The Robin Hood Legend


James Kirby (Jim) Lees born 1912 died November 18th 2001.


Jim's love of Square Dancing, he found fame as a caller this side of the Atlantic and in America, led directly to the passion for which he would become world famous, the legend of Robin Hood.

A chance remark from an American square dance devotee led Jim on a forty year search to find the truth behind the legend, culminating in the publishing of his best selling book,' The Quest for Robin Hood in 1987. Prior to this, and in the same year, he had written and had had published 'The Legendary Exploits of Robin Hood in the City of Nottingham. His other works include a new introduction to the well-known collection of ancient Robin Hood ballads collected by Joseph Ritson.

He took part in numerous radio and television debates on the legend of Robin Hood and was a regular contributor to local and national newspapers where he determinedly defended Nottingham's claim to the world famous legend. Through his many pen-pals in the States he became an honoury member of the 'Mom Ruth School of Western Music and Fiddle Makers of America,' and permanent Deputy Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. An honour not bestode lightly.

Fitted into this somewhat busy schedule Jim also took great pride and joy in being a life-long member of the Scouts Association. He was recently featured on a local Central T.V. show actively encouraging young Cubs and Scouts, from his wheelchair, such was his devotion to this other calling. Alas ill health claimed him, he developed Motor Neurone Disease, and he had to retire from that particular activity after 73 years as an committed Scout.

He was at one time a candidate for an entry into the Guinness Book of Records for his longevity in the Scouting Movement. But this little set-back did not prevent his brain from working and so he set to writing a follow-up to his book, 'The Quest.' His new book, 'Robin Hood: Loyalist, Rebel, Ballad Hero.'as yet unpublished, was completed five years prior to his death.

True to Jim's character he is still helping others after his death, his body is to go to medical science and any donations to his local Health Centre at Keyworth, Nottinghamshire. Nottingham lost its other legend with the passing of Jim Lees late. I along with many others will miss his sharp intellect and kindness.

Robert Henshaw. Jim's nephew.