for the. 

C. 4 8 . king's high. 6 2 . fast unto. 
6 4 . And a. 6 6 . that wanting. 
9 1 . covenants. 10 1 . thou wanting. 

d. The Jolly Finder of Wakefield with Robin 

Hood, Scarlet, and John. 

Printed by and for Alex. Milbourn, in Green- 
Arbor Court, in the Little Old-Baily. (A. 
Milbourn, 1670-1697. Chappell.) 

3 8 . espy'd. 3 4 . sat. 4 2 . you have. 

4 8 . the kings. 5 1 . a for great. 

6 2 . foot against. 6 8 . they for he. 

6 s . broke. 8 1 . pinders craft. 

8 2 . in the. 13 1 . was come. 

13*. set wanting. 

e. The Jolly Finder of Wakefield : with Robin 

Hood, Scarlet and John. 
No printer's name. 

3*. espyed. 3*. sat. 4 2 . you have. 
4 8 . kings. 6 1 . foot against. 6 6 . broke. 
8 1 . pinders craft. 13 1 . was come. 
13 4 . set wanting. 

Pepys Penny Merriments Garland : according 

to Hales and Furnivall. 
6 4 . And a. 6 6 . that wanting. 
10 1 . thou wanting. 12 1 . thy pinder. 

Gutch, Robin Hood, II, 144 f , says that the 

Roxburghe copy has in 3 l wight yeomen. 
He prints 7 M : 

And my merry men stand aside ; 
For this is one of the best pinders 
That with sword ever I tryed. 

8 M . Thou shalt have a livery twice in the year, 
Th' one gi-eene, tither brown shall be. 

These parts of stanzas 7, 8 he gives as from 
a black-letter copy, which he does not de 

B. I 1 ' 2 make half a stanza, in the MS., and I 8 ' 4 
are joined with 2 1 ' 2 . 4 6 ' 6 and 5 1 ' 2 make a 
stanza. It is not supposed that 4 and 5 
were originally stanzas of six lines, but 
rather that, one half of each of two stanzas 
having been forgotten, the other has at 
tached itself to a complete stanza which 
chanced to have the same rhyme. Stanzas 
of six lines, formed in this way, are com 
mon in traditional ballads. 

3 4 . guests. 4 8 . 2?. in. 




a. A Collection of Old Ballads, 1723, I, 75. b. Aldermary Garland, by R. Marshall, n. d., No 22. 

RITSON, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 138 ; Evans, 
Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 204. There is a 
bad copy in a Robin Hood's Garland of 1749. 

" This ballad," says Ritson, " is named in a 
schedule of such things under an agreement 
between W. Thackeray and others in 1689, 
Col. Pepys, vol. 5." It occurs in a list of bal 
lads printed for and sold by William Thack 
eray at the Angel in Duck-Lane (see The 
Ballad Society's reprint of the Roxburghe 
Ballads, W. Chappell, I, xxiv, from a copy in 
the Bagford collection), but by some caprice 
of fortune has not, so far as is known, come 
down in the broadside form, neither is it found 
in the older garlands. 

Robin Hood and Little John belongs to a 
set of ballads which have middle rhyme in the 
third line of the stanza, and are directed to be 
sung to one and the same tune. These are : 
R. H. and the Bishop, R. H. and the Beggar, 
R. H. and the Tanner, to the tune of R. H. and 
the Stranger ; R. H. and the Butcher, R. H.'s 
Chase, Little John and the Four Beggars, to 
the tune of R. H. and the Beggar ; R. H. and 
Little John, R. H. and the Ranger, to the 
tune of Arthur a Bland (that is, R. H. and 
the Tanner). There is no ballad with the 

* Robin Hood Newly Revived (which, by the way, is in the 
same bad style as Robin Hood and Little John) is directed 
to be sung 'to a delightful new Tune.' The tune, as is seen 
from the burden, was that of Arthur a Bland, etc., called in 
Robin Hood and the Prince of Aragon (the Second Part of 
Robin Hood Newly Revived) Robin Hood, or Hey down, 
down a down. The earliest printed copy of the air is pre 
served in the ballad-opera of The Jovial Crew, 1731 (Rim- 
bault, in Gutch's Robin Hood, II, 433, Chappell's Popu 
lar Music, p. 391), and the song which is there sung to it 
has middle rhyme in the first line as well as the third, which 
is the ease with no Robin Hood ballad except Robin Hood 
and the Peddlers. 

Robin Hood and Maid Marian, which has the middle 

title Robin Hood and the Stranger. Ritson 
thought it proper to give this title to a ballad 
which uniformly bears the title of Robin Hood 
Newly Revived, No 128, because Robin's an 
tagonist is repeatedly called " the stranger " in 
it. But Robin's antagonist is equally often 
called "the stranger" in the present ballad 
(eleven times in each), and Robin Hood and 
Little John has the middle rhyme in the third 
line, which Robin Hood Newly Revived has 
not (excepting in seven stanzas at the end, 
which are a portion of a different ballad, Robin 
Hood and the Scotchman). Robin Hood and 
Little John (and Robin Hood Newly Revived 
as well) would naturally be referred to as 
Robin Hood and the Stranger, for the same 
reason that Robin Hood and the Tanner is re 
ferred to as Arthur a Bland. The fact that 
the middle rhyme in the third line is found 
in Robin Hood and Little John, but is lacking 
in Robin Hood Newly Revived, gives a slightly 
superior probability to the supposition that the 
former, or rather some older version of it (for 
the one we have is in a rank seventeenth-cen 
tury style), had the secondary title of Robin 
Hood and the Stranger.* 

Like Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham, 

rhyme in the third line, is directed to be sung to Robin Hood 
Revived. Robin Hood and the Scotchman, as already said, 
has middle rhyme in the third line ; so have The King's 
Disguise, etc., R. H. and the Golden Arrow, R. H. and the 
Valiant Kuight ; but the tune assigned to the last is Robin 
Hood and the Fifteen Foresters, that is, Robin Hood's Pro 
gress to Nottingham. 

It ought to be added that Robin Hood Newly Revived is 
found in the Garland of 1663, in company with R. H. and 
the Bishop, R. H. and the Butcher, etc., and that Robin 
Hood and Little John is not there ; but I do not consider 
this circumstance sufficient to offset the probability in favor 
of the supposition, that by Robin Hood and the Stranger 
is meant Robin Hood and Little John. 



this ballad affects, in the right apocryphal 
way, to know an adventure of Robin's early 
life. Though but twenty years old, Robin 
has a company of threescore and nine bow 
men. With all these he shakes hands one 
morning, and goes through the forest alone, 
prudently enjoining on the band to come to 
his help if he should blow his horn. He 
meets a stranger on a narrow bridge, and 
neither will give way. Robin threatens the 
stranger with an arrow, which, as he requires 
to be reminded, is cowardly enough, seeing 
that the other man has nothing but a staff. 
Recalled to ordinary manliness, Robin Hood, 
laying down his bow, provides himself with 
an oaken stick, and proposes a battle on the 
bridge, which he shall be held to win who 
knocks the other into the water in the end. 
In the end the stranger tumbles Robin into the 

brook, and is owned to have won the day. The 
band are now summoned by the horn, and 
when they hear what the stranger has done are 
about to seize and duck him, but are ordered 
to forbear. Robin Hood proposes to his an 
tagonist that he shall join his men, and John 
Little, as he declares his name to be, accedes. 
John Little is seven foot tall.* Will Stutely 
says his name must be changed, and they re- 
baptize the " infant " as Little John. 

' A pastorall plesant commedie of Robin 
Hood and Little John, etc.,' is entered to Ed 
ward White in the Stationers' Registers, May 
14, 1594, and ' Robin Hood and Litle John ' 
to Master Oulton, April 22, 1640. (Arber, II, 
649, IV, 507.) 

Translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 65. 

1 WHEN Robin Hood was about twenty years 


With a hey down down and a down 
He happend to meet Little John, 
A jolly brisk blade, right fit for the trade, 

For he was a lusty young man. 

2 Tho he was calld Little, his limbs they were 


And his stature was seven foot high ; 
Where-ever he came, they quak'd at his name, 
For soon he would make them to fly. 

3 How they came acquainted, I '11 tell you in 


If you will but listen a while ; 
For this very jest, amongst all the rest, 
I think it may cause you to smile. 

4 Bold Robin Hood said to his jolly bowmen, 

Pray tarry you here in this grove ; 
And see that you all observe well my call, 
While thorough the forest I rove. 

Now should I be beat, and cannot retreat, 
My horn I will presently blow. 

6 Then did he shake hands with his merry men all, 

And bid them at present good b'w'ye ; 
Then, as near a brook his journey he took, 
A stranger he chancd to espy. 

7 They happend to meet on a long narrow bridge, 

And neither of them would give way ; 

Quoth bold Robin Hood, and sturdily stood, 

I '11 show you right Nottingham play. 

8 With that from his quiver an arrow he drew, 

A broad arrow with a goose-wing : 
The stranger reply'd, I '11 liquor thy hide, 
If thou offerst to touch the string. 

9 Quoth bold Robin Hood, Thou dost prate like 

an ass, 

For were I to bend but my bow, 
I could send a dart quite thro thy proud heart, 
Before thou couldst strike me one blow. 

5 We have had no sport for these fourteen long 10 ' Thou talkst like a coward,' the stranger re- 
days, ply'd ; 
Therefore now abroad will I go ; ' Well armd with a long bow you stand, 

* Fourteen foot, as proved by his bones, preserved, accord- See Ritson's Robin Hood, 1832, I, cxxxiif; and Gutch, 
ing to Hector Boece, in the kirk of Pette, in Murrayland. II, 112, note *. 



To shoot at my breast, while I, I protest, 
Have nought but a staff in my hand.' 

11 ' The name of a coward,' quoth Robin, ' I scorn, 

Wherefore my long bow I '11 lay by ; 
And now, for thy sake, a staff will I take, 
The truth of thy manhood to try.' 

12 Then Robin Hood stept to a thicket of trees, 

And chose him a staff of ground-oak ; 
Now this being done, away he did run 
To the stranger, and merrily spoke : 

13 Lo ! see my staff, it is lusty and tough, 

Now here on the bridge we will play ; 
Whoever falls in, the other shall win 
The battel, and so we '11 away. 

14 ' With all my whole heart,' the stranger re- 


' I scorn in the least to give out ; ' 
This said, they fell to 't without more dispute, 
And their staffs they did flourish about. 

15 And first Robin he gave the stranger a bang, 

So hard that it made his bones ring : 
The stranger he said, This must be repaid, 
I '11 give you as good as you bring. 

16 So long as I 'm able to handle my staff, 

To die in your debt, friend, I scorn : 
Then to it each goes, and followd their blows, 
As if they had been threshing of corn. 

17 The stranger gave Robin a crack on the crown, 

Which caused the blood to appear ; 
Then Robin, enrag'd, more fiercely engag'd, 
And followd his blows more severe. 

18 So thick and so fast did he lay it on him, 

With a passionate fury and ire, 
At every stroke, he made him to smoke, 
As if he had been all on fire. 

19 O then into fury the stranger he grew, 

And gave him a damnable look, 
And with it a blow that laid him full low, 
And tumbld him into the brook. 

20 'I prithee, good fellow, O where art thou 

The stranger, in laughter, he cry'd ; 

Quoth bold Robin Hood, Good faith, in the 

And floating along with the tide. 

21 I needs must acknowledge thou art a brave 


With thee I '11 no longer contend ; 
For needs must I say, thou hast got the day, 
Our battel shall be at an end. 

22 Then unto the bank he did presently wade, 

And pulld himself out by a thorn ; 
Which done, at the last, he blowd a loud blast 
Straitway on his fine bugle-horn. 

23 The eccho of which through the vallies did fly, 

At which his stout bowmen appeard, 
All cloathed in green, most gay to be seen ; 
So up to their master they steerd. 

24 ' O what 's the matter ? ' quoth William Stutely ; 

' Good master, you are wet to the skin : ' 
' No matter,' quoth he ; ' the lad which you see, 
In fighting, hath tumbld me in.' 

25 ' He shall not go scot-free,' the others reply'd ; 

So strait they were seizing him there, 
To duck him likewise ; but Robin Hood cries, 
He is a stout fellow, forbear. 

26 There 's no one shall wrong thee, friend, be 

not afraid ; 

These bowmen upon me do wait ; 
There 's threescore and nine ; if thou wilt be 

Thou shalt have my livery strait. 

27 And other accoutrements fit for a man ; 

Speak up, jolly blade, never fear ; 
I '11 teach you also the use^ of the bow, 
To shoot at the fat fallow-deer. 

28 ' here is my hand,' the stranger reply'd, 

' I '11 serve you with all my whole heart ; 
My name is John Little, a man of good mettle ; 
Nere doubt me, for I '11 play my part.' 

29 His name shall be alterd,' quoth William 


' And I will his godfather be ; 
Prepare then a feast, and none of the least, 
For we will be merry,' quoth he. 



30 They presently f etclid in a brace of fat does, 

With humming strong liquor likewise ; 
They lovd what was good ; so, in the green 
This pretty sweet babe they baptize. 

31 He was, I must tell you, but seven foot high, 

And, may be, an ell in the waste ; 
A pretty sweet lad ; much feasting they had ; 
Bold Kobin the christning grac'd. 

32 With all his bowmen, which stood in a ring, 

And were of the Nottif n]gham breed ; 
Brave Stutely comes then, with seven yeomen, 
And did in this manner proceed. 

33 ' This infant was called John Little,' quoth he, 

' Which name shall be changed anon ; 
The words we '11 transpose, so where-ever he 

His name shall be calld Little John.' 

34 They all with a shout made the elements ring, 

So soon as the office was ore ; 
To feasting they went, with true merriment, 
And tippld strong liquor gillore. 

35 Then Robin he took the pretty sweet babe, 

And cloathd him from top to the toe 
In garments of green, most gay to be seen, 
And gave him a curious long bow. 

36 ' Thou shalt be an archer as well as the best, 

And range in the greenwood with us ; 
Where we '11 not want gold nor silver, be 
While bishops have ought in their purse. 

37 ' We live here like squires, or lords of renown, 

Without ere a foot of free land ; 
We feast on good cheer, with wine, ale, and 

And evry thing at our command.' 

38 Then musick and dancing did finish the day ; 

At length, when the sun waxed low, 
Then ail the whole train the grove did refrain, 
And unto their caves they did go. 

39 And so ever after, as long as he livd, 

Altho he was proper and tall, 
Yet nevertheless, the truth to express, 
Still Little John they did him call. 

a. Title. Robin Hood and Little John. Being 1] 2 . 

an account of their first meeting, their fierce 13 1 . 

encounter, and conquest. To which is 15 1 . 

added, their friendly agreement, and how 16 1 . 

he came to be calld Little John. 18 1 . 

To the tune of Arthur a Bland. 19 s . 

22 s . 

b. Title as in a. 24 s . 
2 2 . statue. 3 2 . you would. 3 s . among. 30 1 . 
3 4 . it wanting. 4 s . his for my, wrongly. 31 s . 
5 l . for wanting. 5 8 . be wanting. 34 4 . 
8 4 . offer. 9 2 . where I do bend. 39 l . 

Therefore. 11 s . I will. 

it wanting. 13 2 . on this. 

And first : he wanting. 15 2 . he for it. 

a for my. 16 s . both goes, and follow. 

he did. 19 1 . in a fury. 

which for that. 20 1 . O wanting, 

blew. 23 1 . did ring. 23 4 . their matter. 

that for which. 27 1 . fitting also. 

him for in. 30 4 . baptiz'd. 31 1 . feet. 

He was a sweet. 32 s . came. 

liquors. 35 2 . the wanting. 

they for he. 39 2 . he be. 




a. Wood, 401, leaf 9 b. 

b. Garland of 1663, No 10. 

c. Garland of 1670, No 9. 

d. Pepys, II, 111, No 98. 

PRINTED in Old Ballads, 1723, I, 83. 

a was printed by Ritson, Robin Hood, 
1795, II, 30. Evans has an indifferent copy, 
probably edited, in his Old Ballads, 1777, 
1784, I, 112. 

Arthur a Bland, a Nottingham tanner, goes 
of a summer's morning into Sherwood forest 
to see the red deer. Robin Hood pretends 
to be a keeper and to see cause for staying 
the Tanner. The Tanner says it will take 
more than one such to make him stand. 
They have a two hours' fight with staves, 
when Robin cries Hold ! The Tanner hence 
forth shall be free of the forest, and if he 
will come and live there with Robin Hood 
shall have both gold and fee. Arthur a Bland 
gives his hand never to part from Robin, 
and asks for Little John, whom he declares 
to be his kinsman. Robin Hood blows his 
horn. Little John comes at the call, and, 
learning what has been going on, would like 
to try a bout with the Tanner, but after a 
little explanation throws himself upon his 
kinsman's neck. The three take hands for a 
dance round the oak-tree. 

The sturdy Arthur a Bland is well hit off, 

and, bating the sixteenth and thirty - fifth 
stanzas, the ballad has a good popular ring. 
There is corruption at 8 3 , 12 3 , and perhaps 13 3 . 

Little John offers to fight with the Tinker 
in No 127, and again with the Stranger in 
No 128, as here with the Tanner, and is for 
bidden, as here, by his master. In R. H. 
and the Shepherd, No 135, he undertakes 
the Shepherd after Robin has owned himself 
conquered, and the fight is stopped after John 
has received some sturdy blows. In the Bold 
Pedlar and Robin Hood, No 132, John begins 
and Robin follows, and each in turn cries, 
Pedlar, pray hold your hand. In R. H. and 
the Potter, No 121, John is ready to bet 
on the Potter, because he has already had 
strokes from him which he has reason to re 

As the Tanner is John's cousin, so, in 
Robin Hood Revived, No 128, the Stranger 
turns out to be Robin Hood's nephew, Young 
Gamwell, thenceforward called Scathlock ; 
and in No 132 the Bold Pedlar proves to 
be Gamble Gold, Robin's cousin. 

Translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 117. 

1 IN Nottingham there lives a jolly tanner, 

With a hey down down a down down 
His name is Arthur a Bland ; 
There is nere a squire in Nottinghamshire 
Dare bid bold Arthur stand. 

2 With a long pike-staff upon his shoulder, 

So well he can clear his way ; 

VOL. III. 18 

By two and by three he makes them to flee, 
For he hath no list to stay. 

3 And as he went forth, in a summer's morning, 

Into the forrest of merry Sherwood, 
To view the red deer, that range here and 

There met he with bold Robin Hood. 



4 As soon as bold Eobin Hood did him espy, 

He thought some sport he would make ; 
Therefore out of hand he bid him to stand, 
And thus to him he spake : 

5 Why, what art thou, thou bold fellow, 

That ranges so boldly here ? 
In sooth, to be brief, thou lookst like a thief, 
That comes to steal our king's deer. 

6 For I am a keeper in this forrest ; 

The king puts me in trust 
To look to his deer, that range here and 

Therefore stay thee I must. 

7 ' If thou beest a keeper in this forrest, 

And hast such a great command, 
Yet thou must have more partakers in store, 
Before thou make me to stand.' 

8 ' Nay, I have no more partakers in store, 

Or any that I do need ; 
But I have a staff of another oke graff, 
I know it will do the deed.' 

9 ' For thy sword and thy bow I care not a 


Nor all thine arrows to boot ; 
If I get a knop upon thy bare scop, 
Thou canst as well shite as shoote.' 

10 ' Speak cleanly, good fellow,' said jolly Robin, 

' And give better terms to me ; 
Else I 'le thee correct for thy neglect, 
And make thee more mannerly.' 

11 ' Marry gep with a wenion ! ' quoth Arthur a 


' Art thou such a goodly man ? 
I care not a fig for thy looking so big ; 
Mend thou thyself where thou can.' 

12 Then Robin Hood he unbuckled his belt, 

He laid down his bow so long ; 
He took up a staff of another oke graff, 
That was both stiff and strong. 

13 ' I 'le yield to thy weapon,' said jolly Robin, 

' Since thou wilt not yield to mine ; 

For I have a staff of another oke graff, 

Not half a foot longer then thine. 

14 ' But let me measure,' said jolly Robin, 

' Before we begin our fray ; 
For I 'le not have mine to be longer then thine, 
For that will be called foul play.' 

15 ' I pass not for length,' bold Arthur reply'd, 

' My staff is of oke so free ; 
Eight foot and a half, it will knock down a 

And I hope it will knock down thee.' 

16 Then Robin Hood could no longer forbear ; 

He gave him such a knock, 
Quickly and soon the blood came down, 
Before it was ten a clock. 

17 Then Arthur he soon recovered himself, 

And gave him such a knock on the crown, 
That on every hair of bold Robin Hoods 

The blood came trickling down. 

18 Then Robin Hood raged like a wild bore, 

As soon as he saw his own blood ; 
Then Bland was in hast, he laid on so fast, 
As though he had been staking of wood. 

19 And about, and about, and about they went, 

Like two wild bores in a chase ; 
Striving to aim each other to maim, 
Leg, arm, or any other place. 

20 And knock for knock they lustily dealt, 

Which held for two hours and more ; 
That all the wood rang at every bang, 
They ply'd their work so sore. 

21 ' Hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' said Robin 


' And let our quarrel fall ; 
For here we may thresh our bones into mesh, 
And get no coyn at all. 

22 ' And in the forrest of merry Sherwood 

Hereafter thou shalt be free : ' 
' God-a-mercy for naught, my freedom I bought, 
I may thank my good staff, and not thee.' 

23 ' What tradesman art thou ? ' said jolly Robin, 

' Good fellow, I prethee me show : 
And also me tell in what place thou dost dwel, 
For both these fain would I know.' 



24 ' I am a tanner,' bold Arthur reply'd, 

' In Nottingham long have I wrought ; 
And if thou 'It come there, I vow and do swear 
I will tan thy hide for naught.' 

25 ' God a mercy, good fellow," said jolly Robin, 

' Since thou art so kind to me ; 
And if thou wilt tan my hide for naught, 
I will do as much for thee. 

26 ' But if thou 'It forsake thy tanners trade, 

And live in green wood with me, 
My name 's Robin Hood, I swear by the rood 
I will give thee both gold and fee.' 

27 If thou be Robin Hood,' bold Arthur reply'd, 

' As I think well thou art, 
Then here 's my hand, my name 's Arthur a 

We two will never depart. 

28 ' But tell me, O tell me, where is Little John ? 

Of him fain would I hear ; 
For we are alide by the mothers side, 
And he is my kinsman near.' 

29 Then Robin Hood blew on the beaugle horn, 

He blew full lowd and shrill, 
But quickly anon appeard Little John, 
Come tripping down a green hill. 

30 ' what is the matter ? ' then said Little John, 

' Master, I pray you tell ; 

Why do you stand with your staff in your hand ? 
I fear all is not well.' 

31 ' O man, I do stand, and he makes me to stand, 

The tanner that stands thee beside ; 
He is a bonny blade, and master of his trade, 
For soundly he hath tand my hide.' 

32 ' He is to be commended,' then said Little John, 

' If such a feat he can do ; 
If lie be so stout, we will have a bout, 
And he shall tan my hide too.' 

33 ' Hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' said Robin 


' For as I do understand, 

He 's a yeoman good, and of thine own blood, 
For his name is Arthur a Bland.' 

34 Then Little John threw his staff away, 

As far as he could it fling, 
And ran out of hand to Arthur a Bland, 
And about his neck did cling. 

35 With loving respect, there was no neglect, 

They were neither nice nor coy, 
Each other did face, with a lovely grace, 
And both did weep for joy. 

36 Then Robin Hood took them both by the hand, 

And danc'd round about the oke tree ; 
' For three merry men, and three merry men, 
And three merry men we be. 

37 ' And ever hereafter, as long as I live, 

We three will be all one ; 
The wood shall ring, and the old wife sing, 
Of Robin Hood, Arthur, and John.' 

a. Robin Hood and the Tanner, or, Robin Hood 
met with his match : A merry and pleasant 
song relating the gallant and fierce combate 
fought between Arthur Bland, a Tanner of 
Nottingham, and Robin Hood, the greatest 
and most noblest archer of England. The 
tune is, Robin and the Stranger. 

Printed f or W. Gilbertson. (1640-63: Chap- 

3". merry Forrest of. 7 2 . hath. 7 3 . But. 

9 s . the bare. II 1 . qd. . 13 s . straff. 

14 4 . Wanting in my copy, probably by acci 
dental omission : supplied from b. 

17 s . That from every side : Old Ballads, 
1713, to restore the middle rhyme. 

21". let your Quiver : cf. b, c, d. 
21 3 . thrash : to : cf. b. 22 4 . good wanting. 
26 3 . the wood : cf. d. 35 2 . noice. 
36 1 . took him by : cf. d. 37 4 . Kobin. 
b. Title as in a. By the same printer as a. 

Burden sometimes With hey, etc. 
I 1 , lives there. I 2 , II 1 , 27". Arthur Bland. 
3 2 . merry Forrest of. 6 2 . he puts. 
7 2 . hath. 7 s . Yet. 7 4 . Before that. 
8 s , 12 s , 13 s . graft. 
9 3 . thy bare. II 1 . quoth. 
13 1 . I yield. 13 4 . than. 14. to wanting. 
14*. For that will be called foul play. 
17 a . He gave. 17 s . Hoods wanting. 
21 2 . let our quarrel. 21 s . thresh : into. 



22*. my good. 23 2 . pray thee. 
24 s . thou come. 25 2 . kinde and free. 
26 s . the wood. 

28 l . where's. 29". both /or full. 
30 1 . then wanting. 

33 s . thy. 34 4 . he did. 36 1 . took him by. 
36 2 . round wanting. 37 *. so long. 
c. Title as in a. Burden after 2 1 , With 

hey, etc. 

I 1 , II 1 , 27 s . Arthur Bland. 
2*. not. 3 2 . merry Forrest of. 4 s . them to. 
7 2 . hath. 7 s . Yet you. 7 4 . Before that. 
8 3 , 12 s , 13 s . graft. 
9'. thy bare. II 1 . qd. . 
13 1 . I yield. 14 8 . to wanting. 
14 1 . For that will be called foul play. 
16". blood ran. 17". He gave. 
17 s . hair on Robins. 

17 4 . blood ran. 18 4 . been cleaving wood. 
20 1 . deal. 20 4 . so fast. 
21 s . let our quarrel. 
21 s . thresh : into. 22 4 . my good. 
24'. thou come. 25 2 . kind and free. 
26 1 . thou wilt. 26 s . the wood. 
28 3 . mother. 29 1 . he blew. 

29 2 . both for full. 

29 3 . and anon. 30 s . your wanting. 
31 2 . me for thee. 33 1 . Hood wanting. 

33 s . thy blood. 34 4 . he did. 35 4 . they both. 
36 1 . took him by. 36 2 . round ivanting. 
37 1 . And we : so long as we. 

d. Title as in a, except : the greatest archer in. 
London. Printed for J. Wright, J. Clarke, 
W. Thackeray, and T. Passenger. (1670- 
1682 ?) Burden sometimes, With hey, etc. 

I 4 , to stand. 3 1 . on a. 3 2 . forrest of merry. 

4 1 . Eobin he did him. 4 4 . he did spake. 

5 4 . the kings. 

6 1 . If thou beest a, caught from 7 1 . 

7 2 . hast. 7 3 . Then thou. 7 4 . makst. 

8 2 . Nor any : do not. 9 2 . thy. 

9 3 . thou get a knock upon thy. 

II 1 . gip : wernion qd. II 4 . if thou. 

12 2 . And threw it upon the ground. 

12 3 . Says, I have a. 

12 4 . That is both strong and sound. 
13 1 . But let me measure, said. 

14 3 . I 'le have mine no longer. 

14 4 . For that will be counted foul play. 
16 1 . Hood wanting. 17 1 . he wanting. 
17 s . from every hair of. 

18 1 . raved for raged. 18 s . he was. 

18 4 . stacking. 19 4 . other wanting. 

20 2 . for wanting. 21 2 . let our quarrel. 

21 s . thrash our bones to. 22 s . I've. 

22 4 . my good. 

24 3 . thou come. 26 1 . thou wilt. 26 2 . in the. 

26 s . name is : rood. 29 1 . on his. 

29 2 . both for full. 29 4 . tripping over the hill. 

30 2 . you me. 30 s . the staff. 31 s . and a. 

32 s . about. 33 s . thy. 35 2 . They was. 

37 1 . we live. 37 2 . all as (printed sa). 



a. Wood, 401, leaf 17 b. 

b. Pepys, II, 107, No 94. 

c. Douce, III, 118 b. 

IN the Roxburghe collection, III, 22. Not 
in the Garland of 1663 or that of 1670. 

a is printed in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, 
II, 38; in Gutch's Robin Hood, II, 264, 
" compared with " the Roxburghe copy. The 
ballad was printed by Evans, Old Ballads, 
1777, 1784, 1, 118. 

The fewest words will best befit this con 
temptible imitation of imitations. Robin Hood 
meets a Tinker, and they exchange scurrili 
ties. The Tinker has a warrant from the 
king to arrest Robin, but will not show it when 
asked. Robin Hood suggests that it will be 
best to go to Nottingham, and there the two 



take one inn and drink together till the 
Tinker falls asleep ; when Robin makes off, 
and leaves the Tinker to pay the shot. The 
host informs the Tinker that it was Robin 
Hood that he was drinking with, and recom 
mends him to seek his man in the parks. 
The Tinker finds Robin, and they fall to it, 
crab-tree staff against sword. Robin yields, 
and begs a boon ; the Tinker will grant none. 
A blast of the horn brings Little John and 

Scadlock. Little John would fain see whether 
the Tinker can do for him what he has done 
for his master, but Robin proclaims a peace, 
and offers the Tinker terms which induce him 
to join the outlaws. 

It is not necessary to suppose the warrant 
to arrest Robin a souvenir of ' Guy of Gis- 
borne ' ; though that noble ballad is in a 17th 
century MS., it does not appear to have been 
known to the writers of broadsides. 

1 Ix summer time, when leaves grow green, 

Down a down a down 
And birds sing on every tree, 
Hey down a down a down 

Robin Hood went to Nottingham, 

Down a down a down 
As fast as bee could dree. 

Hey down a down a down 

2 And as bee came to Nottingham 

A Tinker he did moet, 
And seeing him a lusty blade, 
He did him kindly greet. 

3 ' Where dost thou live ? ' quoth Robin Hood, 

' I pray thee now mee tell ; 
Sad news I hear there is abroad, 
I fear all is not well.' 

4 ' What is that news ? ' the Tinker said ; 

' Tell mee without delay ; 

I am a tinker by my trade, 

And do live at Banbura.' 

5 ' As for the news,' quoth Robin Hood, 

' It is but as I hear ; 
Two tinkers they were set ith' stocks, 
For drinking ale and bear.' 

6 ' If that be all,' the Tinker said, 

' As I may say to you, 
Your news it is not worth a fart, 
Since that they all bee true. 

7 ' For drinking of good ale and bear, 

You wil not lose your part : ' 
' No, by my faith,' quoth Robin Hood, 
' I love it with all my heart. 

8 ' What news abroad ? ' quoth Robin Hood ; 

' Tell mee what thou dost hear ; 

Being thou goest from town to town, 

Some news thou need not fear.' 

9 ' All the news,' the Tinker said, 

' I hear, it is for good ; 
It is to seek a bold outlaw, 
Which they call Robin Hood. 

10 ' I have a warrant from the king, 

To take him where I can ; 
If you can tell me where hee is, 
I will make you a man. 

11 ' The king will give a hundred pound 

That hee could but him see ; 

And if wee can but now him get, 

It will serve you and mee.' 

12 ' Let me see that warrant,' said Robin Hood ; 

' I 'le see if it bee right ; 
And I will do the best I can 
For to take him this night.' 

13 ' That will I not,' the Tinker said ; 

' None with it I will trust ; 
And where hee is if you '1 not tell, 
Take him by force I must.' 

14 But Robin Hood perceiving well 

How then the game would go, 
' If you will go to Nottingham, 
Wee shall find him I know.' 

15 The Tinker had a crab-tree staff. 

Which was both good and strong ; 
Robin hee had a good strong blade, 
So they went both along. 


16 And when they came to Nottingham, 

There they both tooke one inn ; 
And they calld for ale and wine, 
To drink it was no sin. 

17 But ale and wine they drank so fast 

That the Tinker hee forgot 
What thing lie was about to do ; 
It fell so to his lot 

18 That while the Tinker fell asleep, 

Hee made then haste away, 
And left the Tinker in the lurch, 
For the great shot to pay. 

19 But when the Tinker wakened, 

And saw that he was gone, 
He calld then even for his host, 
And thus hee made his moan. 

20 ' I had a warrant from the king, 

Which might have done me good, 
That is to take a bold outlaw, 
Some call him Robin Hood. 

21 ' But now my warrant and mony 'a gone, 

Nothing I have to pay ; 
And he that promisd to be my friend, 
He is gone and fled away.' 

22 ' That friend you tell on,' said the host, 

' They call him Robin Hood ; 
And when that first hee met with you, 
He ment you little good.' 

23 ' Had I known it had been hee, 

When that I had him here, 
Th' one of us should have tri'd our strength 
Which should have paid full dear. 

24 ' In the mean time I must away ; 

No longer here I 'le bide ; 
But I will go and seek him out, 
What ever do me betide. 

25 ' But one thing I would gladly know, 

What here I have to pay ; ' 
' Ten shillings just,' then said the host ; 
' I 'le pay without delay. 

26 ' Or elce take here my working-bag, 

And my good hammer too ; 

And if that I light but on the knave, 
I will then soon pay you.' 

27 ' The onely way,' then said the host, 

' And not to stand in fear, 

Is to seek him among the parks, 

Killing of the kings deer.' 

28 The Tinker hee then went with speed, 

And made then no delay, 
Till he had found then Robin Hood, 
That they might have a fray. 

29 At last hee spy'd him in a park, 

Hunting then of the deer ; 
' What knave is that,' quoth Robin Hood, 
' That doth come mee so near ? ' 

30 'No knave, no knave,' the Tinker said, 

' And that you soon shall know ; 
Whether of us hath done most wrong, 
My crab-tree staff shall show.' 

31 Then Robin drew his gallant blade, 

Made then of trusty steel ; 
But the Tinker laid on him so fast 
That he made Robin reel. 

32 Then Robins anger did arise ; 

He fought full manfully, 
Vntil hee had made the Tinker 
Almost then fit to fly. 

33 With that they had a bout again, 

They ply'd their weapons fast ; 
The Tinker threshed his bones so sore 
He made him yeeld at last. 

34 ' A boon, a boon,' Robin hee cryes, 

' If thou wilt grant it mee ; ' 

' Before I do it,' the Tinker said, 

' I 'le hang thee on this tree.' 

35 But the Tinker looking him about, 

Robin his horn did blow ; 
Then came unto him Little John, 
And William Scadlock too. 

36 ' What is the matter,' quoth Little John, 

' You sit in th' highway side ? ' 

' Here is a Tinker that stands by, 

That hath paid well my hide.' 



37 ' That Tinker,' then said Little John. 

' Fain that blade I would see, 

And I would try what I could do, 

If hee '1 do as much for inee.' 

38 But Robin hee then wishd them both 

They should the quarrel cease, 
' That henceforth wee may bee as one, 
And ever live in peace. 

39 ' And for the jovial Tinker's part, 

A hundred pound I 'le give, 
In th' year to maintain him on, 
As long as he doth live. 

40 ' In manhood hee is a mettle man, 

And a mettle man by trade ; 
I never thought that any man 
Should have made me so fraid. 

41 ' And if hee will bee one of us, 

Wee will take all one fare, 
And whatsoever wee do get, 
He shall have his full share.' 

42 So the Tinker was content 

With them to go along, 
And with them a part to take, 
And so I end my song. 

a. A new song, to drive away cold winter, 
Between Robin Hood and the Jovial Tinker ; 

How Robin by a wile 

The Tinker he did cheat, 
But at the length, as you shall hear, 

The Tinker did him beat ; 
Whereby the same they then did so agree 
They after livd in love and unity. 

To the tune of In Summer Time. 

London, Printed for F. Grove, dwelling on 

Snowhill. (1620-55.) 
1 s . Nottingam. 8 3 . here. 10 1 . warrand. 

b. Title as in a : except that he is wanting in 

the fourth line, and so in the last line but 

Printed for I. Clarke, W. Thackeray, and T. 

Passenger. (1670-86 ?) 
3 1 . qd. 4 4 . Banburay. 6 3 . it wanting. 
II 1 . king would : an. 14 s . you would. 
16' 2 . they took up their. 
22 1 . speak for tell. 24 1 . was for will. 
24 4 . me wanting. 

25 s . Ten shillings just I have to pay. 
26 8 . if I : on that. 28 8 . then found. 
31*. Tinker he laid on so fast. 
32 2 . right for full. S3 1 , laid about. 
33*. That he. 35*. Will. 
39 2 . pounds : I for lie. 

40 1 . mettled. 40 4 . afraid. 41 1 . with us. 
c. Robin Hood and the Jolly Tinker : Shewing 

how they fiercely encountered, and after the 

victorious conquest lovingly agreed. Tune 

of In Summer Time. 
London, Printed by J. Hodges, at the Looking 

Glass, on London Bridge. Not in black 


3 1 . doth. 4 1 . the news. 4 4 . Bullbury. 
5 8 . they are. 6 8 . it wanting. 8 4 . needs. 
II 1 . would give an. II 4 . thee /b? 1 you. 
15 1 . A crab-tree staff the Tinker had. 
16 2 . they took up at their inn. 
18 2 . Robin made haste away. 
19 1 . did awake. 19 8 . even wanting. 
20 8 . to seek. 21 1 . the for my. 
21 4 . He wanting. 22 1 . speak for tell. 
23 1 . I but. 23 8 . might for strength. 
24 1 . I will. 24 4 . should betide. 
25 1 . But wanting. 25 s . just I have to pay. 
26 1 . bags. 26 8 . that wanting. 27 s . amongst. 
29 1 . in the. 31 2 . Made of a. 
31 s . he laid : him wanting. 32 s . that he. 
32 4 . Then almost. 33 1 . they laid about. 
33". full for so. 33 4 . That he. 34 2 . grant to. 
35 4 . also for too. 36 3 . There. 
37 2 . would I. 37 s . And would. 
38 2 . They would. 39 8 . In a. 
40 1 . mettle. 40 4 . afraid. 




Robin Hood Newly Reviv'd.' a. Wood, 401, leaf 
27 b. b. Roxburghe, III, 18, in the Ballad Society's 

reprint, II, 426. c. Garland of 1663, No 3. d. Gar 
land of 1670, No 2. e. Pepys, II, 101, No 88. 

ALSO Douce, III, 120 b, London, by L. 
How, and Roxburghe, III, 408 : both of these 
are of the eighteenth century. 

a is printed, with not a few changes, in 
Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 66. Evans, 
Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 143, agrees nearly 
with the Aldermary garland. 

Robin Hood, walking the forest, meets 
a gaily-dressed young fellow, who presently 
brings down a deer at forty yards with his bow. 
Robin commends the shot, and offers the 
youngster a place as one of his yeomen. The 
offer is rudely received ; each bends his bow 
at the other. Robin suggests that one of them 
may be slain, if they shoot : swords and buck 
lers would be better. Robin strikes the first 
blow, and is so stoutly answered that he is fain 
to know who the young man is. His name is 
Gamwell, and, having killed his father's stew 
ard, he has fled to the forest to join his uncle, 
Robin Hood. The kinsmen embrace, and 
walk on till they meet Little John. Robin 
Hood tells John that the stranger has beaten 
him. Little John would like a bout, to see if 
the stranger can beat him. This Robin for 
bids, for this stranger is his own sister's son ; 
he shall be next in rank to Little John among 
his yeomen, and be called Scarlet. 

The story seems to have been built up on a 
portion of the ruins, so to speak, of the fine 
tale of Gamelyn. There the king of the out 
laws, sitting at meat with his seven score 
young men, sees Gamelyn wandering in the 

The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood, No 132, is a tradi 
tional variation of Robin Hood Revived. 

t Though Mr W. C. Hazlitt, in his Handbook to the Pop 
ular, Poetical, and Dramatic Literature of Great Britain, p. 
514, No 25, has : "Robin Hood and the Stranger. In two 
parts. [Col.] London : printed by and for W. O., aud to be 

wood with Adam, and tells some of his young 
men to fetch them in. Seven start up to exe 
cute the order, and when they come to Game 
lyn and his comrade bid the twain hand over 
their bows and arrows. Gamelyn replies, 
Not though ye fetch five men, and so be 
twelve ; but no violence being attempted, the 
pair go to the king, who asks them what they 
seek in the woods. Gamelyn answers, No 
harm ; but to shoot a deer, if we meet one, 
like hungry men. The king gives them to 
eat and drink of the best, and, upon learning 
that the spokesman is Gamelyn, makes him 
master, under himself, over all the outlaws. 
Little John having long had the place of first 
man under Robin, the best that the ballad- 
maker could do for Gamwell was to make 
him chief yeoman after John.* (The Tale of 
Gamelyn, ed. Skeat, vv 625-686. The re 
semblance of the ballad is remarked upon at 
p. x.) 

Ritson gives this ballad the title of Robin 
Hood and the Stranger, remarking : The title 
now given to this ballad is that which it seems 
to have originally borne; having been fool 
ishly altered to Robin Hood newly Revived. 
R. H. and the Bishop, R. H. and the Beggar, 
R. H. and the Tanner, are directed to be sung 
to the tune of Robin Hood and the Stranger, 
but no ballad bears such a title in any gar 
land or broadside.f The ballad referred to 
as Robin Hood and the Stranger may pos 
sibly have been this, but, for reasons given at 

sold at the booksellers. Roxb. and Wood Colls." This 
colophon belongs only to Robin Hood, Will Scadlock, and 
Little John, otherwise Robin Hood and the Prince of Ara- 
gon, which see. The title Robin Hood and the Stranger 
is adopted from Ritson. 



p. 133, Robin Hood and Little John is, as I 
think, more likely to be the one meant. 

Robin Hood and the Stranger was one 
name for the most popular of Robin Hood 
tunes, and this particular tune was sometimes 
called ' Robin Hood ' absolutely (see the note 
at the end of the next ballad). If the bal 
lad denoted by Robin Hood and the Stranger 
was also sometimes known as ' Robin Hood ' 
simply, and especially if this ballad was Robin 
Hood and Little John, an explanation pre 
sents itself of the title ' Robin Hood newly 
Revived.' What is revived is the favorite 
topic of the process by which Robin Hood 
enlarged and strengthened his company. The 
earlier ballad had shown how Little John 

came to join the band ; the second undertakes 
to tell us how Scarlet was enlisted, the next 
most important man after John. 

The second part, referred to in the last 
stanza, was separated, Mr Chappell thought, 
when the present ballad was " newly revived," 
because the whole was found too long for a 
penny (one would say that both parts to 
gether were "dear enough a leek"), and seven 
stanzas (incoherent in themselves and not co 
hering with what lies before us) added to fill 
up the sheet. These stanzas will be given 
under No 130, as Robin Hood and the Scotch 
man ; and the " second part," ' R. H. and the 
Prince of Aragon,' or ' R. H., Will. Scadlock 
and Little John,' follows immediately. 

1 COME listen a while, you gentlemen all, 

With a hey down down a down down 
That are in this bower within, 

For a story of gallant bold Robin Hood 
I purpose now to begin. 

2 ' What time of the day ? ' quoth Robin Hood 


Quoth Little John, 'T is in the prime ; 
' Why then we will to the green wood gang, 
For we have no vittles to dine.' 

3 As Robin Hood walkt the f orrest along 

It was in the mid of the day 
There was he met of a deft young man 
As ever walkt on the way. 

4 His doublet it was of silk, he said, 

His stockings like scarlet shone, 
And he walkt on along the way, 
To Robin Hood then unknown. 

5 A herd of deer was in the bend, 

All feeding before his face : 
' Now the best of ye I 'le have to my dinner, 
And that in a little space.' 

6 Now the stranger he made no mickle adoe, 

But he bends and a right good bow, 
And the best buck in the herd he slew, 
Forty good yards him full froe. 

7 ' Well shot, well shot,' quoth Robin Hood then, 

' That shot it was shot in time ; 
And if thou wilt accept of the place, 
Thou shalt be a bold yeoman of mine." 

8 'Go play the chiven,' the stranger said, 

' Make haste and quickly go ; 
Or with my fist, be sure of this, 
I 'le give thee buffets store.' 

9 ' Thou hadst not best buffet me,' quoth Robin 


' For though I seem forlorn, 
Yet I can have those that will take my part, 
If I but blow my horn.' 

10 ' Thou wast not best wind thy horn,' the stran 

ger said, 

' Beest thou never so much in hast, 
For I can draw out a good broad sword, 
And quickly cut the blast.' 

11 Then Robin Hood bent a very good bow, 

To shoot, and that he would fain ; 
The stranger he bent a very good bow, 
To shoot at bold Robin again. 

12 ' hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' quoth Robin 


' To shoot it would be in vain ; 
For if we should shoot the one at the other, 
The one of us may be slain. 



13 ' But let 's take our swords and our broad 


And gang under yonder tree : ' 
' As I hope to be sav'd,' the stranger said, 
' One foot I will not flee.' 

14 Then Robin Hood lent the stranger a blow 

Most scar'd him out of his wit ; 
' Thou never felt blow,' the stranger he said, 
' That shall be better quit.' 

15 The stranger he drew out a good broad sword, 

And hit Robin on the crown, 
That from every haire of bold Robins head 
The blood ran trickling down. 

1C ' God a mercy, good fellow ! ' quoth Robin 

Hood then, 

' And for this that thou hast done ; 
Tell me, good fellow, what thou art, 
Tell me where thou doest woon.' 

17 The stranger then answered bold Robin Hood, 

I 'le tell thee where I did dwell ; 
In Maxfield was I bred and born, 
My name is Young Gamwell. 

18 For killing of my own fathers steward, 

I am forc'd to this English wood, 
And for to seek an vncle of mine ; 
Some call him Robin Hood. 

19 ' But thou art a cousin of Robin Hoods then ? 

The sooner we should have done : ' 

' As I hope to be sav'd,' the stranger then said, 
' I am his own sisters son.' 

20 But, Lord ! what kissing and courting was there, 

When these two cousins did greet ! 
And they went all that summers day, 
And Little John did meet. 

21 But when they met with Little John, 

He there unto [him] did say, 
O master, where have you been, 
You have tarried so long away ? 

22 ' I met with a stranger,' quoth Robin Hood 


' Full sore he hath beaten me : ' 
' Then I 'le have a bout with him,' quoth Little 

' And try if he can beat me.' 

23 ' Oh [no], oh no,' quoth Robin Hood then, 

' Little John, it may [not] be so ; 
For he 's my own dear sisters son, 
And cousins I have no mo. 

24 ' But he shall be a bold yeoman of mine, 

My chief man next to thee ; 
And I Robin Hood, and thou Little John, 
And Scarlet he shall be : 

25 ' And wee '1 be three of the bravest outlaws 

That is in the North Country.' 
If you will have any more of bold Robin Hood, 
In his second part it will be. 

a, b, e. Robin Hood newly reviv'd. To a de 
lightful new tune. 

C, d. Robin Hood newly revived : Or his meeting 
and fighting with his cousin Scarlet. To a 
delightful new tune. 

a. Printed for Richard Burton. (1641-74.) 
2 1 , 7 1 , 9 1 , 12 l , 16 1 , 22 1 , 22", qd. 6 3 . in tn. 
II 2 . To that shoot and. 

21 2 . him supplied from c, d. 

b. London, Printed for Richard Burton, at the 

Sign of the Horshooe in West Smithfield. 
3 2 . midst. 4 1 . it wanting. 6 4 . full wanting. 
II 2 . To shot and that. 12 4 . must be. 
21 2 . him wanting. 23 1 . Oh no. 
23 2 . may not. 

c. 3 8 . ware for met. 

7 1 , 9 1 , 12 1 , 16 l , 22 1 , 22 8 , 23 l , qd. 9 8 . can I. 
10 1 . blow for wind. II 2 . To shoot and that. 
13. he said. 16 1 , 18 4 . bold Robin. 
19 1 . art thou. 21 2 . unto him. 23 1 . Oh no. 
23 2 . may not. 25 4 . In this. 

d. 2 1 , 7 1 , 9\ 12 1 , 16 1 , 22 1 , qd. 
3 s . ware for met. 

6 4 . good wanting. 7 2 . was in. 

9 2 . am for seem. II 1 . he bent. 

II 2 . To shoot and that. 12 4 . must be. 

13 s . he said. 16 2 . that wanting. 

18 1 . own wanting. 19 1 . art thou. 

21 2 . unto him. 23 1 . Oh no. 23 2 . may not. 

25 s . If thou wilt. 25 4 . In this. 



e. Printed for J. Clarke, W. Thackeray, and T. 

Passenger. (1670-82 ?) 
I 2 , in wanting. 

2 1 , 7 1 , 9 1 , 12 1 , 16 1 , 22 1 , 22 3 . quod. 
3 2 . midst. 3 s . with for of. 4 1 . it wanting. 
6 2 . and wanting. 6 4 . full wanting. 
1 s . except. 9 s . can u-anting. 
II 2 . To that shot and he. 

11 s . bent up a noble. 12 1 . O wanting. 

12". must be. 19 l . art thou. 

21 2 . him wanting. 22 1 , 23 1 . then wanting. 

23 1 . Oh no. 23 2 . may not. 

25 8 . If you '1 have more. 25 4 . In this. 

Followed in all the copies by seven stanzas which 
belong to a different ballad. See No 130. 


1 Robin Hood, Will. Scadlock and Little John.' * 

i. Roxburghe, I, 358, in the Ballad Society's reprint, 
II, 431. b. Pepys, II, 120, No 106. 

ALSO Roxburghe, III, 582, without a print 
er's name. 

Ritson, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 71, from a, 
with changes ; Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 
1784, I, 186. 

