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Old March 18th, 2014, 10:20 AM   #11
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There's a "Robin Hood's Bay" quite a bit to the north of Nottingham. Does any part of the legend derive from there?
There's a local story that Robin helped some despoiled fishermen. The name Robin Hood's Bay is not recorded until the 1530s.

But don't worry about the distance from Nottingham. Although modern iterations of the legend focus on Sherwood, Nottingham et al, the original English ballads placed Robin in Yorkshire - although admittedly at the southern end rather than the northern end, where RHB is to be found. Our heroes go out to Barnsdale Bar, which was (and still is) on the Great North Road (now the A1), not far from Doncaster.

One of the early contenders for the real Robin is a chap called Robert Hodde (or something like that) who held land in Wakefield, also on the A1 although a bit further north than Barnsdale Bar.

I suspect that there is no one real Robin. The Greenwood was stuffed full of outlaws (not necessarily criminals, just folk who had been banished outside the law, which meant that killing them etc was not regarded as a problem). Many of the early stories involve Robin outwitting lardy abbots and other representatives of the privileged few, suggesting that he was seen as a champion of the poor at a very early stage. That said, in the early ballads he is a yeoman rather than a woodland robber.

Regards,

Peter

PS: Barnsdale Forest wouldn't have been especially wooded. 'Forest' was a term referring to royal hunting land rather than woodland.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 02:57 AM   #12

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Eadric the Forrester was probably the origin of the outlaw stories.

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadric_the_Wild]Eadric the Wild - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:07 AM   #13
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I agree that Robin Hood is fictional.

Whether or not the tales of Robin Hood are based on the lives of anyone living in that period is debateable.

It could be that an individual has done some of the deed attributed to RH, and they have been exaggerated over the years.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:14 AM   #14
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I think was a Saxon with lost land from Normans so he was against them.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:16 AM   #15

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I think they may have had a basis in Saxon resistance to the Normans were there would have been many 'outlaws' who could claim 'noble' roots.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:41 AM   #16

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Pretty much total fiction. There were doubtless a few n`er do wells skulking about in Sherwood forest, but i doubt they amounted to much. In fact this whole notion of 12th century Saxon peasants hating their Norman overlords is exaggerated beyond belief.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 04:50 AM   #17

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Pretty much total fiction. There were doubtless a few n`er do wells skulking about in Sherwood forest, but i doubt they amounted to much. In fact this whole notion of 12th century Saxon peasants hating their Norman overlords is exaggerated beyond belief.
I wouldn't say it was Saxon resistance at the time but rather 'memories' and 'stories' repeated and changed through the ages
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Old March 19th, 2014, 05:09 AM   #18

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I would suggest reading the article "William of Kensham: Hero of the Resistance" by Sean McGlynn in Volume 3, Issue 6 of Medieval Warfare Magazine. It presents a compelling case for William of Kensham (or Keynsham depending on spelling preference) as being an important individual in the Robin Hood myth. He most certainly fits the time period (1215, during the reign of King John), he most certain fits the reputation as a forester, he was both hero and outlaw, he was low-born yeoman, and he's also the only one out of all the potential real life contenders from the 13th or 14th century to be explicitly linked to a band of archers operating out of a forest, including connections to Nottingham and Sherwood and Barnsdale forest.
Roger Godberd is another candidate.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 05:30 AM   #19

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Robin Hood 'from Kent' not Sherwood Forest, historian claims - Telegraph Sean McGlynn's suggestion.
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Old March 22nd, 2014, 11:01 AM   #20

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Hereward [the Wake] was a huge inspiration on the legend, with his huge and effective revolt (involving nobles and churchmen etc) in 1071 against William I in Ely marshes.
The English rebels in general after 1066, those who revolted against Norman rule and hid out in woods, were known by the Normans as the 'Silvatici'

Also, the 'Dispossessed' English nobles of 1265-6 were probably written into the legend of Robin, too. They also, like the above, hid out in the woods etc.
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