Talk:Robin Hood

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Former good article Robin Hood was one of the History good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Semi-protected edit request on 1 July 2014[edit]

Replace the word "interesting" with "notable". TPLewis (talk) 19:17, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks for note. I have made the change for you. Keith D (talk) 21:13, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 July 2014[edit]

Enhancement of the listing under the subtitle 'Robin Hood, the high minded Saxon yeoman'. (talk) 15:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

A widely acclaimed academic paper, entitled The Origins and Development of the Legend of Robin Hood, written by Mr Scott La' Chance for the award of Master of Arts by Research degree, at the University of Leeds, reexamines the evidence for the genesis of the Robin Hood legend and concludes that in all probability, the Robin Hood legend stems from the social and political turmoil that beset northern England between the years 1065-70. That is to say that, contrary to accepted academic opinion, Robin Hood was an Anglo-Saxon freedom fighter. Mr La' Chance draws attention to two pieces of historical evidence in order to validate his thesis. Firstly, attention is drawn to the fifteenth century ballad entitled A Gest of Robin Hood, which cites that Robin Hood lived during the reign of an unidentified king named 'Edward'. Next, Mr La' Chance points to the King’s Remembrancer’s Memoranda Roll of Easter 1262, which records that the Prior of Sandleford had been pardoned of the offence of seizing without warrant the chattels of a William Robehod, fugitive. Similarly, the Roll of Justices on Eyre in Berkshire of 1261 records that a William, son of Robert Le Fevre (Smith), was outlawed for committing acts of robbery with his criminal gang. The document reveals that William’s chattels had been seized by the Prior of Sandleford, so it can be said with absolute certainty that the William Robehod of the Memoranda Roll and William, son of Robert Le Fevre of the Roll of Justices on Eyre were one and the same person. Such evidence proves that the legend of Robin Hood dates from at least a decade before the coronation of Edward I (1272-1307), and probably a considerable period before that date. Mr La' Chance concludes that, under the assumption that both pieces of evidence are historically accurate, the monarch that is featured in the fifteenth century Robin Hood ballads can only have been Edward the Confessor, the penultimate monarch of Anglo-Saxon England.

The Origins and Development of the Legend of Robin Hood paints a frightening picture of the robberies that were conducted in the mid-to-late eleventh century by forest bandits operating on the arterial roads of northern England, such as Watling-Street in Barnsdale, Yorkshire, where the original versions of the Robin Hood story set the legend. Attention is brought to a passage in The Life of King Edward, which notes that even parties of twenty or thirty men could scarcely travel without being either killed or robbed by the multitude of robbers in wait’. Building upon this detail, Mr La' Chance draws attention to the fact that a period of social turmoil began in 1051, which was initiated by the appointment of Tostig Godwinson to the Earldom of Northumbria. A northern rebellion, aimed at resisting the wrongful authority of the southern monarchy, saw Tostig expelled from the earldom in 1065. However, the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the crowning of a new king, William the Conqueror, saw the north rise in arms once again, with the same objective. The near success of the northern rebellion of 1067-70 prompted William I to respond savagely with the Harrowing of the North. Thereafter, the rebels took to the forests and lived as outlaws, much in the manner of Robin Hood. The deeds of post-conquest outlaws such as Hereward the Wake and Edric the Wild became the stuff of medieval legend, and Mr La' Chance argues that, in a similar fashion, the collective deeds of England's northern outlaws contributed to a legend that was to become known to history as The Adventures of Robin Hood. Enticingly, Mr La' Chance offers historical candidates for the literary characters of Robin Hood, the Sheriff of Nottingham and the evil Roger of Doncaster, all of which are characters who appear in the earliest medieval ballads.

If there is one thing that historians are unanimously agreed on, it is that the original fifteenth century Robin Hood ballads are predominantly set in the county of Yorkshire. Drawing on this factor, Mr La' Chance draws attention to the fact that in 1069 William the Conqueror travelled across Yorkshire in order to put down an uprising which had sacked York, but that upon his journey to the city he discovered that the crossing of the River Aire at what is modern-day Pontefract had been blockaded by a group of local insurgents. The Anglo-Danish rebels had broken the bridge which forded the river and held the opposite bank in force. After being held up for three weeks, the king finally managed to ford the river far upstream, most probably at Ferry Fryston. From here he continued his journey along the road to York. The Yorkshire rebels do not seem to have made any preparations in case the Normans forded the river and when this event occurred all organized resistance vanished instantly. The insurgents who had guarded the crossing adopted the standard northern military tactic of retreating to the nearby hills and forests for sanctuary. Given the immediacy of the Went Valley to the River Aire at Pontefract it is probable that the Anglo-Danish rebels who had blockaded the river fled to the forest of Barnsdale for protection, as was their age-old custom. Such an act would place these outlaws in the very heart of traditional Robin Hood country. Notably, the Gest states that Robin Hood was joined in Barnsdale by seven score outlaws. It is surmised that this must have been a consequence of a common calamity of some kind, such as the insurrection of the Anglo-Danes, for it is difficult to believe that each and every one of these men had had been individually convicted of a capital offence. The defeat of the rebels at Pontefract would certainly help to explain why a Saxon Robin Hood should have been joined in the Went Valley at Barnsdale by so many men. Mr La' Chance argues that, without question, the Went Valley is ideally suited to serve as an outlaw encampment because despite its remoteness, it contains everything necessary to support life, for the presence of a stream ensured both fresh water and fish; the river plain and the Brockadale Wood ensured ample wildlife for food. Moreover, the site of the Saylis, located on high ground overlooking the Went Valley, would have served as a perfect sentry point from which to lookout for approaching Norman soldiers. Therefore it is probable that many outlaws inhabited the Went Valley in Barnsdale in the late eleventh century, right in the heart of Robin Hood country. Yet this factor invites further questions, particularly, who were these men and what do we know of their deeds? Mr La' Chance posits that one of these men could have been the original Robin Hood.

