In the historical chronicles of six hundred years ago, one can find only a brief mention of the rogue of the same name who hunted in the forests of Central England. The first information that Robin ruled the forests and wastelands of England dates back to 1261. But in written sources it was first mentioned only a century later. This was done by the Scottish historian Fordun, who died in 1386.
The next account of Robin Hood in the chronicles dates back to the sixteenth century. According to the chronicler John Stowe, he was a robber during the reign of Richard 1. He led a gang, which included a hundred brave outcasts. They were all good at bow and arrow. Although they were engaged in robbery, Robin Hood "did not allow oppression or other violence against women. He did not touch the poor, giving them everything that he took from the saints and noble rich."
The documents record that the famous robber was born in 1290 and was named Robert Good. In the old registers, three variants of the spelling of the surname are given: Year, Gode, and Goode. But no one disputes the origin of Robin: he was a serf of the Earl of Warren. In 1322 Robin passed into the service of a new master, Sir Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. When the count led a rebellion against King Edward II, Robin, like the other servants of the count, had no choice but to obey the master and take up arms. But the rebellion was suppressed, and Robin found an ideal refuge in the deep Sherwood Forest, in Yorkshire.
Sherwood Forest was 25 square miles adjacent to Yorkshire. The Sherwood and Barnsdale woodlands were crossed by the Roman-paved Great North Road, on which there was a lot of traffic. This attracted rogue robbers. This is how the legend of Robin Hood, a man in green, forest-colored clothes, was born.
Robin's closest assistant was Little John, presumably not at all a merry fellow, but a sullen and very vulnerable guy. Most likely, he was called the Kid as a joke, since he was quite tall. This was discovered when his grave in Hazersage was opened in 1784 and the bones of a very tall man were found.
As for Brother Took, opinions differ about him. Some believe that this legendary character combines the features of two fat monks, others believe that there really was such a cheerful person who loved to have fun and dance in the company of forest brothers. Perhaps it was Robert Stafford, a priest from Sussex (early fifteenth century), who sometimes, under the pseudonym of Brother Took, participated in the adventures of the gay gang.
Maiden Marian as a character also fits well with the theory that the image of Robin emerged from folk tales about traditional May festivities and games. Marian could just be the beauty-chosen "Queen of May".
The legendary adventures of Robin Hood in the famous forest ended presumably in 1346. It is believed that he died at the Kerkles Monastery after a serious illness. The abbess treated Robin with profuse bloodletting, as a result of which, weakened and bloodless, he could not recover from his illness.
Graham Black, director of the "Lore of Robin Hood" exhibition in Nottangham, said: "We have come close to knowing the true identity of Robin." According to Black, the true story of Robin Hood began in 1261, when William, son of Robert Smith, was outlawed in Berkshire. The court clerk who wrote the decree named him William Robingood. Other court documents have been found mentioning people named Robingood, most of whom are criminals. Therefore, researchers believe that if Robin Hood really existed, then he most likely acted before that time.
The most likely candidate for this dubious role, according to Graham Black, is Robert God, a resident of the Archbishopric of York, who escaped justice in 1225. Two years later, he is referred to in written documents as the Hobhod.
Regarding Robin Hood, Professor Holt writes: “He was completely different from what he is described. He wore a cap like a monk's hood. death. And during his lifetime he was known as a notorious marauder. "