Robin Hood is England's most famous outlaw, who robbed from the rich to give to the poor. In Robin Hood's long history, his story has appeared in many forms, from verse to film. His path to outlawry, friends and enemies have been just as diverse. I will first describe the parts of the Robin Hood legend that have remained constant throughout his entire 800 or more year history.

Robin Hood was a Saxon noble, living near the castle of Nottingham. By various means he was forced into a life of banditry, using his cunning and skill-at-arms to relieve bishops, nobles, and servants of the king of gold and jewels levied from the oppressed peasants. Robin collected a band of supporters, his "Merry Men" around him, dressed in green. The members that never cease to appear are Robin himself, Maid Marian, Little John, and Friar Tuck. Along with being a middle-ages Communist, Robin spends his time fighting the cruel Sheriff of Nottingham, and, ultimately, King John, who had usurped the throne from the rightful King, Richard I (Coeur de Lion or Lionheart).

The following pages contain various versions of Robin Hood's story. For more detailed information on his friends and enemies, please see the "Characters" page.

Robin's Lineage

Robin's Path to Outlawry

The Origins of the Merry Men

The End of the Merry Men




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