The legend of Robin Hood owes its origins to memories of a ‘strong thefe’ who inhabited Barnsdale. Though it would seem that many brigands inhabited Yorkshire’s forests during the late eleventh century, the only direct quote in relation to the deeds of these men pertains to one Swein-son-of-Sicga, within whose gang resided a ‘cursed villain’ who robbed Abbot Benedict of Saint Mary’s and Saint German, Selby. The outlaw Swein-son-of-Sicga is a colourful figure. The Coucher Book of Selby Abbey records that,

‘At that time there was a certain Prince of Thieves by the name of Swain, son of Sigge, who constantly prowled around the neighbouring (Yorkshire) woods with his band on perpetual raids’.

Mr La' Chance suggests that Swein must have been a particularly notorious figure in his own age to warrant both the attentions of contemporary commentators and the title of the‘ Prince of Thieves’. Pointedly, Mr La' Chance indicates that Abbot Benedict’s tormentors are said to have made their home in the neighboring Yorkshire woods. Ostensibly, this indicates the nearby forest of Barnsdale, where the Anglo-Danish rebels are believed to have been holed up, for the topography of the Yorkshire landscape dictates that the abbey at Selby is just over a dozen miles from Barnsdale Bar on the route to York. In addition to Barnsdale, Mr La' Chance surmises that, on occasions, Swein must have frequented the royal Forest of Galtres near York, Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire and perhaps even Inglewood Forest in Cumbria, because it was very common for fugitives from justice to move around greatly, often from one forested county to another. And this factor raises the question of whether Swein had been one of the notorious Yorkshire highwaymen that disturbed the peace in northern England during the reign of Edward the Confessor? Judging by Swein’s later reputation, Mr La' Chance believes that this is so, but accepts that there is no proof of this and that this is because the records that refer to Swein’s deeds no longer exist, leaving a paucity of evidence as to his outlaw career. As indicated, Swein-son-of-Sicga was just one of a number of outlaws who inhabited the forests of northern England in the late eleventh century. It is unfortunate that the particulars of Swein's outlawed peers have been lost to history because, though the copious records of the eleventh and twelfth centuries make it apparent that such men existed, it is impossible to say more of them and their deeds. However, Mr La' Chance suggests that perhaps at that time there lived a particularly infamous outlaw who went by the name of Hadd, Hadd being a common Anglo-Danish name, that is not too dissimilar from Hood in its pronunciation. He accepts that we simply cannot know. Nevertheless, it is certain, says Mr La' Chance, that outlaws such as Swein-son-of-Sicga fulfill the role of Robin Hood as it is depicted in the fifteenth century ballads.

At the heart of the tales of Robin Hood lies a simple adventure story recording the deeds of an outlaw who robbed travellers as they passed through Barnsdale upon the Great North Road, and who for these crimes was hunted by the Sheriff of Nottingham. That said, Mr La' Chance points to Hugh fitz Baldric, the late eleventh century Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, as the archetypal Sheriff of Nottingham. 'Hugh fitz Baldric', says Mr La' Chance, 'is a particularly interesting historical personality because he fits to quite some degree the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham as he is depicted in the ballads'. Born in France c.1045 to Baldric, a Saxon thegn, Hugh served as the Sheriff of Nottingham from 1068 until 1086, and held the position in Yorkshire from 1069 until c.1080. Therefore, Hugh fitz Baldric held the sheriffship in Nottinghamshire for three turbulent years before he took the position in Yorkshire, which suggests that his contemporaries would have become accustomed to referring to him by the title of the Sheriff of Nottingham, a practice that may have still been employed whilst he simultaneously served in Yorkshire. In his capacity as the sheriff Hugh fitz Baldric held responsibility for arresting the North’s outlaws and bringing them to justice. The battle between Yorkshire’s forest renegades and the agencies of Norman law enforcement has a stark resemblance to the tales that were later told of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham, because it is chronicled that Hugh fitz Baldric needed to travel around the county of Yorkshire in the company of a small army due to the threat that was posed to his safety by the region’s outlaws. Therefore, Hugh fitz Baldric matches the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Mr La' Chance also draws attention to Roger de Busli, who held lands at Tickhill, Doncaster, as a grant from William I, at which he established his powerbase and stronghold, as the exemplar of the Sir Roger of Doncaster of the Gest and of the ballad of Robin Hood's Death. 'The castle at Tickhill in Doncaster was built on the Nottinghamshire / South Yorkshire border, and Roger de Busli also held lands at Blyth', says Mr La' Chance. Notably, the Gest twice mentions the towns of Doncaster and Blyth in the same breath, with both the monks of York and the poor knight informing Robin Hood that their purpose was to ‘have dyned to day At Blith (Notts) or Doncastere’. So could Sir Roger de Busli have been the villain of the Gest? Mr La' Chance admits that, unfortunately, the truth is that we shall never know for certain. Yet it may be significant that William I granted Roger de Busli great judicial powers that included infangthief, which constituted the right to have a gallows, the right to the possessions of the condemned fugitives, the assize of bread and ale and finally, the return of writs except for pleas of the crown. Taken as a whole, these powers amounted to effective police power and were granted in order to enable the restoration of law and order in the region. Such powers provided all the authority that Roger de Busli needed to be a terror to outlaws and thieves. As a result, both Roger de Busli and Hugh fitz Baldric would have played a significant role in the persecution of those outlaws who, like Swein-son-of-Sicga, inhabited both Barnsdale and Sherwood Forest during the late eleventh century, and this factor might be reflected in the narrative of the Gest.

