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Robin Hood; Being a Complete History of All the Notable and Merry Exploits Performed by Him and His Men on Many Occasions

Robin Hood;
Being a Complete History of All the Notable and Merry
Exploits Performed by Him and His Men on Many Occasions
Author: Anonymous
Title: Robin Hood; Being a Complete History of All the Notable and Merry Exploits Performed by Him and His Men on Many Occasions
Release Date: 2019-01-29
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 33
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(etext transcriber's note)

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Robin and his Mother going to Gamewell Hall.

see page 2.

London, William Darton, 58, Holborn Hill, Augˢᵗ. 29, 1821.



Price 6d. plain plates, or 1s. with the plates coloured.



THE reign of King Richard the First was very different from the times wenow live in. The roads were very bad, and were beset with robbers; andthere was a great number of large forests and parks in the country wellstocked with deer. At that time lived the famous Robin Hood. He was bornin the village of Locksley, in Nottinghamshire, and his father was veryskilful in the use of the cross-bow. His mother had a brother namedGamewell, of Great Gamewell-hall, near Maxwell, in the same county, butat the distance of twenty miles from the house of Robin Hood’s father.

When Robin Hood was about thirteen years old, his mother said one day to{2}his father, “Let Robin and me ride this morning to Gamewell-hall, totaste my brother’s good cheer.” Her husband answered, “Do so, my dear;let Robin Hood take my grey horse, and the best bridle and saddle: thesun is rising, so, pray make haste, for to-morrow will beChristmas-day.” The good wife then made no more ado, but put on herholiday petticoat and gown, which were green. Robin got his basket-hiltsword and dagger, and his new suit of clothes; and so rode, with hismother behind him, till he came to Gamewell-hall.

Squire Gamewell made them welcome twenty times; and the next day sixtables were set out in the hall for dinner: and, when the company wascome, the squire said to them, “You are all welcome, but not a man hereshall taste my ale till he has sung a Christmas carol.” They now allclapped their hands, and shouted, and sang, till the hall and the{3}parlour rung again.—After dinner, the chaplain said grace, and thesquire once again bid his friends be merry. “It snows and it blows outof doors (said he), but we are snug here; let us have more ale, and laysome logs upon the fire.” He then called for Little John; “for,” saidhe, “Little John is a fine lad at gambols, and all sorts of tricks, andit will do your hearts good to see him.” When Little John came, he wasindeed as clever as the squire had said; but Robin Hood got up, andplayed all the very same tricks, and better still. The squire was quiteglad to see this; and he said, “Cousin Robin, you shall go no more home,but shall stay and live with me: you shall have my estate when I die,and, till then, you shall be the comfort of my age.” Robin Hood agreedto this, if his uncle would but give him Little John to be his servant.

One time, when Robin Hood was gone to spend a week with his father and{4}mother, squire Gamewell was taken ill. In those days, the people ofthis country were of the Roman Catholic religion. There was a convent ofpriests near Gamewell-hall called Fountain Abbey; and the squire sentfor one of the priests or monks, to come and read prayers by hisbed-side. Fountain Abbey was a very fine building: it had a largemansion in the centre, and a capital wing on the right side; but therewas no wing on the left; so that the building was not complete. Now themonk who came to Gamewell-hall was very sorry about this, and wishedvery much to have a left wing to his abbey: so he made the squirebelieve that he could not die like a good man, unless he gave the wholeof his estate to Fountain Abbey. The squire was very ill, and hardlyknew what he did; he forgot Robin Hood, and all that he had said hewould do for him, and signed a paper that the monk brought him, to giveaway his estate. As soon as Robin Hood heard that his uncle was very{5}ill, he made haste home; but the squire was dead a quarter of an hourbefore Robin came. The monks now turned Robin Hood out of the hall; and,as his father was poor, Robin was thus sent out into the world to seekhis fortune.

Robin Hood did not know what to do: he had been used to live like a richman, and did not know how to work; for he had learned no trade. He nowgot together a number of young men, who had been brought up likehimself, and were just as poor; and they went to live what they called amerry life, in Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham. Here there was plentyof deer; and Robin Hood and his company were very excellent marksmen atshooting them with the cross-bow. But they wanted something besides meatto eat, so they at once turned robbers. After this, no man could travelalone through Sherwood Forest, without being stripped of his money.Robin Hood, and his company too, did{6} not confine themselves to SherwoodForest, but sometimes went to plunder other parts of England. His gangsoon grew to above a hundred in number, and they were some of thetallest, finest, and boldest, men in the kingdom. Robin Hood dressedthem in an uniform: he himself always wore scarlet; and each of his menhad a green coat, a pair of breeches, and cap.

