Robin Hood search for the Truth | Robin Hood Places | Hood surname statistics | Robin Hood of Wakefield | Robert Hood of Newton | The Pinder of Wakefield Marian | Friars | Loxley and 'Huntington' | Myriads of Robin Hoods | Ballads of Robin Hood | Kirklees | The Armytages of Kirklees | Little John | Roger De Doncaster | The Penurious Knyght | Our Comly King  | Shire Reeve | Priory of Kirklees | Wakefield Rolls | Saylis of the Geste- a new site | Robert III Butler of Skelbrooke | Barnsdale and the Geste | De Lacis of PontefractAlice De Laci and John of GauntBarnsdale Gallery | Stephen II Le Waleys a suspected compiler of the Geste


THE MYRIADS OF ROBIN HOODS.
Many researchers have scanned historical sources for persons who have been named 'Robin Hood' or who have been given such an alias. Prof. James C. Holt stated in his book Robin Hood [p.58] that such aliases were not uncommon. Phonetic and spelling variations of the name or the alias have been noted, such as, Robin Hode, Robyn Hode, Robyn Hod, Robin Hoode, Hobbehod, Robert Hood, Robert Hod etc. It is assumed that 'Robyn' is a contraction of Robert in English but is Norman-French in its origin, deriving from the nasal French pronunciation of 'Robert'.
Below are some of these referenced persons arranged chronologically:

Name
Alias
Date noted
Cited by
Source
1= primary
2= secondary
Comment
John Hood and Ragnild his wife, both appear as parties in a land agreement at Stanley Bottom near Wakefield, this land was held a hundred years later by the Hood family.
None known
1202
J.C. Holt 1982.


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet
Robert Hood, servant of the abbot of Cirencester,
Alexander Nequam* 1213-1218, Alexander was the son of Hodierna, prince Richard's [later King] wet nurse1 Richard suckled one breast whilst Alexander was on the other! Robert slew Ralph of Cirencester in the abbot's garden.
* Nequam = 'bad', he practiced necromancy i.e. sorcery, by allegedly conjuring up the dead to elicit information about the future.
None known
1213-1216
[King John]
J.C. Holt 1982 
The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet
Robert Hod, fugitive. Accused as a tenant of the archbishop of York in the Liberty of St. Peter's under the jurisdiction of Robert De Lexington.  Robert de Lexington was a judicial ecclesciastic .
Note: the Archbishop of St. Peter's York [York Cathedral or Minster] from 1215 to 1255 was Walter De Grey a strong advocate for King John, who was present at the signing of Magna Carta.
'Hobbehod'
1225-1226
[Henry III]
J.C. Holt 1982
2 L.V.D. Owen Robin Hood in the Light of Research. The Times, Trade and Engineering Supplement 38,
no. 864 (1936), xxix.

A good candidate for the 'Robin Hood' of the1100's-1200's
The name Robert Hod appears to be legitimate, not an epithet, although Hobbehod seems to be so.
William Le Fevere
a member of an outlaw gang.

1261-William Le Fevere;
1262- 'William Robehod fugitive'.
1261-1262
[Henry III]
J.C. Holt 1982

David Crook
1 Exchequer Memorandum Roll 1262.

William Le Fevere was the Son of Robert. The name Robehod seems to be appearing as a common name for a robber who tries to perhaps hide his appearance with a hood/ mask to try to avoid recognition. It seems to be the first recorded nickname for a criminal.
Adam Hood.
a forester in the service of earl Warrene He lived at least until 1314. J.W. Walker believed that this person was the father of Robert Hood of Wakefield, who was christened in the town of Wakefield, but there is no proof of this connection.
None known
1265-1295 and 1274
[Henry III -Edward I]
Joseph Hunter 1852/J.C. Holt 1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995
1 Wakefield Court Roll 1274 [first WCR]
The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
John Rabunhod.
Charged with murder in Hampshire
None known
1272
[Edward I]
J.C. Holt 1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Alexander Robehod.
Charged with theft in Essex
None known
1272
[Edward I]
J.C. Holt 1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
William Robehod.
A robber in Berkshire.
None known
1272
[Edward I]
J.C. Holt 1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Richard Hood
Of Sowerby, West Yorkshire. Active in 1274 when he was being chased by the foresters of Sowerby Chase. Richard had a son John Hood who seems to have succeeded his father in 1296-7. John's son's both called Robert Hood were both active from 1313, one appears in the WCR for 1308.
None known
1274-5
Edward I
J.C. Holt 1982 [p 78]


