Was There Ever a Real Robin Hood?
To identify the original Robin Hood is no easy task. In England, Robin was and remains a diminutive of the name Robert, and Robert was a very common first name in back then. Likewise, Hood was a common surname in medieval England. As a result, to identify just which criminals named Robin Hood or some variation thereof might have inspired the legend of Robin Hood, is a particularly difficult task for historians. As a result, numerous candidates have been proposed over the years.
The earliest mention is a Robert Hod of York, who became an outlaw after his goods, worth 32 shillings, were confiscated to settle a debt owed to a local church. Other candidates include the brothers Robert and John Deyville, who fought on the losing side in the Second Barons’ War (1264 – 1267). With their cause defeated, the Deyvilles holed up in the woods as outlaws, until the records show that John, at least, was pardoned. However, the likeliest candidate for the legendary Robin Hood seems to be Roger Godberd, another figure who ended up on the losing side of the Second Barons’ War and became an outlaw. What is known of Godberd’s activities led some historians to label him as “the prototype Robin Hood”.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading
Adams, Mark – Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City (2015)
Ancient History Encyclopedia – Semiramis
Ancient Origins – Who Destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria?
Archaeology Magazine, September 23rd, 1998 – King Arthur Was Real?
Ashliman, D. L. – Arthur, Legendary King of Britain: Excerpts From His Life Story, as Recorded by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sir Thomas Malory, and Others
Atlas Obscura – Recreating King Midas’s 2700-Year-Old Feast
Baldwin, David – Robin Hood: The English Outlaw Unmasked (2010)
Callendar, Gae – The Minoans and the Mycenaeans: Aegean Society in the Bronze Age (1999)
Encyclopedia Britannica – King Arthur, Legendary King of Britain
Encyclopedia Britannica – Samu-ramat
Federer, Kenneth L. – Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology: From Atlantis to the Walum Olum (2010)
Friedrich, Walter L. – Fire in the Sea: The Santorini Volcano: Natural History and the Legend of Atlantis (1999)
Fry, Stephen – Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece (2017)
Greeka – Myth of Lost Atlantis
History Collection – The Bermuda Triangle Myth Was Created by the Media
Gizmodo – The Great Library at Alexandria Was Destroyed by Budget Cuts, Not Fire
Lawrence Today Magazine, Fall, 2004 – European Travel Writings and the Patagonian Giants
Malory, Thomas – Le Morte d Arthur, Book I
Museum of Hoaxes – Patagonian Giants
National Geographic – Atlantis
National Geographic History Magazine, February 5th, 2019 – Who Was the Real Robin Hood?
Ranker – 15 Bizarre and Brutal Stories You Never Knew About King Arthur
Storr, Jim – King Arthur’s Wars: The Anglo-Saxon Conquest of England (2016)
Telegraph, The, July 11th, 2010 – Historians Locate King Arthur’s Round Table
Theoi, Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology – Midas
Traill, David A. – Schleimann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit (1995)
World History Encyclopedia – Prometheus