Sadly, the daily activities of men such as Hugh fitz Baldric and Roger de Busli were not gaudy enough to attract the attention of the chroniclers, and nothing further is known of them. Indeed, the chroniclers would have us believe that next to nothing happened in the North outside of the ecclesiastical sphere in the late eleventh century. There were no murders or revolts and Norman authority went unchallenged, or at least, it did during the daytime and away from the forests. However, the probability remains that amongst the woodland glades stood an outlaw whose fame and infamy gave birth to the legend that is Robin Hood. [1]

A full-length version of The Origins and Development of the Legend of Robin Hood, a 30, 000 word thesis authored by Mr Scott La' Chance for the Award of the Master of Arts research degree, can be obtained from the Brotherton library at the University of Leeds.

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. —Mr. Granger (talk · contribs) 01:02, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ The Origins and Development of the Legend of Robin Hood, written by Scott A La' Chance (BA Hons History and MA by Research History) the University of Leeds. A hardcopy of the thesis is held by the Brotherton library at the University of Leeds and is available upon request.

Changes need to be made to the Robin Hood page[edit]

Dear administrators,

The Robin Hood page is currently a badly organized mish-mash of inaccurate and poorly cited material. I could edit the page so that it is not to a substandard quality, but the page is currently semi-protected. Would somebody please either remove the protection, or agree to spend a considerable period of time making a number of changes to the page so that it is to an acceptable standard? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Princessdelilah (talkcontribs)

Hi Princessdelilah. You can edit the article yourself when you become autoconfirmed or suggest changes here and I will look at them. --NeilN talk to me 22:23, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

If you would Neil, there are so many and the page needs a major clean-up job. Oh, you are a gent. Firstly, I note that the subheading 'References to Robin Hood as Earl of Huntington’ begins with the words… ‘Another reference’. This evidently grammatically incorrect as it is the beginning of a new sub-heading.

How do I become auto-confirmed?

@Princessdelilah: Text fixed and as per the autoconfirmed link above: "English Wikipedia user accounts that are more than four days old and have made at least 10 edits are considered autoconfirmed." --NeilN talk to me 22:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Hey Sis, Thanks for that. My protection has been lifted now so I can edit it. Will do it later. If you notice any other glaring others let me know and I will clean it up.

Changes to Robin Hood page[edit]

Dear All Administrators,

I am going to tidy up the Robin Hood page, because like my sister has pointed out, its an unkempt mess that needs properly citing. I will start with the topography, bringing together all of the topographical details that are currently listed on the page under the one sub-heading 'Topography of the Legend'. It is my intention to provide hyper-links to Wikipedia's pages which pertain directly to the places cited, though I must point out that I am not tech savvy and therefore will probably make a mistake in writing the hyper-links. If I do, could you be kind enough to explain how to do this properly,


Sorry, I should have signed that, I forgot...Siggasonswein (talk) 11:30, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

You can link by putting square brackets on either side of the item you want to link: i.e., [[Merry Men]] produces a link to Merry Men. There are other options if you want to get fancy. By the way, administrators have no special role in content, so "Dear All Administrators" isn't really relevant. "Dear experienced editors" might be more appropriate, as there are plenty of regular editors who can give good (or better) advice. In the meantime, take it slow and build consensus for your changes on this talkpage. We're not in a hurry. Acroterion (talk) 13:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

RAF Finningley location[edit]

The article appears to be claiming that RAF finningley is actually in Nottinghamshire

Finningley is in South Yorkshire (i know ...i live their) and the border is a fair way south east of the town (Harworth and Bawtry are closer)

The airport used to be known as robin hood doncaster sheffield & nottingham but both sheffield and nottingham appear to be no longer used in print ...the airport is simply reffered to as robin hood doncaster airport in media now

Suggest an amendment to the article to clear this up

Tony Spike (talk) 09:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Incorrect / misleading information[edit]

I shall edit the information which states that the trait of 'robbing the rich to give to the poor' was not a part of Robin Hood's original character because such a statement is simply incorrect, and derives from the late J.C. Holt who provided misleading information. In A Gest Robin Hood actually stole from rich monks working at St. Mary's abbey at York and gave the money in the form of a loan to a destitute knight in order to repay a crippling debt. When the knight returned to repay the loan to Robin the outlaw refused repayment, thus to all intents and purposes giving the money to the knight.

