« السابقةمتابعة »
ca-nab,” and “the Jovial Hunter of Bronesgrove." Dr. Nash* points out the names of many places in Worcestershire, and incidents in the history of that county, which tend to confirm the suggestion of Mr. Allies.
Mr. Spencer T. Hall, an enthusiast in everything relating to Robin Hood, says: “Subsequent to the battle of Evesham, 1265, Robin Hood was the acknowledged commander of a regularly organized band of men astonishingly expert in archery, ordinarily about one hundred strong, but capable of being increased ad libitum as occasion might require, because of his influence not only with the common people, but even with many of high degree, who were, doubtless from kindness to them in particular emergencies, very warmly attached to him. It is evident that this acknowledged right to command—which we never hear of any one disputing with him-consisted more in the excellence of his intellect, his consummate policy, and the natural dignity of his character, than in the strength of his arm or any personal love of distinction.” In a letter addressed to the editor of a Worcestershire newspaper, who had raised a doubt upon Mr. Allies' conjectures, the latter says: “Before I conclude, I must observe that it is pretty clear, from the evidence I have collected relative to Robin Hood, that he was not contemporary with Richard I., as is generally supposed, but with Henry III. and Edward I.; and, if I may add another conjecture to those contained in the addenda to my treatise, I would say it is possible that either Robin Hood's father, or grandfather, might, like thousands of others, have been most tyrannically dispossessed of land by Henry II., when he enlarged Feckenham forest; and, if so, this, in a measure, would account for Robin's decided hostility to the forest laws.”+
If the foregoing evidence will not suffice to prove that Robin Hood lived in the time of Edward I., and not in that of Richard I., the matter must stand where it is, for there is none better to be produced—at least none has as yet been discovered. It remains, then, to decide whether he was of noble birth or a yeoman--a word which in England sig* History of Worcestershire. Introd., pp. 65-68. + The Forester's Offering.
nifies a plebeian of the most respectable class, next in rank below a gentleman. Mr. Ritson adopted the first theory, and says confidently :
confidently : “His (Robin Hood's) extraction was noble, and his true name Robert Fitzooth.” This assertion was based mainly on Dr. Stukeley's statement.* The learned doctor made out a complete pedigree for the bold outlaw. It runs thus: “Ralph Fitzothes, or Fitzooth, a Norman, who had come over to England with William Rufus, married Maud, or Matilda, daughter of Gilbert de Gaunt, earl of Kyme and Lindsey, by whom he had two sons, viz. : Philip, afterwards earl of Kyme, that earldom being part of his motlier's dowry, and William Philip the elder, died without issue.
a ward to Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, in whose household he received his education, and who, by the king's express command, gave him in marriage to his own niece, the youngest of the three daughters of the celebrated lady, Roisia de Vere, daughter of Aubrey de Vere, earl of Guisnes, in Normandy, and lord high chamberlain of England, under Henry I. and of Adeliza, daughter to Richard de Clare, earl of Clarence and Hertford, by Payne de Beauchamp, baron of Bedford, her second husband. The offspring of this marriage was our hero, Robin Fitzooth, commonly called Robin Hood." Dr. Stukeley further says in a manuscript note of his copy of “Robin Hood's Garland,” now in the Bodleian Library,) that “Robin Hood took to this wild way of life in imitation of his grandfather, Geoffrey de Mandeville, who, being a favorer of Maud, empress, king Stephen took him prisoner at St. Albans, and made him give up the Tower of London, Walden, Plessis, &c., upon which he lived on plunder.”
On what slender foundations Dr. Stukeley reared such an edifice will be seen when the authorities for it are cited. Grafton, the chronicler, states that in an old and ancient pamphlet he had seen it written : “This man descended of a noble parentage.”+ The “Sloane MS.” says, “He was of
parentage," the material word illegible. The Harleian MS. note says: “It is said he was of noble
* Pulmographia Britannica, No. 2, p. 115.
blood.” Leland, the antiquary, terms him nobilis.* None of the most ancient ballads make any allusion to his noble birth, and it is not until we come to the Elizabethan dramatists that we find Robin figuring as earl of Huntingdon.
