Was Robin Hood a Serial Robber?

It turns out stealing from the rich and giving to the poor did not endear Robin Hood to the monks. A manuscript dating to about 1460 owned by Eton College says that good ole Robin “infested” parts of England with “continuous robberies”.
Dr. Julian Luxford of St. Andrew’s University found the writings of a monk in a Latin inscription a piece that had been written into the margins of a book called the Polychronicon. He says it reveals a different Hood than the one legend speaks fondly of.

BBC reports:

“Rather than depicting the traditionally well-liked hero, the article suggests that Robin Hood and his merry men may not actually have been ‘loved by the good’.

“The new find contains a uniquely negative assessment of the outlaw, and provides rare evidence for monastic attitudes towards him.”

This manuscript is the first English chronicle that mentions the bandit known as Robin Hood. Three Scottish medieval authors have also been thought to place Robin in the time period.

The Daily Mail reports:

‘Some say he was pretty bad, but had some good qualities while others refer to him as a man of honour who robbed from the rich to give to the poor. This [entry] is just entirely negative.’

The passage is only 23 words long but may support that the legend is in deed fact.

A translation of the short inscription reads:
“Around this time, according to popular opinion, a certain outlaw named Robin Hood, with his accomplices, infested Sherwood and other law-abiding areas of England with continuous robberies.”

The new find contains a uniquely negative assessment of the outlaw, and provides rare evidence for monastic attitudes towards him.”

The finding may also settle the debate over where Robin and his band of Merry Men lived. Yorkshire has long claimed that the town hosted the bandits instead of Nottinghamshire of legend fame.


AP
reports that the this gives Nottinghamshire the nod. At the time Sherwood Forest spanned across Nottinghamshire. The forest has since shrunk from 100,000 acres to a mere 450 acres.

“This is another piece of evidence from the Middle Ages showing he was from Sherwood,” Luxford said. “It strengthens that connection.”

An article about the finding will be published later this month in the Journal of Medieval History.

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