This is only a pseudo-chivalrous romance, 
tagged to Robin Hood Newly Revived as a 
Second Part, with eight introductory stanzas. 
Both parts are as vapid as possible, and no 
piquancy is communicated by the matter of 
the two being as alien as oil and water. The 
Prince of Aragon, a Turk and an infidel, 
has beleaguered London, and will have the 
princess to his spouse, unless three champions 
can vanquish him and his two giants. Robin 
Hood, Scadlock, and John undertake the case, 

and disguise themselves as pilgrims, so as not 
to be stopped on their way. Robin kills the 
prince, and John and Scadlock each a giant. 
The king demands to know who his deliverers 
are, and Robin Hood avails himself of the op 
portunity to get the king's pardon for himself 
and his men. The princess was to be the 
victor's prize, but cannot marry all three, as 
might perhaps have been foreseen. She is 
allowed to pick, and chooses Will Scadlock. 
The Earl of Maxfield is present, and weeps 
bitterly at the sight of Scadlock, because, he 
says, he had a son like Will, of the name of 
Young Gamwell. Scadlock, whom we know 
from the First Part to be Gamwell, falls at 
his father's feet, and the wedding follows. 

1 Now Robin Hood, Will Scadlock and Little John 

Are walking over the plain, 
With a good fat buck which Will Scadlock 
With his strong bow had slain. 

2 ' Jog on, jog on,' cries Robin Hood, 

' The day it runs full fast; 
For though my nephew me a breakfast gave, 
I have not yet broke my fast. 

* ' Robin Hood and the Prince of Aragon,' in Thack 
eray's list, Ballad Society, I, xxiv, and in the late Gar 
lands, 1749, etc. 

3 ' Then to yonder lodge let us take our way, 

I think it wondrous good, 
Where my nephew by my bold yeomen 
Shall be welcomd unto the green wood.' 

4 With that he took the bugle-horn, 

Full well he could it blow; 
Streight from the woods came marching down 
One hundred tall fellows and mo 1 . 

5 ' Stand, stand to your arms ! ' crys Will Scadlock, 

' Lo ! the enemies are within ken : ' 



With that Robin Hood he laughd aloud, 
Crys, They are my bold yeomen. 

6 Who, when they arriv'd and Robin espy'd, 

Cry'd, Master, what is your will? 
We thought you had in danger been, 
Your horn did sound so shrill. 

7 ' Now nay, now nay,' quoth Robin Hood, 

' The danger is past and gone ; 
I would have you to welcome my nephew 

That hath paid me two for one.' 

8 In feasting and sporting they passed the day, 

Till Phoebus sunk into the deep ; 
Then each one to his quarters hy'd, 
His guard there for to keep. 

9 Long had they not walked within the green wood, 

But Robin he was espy'd 
Of a beautiful damsel all alone, 
That on a black palfrey did ride. 

10 Her riding-suit was of sable hew black, 

Sypress over her face, 

Through which her rose-like cheeks did blush, 
All with a comely grace. 

11 'Come, tell me the cause, thou pritty one,' 

Quoth Robin, ' and tell me aright, 
From whence thou comest, and whither tliou 

All in this mournful plight ? ' 

12 ' From London I came,' the damsel reply'd, 

' From London upon the Thames, 
Which circled is, O grief to tell ! 
Besieg'd with forraign arms. 

13 'By the proud Prince of Aragon, 

Who swears by his martial hand 
To have the princess for his spouse, 
Or else to waste this land : 

14 ' Except that champions can be found 

That dare fight three to three, 
Against the prince and giants twain, 
Most horrid for to see : 

15 ' Whose grisly looks, and eyes like brands, 

Strike terrour where they come, 
With serpents hissing on their helms, 
Instead of feathered plume. 

16 ' The princess shall be the victors prize, 

The king hath vowd and said. 
And he that shall the conquest win 
Shall have her to his bride. 

17 ' Now we are four damsels sent abroad. 

To the east, west, north, and south, 
To try whose fortune is so good 
To find these champions forth. 

18 ' But all in vaine we have sought about ; 

Yet none so bold there are 
That dare adventure life and blood, 
To free a lady fair.' 

19 'When is the day?' quoth Robin Hood, 

' Tell me this and no more : ' 
' On Midsummer next,' the damsel said, 
' Which is June the twenty-four.' 

20 With that the teares trickled down her cheeks, 

And silent was her tongue ; 
With sighs and sobs she took her leave, 
Away her palfrey sprung. 

21 This news struck Robin to the heart, 

He fell down on the grass ; 
His actions and his troubled mind 
Shewd he perplexed was. 

22 ' Where lies your grief? ' quoth Will Scadlock, 

' O master, tell to me ; 

If the damsels eyes have piercd your heart, 
I '11 fetch her back to thee.' 

23 ' Now nay, now nay,' quoth Robin Hood, 

' She doth not cause my smart ; 
But it is the poor distressed princess 
That wounds me to the heart. 

24 ' I will go fight the giants all 

To set the lady free : ' 

' The devil take my soul,' quoth Little John, 
' If I part with thy company.' 

25 ' Must I stay behind ? ' quoth Will Scadlock ; 

' No, no, that must not be ; 
I 'le make the third man in the fight, 
So we shall be three to three.' 

26 These words cheerd Robin at the heart, 

Joy shone within his face ; 
Within his arms he huggd them both, 
And kindly did imbrace. 

27 Quoth he, We '11 put on mothly gray, 

With long staves in our hands, 
A scrip and bottle by our sides, 
As come from the Holy Land. 

28 So may we pass along the high-way ; 

None will ask from whence we came, 
But take us pilgrims for to be, 
Or else some holy men. 



29 Now they are on their journey gone, 

As fast as they may speed, 
Yet for all haste, ere they arriv'd, 
The princess forth was led : 

30 To be deliverd to the prince, 

Who in the list did stand, 
Prepar'd to fight, or else receive 
His lady by the hand. 

31 With that he walkt about the lists, 

With giants by his side : 
' Bring forth,' said he, ' your champions, 
Or bring me forth my bride. 

32 ' This is the four and twentieth day, 

The day prefixt upon ; 
Bring forth my bride, or London burns, 
I swear by Acaron.' 

33 Then cries the king, and queen likewise, 

Both weeping as they speak, 
Lo ! we have brought our daughter dear, 
Whom we are forcd to forsake. 

34 With that stept out bold Robin Hood, 

Crys, My liege, it must not be so ; 
Such beauty as the fair princess 
Is not for a tyrants mow. 

35 The prince he then began to storm ; 

Crys, Fool, fanatick, baboon ! 
How dares thou stop my valours prize? 
I '11 kill thee with a frown. 

36 ' Thou tyrant Turk, thou infidel,' 

Thus Robin began to reply, 
' Thy frowns I scorn ; lo ! here 's my gage, 
And thus I thee defie. 

37 ' And for these two Goliahs there, 

That stand on either side, 
Here are two little Davids by, 
That soon can tame their pride.' 

38 Then did the king for armour send, 

For lances, swords, and shields : 
And thus all three in armour bright 
Came marching to the field. 

39 The trumpets began to sound a charge, 

Each singled out his man ; 
Their arms in pieces soon were hewd, 
Blood sprang from every vain. 

40 The prince he reacht Robin a blow 

He struck with might and main 
Which forcd him to reel about the field, 
As though he had been slain. 

41 ' God-a-mercy,' quoth Robin, ' for that blow ! 

The quarrel shall soon be try'd ; 
This stroke shall shew a full divorce 
Betwixt thee and thy bride.' 

42 So from his shoulders he's cut his head, 

Which on the ground did fall, 
And grumbling sore at Robin Hood, 
To be so dealt withal. 

43 The giants then began to rage, 

To see their prince lie dead : 
' Thou 's be the next,' quoth Little John, 
' Unless thou well guard thy head.' 

44 With that his faulchion he whirld about 

It was both keen and sharp 
He clove the giant to the belt, 
And cut in twain his heart. 

45 Will Scadlock well had playd his part, 

The giant he had brought to his knee; 
Quoth he, The devil cannot break his fast, 
Unless he have you all three. 

46 So with his faulchion he run him through, 

A deep and gashly wound ; 
Who damd and foamd, cursd and blasphemd, 
And then fell to the ground. 

47 Now all the lists with cheers were filld, 

The skies they did resound, 
Which brought the princess to herself, 
Who was fain in a swound. 

48 The king and queen and princess fair 

Came walking to the place, 
And gave the champions many thanks, 
And did them further grace. 

49 ' Tell me,' quoth the king, ' whence you are, 

That thus disguised came, 
Whose valour speaks that noble blood 
Doth run through every vain.' 

50 ' A boon, a boon,' quoth Robin Hood, 

' On my knees I beg and crave : ' 
' By my crown,' quoth the king, ' I grant ; 
Ask what, and thou shall have.' 

51 ' Then pardon I beg for my merry men, 

Which are within the green wood, 
For Little John, and Will Scadlock, 
And for me, bold Robin Hood.' 

52 ' Art thou Robin Hood? ' then quoth the king ; 

' For the valour you have shewn, 
Your pardons I doe freely grant, 
And welcome every one. 



53 ' The princess I promised the victors prize ; 

She cannot have you all three : ' 
' She shall chuse,' quoth Robin ; saith Little John, 
Then little share falls to me. 

54 Then did the princess view all three, 

With a comely lovely grace, 
Who took Will Scadlock by the hand, 
Quoth, Here I make my choice. 

55 With that a noble lord stept forth, 

Of Maxfield earl was he, 
Who lookt Will Scadlock in the face, 
Then wept most bitterly. 

56 Quoth he, I had a son like thee, 

Whom I lovd wondrous well; 

But he is gone, or rather dead ; 

His name is Young Gamwell. 

57 Then did Will Scadlock fall on his knees, 

Cries, Father ! father ! here, 
Here kneels your son, your Young Gamwell 
You said you lovd so dear. 

58 But, lord ! what imbracing and kissing was there, 

When all these friends were met ! 
They are gone to the wedding, and so to bedding, 
And so I bid you good night. 

a. Robin Hood, Will. Scadlock, and Little John, or, 

A narrative of their victory obtained against 
the Prince of Aragon and the two Giants : and 
how Will. Scadlock married the Princess. 

Tune of Robin Hood, or, Hey down, down a down. 

London, Printed by and for W. O[nley], and are 
to be sold by the booksellers. (1650-1 702.) 

I 1 . Will., and always, except 55 s . 27 1 . moth-ly. 

32 2 . perfixt. 47 1 . sheers. 

b. A new ballad of Robin Hood, etc., as in a. To 

the tune of, etc. London : Printed for A. M[il- 
bourne], W. O[nley], and T. Thackeray in Duck 
Lane. (1670-89?) 

1". William. 7 3 . I should. 7 4 . has. 

10 2 . Cypress. II 8 . whether. 13 s . to his. 

27 1 . mothly. 32 1 . twenty day. 32 2 . prefixt. 

32 3 . or wanting. 37 1 . those. 

88 1 . the king did. 40 s . him rell. 42 s . grumbled. 

46 s . ramb'd/or dam'd. 47 1 . with sheets. 

56 4 . it is. 58 s . and so the bedding. 



A. a. Wood, 401, leaf 27 b. b. Roxburghe, HI, 18, in 
the Ballad Society's reprint, II, 426. o. Garland of 
1663, No 3. d. Garland of 1670, No 2. e. Pepys, 
II, 101, No 88. 

B. Gutch's Robin Hood, II, 392, from an Irish gar 
land, printed at Monaghan, 1 796. 

A is simply the conclusion given to Robin 
Hood Newly Revived in the broadsides, and 
has neither connection with that ballad nor 
coherence in itself, being on the face of it the 
beginning and the end of an independent bal 
lad, with the break after the third stanza. 3 
may possibly refer to the Scots giving up 

Charles I to the parliamentary commissioners, 
in 1647. In B, four stanzas appear to have 
been added to the first three of A in order 
to make out a story, the too familiar one of 
Robin being beaten in a fight with a fellow 
whom he chances to meet, and consequently 
enlisting the man as a recruit. 



a. Wood, 401, leaf 27 b. b. Roxburghe, III, 18, in the 
Ballad Society's reprint, II, 426. c. Garland of 1663, No 3. 
d. Garland of 1670, No 2. e. Pepys, II, 101, No 88. 

1 THEN bold Robin Hood to the north he would 


With a hey down down a down down 
With valour and mickle might, 

With sword by his side, which oft had been 

To fight and recover his right. 

2 The first that he met was a bony bold Scot, 

His servant he said he would be ; 
' No,' quoth Robin Hood, ' it cannot be good, 
For thou wilt prove false unto me. 

3 ' Thou hast not bin true to sire nor cuz : ' 

' Nay, marry,' the Scot he said, 
' As true as your heart, I 'le never part, 
Gude master, be not afraid.' 

4 Then Robin Hood turnd his face to the east ; 

' Fight on my merry men stout, 
Our cause is good,' quoth brave Robin Hood, 
' And we shall not be beaten out.' 

5 The battel grows hot on every side, 

The Scotchman made great moan ; 
Quoth Jockey, Gude faith, they fight on each 

side ; 
Would I were with my wife lone ! 

6 The enemy compast brave Robin about, 

'T is long ere the battel ends ; 
Ther 's neither will yeeld nor give up the field, 
For both are supplied with friends. 

7 This song it was made in Robin Hoods dayes ; 

Let 's pray unto love above 
To give us true peace, that mischief may cease, 
And war may give place unto love. 

Gutch's Robin Hood, II, 392, from an Irish garland, 
printed at Monaghan, 1796. 

1 Now bold Robin Hood to the north would go, 

With valour and mickle might, 
With sword by his side, which oft had been 

To fight and recover his right. 

2 The first that he met was a jolly stout Scot, 

His servant he said he would be ; 
' No,' quoth Robin Hood, ' it cannot be good, 
For thou wilt prove false unto me. 

3 ' Thou hast not been true to sire or cuz ; ' 

' Nay, marry,' the Scot he said, 
' As true as your heart, I never will part ; 
Good master, be not afraid.' 

4 ' But eer I employ you,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' With you I must have a bout ; ' 
The Scotchman reply'd, Let the battle be try'd, 
For I know I will beat you out. 

5 Thus saying, the contest did quickly begin, 

Which lasted two hours and more ; 
The blows Sawney gave bold Robin so brave 
The battle soon made him give oer. 

6 ' Have mercy, thou Scotchman,' bold Robin 

Hood cry'd, 

' Full dearly this boon have I bought ; 
We will both agree, and my man you shall be, 
For a stouter I never have fought.' 

7 Then Sawny consented with Robin to go, 

To be of his bowmen so gay ; 
Thus ended the fight, and with mickle delight 
To Sherwood they hasted away. 

A. For the printer, etc., see No 128, Robin Hood 
newly Revived. 

a. 1 s . trid. I 4 , rigth. 4 s , 5'. qd. 

b. 1 s . tri'd. 3 1 . or for nor. 4 s . case. 

c. 4", 5 s . qd. 

d. 4 s . case. 

e. 2 1 . met with was a bold. 2*. qd. 
4 s . case : quod. 




' Robin Hood and the Ranger. ' a. Robin Hood's Gar 
land, London, C. Dicey, in Bow Church- Yard, n. d., 
but before 1741, p. 78. b. R. H.'s Garland, London, 
W. & C. Dicey, n. d. c. R. H.'s Garland, London, 
L. How, in Peticoat Lane, n. d. d. The English 

Archer, etc., York, N. Nickson, in Feasegate, n. d. 
e. The English Archer, etc., Paisley, John Neilson, 
1786. f. R. H.'s Garland, York, T. Wilson & R. 
Spence, n. d. (All in the Bodleian Library.) 

IN Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 133, from 
a York edition of Robin Hood's Garland. Ev 
ans, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 200, appar 
ently from an Aldermary garland. 

Mr Halliwell, in Notices of Fugitive Tracts, 
etc., Percy Society, vol. xxix. p. 19, refers to 
an edition of Robin Hood's Garland printed 
for James Hodges, at the Looking-glass, Lon 
don-bridge, n. d., as containing " the earliest 
copy yet known " of Robin Hood and the 
Ranger, but does not indicate how the alleged 
fact was ascertained. Inside of the cover of 

a is written, William Stukely, 1741. b ap 
pears in advertisements as early as 1753. 

Robin Hood, while about to kill deer, is 
forbidden by a forester, and claiming the for 
est as his own, the cause has to be tried with 
weapons. They break their swords on one 
another, and take to quarter-staves. Robin 
Hood is so sorely cudgelled that he gives up 
the fight, declaring that he has never met with 
so good a man. He summons his yeomen 
with his horn ; the forester is induced to join 

1 WHEN Phoebus had melted the sickles of ice, 

With a hey down, &c. 
And likewise the mountains of snow, 
Bold Robin Hood he would ramble to see, 
To frolick abroad with his bow. 

2 He left all his merry men waiting behind, 

Whilst through the green vallies he passd ; 
There did he behold a forester bold, 
Who cry'd out, Friend, whither so fast ? 

3 ' I 'm going,' quoth Robin, ' to kill a fat buck, 

For me and my merry men all ; 
Besides, eer I go, I '11 have a fat doe, 
Or else it shall cost me a fall.' 

4 ' You 'd best have a care,' said the forester 


' For these are his majesty's deer ; 
Before you shall shoot, the thing I '11 dispute, 
For I am head-forester here.' 

5 ' These thirteen long summers,' quoth Robin, 

' I 'm sure, 

My arrows I here have let fly, 
Where freely I range ; methinks it is strange, 
You should have more power than I. 

6 'This forest,' quoth Robin, 'I think is my 


And so are the nimble deer too ; 
Therefore I declare, and solemnly swear, 
I wont be affronted by you.' 

7 The forester he had a long quarter-staff, 

Likewise a broad sword by his side ; 

Without more ado, he presently drew, 

Declaring the truth should be try'd. 

8 Bold Robin Hood had a sword of the best, 

Thus, eer he would take any wrong, 
His courage was flush, he 'd venture a brush, 
And thus they fell to it ding dong. 



9 The very first blow that the forester gave, 
He made his broad weapon cry twang ; 
"T was over the head, he fell down for dead, 

that was a damnable bang ! 

10 But Robin he soon did recover himself, 

And bravely fell to it again ; 
The very next stroke their weapons were 

Yet never a man there was slain. 

11 At quarter-staff then they resolved to play, 

Because they would have t'other bout ; 
And brave Eobin Hood right valiantly stood, 
Unwilling he was to give out. 

12 Bold Robin he gave him very hard blows, 

The other returnd them as fast ; 
At every stroke their jackets did smoke, 
Three hours the combat did last. 

13 At length in a rage the bold forester grew, 

And cudgeld bold Robin so sore 
That he could not stand, so shaking his hand, 
He said, Let us freely give oer. 

14 Thou art a brave fellow, I needs must con 


1 never knew any so good ; 

Thou 'rt fitting to be a yeoman for me, 
And range in the merry green wood. 

15 I '11 give thee this ring as a token of love, 

For bravely thou 'st acted thy part ; 
That man that can fight, in him I delight, 
And love him with all my whole heart. 

16 Then Robin Hood setting his horn to his 

A blast he merrily blows ; 

His yeomen did hear, and strait did appear, 
A hundred, with trusty long bows. 

17 Now Little John came at the head of them all, 

Cloathd in a rich mantle of green ; 
And likewise the rest were gloriously drest, 
A delicate sight to be seen. 

18 ' Lo, these are my yeomen,' said Robin Hood, 

' And thou shalt be one of the train ; 
A mantle and bow, a quiver also, 
I give them whom I entertain.' 

19 The forester willingly enterd the list, 

They were such a beautiful sight ; 
Then with a long bow they shot a fat doe, 
And made a rich supper that night. 

20 What singing and dancing was in the green 


For joy of another new mate !^ 
With mirth and delight they spent the long 

And liv'd at a plentiful rate. 

21 The forester neer was so merry before 

As then he was with these brave souls, 
Who never would fail, in wine, beer or ale, 
To take off their cherishing bowls. 

22 Then Robin Hood gave him a mantle of green, 

Broad arrows, and a curious long bow ; 
This done, the next day, so gallant and gay, 
He marched them all on a row. 

23 Quoth he, My brave yeomen, be true to your 


And then we may range the woods wide : 
They all did declare, and solemnly swear, 
They 'd conquer, or die by his side. 

a. Robin Hood and the Ranger, or True Friend 

ship after a fierce Fight. Tune of Arthur 
a Bland. 
2 4 . whether. 8 8 . he '11. 12 1 . a very hard blow. 

b. 2 4 . whither. 6 2 . are all. II 2 . the other. 
12 1 . very hard blows. 14 2 . any one. 
15 2 . thou hast. 18 2 . And wanting, 

23 4 . They would. 

c. Burden : With a hey down down down and a 

VOL. iii. 20 

2 4 . whither. 5 3 . methink'. 6 2 . deers. 
8 s . he 'd. 10 1 . soon recoverd. 
10 2 . to wanting. 10 s . they broke. 
12 1 . very hard blows. 12 4 . this combat. 
13 4 . He cry'd. 14 4 . And live. 16 2 . blast then. 
19 2 . a wanting. 21 2 . with the. 
d. Tune of, etc. wanting. Burden wanting. 
I 1 , the circles. I 3 , he wanting : ramble away. 
2 4 . whither. 5 2 . arrows here I 've. 5 4 . then I. 
6 2 . so is. 7 1 . he wanting. 8 1 . he had. 



8 s . he 'd. 9 1 . that wanting. 9 3 . his head. 
10 1 . soon recoverd. 10 3 . they broke. 
12 1 . he wanting : many hard blows. 
13 4 . He cry'd. 

16 1 . Then wanting : Hood set his bugle horn. 

16 2 . blast then. 16 s . and soon. 16 4 . An. 
17 3 . rest was. 18 1 . said bold. 18 4 . I 'U. 
20 s . the whole. 21 2 . with the. 21 3 . beer and. 
21 4 . take of the. 22 2 . a wanting. 

23 4 . They would. 

Burden : With a hey down down derry down : 

or Hey down derry derry down. 
I 1 , circle. 1 s . he wanting : ramble away. 
2 s . he did. 2 4 . whither. 
3 1 . quoth Robin wanting. 3 3 . ere. 
5 2 . here wanting. 6 2 . so is. 7 1 . he wanting. 
8 2 . neer. 8 s . he 'd. 8 4 . thus wanting. 

9 s . his head. 10 1 . soon recovered. 
10 s . they broke. II 1 . then wanting. 
12 1 . many hard blows. 13 4 . He cry'd. 
15 4 . whole wanting. 16 1 . set liis brave. 
16 2 . blast then. 16 s . and soon. 16 4 . An. 
18 1 . said bold. 18 3 . and a bow. 18 4 . I '11. 
20 1 . were in. 20 s . the whole. 21 2 . with the. 
22 2 . a wanting. 

f. I 1 , ickles of ice. 1 s . would frolicksome be. 
I 4 . And ramble about with his bow. 
2 4 . whither. 8 1 . Hood wanting. 8 s . he 'd. 
10 1 . recovered. 10 8 . they broke. 
10 4 . Yet neither of them were slain. 
II 2 . the other. 12 1 . very hard blows. 
12". this combat. 13 4 . He cry'd. 
14 1 . And live. 18 1 . said bold. 19 4 . a good. 
21 3 . As when. 21 s . beer and. 



J. H. Dixon, Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England, p. 71, Percy Society, vol. xvii, 1846. 

" AN aged female in Bermondsey, Surrey, 
from whose oral recitation the editor took 
down the present version, informed him, that 
she had often heard her grandmother sing it, 
and that it was never in print ; but he has of 
late met with several common stall copies." 

Robin Hood and Little John fall in with a 
pedlar. Little John asks what goods he car 
ries, and says he will have half his pack. 
The pedlar says he shall have the whole if he 
can make him give a perch of ground. They 
fight, and John cries Hold. Robin Hood un 
dertakes the pedlar, and in turn cries Hold. 

Robin asks the pedlar's name. He will not 
give it till they have told theirs, and when 
they have so done says it still lies with him 
to tell or not. However, he is Gamble Gold, 
forced to flee his country for killing a man. 
If you are Gamble Gold, says Robin, you are 
my own cousin. They go to a tavern and 
dine and drink. 

Stanzas 11, 12, 15 recall Robin Hood's De 
light, No 136, 19, 20, 24 ; 13, 14 Robin Hood 
Revived, No 128, 17, 18. As remarked under 
No 128, this is a traditional variation of Robin 
Hood Revived. 

THEKE chanced to be a pedlar bold, 
A pedlar bold he chanced to be ; 
He rolled his pack all on his back, 
And he came tripping oer the lee. 
Down a down a down a down, 
Down a down a down 

2 By chance he met two troublesome blades, 

Two troublesome blades they chanced to be ; 
The one of them was bold Robin Hood, 
And the other was Little John so free. 



3 ' pedlar, pedlar, what is in thy pack ? 

Come speedilie and tell to me : ' 
' I 've several suits of the gay green silks, 
And silken bow-strings two or three.' 

4 ' If you have several suits of the gay green 


And silken bow-strings two or three, 
Then it 's by my body,' cries Little John, 
' One half your pack shall belong to me." 

5 ' O nay, o nay,' says the pedlar bold, 

' O nay, o nay, that never can be ; 
For there 's never a man from fair Nottingham 
Can take one half my pack from me.' 

6 Then the pedlar he pulled off his pack, 

And put it a little below his knee, 
Saying, If you do move me one perch from 

My pack and all shall gang with thee. 

7 Then Little John he drew his sword, 

The pedlar by his pack did stand ; 
They fought until they both did sweat, 

Till he cried, Pedlar, pray hold your hand ! 

8 Then Robin Hood he was standing by, 

And he did laugh most heartilie ; 
Saying, I could find a man, of a smaller scale, 
Could thrash the pedlar and also thee. 

9 ' Go you try, master,' says Little John, 

' Go you try, master, most speedilie, 

Or by my body,' says Little John, 

' I am sure this night you will not know me.' 

10 Then Robin Hood he drew his sword, 

And the pedlar by his pack did stand ; 
They fought till the blood in streams did flow, 
Till he cried, Pedlar, pray hold your hand ! 

11 Pedlar, pedlar, what is thy name ? 

Come speedilie and tell to me : 
' My name ! my name I neer will tell, 

Till both your names you have told to me.' 

12 ' The one of us is bold Robin Hood, 

And the other Little John so free : ' 
' Now,' says the pedlar, ' it lays to my good will, 
Whether my name I chuse to tell to thee. 

13 ' I am Gamble Gold of the gay green woods, 

And travelled far beyond the sea ; 
For killing a man in my father's land 
From my country I was forced to flee.' 

14 'If you are Gamble Gold of the gay green 


And travelled far beyond the sea, 
You are my mother's own sister's son ; 
What nearer cousins then can we be ? ' 

15 They sheathed their swords with friendly 


So merrilie they did agree ; 
They went to a tavern, and there they dined, 
And bottles cracked most merrilie. 

3 1 , 5 1 , 5". Oh. 



a. Wood, 401, leaf 23 b. 

b. Garland of 1663, No 8. 

c. Garland of 1670, No 7. 

d. Pepys, II, 116, No 100. 

a is printed, with changes, by Ritson, Robin 1777, 1784, 1, 180, agrees with the Aldermary 
Hood, 1795, II, 122. Evans, Old Ballads, garland. 



There is a copy in the Roxburghe Collec 
tion, III, 20. 

Robin Hood, riding towards Nottingham, 
comes upon a beggar, who asks charity. 
Robin says he has no money, but must have 
a bout with him. The beggar with his staff 
gives three blows for every stroke of Robin's 
with his sword. Robin cries truce, and at the 
suggestion, we might almost say upon the 
requisition, of the beggar, exchanges his horse 
and finery for the beggar's bags and rags. 
Thus equipped, he proceeds to Nottingham, 
and has the adventure with the sheriff and 
three yeomen which is the subject of No 140. 

The copy in the Wood and in the Rox 
burghe collections is signed T. R., like Robin 
Hood and the Butcher, B, and, like the latter 
ballad, this is a rifacimento, with middle 
rhyme in the third line. It is perhaps made 
up from two distinct stories ; the Second Part, 
beginning at stanza 20, from Robin Hood 
rescuing Three Squires, and what precedes 
from a ballad resembling Robin Hood and the 
r, II. 

But no seventeenth-century version of Robin 
Hood and the Beggar, II, is known, and it is 
more likely that we owe the fight between 
Robin Hood and the Beggar to the folly and 
bad taste of T. R. Robin has no sort of 
provocation to fight with the beggar, and no 
motive for changing clothes, the proposition 
actually coming from the beggar, st. 15, and 
it is an accident that his disguise proves use 
ful (cf. Guy of Gisborne). The beggar should 
have reported that three men were to be 
hanged, but instead of this is forced into a 
fight, in order that one more ignominious de 
feat may be scored against Robin. 

The verses, 

9 M , I am an outlaw, as many do know, 
My name it is Robin Hood, 

occur also in Robin Hood and the Bishop, No 
143, 6 3 ' 4 . 'And this mantle of mine I'le to 
thee resign,' 16 3 , looks very like a reminis 
cence of Robin Hood and the Bishop, 10 3 , 
' Thy spindle and twine unto me resign.' * 

1 COME light and listen, you gentlemen all, 

Hey down, down, and a down 
That mirth do love for to hear, 
And a story true I 'le tell unto you, 
If that you will but draw near. 

2 In elder times, when merriment was, 

And archery was holden good, 
There was an outlaw, as many did know, 
Which men called Robin Hood. 

3 Vpon a time it chanced so 

Bold Robin was merry disposed, 
His time to spend he did intend, 
Either with friends or foes. 

4 Then he got vp on a gallant brave steed, 

The which was worth angels ten ; 
With a mantle of green, most brave to be seen, 
He left all his merry men. 

5 And riding towards fair Nottingham, 

Some pastime for to spy, 
There was he aware of a jolly beggar 
As ere he beheld with his eye. 

6 An old patcht coat the beggar had on, 

Which he daily did vse for to wear ; 
And many a bag about him did wag, 
Which made Robin Hood to him repair. 

7 ' God speed, God speed,' said Robin Hood, 

' What countryman ? tell to me : ' 
' I am Yorkeshire, sir ; but, ere you go far, 
Some charity give vnto me.' 

8 ' Why, what wouldst thou have ? ' said Robin 


' I pray thee tell vnto me : ' 
' No lands nor livings,' the beggar he said, 
' But a penny for charitie.' 

9 ' I have no money,' said Robin Hood then, 

' But, a ranger within the wood, 
I am an outlaw, as many do know, 
My name it is Robin Hood. 

10 ' But yet I must tell thee, bonny beggar, 
That a bout with [thee] I must try ; 

* Remarked by Fricke, p. 88 f. 



Thy coat of gray, lay down I say, 

And my mantle of green shall lye by.' 

11 ' Content, content,' the beggar he cry'd, 

' Thy part it will be the worse ; 
For I hope this bout to give thee the rout, 
And then have at thy purse.' 

12 The beggar he had a mickle long staffe, 

And Robin had a nut-brown sword ; 
So the beggar drew nigh, and at Robin let fly, 
But gave him never a word. 

13 ' Fight on, fight on,' said Robin Hood then, 

' This game well pleaseth me ; ' 

For every blow that Robin did give, 

The beggar gave buffets three. 

14 And fighting there full hard and sore, 

Not far from Nottingham town, 
They never fled, till from Robin ['sj head 
The blood came trickling down. 

15 ' hold thy hand,' said Robin Hood then, 

' And thou and I will agree ; ' 
' If that be true,' the beggar he said, 
' Thy mantle come give vnto me.' 

16 ' Nay a change, a change,' cri'd Robin Hood ; 

' Thy bags and coat give me, 
And this mantle of mine I 'le to thee resign, 
My horse and my braverie.' 

17 When Robin Hood had got the beggars clothes, 

He looked round about ; 
' Methinks,' said he, ' I seem to be 
A beggar brave and stout. 

18 ' For now I have a bag for my bread, 

So have I another for corn ; 
I have one for salt, and another for malt, 
And one for my little horn. 

19 ' And now I will a begging goe, 

Some charitie for to find : ' 
And if any more of Robin you '1 know, 
In this second part it 's behind. 

20 Now Robin he is to Nottingham bound, 

With his bags hanging down to his knee, 
His staff, and his coat, scarce worth a groat, 
Yet merrilie passed he. 

21 As Robin he passed the streets along, 

He heard a pittifull cry ; 
Three brethren deer, as he did hear, 
Condemned were to dye. 

22 Then Robin he highed to the sheriffs [house], 

Some relief e for to seek ; 
He skipt, and leapt, and capered full high, 
As he went along the street. 

23 But when to the sheriffs doore he came, 

There a gentleman fine and brave, 
' Thou beggar,' said he, ' come tell vnto me 
What is it that thou wouldest have ? ' 

24 ' No meat, nor drink,' said Robin Hood then, 

' That I come here to crave ; 
But to beg the lives of yeomen three, 
And that I fain would have.' 

25 ' That cannot be, thou bold beggar, 

Their fact it is so cleer ; 
I tell to thee, hangd they must be, 
For stealing of our kings deer.' 

26 But when to the gallows they did come, 

There was many a weeping eye : 

' O hold your peace,' said Robin then, 

' For certainly they shall not dye.' 

27 Then Robin he set his horn to his month, 

And he blew but Wastes three, 
Till a hundred bold archers brave 
Came kneeling down to his knee. 

28 ' What is your will, master ? ' they said, 

' We are here at your command : ' 
' Shoot east, shoot west,' said Robin Hood then, 
' And look that you spare no man.' 

29 Then they shot east, and they shot west ; 

Their arrows were so keen 
The sheriffe he, and his companie, 
No longer must be seen. 

30 Then he stept to these brethren three, 

And away he had them tane ; 
But the sheriff was crost, and many a man lost, 
That dead lay on the plain. 

31 And away they went into the merry green wood, 

And sung with a merry glee, 
And Robin took these brethren good 
To be of his yeomandrie. 



a. Robin Hood and the Beggar : Shewing how 

Eobin Hood and the Beggar fought, and 
how he changed clothes with the Beggar, 
and how he went a begging to Nottingham, 
and how he saved three brethren from being 
hangd for stealing of deer. To the tune of 
Robin Hood and the Stranger. Signed 
T. R. 

London, Printed for Francis Grove, on Snow- 
hill. (1620-55.) 

Burden : an a. 

I 1 , light in all: a corruption of lyth. 

2 2 . archrey. 3 4 . friend or foe : cf. b, C. 

4 2 . angell. 6 1 . had one. 10 1 . tell the. 

12 1 . saffe. 21 s . brethred. 27 4 . dow. 

31 4 . yeomandriee. 

b, c. Title as in a. Not signed. Burden some 

times, With hey, etc., or, With a hey, etc. ; 

once, in C, Hey derry derry down. 
b. 3 4 . friends or foes. 4 2 . angels. 

7 1 . Hood then. 7 2 . unto. 8 s . he wanting. 
9". doth know. 10 2 . with thee. 10 4 . lay. 
16 1 . said for cri'd. 20 1 . he wanting. 
21 4 . was for to. 22 1 . sheriffs house. 
27 2 . he wanting. 30 2 . them had. 

c. 3 4 . friends or foes. 4 2 . angels. 

7 1 . Hood then. 7 2 . unto. 8 s . living. 
10 2 . with thee. 19 4 . known for behind. 
21 4 . for to. 22 1 . sheriffs house. 

25 s . they hanged. 27 2 . he wanting. 
30 2 . them had. 

d. Title as in a : except of the king's deer. Not 

Printed for I. Clarke, W. Thackeray, and T. 

Passinger. (1670-86.) 

Burden : With a hey down down and a down. 
3 2 . merrily. 3 4 . friend or foe. 4 2 . angels. 
5 1 . brave fur fair. 7 1 . Hood then. 

7 2 . unto. 10 2 . with thee. II 1 . he said. 

12 1 . muckle. 12 4 . But he. 13". Robin gave. 

14 s . Robin Hood's head. 15 s . If it. 

17 1 . Hood wanting. 17 s . Methink. 

18 3 . for mault : for salt. 

19 4 . In the. house wanting, as in a. 

22 3 . and he leapt. 23 4 . is 't : would'st. 

25 4 . of the. 26 s . O wanting : Robin Hood. 

27 4 . down on their. 28 2 . here ivanting. 

29 1 . east then. 30 2 . has. 30 s . many men. 

31 1 . And wanting. 

31. Then Robin Hood. 



' The History of Robin Hood and the Beggar,' b. 'A pretty dialogue betwixt Robin Hood and a 

Aberdeen, Printed by and for A. Keith : Bodleian 
Library, Douce, HH 88. pasted between pp 68, 69 of 
Robin Hood's Garland, London, C. Dicey. A. Keith 
of Aberdeen printed from 1810 to 1835. 

Beggar,' Newcastle, in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, 
I, 97. 

a is printed by Gutch, Robin Hood, II, 
230, with deviations. Of b Ritson says : The 
corruptions of the press being equally numer 
ous and minute, some of the most trifling 
have been corrected without notice. Despite 
the corruptions, b is, in some readings, prefer 
able to a. Motherwell, Minstrels}', p. xliii, 
says that pretty early stall copies were printed 
both at Aberdeen and Glasgow. 

Robin Hood attempts to stop a beggar, 

from whom he thinks he may get some 
money. The beggar gives no heed to his 
summons, but hies on. Robin, getting a 
surly answer upon a second essay, says that 
if there be but a farthing he will have it, 
orders the beggar to loose the strings of his 
pocks, and threatens him with an arrow. The 
beggar defies him, and upon Robin's drawing 
his bow, reaches him such a stroke with a 
staff tbat bow and arrow are broken to bits. 



Robin takes to his sword ; the beggar lights 
on his hand with his staff and disables him 
completely, then follows in with lusty blows, 
till Robin falls in a swoon. The beggar moves 
on with entire unconcern. Three of Robin's 
men come by and revive him with water. 
Their master tells them of his disgrace ; he 
had never been in so hard a place in forty 
year. He bids them bring the beggar back 
or slay him. Two of the three will be enough 
for that, they say, and one shall stay with 
him. Two set forth, accordingly, with a cau 
tion to be wary, take a short cut, which 
brings them out ahead of the beggar, and 
leap on him from a hiding, one gripping his 
staff and the other putting a dagger to his 
breast. The beggar sues for his life in vain ; 
they will bind him and will take him back to 
their master, to be slain or hanged. He offers 
them a hundred pound and more for his lib 
erty. They decide together to take the 
money, and say nothing about it, simply re 
porting that they have killed the old carl. 
The beggar spreads his cloak on the ground 
and many a pock on it ; then, standing be 
tween them and the wind, takes a great bag 
of meal from his neck and flings the meal 
into their eyes. Having thus blinded them, 
he seizes his staff, which they had stuck in 
the ground, and gives each of them a dozen. 
The young men take to their heels, the beg 
gar calling after them to stop for their pay. 
Robin, after a jest at the meal on their 
cloaths, makes them tell how they have fared. 
We are shamed forever, he cries ; but smiles 
to see that they have had their taste of the 
beggar's tree. 

This tale is rightly called by Ritson a 
North Country composition of some antiquity, 
" perhaps Scottish." Fragments of Robin 
Hood ballads, Motherwell informs us, were 
traditionally extant in his day which had not 
(and have not) found their way into printed 
collections, and we know from very early 
testimony that such ballads were current in 
Scotland. This is by far the best of the 
Robin Hood ballads of the secondary, so to 
speak cyclic, period. It has plenty of homely 
humor, but the heroic sentiment is gone. It 
does not belong to the iron, the cast-iron, age 
of Robin Hood's Birth, Breeding, etc. ; but 
neither does it belong to the golden age of 
Robin Hood and the Monk, or the Gest. It 
would be no gain to have Thersites drubbing 
Odysseus. Robin finds his match, for the 
nonce, in the Potter, but he does not for that 
depute two of his men to be the death of the 
Potter. It never occurred to Little John and 
Much to get a hundred pound from a beggar, 
kill him, and pocket the money. 

A story resembling that of the second part 
of this ballad occurs, as Ritson has observed, 
in Le moyen de parvenir, " 1739, I, 304 ; " 
II, 94, London, 1786; p. 171, Paris, 1841. 
A friar encounters two footpads, who offer to 
relieve him of the burden of his frock. He 
asks them to let him take it off peaceably, 
puts his staff under his foot, takes off the 
frock and throws it before them. While one 
of the pair stoops to get it, the friar picks up 
the staff and hits the knave a blow which 
sends him headlong ; the other runs off. 

Translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 180. 

1 LTTH and listen, gentlemen, 

That 'a come of high born blood \ 
I '11 tell you of a brave booting 
That befel Robin Hood. 

2 Robin Hood upon a day, 

He went forth him alone, 
And as he came from Barnesdale 
Into a fair evening, 

3 He met a beggar on the way, 

That sturdily could gang ; 
He had a pike-staff in his hand, 
That was baith stark and strang. 

4 A clouted cloak about him was, 

That held him from the cold ; 
The thinnest bit of it, I guess, 
Was more than twenty fold. 



5 His meal-pock hang about his neck, 

Into a leathern fang, 
Well fastened with a broad buckle, 
That was both stark and strang. 

6 He had three hats upon his head, 

Together sticked fast ; 
He cared neither for wind nor weet, 
In lands wherever he past. 

7 Good Robin coost him in his way, 

To see what he might be ; 
If any beggar had money, 
He thought some part had he. 

8 ' Tarry, tarry,' good Robin says, 

' Tarry, and speak with me ; ' 
He heard him as he heard [him] not, 
And fast his way can hie. 

9 ' It be's not so,' says good Robin, 

' Nay, thon must tarry still ; ' 
' By my troth,' says the bold beggar, 
' Of that I have no will. 

10 ' It is far to my lodging-house, 

And it is growing late ; 
If they have supt ere I come in, 
I will look wondrous blate.' 

11 ' Now, by my troth,' says good Robin, 

' I see well by thy fare, 
If thou chear well to thy supper, 
Of mine thou takes no care ; 

12 ' Who wants my dinner all the day, 

And wots not where to lie, 
And should I to the tavern go, 
I want money to buy. 

13 ' Sir, thou must lend me some money, 

Till we two meet again : ' 

The beggar answerd cankerdly, 

I have no money to lend. 

14 Thou art as young a man as I, 

And seems to be as sweer ; 
If thou fast till thou get from me, 
Thou shalt eat none this year. 

15 ' Now, by my troth,' says good Robin, 

' Since we are sembled so, 

If thou have but a small farthing, 
I '11 have it ere thou go. 

16 ' Therefore, lay down thy clouted cloak, 

And do no longer stand, 
And loose the strings of all thy pocks ; 
I '11 ripe them with my hand. 

17 ' And now to thee I make a vow, 

If thou make any din, 
I shall see if a broad arrow 
Can pierce a beggar's skin.' 

18 The beggar smil'd, and answer made : 

Far better let me be ; 
Think not that I will be afraid 
For thy nip crooked tree. 

19 Or that I fear thee any whit 

For thy curn nips of sticks ; 
I know no use for them so meet 
As to be pudding-pricks. 

20 Here I defy thee to do me ill, 

For all thy boistrous fare ; 
Thou 's get nothing from me but ill, 
Would thou seek it evermair. 

21 Good Robin bent his noble bow 

He was an angry man 
And in it set a broad arrow ; 
Yet er 't was drawn a span, 

22 The beggar, with his noble tree, 

Reacht him so round a rout 
That his bow and his broad arrow 
In flinders flew about. 

23 Good Robin bound him to his brand, 

But that provd likewise vain ; 
The beggar lighted on his hand 
With his pike-staff again. 

24 I wot he might not draw a sword 

For forty days and more ; 
Good Robin could not speak a word, 
His heart was never so sore. 

25 He could not fight, he could not flee, 

He wist not what to do ; 
The beggar, with his noble tree, 
Laid lusty flaps him to. 



26 He paid good Robin back and side, 

And beft him up and down, 
And with his pike-staff still on laid 
Till he fell in a swoon. 

27 ' Fy ! stand up, man,' the beggar said, 

' 'T is shame to go to rest ; 
Stay still till thou get thy mony [told], 
I think it were the best. 

28 ' And syne go to the tavern-house, 

And buy both wine and ale ; 
Hereat thy friends will crack full crouse, 
Thou has been at a dale.' 

29 Good Robin answerd never a word, 

But lay still as a stane ; 
His cheeks were white as any clay, 
And closed were his eyne. 

30 The beggar thought him dead but fail, 

And boldly bownd away ; 
I would you had been at the dale, 
And gotten part of the play. 

31 Now three of Robin's men, by chance, 

Came walking on the way, 
And found their master in a trance, 
On ground where he did lie. 

32 Up have they taken good Robin, 

Making a piteous bier, 
Yet saw they no man there at whom 
They might the matter spear. 

33 They looked him all round about, 

But wounds on him saw none, 
Yet at his mouth came booking out 
The blood of a good vein. 

34 Cold water they have taken syne, 

And cast into his face ; 
Then he began to lift his eyne, 
And spake within short space. 

35 ' Tell us, dear master,' says his men, 

' How with you stands the case ? ' 
Good Robin sighd ere he began 
To tell of his disgrace. 

36 ' I have been watchman in this wood 

Near hand this forty year, 

Yet I was never so hard bestead 

As you have found me here. 

37 ' A beggar with a clouted cloak, 

In whom I feard no ill, 
Hath with a pike-staff clawd my back ; 
I fear 't shall never be well. 

38 ' See, where he goes out oer yon hill, 

With hat upon his head ; 
If ever you lovd your master well, 
Go now revenge this deed. 

39 ' And bring him back again to me, 

If it lie in your might, 
That I may see, before I die, 
Him punisht in my sight. 

40 ' And if you may not bring him back, 

Let him not go loose on ; 
For to us all it were great shame 
If he escapt again.' 

41 ' One of us shall with you remain, 

Because you 're ill at ease ; 
The other two shall bring him back, 
To use him as you please.' 

42 ' Now, by my troth,' says good Robin, 

' I trow there 's enough said ; 
If he get scouth to weild his tree, 
I fear you '11 both be paid.' 

43 ' Be ye not feard, our good master, 

That we two can be dung 
With any blutter base beggar, 
That hath nought but a rung. 

44 ' His staff shall stand him in no stead ; 

That you shall shortly see ; 
But back again he shall be led. 

And fast bound shall he be. 
To see if you will have him slain, 

Or hanged on a tree.' 

45 ' But cast you slily in his way, 

Before he be aware, 
And on his pike-staff first lay hands ; 
You '11 speed the better far.' 



46 Now leave we Robin with his man, 

Again to play the child, 
And learn himself to stand and gang 
By haulds, for all his eild. 

47 Now pass we to the bold beggar, 

That raked oer the hill, 
Who never mended his pace no more 
Nor he had done no ill. 

48 The young men knew the country well, 

So soon where he would be, 
And they have taken another way, 
Was nearer by miles three. 

49 They rudely ran with all their might, 

Spar'd neither dub nor mire, 
They stirred neither at laigh nor hight, 
No travel made them tire, 

50 Till they before the beggar wan, 

And coost them in his way ; 
A little wood lay in a glen, 
And there they both did stay. 

51 They stood up closely by a tree, 

In ilk side of the gate. 
Until the beggar came them to. 
That thought not of such fate. 

52 And as he was betwixt them past, 

They leapt upon him baith ; 
The one his pike-staff gripped fast, 
They feared for its scaith. 

53 The other he held in his sight 

A drawn dirk to his breast, 
And said, False carl, quit thy staff, 
Or I shall be thy priest. 

54 His pike-staff they have taken him frae, 

And stuck it in the green ; 

He was full leath to let [it] gae, 

If better might have been. 

55 The beggar was the feardest man 

Of one that ever might be ; 

To win away no way he can, 

Nor help him with his tree. 

56 He wist not wherefore he was tane, 

Nor how many was there ; 

He thought his life-days had been gone, 
And grew into despair. 

57 ' Grant me my life,' the beggar said, 

' For him that died on tree, 
And take away that ugly knife, 
Or then for fear I '11 die. 

58 ' I grievd you never in all my life, 

By late nor yet by ayre ; 
Ye have great sin, if ye should slay 
A silly poor beggar.' 

59 ' Thou lies, false lown,' they said again, 

' By all that may be sworn ; 
Thou hast near slain the gentlest man 
That ever yet was born. 

60 ' And back again thou shalt be led, 

And fast bound shalt thou be, 
To see if he will have thee slain, 
Or hanged on a tree.' 

61 The beggar then thought all was wrong ; 

They were set for his wrack; 
He saw nothing appearing then 
But ill upon worse back. 

62 Were he out of their hands, he thought, 

And had again his tree, 
He should not be had back for nought, 
With such as he did see. 

63 Then he bethought him on a wile, 

If it could take effect, 
How he the young men might beguile, 
And give them a begeck. 

64 Thus for to do them shame or ill 

His beastly breast was bent ; 
He found the wind grew something shril, 
To further his intent. 

65 He said, Brave gentlemen, be good, 

And let the poor man be ; 
When ye have taken a beggar's blood, 
It helps you not a flee. 

66 It was but in my own defence, 

If he hath gotten skaith ; 

But I will make a recompence, 

Much better for you baith. 



67 If ye will set me safe and free, 

And do me no danger, 
An hundred pounds I will you give, 
And much more good silver, 

68 That I have gathered these many years, 

Under this clouted cloak, 
And hid up wonder privately, 
In bottom of my pock. 

69 The young men to a council yeed, 

And let the beggar gae ; 
They wist how well he had no speed 
From them to run away. 

70 They thought they would the money take, 

Come after what so may, 
And then they would not bring him back, 
But in that part him slay. 

71 By that good Robin would not know 

That they had gotten coin ; 
It would content him for to show 
That there they had him slain. 

72 They said, False carl, soon have done 

And tell forth that money ; 
For the ill turn thou hast done 
'T is but a simple fee. 

73 And yet we will not have thee back, 

Come after what so may, 
If thou will do that which thou spake, 
And make us present pay. 

74 then he loosd bis clouted cloak, 

And spread it on the ground, 

And thereon laid he many a pock, 

Betwixt them and the wind. 

75 He took a great bag from his hase ; 

It was near full of meal ; 
Two pecks in it at least there was, 
And more, I wot full well. 

76 Upon his cloak he laid it down, 

The mouth he opend wide, 
To turn the same he made him bown, 
The young men ready spy'd. 

77 In every hand he took a nook 

Of that great leathern meal, 

And with a fling the meal he shook 
Into their faces hail. 

78 Wherewith he blinded them so close 

A stime they could not see ; 
And then in heart he did rejoice, 
And clapt liis lusty tree. 

79 He thought, if he had done them wrong 

In mealing of their cloaths, 

For to strike off the meal again 

With his pike-staff he goes. 

