The Legend of Robin Hood
A review of the Legend by Virginia Cavazos
Was there really a Robin Hood?? 

 In the many ballads of old England, he was a hero, that the poor and oppressed in England sung of. He fought against the evil Prince John, and his tax collectors. Taxes they were forced to pay, until they had nothing more to give.

But is it fact or Legend?

The ballads say that King Richard Plantagenet was a good King. Giving him a noble title of Richard The Lion Hearted. Yet he was away more years from England then on her beloved soil. He became obsessed with fighting his Holy wars, and less concerned with helping his own people. Heavy taxes were laid throughout England. To support his battles in the crusades, and later to pay for a heavy ransom when he was captured by Leopold V, duke of Austria. He was fatally wounded by an arrow in an insignificant skirmish away from England,  in 1199.

 The Ballads depict Prince (later King) John Lackland of being a bad king. Yet as the King of England, on the south bank of the Thames on the plains of Runneymede. On June 15th, 1215. When the nobility rose up against him, he signed the Magna Carter.
The basis of all Democracy, that is still upholded today! 
During a campaign, he died in battle, at Newark; in Nottinghamshire on October 19, 1216

So was there really a Robin Hood??

Robin Hood ballads are usually found between the years of 1100 and the 1400s.
Sherwood Forest is claimed to have been his home. The early stories sing of him being a highway robber, staying one step ahead of the Evil Sheriff of Notingham. 
The more romantic tales to appear later. Portray him as a man wrongfully having his noble title taken away from him. His father brutally murdered while away at the crusades. 
Many Ballads were written and sung of the outlaw, Robin Hood. They depicted a man of great courage and generosity. He was said to have an unrivaled skill in archery. To the point of being mystical. He never turned away from a battle. He stole from his enemies, the nobleman.
Yet he aided the poor, and protected the women and children.

Robin has had many names throughout the years. 
Robyn Hode
The Hooded Man
The Sherwood Outlaw
Robin, From a spirit of the Forest known as Puck or Robin Goodfellow, 
(Puck from the play a Midsummers Night Dream by William Shakespeare)
Robert of Locksley
Robert Fitzsooth The Earle of Huntington
The Earl of Locksley
The Trickster

Robins Merry Men
Robin's noble cause was said to be joined by men as stout of heart as he. 

John Little, Little John. 
Was a giant of a man. Said to be over Seven feet tall. He was depicted to be a feared and violent man. In the most famous ballad, they sing of him meeting Robin Hood on a bridge. Robin fought against the giant man, and won that battle, winning the devotion of John Little. Robin came to depend on him as his Lieutenant for his battle against the Prince. Little John soon came to be Robin's closest friend. 

Friar Tuck
A holy man, that gave up his life at the monastery. To help Robin in his noble fight. The most memorable story of Tuck is his first encounter with Robin. Robin soon found that the Good Friar proved to be good with his fighting skills, as well as his devotion to god.

Will Scarlet, William Scatlocke, William Stutely, William Scathelock
He has also been confused with Alan A. Dale. Some ballads depict him being a dandy, dressed in bright Scarlet red clothing. Yet others say he was a rouge and a thief. 

I think the latter can be said for most of Robin's men. They needed a skill that thieves possessed, to stay one step ahead of the Princes guards. 

The Lady Marion, Maid Marian

Was she real? The early ballads do not sing of Marian. It was the later ballads, in the 1400's that gave Robin his Marion. Some say, for want of a more romantic telling of the Robin Hood stories. She was said to come from a noble birth. The Lady Marion Fitzwalter, a ward of Good King Richard. A woman that gave up all, to spend her life with her only true love,
Robin Hood.

How did Robin die?

The Ballads say that he took refuge at the Kirkless monastery, thinking he was safe. Unaware that the Prioress, whom some say was his sister. Was poisoning him, or as  some of the ballads sing, he was being bled to death.
When he knew he was dying. As he lay on his death bed, he asked Little John to fetch his bow and arrow. Letting out a shot, it flew out the window. Where it landed, he was to be buried. 

The Hardest evidence of whether Robin Hood lived. Are the three graves found in England.

Robin Hood

Little John

Will Scarlet
Are these the graves of Robin Hood and his men?

This is a sign posted in front of a church. Was this made, for the tourists? Or were Robin and Marian truly married here?

I myself believe that Robin Hood existed. He was an ordinary man, that fought for what he believed in. Throughout the ages, many men found themselves in this situation. This was such a man, that the people, in thanks. Made him a Legend, that will live on in the centuries to come. Robin Hood has become known as a man that aided the poor. Fought against the rich, and banded a group of men to fight for his cause. He was an extraordinary man, who would have humbly denied being anything special. He was just fighting for something he deeply believed in. 

Robin Hood
will always be mine, as well as many generations to come-

Cast your vote in The New, Robin Hood poll!

 Links to other GREAT
Legend of Robin Hood Sites
Project Robin Hood
 Scarlet Inside
 The Wolfshead Bowman
 Robin Hood Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood
Robin Hood Literature
All information for this site found in Encarta, and Brittanica encyclopedias as well as 
an accumulation of what I've found all over the wonderful Internet.

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