Sunday, November 22, 2009

Robin Hood


Today's entry for November 22 covers the legendary Robin Hood. Robin Hood may have been the Earl of Huntington, who turned to raiding Sherwood Forest and its wealthy travelers after wasting his inheritance. King Edward II determined to eliminate Robin, and dressing his men and himself as monks, set himself as bait in order to capture Robin.
The ruse works. Robin Hood unknowingly extracts money from the king, then invites Edward to dinner. After a shooting contest, Hood and his men realize that they are not in the presence of monks, but of rank; including King Edward. Robin Hood begs forgiveness, which Edward grants, demanding that Robin serve as his court. Evidence of this service is contained in the royal Exchequer report, which lists payments to a Robin Hode at this time.
A year later, Robin asks for his release, which he receives on November 22, 1324. Hood rejoins his comrades after leaving Edward, and a 22 year period of robbery ensued.
Scott draws on the Robin Hood legend in his classic Ivanhoe. In Ivanhoe, Scott includes Lockesley (Robin Hood), Friar Tuck, Allen-a-dale, and Little John. Scott's Ivanhoe portrays remnants of Saxon England in conflict with the new Norman overlords.

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