The Robin Hood Legend

Robin Hood and the Monk

It was Whitsuntide in the Greenwood and the sounds of the forest mingled with scent of a May morning. Robin Hood was in a sombre mood as he stood reflectively gazing into the greenery.

His only thought was that he had not attended matins for a fortnight and he declared to his men that he would go henceforth to Nottingham alone so that he could make his peace with God.

He did not heed the advice of Much the Miller's son to take "twelve well armed strong yeomen " with him preferring instead the sole company of Little John.

The two travelled to the edge of Nottingham shooting for pennies but quarrelled over the winnings. A fight broke out and a furious Little John declared to Robin "I’ll serve you no more" and turned his back on his friend.

Sadly, Robin travelled the rest of the journey to Nottingham alone and entered St. Mary’s Church without disguise in full view of the congregation. Instantly, he was recognised by a treacherous monk who called for the City gates to be shut and warned the Sheriff of Nottingham that the King’s enemy was in the town.

Gathering a large company of men, the Sheriff rushed to the church and confronted a surprised Robin who lamented the departure of his ally, Little John. A great fight ensued with Robin swiftly despatching twelve of the Sheriff’s men and wounding many more until finally he broke his two handed sword over the head of the Sheriff himself. Alas, Robin was finally captured and thrown into Nottingham prison.

News of Robin’s capture travelled back to Sherwood Forest and the outlaws were deeply distressed. Only Little John kept his head and put faith in the power of the Virgin Mary to keep Robin safe.

Little John set off with Much the Miller’s son and eventually spied the Monk and his page travelling on the road out of Nottingham towards London.

After tricking the Monk who was taking the news of Robin’s capture from the Sheriff to the King, Little John and Much killed him and his page and went themselves to London on the Monk’s business. .The King gave the pair an award and a warrant and sent them back to Nottingham to collect Robin Hood under guard and send him back to London unharmed.

On returning to Nottingham they found the gates shut and the town swarming with guards as the sheriff tried to protect the prize he had locked up in his dungeon. Little John quickly showed the king’s warrant and was granted admittance to Nottingham.

On seeing the King’s seal, the sheriff was beside himself with joy and drank heavily of fine wine until he fell into a deep slumber. The fate of the Monk was explained by the story that he had been promoted to Abbot of Westminster and that Little John and Much the Miller's son had been sent in his place.

Now, with a free run of the Sheriff’s quarters, Little John and Much headed straight for the cells and tricked the jailer into opening the jail door. Robin was released and armed with a good sword. Then they made their way to a low wall and jumped down into the forest.

At cockcrow the next morning, the Sheriff found the dead jailer and ordered his men to search every street and alley for the fugitive outlaws. But to no avail as Robin and his men were already safe and sound back in Sherwood Forest.

The King realised he had been tricked by Little John and left the Sheriff in peace as he realised that Little John had made fools of them all. Meanwhile, back in the Greenwood, Robin and Little John patched up the quarrel they had had before the events in St Mary’s Church and the outlaws lived on to fight another day.

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