80 Or any one of them could red their eyne, 

Or yet a glimmering could see, 
Ilk ane of them a dozen had, 
Well laid on with the tree. 

81 The young men were right swift of foot, 

And boldly ran away ; 
The beggar could them no more hit, 
For all the haste he may. 

82 ' What ails this haste ? ' the beggar said, 

' May ye not tarry still, 
Until your money be receivd ? 
I '11 pay you with good will. 

83 ' The shaking of my pocks, I fear, 

Hath blown into your eyne ; 

But I have a good pike-staff here 

Will ripe them out full clean.' 

84 The young men answerd neer a word, 

They were dumb as a stane ; 
In the thick wood the beggar fled, 
Eer they riped their eyne. 

85 And syne the night became so late, 

To seek him was but vain : 
But judge ye, if they looked blate 
When they came home again. 

86 Good Robin speard how they had sped ; 

They answerd him, Full ill ; 
' That cannot be,' good Robin says ; 
' Ye have been at the mill. 

87 ' The mill it is a meatrif place, 

They may lick what they please ; 

Most like ye have been at that art, 

Who would look to your cloaths.' 



88 They hangd their heads, and droped down, 

A word they could not speak : 
Robin said, Because I fell a-swoon, 
I think you '11 do the like. 

89 Tell on the matter, less and more, 

And tell me what and how 
Ye have done with the bold beggar 
I sent you for right now. 

90 And then they told him to an end, 

As I have said before, 
How that the beggar did them blind, 
What misters process more. 

91 And how he lin'd their shoulders broad 

With his great trenchen tree, 
And how in the thick wood he fled, 
Eer they a stime could see. 

92 And how they scarcely could win home, 

Their bones were beft so sore : 
Good Robin cry'd, Fy ! out, for shame ! 
We 're sham'd for evermore. 

93 Altho good Robin would full fain 

Of his wrong revenged be, 
He smil'd to see his merry young men 
Had gotten a taste of the tree. 

a. The History of Robin Hood and the Beggar : 26*. 

in two Parts. Part I : Shewing how Robin 27 1 . 

Hood, in attempting to rob a Beggar near 28 4 . 

Barnesdale, was shamefully defeated, and 30 1 . 

left for dead, till taken up by three of his 31 2 . 

men. Part II : How the beggar blinded 33 2 . 

two of his men with a bag of meal, who 34 2 . 

were sent to kill him or bring him back. 35 1 . 

Title prefixed to the ballad: Robin Hood and 37 2 . 

the Beggar. 38 1 . 

In stanzas of two long lines. After 30 : The 40 4 . 

Second Part. 43 : . 

22 3 . arrows. 30 1 . but sail : that is, but fail. 45 3 . 

38 s . you for your. 46 4 . 

41 2 . ill a case : which perhaps should be re- 47 4 . 

tained. 49 1 . 

46 1 . and for with. 46 4 . the eild. 49 s . 

48 s . a another. 50 2 . 

51 4 . fate : b, late, that is, let. 53 s . quite. 51 5 . 

65 4 . fly : b, flee. 77". sling : that is, fling. 54". 

79 s . strick. 89 2 . where and. 55 2 . 

b. In stanzas of two long lines. 56*. 
Some of these readings may be Ritsoris cor- 57*. 

rections. 58 2 . 

I 2 . That be. 2 4 . a wanting. 58 s . 

3 2 . Who for That. 4 2 . frae the. 5 2 . whang. 59 2 . 

5*. to a. 7 1 . cast. 8 s . heard him not. 60 1 . 

8 4 . on his. 9 1 . 'T is be. 9". said. 63'. 

11'. shares well. 11*. dost not care. 63 4 . 

12 1 . all this. 12 s . would I. 13 1 . you must. 64 1 . 

13 2 . two wanting. 14 1 . art a. 64'. 

15". asembled. 15". has. 16 1 . Come lay. 66 2 . 

17 s . if wanting. 20 4 . Wouldst : it wanting. 67". 

21*. Lo eer. 22'. arrow. 24 2 ' 4 . mair, sair. 68 1 . 

25'. flaps. 26 2 . baift. 70'. 

laid on loud for still on laid. 

Fy wanting. 27 s . still till : money told. 

hast been at the. 29 8 . pale for white. 

but fail. 30 2 . his way. 30 s . ye. 

by the. 31 4 . where that he lay. 

wound. 34 1 . gotten for taken. 

unto. 34 s . to hitch his ear. 34 4 . speak. 

said. 36 2 . this twenty. 36 4 . ye. 

Of whom. 37 s . with his. 37 4 . 'twill. 

out wanting. 38 s . eer ye. 

escape. 41 2 . ill at ease. 42 s . And he. 

ye, good wanting. 43*. has. 44 6 . ye. 

hands lay. 45 4 . Ye. 46 1 . with his. 

his eild. 47. no wanting. 

Then he. 48 1 ' 2 . wanting. 

They stoutly. 

They started at neither how nor height. 

cast them. 51 2 . In each. 

them nigh. 51 4 . thought of no such late. 

let it. 54*. An better might it been. 

any for one. 56 1 . Nor wist he. 

He for And. 57 2 . on the. 

And hold. 57*. Or else. 

Neither by late or air. 

You have great sin if you would. 

For all. 59 4 . Of one that eer. 

shall. 62 s . led back. 

he might the young men. 

gave them a begack. 

for wanting : for ill. 

b\ew for grew. 65 2 . a poor. 65*. flee. 

has. 66 4 . Is better. 67 1 . fair and. 

no more dear. 67 4 . odd for good. 

this. 69 1 . to the. 69 s . full well. 

And yet : not take. 70*. that place. 



71*. for wanting. 72*. forth thy. 

72". turn that. 72 4 . It's: plee/brfee. 

74". lay he. 75 1 . half, <Aa* w, half. 

76 1 . this cloak : set it. 76. bound. 

77 3 . bag for meal. 77 s . fling. 

77*. face all hail. 79 2 . cloath. 

79 s . strike. 80 1 . Eer any of. 

80 a . Or a glimmering might. 80 4 . with his. 

81". boldly bound. 82 1 . What's all this. 

82 2 . May not thou. 83*. Can ripe. 

85 2 . in vain. 87 l . meat rife part. 

87 s . at the. 87 4 . at your. 

88 1 . they drooped. 88. a sound. 88*. ye. 

89 1 . less or. 89 2 . what and. 

90 1 . And when. 90 4 . presses /or process. 

91 1 ' 2 . wanting. 91". woods. 

92 2 . were baste. 93 2 . his wrath. 



a. Garland of 1663, No 13. 

b. Garland of 1670, No 12. 

c. Wood, 401, leaf 13 b. 

d. Pepys, II, 115, No 102. 

ROXBUKGHE, II, 392, III, 284 ; Douce, III, 
115 b, by L. How, of the eighteenth century. 
A manuscript copy in the British Museum, 
Add. 15072, fol. 59, is a, with omission of 
12 2 -15 4 , and a few errors of carelessness. 

Printed in Ritson's Robin Hood from c and 
one of the Roxburghe broadsides. Evans, Old 
Ballads, 1777, 1784, 1, 136, seems to have fol 
lowed the Aldermary garland, with slight de 

Robin Hood, walking in the forest, finds a 
shepherd lying on the ground, and bids him 
rise and show what he has in his bottle and 
bag. The shepherd tells him that he shall 
not see a drop of his bottle until his valor has 
been tried. Robin stakes twenty pound on 
the issue of a fight, and the shepherd his bag 
and bottle. They fight from ten to four, hook 

against sword. Robin Hood falls to the 
ground, and the shepherd calls on him to own 
himself beaten. Robin demands the boon of 
three blasts on his horn. These bring Little 
John, who undertakes the shepherd, and is so 
roughly handled that Robin is fain to yield his 
wager, to which Little John heartily agrees. 

It is but the natural course of exaggeration 
that the shepherd, having beaten Robin Hood, 
should beat Little John. This is descending 
low enough, but we do not see the bottom of 
this kind of balladry here. 

In King Alfred and the Shepherd, Old 
Ballads, 1723, I, 43, stanzas 6-17, the king 
plays Robin's part, fighting four hours with 
the Shepherd and then craving a truce. Fur 
ther on Alfred blows his horn. There are 
also verbal agreements. 

1 ALL gentlemen and yeomen good, 
Down a down a down a down 
I wish you to draw near ; 
For a story of gallant brave Robin Hood 
Vnto you I wil declare. 
Down, etc. 

2 As Robin Hood walkt the forrest along, 

Some pastime for to spie, 
There was he aware of a jolly shepherd, 
That on the ground did lie. 



3 'Arise, arise,' cryed jolly Robin, 

' And now come let me see 
What is in thy bag and bottle, I say ; 
Come tell it unto me.' 

4 ' What 's that to thee, thou proud fellow ? 

Tell me as I do stand 

What thou hast to do with my bag and bottle ? 
Let me see thy command.' 

5 ' My sword, which hangeth by my side, 

Is my command I know ; 
Come, and let me taste of thy bottle, 
Or it may breed thee wo.' 

6 ' Tut, the devil a drop, thou proud fellow, 

Of my bottle thou shalt see, 
Untill thy valour here be tried, 
Whether thou wilt fight or flee.' 

7 ' What shall we fight for ? ' cries bold Robin 


' Come tell it soon to me ; 
Here is twenty pounds in good red gold ; 
Win it, and take it thee.' 

8 The Shepherd stood all in a maze, 

And knew not what to say : 
' I have no money, thou proud fellow, 
But bag and bottle I 'le lay.' 

9 ' I am content, thou shepherd-swain, 

Fling them down on the ground ; 
But it will breed thee mickle pain, 
To win my twenty pound.' 

10 ' Come draw thy sword, thou proud fellow, 

Thou stands too long to prate ; 
This hook of mine shall let thee know 
A coward I do hate.' 

11 So they fell to it, full hardy and sore ; 

It was on a summers day ; 
From ten till four in the afternoon 
The Shepherd held him play. 

12 Robins buckler proved his chief defence, 

And saved him many a bang, 
For every blow the Shepherd gave 
Made Robins sword cry twang. 

13 Many a sturdy blow the Shepherd gave, 

And that bold Robin found, 

Till the blood ran trickling from his head ; 
Then he fell to the ground. 

14 ' Arise, arise, thou proud fellow, 

And thou shalt have fair play, 
If thou wilt yield, before thou go, 
That I have won the day.' 

15 ' A boon, a boon,' cried bold Robin ; 

' If that a man thou be, 
Then let me take my beaugle-horn, 
And blow but blasts three.' 

16 ' To blow three times three,' the Shepherd said, 

' I will not thee deny ; 

For if ttiou shouldst blow till to-morrow morn, 
I scorn one foot to fly.' 

17 Then Robin set his horn to his mouth, 

And he blew with mickle main, 
Until he espied Little John 
Come tripping over the plain. 

18 ' who is yonder, thou proud fellow, 

That comes down yonder hill ? ' 
' Yonder is Little John, bold Robin Hoods 

Shall fight with thee thy fill.' 

19 ' What is the matter ? ' saies Little John, 

' Master, come tell to me : ' 
' My case is great,' saies Robin Hood, 
' For the Shepherd hath conquered me.' 

20 ' I am glad of that,' cries Little John, 

' Shepherd, turn thou to me ; 
For a bout with thee I mean to have, 
Either come fight or flee.' 

21 ' With all my heart, thou proud fellow, 

For it never shall be said 
That a shepherds hook of thy sturdy look 
Will one jot be dismaid.' 

22 So they fell to it, full hardy and sore, 

Striving for victory ; 

' I will know,' saies John, ' ere we give ore, 
Whether thou wilt fight or flye.' 

23 The Shepherd gave John a sturdy blow, 

With his hook under the chin ; 
' Beshrew thy heart,' said Little John, 
' Thou basely dost begin.' 



24 ' Nay, that 's nothing,' said the Shepherd ; 

' Either yield to me the day, 
Or I will bang thee back and sides, 
Before thou goest thy way. 

25 ' What ? dost thou think, thou proud fellow, 

That thou canst conquer me ? 
Nay, thou shalt know, before thou go, 
I 'le fight before I 'le flee.' 

26 With that to thrash Little John like mad 

The Shepherd he begun ; 

' Hold, hold,' cryed bold Robin Hood, 
' And I 'le yield the wager won.' 

27 ' With all my heart,' said Little John, 

' To that I will agree ; 
For he is the flower of shepherd-swains, 
The like I never did see.' 

28 Thus have you heard of Robin Hood, 

Also of Little John, 

How a shepherd-swain did conquer them ; 
The like did never none. 

a, b. Robin Hood and the Shepard : Shewing how 
Robin Hood, Little John and the Shep- 
heard fought a sore combate. 
Tune is, Robin Hood and Queen Katherine. 

a. Burden . a third a down is not printed after 

the first line, but is after the last. 
4 s . hast thou. 5*. thy wo. 7 2 . Gome. 
20 4 . Eihter. 26 2 . Sheherd. 

b. Burden : Down a down a down a down. 
After 9 1 , 21 4 , With a, &c. 

I 3 , bold for brave. 4 3 . thou hast. 

5 3 . tast. 5 4 . thee for thy. 

7 1 . bold wanting. 7". pound. 10 2 . standst. 

12 1 . chiefest. 13 3 . tickling. 

16 1 . Then said the Shepherd to bold Robin. 

16 2 . wanting. 17 1 . Robin he. 

18 s . Little wanting. 19 3 . is very bad, cries. 
26 1 . Again the Shepherd laid on him. 
26 4 . And wanting : I will. 27 4 . I did never. 
28 4 . was never known. 

C. Robin Hood and the Shepheard : Shewing how 
Robin Hood, Little John and the Shep 
heard fought a sore combat. 

The Shepherd fought for twenty pound, 

And Robin for bottle and bag, 
But the Shepheard stout gave them the rout 

So sore they could not wag. 

The tune is Robin and Queen Katherine. 

London, Printed for John Andrews, at the 
White Lion, in Pie-Corner. (1660.) 

Burden : Down a down a down a down. 

1 s . bold for brave. 4 3 . thou hast. 

5 4 . my wo. 8 1 . amaze. 11 s . four till ten. 

12 1 . chiefest. 13 4 . And then. 16 1 . wanting. 

19 s . cries for saies. 19 4 . hath beaten. 

22 3 . ile know saith. 22 4 . flee. 25 1 . doest. 

26 1 . wanting. 26 2 . began. 

26 4 . And wanting : I will. 27". Shepheards. 

27 4 . I did never. 
d. Title as in a. b. 

Printed for William Thackeray, at the Angel 
in Duck Lane. (1689.) 

Burden : Down a down down. 

1 s . bold for brave. 2 s . he was. 

4 s . hast thou, as in a. 5 1 . that for which. 

5 4 . thy woe, as in a. 6 1 . Tut wanting. 

7 1 . bold wanting. 7 s . pound. 10 2 . standest. 

II 1 . hard. 12 1 . chiefest. 15 3 . beagle. 

16 1 . Then said the Shepherd to bold Robin. 

16 2 . To that will I agree. 16 4 . flee. 
17 1 . he set. 17 2 . with might and main. 
18 3 . Little wanting. 19 3 . bad cries. 
21 2 . shall never. 21 8 . at thy. 22 4 . flee. 
24". thy for thee. 

26 1 . Again the Shepherd laid on him. 

26 2 . began. 26 8 . Hood wanting. 

26 4 . And wanting : I will. 27 4 . I did never. 
28 4 . The like was never known. 






a. Wood, 401, leaf 41 b. 

b. Garland of 1663, No 17. 

c. Garland of 1670, No 16. 

d. Pepys, II, 112, No 99. 

RlTSON, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 116, from 
a, with changes. Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 
1784, I, 176. 

Robin Hood, Scarlock, and John, walking 
in Sherwood, are charged to stand by three 
of King Henry's keepers. There is a fight 
from eight till two o'clock, in which the out 
laws are at some disadvantage. Robin asks 
that he may blow his horn, then he will fight 
again. The keepers refuse ; he must fall on 
or yield. Robin owns them to be stout fel 
lows ; he will not fight it out there with 
swords, but at Nottingham with sack. They 
go to Nottingham accordingly, and drink 
themselves good friends. 

The Bold Pedlar and Robin Hood, No 132, 
a late traditional copy, shows traces of st. 
20 of this ballad in st. 12, where the Pedlar 
says it lies with him whether he will tell his 
name, and again at the end, where Robin 
Hood, John, and the Pedlar drink friendship 
at the tavern. Robin Hood's antagonists are 
again foresters and keepers in the Progress to 
Nottingham, and in Robin Hood and the Ran 
ger. There are numerous verbal agreements 
between Robin Hood's Delight and Robin 
Hood and the Shepherd. 

Translated by Loe"ve-"Veimars, p. 199. 

1 THERE is some will talk of lords and knights, 

Doun a doun a doun a doun 
And some of yeoman good, 
But I will tell you of Will Scarlock, 
Little John and Robin Hood. 
Doun a doun a doun a doun 

2 They were outlaws, as 't is well known, 

And men of a noble blood ; 
And a many a time was their valour shown 
In the forrest of merry Sheerwood. 

3 Vpon a time it chanced so, 

As Robin Hood would have it be, 
They all three would a walking go, 
Some pastime for to see. 

4 And as they walked the forest along. 

Upon a midsummer day, 
There was they aware of three keepers, 
Clade all in green aray. 

5 With brave long faucheons by their sides, 

And forest-bills in hand, 
They calld aloud to those bold outlaws, 
And charged them to stand. 

6 ' Why, who are you,' cry'd bold Robin, 

' That speaks so boldly here ? ' 

' We three belong to King Henry, 

And are keepers of his deer.' 

7 ' The devil thou art ! ' sayes Robin Hood, 

' I am sure that it is not so ; 



We be the keepers of this forest, 
And that you soon shall know. 

8 ' Come, your coats of green lay on the ground, 

And so will we all three, 
And take your swords and bucklers round, 
And try the victory.' 

9 ' We be content,' the keepers said, 

' We be three, and you no less ; 
Then why should we be of you afraid, 
And we never did transgress ? ' 

10 ' Why, if you be three keepers in this forest, 

Then we be three rangers good, 
And we will make you to know, before you do 

You meet with bold Robin Hood.' 

11 ' We be content, thou bold outlaw, 

Our valour here to try, 

And we will make you know, before we do go, 
We will fight before we will fly. 

12 ' Then, come draw your swords, you bold out 


And no longer stand to prate, 
But let us try it out with blows, 
For cowards we do hate. 

13 ' Here is one of us for Will Scarlock, 

And another for Little John, 
And I my self for Robin Hood, 
Because he is stout and strong.' 

14 So they fell to it full hard and sore ; 

It was on a midsummers day ; 
From eight a clock till two and past, 
They all shewed gallant play. 

15 There Robin, and Will, and Little John, 

They fought most manfully, 
Till all their winde was spent and gone, 
Then Robin aloud did cry : 

16 ' O hold, O hold,' cries bold Robin, 

' I see you be stout men ; 
Let me blow one blast on my bugle-horn, 
Then I 'le fight wih you again.' 

17 ' That bargain 's to make, bold Robin Hood, 

Therefore we it deny ; 
Though a blast upon thy bugle-horn 
Cannot make us fight nor fly. 

18 ' Therefore fall on, or else be gone, 

And yield to us the day : 
It shall never be said that we were afraid 
Of thee, nor thy yeomen gay.' 

19 ' If that be so,' cries bold Robin, 

' Let me but know your names, 
And in the forest of merry Sheerwood 
I shall extol your fames.' 

20 ' And with our names,' one of them said, 

' What hast thou here to do ? 
Except that you will fight it out, 
Our names thou shalt not know.' 

21 ' We will fight no more,' sayes bold Robin, 

' You be men of valour stout ; 
Come and go with me to Nottingham, 
And there we will fight it out. 

22 With a but of sack we will bang it out, 

To see who wins the day ; 
And for the cost, make you no doubt 
I have gold and money to pay 

23 ' And ever after, so long as we live, 

We all will brethren be ; 
For I love those men with heart and hand 
That will fight, and never flee.' 

24 So away they went to Nottingham 

With sack to make amends ; 


For three dayes space they wine did chase, 
And drank themselves good friends. 

a. Robin Hood's Delight, or, A merry combat 
fought between Robin Hood, Little John 
and Will Scarelock and three stout Keepers 
in Sheerwood Forrest. 

Robin was valiant and stout, so was Scarelock 

and John, in the field, 
But these keepers stout did give them the rout, 

and made them all for to yield ; 



But after the battel ended was, bold Robin did 

make them amends, 
For claret and sack they did not lack, so drank 

themselves good friends. 

To the tune of Robin Hood and Quene Kath- 
erine, or, Robin Hood and the Shepheard. 

London, Printed for John Andrews, at the 

White Lion, near Pye Corner. (1660.) 
b, c. Title the same, without the verses : Scarlet 
for Scarelock. 

I 2 , b, yeomen. I 8 , 13 1 . Scarlet. 

2 1 . it is. 2 s . And many. 

4 3 . was he : c, f orresters for keepers. 

5 1 . side. 5 2 . c, forrests bils. 

5 s . c, bold wanting. 

7 1 . b, bold Robin, Hood wanting : c, said 
Robin Hood. 

7 2 . b, it wanting : c, that wanting. 

10 4 . met. II 8 . do wanting. II 4 , b. wee '1. 
16 1 . c. thy hand cryes. 17 *. is. 
19 8 . c. in that. 19 4 . b. I will. 
20 s . thou wilt. 23 1 . hereafter. 
d. Title as -in b, c, except : fought against. 

Printed for William Thackeray, at the Angel 

in Duck Lane. (1689.) 
I 1 . There 's. I 2 , yeomen. I 8 , 13 1 . Scarlet. 
2 s . And many. 4 s . forresters for keepers. 
5 s . bold wanting. 6 2 . speak. 7 1 . said. 
7 2 . that wanting, 7 s . the wanting : in for of. 
8 1 . Come wanting. 9". you wanting. 
9 s . we of you be. 10 1 . the for three. 
10 s . we '1 : to wanting. 
11 s . first we, do wanting. 14 1 . hardy. 
15 8 . spend. 16 s . with my beagle. 17 1 . is. 
17 s . Thy blast : beagle. 
18 8 . never shall : we are. 20 8 . thou wilt. 
23 1 . hereafter. 23 8 . these. 



; Robinhood and the Peddlers,' the fourth ballad in a 
MS. formerly in the possession of J. Payne Collier, 

now in the British Museum ; previously printed in 
Gutch's Robin Hood, II, 351. 

THE manuscript in which this ballad occurs 
contains a variety of matters, and, as the best 
authority * has declared, may in part have 
been written as early as 1650, but all the 
ballads are in a nineteenth-century hand, and 
some of them are maintained to be forgeries. 
I see no sufficient reason for regarding this 
particular piece as spurious, and therefore, 
though I should be glad to be rid of it, accept 
it for the present as perhaps a copy of a 
broadside, or a copy of a copy. 

The story resembles that of Robin Hood's 
Delight, pedlars taking the place of keepers ; 
but Robin is reduced to an ignominy paral 
leled only in the second ballad of Robin Hood 

and the Beggar. Robin Hood, accompanied 
by Scarlet and John, bids three pedlars stand. 
They pay no heed, and he sends an arrow 
through the pack of one of them. Hereupon 
they throw down their packs and wait for 
their assailants to come up. Robin's bow is 
broken by a blow from a staff of one of the 
pedlars. Robin calls a truce until he and his 
men can get staves. There is then an equal 
fight, the end of which is that Robin Hood is 
knocked senseless and left in a swoon, tended 
by Scarlet and John. But before the ped 
lars set forward, Kit o Thirske, the best man 
of the three, and the one who has fought with 
Robin, administers a balsam to his fallen foe, 

* Mr E. Maunde Thompson, Keeper of the Manuscripts lege Library, and in The Academy, 1885, March 7, p. 170. 
in the British Museum, in an obliging letter to Harvard Col- No 8 C of this collection is in this manuscript. 



which he says will heal his hurts, but which Thirsk is about twenty miles from York, in 
operates unpleasantly. the North Riding. 

1 WILL you heare a tale of Robin Hood, 

Will Scarlett, and Little John ? 
Now listen awhile, it will make you smile, 
As before it hath many done. 

2 They were archers three, of hie degree, 

As good as ever drewe bowe ; 
Their arrowes were long and their armes were 

As most had cause to knowe. 

3 But one sommers day, as they toke their way 

Through the forrest of greene Sherwood, 
To kill the kings deare, you shall presently 

What befell these archers good. 

4 They were ware on the roade of three peddlers 

with loade, 

Ffor each had his packe, 
Ffull of all wares for countrie faires, 
Trusst up upon his backe. 

5 A good oke staffe, a yard and a halfe, 

Each one had in his hande ; 
And they were all bound to Nottingham towne, 
As you shall understand. 

6 ' Yonder I see bolde peddlers three,' 

Said Robin to Scarlett and John ; 
' We 'le search their packes upon their backes 
Before that they be gone. 

7 ' Holla, good fellowes ! ' quod Robin Hood, 

' Whither is it ye doe goe ? 
Now stay and rest, for that is the best, 
'T is well ye should doe soe.' 

8 ' Noe rest we neede, on our roade we speede, 

TiE to Nottingham we get : ' 
' Thou tellst a lewde lye,' said Robin, ' for I 
Can see that ye swinke and swet.' 

9 The peddlers three crosst over the lee, 

They did not list to fight : 
' I charge you tarrie,' quod Robin, ' for marry, 
This is my owne land by right. 

10 ' This is my manner and this is my parke, 

I would have ye for to knowe ; 
Ye are bolde outlawes, I see by cause 
Ye are so prest to goe.' 

11 The peddlers three turned round to see 

Who it might be they herd ; 
Then agen went on as they list to be gone, 
And never answered word. 

12 Then toke Robin Hood an arrow so good, 

Which he did never lacke, 
And drew his bowe, and the swift arrowe 
Went through the last peddlers packe. 

13 Ffor him it was well on the packe it fell, 

Or his life had found an ende ; 
And it pierst the skin of his backe within, 
Though the packe did stand his frend. 

14 Then downe they flung their packes echo 


And stayde till Robin came : 
Quod Robin, I saide ye had better stayde ; 
Good sooth, ye were to blame. 

15 ' And who art thou ? by S. Crispin, I vowe 

I 'le quickly cracke thy head ! ' 
Cried Robin, Come on, all three, or one ; 
It is not so soone done as said. 

16 My name, by the roode, is Robin Hood, 

And this is Scarlett and John ; 
It is three to three, ye may plainelie see, 
Soe now, brave fellowes, laye on. 

17 The first peddlars blowe brake Robins bowe 

That he had in his hand ; 
And Scarlett and John, they eche had one 
That they unneath could stand. 

18 ' Now holde your handes,' cride Robin 


' Ffor ye have got oken staves ; 

But tarie till wee can get but three. 

And a fig for all your braves.' 



19 Of the peddlers the first, his name Kit o 


Said, We are all content ; 
Soe eche tooke a stake for his weapon, to 

The peddlers to repent. 

20 Soe to it they fell, and their blowes did ring 


TJppon the others backes ; 
And gave the peddlers cause to wish 
They had not cast their packes. 

21 Yet the peddlers three of their blowes were so 


That Robin began for to rue ; 
And Scarlett and John had such loade laide on 
It made the sunne looke blue. 

22 At last Kits oke caught Robin a stroke 

That made his head to sound ; 
He staggerd, and reelde, till he fell on the 

And the trees with him went round. 

23 ' Now holde your handes,' cride Little John, 

And soe said Scarlett eke ; 
' Our maister is slaine, I tell you plaine, 
He never more will speake.' 

24 ' Now, heaven forefend he come to that ende,' 

Said Kit, ' I love him well ; 

But lett him learne to be wise in turne, 
And not with pore peddlers mell. 

25 ' In my packe, God wot, I a balsame have got 

That soone his hurts will heale ; ' 

And into Robin Hoods gaping mouth 

He presentlie powrde some deale. 

26 ' Now fare ye well, tis best not to tell 

How ye three peddlers met ; 
Or if ye doe, prithee tell alsoe 

How they made ye swinke and swett.' 

27 Poore Robin in sound they left on the ground, 

And hied them to Nottingham, 
While Scarlett and John Robin tended on, 
Till at length his senses came. 

28 Noe soone[r], in haste, did Robin Hood taste 

The balsame he had tane, 
Than he gan to spewe, and up he threwe 
The balsame all againe. 

29 And Scarlett and John, who were looking on 

Their maister as he did lie, 
Had their faces besmeard, both eies and beard, 
Therewith most piteously. 

30 Thus ended that fray ; soe beware alwaye 

How ye doe challenge foes ; 
Looke well aboute they are not to stoute, 
Or you may have worst of the blowes. 



a. ' Robin Hood and Allin of Dale,' Douce, II, leaf 185. c. ' Robin Hood and Allen a Dale,' Douce, III, 119 b. 

b. 'Robin Hood and Allin of Dale,' Pepys, II, 110, 
No 97. 

PBENTED in A Collection of Old Ballads, 
1723, II, 44, and Evans's Old Ballads, 1777, 
1784, I, 126, after a copy very near to c. In 
Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 46, probably 
after Roxburghe II, 394. Not included in the 

garlands of 1663, 1670 ; in a garland of 1749, 
the Aldermary garland, R. Marshall, and the 
Lichfield, M. Morgan, both not dated, No 8; 
in the York garland, 1811, No 9. In the 
Kinloch MSS, V, 183, there is a copy, derived 



from the broadside, but Scotticised, and im 
proved in the process. 

A young man, Allen a Dale, whom Robin 
Hood has seen passing, one day singing and 
the next morning sighing, is stopped by Lit 
tle John and the Miller's Son, and brought 
before their master, who asks him if he has 
any money. He has five shillings and a ring, 
and was to have been married the day before, 
but his bride has been given to an old knight. 
Robin asks what he will give to get his true- 
love. All that he can give is his faithful ser 
vice. Robin goes to the church and declares 
the match not fit: the bride shall choose for 
herself. He blows his horn, and four-and- 
twenty of his men appear, the foremost of 
whom is Allen a Dale. Robin tells Allen 
that he shall be married on the spot. The 
bishop says no ; there must be three askings. 
Robin puts the bishop's coat on Little John, 
and Little John asks seven times. Robin 
gives Allen the maid, and bids the man take 
her away that dare. 

The ballad, it will be observed, is first found 
in broadside copies of the latter half of the 
seventeenth century. The story is told of 
Scarlock in the life of Robin Hood in Sloane 
MS, 715, 7, fol. 157, of the end of the six 
teenth century ; Thorns, Early Prose Ro 
mances, II, p. 39. 

" Scarlock he induced [to become one of 
his company] upon this occacion. One day 
meting him as he walked solitary and lyke to 
a man forlorne, because a mayd to whom he 
was affyanced was taken from [him] by the 
violence of her frends, and given to another, 
that was auld and welthy ; whereupon Robin, 
understandyng when the maryage-day should 
be, came to the church as a beggar, and hav 
ing his company not far of, which came in so 
sone as they hard the sound of his home, he 
' took ' the bryde perforce from him that was 
in hand to have maryed her, and caused the 
preist to wed her and Scarlocke togeyther." 

Translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 146. 

1 COME listen to me, you gallants so free, 

All you that loves mirth for to hear, 
And I will you tell of a bold outlaw, 
That lived in Nottinghamshire, (bis.) 

2 As Robin Hood in the forrest stood, 

All under the green-wood tree, 
There was he ware of a brave young man, 
As fine as fine might be. 

3 The youngster was clothed in scarlet red, 

In scarlet fine and gay, 
And he did frisk it over the plain, 
And chanted a roundelay. 

4 As Robin Hood next morning stood, 

Amongst the leaves so gay, 
There did he espy the same young man 
Come drooping along the way. 

5 The scarlet he wore the day before, 

It was clean east away ; 
And every step he fetcht a sigh, 
' Alack and a well a day ! ' 

6 Then stepped forth brave Little John, 

And Nick the millers son, 
Which made the young man bend his bow, 
When as he see them come. 

7 ' Stand off, stand off,' the young man said, 

' What is your will with me ? ' 
' You must come before our master straight, 
Vnder yon green-wood tree.' 

8 And when he came bold Robin before, 

Robin askt him courteously, 

O hast thou any money to spare 

For my merry men and me ? 

9 ' I have no money,' the young man said, 

' But five shillings and a ring ; 
And that I have kept this seven long years, 
To have it at my wedding. 

10 ' Yesterday I should have married a maid, 

But she is now from me tane, 
And chosen to be an old knights delight, 
Whereby my poor heart is slain.' 



11 ' What is thy name ? ' then said Robin Hood, 

' Come tell me, without any fail : ' 
' By the faith of my body,' then said the young 

'My name it is Allin a Dale.' 

12 ' What wilt thou give me,' said Robin Hood, 

' In ready gold or fee, 
To help thee to thy true-love again, 
And deliver her unto thee ? ' 

13 ' I have no money,' then quoth the young man, 

' No ready gold nor fee, 
But I will swear upon a book 
Thy true servant for to be.' 

14 ' How many miles is it to thy true-love ? 

Come tell me without any guile : ' 
' By the faith of my body,' then said the young 

' It is but five little mile.' 

15 Then Robin he hasted over the plain, 

He did neither stint nor lin, 
Vntil he came unto the church 

Where Allin should keep his wedding. 

16 ' What dost thou do here ? ' the bishop he said, 

' I prethee now tell to me : ' 
'I am a bold harper,' quoth Robin Hood, 
' And the best in the north countrey.' 

17 '0 welcome, welcome,' the bishop he said, 

'That musick best pleaseth me ;' 
' You shall have no musick,' quoth Robin Hood, 
' Till the bride and the bridegroom I see.' 

18 With that came in a wealthy knight, 

Which was both grave and old, 
And after him a finikin lass, 
Did shine like glistering gold. 

19 ' This is no fit match,' quoth bold Robin Hood, 

' That you do seem to make here ; 

For since we are come unto the church, 
The bride she shall chuse her own dear.' 

20 Then Robin Hood put his horn to his mouth, 

And blew blasts two or three ; 
When four and twenty bowmen bold 
Came leaping over the lee. 

21 And when they came into the church-yard, 

Marching all on a row, 
The first man was Allin a Dale, 
To give bold Robin his bow. 

22 ' This is thy true-love,' Robin he said, 

' Young Allin, as I hear say ; 
And you shall be married at this same time, 
Before we depart away.' 

23 ' That shall not be,' the bishop he said, 

' For thy word shall not stand ; 
They shall be three times askt in the church, 
As the law is of our land.' 

24 Robin Hood pulld off the bishops coat, 

And put it upon Little John ; 
' By the faith of my body,' then Robin said, 
' This cloath doth make thee a man.' 

25 When Little John went into the quire, 

The people began for to laugh ; 
He askt them seven times in the church, 
Least three times should not be enough. 

26 ' Who gives me this maid,' then said Little 

John ; 

Quoth Robin, That do I, 
And he that doth take her from Allin a Dale 
Full dearly he shall her buy. 

27 And thus having ended this merry wedding, 

The bride lookt as fresh as a queen, 
And so they returnd to the merry green wood. 
Amongst the leaves so green. 

a. Robin Hood and Allin of Dale : Or, a pleasant 
relation how a young gentleman being in love 
with a young damsel, which was taken from 
him to be an old knight's bride, and how 
Robin Hood, pittying the young mans case, 
took her from the old knight, when they 

were going to be marryed, and restored her 
to her own true love again. 

Bold Robin Hood he did the young man right, 
And took the damsel from the doteiug knight. 



To a pleasant northern tune, or, Robin Hood 

in the green wood stood. 
With allowance. Printed for F. Cole, T. 

Vere, J. Wright and J. Clarke. (Coles, 

Vere and Wright, 1655-80, J. Clarke, 1650- 

82: Chappdl.) 
II 4 . Alllin. 18 1 . wealhty. 22 s . marrid. 

b. Title, etc., as in a. 

With allowance. Printed for Alex. Milbourn, 
in Green-Arbor-Court, in the Little-Old- 
Baily. (Alexander Milbourne 1670-97 : 

I 8 , tell you. 2*. he was aware. 

10 2 . she was from me tane. 

16 1 . dost thou here. 16' 2 . unto. 18". like the. 

19 1 . not a fit : qd. 25 2 . for ivanting. 

26 1 . then wanting. 26 s . And wanting. 

27 1 . having ende of. 27 2 . lookt like a. 

c. Robin Hood and Allen a Dale : Or, the man 

ner of Robin Hood's rescuing a young lady 
from an old knight to whom she was going 
to be married, and restoring her to Allen a 
Dale, her former love. 

To the tune of Robin Hood in the green wood. 

No printer. Sold in Bow-Church-Yard, Lon 

1*. tell you. 2". aware. 4 s . spy. 

5 2 . quite for clean. 6' 2 . Midge far Nick. 

9 3 . these seven. 10 2 . she was from me taen. 

II 2 . any ivanting. 13 4 . for wanting. 

16 1 . do wanting: then for he. 

16 2 . unto me. 17 1 . then for he. 
18 4 . Who shone like the glittering. 
19 1 . not a fit. 19 4 . she -wanting. 
22 s . at the. 24 3 . Robin he. 

24*. This coat. 25 1 . to for into. 
25 2 . for ivanting. 26 1 . me ivanting : maid, 
says. 27 2 . bride she lookd like a. 



a. Wood, 402, leaf 14 b. b. Wood, 401, leaf 37 b. o. Garland of 1663, No 2. d. Garland of 1670, No 1. 

e. Pepys, II, 104, No 92. 

THIS piece occurs also in the Roxburghe 
Ballads, III, 270, 845, the Douce, III, 120, 
was among Heber's ballads (a copy by W. 
Onley), and is probably in all collections of 

a or b was printed by Ritson, Robin Hood, 
1795, II, 12. A copy in Evans's Old Ballads, 
1777, 1784, 1, 96, is later, and very like Douce, 
III, 120. 

When Robin Hood is but fifteen years of 
age, he falls in with fifteen foresters who are 
drinking together at Nottingham. They hear 
with scorn that he intends to take part in a 
shooting-match. He wagers with them that 
he will kill a hart at a hundred rod, and does 
this. They refuse to pay, and bid him begone 
if he would save his sides from a basting. 
Robin kills them all with his bow ; people 

come out from Nottingham to take him, but 
get very much hurt. Robin goes to the green 
wood ; the townsmen bury the foresters. 

This is evidently a comparatively late bal 
lad, but has not come down to us in its oldest 
form. The story is told to the following effect 
in the life of Robin Hood in Sloane MS. 715, 
7, fol. 157, written, as it seems, says Ritson, to 
wards the end of the sixteenth century. Robin 
Hood, going into a forest with a bow of ex 
traordinary strength, fell in with some rangers, 
or woodmen, who gibed at him for pretending 
to use a bow such as no man could shoot with. 
Robin said that he had two better, and that 
the one he had with him was only a "birding- 
bow"; nevertheless he would lay his head 
against a certain sum of money that he would 
kill a deer with it at a great distance. When 



the chance offered, one of the rangers sought 
to disconcert him by reminding him that he 
would lose his head if he missed his mark. 
Robin won the wager, and gave every man 
his money back except the one who had tried 
to fluster him. A quarrel followed, which 
ended with Robin's killing them all, and con 
sequently betaking himself to life in the woods. 
Thorns, Early Prose Romances, II, Robin 
Hood, 37 ff. 

Douce notes in his copy of Ritson's Robin 

Hood (Bodleian Library) the second stanza 
of this ballad as it is cited in the Duke of 
Newcastle's play, ' The Varietie ' : 

When Robin came to Nottingham, 

His dinner all for to dine, 
There met him fifteen jolly foresters, 

Were drinking ale and wine. 

Gutch's Robin Hood, II, 123. 

Translated by A. Griin, p. 61 ; Doenniges, 
p. 170. 

1 ROBIN HOOD hee was and a tall young man, 

Derry derry down 
And fifteen winters old, 

And Robin Hood he was a proper young man, 
Of courage stout and bold. 

Hey down derry derry down 

2 Robin Hood he would and to fair Nottingham, 

With the general for to dine ; 
There was he ware of fifteen forresters, 
And a drinking bear, ale, and wine. 

3 ' What news ? What news ? ' said bold Robin 


' What news, fain wouldest thou know ? 
Our king hath provided a shooting-match : ' 
' And I 'm ready with my bow.' 

4 ' We hold it in scorn,' then said the forresters, 

' That ever a boy so young 
Should bear a bow before our king, 
That 's not able to draw one string.' 

5 ' I 'le hold you twenty marks,' said bold Robin 


' By the leave of Our Lady, 
That I 'le hit a mark a hundred rod, 
And I 'le cause a hart to dye.' 

6 ' We '1 hold you twenty mark,' then said the 


' By the leave of Our Lady, 
Thou hitst not the marke a hundred rod, 
Nor causest a hart to dye.' 

7 Robin Hood he bent up a noble bow, 

And a broad arrow he let flye, 
He hit the mark a hundred rod, 
And he caused a hart to dy. 

8 Some said hee brake ribs one or two, 

And some said hee brake three ; 
The arrow within the hart would not abide, 
But it glanced in two or three. 

9 The hart did skip, and the hart did leap, 

And the hart lay on the ground ; 
' The wager is mine,' said bold Robin Hood, 
' If 't were for a thousand pound.' 

10 ' The wager 's none of thine,' then said the for 


' Although thou beest in haste ; 
Take up thy bow, and get thee hence, 
Lest wee thy sides do baste.' 

11 Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow, 

And his broad arrows all amain, 
And Robin Hood he laught, and begun to smile, 
As hee went over the plain. 

12 Then Robin Hood hee bent his noble bow, 

And his broad arrows he let flye, 
Till fourteen of these fifteen forresters 
Vpon the ground did lye. 

13 He that did this quarrel first begin 

Went tripping over the plain ; 
But Robin Hood he bent his noble bow, 
And hee fetcht him back again. 

14 ' You said I was no archer,' said Robin Hood, 

' But say so now again ; ' 
With that he sent another arrow 
That split his head in twain. 

15 ' You have found mee an archer,' saith Robin 

' Which will make your wives for to wring, 



And wish that you had never spoke the word, 
That I could not draw one string.' 

16 The people that lived in fair Nottingham 

Came runing out amain, 
Supposing to have taken bold Robin Hood, 
With the forresters that were slain. 

17 Some lost legs, and some lost arms, 

And some did lose their blood, 

But Robin Hood hee took up his noble bow, 
And is gone to the merry green wood. 

18 They carryed these forresters into fair Not 

As many there did know ; 
They digd them graves in their church-yard. 
And they buried them all a row. 

a, b. Robin Hoods Progresse to Nottingham, 

Where hee met with fifteen forresters, all on a 

And hee desired of them some news for to 

But with crosse graind words they did him 

For which at last hee made them smart. 

To the tune of Bold Robin Hood. 

a. London, Printed for Fran. Grove. And en- 

tred according to order. (1620-55 : Chap- 

b. London, Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and 

J. Wright. (1655-80 : Chappell.) 
3. Commonly punctuated as if spoken entirely 
by Robin. There ivould certainly be an 
antecedent probability against three speeches 
in one stanza, in an older ballad. 
C, d. Robin Hoods Progress to Notingham, where 

he slew fifteen Forresters. To the tune of 
Bold Robin Hood. 

c. 6 3 . an. 7 3 . a mark. lo 3 . spake. 

d. 7 3 . an hundred. II 3 . began. 12 s . of the. 

14 2 . say you so. 

14 3 . he another arrnw let fly. 18 1 . to fair. 

e. Title as in a, b, above, with these variations 

in the verse : 

2, news to. 3, And with. 4. them for to. 
Printed for J. Clarke. W. Thackeray, and T. 

Passenger. (1670-82 ?) 
I 1 , and wanting. 2 1 . would unto. 
2 s . aware. 4 1 . scorn said bold R. Hood. 
5 3 . the mark an. 5 4 , 7 4 . one hart. 
6 1 . marks. 6 3 . That thou : an. 7 s . an. 
8 2 . some say. 8 s . in /or within. 
II 2 . all wanting. II 3 . began. 
14*. Which split, lo 1 . said. 
15 2 . for wanting. 15 3 . wish you ne'r had. 
17 3 . R. Hood he bent. 18 3 . yards. 
18 4 . all on a row. 


A. Percy MS., p. 5 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 13 ; 
Jamieson's Popular Ballads, II, 49. 

B. a. ' Robin Hood rescuing the Widow's Three Sons 
from the Sheriff, when going to be executed,' The 
English Archer, York, N. Nickson, n. d. b. The 
English Archer, Paisley, John Neilson, 1786. c. 
Adventures of ... Robin Hood, Falkirk, T. John 
ston, 1808. All in the Bodleian Library, Douce, 
F.F. 71. 

TOL. in. 23 

C. ' Robin Hood rescuing the Three Squires from Not 
tingham Gallows.' a. Robin Hood's Garland, Lon 
don, Printed by W. & C. Dicey, n. d. b. R. H.'s 
Garland, London, L. How, in Peticoat Lane, n. d. 
c. R. H.'s Garland, York, T. Wilson and R. Spence, 
n. d. d. R. H.'s Garland, Preston, W. Sergent, 
n. d. e. R. H.'s Garland, London, J. Marshall & 
Co., n. d. f. R. H.'s Garland, Wolverhampton, J. 
Smart, n. d. a-d, Douce, FF. 71, f, Douce, Add. 
262, Bodleian Library. 



B is given by Ritson, Robin Hood, 1795, 
II, 151, " from the York edition of Robin 
Hood's garland;" C, the same, II, 216, from 
an Aldermary Churchyard garland, and by 
Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 215. 

B. Robin Hood, while on his way to Not 
tingham, meets an old woman who is weep 
ing for three squires condemned to die that 
day, not for recognized crimes, but for killing 
the king's deer. These seem to be his own 
men : st. 6. Pursuing his way, he meets an 
old " palmer," really a beggar, who confirms 
the bad news. He changes clothes with the 
palmer (who at first thinks the proposal a 
mock), and at Nottingham comes upon the 
sheriff, and asks what he will give an old fel 
low to be his hangman. The sheriff offers 
suits and pence ; Robin says, hangmen be 
cursed, he will never take to that business. 
He has a horn in his pocket which would 
blow the sheriff little good ; the sheriff bids 
him blow his fill. The first blast brings a 
hundred and fifty of Robin's men ; the sec 
ond brings three score more. They free their 
own men and hang the sheriff. 

In C the three squires are expressly said to 
be the woman's sons ; * for the palmer we 
have a beggar ; Robin asks it as a boon that 
he may be hangman, and will have nothing 
for his service but three blasts on his horn, 
' that their souls to heaven may flee.' The 
horn brings a hundred and ten men, and the 
sheriff surrenders the three squires. 

In the fragment A, Robin changes clothes 
with an old man, who appears by stanza 11 
to be a beggar. His men are with him mean 
while, and he orders them to conceal them 
selves in a wood until they hear his horn. A 
blast brings three hundred of them ; Robin 
casts off his beggar's gear and stands in his 
red velvet doublet ; f his men bend their bows 
and beset the gallows. The sheriff throws 
up his hands and begs for terms ; Robin de 
mands the three squires. The sheriff objects, 
for they are the king's felons ; Robin will 

have them, or the sheriff shall be the first 
man to flower the tree. 

' Robin Hood and the Beggar,' No 133, 
from stanza 16, is another version of this bal 
lad. Robin changes clothes with a beggar, 
after a hard fight in which he has had the 
worse, goes to Nottingham, and hears that 
three brothers are condemned to die. He hies 
to the sheriff to plead for them ; a gentleman 
at the door tells him they must be hanged for 
deer-stealing clearly proved. At the gallows 
Robin blows his horn ; a hundred archers pre 
sent themselves, and ask his will. He com 
mands them to shoot east and west and spare 
no man. The sheriff and his men, all that 
are not laid low, fly, and the three brothers, 
who have already shown their quality, are 
added to Robin's company. 

A Scottish version of B, derived from the 
English, is given in an appendix. It occurs 
in Kinloch MSS, V, 288, and may be as old 
as the York garland used by Ritson, or older. 

Ritson was informed by his friend Edward 
Williams, the Welsh bard, that C and its 
tune were well known in South Wales by the 
name of Marchog Glas, or Green Knight. As 
to the tune, says Dr Rimbault, it is not to be 
found in the collections of Welsh airs, nor 
was his friend John Parry, then representing 
the Welsh bards, able to give any account of 
it. Nothing further is said by Rimbault, 
either way, of the ballad. 

B 6, in which Robin reminds the old woman 
that she had once given him to sup and dine, 
implicitly as a reason for his exerting him 
self in behalf of the three squires (who, ac 
cording to the title of the ballad, but not the 
text, are her three sons), looks like a reminis 
cence of st. 9 of R. H. and the Bishop, No 143, 
where an old woman shows her gratitude to 
Robin Hood for having given her shoes and hose, 
and may not originally have belonged here.J 

B 1, A 9 1 - 2 , II 3 - 4 , B 25, 28 1 - 2 are almost re 
petitions of Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar, 
A 1, A 4 3 -*, 12 3 -*, B 26, 284 

* A verse in the passage from Drayton's Polyolbion, scarlet red again in No. 141, st. 6 and in No 145, st. 18, his 

Song xxvi, cited by Ritson, I, viii of Robin Hood, 1795, men being in green. 

may refer to this version of the ballad: "The widow in { Fricke has observed this, pp 59, 69, and at p. 58 the 

distress he graciously rclievd." resemblance to Wallace. 

t In st. 2 Robin is in his proper Lincoln green. He wears 



The rescue in the ballad is introduced into 
Anthony Munday's play of The Downfall of 
Robert Earl of Huntington, Act II, Scene 2. 
Scarlet and Scathlock, sons of Widow Scarlet, 
are to be hanged. Friar Tuck attends them 
as confessor. Robin Hood, disguised as an 
old man, pretends that they have killed his 
son, and asks the sheriff that they may be 
delivered to him for revenge. The sheriff 
allows them to be unbound. Robin, for a 
feigned reason, blows his horn ; Little John 
and Much come in and begin a fight ; Friar 
Tuck, pretending to help the sheriff, knocks 
down his men ; the sheriff and his men run 
away. (Dodsley's Old Plays, ed. Hazlitt, 
VIII, 134-41.) 