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
 He was opposed to the foresters of Sowerbyshire.
Robertus Robehod of Walsham Le Willows, Suffolk.
None known
1283
C.M. Matthews

The name may be an epithet.
Gilbert Robehod appeared in court in Sussex.
[N.B. The pastoral poem, Robin et Marian,  by Adam De La Halle written 1283]
None known
1286
[Edward I]
J.C. Holt 1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robert Robehod
Charged with stealing sheep in Hampshire
None known
1294
[Edward I]
J.C. Holt 1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robert Hod
None known
1294
[Edward I]
J.C. Holt 1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995

Robert Hod a London Councillor, after whom an inn, 'Hostel Robin Hod' was named. Robert's daughter may have been Katherine Robyn Hod recorded in 1325.
The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Gilbert Robynhod of Fletching
A tenant of the Liberty of Leicester in Sussex.
Holt notes that the legend was already known by 1296 in Sussex.
None known
1296
J.C. Holt
1982/Phillips & Keatman  1995


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet. But, Holt suggested that  the name derived from the outlaw of legend, this he surmised was transferred to the Earl Warrene's Rape of Lewes and and the Earl of Lancaster's liberty of Leicester in Sussex by  a feudal connection to Earl Warrene's Wakefield manor. But as Bellamy points out [p.32] the earl of Warrene had no direct property interest in Fletching. More likely as Bellamy states, "Gilbert Robynhod may have served in the household of Alice De Lacy [and Earl Thomas Plantagenet] and aquired the name by playing or reciting the tales which came from the northern Lacy estates". In 1294 Alice De Laci heiress of much of the De Laci estates, married Thomas Plantagenet. One fact which Bellamy noted that  works against this is that  1294-1296 is a very short time for Gilbert's new name to become commonly accepted.
Robert Hood.
Of Newton, near Wakefield. He, or his son also named Robert, died in 1341-2.
None known
1308
J.C. Holt
1982
1 W.C.R.

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robert Hood the Grave.
Broke the Lord Warrene's fold at Alverthorpe. He may or may not be related to Robert Hood of Wakefield or Robert Hood of Newton.
'Robert The Grave'
1309
J.C. Holt
1982
1 W.C.R.

The first part of the name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
John Hood.
Of Wakefield. Still active in 1329.
None known
1313
J.C. Holt
1982
1 W.C.R.

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robertus Hood and his wife Matilda who leased land at Stanley and purchased land at Bitchill, Wakefield for two shillings on the 25th Jan 1316 where they built a five-roomed house which he lost when he was declared an outlaw. Robin was son of Adam Hood, of the nearby village of Stanley, forester to the earl John de Warenne.
In 1316, Robert Hood's hand maid was fined for taking wood from Old Park.
On Jan 25th, 1316 Robert and his wife Matilda gave 2 shillings for leave to take one piece of the lord's waste on Bichill (the market place) between the houses of Phillip Damyson and and Thomas Alayn, this land being 30' long and 16 feet wide "to hold to the aforesaid Robert and Matilda and their heirs rendering yearly 6 pence at the three terms of the year to the lord"
Wakefield Manor court rolls also show that in 1322, 1357 and 1358 there was a five roomed house on this site.

None known
1316
[Edward II]
J.C. Holt 1982/J.W. Walker
1 W.C.R.

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robert Hood of Wakefield included in a summons of earl Warrene to join Edward II's forces against Scotland. In 1316 fined three pence for failing to appear.
None known
1316/18
[Edward II]
Joseph Hunter 1852.


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robert Hood of Wakefield summond to join the Earl of Lancaster's army in rebellion against Edward II. This army is defeated at Boroughbridge in the same year.
None known
1322 [Edward II]
Joseph Hunter
1852.


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robyn Hod
None known
1324 [Edward II]
Joseph Hunter
1852.
1 Gages des porteurs de la chambre
The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Katherine Robynhod
of London. Her surname was probably a patronymic, her father probably being a common councillor of London, Robert Hood who died in1318. He gave his name to the Robin Hood Inn [hostel Robin Hod] in Vintry Ward, recorded 1294.
None known
1325
J.C. Holt 1982.


