Introduction

Hi and welcome to my site.
Cheshire is full of weird and wonderful stories of the supernatural, local heores and the mysterious.
I will take you on a tour as I look deep into the Cheshire that lies underneath the wonderful countryside and find the secrets that still hide there.
What magic and long lost secrets will we find?
So, sit back and enjoy my journey. This is a land of Magic, Knights, Dragons, Wizards, Witches, Boggarts, Murder, Ghosts and Old Forgotten Knowledge.


I would love to hear your stories as well. So if you have anything you would like me to look into and find information out, please let me know.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

ROBIN HOOD


This popular figure from English Folklore is tradually based in Yorkshire and Nottingham. But Cheshire does have a claim on him or at least the myth as well.

Many people have tried to find out if this is a figure made up of folklore and different charators or a real person. The story we have all been brought up with is, this man who was not only a great swordsman but a skilled archer as well. He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. His love was Maid Marion. He had a band of brave followers which included Friar Tuck, Little John and Will Scarlet. They lived in Nottingham Forest away from their enemy, The Sherrif of Nottingham. In most tv shows and films, Robin Hood and his merry men are dressed in Lincoln green clothes. Of course, some storylines have changed over the years, some have him as always being an outlaw but some has him portrayed as an aristocrat wrongfully dispossed of his lands and made into an outlaw by a bad sherriff.


Other people have tried to find him as a real person. In fact there is a grave at Kirkless Priory near Mirfield in West Yorkshire, that many claim is the grave of Robin Hood.





The Robin Hood story all starts with a ballard, Robin Hood and the Monk. These ballads are usually attributed by scholars to the 13th or 14th century but sometimes earlier. There were also Robin Hood games which played an important part of the late Medieval May Day Festivities throughout the country.

The possible real people behind the legend include ROGER GODBERD. His nickname was Robin Hood and he served under Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester. In 1265, Godberd was outlawed for fighting against King Henry 111 in the Battle of Evesham. In October 1267, Godberd settled in Sherwood Forest and he had 100 men to call upon if he needed help. He was caught in 1272, in the grounds of Rufford Abbey by Reginald de Grey, the Sherriff of Nottinham's men and he was taken to Nottingham Castle. He escaped. But Godberd was finally caught sometime after 1270 and his trail took place at the Tower of London. He was pardoned by Edward 1, when the King returned from the 8th Crusade. Godberd returned to his farm and lived there until his death. But another verision is that Godberd died in Newgate Prison in 1276.

Another possible real person is called Robin Hood. He is written about by a monk around 1460 and he writes about this outlaw and his accomplices living in Sherwood and travelling to other areas of England.

And the last real person I will mention was suggested by Joseph Hunter (1783 - 1861), an antiquarian and Unitarian Minister. He identified the outlaw Robyn Hode recorded as employed by Edward 11 in 1323 during the King's progress through Lancashire. This Robin lived in Wakefield with his wife Matilda. He had also fought against the King but was pardoned by him in 1323 and taken into his service.

I like to think of Robin Hood as a nickname and this was then turned into a single charactor into the ballards and into English Folklore. Since 1262, the name Robin Hood had been used as a general name for outlaws in Berkshire and after in other parts of the country, where the surname ROBEHOD was applied to a man after he had been outlawed.


There are many mythological creatures that could explain the begining of this legend. One of Robin Hood's origins could come from a pagan legend that Robin defended the unspoiled land not touched by the towns/villages set aside a plot of woodland which was to be left alone. This then belonged to THE GOODFELLOW, THE GOODMAN or ROBIN GOODFELLOW. He was a fairy or mischievous nature sprite. Family names can be found dating back to this time ---- MORRISES or MORRISONS desend from Morris dancers, also called Marians morrice men. Marriages which took place in these area's were performed by Shamons (possibly symbolized by Friar Tuck). Any children from such marriages were considered children of the forest God (Robin) and their name would br ROBINSON. The surname HOOD, HUDE and HODE is a name associated with woodland.


In Cheshire, The Green man was a popular myth simular to Robin Goodfellow. He is represented with oak leaves and other vegetation around him. He is also known by other names, JACK IN THE GREEN and ROBIN HOOD. The Green Man and his merrymaking men worshipped the Mother Earth (Marion).







There was a ballad entitled THE MERRY GESTE. It was dedicated to The Earl of Chester, Will Scarlet was born and bred in MAXFELTE TOWN (Macclesfield), the Royal hunting forest (Delamere) and it also mentions how Robin and Will were great bowmen.


Cheshire men were famous esp with the longbow. Their bows were made of Yew and it is said that only the wood from a Cheshire churchyard was used.









So can Cheshire lay claim to Robin Hood, or at least part of the myth?
Was he a real person or a myth?

I will leave this decission up to you.

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