Ritson, Robin Hood, 1832, II, 155, suggests 
that the circumstance of Robin's changing 
clothes with the palmer may possibly be 
taken from " the noble history of Ponthus of 
Galyce," printed by Wynkyn de Worde, 1511, 
and cites this passage, which resembles the 
narrative in B 8, 10, 11 : " And as he [Pon 
thus] rode, he met with a poore palmer, beg- 
gynge his brede, the whiche had his gowne 
all to-clouted and an olde pylled hatte : so 
he alyght, and sayd to the palmer, f rende, we 
shall make a chaunge of all our garmentes, 

for ye shall have my gowne and I shall have 
yours and your hatte. A, syr, sayd the palmer, 
ye bourde you with me. In good fayth, sayd 
Ponthus, I do not ; so he dyspoyled hym and 
cladde hym with all his rayment, and he put 
vpon hym the poore mannes gowne, his gyr- 
dell, his hosyn, his shone, his hatte and his 

This noble history is taken from one in 
French which is merely the romance of Horn 
turned into prose, and it is also possible that 
the passage in the English ballad may be de 
rived from some version of Hind Horn : see 
No 17. 

Wallace changes clothes with a beggar in 
' Gude Wallace,' No 157, F, G, where there is 
a general likeness to this ballad of Robin 
Hood. It may be noted that Wulric the 
Heron, one of the comrades of Hereward, res 
cues four brothers who were about to be 
hanged, killing some of their common ene 
mies: Michel, Chroniques Anglo-Normandes, 
II, 51. 

B is translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 135, 
Doenniges, p. 135, Knortz L. u. R. Alteng- 
lands, No 19; combined with C, by Talvj, 
Charakteristik, p. 489. 

In faith thou shal[t] haue mine, 
And twenty pound in thy purse, 
To spend att ale and wine.' 

2 ' Though yowr clothes are of light Lincolne 


And mine gray russett and tome, 
Yet it doth not you beseeme 
To doe an old man scorne.' 

3 ' I scorne thee not, old man,' says Robin, 

' By the faith of my body ; 
Doe of thy clothes, thou shall haue mine, 
For it may noe better bee.' 

' When I looke on my leggs,' said Robin, 
' Then for to laugh I list.' 

5 But Robin did on the old mans shooes, 

And the were cliitt full cleane ; 
Now, by my faith,' sayes Litle lolm, 
' These are good for thornes keene.' 

6 But Robin did on the old mans cloake. 

And it was torne in the necke ; 
' Now, by my faith,' said William Scarlett, 
' Heere shold be set a specke.' 

7 But Robin did on this old mans hood, 

Itt gogled on his crowne ; 
' When I come into Nottingham,' said Robin, 
' My hood it will lightly downe. 

4 But Robin did on this old mans hose, 
The were torne in the wrist ; 

8 ' But yonder is an outsvood,' said Robin, 
' An outwood all and a shade, 



And thither I reede you, my merrymen all, 
The ready way to take. 

9 ' And when you heare my litle home blow, 
Come raking all on a rowte 

10 But Robin he lope, and Robin he threw, 

He lope over stocke and stone ; 
But those that saw Robin Hood run 
Said he was a liuer old man. 

11 [Then Robin set his] home to his mowth, 

A loud blast cold h[e] blow ; 

Ffull three hundred bold yeomen 

Came raldnge all on a row. 

12 But Robin cast downe his baggs of bread, 

Soe did he his staffe with a face, 
And in a doublet of red veluett 
This yeoman stood in his place. 

13 ' But bend yowr bowes, and stroke yowr strings, 

Set the gallow-tree aboute, 

And Christs cursse on his heart,' said Robin, 
' That spares the sheriffe and the sergiant ! ' 

14 When the sheriffe see gentle Robin wold 


He held vp both his hands ; 
Sayes, Aske, good Robin, and thou shalt haue, 
Whether it be house or land. 

15 ' I will neither haue house nor land,' said 


' Nor gold, nor none of thy ffee, 
But I will haue those three squires 
To the greene fforest with me. 

16 ' Now marry, Gods forbott,' said the sheriffe, 

' That euer that shold bee ; 
For why, they be the kings ffelons, 
They are all condemned to dye.' 

17 ' But grant me my askinge,' said Robin, 

' Or by the faith of my body 
Thou shalt be the first man 
Shall flower this gallow-tree.' 

18 ' But I wi[ll haue t]hose three squires 

a. The English Archer, Robin Hood's Garland, York, 
N. NicksoD, n. d., p. 65. b. The English Archer, etc., Pais 
ley, John Neilson, 1786. c. Adventures of Robin Hood, 
Falkirk, T. Johnston, 1808. 

1 THERE are twelve months in all the year, 

As I hear many men say, 
But the merriest month in all the year 
Is the merry month of May. 

2 Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 

With a link a down and a day, 
And there he met a silly old woman, 
Was weeping on the way. 

3 ' What news ? what news, thou silly old woman ? 

What news hast thou for me ? ' 
Said she, There 's three squires in Nottingham 

To-day is condemned to die. 

4 ' have they parishes burnt ? ' he said, 

' Or have they ministers slain ? 

Or have they robbed any virgin, 

Or with other men's wives have lain ? ' 

5 ' They have no parishes burnt, good sir, 

Nor yet have ministers slain, 
Nor have they robbed any virgin, 

Nor with other men's wives have lain.' 

6 ' what have tliey done ? ' said bold Robin 


' I pray thee tell to me : ' 
' It 's for slaying of the king's fallow deer, 
Bearing their long bows with thee.' 

7 ' Dost thou not mind, old woman,' he said, 

' Since thou made me sup and dine ? 
By the truth of my body,' quoth bold Robin 

' You could not tell it in better time.' 

8 Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 

With a link a down and a day, 
And there he met with a silly old palmer, 
Was walking along the highway. 



9 ' What news ? what news, thou silly old man ? 

What news, I do thee pray ? ' 
Said he, Three squires in Nottingham town 
Are condemnd to die this day. 

10 ' Come change thy apparel with me, old man, 

Come change thy apparel for mine ; 
Here is forty shillings in good silver, 
Go drink it in beer or wine.' 

11 ' O thine apparel is good,' he said, 

' And mine is ragged and torn ; 
Whereever you go, wherever you ride, 
Laugh neer an old man to scorn.' 

12 ' Come change thy apparel with me, old churl, 

Come change thy apparel with mine ; 
Here are twenty pieces of good broad gold, 
Go feast thy brethren with wine.' 

13 Then he put on the old man's hat, 

It stood full high on the crown : 
' The first bold bargain that I come at, 
It shall make thee come down.' 

14 Then he put on the old man's cloak, 

Was patchd black, blew, and red ; 
He thought no shame all the day long 
To wear the bags of bread. 

15 Then he put on the old man's breeks, 

Was patchd from ballup to side ; 
' By the truth of my body,' bold Robin can say, 
' This man lovd little pride.' 

16 Then he put on the old man's hose, 

Were patchd from knee to wrist ; 
' By the truth of my body,' said bold Robin 

' I 'd laugh if I had any list.' 

17 Then he put on the old man's shoes, 

Were patchd both beneath and aboon ; 
Then Robin Hood swore a solemn oath, 
It 's good habit that makes a man. 

18 Now Robin Hood is to Nottingham gone, 

With a link a down and a down, 
And there he met with the proud sheriff, 
Was walking along the town. 

19 ' O save, O save, O sheriff,' he said, 

' O save, and you may see ! 

And what will you give to a silly old man 
To-day will your hangman be ? ' 

20 ' Some suits, some suits,' the sheriff he said, 

' Some suits I '11 give to thee ; 
Some suits, some suits, and pence thirteen 
To-day 's a hangman's fee.' 

21 Then Robin he turns him round about, 

And jumps from stock to stone ; 
'By the truth of my body,' the sheriff he 

'That 's well jumpt, thou nimble old man.' 

22 ' I was neer a hangman in all my life, 

Nor yet intends to trade ; 
But curst be he,' said bold Robin, 
' That first a hangman was made. 

23 ' I 've a bag for meal, and a bag for malt, 

And a bag for barley and corn ; 
A bag for bread, and a bag for beef, 
And a bag for my little small horn. 

24 ' I have a horn in my pocket, 

I got it from Robin Hood, 
And still when I set it to my mouth, 
For thee it blows little good.' 

25 ' wind thy horn, thou proud fellow, 

Of thee I have no doubt ; 
I wish that thou give such a blast 
Till both thy eyes fall out.' 

26 The first loud blast that he did blow, 

He blew both loud and shrill ; 
A hundred and fifty of Robin Hood's men 
Came riding over the hill. 

27 The next loud blast that he did give, 

He blew both loud and amain, 
And quickly sixty of Robin Hood's men 
Came shining over the plain. 

28 ' who are yon,' the sheriff he said, 

' Come tripping over the lee ? ' 
' The 're my attendants,' brave Robin did say, 
' They '11 pay a visit to thee.' 

29 They took the gallows from the slack, 

They set it in the glen, 
They hangd the proud sheriff on that, 
Releasd their own three men. 




Robin Hood's Garland, a. London, printed by W. & C. 
Dicey, in St. Mary Aldermary Church Yard, Bow Lane, 
Cheapside, and sold at the Warehouse at Northampton, n. d. : 
p. 74, No 24. b. London, printed by L. How, in Peticoat 
Lane, n. d. : p. 23. c. York, T. Wilson and R. Spence, 
n. d. : p. 27. d. Preston, W. Sergent, n. d. : p. 62. e. Lon 
don, printed and sold by J. Marshall & Co., Aldermary 
Church Yard, Bow Lane, n. d. : No 24. f. Wolverhamp- 
ton, printed and sold by J. Smart, n. d. 

1 BOLD Robin Hood ranging the forest all round, 

The forest all round ranged he ; 
O there did he meet with a gay lady, 
She came weeping along the highway. 

2 ' Why weep you, why weep you ? ' bold Robin 

he said, 

1 "What, weep you for gold or fee ? 

Or do you weep for your maidenhead, 

That is taken from your body ? ' 

3 ' I weep not for gold,' the lady replyed, 

' Neither do I weep for fee ; 
Nor do I weep for my maidenhead. 
That is taken from my body.' 

4 ' What weep you for then ? ' said jolly Robin, 

' I prithee come tell unto me ; ' 
' Oh ! I do weep for my three sons, 
For they are all condemned to die.' 

5 ' What church have they robbed ? ' said jolly 


' Or parish-priest have they slain ? 
What maids have they forced against their 

Or with other men's wives have lain ? ' 

6 ' No church have they robbd,' this lady replied, 

' Nor parish-priest have they slain ; 
No maids have they forc'd against their will, 
Nor with other men's wives have lain.' 

7 ' What have they done then ? ' said jolly Robin, 

' Come tell me most speedily : ' 
' Oh ! it is for killing the king's fallow deer, 
And they are all condemned to die.' 

8 ' Get you home, get you home,' said jolly 


' Get you home most speedily, 
And I will unto fair Nottingham go, 
For the sake of the squires all three.' 

9 Then bold Robin Hood for Nottingham goes, 

For Nottingham town goes he, 
O there did he meet with a poor beggar-man, 
He came creeping along the highway. 

10 ' What news, what news, thou old beggar-man ? 

What news, come tell unto me : ' 
' O there is weeping and wailing in fair Not-- 

For the death of the squires all three.' 

11 This beggar-man had a coat on his back, 

'T was neither green, yellow, nor red ; 
Bold Robin Hood thought 't was no disgrace 
To be in a beggar-man's stead. 

12 ' Come, pull off thy coat, you old beggar-man, 

And you shall put on mine ; 
And forty good shillings I '11 give thee to boot, 
Besides brandy, good beer, ale and wine.' 

13 Bold Robin Hood then unto Nottingham came, 

Unto Nottingham town came he ; 
O there did he meet with great master sheriff, 
And likewise the squires all three. 

14 ' One boon, one boon,' says jolly Robin, 

' One boon I beg on my knee ; 
That, as for the deaths of these three squires, 
Their hangman I may be.' 

15 ' Soon granted, soon granted,' says great mas 

ter sheriff, 

' Soon granted unto thee ; 
And you shall have all their gay cloathing, 
Aye, and all their white money.' 

16 ' O I will have none of their gay cloathing, 

Nor none of their white money, 
But I '11 have three blasts on my bugle-horn, 
That their souls to heaven may flee.' 

17 Then Robin Hood mounted the gallows so high, 

Where he blew loud and shrill, 
Till an hundred and ten of Robin Hood's 

They came marching all down the green hill. 

18 ' Whose men are they all these ? ' says great 

master sheriff, 

' Whose men are they ? tell unto me : ' 
' O they are mine, but none of thine, 

And they 're come for the squires all three.' 



19 ' O take them, O take them,' says great master 

' O take them along with thee ; 

For there 's never a man in all Nottingham 
Can do the like of thee.' 

A. 1". 20!. 

5 2 . Only one of the i's is dotted in cliit : Fur- 


6*. said w m . 9 2 . luilf a page wanting. 
10 follows 12. 11 s . 3001. 
15 s , 18 1 . 3. 17 2 . or be me. 

18 1 . half a page wanting. 

B. a. 3 s . Knews. 4 1 , 6 l , II 1 , 19 1 ' 2 , 25 1 , 28 1 . Oh. 

8 2 . and a down a. 

12 1 . chur. 15 1 . Teen. 16 2 . Where. 
17 4 . Itts. 24 4 . For me. 28 1 . are you. 

b. Robin Hood rescu'd the Widow's three Sons 

from the Sheriff when going to be hanged. 

c. How Robin Hood rescued, etc., ... to be 


b, c. 2 1 . Hood wanting. 2 2 . a down down. 
2 s . met with. 2 4 . along the highway. 
3*. to me. 3 4 . To-day are. 
o 2 . Nor have they. 
6 3 . 'T is for. 7 3 . quoth wanting. 
8 1 . Robin he is. 8 2 . a down down and a day. 

8 3 . old wanting. 9 1 . silly palmer. 
10 2 . with for for. 10 3 . of for in. 
10 4 . beer and good wine. 

12 1 . churl. 14 3 . not for no. 

14 4 . the poor bags. 15 1 . Then. 

15 2 . Were for Was. 15 s . did say. 

16 2 , 17 2 . Were wanting. 17 2 . both wanting. 

17 4 . 'T is. 18 1 . Robin is unto. 

18 2 . a down down and a day. 

18 4 . the highway. 19 2 . you may you [may 

you ?]. 

19 4 . That to-day. 20 4 . day is. 
21 2 . stone to stone. 22 1 . never : in wanting. 
23 2 . And wanting. 24 1 . a small horn now in. 
24 2 . '^wanting. 24 4 . For thee. 25 4 . fly out. 
26 3 . An : Robin's men. 27 3 . Robin's men. 
28 1 . are you. 28 2 . Comes. 28 3 . bold Robin. 
29 4 . And released. 

b. 18 8 . with wanting. 20 2 . unto thee. 
20 s . pence fourteen. 

c. 6 2 . unto me. 7 2 . mad'st. 15 1 . poorybr old. 
20 1 . suits and pence fourteen. 20 2 ' 3 . wanting. 
21 1 . turnd. 21 2 . jumpd. 22 2 . the trade. 
24. I put 25 s . gave. 29 a . let for set 

C. a. The Garland is not earlier, and probably not 
much later, than 1753, " The Arguments . . . 
in the . . . affair of Eliz. Canning . . . robbed 
... in Jan 7 , 1753," occurring in advertise 
ments printed therewith. 
16 1 . of ther. 

b. 5 4 . have they. 6 4 . have they. II 4 . in the. 
12 4 . beside. 16". buglee. 17 2 . blew both. 
18". are all. 19 4 . That can. 

c. I 1 , ranged. 3 1 . this lady. 4 4 . all wanting. 
5 4 . have they. 6 s . they have. 6 4 . have they. 
7 s . it 's all. 7 4 . they 're. 8". will then to. 
9 1 . bold wanting : to for for. II 2 . It was. 
II 2 . or red. 11'. it was. II 4 . in the. 

12 1 . thou old. 12 s . give you. 13 1 . then to. 
13". And there. 13 4 . Aye and. 
14 2 . upon my. 14 s . the three. 

15 1 . great wanting. 

15 2 . Soon grant it I will unto thee. 

15 4 . Aye wanting. 16 1 . I '11. 16 s . of my. 
17 2 . blew both. 17*. They wanting. 
18". are all. 19 4 . That can. 

d. 1 s . he did. 3 2 . I wanting. 6 2 . No. 

7 2 . Come tell unto me speedily. 8 s . will for. 

10 s . there 's : fair wanting. II 4 . in the. 

12 1 . thou old. 12 2 . thou shalt. 

15 1 . great wanting. 17 1 . When. 

17'. Hood's wanting. 

17 4 . They wanting : all wanting. 

18 1 . all wanting : great wanting. 

18 4 . And are. 19 s . in fair. 

e. 5 4 . have they. 6 4 . have they. 

10 s . there 's : fair wanting. II 4 . in the. 

12 1 . thou old. 12 2 . thou shalt. 14*. death. 

15 1 . great wanting. 17 1 . When. 

17 4 . They wanting : all wanting. 

18 1 . are they : great wanting. 18 2 . come tell. 

18 4 . And are. 19. in fair. 

f. 5 4 . have they. 6 4 . have they. 7 4 . they 're. 
10 3 . there 's : fair wanting. II 4 . in the. 
12 1 . thou old. 12 2 . thou shalt. 14 s . death. 
15 1 . great wanting. 17 1 . When. 

17 4 . They wanting : all wanting. 

18 1 . are they : great wanting. 18 3 . come tell. 

18 4 . And are come. 19 8 . in fair. 





Kinloch MSS, V, 288, in Kinloch's handwriting. 

1 ROBIN HOOD 's to Nottinghame gane, 

Wi a linkie down and a day, 
And there lie met wi an auld woman, 
Coming weeping alang the highway. 

2 ' Weep ye for any of my gold, auld woman? 

Or weep ye for my fee? 
Or weep ye for any warld's gear 
This day I can grant to thee ? ' 

3 ' I weep not for your gold, kind sir, 

I weep not for your fee ; 
But I weep for my three braw sons, 
This day condemned to die.' 

4 ' O have they parishes burned ? ' he said, 

' Or have they ministers slain V 
Or have they forced maidens against their will? 
Or wi other men's wives hae they lain? ' 

5 ' They have not parishes burned, kind sir, 

They have not ministers slain ; 
They noer forced a maid against her will, 
Nor wi no man's wife hae they lain.' 

6 ' O what hae they done then ? ' quo Robin Hood, 

' I pray thee tell unto me : ' 
' O they killed the king's fallow deer, 
And this day are condemned to die.' 

7 ' O have you mind, old mother,' he said, 

' Since you made my merry men to dine ? 
And for to repay it back unto thee 
Is come in a very good time.' 

8 Sac Robin Hood 's to Nottinghame gane, 

With a linkie down and a day, 
And there he met an old beggar man, 
Coming creeping along the high way. 

9 ' What news, what news, old father? ' he said, 

' What news hast them for me? ' 
' There 's three merry men,' quo the poor auld man, 
' This day condemned to die.' 

10 ' Will you change your apparel wi me, old father? 

Will you change your apparel for mine? 
And twenty broad shillings I '11 gie ye to the boot, 
To drink gude beer or wine.' 

1 1 ' Thine is of the scarlet fine, 

And mine is baith ragged and torn ; 
Sae never let a young supple youth 
Laugh a gude auld man to scorn.' 

12 ' Change your apparel wi me, old churl, 

And quickly change it for mine, 
And thirty broad shillings I '11 gie to the boot, 
To drink gude beer or wine.' 

13 When Robin put on the auld man's hat, 

It was weary high in the crown ; 
' By the hand of my body,' quo Robin Hood, 
' I am lang whan I loot down.' 

14 Whan Robin put on the auld man's cloak, 

There was mony a pock therein ; 
A pock for meal, and a pock for maut, 

And a pock for groats and corn, 
And a little wee pockie that hung by his side 

That he put in his bugle-horn. 

15 Sae Robin Hood 's [to] Nottinghame gane, 

Wi a linkie down and a day. 
And there he met wi the high sheriff, 
Coming riding alang the high way. 

16 ' O save you, O save you, high sheriff,' he 


' And weel saved mote you be ! 
And what will you gie to the silly auld man 
Your hangman for to be ? ' 

17 ' Thirteen pence,' the sheriff replied, 

' That is the hangman's fee, 
But an the claiths of the three young men 
This day condemned to die.' 

18 ' I never hanged a man in a' my life, 

And intend not to begin ; 
But ever I hang a man in my life, 
High sheriff, thou 's be the ane. 

19 ' But I have a horn in my pocket, 

I gat it frae Robin Hood, 
And gif I tak out my little horn, 
For thee it will no blaw gude.' 

20 'Blaw, blaw, bauld beggar,' he said, 

' Blaw, and fear nae doubt ; 
I wish you may gie sic a blast 
Till your eyne loup out.' 

21 Then Robin he gave a skip, 

And he skipped frae a stick till a stane ; 
' By the hand of my body,' quo the high sheriff, 
' You are a supple auld man.' 



22 Then Robin set his horn to his mouth, 

And he blew baith loud and shrill, 
Till sixty- four of bold Robin's men 
Cam marching down the green hill. 

23 ' What men are these,' quo the high sheriff, 

' That conies sae merrily? ' 
' They are my men,' quo Robin Hood, 
' And they '11 pay a visit to thee.' 

24 They tack the gallows out of the glen, 

And they set it in a slap ; 
They hanged the sheriff upon it, 
And his best men at his back. 

25 They took the gallows out o the slap, 

And they set [it] back in the glen, 
And they hanged the sheriff upon it, 
Let the three young men gae hame. 



a. Wood, 401, leaf 35 b. 

b. Garland of 1663, No 7. 

c. Garland of 1670, No 6. 

d. Pepys, H, 106, No 93. 

THIS ballad probably occurs in all the 
larger collections of broadsides. It was given 
in Old Ballads, 1723, I, 90. a is printed by 
Ritson, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 102. Evans, 
Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 164, follows an 
Aldermary copy. 

Robin Hood learns that Will Stutly has 
been captured and is to be hanged the next 
day. Robin and his men go to the rescue, 
and ask information of a palmer who is stand 
ing under the wall of the castle in which 
Stutly is confined ; the palmer confirms the 
news. Stutly is brought out by the sheriff, 
of whom he asks to have a sword and die in 
fight, not on the tree. This refused, he asks 

only to have his hands loosed. The sheriff 
again refuses ; he shall die on the gallows. 
Little John comes out from behind a bush, 
cuts Stutly's bonds, and gives him a sword 
twitched by John from one of the sheriff's 
men. An arrow shot by Robin Hood puts 
the sheriff to flight, and his men follow. 
Stutly rejoices that he may go back to the 

This is a ballad made for print, with little 
of the traditional in the matter and nothing 
in the style. It may be considered as an 
imitation of The Rescue of the Three Squires, 
whence the ambush in st. 9 and the palmer 
' fair ' in 10. 

1 WHEN Eobin Hood in the green-wood livd, 

Derry deny down 
Vnder the green-wood tree, 
Tidings there came to him with speed, 
Tidings for certainty, 

Hey down derry derry down 

2 That Will Stutly surprized was, 

And eke in prison lay ; 
Three varlets that the sheriff had hired 
Did likely him betray. 

3 I, and to-morrow hanged must be. 

To-morrow as soon as it is day ; 
But before they could this victory get, 
Two of them did Stutly slay. 

4 When Robin Hood he heard this news, 

Lord ! he was grieved sore, 
I, and unto his merry men [said], 
Who altogether swore, 



5 That Will Stutly should rescued be, 

And be brought safe again ; 
Or else should many a gallant wight 
For his sake there be slain. 

6 He cloathed himself in scarlet then, 

His men were all in green ; 
A finer show, throughout the world, 
In no place could be seen. 

7 Good lord ! it was a gallant sight 

To see them all on a row ; 
With every man a good broad sword, 
And eke a good yew bow. 

8 Forth of the green wood are they gone, 

Yea, all couragiously, 
Resolving to bring Stutly home, 
Or every man to die. 

9 And when they came the castle neer 

Whereas Will Stutly lay, 
' I hold it good,' saith Robin Hood, 
' Wee here in ambush stay, 

10 ' And send one forth some news to hear, 

To yonder palmer fair, 
That stands under the castle-wall ; 
Some news he may declare.' 

11 With that steps forth a brave young man, 

Which was of courage bold ; 
Thus hee did say to the old man : 
I pray thee, palmer old, 

12 Tell me, if that thou rightly ken, 

When must Will Stutly die, 

Who is one of bold Robins men, 

And here doth prisoner lie ? 

13 ' Alack, alass,' the palmer said, 

' And for ever wo is me ! 
Will Stutly hanged must be this day, 
On yonder gallows-tree. 

14 ' O had his noble master known, 

Hee would some succour send ; 
A few of his bold yeomandree 

Full soon would fetch him hence.' 

15 ' I, that is true,' the young man said ; 

' I, that is true,' said hee ; 

' Or, if they were neer to this place, 
They soon would set him free. 

16 ' But fare thou well, thou good old man, 

Farewell, and thanks to thee ; 
If Stutly hanged be this day, 
Revengd his death will be.' 

17 He was no sooner from the palmer gone, 

But the gates was opened wide, 
And out of the castle Will Stutly came, 
Guarded on every side. 

18 When hee was forth from the castle coine, 

And saw no help was nigh, 
Thus he did say unto the sheriff, 
Thus he said gallantly : 

19 Now seeing that I needs must die, 

Grant me one boon, says he ; 
For my noble master nere had man 
That yet was hangd on the tree. 

20 Give me a sword all in my hand, 

And let mee be unbound, 
And with thee and thy men I 'le fight, 
Vntill I lie dead on the ground. 

21 But his desire he would not grant, 

His wishes were in vain ; 

For the sheriff had sworn he hanged should be, 
And not by the sword be slain. 

22 ' Do but unbind my hands,' he sales, 

' I will no weapons crave, 

And if I hanged be this day, 

Damnation let me have.' 

23 ' O no, O no,' the sheriff he said, 

' Thou shalt on the gallows die, 
I, and so shall thy master too, 
If ever in me it lie.' 

24 ' dastard coward ! ' Stutly cries, 

' Thou faint-heart pesant slave ! 
If ever my master do thee meet, 
Thou shalt thy paiment have. 

25 ' My noble master thee doth scorn, 

And all thy cowardly crew ; 
Such sil-ly imps unable are 
Bold Robin to subdue.' 



26 But when he was to the gallows come, 

And ready to bid adiew, 
Out of a bush leaps Little John, 
And steps Will Stutly to. 

27 ' I pray thee, Will, before thou die, 

Of thy dear friends take leave ; 

I needs must borrow him a while, 

How say you, master sheriff ? ' 

28 ' Now, as I live,' the sheriff he said, 

' That varlet will I know ; 

Some sturdy rebell is that same, 

Therefore let him not go.' 

29 With that Little John so hastily 

Away cut Stutly's bands, 
And from one of the sheriff his men, 
A sword twicht from his hands. 

30 ' Here, Will, here, take thou this same, 

Thou canst it better sway ; 
And here defend thy self a while, 
For aid will come straight way.' 

31 And there they turnd them back to back, 

In the middle of them that day, 
Till Robin Hood approached neer, 
With many an archer gay. 

32 With that an arrow by them flew, 

I wist from Eobin Hood ; 

' Make haste, make haste,' the sheriff he said, 
' Make haste, for it is good.' 

33 The sheriff is gone ; his doughty men 

Thought it no boot to stay, 
But, as their master had them taught, 
They run full fast away. 

34 ' O stay, O stay,' Will Stutly said, 

' Take leave ere you depart ; 
You nere will catch bold Robin Hood 
Vnless you dare him meet.' 

35 ' O ill betide you,' quoth Robin Hood, 

' That you so soon are gone ; 
My sword may in the scabbord rest, 
For here our work is done.' 

36 ' I little thought when I came here, 

When I came to this place, 
For to have met with Little John, 
Or seen my masters face.' 

37 Thus Stutly was at liberty set, 

And safe brought from his foe ; 
' thanks, O thanks to my master, 
Since here it was not so.' 

38 'And once again, my fellows, 

We shall in the green woods meet 
Where we will make our bow-strini 
Musick for us most sweet.' 

a. Robin Hood his rescuing Will Stutly from the 

sheriff and his men, who had taken him 

prisoner, and was going to hang him. 
To the tune of Robin Hood and Queen Kathe- 

London, Printed for F. Grove, on Snow-hill. 

Entred according to order. (1620-55 : 


25 1 . thou dost. 26 4 . too. 29 2 . Stutli's. 
33 1 . doubtless. 

b. Title as in a, except rescuing of : were going. 
4 8 . said wanting. 6 s . in all the. 

II 1 . steps out. 13 1 . Alas, alas. 

13*. yonders gallow. 14 2 . would soon. 

16 4 . shall be. 19 4 . the wanting. 

25 1 . thou dost. 26 4 . too. 

28 1 . he wanting. 33 1 . doubtless. 

c. Title as in a, except were going. 
1*. Tiding for certainly. 3 4 . stay. 

4 s . men said. 13 1 . Alass, alass. 
17 2 . was wanting. 24 2 . hearted. 
25 1 . thee dost. 26 4 . too. 29 2 . Stutli's. 
33 1 . doubtless. 36 2 . came hereto. 
d. Title as in a. 

Printed for J. Clarke, W. Thackeray, and T. 

Passenger. (1670-86 ?) 
I 1 , livd ivanting. 3 2 . as 'tis. 
4'. and to : men said. 5 2 . brought back. 
8 1 . they are. 9 s . said. 13 1 . Alas, alas. 
13". to day. 14 s . yeomanry. 
17 2 . gates were. 19 2 . said. 
19 4 . the wanting. 21 1 . But this. 
21". swore. 24 2 . hearted. 25 1 . thee doth. 
26 1 . gone/or come. 28 1 . he wanting. 
29 1 . And Little. 29". sheriffs. 
33 1 . doubtless. 35 1 . said for quoth. 
36 2 . came here. 





A. Percy MS., p. 20 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 47. 

B. 'Little John and the Four Beggers.' a. Wood, 

401, leaf 33 b. b. Garland of 1668, No 16. 
c. Garland of 1670, No 15. d. Pepys, II, 119, 
No 105. 

B is also in the Roxburghe collection, III, 

B a is printed in Ritson's Robin Hood, 
1795, II, 128. Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 
1784, I, 196 follows the Aldermary garland. 

A. Little John, meaning to go a begging, 
induces an old mendicant to change clothes 
with him and to give him some hints how to 
conduct himself. Thus prepared he attempts 
to attach himself to three palmers, who, how 
ever, do not covet his company. One of the 
palmers gives John a whack on the head. 
We may conjecture, from the course of the 
story in B, that John serves them all accord 
ingly, and takes from them so much money 
that, if he had kept on in this way, he might, 
as he says, have bought churches. 

The beginning of A is very like that of 

Robin Hood rescuing Three Squires, A ; but 
the disguise is for a different object. We 
are reminded again of Hind Horn, and par 
ticularly of versions C, G, H, in which the 
beggar, after change of clothes, is asked for 

B. John is deputed by Robin to go a beg 
ging, and asks to be provided with staff, coat, 
and bags. He joins four sham beggars, one 
of whom takes him a knock on the crown. 
John makes the dumb to speak and the halt 
to run, and bangs them against the wall, then 
gets from one's cloak three hundred pound, 
and from another's bag three hundred and 
three, which he thinks is doing well enough 
to warrant his return to Sherwood. 

B is translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 155. 

Percy MS., p. 20 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 47. 

beggar,' he sayes, 
'With none such fellows as thee.' 

2 ' I am not in iest,' said Litle lohn, 

' I sweare all by the roode ; 
Change with mee,' said Little lohn, 
' And I will giue thee some boote.' 

3 But he has gotten on this old mans gowne, 

It reacht not to his wrist ; 
' Christ's curse on 's hart,' said Litle lohn, 
' That thinkes my gowne amisse.' 

4 But he has gotten on this old mans shoes, 

Are clouted nine fold about ; 
' Beshrew his hart,' says Litle lohn, 
'That bryer or thorn e does doubt. 

5 ' Wilt teach me some phrase of thy begging ? ' 

says lohn ; 

' I pray thee, tell it mee, 

How I may be as beggar-like 

As any in my companie.' 

6 ' Thou must goe two foote on a staffe, 

The third vpon a tree ; 
Full loud that thou must cry and fare, 
When nothing ayleth thee.' 

7 But lohn he walket the hills soe high, 

Soe did [he] the hills soe browne ; 


The ready way that he cold take 
Was towards Nottingham towne. 

8 But as he was on the hills soe high, 

He mett with palmers three ; 
Sayes, God you saue, my brethren all, 
Now God you saue and see ! 

9 This seuen yeere I haue you sought ; 

Before I cold neuer you see ! 
Said they, Wee had leuer such a cankred carle 
Were neuer in our companie. 

10 But one of them tooke Litle lohn on his head, 

The blood ran over his eye ; 
Little John turned him twise about 

11 ' If I 

As I haue beene but one day, 
I shold haue purcchased three of the best 

That stands by any highway.' 


a. Wood, 401, leaf 33 b. b. Garland of 1663, No 16. 
C. Garland of 1670, No 15. d. Pepys, II, 119, No 105. 

1 ALL you that delight to spend some time 

With a hey down down a down down 
A merry song for to sing, 
Vnto me draw neer, and you shall hear 
How Little John went a begging. 

2 As Robin Hood walked the forrest along, 

And all his yeomandree, 

Sayes Robin, Some of you must a begging go, 
And, Little John, it must be thee. 

3 Sayes John, If I must a begging go, 

I will have a palmers weed, 
With a staff and a coat, and bags of all sort, 
The better then I shall speed. 

4 Come, give me now a bag for my bread, 

And another for my cheese, 
And one for a peny, when as I get any, 
That nothing I may leese. 

5 Now Little John he is a begging gone, 

Seeking for some relief ; 
But of ah 1 the beggers he met on the way, 
Little John he was the chief. 

6 But as he was walking himself alone, 

Four beggers he chanced to spy, 
Some deaf, and some blind, and some came 

behind ; 
Says John, Here 's brave company ! 

7 ' Good-morrow,' said John, ' my brethren dear, 

Good fortune I had you to see ; 

Which way do you go ? pray let me know, 
For I want some company. 

8 ' O what is here to do ? ' then said Little John, 

' Why rings all these bells ? ' said he ; 
' What dog is a hanging ? come, let us be 

That we the truth may see.' 

9 ' Here is no dog a hanging,' then one of them 


' Good fellow, we tell unto thee ; 
But here is one dead wil give us cheese and 

And it may be one single peny.' 

10 ' We have brethren in London,' another he said, 

' So have we in Coventry, 

In Barwick and Dover, and all the world over, 
But nere a crookt carril like thee. 

11 ' Therefore stand thee back, thou crooked carel, 

And take that knock on the crown ; ' 
' Nay,' said Little John, ' I 'le not yet be gone, 
For a bout will I have with you round. 

12 ' Now have at you all,' then said Little John, 

' If you be so full of your blows ; 

Fight on, all four, and nere give ore, 

Whether you be friends or foes.' 

13 John nipped the dumb, and made him to rore, 

And the blind that could not see, 
And he that a cripple had been seven years, 
He made him run faster then he. 

14 And flinging them all against the wall, 

With many a sturdie bang, 



It made John sing, to hear the gold ring. 
Which against the walls cryed twang. 

15 Then he got out of the beggers cloak 

Three hundred pound in gold ; 
' Good fortune had I,' then said Little John, 
' Such a good sight to behold.' 

16 But what found he in a beggers bag, 

But three hundred pound and three ? 
' If I drink water while this doth last, 
Then an ill death may I dye ! 

17 ' And my begging-trade I will now give ore, 

My fortune hath bin so good ; 
Therefore I 'le not stay, but I will away 
To the forrest of merry Sherwood.' 

18 And when to the forrest of Sherwood he came, 

He quickly there did see 
His master good, bold Robin Hood, 
And all his company. 

19 ' What news ? What news ? ' then said Robin 


' Come, Little John, tell unto me ; 
How hast thou sped with thy beggers trade ? 
For that I fain would see.' 

20 ' No news but good,' then said Little John, 

With begging ful wel I have sped ; 
Six hundred and three I have here for thee, 
In silver and gold so red.' 

21 Then Robin took Little John by the hand, 

And danced about the oak-tree : 
' If we drink water while this doth last, 
Then an il death may we die ! ' 

22 So to conclude my merry new song, 

All you that delight it to sing, 
'Tis of Robin Hood, that archer good, 
And how Little John went a begging. 

A. Half a page wanting at the beginning, and 

after 10 s . 3 2 . his crest. 
4 2 . 9. 6 1 . 2. 6 2 . 3?. 8 2 , 11 s . 3. 9 1 . 7. 
9 s . had neuer. 10 2 . him 2% 

B. a. Little John and the Four Beggers : A new 

merry song of Robin Hood and Little John, 
shewing how Little John went a begging, 
and how he fought with Four Beggers, and 
what a prize he got of the Four Beggers. 

The tune is, Robin Hood and the Begger. 

Printed for William Gilber[t]son. (1640-63.) 

13*. themybj 1 liim. 14 4 . Whih again. 

22 4 . beggiug. 

b. Title as in a. 

II 2 . on thy. II 4 . I will. 12 s . never. 
13 4 . made him. 14 4 . again. 
20 s . Three hundred. 

c. Title as in a, except: from these four Beg 

gers. To the tune of Robin Hood and the 

Burden : last down wanting. 

8 s . a wanting : let 's. 9 2 . I for we. 

10 1 . he wanting. 12 8 . never. 

13 4 . made him : than. 14 4 . against. 

19*. I fain would fain. 20 1 . then wanting. 

20 s . Three hundred. 22 2 . it wanting. 
d. Title as in a, except : Or, a new. To the 
tune of Robin Hood, &c. 

Printed for J. Wright, J. Clarke, W. Thack 
eray, and T. Passenger. (1670-86 ?) 

I 2 , for wanting. 3 s . sorts. 3 4 . then shall I. 

4 s . as wanting. 5 1 ' 4 . he wanting. 

7 1 . my children. 10 2 . in the Country. 

13 4 . made run then. 14 4 . against. 

16 1 . in the. 17 2 . it hath. 18 1 . But when. 

19". with the. 22". And you. 





'Robin Hood and the Bishop.' a. Wood, 401, leaf d. Pepys, II, 109, No 96. 

lib. e. Roxburghe, I, 362, in the Ballad Societys reprint, 

b. Garland of 1663, No 5. II, 448. 

c. Garland of 1670, No 4. 

ALSO Pepys, II, 122, No 107, by Alexander 
Milbourne (1670-97): Old Ballads, 1723, 
II, 39. 

a is printed in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, 
II, 19. Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, 
I, 102, apparently follows the Aldermary 
Churchyard garland. 

Robin Hood, while ranging the forest, sees 
a bishop and all his men coming, and, know 
ing that if he is taken no mercy will be given 
him, asks the help of an old woman, to whom 
he makes himself known. The old woman 
has had a kindness from him, and wishes to 
return it. She consents to exchange her gray 
coat and spindle for his green mantle and 
arrows, and Robin makes for his band in this 
disguise. The bishop carries off the old 
woman on a horse, making no doubt that he 
has Robin in custody, but, as he proceeds 
through the wood, sees a hundred bowmen, 
and asks his prisoner what this may be. I 
think it be Robin Hood, says the supposed 
outlaw. " And who are you ? " " Why, I 
am an old woman." The bishop turns about, 
but Robin stays him, ties him to a tree, takes 

five hundred pound from his portmantle, and 
then is willing he should go. But Little John 
will not let him off till he has sung a mass ; 
after which the bishop is mounted on his 
dapple-gray, with his face to the tail, and told 
to pray for Robin Hood. 

This ballad and the following are varia 
tions upon the theme of Robin Hood and the 
Monk, in the Gest. The disguise as a woman 
occurs in other outlaw stories ; as in Eustace 
the Monk, Michel, p. 43. Also in Blind 
Harry's Wallace, ed. Moir, Book I, 239, and 
Book IV, 764, pp 9, 72 : in the first case Wal 
lace has a rock and sits spinning. See also 
the ballad of Gude Wallace, further on. 

We hear again of the forced mass, st. 23, 
in Robin Hood and Queen Katherine, A 31, 
B 40 ; and of money borrowed against the 
bishop's will, in A 32 of the same. It is the 
Bishop of Hereford who suffers : see the bal 
lad which follows. 

Translated by Doenniges, p. 203 ; Anasta- 
sius Griin, p. 113. 

1 COME, gentlemen all, and listen a while, 

Hey down down an a down 
And a story I 'le to you unfold ; 
I 'le tell you how Eobin Hood served the 

When he robbed him of his gold. 

2 As it fell out on a sun-shining day, 

When Phebus was in his prime, 

Then Robin Hood, that archer good, 

In mirth would spend some time. 

3 And as he walkd the forrest along, 

Some pastime for to spy, 
There was he aware of a proud bishop, 
And all his company. 

4 ' what shall I do ? ' said Robin Hood then, 

' If the Bishop he doth take me, 
No mercy he '1 show unto me, I know, 
But hanged I shall be.' 



5 Then Robin was stout, and turnd him about, 

And a little house there he did spy ; 
And to an old wife, for to save his life, 
He loud began for to cry. 

6 ' Why, who art thou ? ' said the old woman, 

' Come tell it to me for good : ' 
' I am an out-law, as many do know, 
My name it is Robin Hood. 

7 ' And yonder 's the Bishop and all his men, 

And if that I taken be, 
Then day and night he '1 work me spight, 
And hanged I shall be.' 

8 ' If thou be Robin Hood,' said the old wife, 

' As thou dost seem to be, 
I 'le for thee provide, and thee I will hide 
From the Bishop and his company. 

9 ' For I well remember, one Saturday night 

Thou bought me both shoos and hose ; 
Therefore I 'le provide thy person to hide, 
And keep thee from thy foes.' 

10 ' Then give me soon thy coat of gray, 

And take thou my mantle of green ; 
Thy spindle and twine unto me resign, 
And take thou my arrows so keen.' 

11 And when that Robin Hood was so araid, 

He went straight to his company ; 
With his spindle and twine, he oft lookt be 
For the Bishop and his company. 

12 ' O who is yonder,' quoth Little John, 

' That now comes over the lee ? 
An arrow I will at her let file, 
So like an old witch looks she.' 

13 ' hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' said Robin 


' And shoot not thy arrows so keen ; 
I am Robin Hood, thy master good, 
And quickly it shall be seen.' 

14 The Bishop he came to the old womans house, 

And he called with furious mood, 
' Come let me soon see, and bring unto me, 
That traitor Robin Hood.' 

15 The old woman he set on a milk-white steed, 

Hiinselfe on a dapple-gray, 
And for joy he had got Robin Hood, 
He went laughing all the way. 

16 But as they were riding the forrest along, 

The Bishop he chanc'd for to see 
A hundred brave bow-men bold 
Stand under the green-wood tree. 

17 ' O who is yonder,' the Bishop then said, 

' That 's ranging within yonder wood ? ' 
' Marry,' says the old woman, ' I think it to be 
A man calld Robin Hood.' 

18 ' Why, wJio art thou,' the Bishop he said, 

' Which I have here with me ? ' 
'Why, I am an old woman, thou cuckoldly 

bishop ; 
Lift up my leg and see.' 

19 ' Then woe is me,' the Bishop he said, 

' That ever I saw this day ! ' 
He turnd him about, but Robin so stout 
Calld him, and bid him stay. 

20 Then Robin took hold of the Bishops horse, 

And ty'd him fast to a tree ; 
Then Little John smil'd his master upon, 
For joy of that company. 

21 Robin Hood took his mantle from 's back, 

And spread it upon the ground, 
And out of the Bishops portmantle he 
Soon told five hundred pound. 

22 ' So now let him go,' said Robin Hood ; 

Said Little John, That may not be ; 
For I vow and protest he shall sing us a 

Before that he goe from me. 

23 Then Robin Hood took the Bishop by the hand, 

And bound him fast to a tree, 
And made him sing a mass, God wot, 
To him and his yeomandree. 

24 And then they brought him through the wood, 

And set him on his dapple-gray, 
And gave the tail within his hand, 
And bade him for Robin Hood pray. 



a. Robin Hood and the Bishop : Shewing how 

Robin Hood went to an old womans house 
and changed cloaths with her, to scape 
from the Bishop ; and how he robbed the 
Bishop of all his gold, and made him sing 
a mass. To the tune of Robin Hood and 
the Stranger. 

London, Printed for F. Grove on Snow-Hill. 

Burden : sometimes With a hey, etc. ; With 
hey, etc. 

2 2 . her for his : cf. b, c. 

8 2 . doth : cf. b, C, d, e. 9 1 . on for one : cf. e. 

16 2 . chance. 

b. Title as in a. Burden : with the same varia 

tions as in a. 

2 2 . in his. 5 4 . for wanting. 8 1 . then said. 
8 2 . dost. 9 1 . on. 14 3 . soon wanting. 
16 2 . chanc'd. 17 1 . then wanting. 
17 2 . yonders. 18 s . cuckoldy. 19 1 . to me. 
19 3 . Robin Hood. 

c. Title as in a. Burden : always With a hey, 


2 2 . in his. 4 4 . wanting. 5 3 ' 4 . for wanting. 
8 2 . dost. 9 1 . on. 16 1 . long. 16 2 . chanced. 
17 1 . he said. 18 3 . cuckoldy. 19 1 . to me. 
19 3 . Robin Hood. 24 4 . bid. 

d. Title as in a, except, escape : robbed him : 

sing mass. 
Burden: With a hey down down and a down. 

2 1 . of a. 2 2 . in her. 

2 3 . That for Then. 4 4 . shall I. 
5*. for wanting. 7 3 . my for me. 

8 1 . old woman. 8 2 . dost. 

9 1 . well wanting : on. 

II 1 . that wanting : thus for so. 
13 1 . Robin Hood. 16 2 . chanc'd. 
18 s . am a woman : cuckoldy. 

19 3 . Robin Hood. 20 4 . of his. 
22 1 . So wanting. 23 1 . by'th. 
24 1 . And when. 

e. Title as in a, except, escape : robbed him : sing 

London, Printed by and for W. 0[nley], etc. 


Burden : With a hey down down an a down. 
I 2 , to you I '11. I 3 , to you. 2 1 . of a. 

2 2 . in her. 2 3 . Bold Robin Hood. 

3 3 . he wanting.^) 4 1 . saith. 4 4 . shall I. 

5 2 . did he. 5 3 . for wanting. 

5 4 . aloud began to. 7 3 . my for me. 

7 4 . shall I. 8 1 . then said the old woman. 

8 2 . dost. 9 1 . well wanting : one. 

9 2 . brought. 10 2 . the for my. 

II 1 . thus for so. 11 s . and wanting. 
12 3 . at her I will. 13 1 . saith. 
16 2 . chanc'd. 17*. A wanting. 
18 s . am a woman. 19 s . Robin Hood. 

19 4 . to him. 20 4 . of this. 22 1 . So wanting. 
23 1 . by th'. 



A. a. Robin Hood's Garland, London, J. Marshall & 
Co., Aldermary Churchyard, No 23. b. ' Robin 
Hood and the Bishop of Hereford,' Douce Ballads, 
III, 123 b, London, C. Sheppard, 1791. c. Cliap- 
pell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, p. 395, from 

a broadside printed for Daniel Wright, next the 
Sun Tavern in Holborn. d. Robin Hood's Garland, 
1749, No 23. 

3. E. Cochrane's Song-Book, p. 149, No 113. 

A a in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 146, 
"compared with the York copy," that is, 
with two or three slight changes : Evans, Old 
Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 211. B, the Scottish 
copy, is very likely only an imperfect remem 
brance of a broadside, but the date of the 

MS., though this is perhaps not determinable, 
has been put as early as 1730. 

Robin Hood, expecting the Bishop of Here 
ford to pass near Barnsdale, has a deer killed 
for his dinner. He dresses himself and six 
of his men in shepherd's attire, and when the 



Bishop approaches they make an ado to at 
tract his attention. The Bishop interrogates 
them. Robin owns that they mean to make 
merry with the king's venison. The Bishop 
will show them no mercy ; they must go be 
fore the king with him. Robin summons his 
band with his horn and it is the Bishop's 
turn to cry mercy. Robin will not let him 
off, but takes him to Barnsdale, and makes 
him great cheer. The Bishop foresees that 
there will be a heavy reckoning. Little John 
searches the Bishop's portmanteau, and takes 
out three hundred pound ; enough, he says, 
to make him in charity with the churchman. 
They make the Bishop dance in his boots, A, 
or sing a mass, B, and he is glad to get off so 

The Bishop of Hereford appears in the 

next ballad, Robin Hood and Queen Kathe- 
rine. He there tells us that Robin had made 
him sing a mass out of hours, and had bor 
rowed money of him against his will. 

The conclusion of this ballad is to the same 
effect as that of the preceding, and was prob 
ably suggested by the Gest. No copy has 
been found, in print or writing, earlier than 
the last century ; a fact of no special impor 
tance. Whenever written, if written it was, 
it is far superior to most of the seventeenth 
century broadsides. Mr Chappell speaks of 
it as being now (thirty years ago) the most 
popular of the Robin Hood set. 

Translated by Talvj, Charakteristik, p. 
493 ; Anastasius Griin, p. 151 ; Loeve-Vei- 
mars, p. '204. . . 

a. Robin Hood's Garland, Aldermary Churchyard, No 
23. b. Douce Ballads, III, 123 b, 1791. c. Chappell's 
Popular Music of the Olden Time, p. 395, from a broadside 
printed for Daniel Wright, d. Kobin Hood's Garland, 
without place, 1749, No 23, p. 98. 

1 SOME they will talk of bold Robin Hood, 

And some of barons bold, 
But I '11 tell you how he servd the Bishop of 

When he robbd him of his gold. 

2 As it befel in merry Barnsdale, 

And under the green-wood tree, 
The Bishop of Hereford was to come by, 
With all his company. 

3 ' Come, kill a venson,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' Come, kill me a good fat deer ; 
The Bishop of Hereford is to dine with me 

And he shall pay well for his cheer. 

4 ' We '11 kill a fat venson,' said bold Robin 


' And dress it by the highway-side ; 

And we will watch the Bishop narrowly, 

Lest some other way he should ride.' 