It is more factual to state that in the closing passage of A Gest the ballad states that 'Robin Hood did poor men much good' and this has come to be interpreted by modern story tellers as stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, of which there is but one instance in the original ballads. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siggasonswein (talkcontribs) 12:18, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Quick edit request on 15 July 2014[edit]

First line, change "a heroic" to "an heroic." Traditionally, "a" is used before words beginning with "h" only if the stress falls on the first syllable. In all other cases, "an" is used. For example: a hilly countryside; an hysterical laugh.

  • I'd oppose this change. It's bad enough people saying "an hotel", but seriously, who says "an hysterical". I have never heard of it, and it doesn't sound right.--Dmol (talk) 03:46, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
    • I'd support the proposed change. 'An hotel', 'an hysterical laugh' seem perfectly natural to me.VapourGhost (talk) 23:35, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 August 2014[edit]

Please change:

The following lines occur with little contextualisation under the year 1283:

Lytil Jhon and Robyne Hude Wayth-men ware commendyd gude In Yngil-wode and Barnysdale Thai oysyd all this tyme thare trawale.


Wyntoun's Chronicle provides some context for its description of Robin Hood. It is dated 1283 and therefore is placed by Wyntoun in the reign of Edward I. Edward is described in this context as involved in 'tyrandry' (W:VII:x:3464) and is represented as callous inn his attitudes to the losses suffered by his own noblemen during his wars of conquest in Wales. During much of this time he is presented as a King who is absent from England. He is said to lack 'tenderness' and 'pyte' (W:VII:x:3466-7). Robin is presented by way of contrast as 'commended bud' so that there are a number of features in context that link to other aspects of the Robin legend. [1] Jimboland6 (talk) 11:16, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Make 1 more edit anywhere on Wikipedia and you'll be able to edit the article yourself. Stickee (talk) 03:50, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunate need to revert to an older version of the article[edit]

It looks like User:Siggasonswein has deleted of a lot of important content in this article. It's going to take some time to sort through the whole mess, so for now I'm just restoring the page to a more sane version... Sebastian Garth (talk) 10:02, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

The French Origin Theory and Stephen Knight[edit]

Fairly recently Stephen Thomas Knight gave a talk in Melbourne (at the "free university") on the Robin Hood legend. He is a scholar of some standing. He argued quite strongly for the theory that the origin of Robin Hood lies in the French pastourelles and they came to Britain via the French wine trade; hence their early appearance in Scotland. By this theory Robin Hood appeared in the May Games before the ballads. He thinks that Roger Godberd was in large part a model for the Robin Hood of the Geste. This is all oral from his lecture, I don't know how much has put in print yet. I'll see what I can chase up.

The article is very long and diffuse with bits of undigested POV everywhere, eh! Jeremy (talk) 03:23, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Regarding Recent Reversion of Content Addition[edit]

I've removed the content (again, same stuff) added by User:Siggasonswein [1]. In my opinion the material is awkward, POV-laden, and just doesn't seem to improve the article much (if at all). The page is already unruly and overly-long - edits such as this only make matters worse. Besides that, important content was deleted at the same time. My advice to the editor would be to make smaller, more focused edits before trying to move into totally revamping the page. Anyway, sorry for the incovenience! Sebastian Garth (talk) 01:42, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Ah, regarding those amendments![edit]


Firstly, let me state that the page is, I agree, unruly and overly long, and so needs to be refined. I guess that that is why it has been semi-protected. That said, the content of the page does need to be correct, with full and accurate citations to published works.

In the matter of your commentary, I ought to start by noting, to my surprise, that you find my amendments to be awkward, POV-laden and just basically of little intrinsic value. It is strange that you should reach this conclusion, given that the page to which you have reverted the article now not only similarly contains POV, but worse still, wrong information. Let me explain...

The introduction now contains the line,

'Although such behaviour was not part of his original character, since the beginning of the 19th century he (RH) has become known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men".[2]

Already, in this one line, there are a number of errors which need to be corrected. Initially, I note that the statement that the theme of, "robbing the rich and giving to the poor originated in the nineteenth century" represents a point of view. Worse still, it is wrong. It is a fact that the Geste contains a story in which Robin Hood gave money to a destitute knight who was to lose all of his landholdings. And Robin attained that money by robbing a rich and greedy cleric of Saint Mary's Abbey, York. You will, I trust, be aware of that story. Yes, the late historian Sir Professor J.C. Holt noted that this is but one story out of many, and so questioned exactly how prominent the trait was in the outlaw's original character. But it nevertheless remains a fact that the theme was present in the earliest printed ballads, sources which date from the fifteenth century. And so the theme of 'robbing the rich and giving to the poor' was certainly in existence long before the nineteenth century, as is further evidenced by the great Scottish antiquarian and historian John Major. In 1520 Major wrote of Robin’s humanitarian nature in his book, Historia Majoris Britanniae, stating that,

