he was a good outlawe,
And dyde pore men moch god.
From a 14th Century Ballad
“…puts a brilliant spin on the traditional tales of Robin Hood and Maid Marian.”
School Library Journal on The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate
As we head to the end of summer, it is time to let the Outlaw of Sherwood sleep for a while. And I thought it fitting to discuss many of the legends surrounding Robin Hood’s demise, for the tales of his death are as many and varied as those recounting his exploits.
Robin Hood’s death either occurred at the hands of Guy of Gisbourne, whom the Shire Reeve of Nottingham employed as a bounty hunter, or at the hands of agents of the King, or by the Shire Reeve himself. One very common legend has Robin going to visit his cousin at a Priory to be ‘bled’ a common practice in the Middle Ages. He traveled there only with Little John and the Priory allowed to much bled to be let and Hood could not recover. John sought vengeance on the Prioress but Robin refused his request before he died because he had never harmed a woman.
Whatever and whoever the real Robin Hood was or when he lived and died can probably never be known. But it is doubtful any character in our culture has given us as much fodder for stories and legends as the Outlaw of Sherwood. And as stated here before, Hood, real or imagined lived on through the Middle Ages in stories, poems and ballads. In fact a ballad called “Robin Hood’s Lament” (Lament being a Middle Ages word for ‘death’) became so popular with English Armies that it become a ‘password’ when the Army was deployed in France. Sentries standing guard duty would order strangers approach camps to sing a few lines of the ballad in order to insure they were not French spies. Robin Hood protected and served his countrymen, long after he was gone.
Don’t forget to visit the blog starting in mid-September for the return of “Templar Tuesdays” where, with the cooperation of www.templarhistory.com I talk about the history myth and legend of the Knights Templar. To read the previous Templar Tuesday Posts click here.
Also, don’t forget to read Paul Boehmer’s interview from last week. Paul is the voice actor who created The Youngest Templar Audios, and has also starred on various versions of the Star Trek televisions shows. So, you know, Geek Alert!