5 Robin Hood dressd himself in shepherd's attire, 

With six of his men also ; 
And, when the Bishop of Hereford came by, 
They about the fire did go. 

6 ' O what is the matter ? ' then said the Bishop, 

' Or for whom do you make this a-do ? 
Or why do you kill the king's venson, 
When your company is so few ? ' 

7 ' We are shepherds,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' And we keep sheep all the year. 
And we are disposed to be merry this day, 
And to kill of the king's fat deer.' 

8 ' You are brave fellows ! ' said the Bishop, 

' And the king of your doings shall know ; 
Therefore make haste and come along with 

For before the king you shall go.' 

9 ' O pardon, O pardon,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' O pardon, I thee pray ! 
For it becomes not your lordship's coat 
To take so many lives away.' 

10 ' No pardon, no pardon,' says the Bishop, 

' No pardon I thee owe ; 

Therefore make haste, and come along with me, 
For before the king you shall go.' 



11 Then Robin set his back against a tree, 

And his foot against a thorn, 
And from underneath his shepherd's coat 
He pulld out a bugle-horn. 

12 He put the little end to his mouth, 

And a loud blast did he blow, 
Till threescore and ten of bold Robin's men 
Came running all on a row ; 

13 All making obeysance to bold Robin Hood ; 

'T was a comely sight for to see : 
' What is the matter, master,' said Little John, 
' That you blow so hastily ? ' 

14 ' O here is the Bishop of Hereford, 

And no pardon we shall have : ' 
' Cut off his head, master,' said Little John, 
' And throw him into his grave.' 

15 ' O pardon, pardon,' said the Bishop, 

' O pardon, I thee pray ! 
For if I had known it had been you, 
I 'd have gone some other way.' 

16 ' No pardon, no pardon,' said Robin Hood, 

' No pardon I thee owe ; 

Therefore make haste and come along with me, 
For to merry Barnsdale you shall go.' 

17 Then Robin he took the Bishop by the hand, 

And led him to merry Barnsdale ; 
He made him to stay and sup with him that 

And to drink wine, beer, and ale. 

18 ' Call in the reckoning,' said the Bishop, 

' For methinks it grows wondrous high : ' 
' Lend me your purse, Bishop,' said Little 

' And I '11 tell you bye and bye.' 

19 Then Little John took the bishop's cloak, 

And spread it upon the ground, 

And out of the bishop's portmantua 

He told three hundred pound. 

20 ' Here 's money enough, master,' said Little 


' And a comely sight : t is to see ; 
It makes me in charity with the Bishop, 
Tho he heartily loveth not me.' 

21 Robin Hood took the Bishop by the hand, 

And he caused the music to play, 
And he made the Bishop to dance in his boots, 
And glad he could so get away. 

E. Coohrane's Song-Book, p. 149, No 113. 

1 SOME talk of lords, and some talk of lairds, 

And some talk of barrens bold, 
But I '11 tell you a story of bold Robin Hood, 
How he robbed the Bishop of his gold. 

2 ' Cause kill us a venison,' sayes Robin Hood, 

' And we '11 dress it by the high-way side, 
And we will watch narrowly for the Bishop, 
Lest some other way he do ride.' 

3 ' Now who is this,' sayes the Bishop, 

' That makes so boldly here 
To kill the king's poor small venison, 
And so few of his company here ? ' 

4 ' We are shepherds.' says Robin Hood, 

' And do keep sheep all the year ; 

And we thought it fit to be merry on a day, 
And kill one of the king's fallow deer.' 

5 ' Thou art a bold fellow,' the Bishop replyes, 

' And your boldness you do show ; 
Make hast, make hast, and go along with me, 
For the king of your doings shall know.' 

6 He leand his back unto a brae, 

His foot against a thorn, 
And out from beneath his long shepherds coat 
He pulled a blowing-horn. 

7 He put his horn in to his mouth, 

And a snell blast he did blow, 
Till four and twenty of bold Robins men 
Came riding up all in a row. 

8 ' Come, give us a reckoning,' says the Bishop, 

' For I think you drink wondrous large : ' 



' Come, give me your purse,' said bold Robin 

' And I will pay all your charge.' 

9 He pulled off his long shepherds coat, 

And he spread it on the ground, 
And out of the Bishops long trunk-hose, 
He pulled a hundred pound. 

10 ' O master,' quoth Litle John, 

' It 's a very bony sight for to see ; 
It makes me to favour the Bishop, 
Tho in heart he loves not me.' 

11 ' Come, sing us a mass,' sayes bold Robin Hood, 

' Come, sing us a mass all anon ; 
Come, sing us a mass,' sayes bold Robin Hood, 
' Take a kick in the a se, and be gone.' 

A. a. The Bishop of Hereford's Entertainment by I 1 . 

Robin Hood and Little John, &c., in merry I 4 . 

Barnsdale. 3 s . 

8 4 . Forr. 18". master for Bishop : cf. b. 4 1 . 

b. London, Published April 7th, 1791, by C. 5 2 . 

Sheppard, No 19, Lambert Hill, Doctors 5*. 

Commons. 6 3 . 

3 s . 's to. 7 4 . to taste. 10 1 . said. II 4 . out his. 7 1 . 

12 2 . he did. 12 s . Robin Hood's. 10 1 . 

13 2 . for wanting. 13 s . What's. 12 2 

14' 2 . Says no. 17 1 . he wanting. 13 s 

17 3 . him stay and dine with him that day. 15 4 

18". For I think. 18 3 . bishop for master. 16 1 

20 3 . me have charity for. 17 1 . 

21 s . And wanting : the old. 17 s 

c. Title as in a. 18 2 
I 1 . O some : of brave. I 3 , ye. 19 8 
I 4 . And robbd. 2 1 . All under. 3 1 . kill me. 20 1 , 
3 3 . 's to. 10 1 . said. 16 1 . said bold. 20 2 
18 1 . in a. 18 s . purse, master. 21". the old. 21 1 . 

d. Title as in a : &c wanting. 21 s , 

they wanting. I 3 , of Hereford wanting. 

his wanting. 3 1 . Hood wanting. 

to-day wanting. 3*. well wanting. 

kill the vension. 5 1 . Hood he. 

And six : men likewise. 

Then for They. 6 1 . then wanting. 

of the. 6 4 . And your : so small. 

Hood wanting. 9 1 . bold wanting. 

- said. 10 4 . you must. 1 1 4 , out his fine. 

, he did. 12 4 . marching down in a. 

, master wanting. 14 4 . into the. 

, I would : gone another. 

. bold Robin : Hood wanting. 

, he wanting. 17 2 . And he. 

, to wanting. 18 1 . in a. 

. Methinks it runs. 18 3 . master wanting. 

, portmantle. 19 4 . He took. 

master wanting. 
, And it is : 't is wanting. 
, Robin he took. 21 2 . he wanting. 
, And wanting. 21 4 . so wanting. 



. ' Robin Hoode and Qucne Kath[erine],' Percy MS., 
p. 15; Hales and Furnivall, I, 37. 

land of 1670, No 8. e. Wood, 401, leaf 31 b. 
f. Pepys, II, 103, No 90. 

B. ' Renowned Robin Hood,' etc. a. Wood, 502, leaf C. ' Robin Hood, Scarlet and John,' etc., Garland of 
10. b. Roxbnrglie, I, 356, in the Ballad Society's 1663, No 1. 

reprint, II, 419. c. Garland of 1663, No 9. d. Gar- 

A COPY in Roxbnrglie, III, 450, printed by teenth century. In Ritson's Robin Hood, 
L. How, in Petticoat Lane, is of the eigh- 1795, II, 82, " from an old black-letter copy 



in a private collection, compared with another 
in that of Anthony a Wood." In , Evans's 
Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 149, from an 
Aldermary garland. 

Robin Hood has made Queen Katherine his 
friend by presenting her with a sum of gold 
which he had taken from the king's har 
bingers. The king has offered a heavy wager 
that his archers cannot be excelled, and the 
queen may have her choice of all other bow 
men in England. Availing herself of these 
terms, the queen summons Robin Hood and 
his men, who are to come to London on St 
George's day, under changed names. She 
hopes to have Robin relieved of his outlawry. 
The king's archers lead off, and make three. 
The ladies think the queen has no chance. 
She asks Sir Richard Lee, known to us al 
ready from the Gest, to be on her side. Sir 
Richard Lee, we are told, is sprung from 
Gawain's blood (A, Gower's, Gowrie's in 
other texts), and naturally would deny noth 
ing to a lady. The Bishop of Hereford de 
clines to be of the queen's party, but stakes a 
large sum on the king's men. The queen's 
archers shoot, and the game stands three and 
three ; the queen bids the king beware. The 
third three shall pay for all, says the king. 
It is now time for the outlaws to do their 
best. Loxly, as Robin Hood is called, leads 
off. The particulars of the outlaws' exploits 
are wanting in A. 

In B, C, Robin's feat is obscurely described. 
Clifton, who represents Scarlet (for in B, C, 
contrary to older tradition, Scarlet seems to 
be put before John), cleaves the willow wand, 
and Midge (Mutch), the Miller's Son, who, 
according to A 10, is John, is but little be 
hind him.* The queen, to assure the safety 
of her men, begs the boon that the king will 
not be angry with any of her party, and the 
king replies, Welcome, friend or foe. 

After this there is no occasion for conceal 
ment. The Bishop of Hereford, learning who 

Loxly is, says that Robin is only too old an 
acquaintance ; Robin had once made him say 
a mass at two in the afternoon, and borrowed 
money of him which had never been repaid. 
Robin offers to pay him for the mass by giv 
ing half of the gold back. Small thanks, says 
the bishop, for paying me with my own 
money. King Henry, quite outstripping even 
the easiness of Edward in the Gest, says he 
loves Robin never the worse, and invites him 
to leave his outlaws and come live at the 
court, a proposal which is peremptorily re 
jected. This is a very pleasant ballad, with 
all the exaggeration, and it is much to be 
regretted that one half of A is lost. 

C is a piece of regular hack-work, and 
could not maintain itself in competition with 
B, upon which, perhaps, it was formed. It 
will be observed that Sir Richard Lee is 
changed into Sir Robert Lee in C, and that 
the thirty-fourth stanzvi represents the king 
as subsequently making Robin Hood Earl of 

The adventure of the Bishop of Hereford 
with Robin Hood is the subject of a separate 
ballad, now found only in a late form: see 
No 144. 

Loxly, the name given to Robin in the 
present ballad, is, according to the Life in 
the Sloane MS., a town in Yorkshire, " or 
after others in Nottinghamshire," where Robin 
was born. The ballad of Robin Hood's Birth, 
Breeding, etc., following the same tradition, 
or invention, says " Locksly town in Notting 
hamshire." It appears from Spencer Hall's 
Forester's Offering, London, 1841, that there 
is a Loxley Chase near Sheffield, in Yorkshire, 
and a Loxley River too : Gutch, I, 75. 

Finsbury field was long a noted place for the 
practice of archery. In the year 1498, says 
Stow, all the gardens which had continued 
time out of mind without Moorgate, to wit, 
about and beyond the lordship of Fensberry, 
were destroyed. And of them was made a 

* Even the author of A seems not to be aware that to be understood, since in B 21 1 Clifton is spoken of as one 
Much, the Miller's Son, is the standing name of one of Clifton. Comparing B 33, 34, 37, we see that Clifton 


Robin Hood's men, and therefore would not answer for a 
disguise. In B, C, nothing is expressly said about the 
change of names, and in fact this arrangement seems not 

should be Little John, but Midge, the Miller's Son, himself, 
not Scathlock, still less John. 



plain field for archers to shoot in. Survey of 
London, 1598, p. 351, cited, with other things 
pertinent, by Ritson, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 
86 f. 

R. H. and the Shepherd, R. H. rescuing 
Will Stutly, and R. H.'s Delight, are directed 
to be sung to the tune of R. H. and Queen 
Katherine, B, and may therefore be inferred 
to be of later date. R. H.'s Progress to 
Nottingham is to be sung to " Bold Robin 
Hood," and as this conjunction of words oc 

curs several times in R. H. and Queen Kath 
erine, and the burden and its disposition, in 
the Progress to Nottingham, are the same as 
in R. H. and Queen Katherine, " Bold Robin 
Hood " may indicate this present ballad. R. 
H. and Queen Katherine, C, is directed to be 
sung to the tune of The Pinder of Wakefield. 
R. H.'s Chase is a sequel to R. H. and 
Queen Katherine. 

Translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 172. 

Percy MS., p. 15 ; Hales and Furnivall, I, 37. 

1 Now list you, lithe you, gentlemen, 

A while for a litle space, 
And I shall tell you how Queene Katterine 
Gott Robin Hood his grace. 

2 Gold taken from the kings harbengers 

Seldome times hath beene seene, 

' Queene Katherine, I say to thee ; ' 
' That 's a princly wager,' quoth Queene Kath 
' Betweene yowr grace and me. 


' Where must I haue mine archers ? ' 
Queene Katherine ; 

' You haue the flower of archery : ' 
' Now take yowr choice, dame,' he sayes, 

' Thorow out all England free. 

5 ' Yea from North Wales to Westchester, 

And also to Couentry ; 

And when you haue chosen the best you can, 
The wager must goe with mee.' 

6 ' If that prooue,' says Queene Katherine, 

' Soone that wilbe tride and knowne ; 
Many a man counts of another mans pursse, 
And after looseth his owne." 

7 The queene is to her palace gone, 

To her page thus shee can say : 
Come hither to me, Dicke Patrinton, 
Trusty and trew this day. 

8 Thou must bring me the names of my archers 


All strangers must they bee, 
Yea from North Wales to West Chester, 
And alsoe to Couentrie. 

9 Commend me to Robin Hood, says Queene 


And alsoe to Litle John, 
And specially to Will Scarlett, 
Ffryar Tucke and Maid Marryan. 

10 Robin Hood we must call Loxly, 

And Little John the Millers sonne ; 

Thus wee then must change their names, 

They must be strangers euery one. 

11 Comwtend mee to Robin Hood, sayes Queene 


And marke, page, what I say ; 
In London they must be with me 
[Vpon S' Georges day.] 


' These words hath sent by me ; 
Att London you must be with her 
Vpon S' Georg[e]s day. 

13 ' Vpon S' Georg[e]s day att noone 
Att London needs must you bee ; 



Shee wold not misse your companie 
For all the gold in Cristinty. 

14 ' Shee hath tane a shooting for your sake, 

The greatest in Christentie, 
And her part you must needs take 
Against her prince, Henery. 

15 ' Shee sends you heere her gay gold ring 

A trew token for to bee ; 
And, as you are [a] banisht man, 
Shee trusts to sett you free.' 

16 ' And I loose that wager,' says bold Robin 


' I 'le bring mony to pay for me ; 
And wether that I win or loose, 
On my queenes part I will be.' 

17 In sonmer time when leaues grow greene, 

And flowers are fresh and gay, 
Then 'Robin Hood he deckt his men 
Eche one in braue array. 

18 He deckt his men in Lincolne greene, 

Himselfe in Scarlett red ; 
Fayre of theire brest then was it seene 
When his siluer armes were spread. 

19 With hatti's white and fethers blacke, 

And bowes and arrowes keene, 
And thus he ietted towards louly London, 
To present Queene Katherine. 

20 But when they cam to louly London, 

They kneeled vpon their knee ; 
Sayes, God you saue, Queene Katherine, 
And all yowr dignitie ! 

21 of my guard,' 

Thus can King Henry say, 
' And those that wilbe of Queene Katerines 

They are welcome to me this day.' 

22 ' Then come hither to me, Sir Richard Lee, 

Thou art a knight full good ; 
Well it is knowen ffrom thy pedygree 
Thou came from Gawiins blood. 

23 'Come hither, Bishopp of Hereford,' qwoth 

Queene Katherine 
A good preacher I watt was hee 
' And stand thou heere vpon a odd side, 
On my side for to bee.' 

24 ' I like not that,' sayes the bishopp then, 

' By faikine of my body, 
For if I might haue my owne will, 
On the kings I wold bee.' 

25 ' What will thou be[t] against vs,' says Loxly 


' And stake it on the ground ? ' 
' That will I doe, fine fellow,' he says, 
' And it drawes to fiue hundreth pound.' 

26 ' There is a belt,' says Loxly then ; 

' Wee 'le stake it merrily ; ' 
But Loxly knew full well in his mind 
And whose that gold shold bee. 

27 Then the queenes archers they shot about 

Till it was three and three ; 
Then the lady 's gaue a merry shout, 
Sayes, Woodcocke, beware thine eye ! 

28 ' Well, gam and gam,' then qwoth our king, 

' The third three payes for all ; ' 
Then Robine rounded with our queene, 
Says, The kings part shall be small. 

29 Loxly puld forth a broad arrowe, 

He shott it vnder hand, 

. s vnto . 


' For once he vndidd mee ; 
If I had thought it had beene bold 'Robin 

I wold not haue betted one peny. 

31 ' Is this 'Robin Hood ? ' says the bishopp againe ; 

' Once I knew him to soone ; 
He made me say a masse against my will, 
Att two a clocke in the afternoone. 

32 ' He bound me fast vnto a tree, 

Soe did he my merry men ; 



He borrowed ten pound against my will, 
But he neuer paid me againe.' 

33 ' What and if I did ? ' says bold Robin Hood, 

' Of that masse I was full faine ; 
In recompence, befor king and queene 
Take halfe of thy gold againe.' 

34 ' I thanke thee for nothing,' says the bishopp, 

' Thy large gift to well is knowne, 
That will borrow a mans mony against his will, 
And pay him againe with his owne.' 

35 ' What if he did soe ? ' says King Henery, 

For that I loue him neuer the worsse ; 
Take vp thy gold againe, bold Robin Hood, 
And put [it] in thy pursse. 

36 ' If thou woldest leaue thy bold outlawes, 

And come and dwell with me, 
Then I wold say thou art welcome, bold Robin 

The flower of archery.' 

37 ' I will not leaue my bold outlawes 

For all the gold in Christentie ; 
In merry Sherwood I 'le take my end, 
Vnder my trusty tree. 

38 'And gett yowr shooters, my leeig[e], where 

you will, 

For in faith you shall haue none of me ; 
And when Queene Katherine puts up her 

Att her Graces comwtandement I le bee.' 

a. Wood, 402, leaf 10. b. Roxburphe, I, 356, in the Bal 
lad Society's reprint, II, 419. C. Garland of 1663, No 9. 
d. Garland of 1670, No 8. e. Wood, 401, leaf 31 b. f. 
Pepys, II, 103, No 90. 

1 GOLD tane from the kings harbengers, 

Down a down a down 
As seldome hath been seen, 

Down a down a down 
And carried by bold Robin Hood 

For a present to the queen. 

Down a down a down 

2 ' If that I live a year to an end,' 

Thus gan Queen Katherin say, 
' Bold Robin Hood, I will be thy friend, 
And all thy yeomen gay.' 

3 The queen is to her chamber gone, 

As fast as she can wen ; 
She cals unto her her lovely page, 
His name was Richard Patringten. 

4 ' Come hither to mee, thou lovely page, 

Come thou hither to mee ; 
For thou must post to Notingham, 
As fast as thou canst dree. 

5 ' And as thou goest to Notingham, 

Search all those English wood ; 

Enquire of one good yeoman or another 
That can tell thee of Robin Hood.' 

6 Sometimes he went, sometimes hee ran, 

As fast as he could win ; 
And when hee came to Notingham, 
There he took up his inne. 

7 And when he came to Notingham, 

And had took up his inne, 
He calls for a pottle of Renish wine, 
And drank a health to his queen. 

8 There sat a yeoman by his side ; 

' Tell mee, sweet page.' said hee, 
' What is thy business or the cause, 
So far in the North Country ? ' 

9 ' This is my business and the cause, 

Sir, I 'le tell it you for good, 
To inquire of one good yeoman or another 
To tell mee of Robin Hood.' 

10 ' I 'le get my horse betime in the morn, 

By it be break of day, 
And I will shew thee bold Robin Hood, 
And all his yeomen gay.' 

11 When that he came at Robin Hoods place, 

Hee fell down on bis knee : 



' Queen Katherine she doth greet you well, 
She greets you well by mee. 

12 ' She bids you post to fair London court, 

Not fearing any thing ; 
For there shall be a little sport, 
And she hath sent you her ring.' 

13 Robin took his mantle from his back 

It was of the Lincoln green 
And sent it by this lovely page, 
For a present unto the queen. 

14 In summer time, when leaves grow green, 

It is a seemly sight to see 
How Eobin Hood himself had drest, 
And all his yeomandry. 

15 He cloathed his men in Lincoln green, 

And himself in scarlet red, 
Black hats, white feathers, all alike ; 
Now bold Robin Hood is rid. 

16 And when he came at Londons court, 

Hee fell downe on his knee : 
' Thou art welcome, Locksly,' said the queen, 
' And all thy good yeomendree.' 

17 The king is into Finsbury field, 

Marching in battel ray, 
And after follows bold Robin Hood, 
And all his yeomen gay. 

18 ' Come hither, Tepus,' said the king, 

' Bow-bearer after mee, 
Come measure mee out with this line 
How long our mark shall be.' 

19 ' What is the wager ? ' said the queen, 

' That must I now know here : ' 
' Three hundred tun of Renish wine, 
Three hundred tun of beer. 

20 ' Three hundred of the fattest harts 

That run on Dallom lee ; 
That 's a princely wager,' said the king, 
' That needs must I tell thee.' 

21 With that bespake one Clifton then, 

Full quickly and full soon ; 
' Measure no mark for us, most soveraign leige, 
Wee '1 shoot at sun and moon.' 

22 ' Ful fifteen score your mark shall be, 

Ful fifteen score shall stand ; ' 

'I 'le lay my bow,' said Clifton then, 

' I 'le cleave the willow wand.' 

23 With that the kings archers led about, 

While it was three and none ; 
With that the ladies began to shout, 
Madam, your game is gone ! 

24 ' A boon, a boon,' Queen Katherine cries, 

' I crave on my bare knee ; 
Is there any knight of your privy counsel 
Of Queen Katherines part will be ? 

25 ' Come hither to mee, Sir Richard Lee, 

Thou art a knight full good ; 
For I do know by thy pedigree 
Thou springst from Goweres blood. 

26 ' Come hither to me, thou Bishop of Hereford 

shire ' 

For a noble priest was he 
' By my silver miter,' said the bishop then, 
' I 'le not bet one peny. 

27 ' The king hath archers of his own, 

Full ready and full light, 
And these be strangers every one, 
No man knows what they height.' 

28 ' What wilt thou bet,' said Robin Hood, 

' Thou seest our game the worse ? ' 
' By my silver miter,' said the bishop then, 
' All the mony within my purse.' 

29 ' What is in thy purse ? ' said Robin Hood, 

' Throw it down on the ground ; ' 
' Fifteen score nobles,' said the bishop then, 
' It 's neer an hundred pound.' 

30 Robin Hood took his bagge from his side, 

And threw it down on the green ; 

William Scadlocke went smiling away, 

' I know who this mony must win.' 

31 With that the queens archers led about, 

While it was three and three ; 

With that the ladies gave a shout, 

' Woodcock, beware thyn ee ! ' 

32 ' It is three and three, now,' said the king, 

' The next three pays for all ; ' 



Robin Hood went and whispered to the queen, 
' The kings part shall be but small.' 

33 Robin Hood he led about, 

He shot it under hand, 
And Clifton, with a bearing arrow, 
He clave the willow wand. 

34 And little Midge, the Miller's son, 

Hee shot not much the worse ; 
He shot within a finger of the prick ; 
' Now, bishop, beware thy purse ! ' 

35 ' A boon, a boon,' Queen Katherine cries, 

' I crave on my bare knee, 
That you will angry be with none 
That is of my party." 

36 ' They shall have forty days to come, 

And forty days to go, 
And three times forty to sport and play ; 
Then welcome friend or fo.' 

37 'Then thou art welcome, Robin Hood,' said 

the queen, 
' And so is Little John, 

So is Midge, the Miller's son ; 
Thrice welcome every one.' 

38 ' Is this Robin Hood ? ' the king now said ; 

' For it was told to mee 
That he was slain in the pallace-gate, 
So far in the North Country.' 

39 ' Is this Robin Hood,' said the bishop then, 

' As I see well to be ? 

Had I knowne that had been that bold outlaw, 
I would not have bet one peny. 

40 ' Hee took me late one Saturday at night, 

And bound mee fast to a tree, 
And made mee sing a mass, God wot, 
To him and his yeomendree.' 

41 ' What and if I did ? ' says Robin Hood, 

' Of that mass I was full fain ; 

For recompense to thee,' he says, 

' Here 's half thy gold again.' 

42 ' Now nay, now nay,' sales Little John, 

' Master, that shall not be ; 
We must give gifts to the kings officers ; 
That gold will serve thee and mee.' 

The Garland of 1663, No 1. 

1 STOUT Robin Hood, a most lusty out-law, 

As ever yet lived in this land, 
As ever yet lived in this land. 
His equal I 'm sure you never yet saw, 
So valiant was he of his hand, 
So valiant was he of his hand. 

2 No archers could ever compare with these 


Although from us they are gone ; 

The like was never, nor never will be, 

To Robin Hood, Scarlet and John. 

3 Many stout robberies by these men were done, 

Within this our kingdom so wide ; 
Vpon the highway much treasure they have 

No one that his purse ere deny'd. 

4 Great store of money they from the kings men 

Couragiously did take away ; 
Vnto fair Queen Katherine they gave it again, 
Who to them these words did say. 

5 If that I live but another fair year, 

Kind Robin Hood, said the fair queen, 
The love for this courtesie that I thee bear, 
Assure thy self it shall be seen. 

6 Brave Robin Hood courteously thanked her 


And so took his leave of the queen ; 
He with his bold archers then hied him apace, 
In summer time, to the woods green. 

7 ' Now wend we together, my merry men all, 

To the green wood to take up our stand : ' 
These archers were ready at Robin Hoods call, 
With their bent bows all in their hand. 



8 ' Come, merrily let us now valiantly go 

With speed unto the green wood, 
And there let us kill a stout buck or a do, 
For our master, Robin Hood.' 

9 At London must now be a game of shooting, 

Where archers should try their best skill ; 

It was so commanded by their gracious king ; 

The queen then thought to have her will. 

10 Her little foot-page she sent with all speed, 

To find out stout Robin Hood, 
Who in the North bravely did live, as we read, 
With his bow-men in the green wood. 

11 When as this young page unto the North came, 

He staid under a hill at his inn ; 
Within the fair town of sweet Nottingham, 
He there to enquire did begin. 

12 The page then having enquired aright 

The way unto Robin Hoods place, 
As soon as the page had obtained of him sight, 
He told him strange news -from her Grace. 

13 ' Her Majestfe praies you to haste to the court,' 

And therewithall shewd him her ring ; 
We must not delay his swift haste to this sport, 
Which then was proclaimd by the king. 

14 Then Robin Hood hies him with all speed he 


With his fair men attired in green, 
And towards fair London he then takes his 

way ; 
His safety lay all on the queen. 

15 Now Robin Hood welcome was then to the 

court, . 

Queen Katharine so did allow ; 
Now listen, my friends, and my song shal re 

How the queen performed her vow. 

16 The king then went marching in state with his 


To Finsbury field most gay, 
Where Robin Hood follows him, void of all 

With his lusty brave shooters that day. 

17 The king did command that the way should be 

Straight mete with a line that was good ; 

The answer was made to him presently, 
By lusty bold Robin Hood. 

18 ' Let there be no mark measured,' then said he 

soon ; 

'I,' so said Scarlet and John, 
' For we will shoot to the sun or the moon ; 
We scorn to be outreacht with none.' 

19 ' What shall the wager be ? ' then said the 


' Pray tell me before you begin : ' 
'Three hundred tuns of good wine shall be 

And as much of strong bear for to win. 

20 ' Three hundred of lusty fat bucks, sweet, beside, 

Shall now be our royal lay : ' 
Quoth Robin Hood, What ere does betide, 
I 'le bear this brave purchase away. 

21 ' Full fifteenscore,' saith the king, ' it shall be ; ' 

Then straight did the bow-men begin, 
And Robin Hoods side gave them leave cer 
A while some credit to win. 

22 The royal queen Katharine aloud cried she, 

Is here no lord, nor yet knight, 
That will take my part in this bold enmity ? 
Sir Robert Lee, pray do me right. 

23 Then to the bold Bishop of Herefordshire 

Most mildly spoke our good queen ; 

But he straight refused to lay any mere, 

Such ods on their parties were seen. 

24 ' What wilt thou bet, seeing our game is the 

worse ? ' 

Unto him then said Robin Hood : 
' Why then,' quoth the bishop, ' all that 's in 

my purse ; ' 
Quoth Scarlet, That bargain is good. 

25 'A hundred good pounds there is in the same,' 

The bishop unto him did say ; 
Then said Robin Hood, Now here 's for the 

And to bear this your money away. 

26 Then did the kings archer his arrows com 

Most bravely and with great might, 



But brave jolly Robin shot under his hand, 
And then did hit the mark right. 

27 And Clifton he then, with his arrow so good, 

The willow-wood cleaved in two ; 
The Miller's young son came not short, by the 

His skill he most bravely did show. 

28 Thus Robin Hood and his crew won the rich 


From all archers that there could be ; 
Then loudly unto the king Queen Katherine 

Forgive all my company ! 

29 The king then did say, that for forty daies, 

Free leave then to come or go, 
For any man there, though he got the praise, 
' Be he friend,' quoth he, ' or be he foe." 

30 Then quoth the queen, Welcome thou art, 

Robin Hood, 

And welcome, brave bow-men all three ; 
Then straight quoth the king, I did hear, by 

the rood, 
That slain he was in the countrey. 

31 ' Is this Robin Hood ? ' the bishop did say, 

' Is this Robin Hood certainly ? 
He made me to say him mass last Saturday, 
To him and his bold yeomendry.' 

32 ' Well,' quoth Robin Hood, ' in requital thereof, 

Half thy gold I give unto thee ; ' 
' Nay, nay,' then said Little John in a scoff, 
' 'T will serue us ith' North Countrey.' 

33 Then Robin Hood pardon had straight of the 


And so had they every one ; 
The fame of these days most loudly does ring, 
Of Robin Hood, Scarlet and John. 

34 Great honours to Robin Hood after were done, 

As stories for certain do say ; 
The king made him Earl of fair Huntington, 
Whose fame will never decay. 

35 Thus have you heard the fame of these men, 

Good archers they were every one ; 

We never shal see the like shooters again 

As Robin Hood, Scarlet and John. 

A. After 2 2 , II 8 , 20 4 , 29", 38 4 , half a page is gone. 

2 1 . Perhaps harvengers. 5 2 . cauentry. 
9 s . Perhaps Willram. After 16 : The 2d part. 
18 2 . hinselfe. 25 4 . 500*. 27 2 , 28 2 . 3. 
31 4 . 2. 32". 10!'. 

B. Renowned Robin Hood : or, his famous arch 

ery truly related ; with the worthy exploits 
hee acted before Queen Katherine, hee be 
ing an outlaw-man ; and how shee for the 
same obtained of the king his own and his 
fellows pardon. To a new tune. 
a. London, Printed for F. Grove, on Snow-hill. 
Entred according to order. (1620-55.) 

16*. yeomen three : so b-e, but yeomendree, 
the reading of f, must be right, since the 
whole band is present, and only two yeomen 
besides Robin are distinguished. 

23 2 , 31 2 . While, if preserved, must be taken 
in the sense of till, which occurs in f, 23 2 , 
as in A, 27 2 . 

31 1 . the kings : so all. A, 27 has queenes, 

31*. thy knee : so all except b, which has thy 


35 2 . crave that on. 
39*. have wanting : cf. A 30. c, f. 
40 4 . yeomen three : so all. See 16*. 

b. Printed at London for Francis Grove. 

2 2 . can. 3. unto her lovely. 3 4 . Parringten. 

4 4 . can. 6", 7 l . came at. 8 1 . sate. 8*. in this. 

10 2 . Be it the. II 1 . Hood. 13 s . sent that. 

14 2 . It's. 21 s . markes. 23 1 . archer. 

25 4 . sprungst. 31 1 . the kings. 31 4 . thy nee. 

33 s . baring. 33 4 . clove. 35 1 . cryed. 

35 2 . crave that on. 38 1 . now said the king. 

38 2 . so told. 38 3 . in Pallace gates. 

39 4 . not bet. 40 4 . yeomen three. 

41 1 . an if. 41 2 . full wanting. 

c. 3 s . unto her lovelie. 5 s , 9 s . or other. 
8 1 . sate. 9 1 . is the. 10 4 . yeoman. 
16 4 . yeomen three. 17 1 . gone for field. 
20 4 . must I needs. 23". shoot. 

24*. On for Of. 25 4 . sprangst from Cowries. 
30*. Sadlock. 30 4 . whose this money must be. 



31 1 . the kings. 31 4 . thy knee. 
32 s . to wanting. 35 2 . crave that on. 
39*. have bet. 40 1 . on for one. 
40 4 . yeomen three. 

d. 3*. unto her lovely. 3 4 . Patrington. 
13 4 . to for unto. 14 4 . his wanting. 
16*. yeomen three. 24 4 . On for Of. 
25 4 . sprangst. 31 1 . the kings. 

31 4 . thy knee. 35 2 . crave that on. 

36*. welcome every one. 39 1 . quoth for said. 

39*. not bet. 40 l . on for one. 

40 4 . yeomen three. 

e. London, Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere & J. 

Wright. (1655-80.) 
3 4 . Patrington. 7 3 . calld. 8 1 . sate. 
8 3 . thy cause. 10 1 . betimes. 
16 4 . good wanting : yeomen three. 
17 2 . gallant ray. 19 2 . needs for now. 
20 2 . runs. 22 s . quoth for said. 
31 1 . the kings. 31 3 . shoot. 31 4 . thy knee. 
35 3 . that wanting. 38 s . the wanting. 
39 s . I thought it had. 39 4 . not bet. 
40 4 . yeomen three. 42 2 . may not. 

f . In the title : being an outlaw man (hee want 

ing) : how he for how shee. 
Printed for J. W[right], J. C[larke], W. 

T[hackeray], and T. Passenger. (1670- 

3 s . unto her lovely. 3 4 . Parington. 

4 1 . Come thon : my for thou. 4 s . now for post. 

5 2 . woods. 6 2 . wen. 7 s . bottle. 7 4 . drinks. 

8 1 . sate. 8 s . or thy. 10 l . betimes. 

II 1 . to for at. 13 2 . the wanting. 

13*. to for unto. 14 2 . It was. 

16 4 . thy yeomandree. 17 1 . is gone to. 

17 2 . array. 18 4 . must be. 20 4 . to the. 

23 1 . lead. 23 2 . TU1 it. 24 2 . crave it. 

24 3 . ever a for any. 24 4 . side for part. 

2o 4 . sprangest. 28 3 . then said the bishop. 

29 1 . in it said. 30 s . Will. 31 1 . the Idngs. 

31 4 . thy knee. 32 4 . part wanting. 

35 3 . crave it. 35 s . would for will. 

36 4 . welcome every one. 37 s . And so. 

38 1 . said now. ' 39 1 . quoth for said. 

39 8 . it had. 39 4 . not a bet. 

40 1 . on Saturday night. 40 4 . yeomen three. 

41 1 . then says. 42 2 . may not. 
C. Robin Hood, Scarlet and John: Wherein you 
may see how Robin Hood, having lived an 
out-law many years, the Queen sent for him, 
and shooting a match before the King and 
Queen at London, and winning the rich 
prize, the Queen gained his pardon, and he 
was afterwards Earl of Huntington. 

To the tune of The Finder of Wakefield. 

20 3 . what or. 26 1 . archers. 27". yonng. 

28 8 . Katheline. 30 1 ' 3 . qd. 


a. Garland of 1663, No 15. 

b. Garland of 1670, No 14. 

c. Wood, 401 , leaf 29 b. 

d. Pepys, II, 104, No 91. 

ROXBUKGHE, III, 14, 418; Douce, III, 
121 b, London, by L. How, an eighteenth- 
century copy, c is signed T. R., and has no 
printer's name. 

Reprinted in Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, 
II, 92, from c. Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 
1784, I, 156, agrees nearly with the Alder- 
mary garland. 

Robin Hood's Chase is a sequel to Robin 

Hood and Queen Katherine, and begins with 
a summary of that ballad. King Henry, who 
has been gracious, and over-gracious, to the 
outlaw, has a revulsion of feeling after Robin 
has left his presence, and sets out in pursuit 
of him. When the king reaches Notting 
ham, Robin leaves Sherwood for Yorkshire, 
whence he speeds successively to Newcastle, 
Berwick, Carlisle, Lancaster, Chester, the 



king always following him close. At Chester 
the happy idea occurs to him of going back 
to London, as if to inquire whether he were 
wanted. Queen Katherine informs Robin 
that the king has gone to Sherwood to seek 
him, and Robin says he will return to the 
forest immediately to learn the king's will. 
King Henry, coming home weary and vexed, 

is told by his queen that Robin has been 
there to seek him. A cunning knave, quoth 
the king. The queen intercedes for Robin. 

This is a welL-conceived ballad, and only 
needs to be older. 

Translated by A. Griin, p. 169, with omis 
sion of stanzas 1-7, 24. 

1 COME you gallants all, to you I do call, 

With a hey down down a down down 
That now is within this place, 
For a song I will sing of Henry the king, 
How he did Robin Hood chase. 

2 Queen Katherine she a match then did make, 

As plainly doth appear, 
For three hundred tun of good red wine, 
And three hundred tun of beer. 

3 But yet her archers she had to seek, 

With their bows and arrows so good ; 
But her mind it was bent, with a good intent, 
To send for bold Robin Hood. 

4 But when bold Robin Hood he came there, 

Queen Katherine she did say, 
Thou art welcome, Locksley, said the queen, 
And all thy yeomen gay. 

5 For a match at shooting I have made, 

And thou my part must be : 
' If I miss the mark, be it light or dark, 
Then hanged I will be.' 

6 But when the game came to be playd, 

Bold Robin he then drew nigh ; 
With his mantle of green, most brave to be 

He let his arrows fly. 

7 And when the game it ended was, 

Bold Robin wan it with a grace, 
But after, the king was angry with him, 
And vowed he would him chase. 

8 What though his pardon granted was 

While he with them did stay, 

But yet the king was vexed at him 

When as he was gone his way. 

9 Soon after the king from the court did hie, 

In a furious angry mood, 
And often enquire, both far and near, 
After bold Robin Hood. 

10 But when the king to Nottingham came, 

Bold Robin was then in the wood ; 

' O come now,' said he, ' and let me see 

Who can find me bold Robin Hood.' 

11 But when that Robin Hood he did hear 

The king had him in chase, 
Then said Little John, T is time to be gone, 
And go to some other place. 

12 Then away they went from merry Sherwood, 

And into Yorkshire he did hie, 
And the king did follow, with a hoop and a 

But could not come him nigh. 

13 Yet jolly Robin he passed along, 

He [went] straight to Newcastle town, 
And there stayed he hours two or three, 
And then he for Berwick was gone. 

14 When the king he did see how Robin did 


He was vexed wondrous sore ; 
With a hoop and a hallow he vowed to follow, 
And take him, or never give ore. 

15 ' Come now, let 's away,' then cries Little John, 

' Let any man follow that dare ; 
To Carlile wee '1 hie with our company, 
And so then to Lancaster.' 

16 From Lancaster then to Chester they went, 

And so did king Henery ; 
But Robin away, for he durst not stay, 
For fear of some treachery. 



17 Saies Robin, Come, let us to London go, 

To see our noble queens face ; 
It may be she wants our company, 
"Which makes the king so us chase. 

18 When Robin he came Queen Katherine before, 

He fell upon his knee : 
' If it please your Grace, I am come to this 

To speak with king Henery.' 

19 Queen Katherine she answered bold Robin 


The king is gone to merry Sherwood ; 
And when he went he to me did say 
He would go seek Robin Hood. 

20 ' Then fare you well, my gracious queen, 

For to Sherwood I will hie apace ; 
For fain would I see what he would with me, 
If I could but meet with his Grace.' 

21 But when King Henery he came home, 

Full weary, and vexed in mind, 
When he did hear Robin had been there, 
He blamed Dame Fortune unkind. 

22 ' You are welcome home,' Queen Katherine 


' Henry, my soveraign liege ; 
Bold Robin Hood, that archer good, 
Your person hath been to seek.' 

23 But when King Henry he did hear 

That Robin had been there him to seek, 
This answer he gave, He 's a cunning knave, 
For I have sought him this whole three 

24 ' A boon ! a boon ! ' Queen Katherine cried, 

' I beg it here on your Grace, 
To pardon his life, and seek no more strife : ' 
And so endeth Robin Hoods chase. 

a, b, c. Robin Hood's Chase : or, A merry 
progress between Robin Hood and King 
Henry, shewing how Robin Hood led the 
King his chase from London to London, 
and when he had taken his leave of the 
Queen he returned to merry Sherwood. 
To the tune of Robin Hood and the Begger. 

a. Burden : variously printed With a hey, etc., 

With hey, etc. ; twice Down a down a down. 
5 2 ' 3 . Robin betiveen the lines, to show tJiat 

what follmvs is his speech. So b, C. In 

d Robin stands at the head of the third 

21 s . But when : so b, c. 23 4 , 3 weeks. 

b. Burden : With hey, etc., or, With a hey, etc. 
2 1 . she then a match. 

3 1 . she had her archers. 6 1 . game it. 
7 2 . a wanting. 10 2 . then wanting. 
II 1 . that bold. 13 2 . went wanting. 
14 4 . and for or. 15 1 . cry'd. 
16 2 . good King Henry. 18 4 . Henry. 
21 3 . But when. 23". there wanting. 
23*. 3 weeks. 24 2 . here on my knee. 

c. Signed T. R. No printer. 

Burden : With hey down down an a down. 

2 4 . hundred wanting. 3 s . it wanting. 

5 1 . of for at. 6 1 . it came. 8 3 . after for yet. 
10 2 . then wanting. 13 2 . went ivanting. 
16 2 , 18 4 , 21 1 . Henry. 16 3 . to stay. 

18 2 . fell low. 18 4 . For to. 21 s . But when. 
22 2 . leech. 23 4 . 3 weeks. 
d. Title as in a, b, c, except : The tune is. 

Printed for William Thackeray at the Angel 

in Duck-Lane. (1689.) 
Burden : With hey down down a down. 
2 1 . then a match did. 
3 1 . yet she had her archers. 5 1 . of for at. 

5 2 . on my. 5 4 . will I. 6 2 . he wanting. 
7 2 . a wanting. 8 4 . hud. for was. 

10 2 . O bold : then wanting. 

10 s . Come said he. II 1 . that bold Robin he. 

13 2 . And went strait. 13 8 . he stayed. 

13 4 , 14 1 . he wanting. 14 4 . gave. 

lo 1 . than said Little. 16 2 , 18 4 , 21 l . Henry. 

17 1 . for London. 18 2 . fell low. 

18 4 . For to. 19 3 . he wanting. 

19 4 . go to. 20 s . what he 'd have. 

21 s . And that he. 22 1 . You 're. 

23 2 . there wanting. 23 s . He is a. 

23*. 3 week. 24 2 . of your. 




a. Wood, 401, leaf 39 b. 

b. Garland of 1663, No 14. 

o. Garland of 1670, No 13. 
d. Pepys, II, 114, No 101. 

ALSO Roxburghe, III, 12, 486; Old Bal 
lads, 1723, II, 121 ; Douce, III, 121, London, 
by L. How, of the last century. 

Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 97, from a, 
with changes. Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 
1784, 1, 160, agrees nearly with the Aldermary 

Entered, says Ritson, in the Stationers' 
book, by Francis Grove, 2d June, 1656.* 
Being directed to be sung to the tune " R. H. 
was a tall young man," that is, R. H.'s Prog 
ress to Nottingham, this ballad is the later 
of the two. 

Robin Hood, disguised as a friar, asks 
charity of two priests. They pretend to have 
been robbed, and not to have a penny. Robin 
pulls them from their horses, saying, Since you 
have no money, we will pray for some, and 
keeps them at their prayers for an hour. 
Now, he says, we will see what heaven has 
sent us ; but the monks can find nothing in 
their pockets. We must search one another, 
Robin says, and beginning the operation finds 
five hundred pounds on the monks. Of this 
he gives fifty pounds to each of the priests to 
pay for their prayers, keeping the remainder. 
The priests would now move on, but Robin 

* Also says Ritson, Robin Hood, II, 97, by Francis Coule, 
13th June, 1631 ; but the ballad there entered is The Noble 

requires three oaths of them, of truth, chastity 
and charity, before he lets them go. 

The kernel of the story is an old tale which 
we find represented in Pauli's Schimpf und 
Ernst, 1533, Osterley, p. 397, Anhang, No 14, 
' Wie drey lantzknecht vmb ein zerung bat 
ten.' Three soldiers, out of service, meet the 
cellarer of a rich Benedictine cloister, who 
has a bag hanging at his saddle-bow, with 
four hundred ducats in it. They ask for 
some money, for God's sake and good fellow 
ship's. The cellarer answers that he has no 
money : there is nothing but letters in his 
bag. Then, since we all four are without 
money, they say, we will kneel down and 
pray for some. After a brief orison, the three 
jump up, search the bag, and find four hun 
dred ducats. The cellarer offers them a hand 
some douceur, and says he had the money in 
the bag before ; but to this they will give no 
credence. They give the monk his share of 
one hundred, and thank God devoutly for his 
grace. Retold by Waldis, with a supplement, 
Esopus, IV, 21, ed. Kurz, II, 64; and by others, 
see Oesterley's notes, p. 552, Kurz's, p. 156. 

a seems to be signed L. P., and these would 
most -naturally be the initials of the versifier. 

Translated by Doenniges, p. 198 , by Anas- 
tasius Griin, p. 131. 



1 I HAVE heard talk of bold Robin Hood, 

Derry derry down 
And of brave Little John, 
Of Fryer Tuck, and Will Scarlet, 
Loxley, and Maid Marion. 
Hey down derry derry down 

2 But such a tale as this before 

I think there was never none ; 
For Robin Hood disguised himself, 
And to the wood is gone. 

3 Like to a fryer, bold Robin Hood 

Was accoutered in his array ; 
With hood, gown, beads and crucifix, 
He past upon the way. 

4 He had not gone [past] miles two or three, 

But it was his chance to spy 
Two lusty priests, clad all in black, 
Come riding gallantly. 

5 ' Benedicete,' then said Robin Hood, 

' Some pitty on me take ; 
Cross you my hand with a silver groat, 
For Our dear Ladies sake. 

6 ' For I have been wandring all this day, 

And nothing could I get ; 
Not so much as one poor cup of drink, 
Nor bit of bread to eat.' 

7 ' Now, by my holydame,' the priests repli'd, 

' We never a peny have ; 
For we this morning have been robd, 
And could no mony save.' 

8 ' I am much afraid,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' That you both do tell a lye ; 
And now before that you go hence, 
I am resolvd to try.' 

9 When as the priests heard him say so, 

Then they rode away amain ; 
But Robin Hood betook him to his heels, 
And soon overtook them again. 

10 Then Robin Hood laid hold of them both, 
And pulld them down from their horse : 
' spare us, fryer ! ' the priests cry'd out, 
' On us have some remorse ! ' 

VOL. III. 27 

11 ' You said you had no mony,' quoth he, 

' Wherefore, without delay, 
We three will fall down on our knees, 
And for mony we will pray.' 

12 The priests they could not him gainsay, 

But down they kneeled with speed ; 
' Send us, O send us,' then quoth they, 
' Some inony to serve our need.' 

13 The priests did pray with mournful chear, 

Sometimes their hands did wring, 
Sometimes they wept and cried aloud, 
Whilst Robin did merrily sing. 

14 When they had been praying an hours space, 

The priests did still lament ; 
Then quoth bold Robin, Now let 's see 
What mony heaven hath us sent 

15 We will be sharers now all alike 

Of the mony that we have ; 
And there is never a one of us 
That his fellows shall deceive. 

16 The priests their hands in their pockets put, 

But mony would find none : 
' We '1 search our selves,' said Robin Hood, 
' Each other, one by one.' 

17 Then Robin Hood took pains to search them 


And he found good store of gold ; 
Five hundred peeces presently 
Vpon the grass was told. 

18 ' Here is a brave show,' said Robin Hood, 

' Such store of gold to see, 
And you shall each one have a part, 
Cause you prayed so heartily.' 

19 He gave them fifty pound a-peece, 

And the rest for himself did keep ; 
The priests durst not speak one word, 
But they sighed wondrous deep. 

20 With that the priests rose up from their 


Thinking to have parted so ; 
' Nay, stay,' said Robin Hood, ' one thing more 
I have to say ere you go. 



21 ' You shall be sworn,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' Vpon this holy grass, 
That you will never tell lies again, 
Which way soever you pass. 

22 ' The second oath that you here must take, 

All the days of your lives 
You never shall tempt maids to sin, 
Nor lye with other meiis wives. 

23 ' The last oath you shall take, it is this, 

Be charitable to the poor ; 
Say you have met with a holy fryer, 
And I desire no more.' 

24 He set them upon their horses again, 

And away then they did ride ; 
And hee returnd to the merry green-wood, 
With great joy, mirth and pride. 

a. Robin Hoods Golden Prize. 

He met two priests upon the way, 
And forced them with him to pray. 
For gold they prayed, and gold they had, 
Enough to make bold Robin glad. 
His share came to four hundred pound, 
That then was told upon the ground ; 
Now mark, and you shall hear the jest ; 
You never heard the like exprest. 

Tune is, Robin Hood was a tall young man. 

London, Printed for F. Grove on Snow-hill. 
Entred according to order. Finis, L. P. 
F. Grove's date, according to Mr Chappell, 
is 1620-55. Ritson says tftat the ballad 
was entered in the Stationers' book by 
Francis Grove, 2d June, 1656. 

b. Robin Hoods Golden Prize : Shewing how he 

robbed two priests of five hundred pound. 

The tune is, Robin Hood was a tall young 


4 1 . gone past. 6 1 . all the. 
7 1 . holy dame : priest. 9 2 . Then wanting. 

10 1 . hold on. 13 1 . with a. 15 4 . fellow. 

17 4 . he for was. 18 4 . For praying so. 

