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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #41
1an
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Originally Posted by johnminnitt View Post
Justice Silence, in Henry IV part 2, sings odd lines from many ballads, including that one from a RH ballad.
He has nothing to do with Sir Richard Vernon who is a completely separate character in Henry IV part 1. (Executed at the end of that part IIRC)
Neither of them has anything to do with the knight in the Geste.
There you are, Sir Richard Vernon, Robin Hood, Scarlet and John named in Henry IV. If you remember the impoverished knight was going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and in real life Sir Richard Vernon had a license to go on pilgrimage in 1364.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:37 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by johnminnitt View Post
Or the gold coins are a detail added in later tellings of the story.
That's another possibility.

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Actually Little John doesn't say that, he says no merchant is richer than RH - not no OTHER merchant.
Ok, that's true, though the fact remains that Robin is shown to be very wealthy and has an abundance of cloth, and he sells cloth to the king when he visits Nottingham.

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It is absolutely clear that RH is an outlaw not a merchant
Is it? And can one not be both?

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(and a yeoman, not a knight).
I had noticed that apparent discrepancy, but upon further reading I discovered that the exact meaning of 'yeoman' is unclear in this period. Apparently it could include 'landed gentry', which would surely apply to Geoffrey Luttrell?
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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:48 AM   #43
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There you are, Sir Richard Vernon, Robin Hood, Scarlet and John named in Henry IV. If you remember the impoverished knight was going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and in real life Sir Richard Vernon had a license to go on pilgrimage in 1364.
Sir Richard Vernon is in one play.
Robin Hood etc are in a single ballad line sung in a different play.

Do you really think that is significant?

The impoverished knight was fully occupied with problem of his son and his debt.
If he did go on pilgrimage why does that identify him with another person who went on pilgrimage, lots of people did that? Ask Chaucer.

Last edited by johnminnitt; January 7th, 2017 at 09:58 AM.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:53 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Calebxy View Post
That's another possibility.


Ok, that's true, though the fact remains that Robin is shown to be very wealthy and has an abundance of cloth, and he sells cloth to the king when he visits Nottingham.


Is it? And can one not be both?
Hardly at the same time, when an outlaw can't own property and is liable to immediate arrest.
In fact the 'merchant' references are confined to the Geste, which, as Ian pointed out was probably written for a merchant guild. So those references are probably a joke for that audience, not part of the original legend.


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I had noticed that apparent discrepancy, but upon further reading I discovered that the exact meaning of 'yeoman' is unclear in this period. Apparently it could include 'landed gentry', which would surely apply to Geoffrey Luttrell?
The distinction is made by Robin himself in the Geste, about the cost of the knight's dinner, basically he says it is unthinkable that a yeoman should pay for a knight.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:57 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by johnminnitt View Post
Sir Richard Vernon is in one play.
Robin Hood etc are in a single ballad line sung in a different play.

Do you really think that is significant?
That is significant, the description of his castle in the Lee is significant, the fact he was going on pilgrimage is significant, the location is significant, the date is significant.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 10:04 AM   #46
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'his' castle - whose?
Why is pilgrimage significant, many people went?
I admit I don't recall the actual line about the Geste knight and pilgrimage, please remind me.

What location? The Mediaeval Vernons seem to have been mainly a Lancs/Cheshire family, the knight was in Sherwood.
The date - only if you assume a date for the Geste story.

But really what connects the name Vernon with the Geste knight?
That he is in one play 200 years later, and one line of a RH ballad is sung in a different play? I think we have different definitions of significant.

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Old January 7th, 2017, 10:37 AM   #47
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Hardly at the same time, when an outlaw can't own property and is liable to immediate arrest.
Could that really be said of Robin, though, given that he owned a lodge?

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In fact the 'merchant' references are confined to the Geste, which, as Ian pointed out was probably written for a merchant guild. So those references are probably a joke for that audience, not part of the original legend.
Or, alternatively, such references were made due to Robin's [former] occupation. The evidence that it was written for a merchant guild is simply the fact that there are so many merchant references, is that not so?

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The distinction is made by Robin himself in the Geste, about the cost of the knight's dinner, basically he says it is unthinkable that a yeoman should pay for a knight.
Really? I thought that Robin gave the knight money and materials. And isn't it widely recognised that Robin Hood behaves in a notably 'knightly' way in the ballad?

Last edited by Calebxy; January 7th, 2017 at 12:30 PM.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 10:47 AM   #48

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Fiction based on fact.

I'm sure at some point in England a robber/gang leader/ bandit leader operated under the name Robin Hood. Maybe even several men at different times.
But the stories told about "him" are made up.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 04:56 PM   #49
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Could that really be said of Robin, though, given that he owned a lodge?
Lodge? He is supposed to have built a chapel in the forest - hardly official ownership/


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Or, alternatively, such references were made due to Robin's [former] occupation. The evidence that it was written for a merchant guild is simply the fact that there are so many merchant references, is that not so?
Could be former occupation indeed, no early source tells of his life before outlawry, or how he was outlawed. He could I suppose have been anything of roughly Yeoman status - some sort of merchant or craftsman, upper servant, freeholder/farmer. But I don't see how anyone could actively be a merchant while outlawed.
I think the guild idea is because there are these references in the Geste, but in no other place - so it seems to be an idea particular to that story.



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Really? I thought that Robin gave the knight money and materials. And isn't it widely recognised that Robin Hood behaves in a notably 'knightly' way in the ballad?
Well he loaned money first, then gave some (when he was otherwise repaid). The point is not really about paying, but that he firmly distinguishes his Yeoman status from that of a knight. A prosperous Yeoman maybe could be as well-off as minor gentry, but knighthood is surely a more precise ranking.
Quoting from memory -"It never was the case, dear worthy God, a Yeoman should pay for a Knight".

Last edited by johnminnitt; January 7th, 2017 at 05:06 PM.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:02 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Edric Streona View Post
Fiction based on fact.

I'm sure at some point in England a robber/gang leader/ bandit leader operated under the name Robin Hood. Maybe even several men at different times.
But the stories told about "him" are made up.
I suppose they may retain some elements of fact, as stories of Arthur may.
But, as I remarked before, we know how much the legend developed in the 100 years after 1460, it seems naive to suppose that the same didn't happen in the 100 or more years before that. Yet some people treat ballads (especially the Geste) as though, because it is our earliest surviving version it is also original, and every detail is historical fact.
They are stories, composed to entertain, rather like a Hollywood film about Billy the Kid - usually a mixture of history and fiction. Except in that case we have contemporary records to distinguish between the two, in RH's case we don't have much, but that doesn't mean we can treat the stories as solid historical evidence.

I'd agree there probably was an original (maybe on of the Robert Hods who seem to have been survivors of Montfort's rebellion, or the Robert Hod (Hobbehod) in 1220'2 Yorkshire. Whether he contributed much more than the name to the legend as we have it is another matter
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