Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesley were outlaws who were as famous as Robin Hood. Now they’re entirely forgotten!
Robin Hood hated the sheriff of Nottingham and everything he stood for, but that doesn’t mean that he objected to the sheriff keeping law and order.
Salvatore Giuliano was the last true outlaw in history. Known as the Robin Hood of Sicily, he stole from the rich to give to the poor.
“I had four blak arrows under my belt, Four for the greefs that I have felt, Four for the number of ill menne, That have opressid me now and then.”
A FAMOUS man is Robin Hood / The English ballad-singer’s joy! / And Scotland has a thief as good, / An outlaw of as daring mood; / She has her brave ROB ROY!
He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and commanded an army of over 600 men.
Robin Hood has always been an awkward socialist figure, but according to William Morris (1834-1896), he prepared the way for the radical preacher, John Ball (d.1381).
In the late-Victorian period The Edinburgh Review wrote that ‘There is now before us such a veritable mountain of pernicious trash, mostly in paper covers, and “Price One Penny”; so-called novelettes, tales, stories of adventure, mystery and crime; pictures of school life hideously unlike reality; exploits of robbers, cut-throats, prostitutes, and rogues, that, but for its actual presence, it would seem incredible’.
The “vicious republican” of the Victorian era on Robin Hood.
In Thomas Miller’s novel ‘Royston Gower’ (1838), Robin Hood is portrayed as a medieval Chartist activist.
Although taking their inspiration primarily from the medieval period, the Pre-Raphaelites never painted Robin Hood. William Windus’ “The Outlaw”, however, bears a suspicious likeness to Robin Hood.
According to the legend, in old age Robin Hood fell ill and went to visit his cousin, who was the Prioress of Kirklees, so that he could be bled. However, his cousin conspired with her lover, Sir Roger of Doncaster, to kill Robin. So she opened a vein, locked Robin in the upper room of the gatehouse, and let him bleed to death.
Medieval outlaws are arguably one of the first examples of organised crime in England. All organised crime gangs have certain codes of conduct which, to be counted as part of their respective gangs, they must adhere to. In this post I discuss the Outlaws Code laid down by Robin Hood in the Medieval ballads, and how and why such gangs of criminals enjoy the support of the people.