19 1 . pounds. 19 3 . not to. 23 1 . it wanting. 

c. Title the same : except, Tune is. 

2 4 . he is. 4 1 . gone past. 7 1 . holy dame. 
9 2 . Then wanting. 10 1 . holt of. 13 1 . with a. 
15 1 . now wanting. 15 4 . fellow. 
17 1 . pain : both wanting. 18 s . each one shall. 

19 1 . pounds. 24 1 . upon wanting. 

d. Title as in c. Printed for William Thackeray 

at the Angel in Duck-lane. (1689.) 
I 1 , bold wanting. 2 2 . think was never known. 
4 1 . gone past. 7 1 . holy dame. 
8 s . before you do go. 9 l . so say. 
10 1 . hold on. II 1 . you'd: quoth Robin Hood. 
12 2 . kneel. 13 1 . with a. 14 s . let us. 
15 1 . now wanting. 15 2 . the wanting. 
15 4 . fellow. 16 2 . could. 
17 1 . pain: both wanting. 17 4 . he for was. 
18 s . each one shall. 19 1 . pounds. 

19 2 . doth for did. 20 1 . up wanting. 
22 s . unto sin. 23 s . with wanting. 
24 1 . on for upon. 





a. Wood, 402, p. 18. b. Wood, 401, leaf 25 b. c. 
Garland of 1663, No 12. d. Garland of 1670, No 

11. e. Rawlinson, 566. f. Pepys, II, 108, No 95. 
g. Pepys, II, 123, No 108. 

ALSO Roxburghe, II, 370, III, 524; The 
Noble Fisherman's Garland, 1686 ; Bagford, 
643. m. 10, 22. 

' The Noble Ffisherman, or, Robin Hoods 
great Prize ' is receipted for to Francis Coules 
in the Stationers' Registers, June 13, 1631 : 
Arber, IV, 254. 

Ritson, Robin Hood, II, 110, 1795, " from 
three old black-letter copies, one in the col 
lection of Anthony a Wood, another in the 
British Museum, and the third in a private 
collection." Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, 
I, 171, from an Aldermary garland. 

Robin Hood is here made to try his for 
tunes on the sea, like Eustace the Monk and 
Wallace. He goes to Scarborough and gives 
himself out as a fisherman, and is engaged as 
such by a widow with whom he lodges, who 
is the owner of a ship. Out of his wanton 
ness, rather than his ignorance, we must sup 
pose, Simon, as he calls himself, when others 
cast baited hooks into the water, casts in bare 
lines ; for which he is laughed to scorn. A 
French cruiser bears down on the fishermen, 
and the master gives up all for lost. Simon 
asks for his bow ; not a Frenchman will he 

spare. The master, not strangely, takes such 
talk for brag. Simon requests to be tied to a 
mast, ' that at his mark he may stand fair,' 
and to have his bow in his hand, when never 
a Frenchman will he spare. He shoots one 
of the enemy through the heart, and then 
asks to be loosed and to have his bow in his 
hand, when, again, never a Frenchman will 
he spare. The Englishmen board, and find 
a booty of twelve thousand pound. Simon 
announces that he shall give half the ship to 
the dame who employed him, and the other 
half to his comrades. The master objects ; 
Simon has won the vessel with his own hand 
(a point which might have been made more 
distinctly to appear in the narrative), and he 
shall have her. But the outlaw afloat has 
still his munificent old ways ; so it shall be 
as to the ship, and the twelve thousand 
pound shall build an asylum ' for the op- 
prest ' ! All this may strike us as infantile, 
but the ballad was evidently in great favor 
two hundred years ago. 

Translated (not entirely) by A. Griin, p. 

1 Ix summer time, when leaves grow green, 

When they doe grow both green and long, 
Of a bould outlaw, calld Robin Hood, 
It is of him I sing this song. 

2 When the lilly leafe and the elephant 

Doth bud and spring with a merry good 

This outlaw was weary of the wood-side, 
And chasing of the fallow deere. 

3 ' The fishermen brave more mony have 

Then any merchant, two or three ; 

Therefore I will to Scarborough goe, 

That I a fisherman brave may be.' 



4 This outlaw calld his merry men all, 

As they sate under the green-wood tree : 
' If any of you have gold to spend, 
I pray you heartily spend it with me. 

5 ' Now,' quoth Robin, ' I 'le to Scarborough goe, 

It seemes to be a very faire day ; ' 
Who tooke up his inne at a widdow-womans 

Hard by upon the water gray. 

6 "Who asked of him, Where wert thou borne ? 

Or tell to me, where dost thou fare ? 
' I am a poore fisherman,' saith he then, 
' This day intrapped all in care.' 

7 ' What is thy name, thou fine fellow ? 

I pray thee heartily tell to me ; ' 
'In mine own country where'I was borne, 
Men called me Simon over the Lee.' 

8 ' Simon, Simon,' said the good wife, 

' I wish thou maist well brook thy name ; ' 
The outlaw was ware of her courtesie, 
And rejoycd he had got such a dame. 

9 ' Simon, wilt thou be my man ? 

And good round wages I 'le give thee ; 
I have as good a ship of mine owne 
As any sayle upon the sea. 

10 ' Anchors and planks thou shalt want none, 

Masts and ropes that are so long ; ' 
' And if that you thus furnish me,' 

Said Simon, ' nothing shall goe wrong.' 

11 They pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle, 

More of a day then two or three ; 

When others cast in their baited hooks, 

The bare lines into the sea cast he. 

12 ' It will be long,' said the master then, 

' Ere this great lubber do thrive on the sea ; 
I 'le assure you he shall have no part of our fish, 
For in truth he is of no part worthy.' 

13 '0 woe is me,' said Simon then, 

' This day that ever I came here ! 
I wish I were in Plomton Parke, 
In chasing of the fallow deere. 

14 ' For every clowne laughs me to scorne, 

And they by me set nought at all ; 

If I had them in Plomton Park, 
I would set as little by them all.' 

15 They pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle, 

More of a day then two or three ; 
But Simon spied a ship of warre, 

That say Id towards them most valourously. 

16 ' O woe is me,' said the master then, 

' This day that ever I was borne ! 
For all our fish we have got to-day 
Is every bit lost and forlorne. 

17 ' For your French robbers on the sea, 

They will not spare of us one man, 
But carry us to the coast of France, 
And ligge us in the prison strong.' 

18 But Simon said, Doe not feare them, 

Neither, master, take you no care ; 
Give me my bent bow in my hand, 
And never a Frenchman will I spare. 

19 ' Hold thy peace, thou long lubber, 

For thou art nought but braggs and boast ; 
If I should cast the over-board, 

There were nothing but a lubber lost.' 

20 Simon grew angry at these words, 

And so angry then was he 
That he tooke his bent bow in his hand, 
And to the ship-hatch goe doth he. 

21 ' Master, tye me to the mast,' saith he, 

' That at my mark I may stand fair, 

And give me my bended bow in my hand, 

And never a Frenchman will I spare.' 

22 He drew his arrow to the very head, 

And drew it with all might and maine, 
And straightway, in the twinkling of an eye, 
Doth the Frenchmans heart the arow gain. 

23 The Frenchman fell downe on the ship-hatch, 

And under the hatches down below ; 
Another Frenchman that him espy'd 
The dead corps into the sea doth throw. 

24 ' master, loose me from the mast,' he said, 

' And for them all take you no care, 
And give me my bent bow in my hand, 
And never a Frenchman will I spare.' 



26 Then streight [they] did board the French- 
mans ship, 

They lying all dead in their sight ; 
They found within the ship of warre 

Twelve thousand pound of money bright. 

26 ' The one halfe of the ship,' said Simon then, 
' I 'le give to my dame and children small ; 
The other halfe of the ship I 'le bestow 
On you that are my fellowes all.' 

27 But now bespake the master then, 

For so, Simon, it shall not be ; 
For you have won her with your own hand, 
And the owner of it you shall bee. 

28 ' It shall be so, as I have said ; 

And, with this gold, for the opprest 
An habitation I will build, 

Where they shall live in peace and rest.' 

a. The Noble Fisher-man, or, Robin Hoods Pre 

ferment : shewing how he won a great prize 
on the sea, and how he gave the one halfe 
to his dame and the other to the building of 

The tune is, In summer time. 

London, Printed for F. Coles, in the Old 
Baily. (1631 ?) 

3 1 . fisher-man, which perhaps should stand. 

5 1 . with for quoth. 20*. hatchs. 21 2 . fare. 

22 4 . Frenchman. 23 1 . fell owne. 25 2 . lyin. 

28 2 . for thee. 

b. Title as in a, except : won a prize, gave one 


Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. Gilbert 
son. (1648-63 ?) 

2 1 . Clephant. 2 2 . good wanting. 

3 1 . fisherman. 3 8 . will I. 5 1 . with for quoth. 
12 4 . of wanting. 14 2 . set nothing. 

16 s . fish that we have got : to-day wanting. 
17*. For yon. 19 4 . There 's but a simple. 
20*. ship-hatch. 21 1 . mast he said. 21 2 . fare. 

21 3 . bent. 22 4 . Frenchmans. 23 1 . downe. 

25 1 . streight they boarded the French ship. 

25 2 . lying. 25*. in mony. 

26*. of my ship I 'le give. 26 4 . To you. 
27 8 . hands. 27*. must be. 28 2 . for thee. 
C, d. Title as in a, except : won a prize, gave one. 
The tune is, Summer time. 

2 2 . good wanting. 3 1 . fisher men. 

3 2 . Than. 5 1 . Now quoth. 6 2 . c, thou dost 
6 8 . said. 6 4 . d, cares. 7 4 . call. 9 4 . sails. 
II 2 . d, than. 12 s . you wanting. 

12 4 . of wanting. 14 2 . set nothing. 

15 2 . than. 15 4 . most wanting. 

16 s . fish that we have got : to-day wanting. 

17 1 . yon : robber. 18 2 . you any. 

19 4 . There 's but a simple. 20 4 . shiphatch. 

21 1 . mast he said. 21 2 . fair. 21 8 . bent 

21 4 . d, a wanting. 22 4 . Frenchmans. 
23 1 . down. 24 1 . c, mast side. 

25 1 . they boarded the French ship. 25 2 . lying. 
25 4 . in for of. 26 s . of my ship I 'le give. 
26 4 . To you. 27 1 . c, But wanting. 
27 s . hands. 27 4 . you must : d, of you it. 
28 2 . for the. 

e. Title as in b. Variations found also in b 

are not given. 
Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and 

J. Clarke. (1650-80 ?) 

5 1 . Now quoth. 5 4 . waters. 6 1 . of wanting. 
9 4 . sails. 15 s . espy'd. 17 4 . And lay. 
18 2 . any for no. 23 s . that him did espy. 

f . Title as in b. 

Printed for Alex. Milbourn, Will. Ownley, 
Tho. Thackeray at the Angel in Duck-lane. 
{Date indeterminable : after 1670.) 

l a . doe wanting. I 4 , my song. 

2 2 . good wanting. 3 1 . fishermen. 

3 2 . merchants. 3 4 . fisherman might be. 

4 3 . If you have any. 

5 1 . Now quoth Robin Hood. 5 4 . waters. 

6 1 . of wanting. 6 s . said. 7 2 . tell it. 

7 4 . call. 9 a . I will. 9 s . of my. 9 4 . sails. 

10 1 . shalt not want. 10 3 . that wanting. 

12 s . you wanting. 12 4 . of wanting. 

14 2 . set nothing. 15 s . espyed. 

15 4 . most wanting. 

16 s . fish that we have got. 17 1 . robber. 

17 4 . And lay. 18 2 . you any. 

19 4 . There 's but a simple lubber lost 

20 4 . And in. 21 1 . saith he wanting. 

21 2 . fair. 21 s . bent. 22 4 . Frenchmans. 

23 1 . ship-catch : so g. 23 2 . there below. 

25 1 . Then they boarded the French : so g. 

25 4 . in for of. 26 s . other part : I 'le give. 

26 4 . To you. 27". hands. 

27 4 . owner thereof you must. 28 2 . for the. 
g. Title as in b. 

Printed for I. Wright, I. Clarke, W. Thack 
eray, and T. Passinger. (1670-86 ?) 

Agrees generally with f. 17 1 . For yon. 





a. Roxburghe, I, 360, in The Ballad Society's reprint, b. Pepys, II, 116, No 103. c. Pepys, II, 118, No 104. 
II, 440. 

PRINTED in Dryden's Miscellany, VI, 346, 
ed. 1716 ; A Collection of Old Baflads, 1723, 
I, 64 ; Ritson's Robin Hood, 1795, II, 1 (a) ; 
Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 86. 

The jocular author of this ballad, who 
would certainly have been diverted by any 
one's supposing him to write under the re 
straints of tradition, brings Adam Bell, Clim, 
and Cloudesly into company with Robin 
Hood's father. So again the silly Second Part 
of Adam Bell in one of the copies, that of 
1616. Robin Hood's father's bow, st. 3, car 
ried two north-country miles and an inch. 
The son, then, was only half his father, 
though, in Ritson's words, " Robin Hood and 
Little John have frequently shot an arrow a 
measured mile." 

Robin Hood's mother was niece to Guy of 
Warwick, and sister to Gamwel of Gamwel 
Hall. In Robin Hood newly Revived, Young 
Gamwel is Robin Hood's sister's son. Ac 
cording to this ballad, Robin Hood goes with 
his mother to keep Christmas with old Gam- 
well, his uncle, whose seat is forty miles from 
Locksly town. Little John is a member of 
the household, a fine lad at gambols and jug 
gling, and twenty such tricks. Robin Hood, 
however, puts Little John down in this way, 
and everybody else. His uncle is so much 
pleased that he tells Robin he shall be his heir, 
and no more go home. Robin asks the boon 
that Little John may be his page. All the 
while, for how long we know not, Robin Hood 
has had his band of yeomen in Sherwood. 
Thither he goes (the time is not specified, but 
birds are singing in st. 50), and while he is 
collecting his men, Clorinda, queen of the shep 
herds and archeress, passes, and arrests his at 

tention. The favorable impression which she 
makes at first sight is confirmed by her pres 
ently shooting a deer through side and side. 
Robin takes her to his bower for a refection, 
which is served by four-and-twenty yeomen. 
She inquires his name ; he gives it, and asks 
her to be his bride. After a blush and a pause, 
Clorinda says, With all my heart, and it is 
no wonder that Robin proposes to send for a 
priest immediately. Clorinda is, however, 
engaged to go to Titbury feast, whither she 
invites Robin to keep her company. On the 
way he has an affray with eight yeomen, who 
bid him hand over the buck which Clorinda 
had killed, and which he is somehow taking 
along with him. With Little John's help, five 
of the eight are killed ; the rest are spared. 
A bull-baiting is going on at Titbury, which 
one wonders that a person of Clorinda's im 
puted " wisdom and modesty " should care 
for; but somehow Clorinda throws off her 
dignity in the 45th stanza. After dinner the 
parson is sent for, the marriage ceremony is 
performed, and Robin and Clorinda return to 

The author of this ballad (" the most beau 
tiful and one of the oldest extant " of the se 
ries, says the editor of the collection of 1723) 
knew nothing of the Earl of Huntington and 
Matilda Fitzwater, but represents Robin 
Hood as the son of a forester. In everything 
except keeping Robin a yeoman, he writes 
"as the world were now but to begin, an 
tiquity forgot, custom not known ; " but poets 
in his day, to quote the critic of 1723, " were 
looked upon like other Englishmen, born to 
live and write with freedom." 

Concerning the bull-running at Tutbury, 



or Stutesbury, Staffordshire (a hideously bru 
tal custom, of long standing), a compendium of 
antiquarian information is given by Gutch, II, 

118. Arthur a Bradley, a rollicking ballad of 
a Merry Wedding, mentioned in stanza 46, is 
printed by Ritson, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 210. 

1 KIND gentlemen, will you be patient awhile? 

Ay, and then you shall hear anon 

A very good ballad of bold Robin Hood, 

And of his man, brave Little John. 

2 In Locksly town, in Nottinghamshire, 

In merry sweet Locksly town, 
There bold Robin Hood he was born and was 

Bold Robin of famous renown. 

3 The father of Robin a forrester was, 

And he shot in a lusty long bow, 
Two north country miles and an inch at a shot, 
As the Finder of Wakefield does know. 

4 For he brought Adam Bell, and dim of the Clugh, 

And William a Clowdesle 
To shoot with our forrester for forty mark, 
And the forrester beat them all three. 

5 His mother was neece to the Coventry knight, 

Which Warwickshire men call Sir Guy ; 
For he slew the blue bore that hangs up at the 

Or mine host of The Bull tells a lye. 

6 Her brother was Gamwel, of Great Gamwel Hall, 

And a noble house-keeper was he, 
Ay, as ever broke bread in sweet Nottinghamshire, 
And a squire of famous degree. 

7 The mother of Robin said to her husband, 

My honey, my love, and my dear, 
Let Robin and I ride this morning to Gamwel, 
To taste of my brothers good cheer. 

8 And he said, I grant thee thy boon, gentle Joan, 

Take one of my horses, I pray ; 
The sun is a rising, and therefore make haste, 
For to-morrow is Christmas-day. 

9 Then Robin Hoods fathers grey gelding was 


And sadled and bridled was he ; 
God wot, a blew bonnet, his new suit of cloaths, 
And a cloak that did reach to his knee. 

10 She got on her holiday kirtle and gown, 

They were of a light Lincoln green ; 
The cloath was homespun, but for colour and make 
It might a beseemed our queen. 

11 And then Robin got on his basket-hilt sword, 

And his dagger on his tother side, 
And said, My dear mother, let 's haste to be gone, 
We have forty long miles to ride. 

12 When Robin had mounted his gelding so grey, 

His father, without any trouble, 
Set her up behind him, and bad her not fear, 
For his gelding had oft carried double. 

13 And when she was settled, they rode to their 


And drank and shook hands with them all ; 
And then Robin gallopt, and never gave ore, 
Till they lighted at Gamwel Hall. 

14 And now you may think the right worshipful squire 

Was joyful his sister to see ; 

For he kist her and kist her, and swore a great oath, 
Thou art welcome, kind sister, to me. 

15 To-morrow, when mass had been said in the chap- 


Six tables were coverd in the hall, 
And in comes the squire, and makes a short speech, 
It was, Neighbours, you 're welcome all. 

16 But not a man here shall taste my March beer, 

Till a Christmas carrol he sing : 
Then all clapt their hands, and they shouted and 

Till the hall and the parlour did ring. 

17 Now mustard and braun, roast beef and plumb pies, 

Were set upon every table : 

And noble George Gamwel said, Eat and be merry, 
And drink too, as long as you 're able. 

18 When dinner was ended, his chaplain said grace, 

And, ' Be merry, my friends,' said the squire ; 
' It rains, and it blows, but call for more ale, 
And lay some more wood on the fire. 

19 ' And now call ye Little John hither to me, 

For Little John is a fine lad 

At gambols and juggling, and twenty such tricks 
As shall make you merry and glad.' 

20 When Little John came, to gambols they went, 

Both gentleman, yeoman and clown ; 
And what do you think? Why, as true as I live, 
Bold Robin Hood put them all down. 



21 And now you may think the right worshipful 


Was joyful this sight for to see ; 
For he said, Cousin Robin, thou 'st go no more 

But tarry and dwell here with me. 

22 Thou shall have my land when I dye, and till 


Thou shall be the staff of my age ; 
'Then grant me my boon, dear uncle,' said Robin, 
That Little John may be my page.' 

23 And he said, Kind cousin, I grant thee thy boon; 

With all my heart, so let it be ; 
' Then come hither, Little John,' said Robin Hood, 
' Come hither, my page, unto me. 

24 ' Go fetch me my bow, my longest long bow, 

And broad arrows, one, two, or three ; 
For when it is fair weather we '11 into Sherwood, 
Some merry pastime to see.' 

25 When Robin Hood came into merry Sherwood, 

He winded his bugle so clear, 
And twice five and twenty good yeomen and bold 
Before Robin Hood did appear. 

26 ' Where are your companions all ? ' said Robin 


' For still I want forty and three ; ' 
Then said a bold yeoman, Lo, yonder they stand, 
All under a green-wood tree. 

27 As that word was spoke, Clorinda came by ; 

The queen of the shepherds was she ; 
And her gown was of velvet as green as the grass, 
And her buskin did reach to her knee. 

28 Her gait it was graceful, her body was straight, 

And her countenance free from pride ; 
A bow in her hand, and quiver and arrows 
Hung dangling by her sweet side. 

29 Her eye-brows were black, ay, and so was her 


And her skin was as smooth as glass ; 
Her visage spoke wisdom, and modesty too ; 
Sets with Robin Hood such a lass ! 

30 Said Robin Hood, Lady fair, whither away? 

O whither, fair lady, away? 
And she made him answer, To kill a fat buck ; 
For to-morrow is Titbury day. 

31 Said Robin Hood, Lady fair, wander with me 

A little to yonder green bower ; 
There sit down to rest you, and you shall be sure 
Of a brace or a lease in an hour. 

32 And as we were going towards the green bower, 

Two hundred good bucks we espy'd ; 
She chose out the fattest that was in the herd, 
And she shot him through side and side. 

33 ' By the faith of my body,' said bold Robin Hood, 

' I never saw woman like thee ; 
And comst thou from east, ay, or comst thou from 

Thou needst not beg venison of me. 

84 ' However, along to my bower you shall go, 

And taste of a forresters meat : ' 
And when we come thither, we found as good 

As any man needs for to eat. 

35 For there was hot venison, and warden pies cold, 

Cream clouted, with honey-combs plenty ; 
And the sarvitors they were, beside Little John, 
Good yeomen at least four and twenty. 

36 Clorinda said, Tell me your name, gentle sir; 

And he said, 'T is bold Robin Hood : 
Squire Gamwel 's my uncle, but all my delight 
Is to dwell in the merry Sherwood. 

37 For 't is a fine life, and 't is void of all strife. 

' So 'tis, sir,' Clorinda reply'd; 
'But oh,' said bold Robin, 'how sweet would 

it be, 
If Clorinda would be my bride ! ' 

38 She blusht at the motion ; yet, after a pause 

Said, Yes, sir, and with all my heart ; 
' Then let "s send for a priest,' said Robin Hood, 
' And be married before we do part.' 

39 But she said, It may not be so, gentle sir, 

For I must be at Titbury feast; 
And if Robin Hood will go thither with me, 
I '11 make him the most welcome guest. 

40 Said Robin Hood, Reach me that buck, Little 


For I '11 go along with my dear ; 
Go bid my yeomen kill six brace of bucks, 
And meet me to-morrow just here. 

41 Before we had ridden five Staffordshire miles, 

Eight yeomen, that were too bold, 
Bid Robin Hood stand, and deliver his buck ; 
A truer tale never was told. 

42 ' I will not, faith ! ' said bold Robin : ' come, John, 

Stand to me, and we '11 beat em all : ' 
Then both drew their swords, an so cut em and 

slasht em 
That five of them did fall. 



43 The three that remaind calld to Robin for quarter, 

And pitiful John beggd their lives ; 
When John's boon was granted, he gave them good 

And so sent them home to their wives. 

44 This battle was fought near to Titbury town, 

When the bagpipes bated the bull ; 
I am king of the fldlers, and sware 't is a truth, 
And I call him that doubts it a gull. 

45 For I saw them fighting, and fidld the while, 

And Clorinda sung, Hey derry down ! 
The bumpkins are beaten, put up thy sword, Bob, 
And now let 's dance into the town. 

46 Before we came to it, we heard a strange shouting, 

And all that were in it lookd madly ; 
For some were a bull-back, some dancing a morris, 
And some singing Arthur-a-Bradly. 

47 And there we see Thomas, our justices clerk, 

And Mary, to whom he was kind ; 
For Tom rode before her, and calld Mary, Madam, 
And kist her full sweetly behind. 

48 And so may your worships. But we went to din 


With Thomas and Mary and Nan ; 
They all drank a health to Clorinda, and told her 
Bold Robin Hood was a fine man. 

49 When dinner was ended, Sir Roger, the parson 

Of Dubbridge, was sent for in haste ; 

He brought his mass-book, and he bade them take 

And he joynd them in marriage full fast. 

50 And then, as bold Robin Hood and his sweet bride 

Went hand in hand to the green bower, 
The birds sung with pleasure in merry Sherwood, 
And 't was a most joyful hour. 

51 And when Robin came in the sight of the bower, 

' Where are my yeomen ? ' said he ; 
And Little John answered, Lo, yonder they stand, 
All under the green-wood tree. 

52 Then a garland they brought her, by two and by 


And plac'd them upon the bride's head ; 

The music struck up, and we all fell to dance, 

Till the bride and the groom were a-bed. 

53 And what they did there must be counsel to me, 

Because they lay long the next day, 
And I had haste home, but I got a good piece 
Of the bride-cake, and so came away. 

54 Now out, alas ! I had forgotten to tell ye 

That marryd they were with a ring ; 
And so will Nan Knight, or be buried a maiden, 
And now let us pray for the king : 

55 That he may get children, and they may get more, 

To govern and do us some good ; 
And then I '11 make ballads in Robin Hood's bower, 
And sing em in merry Sherwood. 

a. A new ballad of bold Robin Hood, shewing his 

Birth, Breeding, Valour and Marriage, at Tit- 
bury Bull-running : calculated for the meridian 
of Staffordshire, but may serve for Derbyshire 
or Kent. 

London, Printed by and for W. O[nley], and are 
to be sold by the booksellers. (1650-1702.) 

15 1 . Morrow. 16 2 . be sung. 

17 1 . mustards, braun : cf. b. 

20 2 . gentlemen, yeomen : cf. b. 30 2 . Oh. 

38 4 . be merry : cf. b. 40 3 . Go wanting : cf. b. 

43 s . good wanting : cf. b. 52 1 . the brought. 

52 2 . them at the bride's bed : cf. b. 

b. A proper new ballad of bold Robin Hood, shewing 

his Birth, his Breeding, his Valour, etc., as above. 

To a pleasant new northern tune. 

Printed for I. Wright, I. Clarke, W. Thackeray, 
and T. Passenger. (1670-86?) 

1", 6* 29 1 , 33 3 . I for Ay. 

2 1 . And, by mistake, for In : in merry Nottingham 

8*. shoot. 4 4 . beat urn. 5'. at that. 

VOL. III. 28 

9. Got on his. IS 1 . And wanting. 13 2 . drunk. 

13 4 . at great. 15 1 . To-morrow. 15". ith hall. 

15*. y're. 16 2 . be sung. 17 1 . mustard and braun. 

17 4 . y'are. 18 1 . this/or his. 19 4 . you both. 

20 2 . gentleman, yeoman. 21 4 . here wanting. 

24 1 . Go and fetch my bow. 24 2 . and for or. 

24 s . 'tis. 26 4 . the for a. 27 4 . buskins. 

28 s . quiver of. 30 2 . O. 30 s . him an. 

SO 4 . Tilbery. 34 s . came. 38 s . let us. 

38 4 . be married. 40 8 . Go bid. 

41 2 . Six for Eight : too too. 42 2 . beat urn. 

42 s . slasht urn. 42 4 . of the six. 

43 s . good counsel. 45 s . Rob. 46 1 . came in we. 

51 1 . in sight. 51 4 . a/or the. 

52 l . they. 52 2 . upon the bride's head. 

55 4 . sing um. 

o. Printed by and for Alex. Milbourn, at the Station 
ers-Arms, in Green- Arbor- Court, in the Little- 
Old-Baily. (1670-97.) Compared only here and 

9 1 . God wot his. 30 4 . Tilbury. 

41". Eight : too too. 42 4 . of the eight. 45'. Bob. 





Wood, 401, leaf 21 b. 

RiTSON, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 157, from 
Wood's copy. In none of the garlands. 

The Earl of Huntington, alias Robin Hood, 
is forced by fortune's spite to part from his 
love Marian, and take to the green wood. 
Marian dresses herself " like a page," and, 
armed with bow, sword, and buckler, goes in 
quest of Robin. Both being disguised, neither 
recognizes the other until they have had an 
hour at swords, when Robin Hood, who has 
lost some blood, calls to his antagonist to give 
over and join his band. Marian knows his 
voice, and discovers herself. A banquet fol 
lows, and Marian remains in the wood. 

Though Maid Marian and Robin Hood had 
perhaps been paired in popular sports, no one 
thought of putting more of her than her 
name into a ballad, until one S. S. (so the 
broadside is signed) composed this foolish 
ditty. The bare name of Maid Marian occurs 
in No 145 A, 9* and in No 147, I 4 . 

Even in Barclay's fourth eclogue, written 
not long after 1500, where, according to Rit- 
son,* the earliest notice of Maid Marian oc 
curs, and where, he says, " she is evidently 
connected with Robin Hood," the two are 
really kept distinct ; for the lusty Codrus in 

1 A BONNY fine maid of a noble degree, 

With a hey down down a down down 
Maid Marian calld by name, 
Did live in the North, of excellent worth, 
For she was a gallant dame. 

2 For favour atid face, and beauty most rare, 

Queen Hellen shee did excell ; 
For Marian then was praisd of all men 
That did in the country dwell. 

3 'T was neither Rosamond nor Jane Shore, 

Whose beauty was clear and brio-ht, 

that eclogue wishes to hear "some mery fit 
of Maide Marion, or els of Robin Hood." 

In Munday's play of The Downfall of Rob 
ert Earl of Huntington, Matilda, otherwise 
Marian, daughter to Lord Lacy, accompanies 
Earl Robert to Sherwood, upon his being out 
lawed for debt the very day of their troth- 
plight. There she lives a spotless maiden, 
awaiting the time when the outlawry shall 
be repealed and Robin may legally take her 
to wife. Neither the author of the play nor 
that of the ballad was, so far as is known, 
repeating any popular tradition. 

The ordinary partner of Maid Marian is 
Friar Tuck, not Robin Hood. There is no 
ground for supposing that there ever were 
songs or tales about the Maid and Friar, not 
withstanding what is cursorily said by one of 
the characters in Peele's Edward I : 

Why so, I see, my mates, of old 
All were not lies that beldames told 
Of Robin Hood and Little John, 
Friar Tuck and Maid Marian. 

ed. Dyce, I, 133. 

Translated by Anastasius Griin, p. 
Loeve-Veimars, p. 208. 

That could surpass this country lass, 
Beloved of lord and knight. 

4 The Earl of Huntington, nobly born, 

That came of noble blood, 
To Marian went, with a good intent, 
By the name of Robin Hood. 

5 With kisses sweet their red lips meet, 

For shee and the earl did agree ; 
In every place, they kindly imbrace, 
With love and sweet unity. 


* Robin Hood, ed. 1832, p. xxxvi, note, p. Ixxxvii. 



6 But fortune bearing these lovers a spight, 

That soon they were forced to part, 
To the merry green wood then went Robin Hood, 
With a sad and sorrowful! heart. 

7 And Marian, poor soul, was troubled in mind, 

For the absence of her friend ; 
With finger in eye, shee often did cry, 
And his person did much comend. 

8 Perplexed and vexed, and troubled in mind, 

Shee drest her self like a page, 
And ranged the wood to find Robin Hood, 
The bravest of men in that age. 

9 With quiver and bow, sword, buckler, and all, 

Thus armed was Marian most bold, 

Still wandering about to find Robin out, 

Whose person was better then gold. 

10 But Robin Hood, hee himself had disguisd, 

And Marian was strangly attir'd, 
That they provd foes, and so fell to blowes, 
Whose vallour bold Robin admir'd. 

11 They drew out their swords, and to cutting they 


At least an hour or more, 

That the blood ran apace from bold Robins face, 
And Marian was wounded sore. 

12 ' O hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' said Robin 

Hood, " 

' And thou shalt be one of my string. 
To range in tbe wood with bold Robin Hood, 
To hear the sweet nightingall sing.' 

13 When Marian did hear the voice of her love, 

Her self shee did quickly discover, 
And with kisses sweet she did him greet, 
Like to a most loyall lover. 

14 When bold Robin Hood his Marian did see, 

Good lord, what clipping was there ! 

With kind imbraces, and jobbing of faces, 
Providing of gallant cheer. 

15 For Little John took his bow in his hand, 

And wandring in the wood, 
To kill the deer, and make good chear, 
For Marian and Robin Hood. 

16 A stately banquet the[y] had full soon, 

All in a shaded bower, 
Where venison sweet they had to eat, 
And were merry that present hour. 

17 Great flaggons of wine were set on the board, 

And merrily they drunk round 
Their boules of sack, to strengthen the back, 
Whilst their knees did touch the ground. 

18 First Robin Hood began a health 

To Marian his onely dear, 
And his yeomen all. both comly and tall, 
Did quickly bring up the rear. 

19 For in a brave veine they tost off the[ir] bouls, 

Whilst thus they did remain, 

And every cup, as they drunk up, 

They filled with speed again. 

20 At last they ended their merryment, 

And went to walk in the wood, 

Where Little John and Maid Marian 

Attended on bold Robin Hood. 

21 In sollid content together they livd, 

With all their yeomen gay; 
They livd by their hands, without any lands, 
And so they did many a day. 

22 But now to conclude, an end I will make 

In time, as I think it good, 
For the people that dwell in the North can tell 
Of Marian and bold Robin Hood. 

A Famous Battle between Robin Hood and Maid 
Marian, declaring their Love, Life, and Liberty. 
Tune, Robin Hood Reviv'd. 

No printer : black-letter. S. S. at the end. 

II 1 . out rheir. 19 1 . vente. 21 8 . there: wirhout. 

A MS. copy in Percy's papers has in 16 1 he had, 
and in 19 1 , in a brave venie they tost off their 
bowles. It is barely possible that venie, which 
Ritson prints, may be right. 






a. Robin Hood's Garland, London, W. & C. Dicey, in 
St Mary Aldermary Church Yard, Bow Lane, Cheap- 
side, n. d. (but not older than 1 753), p. 76, No 25. 
b. Robin Hood's Garland, London, Printed by L. 
How, in Peticoat Lane, n. d. o. ' The King's Dis 

guise and True Friendship with Robin Hood,' Lon 
don, Printed by L. How, in Petticoat Lane, Douce 
Ballads, III, 113 b (not black letter), d. Robin 
Hood's Garland, London, R. Marshall, in Alder 
mary Church- Yard, Bow- Lane, n. d., p. 80, No 25. 

RITSON, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 162, " from 
the common collection of Aldermary Church 
Yard;" Evans, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 
218; Gutch, Robin Hood, II, 281, Ritson's 
copy " compared with one in the York edi 

The ballad is not found in a garland of 
1749 ; but this garland has only twenty-four 

The story, as far as st. 38, is a loose para 
phrase, with omissions, of the seventh and 
eighth fits of the Gest, and seems, like the 
two which here follow it, " to have been writ 
ten by some miserable retainer to the press, 
merely to eke out the book ; being, in fact, 
a most contemptible performance : " Ritson. 

12 1 may have been borrowed from Martin 
Parker's True Tale, No 154, 15 1 . By the 
clergyman who was first Robin Hood's bane, 
29 1 , is meant the prior of York, who in Mun- 
day's play, The Downfall of Robert Earl of 
Huntington, procures his outlawry. The forc 
ing of the sheriff to give the king a supper 
may be the beggarly author's own invention. 
The last two lines are intended to serve as 
a link with Robin Hood and the Valiant 
Knight, which, however, does not immedi 
ately succeed in the garlands, Robin Hood 
and the Golden Arrow being interposed. 

Translated by Doenniges, p. 185 ; A. Griin, 
p. 159 ; Loeve-Veimars, p. 212. 

1 KING RICHARD hearing of the pranks 

Of Robin Hood and his men, 
He much admir'd, and more desir'd, 
To see both him and them. 

2 Then with a dozen of his lords 

To Nottingham he rode ; 
When he came there, he made good cheer, 
And took up his abode. 

3 He having staid there some time, 

But had no hopes to speed, 
He and his lords, with [free] accord, 
All put on monk's weeds. 

4 From Fountain-abby they did ride, 

Down to Barnsdale ; 

Where Robin Hood prepared stood 
All company to assail. 

5 The king was higher then the rest, 

And Robin thought he had 
An abbot been whom he did spleen ; 
To rob him he was glad. 

6 He took the king's horse by the head, 

' Abbot," says he, ' abide ; 
I am bound to rue such knaves as you, 
That live in pomp and pride.' 

7 ' But we are messengers from the king, 

The king himself did say ; 
' Near to this place his royal Grace 
To speak with thee does stay.' 



8 ' God save the king,' said Robin Hood, 

' And all that wish him well ; 
He that does deny his sovereignty, 
I wish he was in Loll.' 

9 ' O thyself thou curses,' says the king, 

' For thou a traitor art : ' 
' Nay, but that you are his messenger, 
I swear you lie in heart. 

10 ' For I never yet hurt any man 

That honest is and true ; 
But those that give their minds to live 
Upon other men's due. 

11 ' I never hurt the husbandman, 

That use to till the ground ; 
Nor spill their blood that range the wood 
To follow hawk or hound. 

12 ' My chief est spite to clergy is, 

Who in these days bear a great sway ; 
With fryars and monks, with their fine sprunks, 
I make my chiefest prey. 

13 ' But I am very glad,' says Robin Hood, 

' That I have met you here ; 
Come, before we end, you shall, my friend, 
Taste of our green-wood cheer.' 

14 The king did then marvel much, 

And so did all his men ; 
They thought with fear, what kind of cheer 
Robin would provide for them. 

15 Robin took the king's horse by the head, 

And led him to the tent ; 
' Thou would not be so usd,' quoth he, 
' But that my king thee sent. 

16 ' Nay, more than that,' said Robin Hood, 

' For good king Richard's sake, 
If you had as much gold as ever I told, 
I would not one penny take.' 

17 Then Robin set his horn to his mouth, 

And a loud blast he did blow, 
Till a hundred and ten of Robin Hood's men 
Came marching all of a row. 

18 And when they came bold Robin before, 

Each man did bend his knee ; 
' O," thought the king, "tis a gallant thing, 
And a seemly sight to see.' 

19 Within himself the king did say, 

These men of Robin Hood's 
More humble be than mine to me ; 
So the court may learn of the woods. 

20 So then they all to dinner went, 

Upon a carpet green ; 
Black, yellow, red, finely mingled, 
Most curious to be seen. 

21 Venison and fowls were plenty there, 

With fish out of the river : 
King Richard swore, on sea or shore, 
He neer was feasted better. 

22 Then Robin takes a can of ale : 

' Come, let us now begin ; 
Come, every man shall have his can; 
Here 's a health unto the king.' 

23 The king himself drank to the king, 

So round about it went ; 
Two barrels of ale, both stout and stale, 
To pledge that health were spent. 

24 And after that, a bowl of wine 

In his hand took Robin Hood ; 
' Until I die, I '11 drink wine,' said he, 
' While I live in the green-wood. 

25 ' Bend all your bows,' said Robin Hood, 

' And with the grey goose wing 
Such sport now shew as you would do 
In the presence of the king.' 

26 They shewd such brave archery, 

By cleaving sticks and wands, 
That the king did say, Such men as they 
Live not in many lands. 

27 'Well, Robin Hood,' then says the king, 

' If I could thy pardon get, 
To serve the king in every thing 
Wouldst thou thy mind firm set? ' 

28 ' Yes, with all my heart,' bold Robin said, 

So they flung off their hoods ; 
To serve the king in every thing, 
They swore they would spend their bloods. 

29 ' For a clergyman was first my bane, 

Which makes me hate them all ; 
But if you '11 be so kind to me, 
Love them again I shall.' 

30 The king no longer could forbear, 

For he was movd with ruth ; 
[' Robin,' said he, ' I now tell thee 
The very naked truth.] 

31 ' I am the king, thy sovereign king, 

That appears before you all ; ' 
When Robin see that it was he, 
Strait then he down did fall. 



32 ' Stand up again,' then said the king, 

' I '11 thee thy pardon give ; 
Stand up, my friend ; who can contend, 
When I give leave to live ? ' 

33 So they are all gone to Nottingham, 

All shouting as they came ; 
But when the people them did see, 
They thought the king was slain, 

34 And for that cause the outlaws were come, 

To rule all as they list ; 
And for to shun, which way to run 
The people did not wist. 

35 The plowman left the plow in the fields, 

The smith ran from his shop ; 
Old folks also, that scarce could go, 
Over their sticks did hop. 

36 The king soon let them understand 

Ho had been in the green wood, 
And from that day, for evermore, 
He 'd forgiven Robin Hood. 

37 When the people they did hear, 

And the truth was known, 
They all did sing, ' God save the king ! 
Hang care, the town 's our own ! ' 

38 ' What 's that Robin Hood V ' then said the sheriff ; 

' That varlet I do hate ; 

Both me and mine he causd to dine, 
And servd us all with one plate." 

39 ' Ho, ho,' said Robin, ' I know what you mean : 

Come, take your gold again ; 
Be friends with me, and I with thee, 
And so with every man. 

40 ' Now, master sheriff, you are paid, 

And since you are beginner, 
As well as you give me my due ; 
For you neer paid for that dinner. 

41 ' But if that it should please the king 

So much your house to grace 

To sup with you, for to speak true, 

[I] know you necr was base.' 

42 The sheriff could not [that] gain say, 

For a trick was put upon him ; 
A supper was drest, the king was guest, 
But he thought 't would have undone him. 

43 They are all gone to London court, 

Robin Hood, with all his train ; 
He once was there a noble peer, 
And now he 's there again. 

44 Many such pranks brave Robin playd 

AVhile he lived in the green wood : 
Now, my friends, attend, and hear an end 
Of honest Robin Hood. 

The King's Disguise, and Friendship with Robin 

To a Northern Tune. 

a. 9'. thyself, thyself. 9*. yon. 28 4 . spent. 
2U 1 . ban. 30 2 . with truth. 

30 s - 4 . Supplied from R. H.'s Garland, York, Thomas 
Wilson Son, 1811. 

b, c. 3". with free. 6 1 . c, livd. 9 1 . O thyself thou. 
IS 1 , said. 14 s . that kind. 18 l . bold wanting. 

21 *. was. 23 1 . was. 26 4 . c, Lived. 
27 2 . I [s]hould. 27*. would. 28 2 . they wanting. 
28. they 'd. 29". ban. 30 2 . with truth. 
SO 8 ' 4 , wanting. 33 1 . c, they 're. 34 1 . was. 

35 1 . his plow : field. 36 4 . b, Ha'd : c, Had. 
37 2 . And that. 38 4 . b, with plate : c, in plate. 
40 2 . are the. 41 1 . c, it wanting. 
41 4 . b, I wanting : c, I know. 42 1 . that gain say. 
42 4 . it would undone. 43 1 . They're, 
d. 3 8 . with one. 5 s . he had seen. 6 4 . lives. 
9 1 . Thyself thou cursest said. 10 s . who give. 
14 1 . king he then did. 16 1 . quothybr said. 
21 4 . never. 22 s . And every. 23 4 . was spent. 
28 4 . blood. 29 1 . bane. 30 2 . with truth. 
30 s - 4 . wanting. 31". saw /or see. 36 1 . did let. 
37 1 . Then. 4 1 4 . I wanting. 42 1 . that wanting. 
42 4 . a guest. 





a. Robin Hood's Garland, London, W. and C. Dicey, 
St Mary Aldermary Church-yard, Bow-Lane, n. d., 
p. 80, No 26. b. Robin Hood's Garland, London, 

R. Marshall, in Aldermary Church-yard, Bow-Lane, 
n. d., p. 84, No 26. c. Robin Hood's Garland, Pres 
ton, Printed and sold by W. Sergent, n. d. 

EVANS, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 226, 
and Ritson, Robin Hood, 1795, II, 171, from 
an Aldermary garland. Gutch, II, 289, from 
Ritson, "compared with the York edition." 

The ballad is not found in a garland of 

The first twenty-three stanzas are based 
upon The Gest, sts 282-95. The remainder is 
mostly taken up with John's astute device for 
sending information to the sheriff. The two 
concluding lines are for connection with R. 

H. and the Valiant Knight, which follows in 
some garlands, as here. 

According to Martin Parker's True Tale, 
Robin Hood shot a letter addressed to the 
king into Nottingham, on an arrow-head, 
offering to submit upon terms: sts 78-81. 
Two cases of a message shot on an arrow are 
cited by Rochholz, Tell u. Gessler in Sage u. 
Geschichte, p. 28 and note. 

Translated by A. Griin, p. 140. 

1 WHEN as the sheriff of Nottingham 

Was come, with mickle grief, 
He talkd no good of Robin Hood, 
That strong and sturdy thief. 
Fal lal dal de 

2 So unto London-road he past, 

His losses to unfold 
To King Richard, who did regard 
The tale that he had told. 

3 ' Why,' quoth the king, ' what shall I do? 

Art thou not sheriff for me ? 
The law is in force, go take thy course 
Of them that injure thee. 

4 ' Go get thee gone, and by thyself 

Devise some tricking game 
For to enthral yon rebels all ; 
Go take thy course with them.' 

5 So away the sheriff he returnd, 

And by the way he thought 
Of the words of the king, and how the thing 
To pass might well be brought. 

6 For within his mind he imagined 

That when such matches were, 
Those outlaws stout, without [all] doubt, 
Would be the bowmen there. 

7 So an arrow with a golden head 

And shaft of silver white, 
Who won the day should bear away 
For his own proper right. 

8 Tidings came to brave Robin Hood, 

Under the green-wood tree : 
' Come prepare you then, my merry men, 
We '11 go yon sport to see.' 

9 With that stept forth a brave young man, 

David of Doncaster : 
'Master,' said he, ' be ruld by me, 
From the green-wood we '11 not stir. 

10 ' To tell the truth, I 'm well informed 

Yon match is a wile ; 
The sheriff, I wiss, devises this 
Us archers to beguile.' 



11 ' O them smells of a coward,' said Robin Hood, 

' Thy words does not please me ; 
Come on 't what will, I '11 try my skill 
At yon brave archery." 

12 O then bespoke brave Little John : 

Come, let us thither gang ; 
Come listen to me, how it shall be 
That we need not be kend. 

13 Our mantles, all of Lincoln green, 

Behind us we will leave ; 
We '11 dress us all so several 
They shall not us perceive. 

14 One shall wear white, another red, 

One yellow, another blue ; 

Thus in disguise, to the exercise 

We '11 gang, whateer ensue. 

15 Forth from the green-wood they are gone, 

With hearts all firm and stout, 
Resolving [then] with the sheriff's men 
To have a hearty bout. 

16 So themselves they mixed with the rest, 

To prevent all suspicion ; 
For if they should together hold 
They thought [it] no discretion. 

17 So the sheriff looking round about, 

Amongst eight hundred men, 
But could not see the sight that he 
Had long expected then. 

18 Some said, If Robin Hood was here, 

And all his men to boot, 
Sure none of them could pass these men, 
So bravely they do shoot. 

19 ' Ay,' quoth the sheriff, and scratchd his head, 

' I thought he would have been here ; 
I thought he woukl, but, tho he 's bold, 
He durst not now appear.' 

20 O that word grieved Robin Hood to the heart ; 

He vexed in his blood ; 
Eer long, thought he, thou shalt well see 
That here was Robin Hood. 

21 Some cried, Blue jacket! another cried, Brown 

And the third cried, Brave Yellow! 
But the fourth man said, Yon man in red 
In this place has no fellow. 

22 For that was Robin Hood himself, 

For he was cloathd in red ; 

At every shot the prize he got, 
For he was both sure and dead. 

23 So the arrow with the golden head 

And shaft of silver white 
Brave Robin Hood won, and bore with him 
For his own proper right. 

24 These outlaws there, that very day, 

To shun all kind of doubt, 
By three or four, no less no more, 
As they went in came out. 

25 Until they all assembled were 

Under the green-wood shade, 
Where they report, in pleasant sport, 
What brave pastime they made. 

26 Says Robin Hood, All my care is, 

How that yon sheriff may 

Know certainly that it was I 

That bore his arrow away. 

27 Says Little John, My counsel good 

Did take effect before, 
So therefore now, if you '11 allow, 
I will advise once more. 

28 ' Speak on, speak on,' said Robin Hood, 

' Thy wit 's both quick and sound ; 
[I know no man amongst us can 
For wit like thee be found.'] 

29 ' This I advise,' said Little John ; 

' That a letter shall be pend, 
And when it is done, to Nottingham 
You to the sheriff shall send.' 

30 'That is well advised,' said Robin Hood, 

'But how must it be sent? ' 
' Pugh! when you please, it 's done with ease, 
Master, be you content. 

31 ' I '11 stick it on my arrow's head, 

And shoot it into the town ; 
The mark shall show where it must go, 
When ever it lights down. ' 

32 The project it was full performd ; 

The sheriff that letter had ; 
Which when be read, he scratchd his head, 
And rav'd like one that 's mad. 

33 So we '11 leave him chafing in his grease, 

Which will do him no good ; 
Now, my friends, attend, and hear the end 
Of honest Robin Hood. 



a. 12 2 . hither. 25'. relate for report. 

28 8 ' 4 . supplied from R. H.'s Garland, York, Thomas 
Wilson Son, 1811. 

b, c. 3 s . to take. 6 s . without all. 10 1 . the wanting. 
10 2 . it is. ll l . O wanting. 11 s . do not. 

12 s . thither. 14 8 . in the. 

15 s . then wanting. 16 4 . thought it. 

17 4 . suspected. 

19 s . o, but wanting. 21 2 . a third. 

22 1 . c, bold Robin. 24 2 . kinds. 24. nor more. 

25 8 . relate. 28 &4 . wanting. SI 3 , must show. 

32 1 . well for full. 33 1 . in the. 



a. Robin Hood's Garland, London, C. Dicey, Bow 
Church Yard, n. d., but before 1741, p. 88, Bodleian 
Library, Douce H H, 88. b. Robin Hood's Gar 
land, 1749, without place or printer, p. 101, No 24. 

c. Robin Hood's Garland, London, R. Marshall, in 
Aldermary Church-Yard, Bow-Lane, n. d., p. 87, 
No 27. 

EVANS, Old Ballads, 1777, 1784, I, 232, against outlaws, -which may explain why this 

from an Aldermary garland ; Ritson, Robin 
Hood, 1795, II, 178, from an Aldermary gar 
land, corrected by a York copy. 

Written, perhaps, because it was thought 
that authority should in the end be vindicated 

piece surpasses in platitude everything that 
goes before. 

Translated by Lo^ve-Veimars, p. 219. 