Though Robin Hood was a robber, which to be sure is a very bad thing,yet he behaved in such a manner as to have the good word and good wishesof almost all the poor people in those parts. He never loved to rob anybody but people that were very rich, and that had not the spirit to makegood use of their riches. As he had lost his estate by the cunning of apopish priest, he had a great dislike to the whole set; and the popishpriests at that time behaved in such a manner, that hardly any bodyliked them: so that Robin Hood was not thought the worse{7} of for hisusage of them. When he met with poor men, in his rambles, instead oftaking any thing from them, he gave them money of his own. He never letany woman be either robbed or hurt; and, in cases of hardship, he alwaystook the part of the weak and the injured against the strong; so that itwas truely said, “that of all thieves he was the gentlest and mostgenerous thief.”

Robin Hood was fond of doing odd and strange things; and he loved a jokequite as well as he loved a good booty. One day, as he strolled in theForest by himself, he saw a jolly butcher riding upon a fine mare, withpanniers on each side filled with meat. “Good morrow, good fellow!” saidRobin; “whither are you going so early?” Said the other, “I am abutcher, and am going to Nottingham market to sell my meat.” “I neverlearned any trade,” said Robin; “I think I should like to be a{8} butcher.What shall I give you for your mare, and your panniers, and all that isin them?” “They are not dear at four marks,” said the butcher, “and Iwill not sell them for less.” Robin made no words, but counted out themoney; and then made the butcher give him his blue linen coat and hisapron, in exchange for Robin Hood’s fine uniform of scarlet.

When Robin Hood had dressed himself in this manner, he rode straight toNottingham. The sheriff of Nottingham was master of the market, andRobin Hood hired a stall there. But we may very well suppose that he didnot know much about his trade, and indeed, as long as he had any meat tosell, no other butcher could sell a single joint; for Robin Hood soldmore meat for a penny than the others could do for five. “To be sure,”said they, “this is some young fellow that has sold his father’s land.”The butchers then went up to Robin Hood: “Come, brother,”

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Robin Hood bargaining with the Nottingham Butcher.

see page 8.

London, William Darton, 58, Holborn Hill, Augˢᵗ. 29, 1821.


said one of them, “we are all of one trade, will you go and dine withus?” “I should be a shabby fellow,” said Robin, “if I was ashamed of mycalling; so I will go with you.” The sheriff was the tavern-keeper, andsat at the head of the table; and, after dinner, Robin Hood would insistupon paying the bill. The sheriff was a cunning old miser, and, when hesaw how madly Robin Hood behaved, he thought he would not miss such achance of turning a penny. “Good fellow,” said the sheriff, “hast thouany horned beasts to sell to me?”—“That I have, good master sheriff,”said Robin Hood. “I have a hundred or two, if you will please to go andsee them.” The sheriff then saddled his good palfrey, and took threehundred pounds in gold, and away he went with Robin Hood.

The road they took led through the forest of Sherwood; and, as they rodealong, the sheriff cried out, “God preserve us this day from a man{10} theycall Robin Hood!” But, when they came a little further, there chanced tocome out of the thicket a hundred good fat deer, skipping very nearthem. “How do you like my horned beasts, master sheriff?” said RobinHood. “These are the cattle I told you of.” “To tell you the truth,”replied the sheriff, “I wish I were away, for I do not like yourcompany.” Then Robin Hood put his bugle-horn to his mouth, and blowedthree times; when suddenly there came out of the wood Little John andRobin Hood’s hundred men, clothed in green, and running all in a row.“What is your will, master?” said Little John. “I have brought hitherthe sheriff of Nottingham,” said Robin Hood, “this day, to dine withme.” “He is welcome,” said Little John. “I hope he will pay us well forhis dinner.” Robin Hood now made the sheriff sit down under a tree; and,after they had all eaten and drunk enough, he opened the sheriff’s bag,

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Robin Hood telling out the Sheriffs money.

see page 10.

London, William Darton, 58, Holborn, Augˢᵗ. 29, 1821.


and told out his three hundred pounds. He then seated the sheriff on hispalfrey again, and led him out of the forest. “Remember me kindly toyour wife,” said Robin Hood; and so went laughing away.

As Robin Hood was walking one day in the Forest, he took notice of ahandsome young man, dressed in very fine clothes, frisking over theplain, and singing. When Robin Hood passed the same spot the nextmorning, he saw this same young man come drooping along: his fine dresswas laid aside, his hair was loose about his shoulders, and at everystep he sighed deeply, saying, “Alas! and well-a-day!” Robin Hood sentone of his company, to bring the young man to him. “What is thedistress,” said Robin Hood, “that hangs so heavy on your heart? Why wereyou so merry yesterday, and why are you so sad to-day?” The young mannow pulled out his purse. “Look at this ring,” said he; “I bought ityesterday; I was to have married a young maiden{12} whom I have courted forseven long years, and this morning she is gone to church to be marriedto another.” “Do you think she loves you?” said Robin Hood. “She hastold me so,” said Allen-a-Dale, for that was his name, “a hundredtimes.” “Then she is not worth caring

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