In 1601 two plays were written by Anthony Mundy and Henry Chettle, the titles of which were, “The downfall of Robert, earle of Huntington, afterwards called Robin Hood of merrie Sherwodde; with his love to chaste Matilda, the Lord Fitzwalter's daughter, afterwards his fair maide, Marian;" and "The death of Robert, earle of Huntington, otherwise
alled Robin Hood of merry Sherwodde; with the lamentable tragedie of chaste Matilda, his fair maid, Marian, poysoned at Dunmowe, by King John.” In the year 1706 (as has been already mentioned), there was published in London “The history of George-a-Green,” and it was dedicated to the steward, gentlemen, and inhabitants of Wakefield, by N. W. The author makes George and Robin contemporaries, and Robin figures as the first earl of Huntington. Mariana is Matilda, daughter to the Lord Fitzwalter; and having discovered the royal affections of Prince John for her, she retires into the forest of Sherwood "for the true love and affection she bore unto her best beloved Robin."
Now this is about all the evidence on which Dr. Stukeley made out his pedigree, and on which Mr. Ritson adopted his theory. Ritson died in 1803; since his day there has been much acute and laborious investigation brought to bear on the subject, the result of which has been to discredit entirely the story of the earldom of Huntingdon. We cannot do better than quote the language of Charles Knight in his “Old England,” when speaking of the Lytell Geste. “This ballad, one of the finest in the language, which for beauty and dramatic power is worthy of Chaucer himself, about whose time it was probably written, has shared Robin Hood's own fate; that is, enjoyed a great deal of undiscriminating, and, therefore, worthless popularity. It has simply been looked on as one of the Robin Hood ballads; whilst, in fact, it surpasses all the others by its merits as by its antiquity, and its internal evidence of being
* Collectanea, i., p. 54.
written by one who understood that on which he wrote; which is much more than can be said for the ballad-doers of later centuries—when Friar Tuck and Maid Marian first crept into the forester's company-when the gallant yeoman was created without ceremony earl of Huntingdon, and his own period put back about a century, in order that he and the Lion Heart might hob and nob it together.” The Lytell Geste describes Robin as a yeoman, and this ought to settle the question, since none of the authorities cited in support of the opposite theory are so ancient as that ballad.
* Lythe and lysten, gentylmen,
That he of frebore blode;
His name was Robyn Hode." We will conclude with the words of Sir Walter Scott: " The name of Robin Hood, if duly conjured with, should raise a spirit as soon as that of Rob Roy, and the patriots of England deserve no less their renown in our modern circles than the Bruces and Wallaces of Caledonia."'*
Art. VI.-- Biographies; Inaugurations of Statues; Public Speeches ;
Official Correspondence ; Accounts of Presents and Donations, &c., &c., &c. New York : Herald, Times, World, Tribune,
&c. 1869. Our politicians delight to tell us that we are the freest people on the face of the earth, but because they are politicians, and nothing better, they do not dare to tell us, if they know the fact, that no people within the same extensive range submit to so many gross impositions. We are reminded in a thousand forms how proud we ought to be, that we have no titled or hereditary aristocracy; but how few venture even to hint that we have what is a thousandfold more pernicious-namely, an oligarchy, whose only claim to power, or consideration of any kind, is their money!
It is true that such information ought not to be necessary. How can we boast of our superior intelligence, if it fails to
* Ivanhoe. Dedicatory Epistle.
direct our attention to what is passing daily before our eyes ? One of the most important uses of knowledge is to enable us to distinguish good from evil, so that we may profit by the former and eschew the latter. It requires but a very slight exercise of the thinking faculty to see that men are great and powerful in this country, in proportion as they possess millions, and are disposed to purchase greatness and power, with those superfluous millions, which they know they cannot take with them to the grave. It is not necessary that the owners of millions should hold high official position, or any official position, in order to possess this power and attain this greatness. The person who, by means of his money, can induce the king, or the emperor, to comply with his wishes, has more power to do mischief than the king, or the emperor himself, because, if the sovereign can be bought, why not his subordinates ? But were the former above being bought, which we cheerfully admit is sometimes the case, the disciple of Plutus might gain his point quite as well by purchasing the latter.
But let us suppose that the millionaire does not interfere at all in the affairs of government, can he not do abundant mischief, without any such interference, if he be a speculator? and who has ever heard of a millionaire, in ancient or modern times, who was not a speculator? It may
be safely concluded that no one has ever amassed enormous wealth by the ordinary, legitimate profits of trade; and it is equally indisputable, that in every instance in which one of those immense fortunes has been made, numbers of honest persons have sustained losses that made their hearts grieve; nay, more, the poor who have been engaged in no other business than toiling hard with bone and sinew for their daily bread, have suffered bitterly from some of the processes by which the millionaire has amassed his pile.
Although this statement may seem unjust, as applied to millionaires in general, it might be easily illustrated by incontestable facts; thus, for example, how few of those whose greediness for wealth is boundless, scruple to lock up in their storehouses what the poor are in the utmost need of, and persistently refuse to sell it, until they have succeeded