'He would allow no woman to suffer injustice, nor would he spoil the poor, but rather enriched them from the plunder taken from abbots. The robberies of this man I condemn, but of all robbers he was the most humane and the Prince of Thieves'.[3]

Benedictine Abbots were amongst the richest people in medieval Europe, and were famed for their greed, lax morals and hypocritical lifestyle. Therefore, Major's statement makes it plain for all to see that the theme of 'robbing the rich and giving to the poor' was a fundamental element of Robin Hood's character as early as the Tudor period, and certainly far, far earlier than the nineteenth century. In consequence, you have amended the Wikipedia page so that it not only demonstrates POV, but now cites incorrect material.

I am not at all sure what you mean by the statement that I have deleted important information, but I can assure users that if I have there was a perfectly valid reason for doing so. Perhaps you could inbox me and we can discuss the matter in greater detail. I am going to assume (and of course, I really shouldn't assume, and no doubt you know why!) that in this instance you mean to indicate that I have removed the footnote which states that,

'"Merry-man" has referred to the follower of an outlaw since at least the late 14th century. See Online Etymology Dictionary'

I am afraid that this is yet another significant error. The Online Etymological Dictionary is a piece of original research, written by a non-specialist who speaks without reference to published materials. Thus the citation to the etymological website violates Wikipedia's very own terms and conditions. Incidentally, on the matter of etymology, I note that you have called into question whether or not Wood = Hood, this is in regards to the mythological aspect of Robin Hood's nature. I do not know who initially wrote this into the Wikipedia article, but I am in a position to clarify that this is in not "rubbish", but is rather factually correct. Siggasonswein (talk) 13:28, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

I appreciate your demand for accuracy, but do please keep in mind that we are not writing a book here either; we don't have to cram every single detail into the article, after all. And as far as your "wood" == "hood" claim goes, I wasn't able to find any such linkage myself - can you please provide some sort of supporting reference for that? Sebastian Garth (talk) 20:51, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Wood = Hood[edit]

In answer to your question, Yes, I would be able to provide such a citation if I still had access to the Brotherton library at the University of Leeds, which holds a splendid collection of academic texts. Alas, I have now graduated with my MA and as such my ability to access these sources has come to an end. And unfortunately, etymology is not a subject which you will find listed on the shelves of the local library. I will shortly take a Phd, and will be able to address the matter properly at that time.

The initial suggestion that Robin Hood had mythological origins, and that Robin Hood = Robin of the Wood(Hood = Wood) stems, I believe, from Sir Sidney Lee, who wrote a biography of Robin Hood for the original edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. This has since been revised by the late great historian Sir Professor J.C. Holt. Today, in order to attain greater knowledge on the subject of Robin Hood's mythological origins (and thereby see for yourself that in etymological terms, Wood does indeed equal Hood), I would suggest that you would be best to either read Sir Professor J.C. Holt's acclaimed work, 'Robin Hood' or Professor Maurice Keen's work entitled 'Outlaws of Medieval Legend'. Both works discuss, and in so doing, ultimately dismiss, the possibility that Robin Hood is a mythological figure akin to the pagan Green Man. In addition, is it possible that Professor Dobson and Mr Taylor's work entitled, 'The Rhymes of Robin Hood' raises the issue of etymology, but without having direct access to the text I cannot be certain. Nonetheless, I assume (given that you have taken it upon yourself to edit the Wikipedia Robin Hood page), that you are personally familiar with the academic texts that I have cited, and you should therefore be able to locate the citation for yourself. After all, and as I am sure that you will agree, one should only write(and edit) on subjects of which one has an understanding, and where one can readily refer to published works. As I recollect, the accepted academic principle is that, in one sense, yes, Hood = Wood, as Wikipedia states (certainly, that was J.C. Holt's interpretation), but that it's principle meaning was that of a head covering. From reading the Wikipedia article, it would seem as though whosoever initially wrote the passage had indeed read one of the aforesaid texts, and has paraphrased, omitting to include a citation. In consequence, if you insist on reverting this section of the article, you will be once again diluting its accuracy and in so doing, reducing the credibility of Wikipedia.

Well, looking through Sidney Lee's works and 'The Rhymes of Robin Hood' I still have yet to find anything alluding to that particular etymological link. Let me know if you find anything yourself... Sebastian Garth (talk) 04:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

You will find the citation explaining the etymology of Wood = Hood on the following pages...[edit]

R. B. Dobson and J. Taylor, Rymes of Robyn Hood (London: Heinemann, 1976) p.12


J. C. Holt, Robin Hood (London: Thames and Hudson, 2011) p.57.

I ought to enter the provision that I do not have the cited works to hand, and therefore cannot be certain that the page numbers which I have provided are 100% accurate. Nevertheless, I believe them to be so, as I made a careful notation of the etymology when researching my thesis. Either way, both works certainly explain the etymology of Wood = Hood, and I would therefore suggest that you carefully re-read the texts. On that note, have you read Maurice Keen's 'Outlaws of Medieval Legend'? I would strongly recommend that you do, as that work deals with the mythology of the legend at length, and thereby its accompanying etymology. I tried to find an etymological definition of 'Wood' on the University of Michigan's Online MED, but unfortunately it is not listed.

