Robin Hood Loxley
A pardon discovered by David Pilling and Rob Lynley identified Robin Hood as Robert Dore of Wadsley. His pardon reads “Robert Dore of Wadsley, otherwise known as Robert Hode (Hood) given the King’s pardon on 22 May 1382.” (Roll of King’s Pardons 4-5 Richard II 1382.) The knightly Wadsley family were the lords of the manor, they hunted deer on Loxley Chase and fletchers (arrow makers) lived on Loxley Common. Robin’s archery and fencing skills indicate a nobleman’s son and Dodsworth’s comment that his mother kept him after he killed his stepfather and fled into the woods, suggests he was still young and normally cared for by someone other than his mother, perhaps a member of the household? Richard Grafton confirms this view when he wrote in 1562, “This man (says he) descended of a noble parentage.” Alice de Mounteney was the prioress of Kirklees where Robin died, she had family in Loxley and according to the account of his death, she and Robin were cousins. John Mounteney (knight), John Woderoue, John de Amyas, and William de Sandale (chaplain) granted land in Mirfield and the advowson of the church to the prioress and the convent of Kirklees. Another of Robin’s neighbours was Sir Thomas de Sheffield, he married Agnes Fitz Alan, who was an heiress to the earldom of Huntingdon through her grandfather, John II de Bailliol King of Scots, he featured in Mel Gibson’s Oscar winning 1995 film Braveheart. Sir Thomas was born in Wadsley, where he died in 1348 and Robin’s claim to the Earldom of Huntingdon suggests a family connection. The rioting in York was a protest against John Gisbourne the unpopular mayor. There is an excellent clip of snowbound Loxley Common HERE.
Robin Hood’s Loxley is confirmed by:
1) Roger Dodsworth wrote, “Robin was born in the Bradfield Parish of Hallamshire; he wounded his stepfather to death at plough and fled into the woods where his mother sustained him until he was discovered. Then, he went to Clifton upon Calder where he met Little John who kept the kine. Little John is buried at Hathersage in Derbyshire where he has a fair tombstone with an inscription. Mr. Long saith that Fabyan saith Little John was Earl Huntley’s son after which he joined with Much the Miller’s son.”
2) Joseph Hunter, the assistant Keeper of the Public Records and Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries wrote: “These open wrote “chases afforded fine opportunities for such marauders as Robin-Hood; who doubtless himself in proper person made some of his first essays in “chasing the fallow deer” in Fulwood and Riveling, lying so near Loxley, which beyond all competition has the “fairest pretensions” to be the birth-place of that noted outlaw; not sparing perchance the abbot’s herds. (“Fairest pretensions” is an archaic term meaning a claim free of all obstacles).
3) John Harrison in his “Exact and Perfect Survey and View of the Manor of Sheffield and other Lands” in 1637 wrote, “Little Haggas Croft wherein is he foundation of a house or cottage where Robin Hood was born; this piece is compassed about with Loxley Firth” and contains two Roods and 13 square perches.”
4) The early medieval ballads such as the Geste, Robin Hood and the Monk, Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, Robin Hood and the Potter; show that the action took place not in Nottinghamshire but chiefly in South Yorkshire. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
5) The writer and historian Sir Walter Scott set Ivanhoe featuring Robin Hood and his merry men in South Yorkshire about which he says, “In that pleasant district of merry England, which is watered by the River Don, there extended in ancient times a large forest (Wharncliffe Park) covering the greater part of the beautiful hills and valleys which lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster... and here also flourished in ancient times those bands of gallant outlaws whose deeds have been rendered so popular in English song.” NEXT Copyright © 2014, Graham Kirkby