1 WHEN Robin Hood, and his merry men all, 

Derry, etc. 

Had reigned many years, 

The king was then told they had been too bold 
To his bishops and noble peers. 

Hey, etc. 

2 Therefore they called a council of state, 

To know what was best to be done 
For to quell their pride, or else, they reply'd, 
The land would be over-run. 

3 Having consulted a whole summers day, 

At length it was agreed 
That one should be sent to try the event, 
And fetch him away with speed. 

4 Therefore a trusty and worthy knight 

The king was pleasd to call, 
Sir William by name; when to him he came, 
He told him his pleasure all. 

5 ' Go you from hence to bold Robin Hood, 

And bid him, without more a-do, 
Surrender himself, or else the proud elf 

Shall suffer with all his crew. 
VOL. m. 29 

6 ' Take here a hundred bowmen brave, 

All chosen men of might, 
Of excellent art for to take thy part, 
In glittering armour bright.' 

7 Then said the knight, My sovereign liege, 

By me they shall be led ; 

I '11 venture my blood against bold Robin Hood, 
And bring him alive or dead. 

8 One hundred men were chosen straight, 

As proper as eer men saw ; 
On Midsummer-day they marched away, 
To conquer that brave outlaw. 

9 With long yew bows and shining spears, 

They marchd in mickle pride, 
And never delayd, or halted, or stayd, 
Till they came to the greenwood-side. 

10 Said he to his archers, Tarry here ; 

Your bows make ready all, 
That, if need should be, you may follow me ; 
And see you observe my call. 



11 ' I '11 go in person first,' he cry'd, 

' With the letters of my good king, 
Both signd and seald, and if he will yield, 
We need not draw one string.' 

12 He wanderd about till at length he came 

To the tent of Robin Hood ; 
The letter he shews ; bold Robin arose, 
And there on his guard he stood. 

13 'They'd have me surrender,' quoth bold Robin 


' And lie at their mercy then ; 
But tell them from me, that never shall be, 
While I have full seven-score men.' 

14 Sir William the knight, both hardy and bold, 

Did offer to seize him there, 
Which William Locksly by fortune did see, 
And bid him that trick forbear. 

15 Then Robin Hood set his horn to his mouth, 

And blew a blast or twain, 
And so did the knight, at which there in sight 
The archers came all amain. 

16 Sir AVilliam with care he drew up his men, 

And plac'd them in battle array ; 
Bold Robin, we find, he was not behind ; 
Now this was a bloody fray. 

1 7 The archers on both sides bent their bows, 

And the clouds of arrows flew ; 
The very first flight, that honoured knight 
Did there bid the world adieu. 

18 Yet nevertheless their fight did last 

From morning till almost noon ; 
Both parties were stout, and loath to give out ; 
This was on the last [day] of June. 

19 At length they went off ; one part they went 

To London with right good will ; 
And Robin Hood he to the green-wood tree, 
And there he was taken ill. 

20 He sent for a monk, who let him blood, 

And took his life away ; 
Now this being done, his archers they run, 
It was not a time to stay. 

21 Some got on board and crossd the seas, 

To Flanders, France, and Spain, 
And others to Rome, for fear of their doom, 
But soon returnd again. 

22 Thus he that never feard bow nor spear 

Was murderd by letting of blood ; 
And so, loving friends, the story doth end 
Of valiant bold Robin Hood. 

23 There 's nothing remains but his epitaph now, 

Which, reader, here you have ; 
To this very day, and read it you may, 
As it was upon his grave. 

Robin Hood's Epitaph, 

Set on his tomb 

By the Prioress of Birkslay Monastery, in 

Robin, Earl of Huntington, 
Lies under this little stone. 
No archer was like him so good ; 
His wildness nam'd him Robin Hood. 
Full thirteen years, and something more, 
These northern parts he vexed sore. 
Such outlaws as he and his men 
May England never know again ! 

Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight; together 
with an account of his Death and Burial, &<:. 
Tune of Robin Hood and the Fifteen Foresters. 

a. Inside the cover is written, William Stnkely, 1741. 
18*. day found in b. 

b. A carelessly printed look, with only twenty-four 

ballads. It belonged to Bishop Percy. Burden 


I 1 . When bold Robin and. I 8 , had been told he. 
I 4 . With his. 2 1 . the best. 2. will be. 
3. wanting. 6 1 . Take an. 6 s . art to. 
7. again Robin. 12 1 . till at last. IT-, of bold. 
13 1 . would have : hold, Hood, wanting. 
13. that it. 13*. Whilst. 15 1 . Robin he set. 

IV 4 . there wanting. 18 1 . the fight. IS 4 , last day. 
19 2 . For London. 19 s . he wanting. 20 l . to let. 
20". done away they ran. 21. wanting. 
22 1 . that neither. 24 8 . it wanting. 24 4 . it were. 
The epitaph is not given. 
c. Burden : Derry down down : Hey down derry 

derry down. 

I s . that they had been bold. 2 2 . best wanting. 
5 1 . Go you. 6 1 . an. 7 s . bold wanting. 
10*. see that. 11 s . Well signd. 
14 4 . bid them : to forbear. 18 4 . day wanting. 
19 1 . party. 19 2 . For London. 20 l . to let. 
20 2 . Who took. 20 4 . a wanting. 21 1 . Some went. 
23 8 . and wanting. 





MARTIN PARKER'S True Tale of Robin 
Hood was entered to Francis Grove the 29th 
of February, 1632 : Stationers' Registers, 
Arber, IV, 273. A copy in the British Mu 
seum (press-mark C. 39. a. 52), which is here 
reprinted, is assumed by Mr W. C. Hazlitt, 
Handbook, p. 439, and Mr George Bullen, 
Brit. Mus. Catalogue, to be of this first edi 
tion. The title of this copy is : A True Tale 
of Robbin [Hood], or, A brief e touch of the 
life and death o[f that] Renowned Outlaw, 
Robert Earle of Huntin [gton] vulgarly called 
Robbin Hood, who lived and died in [A. D.] 
1198, being the 9. yeare of the reigne of King 
Ric[hard] the first, commonly called Richard 
Cuer de Lyon. Carefully collected out of the 
truest Writers of our English C[hroni]cles. 
And published for the satisfaction of those 
who desire to s[ee] Truth purged from false 
hood. By Martin Parker. Printed at Lon 
don for T. Cotes, and are to be sold by F. 
Grove dwellin[g] upon Snow-hill, neare the 
Saracen [s head].* 

Martin Parker professes in st. 117 to follow 
chronicles, not " fained tales." Perhaps he 
regards broadside-ballads with historical names 

in them as chronicles : at any rate, though he 
reports some things which are found in Graf- 
ton, and in Major as cited by Grafton, much 
the larger part of his True Tale is now to be 
found only in ballads. When he does not 
agree with ballads which have come down to 
us, he may have used earlier copies, or he 
may have invented. The story of the abbot 
in 23-26 is at least from the same source as 
Robin Hood and the Bishop ; the plundering of 
King Richard's receivers in 33 is evidently the 
same event as that referred to in the first stanza 
of Robin Hood and Queen Katherine ; Robin 
Hood is said to have built eight almshouses 
in 71, and one in the last stanza of The Noble 
Fisherman. The Gest could hardly have been 
unknown to Parker. Stanzas 3-9, concerning 
Robin's rank, prodigality, and outlawry, may 
have been based upon Munday's play ; but 
nothing is said of Maid Marian. 44-50 and 
56-65 may report the substance of some lost 

Perhaps Parker calls his compilation a True 
Tale because a tale of Robin Hood was a 
proverb for an incredible story : " Tales of 
Robin Hood are good for fools." 

1 BOTH gentlemen, or yeomen bould, 

Or whatsoever you are, 

To have a stately story tould, 

Attention now prepare. 

2 It is a tale of Robin Hood, 

Which I to you will tell, 

* The mutilated parts are supplied, to a slight extent, 
from a copy in the Bodleian Library (L. 78. Art., 5th 
tract), which happens to he injured on the right side of the 
title-page in nearly the same places as the Museum copy, 
and also has the lower portion cut off, to the loss of the 
printer's name ; the rest from an edition printed for J. 

Which being rightly understood, 
I know will please you well. 

3 This Robbin, so much talked on, 

Was once a man of fame, 
Instiled Earle of Huntington, 
Lord Robert Hood by name. 

Clark, W. Thackeray, and T. Passinger, 1686. Mr J. P. 
Collier possessed a copy with the same imprint as that of 
the Museum, which he lent Gutch, and which Gutch says 
he used for his text. If Gntch followed the Collier copy, 
then that was not identical with the Museum copy. Ritson 
reprinted the text of 1686. 



4 In courtship and magnificence, 

His carriage won him prayse, 
And greater favour with his prince 
Than any in his dayes. 

5 In bounteous liberality 

He too much did excell, 
And loved men of quality 
More than exceeding well. 

6 His great revennues all he sould 

For wine and costly cheere ; 
He kept three hundred bowmen bold, 
He shooting lovd so deare. 

7 No archer living in his time 

With him might well compare ; 
He practisd all his youthfull prime 
That exercise most rare. 

8 At last, by his profuse expence, 

He had consumd his wealth, 
And being outlawed by his prince, 
In woods he livd by stealth. 

9 The abbot of Sam* Maries rich, 

To whom he mony ought, 
His hatred to this earle was such 
That he his downefall wrought. 

10 So being outlawed, as 't is told, 

He with a crew went forth 

Of lusty cutters, stout and bold, 

And robbed in thu North. 

1 1 Among the rest, one Little John, 

A yeoman bold and free, 
Who could, if it stood him upon, 
With ease encounter three. 

12 One hundred men in all he got, 

With whom, the story sayes, 
Three hundred common men durst not 
Hold combate any wayes. 

13 They Yorkshire woods frequented much. 

And Lancashire also, 
Wherein their practises were such 
That they wrought mickle woe. 

14 None rich durst travell to and fro, 

Though nere so strongly armd, 
But by these theeves, so strong in show, 
They still were robd and harmd. 

15 His chiefest spight to the clergie was, 

That lived in monstrous pride ; 
No one of them he would let passe 
Along the high-way side, 

16 But first they must to dinner goe, 

And afterwards to shrift : 
Full many a one he served so, 
Thus while be livd by theft. 

17 No monkes nor fryers he would let goe, 

Without paying their fees : 
If they thought much to be usd so, 
Their stones he made them leese. 

18 For such as they the country filld 

With bastards in those dayes ; 
Which to prevent, these sparkes did geld 
All that came by their wayes. 

19 But Rob bin Hood so gentle was, 

And bore so brave a minde, 
If any in distresse did passe, 
To them he was so kinde 

20 That he would give and lend to them, 

To helpe them at their neede : 
This made all poore men pray for him, 
And wish he well might speede. 

21 The widdow and the fatherlesse 

He would send meanes unto, 
And those whom famine did oppresse 
Found him a friendly foe. 

22 Nor would he doe a woman wrong, 

But see her safe conveid ; 
He would protect with power strong 
All those who crav'd his ayde. 

23 The abbot of Saint Maries then, 

Who him undid before, 
Was riding with two hundred men, 
And gold and silver store. 

24 But Robbin Hood upon him set 

With his couragious sparkes, 
And all the coyne perforce did get, 
Which was twelve thousand markes. 

25 He bound the abbot to a tree, 

And would not let him passe 
Before that to his men and he 
His lordship had sayd masse. 

26 Which being done, upon his horse 

He set him fast astride, 
And with his face towards his ar 
He forced him to ride. 

27 His men were faine to be his guide, 

For he rode backward home ; 
The abbot, being thus villifide, 
Did sorely chafe and fume. 



28 Thus Bobbin Hood did vindicate 

His former wrongs receivd ; 

For 'twas this covetous prelate 

That him of land bereavd. 

29 The abbot he rode to the king 

With all the haste he could, 
And to his Grace he every thing 
Exactly did unfold. 

30 And sayd if that no course were tane, 

By force or stratagem, 
To take this rebell and his traine, 
No man should passe for them. 

31 The king protested by and by 

Unto the abbot then 

That Bobbin Hood with speed should dye, 
With all his merry men. 

32 But ere the king did any send, 

He did another feate, 
Which did his Grace much more offend ; 
The fact indeed was great. 

33 For in a short time after that, 

The kings receivers went 
Towards London with the coyne they got, 
For 's Highnesse northerne rent. 

34 Bold Bobbin Hood and Little John, 

With the rest of their traine, 

Not dreading law, set them upon, 

And did their gold obtaine. 

35 The king much moved at the same, 

And the abbots talke also, 

In this his anger did proclaime, 

And sent word to and fro, 

36 That whosoere, alive or dead, 

Could bring him Bobbin Hood, 
Should have one thousand markes, well payd 
In gold and silver good. 

37 This promise of the king did make 

Full many yeomen bold 
Attempt stout Bobbin Hood to take, 
With all the force they could. 

38 But still when any came to him, 

Within the gay greene wood, 

He entertainement gave to them, 

With venison fat and good. 

39 And shewd to them such martiall sport, 

With his long bow and arrow, 

That they of him did give report, 

How that it was great sorow, 

40 That such a worthy man as he 

Should thus be put to shift, 
Being late a lord of high degree, 
Of living quite bereft. 

41 The king, to take him, more and more 

Sent men of mickle might, 
But he and his still beate them sore, 
And conquered them in fight. 

42 Or else, with love and courtesie, 

To him he won their hearts : 
Thus still he lived by robbery, 
Throughout the northerne parts. 

43 And all the country stood in dread 

Of Bobbin Hood and 's men ; 

For stouter lads nere Hvd by bread, 

In those dayes nor since then. 

44 The abbot which before I nam'd 

Sought all the meanes he could 
To have by force this rebell tane, 
And his adherents bold. 

45 Therefore he armd five hundred men, 

With furniture compleate, 
But the outlawes slew halfe of them, 
And made the rest retreate. 

46 The long bow and the arrow keene 

They were so usd unto 
That still they kept the forest greene, 
In spight o th' proudest foe. 

47 Twelve of the abbots men he tooke, 

Who came him to have tane, 
When all the rest the field forsooke ; 
These he did entertaine 

48 With banquetting and merriment, 

And, having usd them well, 

He to their lord them safely sent, 

And willd them him to tell 

49 That if he would be pleasd at last 

To beg of our good king 
That he might pardon what was past, 
And him to favour bring, 

50 He would surrender backe agen 

The money which before 
Was taken by him and his men, 
From him and many more. 

51 Poore men might safely passe by him, 

And some that way would chuse, 
For well they knew that to helpe them 
He evermore did use. 



52 But where he knew a miser rich, 

That did the poore oppresse, 
To feele his coyne his hand did itch ; 
Hee 'de have it, more or lesse. 

53 And sometimes, when the high-way fayld, 

Then he his courage rouses ; 

He and his men have oft assayld 

Such rich men in their houses. 

54 So that, through dread of Robbin then 

And his adventurous crew, 
The mizers kept great store of men, 
Which else maintaynd but few. 

55 King Richard, of that name the first, 

Sirnamed Cuer de Lyon, 
Went to defeate the Pagans curst, 
Who kept the coasts of Syon. 

56 The Bishop of Ely, chancelor, 

Was left as vice-roy here, 
Who like a potent emperor 
Did proudly domminere. 

57 Our chronicles of him report 

That commonly he rode 
With a thousand horse from court to court, 
Where he would make abode. 

58 He, riding downe towards the north, 

With his aforesayd traine, 
Robbin and his did issue forth, 
Them all to entertaine. 

59 And, with the gallant gray-goose wing, 

They shewed to them such play, 
That made their horses kicke and fling, 
And downe their riders lay. 

60 Full glad and faine the bishop was, 

For all his thousand men, 
To seeke what meanes he could to passe 
From out of Robbins ken. 

61 Two hundred of his men were kil'd, 

And fourescore horses good ; 
Thirty, who did as captives yeeld, 
Were carryed to the greene wood. 

62 Which afterwards were ransomed, 

For twenty markes a man ; 
The rest set spurres to horse, and fled 
To th' town of Warrington. 

63 The bishop, sore enraged then, 

Did, in King Richards name, 

Muster a power of nnrtherne men, 

These outlawes bold to tame. 

64 But Robbin, with his courtesie, 

So wonne the meaner sort, 
That they were loath on him to try 
What rigor did import. 

65 So that bold Robbin and his traine 

Did live unhurt of them, 
Vntill King Richard came againe 
From faire Jerusalem. 

66 And then the talke of Robbin Hood 

His royall eares did fill ; 
His Grace admir'd that ith' greene wood 
He thus continued still. 

67 So that the country farre and neare 

Did give him great applause ; 
For none of them neede stand in feare, 
But such as broke the lawes. 

68 He wished well unto the king, 

And prayed still for his health, 
And never practised any thing 
Against the common wealth. 

69 Onely, because he was undone 

By th' crewell clergie then, 
All meanes that he could thinke upon 
To vexe such kinde of men 

70 He enterprized, with hatefull spleene ; 

In which he was to blame, 
For fault of some, to wreeke his teene 
On all that by him came. 

71 With wealth which he by robbery got 

Eight almes-houses he built, 
Thinking thereby to purge the blot 
Of blood which he had spilt. 

72 Such was their blinde devotion then, 

Depending on their workes ; 
Which, if 'twere true, we Christian men 
Inferiour were to Turkes. 

73 But, to speake true of Robbin Hood, 

And wrong him not a lot, 
He never would shed any mans blood 
That him invaded not. 

74 Nor would he iniure husbandmen, 

That toyld at cart and plough ; 
For well he knew, were 't not for them, 
To live no man knew how. 

75 The king in person, with some lords, 

To Notingham did ride, 
To try what strength and skill affords 
To crush these outlawes pride. 



76 And, as he once before had done, 

He did againe proclaime, 
That whosoere would take upon 
To bring to Notingham, 

77 Or any place within the land, 

Rebellious Robbin Hood, 
Should be preferd in place to stand 
With those of noble blood. 

78 When Robbin Hood heard of the same, 

Within a little space, 
Into the towne of Notingham 
A letter to his Grace 

79 He shot upon an arrow-head, 

One evening cunningly ; 
Which was brought to the king, and read 
Before his Maiestie. 

80 The tennour of this letter was 

That Robbin would submit, 
And be true leigeman to his Grace, 
In any thing that 's fit, 

81 So that his Highnesse would forgive 

Him and his merry men all ; 
If not, he must i th' greene wood live, 
And take what chance did fall. 

82 The king would faine have pardoned him, 

But that some lords did say, 
This president will much condemne 
Your Grace another day. 

83 While that the king and lords did stay 

Debating on this thing, 
Some of these outlawes fled away 
Unto the Scottish king. 

84 For they supposd, if he were tane, 

Or to the king did yeeld, 
By th' commons all the rest on 's traine 
Full quickely would be quelld. 

85 Of more than full a hundred men 

But forty tarryed still, 
Who were resolvd to sticke to him, 
Let fortune worke her will. 

86 If none had fled, all for his sake 

Had got their pardon free ; 
The king to favour meant to take 
His merry men and he. 

87 But ere the pardon to him came, 

This famous archer dy'd : 
His death, and manner of the same, 
1 'le presently describe. 

88 For, being vext to thinke upon 

His followers revolt, 
In melancholly passion 
He did recount their fault. 

89 ' Perfideous traytors ! ' sayd he then, 

' In all your dangers past 

Have I you guarded as my men 

To leave me thus at last ? ' 

90 This sad perplexity did cause 

A fever, as some say, 
Which him unto confusion drawes, 
Though by a stranger way. 

91 This deadly danger to prevent, 

He hide him with all speede 
Vnto a nunnery, with intent 
For his healths sake to bleede. 

92 A faithlesse fryer did pretend 

In love to let him blood ; 
But he by falshood wrought the end 
Of famous Robbin Hood. 

93 The fryer, as some say, did this 

To vindicate the wrong 
Which to the clergie he and his 
Had done by power strong. 

94 Thus dyed he by trechery, 

That could not dye by force , 
Had he livd longer, certainely, 
King Richard, in remorse, 

95 Had unto favour him receavd ; 

He brave men elevated ; 
'T is pitty he was of life bereavd 
By one which he so hated. 

96 A treacherous leech this fryer was, 

To let him bleed to death ; 
And Robbin was, me thinkes, an asse, 
To trust him with his breath. 

97 His corpes the priores of the place, 

The next day that he dy'd, 
Caused to be buried, in mean case, 
Close by the high-way side. 

98 And over him she caused a stone 

To be fixed on the ground ; 
An epitaph was set thereon, 
Wherein his name was found. 

99 The date o th' yeare, and day also, 

Shee made to be set there, 

That all who by the way did goe 

Might see it plaine appeare 



100 That such a man as Robbin Hood 

Was buried in that place ; 
And how he lived in the greene wood, 
And robd there for a space. 

101 It seemes that though the clergie he 

Had put to mickle woe, 
He should not quite forgotten be, 
Although he was their foe. 

102 This woman, though she did him hate, . 

Yet loved his memory ; 
And thought it wondrous pitty that 
His fame should with him dye. 

103 This epitaph, as records tell, 

Within this hundred yeares 
By many was discerned well, 
But time all things outweares. 

104 His followers, when he was dead, 

Were some received to grace ; 
The rest to forraigne countries fled, 
And left their native place. 

105 Although his funeral! was but meane, 

This woman had in minde 
Least his fame should be buried cleane 
From those that came behind. 

106 For certainely, before nor since, 

No man ere understood, 
Vnder the reigne of any prince, 
Of one like Robbin Hood. 

107 Full thirteene yeares, and something more, 

These outlawes lived thus, 
Feared of the rich, loved of the poore, 
A thing most marvelous. 

108 A thing impossible to us 

This story seemes to be ; 
None dares be now so venturous ; 
But times are chang'd, we see. 

109 We that live in these latter dayes 

Of civill government, 
If neede be, have a hundred wayes 
Such outlawes to prevent. 

110 In those dayes men more barbarous were, 

And lived lesse in awe ; 

Now, God be thanked ! people feare 
More to offend the law. 

111 No roaring guns were then in use, 

They dreampt of no such thing ; 
Our English men in fight did chuse 
The gallant gray-goose wing. 

112 In which activity these men, 

Through practise, were so good, 
That in those dayes non equald them, 
Specially Robbin Hood. 

113 So that, it seemes, keeping in caves, 

In woods and forrests thicke, 
Thei 'd beate a multitude with staves, 
Then 1 arrowes did so pricke. 

114 And none durst neare unto them come, 

Unlesse in courtesie ; 
All such he bravely would send home, 
With mirth and iollity. 

115 Which courtesie won him such love, 

As I before have told ; 
'T was the cheefe cause that he did prove 
More prosperous than he could. 

116 Let us be thankefull for these times 

Of plenty, truth and peace, 
And leave our great and horrid crimes, 
Least they cause this to cease. 

1171 know there 's many fained tales 
Of Robbin Hood and 's crew ; 
But chronicles, which seldome fayles, 
Reports this to be true. 

118 Let none then thinke this a lye, 

For, if 't were put to th' worst, 
They may the truth of all discry 
I th' raigne of Richard the first. 

119 If any reader please to try, 

As I direction show, 
The truth of this brave history, 
Hee '1 finde it true I know. 

120 And I shall thinke my labour well 

Bestowed, to purpose good, 
When 't shall be sayd that I did tell 
True tales of Robbin Hood. 



At the end of the Tale: 

The Epitaph which the Prioresse of the Monastery 
of Kirkes Lay in Yorke-shire set over Robbin 
Hood, which, as is before mentioned, was to bee 
reade within these hundreth yeares, though in 
old broken English, much to the same sence and 

Decembris quarto die, 1198: anno regni Richardii 
Primi 9. 

Robert Earle of Huntington 

Lies under this little stone. 

No archer was like him so good : 

His wildnesse named him Robbin Hood. 

Full thirteene yeares, and something more, 

These northerne parts he vexed sore. 

Such out-lawes as he and his men 
May England never know agen. 

Some other superstitious words were in it, which 
I thought fit to leave out.* 

Bodl. L. 78. 2". That for which. 20. wisht. 

59 s . kicke/or kickle. 70 3 . In for For. 

942. Who for That. 

108 1 . impossible for impossible. 116*. OUT for out. 

* " Now, under this precise gentleman's favor, one would 
be glad to know what these same superstitious words were ; 
there not being anything of the kind in Dr Gale's copy, 
which seems to be the original, and which is shorter by two 
lines than the above. Thirteen should be thirty." Ritson, 
Robin Hood, ed. 1832, II, 127 f. For the epitaph and the 
gravestone, see the same volume, pp. liv-lvii. 


A. ' Hugh of Lincoln,' Jamieson's Popular Ballads, 
I, 151. 

B. 'The Jew's Daughter,' Percy's Reliques, 1765, 

C. ' The Jewis Daughter,' Bishop Percy's Papers. 

D. ' Sir Hugh,' Herd's MSS, I, 213 ; stanzas 7-10, II, 
219. Herd's Scottish Songs, 1776, I, 96. 

E. ' Sir Hugh, or. The Jew's Daughter,' Motherwell's 
Minstrelsy, p. 51. 

F. A. Hume, Sir Hugh of Lincoln, p. 35. 

G. From the recitation of an American lady. 

H. 'The Jew's Daughter,' from the recitation of an 
American lady. 

I. Sir Egerton Brydges, Restituta, I, 381. 

J. ' Sir Hugh.' a. Notes and Queries, First Series, 
XII, 496. b. The same, VIII, 614. 

K. Notes and Queries, First Series, IX, 320 ; Salopian 
VOL. m. 30 

Shreds and Patches, in Miss C. S. Burne's Shrop 
shire Folk-Lore, p. 539. 

L. a. Communicated by the Rev. E. Venables. b. A 
Walk through Lincoln Cathedral, by the same, 
p. 41. 

M. F. H. Groome, In Gipsy Tents, Edinburgh, 1880, 
p. 145. 

N. 'Little Harry Hughes and the Duke's Daughter,' 
Newell, Games and Songs of American Children, 
p. 75. 

O. G. A. Sala, Illustrated London News, LXXXI, 
415, October 21, 1882, and Living London, 1883, p. 

P. Halliwell, Ballads and Poems respecting Hugh of 
Lincoln, p. 37, Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, 
p. 192 : two stanzas. 

Q. 'The Jew's Daughter,' Motherwell's Note-Book, 
p. 54 : two stanzas. 

R. 'Sir Hew, or, The Jew's Daughter," Motherwell's 
Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. xvii, VII : one stanza. 



THE copy in Pinkerton's Tragic Ballads, 
1781, p. 50, is made up of eight stanzas of D 
and six of B, slightly retouched by the editor ; 
that in Gilch list's collection, 1815, I, 210, is 
eight stanzas of D and nine of A ; that in 
Stenhouse's edition of Johnson's Museum, IV, 
500, "communicated by an intelligent anti 
quarian correspondent," is compounded from 
A, B, D, E and Pinkerton, with a little chaff 
of its own ; that printed by W. C. Atkin 
son, of Brigg, Lincolnshire, in the London 
Athenaeum, 1867, p. 96, is Pinkerton's, with 
two trifling changes. Allen, History of the 
County of Lincoln, 1834, p. 171 (repeating 
Wilde, Lincoln Cathedral, 1819, p. 27, as ap 
pears from Notes and Queries, 4th Series, II, 
60), says that a complete manuscript of the 
ballad was once in the library of the cathe 
dral, and cites the first stanza, which differs 
from Pinkerton's only in having " Mary Lin 
coln " for " merry Lincoln." 

The several versions agree in the outline of 
the story, and in many of the details. Ac 
cording to A, boys who are playing football 
are joined by Sir Hugh, who kicks the ball 
through the Jew's window. Sir Hugh sees 
the Jew's daughter looking out of the window, 
and asks her to throw down the ball. She 
tells him to come and get it ; this he is afraid 
to do, for fear she may do to him " as she did 
to his father." The Jew's daughter entices 
him in with an apple, leads him through nine 
dark doors, lays him on a table, and sticks 
him like a swine ; then rolls him in a cake of 
lead, and throws him into a draw-well fifty 
fathoms deep, Our Lady's draw-well. The 
boy not returning at eve, his mother sets forth 
to seek him ; goes to the Jew's castle, the 
Jew's garden, and to the draw-well, entreat 
ing in each case Sir Hugh to speak. He an 
swers from the well, bidding his mother go 
make his winding-sheet, and he will meet her 
at the back of merry Lincoln the next morn 
ing. His mother makes his winding-sheet, 
and the dead corpse meets her at the back of 
merry Lincoln: all the bells of Lincoln are 
rung without men's hands, and all the books 
of Lincoln are read without man's tongue. 

The boy's name is Sir Hugh in A-P, etc. ; 

in K the name is corrupted to Saluter, and in 
the singular and interesting copy obtained in 
New York, N, to Harry Hughes, the Jew's 
Daughter in this becoming the Duke's Daugh 
ter. The place is Merry Lincoln in A, D, L 
(Lincoln, J ; Lincolnshire, Q) ; corrupted in 

B, C, to Mirryland town,* in E to Maitland 
town ; changed to Merry Scotland, I, J, O, 
which is corrupted to Merrycock land, K ; in 
G, H, old Scotland, fair Scotland. The ball 
is tossed [patted] into the Jew's garden, Q, 
H, I, L, M, O, P, where the Jews are sitting 
a-row, I, O. The boy will not come in with 
out his play -feres, B, C, D, F, G, I, J, K ; if 
he should go in, his mother would cause his 
heart's blood to fall, etc., G, I, K.f The boy 
is rolled in a cake [case] of lead, A-E (L, b?) ; 
in a quire of tin, N. The draw-well is Our 
Lady's only in A (L, b ?) ; it is the Jew's in 

C, D; it is a [the] deep draw-well, simply, in 
B, E, F, G; a little draw-well, N, a well, O ; 
fifty fathoms deep, A-F, N ; G, eighteen fath 
oms, O, five and fifty feet. In G, the Jew's 
daughter lays the Bible at the boy's head, 
and the Prayer-Book at his feet (how came 
these in the Jew's house ?) before she sticks 
him ; in I, K, the Bible and Testament after; 
in I, the Catechism in his heart's blood. In 
H, the boy, at the moment of his death, asks 
that the Bible may be put at his head, and 
the Testament at his feet, and in M, wants "a 
seven-foot Bible " at his head and feet. In 

E, F, the boy makes this request from the 
draw-well (" and pen and ink at every side," 
E), and in N with the variation that his Bi 
ble is to be put at his head, his " busker " 
at his feet, and his Prayer-Book at his right 
side. In O there is a j umble : 

' Oh lay a Bible at my head, 

And a Prayer-Book at my feet, 
In the well that they did throw me in,' etc. 

* Percy : " As for Mirryland Town, it is probably a cor 
ruption of Milan (called by the Dutch Meylandt) town ; the 
Pa is evidently the river Po, although the Adige, not the 
Po, runs through Milan." B 1 is unintelligible. Do the 
lads run down the Pa ? 

t la J, 4, he will be beaten for losing his ball. In the Irish 

F, 8, the mother takes a little rod in her hand, meaning to 
bate him for staying so long: cf. J 10, N 4, 12, and the 
last verse of T. Hood's ' Lost Heir.' 



The boy asks his mother to go and make 
ready his winding-sheet in A, B, C, B, F ; and 
appoints to meet her at the back of the town, 
A, B, E ; at the birks of Mirryland town, C. 

The fine trait of the ringing of the bells 
without men's hands, and the reading of the 
books without man's tongue, occurs only in A. 
When Florence of Rome approached a church, 
" the bellys range thorow Godys grace, with- 
owtyn helpe of hande:" Le Bone Florence of 
Rome, Ritson, Met. Rom., Ill, 80, v. 1894 f. 
Bells which ring without men's hands are very 
common in popular tradition. See Jamieson's 
Popular Ballads, 1, 140 ;, 272, 
ed. 1808 ; Luzel, C. P. de la Basse-Bretagne, 
I, 446 f., 496 f., II, 44 f ., 66 f., 308 f., 542 f. ; 
Maurer, Islandische Volkssagen, p. 215 ; 
Weckenstedt, Wendische Sagen, p. 379, No 
5 ; Temme, Volkssagen der Altmark, p. 29, 
No 31 ; Miinsterische Geschichten, u. s. w., p. 
186 ; Bartsch, Sagen aus Meklenburg, I, 390, 
No 539 ; Mone's Anzeiger, VIII, 303 f., No 
41 and note, and VII, 32 ; Birlinger, Aus 
Schwaben, Neue Sammlung, I, 72 ; Birlinger 
u. Buck, I, 144, No 223, 145, No 225, a, 
b, c; Schoppner, Sagenbuch der bayerischen 
Lande, I, 2y4, No 301, etc.* 

The story of Hugh of Lincoln is told in the 
Annals of Waverley, under the year 1255, by 
a contemporary writer, to this effect, f yA boy 
in Lincoln, named Hugh, was crucified by the 
Jews in contempt of Christ, with various pre 
liminary tortures. To conceal the act from 
Christians, the body, when taken from the 
cross, was thrown into a running stream ; but 
the water would not endure the wrong done 
its maker, and immediately ejected it upon 
dry land. The body was then buried in the 

Dem Volke war die Glocke nicht herzlos ; sie war ihm 
cine beseelte Fersonlichkeit, und stand als solche mit dem 
Menschen in lebendigem Verkehr. . . . Die Glocken . . . 
scheinen auch von hiJheren Machten beriihrt zu werden ; 
sie sprechen wie Gottesstimraen, ertonen oft von selbst, als 
Mahnnng von oben, als Botschaft vom Tode bedeutender 
Personen, als Wahrzeichen der Unschuld eines Angeklag- 
ten, zur Bewilhrung der Heiligkeit eines von Gott erwahlten 
Riistzeugs. Uhland, Schriften zur Geschichte der Dichtung 
u. Sage, VIII, 588 f. 

t Annales Monastic!, ed. Luard, II, 346 ff. " From 1219 
to 1266 the MS. was written contemporaneously with the 
events described, from year to year: " p. xxxvi. 

earth, but was found above ground the next 
day. The guilty parties were now very much 
frightened and quite at their wit's end ; as a 
last resort they threw the corpse into a drink- 
ing-well. Thereupon the whole place was 
filled with so brilliant a light and so sweet an 
odor that it was clear to everybody that there 
must be something holy and prodigious in the 
well. The body was seen floating on the wa 
ter, and, upon its being drawn up, the hands 
and feet were found to be pierced, the head 
had, as it were, a crown of bloody points, and 
there were various other wounds : from all 
which it was plain that this was the work of 
the abominable Jews. A blind woman, touch 
ing the bier on which the blessed martyr's 
corpse was carrying to the church, received 
her sight, and many other miracles followed. 
Eighteen Jews, convicted of the crime, and 
confessing it with their own mouth, were 
hanged, j 

Matthew Paris, also writing contemporane 
ously, supplies additional circumstances, one 
of which, the mother's finding of the child, is 
prominent in the ballad. J The Jews of Lin 
coln stole the boy Hugh, who was some eight 
years old, near Peter and Paul's day, June 
29, and fed him properly for ten days, while 
they were sending to all parts of England to 
convoke their co-believers to a crucifixion of 
him in contempt of Jesus. When they were 
assembled, one of the Lincoln Jews was ap 
pointed judge, a Pilate, as it were, and the 
boy was sentenced to various torments ; he 
was scourged till the blood ran, crowned with 
thorns, spit upon, pricked with knives, made 
to drink gall, mocked and scoffed at, hailed as 
false prophet ; finally he was crucified, and a 
lance thrust into his heart. He was then 
taken down and disembowelled ; for what 
reason is not known, but, as it was said, for 
magical purposes. The mother (whose name, 
not given by this chronicler, is known to have 
been Beatrice) made diligent search for her 
lost child for several days, and was told by 
her neighbors that they had seen the boy 
playing with Jewish children, and going into 

{ Chronica Majora, ed. Luard, V, 516-19. Matthew 
Paris died in 1259. 



a Jew's house. This house the mother en 
tered, and saw the boy's body, which had 
been thrown into a well. The town officers 
were sent for, and drew up the corpse. The 
mother's shrieks drew a great concourse to 
the place, among whom was Sir John of Lex 
ington, a long-headed and scholarly man (a 
priest of the cathedral), who declared that he 
had heard of the Jews doing such things be 
fore. Laying hands on the Jew into whose 
house the boy had been known to go, John of 
Lexington told him that all the gold in Eng 
land would not buy him off ; nevertheless, life 
and limb should be safe if he would tell every 
thing. The Jew, Copin by name, encouraged 
and urged by Sir John, made a full confes 
sion : all that the Christians had said was 
true ; the Jews crucified a boy every year, if 
they could get hold of one, and had crucified 
this Hugh ; they had wished to bury the body, 
after they had come to the conclusion that an 
innocent's bowels were of no use for divina 
tion, but the earth would not hold it ; so they 
had thrown it into a well, but with no better 
success, for the mother had found it, and re 
ported the fact to the officers. The canons of 
Lincoln Cathedral begged the child's body, 
and buried it in their church with the honors 
due to so precious a martyr. The king, who 
had been absent in the North, being made ac 
quainted with these circumstances, blamed Sir 
John for the promise which he had so improp 
erly made the wretch Copin. But Copin was 
still in custody, and, seeing he had no chance 
for life, he volunteered to complete his testi 
mony ! almost all the Jews in England had 
been accessory to the child's death, and almost 
every city of England where Jews lived had 
sent delegates to the ceremony of his immola 
tion, as to a Paschal sacrifice. Copin was 
then tied to a horse, and dragged to the gal 
lows, and ninety-one other Jews carried to 
London and imprisoned. The inquisition made 
by the king's justices showed that the crime 
had been virtually the common act of the 
Jews of England, and the mother's appeal to 
the king, which was pressed unremittingly, 
had such effect that on St Clement's day eigh 
teen of the richer and more considerable Jews 

of Lincoln were hanged on gallows specially 
constructed for the purpose, more than sixty 
being reserved for a like sentence in the tower 
of London.* 

The Annals of Burton give a long report 
of this case, which is perhaps contemporary, 
though the MS. is mostly of the next century. 
On the last day of July, at a time when all 
the principal Jews of England were collected 
at Lincoln, Hugh, a school-boy (scholaris) of 
nine, the only son of a poor woman, was kid 
napped towards sunset, while playing with 
his comrades, by Jopin, a Jew of that place. 
He was concealed in Jopin's house six and 
twenty days, getting so little to eat and drink 
that he had hardly the strength to speak. 
Then, at a council of all the Jews, resident 
and other, it was determined that he should 
be put to death. They stripped him, flogged 
him, spat in his face, cut off the cartilage of 
the nose and the upper lip, and broke the 
main upper teeth ; then crucified him. The 
boy, fortified by divine grace, maintained him 
self with cheerfulness, and uttered neither 
complaint nor groan. They ran sharp points 
into him from the sole of his foot to the 
crown of his head, till the body was covered 
with the blood from these wounds, then 
pierced his side with a lance, and he gave 
up the ghost. The boy not coming home as 
usual, his mother made search for him. As 
he was not found, the information given by 
his playmates as to when and where they had 
last seen him roused a strong suspicion among 
the Christians that he had been carried off 
and killed by the Jews ; all the more because 
there were so many of them present in the 
town at that time, and from all parts of the 
kingdom, though the Jews pretended that the 
occasion for this unusual congregation was a 
grand wedding. The truth becoming every 
day clearer, the mother set off for Scotland, 
where the king then chanced to be, and laid 
the complaint at his feet. The Jews, mean 
while, knowing that the business would be 



looked into, were in great; consternation ; they 
took away the body in the night, and threw 
it into a well. In the well it was found in 
the course of an inquisition ordered by the 
king, and, when it was drawn out, a woman, 
blind for fifteen years, who had been very 
fond of the boy, laid her hand on the body 
in faith, exclaiming, Alas, sweet little Hugh, 
that it so happened ! and then rubbed her 
eyes with the moisture of the body, and at 
once recovered her sight. The miracle drew 
crowds of people to the spot, and every sick 
or infirm person that could get near the body 
went home well and happy : heaving whereof, 
the dean and canons of the cathedral went 
out in procession to the body of the holy 
martyr, and carried it to the minster with all 
possible ceremony, where they buried it very 
honorably (disregarding the passionate pro 
tests of a brother canon, of the parish to 
which the boy belonged, who would fain 
have retained so precious, and also valuable, 
an object within his own bounds). The king 
stopped at Lincoln, on his way down from 
Scotland, looked into the matter, found the 
charges against the Jews to be substantiated, 
and ordered an arrest of the whole pack. 
They shut themselves up in their houses, but 
their houses were stormed. In the course of 
the examination which followed, John of Les- 
sington promised Jopin, the head of the Jews, 
and their priest (who was believed to be at 
the bottom of the whole transaction), that 
he would do all he could to save his life, if 
Jopin would give up the facts. Jopin, de 
lighted at this assurance, and expecting to be 
able to save the other Jews by the use of 
money, confessed everything. But consider 
ing what a disgrace it would be to the king's 
majesty if the deviser and perpetrator of such 
a felony escaped scot-free, Jopin was, by sen 
tence of court, tied to the tail of a horse, 
dragged a long way through the streets, over 
sticks and stones, and hanged. Such other 
Jews as had been taken into custody were 
sent to London, and a good many more, who 
were implicated but had escaped, were ar 
rested in the provinces. Eighteen suffered 
the same fate as Jopin. The Dominicans 

exerted themselves to save the lives of the 
others, bribed so to do, as some thought ; 
but they lost favor by it, and their efforts 
availed nothing. It was ordered by the gov 
ernment that all the Jews in the land who 
had consented to the murder, and especially 
those who had been present, namely, seventy- 
one who were in prison in London, should die 
the death of Jopin. But Richard of Cornwall, 
the king's brother, to whom the king had 
pledged all the Jews in England as security 
for a loan, stimulated also by a huge bribe, 
withstood this violation of vested rights, and 
further execution was stayed.* 

An Anglo - French ballad of ninety-two 
stanzas, which also appears to be contempo 
rary with the event, agrees in many particu 
lars with the account given in the Annals of 
Burton, adding several which are found in 
none of the foregoing narratives. f Hugh of 
Lincoln was kidnapped one evening towards 
the beginning of August, by Peitevin, the 
Jew.J His mother at once missed him, and 
searched for him, crying, I have lost my 
child ! till curfew. She slept little and prayed 
much, and immediately after her prayer the 
suspicion arose in her mind that her child 
had been abducted by the Jews. So, with 
the break of day, the woman went weeping 

* Annales de Burton, in Annales Monastic!, Luard, I, 
340-48. Hugh of Lincoln is commemorated in the Acta 
Sanctorum, July (27), VI, 494. 

t Michel, Hugues de Lincoln, etc., from a MS. in the 
" Bibliotheque royale, No 7268, 3. 3. A. Colb. 3745, fol. 
135, r, col. 1." Reprinted by Halliwell, Ballads and 
Poems respecting Hugh of Lincoln, p. 1, and from Halli 
well by Hume, Sir Hu<;h of Lincoln, etc., p. 43 ff. In 
stanzas 13, 75, there is an invocation in behalf of King 
Henry (Qui Deu gard et tenge sa vie !), which implies lhat 
he is living. The ballad shows an acquaintance with the 

} " A la gnle de aust." The day, according to the An 
nals of Burton, was the vigil of St Peter ad vincula. We 
find in Henschel's Ducange, " ad festum S. Petri, in gula 
August!," and " le jour de feste S. Pere, en gonle Aoust." 
Strictly taken, goule should be the first day, Lammas. 

Peitevin was actually resident in Lincoln at the time. 
" He was called Peitevin the Great, to distinguish him from 
another person who bore the appellation of Peitevin the 
Little. The Royal Commission issued in 1256 directs an 
inquisition to be taken of the names of all those who be 
longed to the school of Peytevin Magnus, who had fled on 
account of his implication in the crucifixion of. a Christian 
boy." London Athenaeum, 1849, p. 1270f. 



through the Jewry, calling at the Jews' doors, 
Where is my child ? Impelled by the sus 
picion which, as it pleased God, she had of 
the Jews, she kept on till she came to the 
court. When she came before King Henry 
(whom God preserve !), she fell at his feet 
and begged his grace : " Sire, my son was car 
ried off by the Lincoln Jews one evening ; 
see to it, for charity ! " The king swore by 
God's pity, If it be so as thou hast told, the 
Jews shall die ; if thou hast lied on the 
Jews, by St Edward, doubt not thou shalt 
have the same judgment. Soon after the 
child was carried off, the Jews of Lincoln 
made a great gathering of all the richest of 
their sect in England. The child was brought 
before them, tied with a cord, by the Jew 
Jopin. They stripped him, as erst they did 
Jesus. Then said Jopin, thinking he spoke 
to much profit, The child must be sold for 
thirty pence, as Jesus was. Agim, the Jew, 
answered, Give me the child for thirty pence ; 
but I wish that he should be sentenced to 
death, since I have bought him. The Jews 
said, Let Agim have him, but let him be put 
to death forthwith : worse than this, they all 
cried with one voice, Let him be put on the 
cross ! The child was unbound and hanged 
on the cross, vilely, as Jesus was. His arms 
were stretched to the cross, and his feet and 
hands pierced with sharp nails, and he was cru 
cified alive. Agim took his knife and pierced 
the innocent's side, and split his heart in two. 
As the ghost left the body, the child called to 
his mother, Pray Jesus Christ for me ! The 
Jews buried the body, so that no one might 
know of their privity, but some of them, 
passing the place the next morning, found it 
lying above ground. When they heard of 
this marvel, they determined in council that 
the corpse should be thrown into a Jakes; 
but the morning after it was again above 
ground. While they were in agonies of ter 
ror, one of their number came and told them 
that a woman, who had been his nurse, had 
agreed for money to take the body out of the 
city ; but he recommended that all the wounds 
should first be filled with boiling wax. The 
body was taken off by this nurse and thrown 

into a well behind the castle.* A woman 
coming for water the next day discovered it 
lying on the ground, so filthy that she scarce 
durst touch it. This woman bethought her 
self of the child which had been stolen. She 
went back to Lincoln, and gave information 
to Hugh's stepfather, who found her tale 
probable by reason of the suspicion which he 
already had of the Jews. The woman went 
through the city proclaiming that she had 
found the child, and everybody flocked to the 
well. The coroners were sent for, and came 
with good will to make their inspection. The 
body was taken back to Lincoln. A woman 
came up, who had long before lost her sight, 
and calling out, Alas, pretty Hugh, why are 
you lying here ! applied her hands to the 
corpse and then to her eyes, and regained her 
sight. All who were present were witnesses 
of the miracle, and gave thanks to God. A 
converted f Jew presented himself, and sug 
gested that if they wished to know how the 
child came by its death they should wash the 
body in warm water ; and this being done, 
the examination which he made enabled him 
to show that this treason had been done by 
the Jews, for the very wounds of Jesus were 
found upon the child. They of the cathedral, 
hearing of the miracle, came out and carried 
the body to the church, and buried it among 
other saints with great joy: mult ben firent, 
cum m' est avis. Soon after, the mother ar 
rived from the court, very unhappy because 
she had not been able to find her child. The 
Lincoln Jews were apprehended and thrown 
into prison ; they said, We have been betraye^ 
by Falsim. The next day King Henry came 
to Lincoln, and ordered the Jews before him 
for an inquest. A wise man who was there 
took it upon him to say that the Jew who 
would tell the truth to the king should fare 
the better for it. Jopin, in whose house the 
treason had been done, told the whole story 
as already related. King Henry, when all 
had been told, cried, Right ill did he that 

* The site of the Jewry was on the hill and about the 
castle: London Athenaeum, 1849, p. 1271. 

t These renegades play a like part in many similar 



killed him ! The justices * went to council, 
and condemned Jopin to death : his body was 
to be drawn through the city " de chivals 
forts et ben ferre'fs] " till life was extinct, 
and then to be hanged. And this was done. 
I know well where, says the singer : by Cane- 
wic, on the high hill.f Of the other Jews it 
is only said that they had much shame. 

The English ballads, the oldest of which 
were recovered about the middle of the last 
century, must, in the course of five hundred 
years of tradition, have departed considerably 
from the early form ; in all of them the boy 
comes to his death for breaking a Jew's win 
dow, and at the hands of the Jew's daughter. 
The occurrence of Our Lady's draw-well, in 
A, is due to a mixing, to this extent, of the 
story of Hugh with that of the young devotee 
of the Virgin who is celebrated in Chaucer's 
Prioresses Tale. In Chaucer's legend, which 
somewhat strangely removes the scene to a 
city in Asia, a little " clergeon " (cf. the 
scholaris of the Annals of Burton) excites, 
not very unnaturally, the wrath of the Jews 
by singing the hymn "Alma redemptoris 
mater " twice a day, as he passes, school ward 
and homeward, through the Jewry. For this 
they cut his throat and throw him into a 
privy. The Virgin comes to him, and bids 
him sing the anthem still, till a grain which 
she lays upon his tongue shall be removed. 
The mother, in the course of her search for 
her boy, goes to the pit, under divine direc 
tion, and hears him singing. 

Another version of this legend occurs in a 
collection of the Miracles of Our Lady in 
the Vernon MS., c. 1375, leaf cxxiii, back; 
printed by Dr. Horstmann in Herrig's Archiv, 
1876, LVI, 224, and again in the Chaucer 
Society's Originals and Analogues, p. 281. 
The boy, in this, contributes to the support 
of his family by singing and begging in the 
streets of Paris. His song is again Alma 
redemptoris mater, and he sings it one Satur 
day as he goes through the Jewry. He is 

* Les Jus, 82 1 ; but this is impossible, and we have li 
justis in 91*. 

t " Canwick is pleasantly situated on a bold eminence, 
about a mile northward of Lincoln." Allen, History of the 
County of Lincoln, I, 208. 

killed, disposed of, and discovered as in Chau 
cer's tale, and the bishop, who " was come to 
see that wonder," finds in the child's throat a 
lily, inscribed all over with Alma redemp 
toris mater, which being taken out the song 

o o 

ceases. But when the child's body is carried 
to the minster, and a requiem mass is begun, 
the corpse rises up, and sings Salve, sancta 

Another variety of the legend is furnished 
by the Spanish Franciscan Espina, Fortali- 
cium Fidei, 1459, in the edition of Lyons, 
1500, fol. ccviii, reprinted by the Chaucer So 
ciety, Originals and Analogues, p. 108. J The 
boy is here calfed Alfonsus of Lincoln. The 
Jews, having got him into their possession, 
deliberate what shall be done to him, and de 
cide that the tongue with which he had sung 
Alma redemptoris shall be torn out, like 
wise the heart in which he had meditated the 
song, and the body be thrown into a Jakes. 
The Virgin comes to him, and puts a precious 
stone in his mouth, to supply the place of his 
tongue, and the boy at once begins to sing 
the anthem, and keeps on incessantly for four 
days ; at the end of which time the discovery 
is made by the mother, as before. The body 
is taken to the cathedral, where the bishop 
delivers a sermon, concluding with an injunc 
tion upon all present to pour out their suppli 
cations to heaven that this mystery may be 
cleared up. The boy rises to his feet, takes 
the jewel from his mouth, explains every 
thing that has passed, hands the jewel to the 
bishop, to be preserved with other reliques, 
and expires. 