Having re=read my thesis, I have found that it was Thomas Wright who in 1846 originally suggested that the outlaw’s name was a derivation of ‘Robin of the wood’, which he submitted was suitable for the mounds and stones which ‘our peasantry always attributed to the fairies of their popular superstitions’. In consequence, I have provided a full citation to his work, the work from where the etymology is originally referenced.[4] Sir Sidney Lee followed Wright's lead when he wrote the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Otherwise, I believe that the works which I have cited should suffice for the purposes of Wikipedia. I trust that that satisfies your curiosity.

Siggasonswein (talk) 16:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Once again, I will agree that the Robin Hood page is currently overly long and contains too much information, information which is either often irrelevant or better suited to being incorporated under a single sub-heading. That said, and having written a 30, 000 word thesis on the subject of Robin Hood for the award of a Master of Arts by Research Degree, I resent the accusation that my own contributions read as though I am posting a book onto the article. My latest revision only contained one sentence, and yet you found fault with it and subsequently immediately altered it. I fail to see how writing one simple sentence constitutes 'writing a book'. Furthermore, I feel that I must openly state at this juncture that I believe that you are wrong to constantly refine other people's work in the manner that you are. The beauty of Wikipedia is that it is a work which is free for your average Joe to contribute to, so long as they do so in a manner which provides correct information listed in a published work, accompanied with a full and accurate citation to that said work. So long as that criteria is met, it is not for overzealous editors to take it upon themselves to correct any single contributors efforts. Rather, it is better to work in unison with other contributors in order to produce a finished product, as I myself have endeavored to do, with both yourself and other users. Since you refuse to work in this manner, I will revert the page to my earlier posting, and in so doing, fully expect an edit war to commence. In order to avoid this, I once again request that you work cooperatively with other users in order to work towards producing a better finished product. (talk) 15:13, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

I think you're letting your ego get in the way here. I have no ownership issues with this or any other article. I simply wound up on the page one day, read it, hated it, and decided to be WP:BOLD and tidy things up a bit. And that I did. I have tried to work with you on this, offering my opinions and recommendations, even incorporating into the article points that you've made here and there. I don't enjoy removing content from articles either, but when it adds little value, makes WP:POV or WP:SYNTH claims, or just plain reads badly, I feel compelled to amend things. Anyway, the bottom line is that the article should be:
  • (1) Factually correct
  • (2) Neutral
  • (3) Well-written/easy-to-read
If we can just focus on these things, I think we'll be able to work out the rest...Sebastian Garth (talk) 18:51, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Following on from our previous conversation[edit]


Thanks once again for your contributions. I commend your boldness, and overall, I have found your efforts to have benefited the Wikipedia Robin Hood page.

I too feel compelled to act where the article is of little value, makes WP:POV or WP:SYNTH claims, or just plain reads badly. And, ultimately, I am in agreement with you that the article should be:

(1) Factually correct (2) Neutral (3) Well-written/easy-to-read

However, sadly, it is apparent that you are failing to meet the first of these stated objectives. To that end, my biggest contention is that until I pointed out the error of your ways, you perverted the article so that it displayed factually incorrect and inadequately cited information, and unnecessarily reverted correct information (I trust that I have now adequately demonstrated where you have made errors). Perhaps you should therefore heed your own advice and make 'more focused edits before trying to move into totally revamping the page'. Moreover, technically speaking, we should both voice our concerns on the Robin Hood Talk Page so that all users can reach a consensus of opinion before any drastic changes to the article are made, changes which are either awkward, POV-laden, just don't improve the quality of the article much (if at all), and most important of all, are plain wrong! Otherwise, you should refrain from editing on a subject of which you apparently have little intrinsic knowledge.

I can see why you might think me to be egotistical, and I don't know, perhaps I am? But there again, I can hardly be found to be at fault for defending my own work, when you publically announce that it is of little value and continually undermine my efforts to enhance the article, can I?

Siggasonswein (talk) 16:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Please explain how and where I have inserted "factually incorrect and inadequately cited information"? Furthermore, I have been posting on the talk page here to discuss and seek consensus with fellow editors. That said, I am sorry if I offended you and apologize if I was a little too blunt. Cheers! Sebastian Garth (talk) 18:34, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I must disagree. You have not posted on the Talk Page to say where you have found fault with the article and thereby received consensus of opinion from editors to make said alterations. Rather, you have posted that you have found faults, without clarifying in detail what they are, and thereafter immediately took it upon yourself to make amendments as you alone saw fit! It would almost seem that you posted on the Talk Page after the fact! Certainly, you did not have the consensus of opinion that the article was in any way faulty and warranted being altered. If you dispute this, tell me, where are the replies stating that the previous editions were inadequate? As far as I am aware, there are none!!! In taking this approach, what you actually did was to revert the article to an earlier edition and, in so doing, you (inadvertently it would seem) posted factually incorrect and inadequately cited information. I have explained where your revision left the page containing such material, and I can see that following my intervention you have made the suggested alterations. Nevertheless, I will recap for the benefit if all users:

On several occasions you reverted the article so that it stated that the concept of Robin Hood 'robbing from the rich and giving to the poor' originally developed in the C19, which I have demonstrated to be factually wrong. The citation which accompanied the afore statement was also inadequate, as it violates Wikipedia's 'No Original Research Policy'. It is perfectly possible that you were not the one who originally wrote these statements into Wikipedia, but by reverting the page to one which predates my revision without consensus, you have produced an article which cites wrongful information. Also, as discussed, you have deleted the section which states that "Wood = Hood" on the grounds that you alone believed such information to be wrong. You are mistaken in this, and therefore should not be taking it upon yourself to amend the work of other editors until you have verification that it is wrong, accompanied with group consensus to make those changes. Certainly, you should not be taking it upon yourself to "call it rubbish" without knowing all of the facts.

At this juncture I have only read the introduction, but I fear that by adopting such a strategy you will have reintroduced a myriad of other mistakes without being privy to the full facts! Please refrain from doing this. I will shortly demonstrate how you should have gone about raising any concerns regarding the article, by raising concerns of my own regarding what I believe you have recently written.

Siggasonswein (talk) 20:28, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I have found yet another instance where user Sebastian Garth has listed incorrect information on the article[edit]

Under the sub-heading 'Yorkshire', the page now reads,

'According to linguist Lister Matheson, many of the original literary sources (such as with Gest of Robyn Hode) are written in dialects associated specifically with the Yorkshire area'.

In actual fact, Lister Matheson only stated that the Gest is written in a definite northern dialect, probably that of Yorkshire. Of the other fifteenth century ballads, Matheson stated that they were written in the dialects of other regions, such as East Anglia. Prior to user Sebastiangarth's intervention the article clearly and accurately stated this information. Hence the user has once again perverted the article so that it gives incorrect information.

A list of suggested amendments[edit]

Amendments need making to the article[edit]


Footnote 1 needs to be fully cited to the Child ballads, including the fytte and stanza where the referenced information can be found. Also, is it not better to quote from Dobson and Taylor, Rhymes of Robin Hood, as this is a modern work which the public can readily obtain?


Under the sub-heading 'Character portrayals', ought we not to make it apparent that in the earliest stories Robin was depicted as a rough and ready villain? After all, the character of the original Robin was vastly different from that of the modern outlaw who prances around Sherwood Forest wearing tights! In the ballad Robin Hood and Guy of Gisbourne, RH cuts of his enemy's head, defaces it with an Irish Knife and places atop his bow. This is a gruesome outlaw that we are dealing with here, and that ought to be made clear!


The section entitled 'Historicity' is, I believe, factually wrong, as there are not '"many", "such as Victorian folklorist Francis James Child", who insist that the RH legend is merely a product of the verse and ballads of the times. Rather, I do believe that Child was the only published writer to make such a claim! If I am wrong and there are indeed others, then name them and give citation details! Indeed, the footnote to Child's own work is here missing.

In addition, rather than write 'Some have even claimed...', it would be better to precisely state who (Holt, Baldwin, Pollard, Maddicott?)'has claimed'. To that end, it would be a good idea at some point to include a footnote to the work of notable writers who have written of RH's historicity, including antiquarians, historians and mythologists, in order to direct the readers attention to suitable secondary reading. After all, it is not the purpose of Wikipeda to "write a book". What is more, I note that footnote no.3 simply states 'Holt, p.62'. This is insufficient, the footnote needs to clearly state which of J.C. Holt's many published works it is referring to, with full citation details! Likewise with footnote 5!!! Finally, I note that the closing paragraph of that section opens with the words, 'Another theory is that...'. Technically, you really should state which academics propose that theory. And at the very least, you should give full and accurate citation details for Dobson and Taylor, who are cited at footnote 6, but hitherto have not been mentioned!


The introduction to the sub-section entitled, 'Claims of a historical Robin Hood' reads very poorly. Consider re-writing. Also, the introduction is missing at least two footnotes, as it makes two separate claims, neither of which are supported by citations to published works!!! In addition, on what evidence do you have it that the name (and all of its variants - "Robyn Hode", for example) appear to be in fairly common use during the Middle Age??? I know that statement to be true, but alas, you need to support it with a footnote.

And enough already with the "some" and "others" statements, say who you mean, and back-up the point with a footnote to their published works!!!


The section which is entitled 'Robert as the Earl of Huntingdon' reads,

'It should be noted that David of Scotland (1144-1219) did indeed have a son named Robert, but he is believed to have died at an early age'. Why should this be at all relevant? It is in fact irrelevant, as it has not been mentioned earlier in the article. Suggest removal of such irrelevant material in order to reduce the articles length!

I believe that this will be sufficient to be going on with... Siggasonswein (talk) 20:41, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Randomly following on the list of amendments which need making in order to bring the article up to an acceptable standard...[edit]

Initially, I note that user Sebastiangarth has inserted incorrect information into the article under the sub-heading 'Yorkshire', as the page now reads,

'According to linguist Lister Matheson, many of the original literary sources (such as with Gest of Robyn Hode) are written in dialects associated specifically with the Yorkshire area'.