A miracle versified from an earlier source 
by Gautier de Coincy, some thirty or forty 
years before the affair of Hugh of Lincoln, is 
obviously of the same ultimate origin as the 
Prioresses Tale. A poor woman in England 
had an only son with a beautiful voice, who 
did a good deal for the support of his mother 
by his singing. The Virgin took a partic 
ular interest in this clerconcel, among whose 
songs was Gaude Maria, which he used to 
give in a style that moved many to tears. 
One day, when he was playing in the streets 

t I do not find this story in the Basel edition of c. 1475. 



with his comrades, they came to the Jews' 
street, where some entertainment was going 
on which had collected a great many people, 
who recognized the boy, and asked him to 
give them a song about Our Lady. He sang 
with his usual pathos and applause. Jews 
were listening with the rest, and one of them 
was so exasperated by a passage in the hymn 
that he would have knocked the singer on the 
head then and there, had he dared. When 
the crowd was dispersed, this Jew enticed the 
child into his house by flattery and promises, 
struck him dead with an axe, and buried 
him. His mother went in search of him, and 
learned the second day that the boy had been 
singing in the Jewry the day before, and it 
was intimated that the Jews might have laid 
hands on him and killed him. The woman 
gave the Virgin to understand that if she lost 
her child she should never more have confi 
dence in her power ; nevertheless, more than 
twenty days passed before any light was 
thrown on his disappearance. At the end of 
that time, being one day in the Jews' street, 
and her wild exclamations having collected a 
couple of thousand people, she gave vent to 
her conviction that the Jews had killed her 
son. Then the Virgin made the child, dead 
and buried as he was, sing out Gaude Maria 
in a loud and clear voice. An assault was 
made on the Jews and the Jews' houses, in 
cluding that of the murderer ; and here, after 
much searching, guided by the singing, they 
found the boy buried under the door, per 
fectly well, and his face as red as a fresh 
cherry. The boy related how he had been 
decoyed into the house and struck with an 
axe; the Virgin had come to him in what 
seemed a sleep, and told him that he was re 
miss in not singing her response as he had 
been wont, upon which he began to sing. 
Bells were rung, the Virgin was glorified, some 
Jews were converted, the rest massacred. (G. 
de Coincy, ed. Poquet, col. 557 ff ; Chaucer 
Society, Originals and Analogues, p. 253 ff.) 
The same miracle, with considerable varia 
tions, occurs in Mariu Saga, ed. Unger, p. 
203, No G2, ' Af klerk ok gySingum ; ' also 
in Collin de Plancy, Le"gendes des Saintes 

Images, p. 218, ' L' Enfant de Choeur de 
Notre-Dame du Puy,' under the date 1325. 

Murders like that of Hugh of Lincoln have 
been imputed to the Jews for at least seven 
' hundred and fifty years,* and the charge, 
which there is reason to suppose may still 
from time to time be renewed, has brought 
upon the accused every calamity that the 
hand of man can inflict, pillage, confiscation, 
banishment, torture, and death, and this in 
huge proportions. The process of these mur 
ders has often been described as a parody of 
the crucifixion of Jesus. The motive most 
commonly alleged, in addition to the expres 
sion of contempt for Christianity, has been 
the obtaining of blood for use in the Paschal 
rites, a most unhappily devised slander, in 
stark contradiction with Jewish precept and 
practice. That no Christian child was ever 
killed by a Jew, that there never even was 
so much truth as that (setting aside the ob 
ject) in a single case of these particular crimi 
nations, is what no Christian or Jew would 
undertake to assert ; but of these charges in 
the mass it may safely be said, as it has been 
said, that they are as credible as the miracles 
which, in a great number of cases, are asserted 
to have been worked by the reliques of the 
young saints, and as well substantiated as the 
absurd sacrilege of stabbing, baking, or boil 
ing the Host,f or the enormity of poisoning 
springs, with which the Jews have equally 
been taxed. : And these pretended child-mur- 

* A case cited by Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, 
2 r Theil, p. 220, from Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 1. 
vii, 16, differs from later ones by being a simple extrava 
gance of drunkenness. Some Jews in Syria, "A. D. 419," who 
were making merry after their fashion, and indulging in a 
good deal of tomfoolery, began, as they felt the influence of 
wine, to jeer at Christ and Christians ; from which they 
proceeded to the seizing of a Christian boy and tying him 
to a cross. At first they were contented to make game of 
him, but, growing crazy with drink, they fell to beating him, 
and even beat him to death ; for which they were properly 

t See the ballads ' Vom Judenmord zu Peggcndorf,' 1337, 
' Von den Juden zu Passau,' 1478, in Liliencron, I, 45, No 
12, II, 142, No 153. 

t Nothing could be more just than these words of Percy : 
"If we consider, on the one hand, the ignorance and super 
stition of the times when such stories took their rise, the 
virulent prejudices of the monks who record them, and the 
eagerness with which they would be catched up by the bar- 



ders, with their horrible consequences, are 
only a part of a persecution which, with all 
moderation, may be rubricated as the most 
disgraceful chapter in the history of the hu 
man race.* 

Cases in England, besides that of Hugh of 
Lincoln, are William of Norwich, 1137, the 
Saxon Chronicle, Earle, p. 263, Acta Sancto 
rum, March (25), III, 588; a boy at Glouces 
ter, 1160, Brompton, in Twysden, col. 1050, 
Knyghton, col. 2394 ; Robert of St Edmonds- 
bury. 1181, Gervasius Dorobornensis, Twys 
den, col. 1458 ; a boy at Norwich, stolen, cir 
cumcised, and kept for crucifixion, 1235, Mat 
thew Paris, Chronica Majora, Luard, III, 305 
(see also III, 543, 1239, IV, 30, 1240) ; a boy 
at London, 1244, Matthew Paris, IV, 377 
(doubtful, but solemnly buried in St. Paul's) ; 
a boy at Northampton, 1279, crucified, but not 
quite killed, the continuator of Florence of 
Worcester, Thorpe, II, 222. 

It would be tedious and useless to attempt 
to make a collection of the great number of 
similar instances which have been mentioned 
by chroniclers and ecclesiastical writers ; 
enough come readily to hand without much 

A "boy was crucified and thrown into the 
Loire by the Jews of Blois in 1171 : Sigiberti 
Gemblacensis Chronica, auctarium Robert! 
de Monte, in Pertz, Mon. Germ. Hist. Script., 
VI, 520, Gratz, Geschichte der Juden, VI, 
217-19. Philip Augustus had heard in his 
early years from playmates that the Jews sac 
rificed a Christian annually (and, according to 
some, partook of his heart), and this is repre 
sented as having been his reason for expelling 
the Jews from France. Richard of Pontoise 
was one of these victims, in 1179 : Rigordus, 
barons populace as a pretence for plunder; on the other 
hand, the great danger incurred by the perpetrators, and the 
inadequate motives they could have to excite them to a 
crime of so much horror, we may reasonably conclude the 
whole charge to be groundless and malicious." Reliques, 

* Read the indictment against Christians filed by Zunz, 
Die synagogale Poesie des Mittelalters, pp 19-58, covering 
the time from the eleventh century to the middle of the 
sixteenth. It is regrettable that Zunz has not generally 
cited his authorities. See also Stobbe, Die Juden in 
Deutschland, p. 183 ft., and notes, p. 280 ff., where the au 
thorities are given. 

Gesta Philippi Augusti, p. 14 f., 6, and 
Guillelmus Armoricus, p. 179, 17, in the 
edition of 1882 ; Acta Sanctorum, March 
(25), III, 591. France had such a martyr as 
late as 1670 : see the case of Raphael Le"vy in 
Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, 2 r 
Theil, 224; Drumont, La France Juive, II, 

Alfonso the Wise has recorded in the Siete 
Partidas, 1255, that he had heard that the 
Jews were wont to crucify on Good Friday 
children that they had stolen (or waxen im 
ages, when children were not to be had), Par- 
tida VII, Tit. XXIV, Ley ii", III, 670, ed. 
1807, and this was one of the most effective 
grounds offered in justification of the expul 
sion of the Jews under Ferdinand and Isa 
bella : Amador de los Rios, Historia de los 
Judios de Espana, I, 483 f. San Dominguito 
de Val, a choir-boy of seven, Chaucer's cler- 
geon over again, was said to have been stolen 
and crucified at Saragossa in 1250 : Basnage, 
Histoire des Juifs, 1726, vol. ix, 2d part, pp. 
484-86 ; Acta SS., Aug. (31), VI, 777. Sev 
eral children were crucified at Valladolid in 
1452, and like outrages occurred near Zamora 
in 1454, and at Sepulveda in 1468 : Gratz, 
VIII, 238. Juan Passamonte, " el nino de 
Guardia," was kidnapped in 1489, and cruci 
fied in 1490 : Llorente (Pellier), Histoire de 
1'Inquisition, ed. 1818, I, 258 f. 

Switzerland affords several stories of the 
sort : a boy at Frisingen in 1287, Ulrich, 
Sammlung jiidischer Geschichten, p. 149 ; Ru 
dolf of Bern, 1288 or 1294, Ulrich, pp. 143- 
49, Acta Sanctorum, April (17), II, 504, 
Stobbe, Die Juden in Deutschland, p. 283 ; a 
boy at Zurich, 1349, another at Diessenhofen, 
1401, Ulrich, pp. 82, 248 f. 

Examples are particularly numerous in 
Germany. 1181, Vienna, Zunz, p. 25 ; 1198, 
Nuremberg, Stobbe, p. 281; about 1200, Er 
furt, Zunz, p. 26 ; 1220, St Henry, Weissen- 
burg, Acta SS., April, II, 505 (but 1260, 
SchcEpflin, Alsatia Illustrata, II, 394 f.) ; 
1235-6, Fulda, Gratz, Geschichte der Juden, 
VII, 109, 460 ; 1261, Magdeburg, Stobbe, p. 
282 ; 1283, Mayence, Gratz, VII, 199 ; 1285, 
Munich, Gratz, VII, 200, Aretin, Geschichte 



der Juden in Baiern, p. 18 ; 1286, Oberwesel, 
near Bacharach, Werner (boy or man), Gratz, 
VII, 201, 479, Stobbe, p. 282, Acta Sancto 
rum, April (19), II, 697; 1292, Colmar, 
Stobbe, p. 283; 1293, Krems, ib. ; 1302, 
Remken, ib. ; 1303, Conrad, at Weissensee, 
ib. ; 1345, Henry, at Munich, Acta SS., May 
(27), VI, 657; 1422, Augsburg, or 1429, 
Ravensburg, Ulrich, p. 88 ff ; 1454, Breslau, 
Gratz, VIII, 205 ; 1462, Andrew, in Tyrol, 
Acta SS., July (12), III, 462; 1474 and 
1476, Ratisbon, Zeitschrift fiir die historische 
Theologie (Train, Geschichte der Juden in 
Regensburg), 1837, Heft 3, p. 98 ff., 104 ff., 
and (Saalschutz), 1841, Heft 4, p. 140 ff., 
Gratz, VIII, 279 ff. ; 1475, Simon of Trent, 
Muratori, Rer. Ital. Script,, XX, 945-49 
(Annals of Placentia), Liliencron, Histo 
rische V. 1. der Deutschen, II, 13, No 128, 
Gratz, VIII, 269 ff., Acta SS., March (24), 
III, 494, La Civilta Cattolica, 1881 and 
1882 ; * a little before 1478, Baden, Train, as 
above, p. 117; 1540, Zappenfeld, near Neu- 
burg (nothing " proved " ), Aretin, p. 44 f. ; 
1562, Andrew, Tyrol, Acta SS., July (12), 
III, 462, with a picture,! p. 464; 1650, Cade'n 
(and others in Styria, Carinthia, and Carni- 
ola), Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, 
1711, 2 r Theil, p. 223 ; near Sigeberg, in 
the diocese of Cologne, Joanettus, Acta SS., 
March, III, 502, with no year. 

Italy appears to be somewhat behind the 
rest of Europe. The Fortalicium Fidel re- 

In vol. viii, pp 225, 344, 476, 598, 730, vol. ix, 107, 219, 
353, 472, 605, the confessions of the defendants are given 
from the original minutes of the trial ; and it fully appears 
from these confessions that blood is requisite for a proper 
performance of the Paschal ceremonies, and also that the 
blood must be got from a boy, and from a boy while he is 
undergoing torment. Only it is to be remembered that the 
inducements to these confessions were the same as those 
which led the Jews of Passau to acknowledge that blood ex 
uded from the Host when it was stabbed, and that when two 
bits of the wafer were thrown into an oven two doves flew 
out : Trainf, as above, p. 116, note 57. 

t For other pictures of these martyrdoms, see the Nurem 
berg Chronicle, 1493, fol. ccliiii, v, for Simon of Trent- 
Lacroix, Mceurs, Usages, etc., 1875, p. 473, for Richard of 
I ontoisc, p. 475, for Simon, repeated from the N. Chron. 
that of Munich, 1285, and the children of Ratisbon, repro 
duced m Cosmos, March 30, 1885 (according to Drumont 
II, 418, note). See also Michel, Hugues de Lincoln p 54' 
note 41. 

ports a case at Pavia some time before 1456, 
and another at Savona of about 1452 : Basel 
ed. (c. 1475), fol. 116 f. 1480, Venice, Beato 
Sebastiano da Porto Buffole del Bergamasco, 
Civilta Cattolica, X, 737. Israel, one of the 
culprits of Trent, revealed his knowledge of 
similar transactions at Padova, Mestre, Serra- 
valle and Bormio, in the course of his own 
life, besides several in Germany : Civ. Catt., 
X, 737. 

Further, 1305, Prague, Eisenmenger, p. 
221 ; 1407, Cracow, " Dlugosz, Hist. Polo 
nies, 1. x, p. 187 ; " 1494, Tyrnau, Ungeri- 
sche Chronica, 1581, p. 375 ; 1505, Budweis, 
Stobbe, p. 292; 1509, Bosing, Hungary, 
Eisenmenger, p. 222 ; 1569, Constantinople, 
Fickler, Theologia Juridica, 1575, p. 505 
(cited by Michel) ; 1598, Albertus, .in Polo- 
nia, Acta SS., April (circa 20), II, 835. 

Train, as above, p. 98, note, adds, with au 
thorities, Pforzheim, Ueberlingen, Swabisch- 
Hall, Friuli, Halle, Eichstadt, Berlin. See 
also Acta SS., April, III, 838 (De pluribus 
innocentibus per Judaaos excruciatis), March, 
III, 589, and April, II, 505 ; and Drumont, 
La France Juive, II, 392 f. 

The charge against the Jews of murdering 
children for their blood is by no means as yet 
a thing of the past. The accusation has been . 
not infrequently made in Russia during the 
present century. Although the entertaining 
of such an inculpation was forbidden by an 
imperial ukase in 1817, a criminal process on 
this ground, involving forty-three persons, was 
instituted in 1823, and was brought to a close 
only in 1835, when the defendants were ac 
quitted on account of the entire failure of 
proof : Stobbe, p. 186. The murder of a child 
of six in Neuhoven, in the district of Diissel- 
dorf, in 1834, occasioned the demolition of 
two Jewish houses and a synagogue : Illgen, in 
Zeitschrift fiir die historische Theologie, 1837, 
Heft 3, 40, note. In February, 1840, a Greek 
boy of ten disappeared in Rhodes. The Jews 
were believed to have killed him for his blood. 
Torture was freely used to extort confessions. 
The case was removed to Constantinople, and 
in July, upon the report of the supreme court, 
the Divan pronounced the innocence of the 



defendants : Illgen, Z. f. d. Hist. Theol., 1841, 
Heft 4, p. 172, note, Hume, Sir Hugh of 
Lincoln, p. 30.* In 1881, the Jews were in 
suspicion on account of a boy at Alexandria, 
and of a girl at Calarasi, Wallachia : Civilta 
Cattolica, VIII, 225, 737. The Moniteur de 
Rome, June 15, 1883, affords several more 
of these too familiar tales. A Greek child 
was stolen at Smyrna, a few years before the 
date last mentioned, towards the time of the 
Passover, and its body found four days after, 
punctured with pins in a thousand places. 
The mother, like Beatrice in 1255, denounced 
the Jews as the culprits ; the Christian popu 
lation rose in a mass, rushed to the Jews' 
quarter, and massacred more than six hun 
dred. An affair of the same nature took place 
at Balata, the Ghetto of Constantinople, in 
1842, of which the consequences to the Jews 
are not mentioned ; and again at Galata, 
"where the Jews escaped by bribing the 

Turkish police to suppress testimony " (Dru- 
mont, II, 412). A young girl disappeared at 
Tisza-Eszlar, in Hungary, in April, 1882, and 
the Jews were suspected of having made away 
with her. The preliminary judicial inquiry 
was marked by the intimidation and torture 
of several persons examined for evidence. Fif 
teen who were held for trial were absolutely 
acquitted in August, 1883, after more than a 
year of imprisonment. The shops of Jews in 
Budapest were plundered by Christians dis 
appointed in the verdict ! (Der Blut-Prozess 
von Tisza-Eszlar, New York, 1883.) 

B is translated by Herder, I, 120 ; by Bod- 
mer, I, 59 ; in Seckendorf's Musenalmanach 
fur das Jahr 1808, p. 5 ; by Doering, p. 163 ; 
by Von Marges, p. 48. Allingham's ballad by 
Knortz, Lieder u. Romanzen Alt-Englands, 
p. 118. 

Jamieson's Popular Ballads, I, 151, as taken down by the 
editor from Mrs Brown's recitation. 

1 FOTJE and twenty bonny boys 

Were playing at the ba, 
And by it came him sweet Sir Hugh, 
And he playd oer them a'. 

2 He kickd the ba with his right foot, 

And catchd it wi his knee, 
And throuch-and-thro the Jew's window 
He gard the bonny ba flee. 

3 He's doen him to the Jew's castell, 

And walkd it round about ; 
And there he saw the Jew's daughter, 
At the window looking out. 

4 ' Throw down the ba, ye Jew's daughter, 

Throw down the ba to me ! ' 

* The extraordinary occurrence in Damascus in the same 
year, 1840, which excited the indignation, sympathy, and 
active interposition of nearly all the civilized world, requires 
but the briefest allusion. A capuchin friar was in this in 
stance the victim immolated, and for blood to mix with the 
Paschal bread. The most frightful torture was used, under 
the direction of the Turkish pacha, assisted by the French 

' Never a bit,' says the Jew's daughter, 
' Till up to me come ye.' 

5 ' How will I come up ? How can I come up ? 

How can I come to thee ? 
For as ye did to my auld father, 
The same ye '11 do to me.' 

6 She 's gane till her father's garden, 

And pu'd an apple red and green ; 
'Twas a' to wyle him sweet Sir Hugh, 
And to entice him in. 

7 She 's led him in through ae dark door, 

And sae has she thro nine ; 
She 's laid him on a dressing-table, 
And stickit him like a swine. 

8 And first came out the thick, thick blood, 

And syne came out the thin, 
And syne came out the bonny heart's blood ; 

There was nae mail' within. 

consul, under which three unhappy men succumbed. See 
Illgen's detailed account of this persecution in the periodical 
and article above cited, pp. 153 ff. Drumont is of the same 
mind as he would have been four or five hundred years 
ago : " les fails e'taient prouve's, de'montre's, indiscatables " 
(La France Juive, II, 411). 



9 She 's rowd him in a cake o lead, 

Bade him lie still and sleep ; 
She 's thrown him in Our Lady's draw-well, 
Was fifty fathom deep. 

10 When bells were rung, and mass was sung, 

And a' the bairns came hame, 
When every lady gat hame her son, 
The Lady Maisry gat nane. 

11 She 's taen her mantle her about, 

Her coffer by the hand, 
And she 's gane out to seek her son, 
And wanderd oer the land. 

12 She 's doen her to the Jew's castell, 

Where a' were fast asleep : 
' Gin ye be there, my sweet Sir Hugh, 
I pray you to me speak.' 

13 She 's doen her to the Jew's garden, 

Thought he had been gathering fruit : 

' Gin ye be there, my sweet Sir Hugh, 
I pray you to me speak.' 

14 She neard Our Lady's deep draw-well, 

Was fifty fathom deep : 
' Whareer ye be, my sweet Sir Hugh, 
I pray you to me speak.' 

15 ' Gae hame, gae hame, my mither dear. 

Prepare my winding sheet, 

And at the back o merry Lincoln 

The morn I will you meet.' 

16 Now Lady Maisry is gane hame, 

Made him a winding sheet, 
And at the back o merry Lincoln 
The dead corpse did her meet. 

17 And a' the bells o merry Lincoln 

Without men's hands were rung, 
And a' the books o merry Lincoln 

Were read without man's tongue, 
And neer was such a burial 

Sin Adam's days begun. 


Percy's Reliques, 1, 32, 1765 ; from a manuscript copy sent 
from Scotland. 

1 THE rain rins doun through Mirry-land toune, 

Sae dois it doune the Pa ; 
Sae dois the lads of Mirry-land toune, 
Whan they play at the ba. 

2 Than out and cam the Jewis dochter, 

Said, Will ye cum in and dine ? 
' I winnae cum in, I cannae cum in, 
Without my play-feres nine.' 

3 Scho powd an apple reid and white, 

To intice the yong thing in : 
Scho powd an apple white and reid, 
And that the sweit bairne did win. 

4 And scho has taine out a little pen-knife, 

And low down by her gair ; 
Scho has twin'd the yong thing and his life, 
A word he nevir spak mair. 

5 And out and cam the thick, thick bluid, 

And out and cam the thin, 

And out and cam the bonny herts bluid ; 
Thair was nae life left in. 

6 Scho laid him on a dressing-borde, 

And drest him like a swine, 
And laughing said, Gae nou and pley 
With your sweit play-feres nine. 

7 Scho rowd him in a cake of lead, 

Bade him lie stil and sleip ; 
Scho cast him in a deip draw-well, 
Was fifty fadom deip. 

8 Whan bells wer rung, and mass was sung, 

And every lady went hame, 
Than ilka lady had her yong sonne, 
Bot Lady Helen had nane. 

9 Scho rowd hir mantil hir about, 

And sair, sair gan she weip, 
And she ran into the Jewis castel, 
Whan they wer all asleip. 

10 ' My bonny Sir Hew, my pretty Sir Hew, 

I pray thee to me speik : ' 
' O lady, rinn to the deip draw-well. 
Gin ye your sonne wad seik.' 



11 Lady Helen ran to the deip draw-well, 

And knelt upon her kne : 
' My bonny Sir Hew, an ye be here, 
I pray thee speik to me.' 

12 ' The lead is wondrous heavy, mither, 

The well is wondrous deip ; 

A keen pen-knife sticks in my hert, 
A word I dounae speik. 

13 ' Gae hame, gae hame, my mither deir, 

Fetch me my windling sheet, 
And at the back o Mirry-land toun, 
It 's thair we twa sail meet.' 

Percy papers ; communicated to Percy by Paton, in 1768 
or 69, and derived from a friend of Paton's. 

1 FOUR and twenty bonny boys 

War playing at the ba ; 
Then up and started sweet Sir Hew, 
The flower amang them a'. 

2 He hit the ba a kick wi 's fit, 

And kept it wi his knee, 
That up into the Jew's window 
He gart the bonny ba flee. 

3 ' Cast doun the ba to me, fair maid, 

Cast doun the ba to me ; ' 
' neer a bit o the ba ye get 
Till ye cum up to me. 

4 ' Cum up, sweet Hew, cum up, dear Hew, 

Cum up and get the ba ; ' 
' I canna cum, I darna cum, 
Without my play-feres twa.' 

5 ' Cum up, sweet Hew, cum up, dear Hew, 

Cum up and play wi me ; ' 
' I canna cum, I darna cum, 
Without my play-feres three.' 

6 She 's gane into the Jew's garden, 

Where the grass grew lang and green ; 
She powd an apple red and white, 
To wyle the young thing in. 

7 She wyl'd him into ae chamber, 

She wyl'd him into twa. 
She wyl'd him to her ain chamber, 
The fairest o them a'. 

8 She laid him on a dressing-board, 

Where she did sometimes dine ; 
She put a penknife in his heart, 
And dressed him like a swine. 

9 Then out and cam the thick, thick blude, 

Then out and cam the thin ; 
Then out and cam the bonny heart's blude, 
Where a' the life lay in. 

10 She rowd him in a cake of lead, 

Bad him lie still and sleep ; 
She cast him in the Jew's draw-well, 
Was fifty fadom deep. 

11 She 's tane her mantle about her head, 

Her pike-staff in her hand, 
And prayed Heaven to be her guide 
Unto some uncouth land. 

12 His mither she cam to the Jew's castle, 

And there ran thryse about : 
' O sweet Sir Hew, gif ye be here, 
I pray ye to me speak.' 

13 She cam into the Jew's garden, 

And there ran thryse about : 
' O sweet Sir Hew, gif ye be here, 
I pray ye to me speak.' 

14 She cam unto the Jew's draw-well, 

And there ran thryse about : 
' O sweet Sir Hew, gif ye be here, 
I pray ye to me speak.' 

15 ' How can I speak, how dare I speak, 

How can I speak to thee ? 
The Jew's penknife sticks in my heart, 
I canna speak to thee. 

16 ' Gang hame, gang hame, O mither dear, 

And shape my winding sheet, 
And at the birks of Mirryland town 
There you and I shall meet.' 

17 Whan bells war rung, and mass was sung, 

And a' men bound for bed, 
Every mither had her son, 
But sweet Sir Hew was dead. 



Herd's MS., 1, 213 ; stanzas 7-10, II, 219. 

1 A' THE boys of merry Linkim 

War playing at the ba, 
An up it stands him sweet Sir Hugh, 
The flower amang them a'. 

2 He keppit the ba than wi his foot, 

And catchd it wi his knee, 
And even in at the Jew's window 
He gart the bonny ba flee. 

3 ' Cast out the ba to me, fair maid, 

Cast out the ba to me ! ' 
'Ah never a bit of it,' she says, 
' Till ye come up to me. 

4 ' Come up, sweet Hugh, come up, dear Hugh, 

Come up and get the ba' ! ' 
' I winna come up, I mayna come [up], 
Without my bonny boys a'.' 

5 ' Come up, sweet Hugh, come up, dear Hugh, 

Come up and speak to me ! ' 

' I mayna come up, I winna come up, 
Without my bonny boys three.' 

6 She 's taen her to the Jew's garden, 

Where the grass grew lang and green, 
She 's pu'd an apple reid and white, 
To wyle the bonny boy in. 

7 She 's wyl'd him in thro ae chamber, 

She 's wyl'd him in thro twa, 
She 's wyl'd him till her ain chamber, 
The flower out owr them a'. 

8 She 's laid him on a dressin-board, 

Whare she did often dine ; 
She stack a penknife to his heart, 
And dressd him like a swine. 

9 She rowd him in a cake of lead, 

Bade him lie still and sleep ; 
She threw him i the Jew's draw-well, 
'T was fifty fathom deep. 

10 Whan bells was rung, and mass was sung, 

An a' man bound to bed, 
Every lady got hame her son, 
But sweet Sir Hugh was dead. 


Motherwell's Minstrelsy, p. 51, as taken down from the 
recitation of a lady. 

1 YESTERDAY was brave Hallowday, 
And, above all days of the year, 
The schoolboys all got leave to play, 
And little Sir Hugh was there. 

2 He kicked the ball with his foot, 

And kepped it with his knee, 
And even in at the Jew's window 
He gart the bonnie ba flee. 

3 Out then came the Jew's daughter : 

' Will ye come in and dine ? ' 
' I winna come in. and I canna come in, 
Till I get that ball of mine. 

4 ' Throw down that ball to me, maiden, 

Throw down the ball to me ! ' 
' I winna throw down your ball, Sir Hugh, 
Till ye come up to me.' 

5 She pu'd the apple frae the tree, 

It was baith red and green ; 

She gave it unto little Sir Hugh, 

With that his heart did win. 

6 She wiled him into ae chamber, 

She wiled him into twa, 
She wiled him into the third chamber, 
And that was warst o't a'. 

7 She took out a little penknife, 

Hung low down by her spare, 
She twined this young thing o his life, 
And a word he neer spak mair. 

8 And first came out the thick, thick blood, 

And syne came out the thin, 
And syne came out the bonnie heart's blood, 
There was nae mair within. 

9 She laid him on a dressing-table, 

She dressd him like a swine ; 
Says, Lie ye there, my bonnie Sir Hugh, 
Wi yere apples red and green ! 



10 She put him in a case of lead, 

Says, Lie ye there and sleep ! 
She threw him into the deep draw-well, 
Was fifty fathom deep. 

11 A schoolboy walking in the garden 

Did grievously hear him moan ; 
He ran away to the deep draw-well, 
And fell down on his knee. 

12 Says, Bonnie Sir Hugh, and pretty Sir 


I pray you speak to me ! 
If you speak to any body in this world, 
I pray you speak to me. 

13 When bells were rung, and mass was sung, 

And every body went hame, 
Then every lady had her son, 
But Lady Helen had nane. 

14 She rolled her mantle her about, 

And sore, sore did she weep ; 
She ran away to the Jew's castle, 
When all were fast asleep. 

15 She cries, Bonnie Sir Hugh, pretty Sir 


I pray you speak to me ! 
If you speak to any body in this world, 
I pray you speak to me. 

16 ' Lady Helen, if ye want your son, 

I '11 tell ye where to seek ; 

Lady Helen, if ye want your son, 
He 's in the well sae deep.' 

17 She ran away to the deep draw-well, 

And she fell down on her knee, 
Saying, Bonnie Sir Hugh, pretty Sir Hugh, 

I pray ye speak to me ' 
If ye speak to any body in the world, 

I pray ye speak to me. 

18 ' Oh the lead it is wondrous heavy, mother, 

The well it is wondrous deep ; 
The little penknife sticks in my throat, 
And I downa to ye speak. 

19 ' But lift me out o this deep draw-well, 

And bury me in yon churchyard ; 

20 ' Put a Bible at my head,' he says, 

' And a Testament at my feet, 
And pen and ink at every side, 
And I '11 lie still and sleep. 

21 ' And go to the back of Maitland town. 

Bring me my winding sheet ; 
For it 's at the back of Maitland town 
That you and I shall meet." 

22 O the broom, the bonny, bonny broom. 

The broom that makes full sore, 
A woman's mercy is very little, 
But a man's mercy is more. 

Hume's Sir Hugh of Lincoln, p. 35, obtained from recita 
tion in Ireland. 

1 'T WAS on a summer's morning 

Some scholars were playing at ball, 
When out came the Jew's daughter 
And leaud her back against the wall. 

2 She said unto the fairest boy, 

Come here to me, Sir Hugh ; 
' No ! I will not,' said he, 

' Without my playfellows too.' 

3 She took an apple out of her pocket, 

And trundled it along the plain, 

And who was readiest to lift it 
Was little Sir Hugh again. 

4 She took him by the milk-white han, 

An led him through many a hall, 

Until they came to one stone chamber, 

Where no man might hear his call. 

5 She set him in a goolden chair, 

And jaggd him with a pin, 
And called for a goolden cup 
To houl his heart's blood in. 

6 She tuk him by the yellow hair, 

An also by the feet, 

An she threw him in the deep draw-well ; 
It was fifty fadom deep. 



7 Day bein over, the night came on, 

And the scholars all went home ; 
Then every mother had her son, 
But little Sir Hugh's had none. 

8 She put her mantle about her head, 

Tuk a little rod in her han, 
An she says, Sir Hugh, if I fin you here, 
I will bate you for stayin so long. 

9 First she went to the Jew's door, 

But they were fast asleep ; 
An then she went to the deep draw-well, 
That was fifty fadom deep. 

10 She says, Sir Hugh, if you be here, 

As I suppose you be, 
If ever the dead or quick arose, 
Arise and spake to me. 

11 ' Yes, mother dear, I am here, 

I know I have staid very long ; 
But a little penknife was stuck in my heart, 
Till the stream ran down full strong. 

12 ' And mother dear, when you go home, 

Tell my playfellows all 
That I lost my life by leaving them, 
When playing that game of ball. 

13 ' And ere another day is gone, 

My winding-sheet prepare, 
And bury me in the green churchyard, 
Where the flowers are bloomin fair. 

14 Lay my Bible at my head, 

My Testament at my feet ; 
The earth and worms shall be my bed, 
Till Christ and I shall meet.' 


a. Written down by Mrs Dulany, January 14, 1885, 
from the recitation of her mother, Mrs Nourse, aged above 
ninety, as learned when a child, in Philadelphia, b. From 
the same source, furnished several years earlier by Miss 
Ferine, of Baltimore. 

1 IT rains, it rains in old Scotland, 

And down the rain does fa, 
And all the boys in our town 
Are out a playing at ba. 

2 ' You toss your balls too high, my boys, 

You toss your balls too low ; 
You '11 toss them into the Jew's garden, 
Wherein you darst not go.' 

3 Then out came one of the Jew's daughters, 

All dressed in red and green : 
' Come in, come in, my pretty little boy, 
And get your ball again.' 

4 ' I winna come in, and I canna come in, 

Without my playmates all, 
And without the will of my mother dear, 
Which would cause my heart's blood to fall.' 

5 She shewed him an apple as green as grass, 

She shewed him a gay gold ring, 
She shewed him a cherry as red as blood, 
Which enticed the little boy in. 

6 She took him by the lily-white hand, 

And led him into the hall, 
And laid him on a dresser-board, 
And that was the worst of all. 

7 She laid the Bible at his head, 

The Prayer-Book at his feet, 
And with a penknife small 
She stuck him like a sheep. 

8 Six pretty maids took him by the head, 

And six took him by the feet, 
And threw him into a deep draw-well, 
That was eighteen fathoms deep. 

9 'The lead is wondrous heavy, mother, 

The well is wondrous deep, 
A keen pen-knife sticks in my heart, 
And nae word more can I speak.' 



Communicated by Miss Ferine, of Baltimore, Maryland, 
as sung by her mother about 1825. 

1 IT rains, it rains in fair Scotland, 
It rains both great and small 

2 He tossed the hall so high, so low, 

He tossed the ball so low, 
He tossed it over the Jew's garden-wall, 
Where no one dared to go. 

3 Out came one of the Jew's daughters, 

All dressed in apple-green ; 
Said she, My dear little boy, come in, 
And pick up your ball again. 

4 ' I dare not come, I will not come, 

I dare not come at all ; 
For if I should, I know you would 
Cause my blood to fall.' 

5 She took him by the lily-white hand, 

And led him thro the kitchen ; 
And there he saw his own dear maid 
A roasting of a chicken. 

6 She put him in a little chair, 

And pinned him with a pin, 
And then she called for a wash-basin, 
To spill his life blood in. 

7 ' put the Bible at my head, 

And the Testament at my feet, 
And when my mother calls for me, 
You may tell her I 'm gone to sleep.' 

Sir E. Brydges, Restituta, I, 381, "obtained some years 
since" (1814) from the recitation of an aged lady. 

1 IT rains, it rains in merry Scotland, 

It rains both great and small, 
And all the children in merry Scotland 
Are playing at the ball. 

2 They toss the ball so high, so high, 

They toss the ball so low, 
They toss the ball in the Jew's garden, 
Where the Jews are sitting a row. 

3 Then up came one of the Jew's daughters, 

Cloathed all in green : 

' Come hither, come hither, my pretty Sir Hugh, 
And fetch thy ball again.' 

4 ' I durst not come, I durst not go, 

Without my play-fellowes all ; 
For if my mother should chance to know, 
She 'd cause my blood to fall.' 

5 She laid him upon the dresser-board, 

And stuck him like a sheep ; 
She laid the Bible at his head, 

The Testament at his feet, 
The Catechise-Book in his own heart's blood, 

With a penknife stuck so deep. 

a. Notes and Queries, First Series, XII, 496, B. H. C., 
from the manuscript of an old lacemaker in Northampton 
shire, b. N. and Q ., First Series, VIII, 614, B. H. C., 
from memory, stanzas 1-6. 

1 IT rains, it rains in merry Scotland, 

Both little, great and small, 
And all the schoolfellows in merry Scotland 
Must needs go play at ball. 

2 They tossd the ball so high, so high, 

With that it came down so low ; 

They tossd it over the old Jew's gates, 

And broke the old Jew's window. 

3 The old Jew's daughter she came out, 

Was clothed all in green : 
' Come hither, come hither, you young Sir 

And fetch your ball again.' 



4 ' I dare not come, nor I will not come, 

Without my schoolfellows come all ; 
For I shall be beaten when I go home 
For losing of my ball.' 

5 She 'tieed him with an apple so red, 

And likewise with a fig ; 
She threw him over the dresser-board, 
And sticked him like a pig. 

6 The first came out the thickest of blood, 

The second came out so thin, 
The third came out the child's heart-blood, 
Where all his life lay in. 

7 ' O spare my life ! O spare my life ! 

spare my life ! ' said he ; 

' If ever I live to be a young man, 

1 '11 do as good chare for thee.' 

8 ' I '11 do as good chare for thy true love 

As ever I did for the king ; 
I will scour a basin as bright as silver 
To let your heart-blood run in.' 

9 When eleven o'clock was past and gone, 
And all the school-fellows came home, 
Every mother had her own child 

But young Sir Hugh's mother had none. 

10 She went up Lincoln and down Lincoln, 

And all about Lincoln street, 
With her small wand in her right hand, 
Thinking of her child to meet. 

11 She went till she came to the old Jew's gate, 

She knocked with the ring ; 
Who should be so ready as the old Jew herself 
To rise and let her in ! 

12 ' What news, fair maid ? what news, fair maid ? 

What news have you brought to me ? 

13 ' Have you seen any of my child today, 

Or any of the rest of my kin ? ' 
' No, I 've seen none of your child today, 
Nor none of the rest of your kin.' 

Notes and Queries, First Series, IX, 320 ; taken down by 
S. P. Q. from the recitation of a nurse-maid in Shropshire 
about 1810. Salopian Shreds and Patches, July 21, 1875, 
in Miss Burne's Shropshire Folk-Lore, p. 539. 

1 IT hails, it rains, in Merry-Cock land, 

It hails, it rains, both great and small, 
And all the little children in Merry-Cock land 
They have need to play at ball. 

2 They tossd the ball so high, 

They tossd the ball so low, 
mongst all the Jews' cattle, 
And amongst the Jews below. 

3 Out came one of the Jew's daughters, 

Dressed all in green : 
' Come, my sweet Saluter, 
And fetch the ball again.' 

4 ' I durst not come, I must not come, 

Unless all my little playfellows come along ; 
For if my mother sees me at the gate, 
She '11 cause my blood to fall. 

5 ' She showd me an apple as green as grass, 

She showd me a gay gold ring ; 
She showd me a cherry as red as blood, 
And so she eiitic'd me in. 

6 ' She took me in the parlor, 

She took me in the kitchen, 
And there I saw my own dear nurse, 
A picking of a chicken. 

7 ' She laid me down to sleep, 

With a Bible at my head and a Testament 

at my feet ; 

And if my playfellows come to quere for me, 
Tell them I am asleep.' 



a. Communicated in a letter from the Rev. E. Venables, 
Precentor of Lincoln, as sung to him by a nurse-maid nearly 
sixty years ago, January 24, 1 885. A Buckinghamshire ver 
sion, b. A Walk through Lincoln Minster, by the Rev. E. 
Venables, p. 41, 1884. 

1 IT rains, it hails in merry Lincoln, 

It rains both great and small, 
And all the boys and girls today 
Do play at pat the ball. 

2 They patted the ball so high, so high, 

They patted the ball so low, 
They patted it into the Jew's garden, 
Where all the Jews do go. 

3 Then out it spake the Jew's daughter, 

As she leant over the wall ; 
'Come hither, come hither, my pretty play 
And I '11 give you your ball.' 

4 She tempted him [in] with apple so red, 

But that wouldnt tempt him in ; 
She tempted him in with sugar so sweet, 
And so she got him in. 

5 Then she put forth her lilly-white hand, 

And led him through the hall : 
' This way, this way, my pretty play-fellow, 
And you shall have your ball.' 

6 She led him on through one chamber, 

And so she did through nine, 
Until she came to her own chamber, 

Where she was wont to dine, 
And she laid him on a dressing-board, 

And sticket him like a swine. 

7 Then out it came the thick, thick blood, 

And out it came the thin, 
And out it came the bonnie heart's blood, 
There was no more within. 


F. H. Groome, In Gipsy Tents, 1880, p. 145 : " first heard 
at Shepherd's Bush, in 1872, from little Amy North." 

1 DOWN in merry, merry Scotland 

It rained both hard and small ; 
Two little boys went out one day, 
All for to play with a ball. 

2 They tossed it up so very, very high, 

They tossed it down so low ; 
They tossed it into the Jew's garden, 
Where the flowers all do blow. 

3 Out came one of the Jew's daughters, 

Dresse'd in green all : 

' If you come here, my fair pretty lad, 
You shall have your ball.' 

4 She showed him an apple as green as grass ; 

The next thing was a fig ; 
The next thing a cherry as red as blood, 
And that would 'tice him in. 

5 She set him on a golden chair, 

And gave him sugar sweet; 
Laid him on some golden chest of drawers, 
Stabbed him like a sheep. 

6 ' Seven foot Bible 

At my head and my feet ; 
If my mother pass by me, 
Pray tell her I 'm asleep.' 


Newell's Games and Songs of American Children, p. 75, 
as sung by a little girl in New York : derived, through her 
mother, from a grandmother horn in Ireland. 

1 IT was on a May, on a midsummer's day, 

When it rained, it did rain small ; 
And little Harry Hughes and his playfellows 

Went out to play the ball. 

2 He knocked it up, and he knocked it down, 

He knocked it oer and oer ; 
The very first kick little Harry gave the ball, 
He broke the duke's windows all. 

3 She came down, the youngest duke's daughter, 

She was dressed in green : 
' Come back, come back, my pretty little boy, 
And play the ball again.' 



4 ' I wont come back, and I daren't come back, 

Without my playfellows all ; 
And if my mother she should come in, 
She 'd make it the bloody ball.' 

5 She took an apple out of her pocket, 

And rolled it along the plain ; 
Little Harry Hughes picked up the apple, 
And sorely rued the day. 

6 She takes him by the lily-white hand, 

And leads him from hall to hall, 

Until she came to a little dark room, 

That no one could hear him call. 

7 She sat herself on a golden chair, 

Him on another close by, 
And there's where she pulled out her little 

That was both sharp and fine. 

8 Little Harry Hughes had to pray for his soul, 

For his days were at an end ; 
She stuck her penknife in little Harry's heart, 
And first the blood came very thick, and 
then came very thin. 

9 She rolled him in a quire of tin, 

That was in so many a fold ; 
She rolled him from that to a little draw-well, 
That was fifty fathoms deep. 

10 ' Lie there, lie there, little Harry,' she cried, 
' And God forbid you to swim, 

If you be a disgrace to me, 
Or to any of my friends.' 

11 The day passed by, and the night came on, 

And every scholar was home, 
And every mother had her own child, 
But poor Harry's mother had none. 

12 She walked up and down the street, 

With a little sally rod in her hand, 
And God directed her to the little draw-well, 
Tha.t was fifty fathoms deep. 

13 ' If you be there, little Harry,' she said, 

' And God forbid you to be, 
Speak one word to your own dear mother, 
That is looking all over for thee.' 

14 ' This I am, dear mother,' he cried, 

' And lying in great pain, 
With a little penknife lying close to my heart, 
And the duke's daughter she has me slain. 

15 ' Give my blessing to my schoolfellows all, 

And tell them to be at the church, 
And make my grave both large and deep. 
And my coffin of hazel and green birch. 

16 ' Put my Bible at my head, 

My busker (?) at my feet, 
My little prayer-book at my right side, 
And sound will be my sleep.' 

G. A. Sala, Illustrated London News, October 21, 1882, 
LXXXI, 415, repeated in Living London, 1883, p. 465: 
heard from a nurse in childhood. 

1 IT rains, it rains, in merry Scotland, 

It rains botli great and small, 
And all the children in merry Scotland 
Must needs play at ball. 

2 They toss the ball so high, 

And they toss the ball so low ; 
They toss it into the Jew's garden, 
Where the Jews sate all of a row. 

A-dressed all in green : 
' Come in, come in, my pretty lad, 
And you shall have your ball again.' 

4 ' They set me in a chair of state, 

And gave me sugar sweet ; 

They laid me on a dresser-board, 

And stuck me like a sheep. 

5 ' Oh lay a Bible at my head, 

And a Prayer-Book at my feet ! 
In the well that they did throw me in, 
Full five-and-fif ty feet deep.' 



Halliwell, Ballads and Poems respecting Hugh of Lincoln, 
p. 37, Halliwell's Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, p. 
192, ed. 1849: communicated by Miss Agnes Strickland, 
from oral tradition at Godalming, Surrey. 

1 HE tossed the ball so high, so high, 
He tossed the ball so low, 

He tossed the ball in the Jew's garden, 
And the Jews were all below. 

2 Oh then out came the Jew's daughter, 

She was dressed all in green : 
' Come hither, come hither, my sweet pretty 

And fetch your ball again.' 


Motherwell's Note-Book, p. 54, as sung by Widow Michael, 
an old woman in Barhead. 

1 A' the bairns o Lincolnshire 
Were learning at the school, 

And every Saturday at een 
They learnt their lessons weel. 

2 The Jew's dochter sat in her bower-door, 

Sewing at her seam ; 
She spied a' the bonnie bairns, 
As they cam out and hame. 


Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Appendix, p. xvii, VU. 

IT was in the middle o the midsimmer tyme, 
When the scule weans playd at the ba, ba, 

Out and cam the Jew's tochter, 
And on little Sir Hew did ca, ca, 
And on little Sir Hew did ca. 

B. Initial quh is changed to wh : z, for 5, to y. 

C. " ' The Jew's Daughter,' which you say was 

transmitted to Mr Dodsley by a friend of 
yours, never reached me, and Mr Dodsley 
says he knows nothing of it. I wish you 
would prevail on your friend to try to recol 
lect or recover it, and send me another copy 
by you." Percy to Paton, Jan. 12, 1769. 
The copy in the Percy papers is in Paton's 

I 4 . First written : The fairest o them a'. 

7 4 . First written : The flower amang them a'. 

D. 10 4 . bells were, in the second copy. 

E. 9 2 . a swan. 

F. Hume says, p. 5, that he first heard the bal 

lad in early boyhood ; " it was afterwards 
readily identified with Sir Hugh of Lincoln, 
though the rustic minstrel from whom I re 
ceived it made no allusion to locality." One 
cannot tell whether this copy 'is the ballad 
heard in early boyhood. 
14 1 . " This and the next verse are trans- 

G. a. 2 4 . darest. 
b. I 2 , doth fall. 1". When all. 
I 4 . Were out a playing ball. 

2 1 . We toss the balls so. 

2 2 . We toss the balls so. 2 3 . We 've tossed it 
2 4 . Where no one dares to. 

3 1 . out and came the Jew's daughter. 
3'. Said, Come. 

4 1 . will not come in, I cannot. 

4 2 . playfellows. 4 s . Nor /or And. 
4 4 . Which will. After 4 : 

I must not come, I dare not come, 

I cannot come at all, 
For if my mother should call for me, 

I cannot hear her call. 

5*. To entice this. 

After 5 (compare Miss Ferine 's own version, 

She put him in a little chair, 
She pinned him with a pin, 



And then she called for a wash-basin, 
To spill his- heart's blood in. 

6 8 . dressing. 7 2 . And the. 8 comes before 6. 
8 3 . they threw : deep dark well. 
8*. Was fifty fathoms. 9 wanting. 
J. a. 6 4 . Whereer. 

b. I 2 . It rains both great. 

2 2 . And yet it. 3 s . thou young. 

4 1 . I dare not come, I dare not come. 

4 2 . Unless my. 

4 s . And I shall be flogged when I get. 

5 s . She laid him on the. 

6 1 . The thickest of blood did first come out. 

6*. The third that came was his dear heart's 


6 4 . Where all his. 7-13 wanting. 
K. There are slight changes in the second copy. 
4 2 . all wanting. 5 1 ' 3 . The first as wanting. 
L. a. " After nearly sixty years my memory is not 
altogether trustworthy, and I am not alto 
gether sure how far I have mixed up my 
childish recollections with later forms of the 
ballad which I have read." 
The singer tagged on to this fragment version 
C of The Maid freed from the Gallows, 
given at II, 352. 

b. I 8 . For all. 3 1 . it wanting. 4 1 . him in. 
4 4 . And wiled the young thing in. 
5. wanting. 6 1 . him in through one dark door. 

6 2 . she has. 6 8 ' 4 wanting. 
6 6 . She 's laid him. After 7 : 

She 's rolled him in a cake of lead, 

Bade him lie still and sleep, 
And thrown him in St Mary's well, 

'T was fifty fathoms deep. 

When bells were rung, and mass was sung, 
And all the boys came home, 

Then every mother had her own son, 
But Lady Maisy had none. 

N. " The writer was not a little surprised to hear 
from a group of colored children, in the 
streets of New York city (though in a more 
incoherent form), the following ballad. He 
traced the song to a little girl living in one 
of the cabins near Central Park, from whom 
he obtained this version. . . . The mother of 
the family had herself been born in New 
York, of Irish parentage, but had learned 
from her own mother, and handed down to 
her children, such legends of the past as the 
ballad we cite." Communicated to me by 
Mr. Newell some considerable time before 

O. 3. " One of the Jew's daughters, ' a-dressed all 
in green,' issues from the garden and says, 
Come in, etc." 

Child, Francis James 
1181 The English and Scottish 

C5 popular ballads