In actual fact, Lister Matheson stated that the Gest alone is written in a definite northern dialect, probably that of Yorkshire. Of the other fifteenth century ballads, Matheson stated that they were written in the dialects of other regions of England, such as East Anglia. Prior to user Sebastiangarth's intervention the article clearly and accurately stated this information. In addition, under the sub-heading 'Yorkshire' user Sebastiangarth has provided a rather random footnote (no.37) which lists a whole host of academic works, none of which have any connection to the information to which the footnote relates. Footnote 36 is in itself sufficient to cite the listed information pertaining to the work of Lister Matheson, or alternatively, on might cite Professor Jim Bradbury, 'Robin Hood'. In consequence, inserting footnote 37 at this juncture is just plain stupid!!!

I note further that under the sub-heading 'Nottingham' the information listed lacks an adequate citation, as despite attempts to improve the topographical listing of the article, user Sebastiangarth has provided a footnote that leads to a 'page not found' listing on the Edwinstowe Parish Council website. Suggest deletion of such inadequately cited information, or at the very least, that it be replaced with an accurate citation to Dobson and Taylor, which details the locations associated with Robin Hood.

I have raised numerous concerns with the manner in which user Sebastiangarth has edited the page, in regards to the listing of incorrect and inadequately cited information. This circumstance has arisen because the editor has not worked collaboratively with other editors and sought group consensus prior to making alterations to the page. It is going to take an awful lot of effort to trawl through the article in order to discover every error that the editor has introduced, and therefore I suggest that the article be reverted to an earlier edition which precedes these anomalies.

Well, there's no point in bickering about it. The article is at least in a more manageable state, now all we have to do is:
  • (1) Fix any inaccurate information currently in the article.
  • (2) Restructure the article, if necessary, to reflect the overall consensus of the subject.
  • (3) Find and include good citations for all facts covered.
  • (4) Ensure that the overall flow and style of the article is cohesive.
Furthermore, everyone here should feel free to expand upon or even modify the edits of others as they see fit. There's no need to discuss things here unless/until there's some sort of contention. Let's just focus on the task at hand and get it done. Agree? Sebastian Garth (talk) 23:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Oh, is THAT all we have to do???

No, I am afraid that I cannot "agree" with you[edit]

To coin a phrase, I'm afraid that you are now clutching at straws. All of a sudden you have gone from decreeing that you HAVE discussed the changes that you wish to make to the Robin Hood article with other editors, and that you have thereby received consensus to make said alterations; to announcing that "there is no need to discuss things here unless/until there's some sort of contention". The very fact that you wish to make amendments to the work of others implies that there is a contentious issue, or else why would you seek to make amendments to the article in the first place? What is more, despite having agreed that the page is unruly and overly-long - other editors have found the work to be of an exceptional standard and in consequence, the article has attained the status of being a level -4 vital article in Art. In consequence, it is of paramount importance that any changes that need making to the article are first discussed on the Talk Page in order to prevent people from perverting the article. After all, the entire point of having a Talk Page in the first place is to provide a forum where editors can freely discuss and seek consensus for amendments that need to be made without spoiling the article, is it not? And, by carefully examining the history of the Talk Page, you will note that Wikipedia has a proud tradition of valued contributors seeking consensus from other editors prior to making alterations.

I agree that people should feel free to expand upon the article in a structured manner. Please remember that my contention is not that you are contributing new material to the article, as everyone has a right to do. Rather, in the final analysis, my overriding concern is, as I have demonstrated on multiple occasions, that without obtaining group consensus, you have continuously perverted a level-4 vital article in Art so that it displays inaccurate and inadequately cited information. Sadly, it is apparent that you do not have the expertise to comprehend the errors that your amendments are incurring within the article, and therefore you really ought to cease making alterations to the article until you have the consensus of other editors in support of your actions.

In closing, I once again implore you to follow your own advice and 'make smaller, more focused edits before trying to move into totally revamping the page'. I will revert the page to an earlier edition and request that any future alterations which you make to the article follow the established code of practice.

Siggasonswein (talk) 14:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Addition to external links section[edit]

I am webmaster of, a large website on the Robin Hood tradition. I would be glad if you would add it to your external links section.

Henrik Thiil Nielsen — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:59, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Androw of Wyntoun's Original Chronicle, Ed. David Laing, Edinburgh: Scottish Text Society, 1872, Volume 2, pp 261-3
  2. ^ "Merry-man" has referred to the follower of an outlaw since at least the late 14th century. See Online Etymology Dictionary
  3. ^ John Major, Historia Majoris Britanniae, 1521, ed. by A. Constable, (Scottish History Society, X, Edinburgh, 1892) pp.156-157.
  4. ^ T. Wright, ‘On the Popular Cycle of Robin Hood Ballads’, II, in Essays on Subjects Connected with the Literature, Popular Superstitions and History of England in the Middle Ages, (Charleston: Bibliobazaar, 2010), pp.208-211 (pp.208-11)