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
For Alverthorpe graveship, Robert Hood was mentioned to come to the next court over Robert's cattle "trampling and depasturing"  John Couper's "corn and rye in a field of Newton". Robert Hood was fined 3 pence for taking a horse from John Couper, It is 15th December 1331 in the fifth year of Edward III's reign.
None known
1331
[Edward III]
-
1W.C.R.

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
None known
'Roberdsmen'
1331

1 Statute of Winchester
'Roberd'smen' appears to be a general term used here to signify members of the criminal class.
For 10th January 1332 for the graveship of Alverthorpe "Robert Hood of Newton plaintiff offers himself against Thomas de Schatterburn in a plea of trespass; because he does not state his case in the words of the court he is to take nothing by his suit and is amerced three pence for false claim"
None known
1332
[Edward III]
-
1 W.C.R.
The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robert Robynhoud.
Of West Harting, Sussex.
None known
1332
[Edward III]
J.C. Holt 1982


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
John Hood of Newton.
He succeeded Robert Hood of Newton.
None known
1341-2



The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
A person  who committed offences in the Forest of Rockingham
'Robin Hood'


1354
[Edward III]
J.C. Holt 1982
2 Robin Hood J.C. Holt.1982
The name appears to be an epithet. The Geste could have been written by now.
Poll tax for Robert Hode and wife Agnes of Handsworth, Sheffield. 'Robert Hode Agnes uxor ejus iiij.d'
None known
1379
[Richard II]
-
1 Yorkshire Subsidy Rolls (Poll Tax) 1379
The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Robert Robynhoud.
Winchelsea, Sussex.
None known
1381
[Richard II]
J.C. Holt 1982


The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet.
Lord Robert Dore of Wadsley, South Yorkshire, pardoned by the King Richard II.
'Robert Hode'

1382
[Richard II]
Robert Lynley & David Pilling, 2005.
1 Roll of King's Pardons 4-5 Richard II, P.R.O.
See
Bold Outlaw

The name Robert Dore appears to be legitimate and possesses an epithet 'Robert Hode'.Wadsley is next to Loxley Common, Loxley, South Yorkshire. This person, as 'Lord Robert' may have led to the idea that 'Robyn Hode' was born at Locksley as noted by the 'Sloane Manuscript' [~1600], Roger Dodsworth [1620] John Harrison [1637] and reiterated by  Joseph Hunter. 'Robin of Loxley' emanates from the 1600's. The title 'Lord Robert' may have helped promote the hero into the nobility.
Piers Venables of Derbyshire likened to Robin Hood.

None known
1429
Phillips & Keatman  1995

The name appears to be legitimate, not an epithet but obviously the ballad 'A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode' is having an effect here.
'Misdoers in Derbyshire'
'like Robyn Hode'
1439
[Henry VI]
J.C. Holt 1982

The ballad a 'Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode' is having an effect here.
Sir John Conyers

'Robin of Redesdale'
or 'Robin Mend-all'
1469
[Edward IV]
"

The name Sir John Conyers appears to be legitimate, the epithet seems very geographic - ally localised
Robert Hillyard of Winestead
'Robin of Holderness'

1469
[Edward IV]
"

The name Robert Hillyard appears to be legitimate, the epithet seems very geographic - ally localised
Roger Marshall
of Wednesbury, Staffs.
'Robin Hood'
1498
[Henry VII]
"

The name appears to be legitimate, the epithet seems to be using the legendary hero of the ballad
'A Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode' is having an effect here.

Even from this brief excursion into the supposed variants of our hero's name we begin to identify the imitative behaviour of subsequent holders of the epithet. This indicates that the name Robert Hod/Hode Hod &c. and variants thereof were legitimately well established by or before 1265. It could be argued that the origins of the epithet are to be found from the mid 1100's to the mid 1200's as indicated by Roger Dodsworth. Dodsworth probably based some of his comments upon the 'Sloane Manuscript' but seems to have had other sources which may have been folkloric hearsay or contemporary documents now lost/ destroyed, assuming any ever existed.
The whole premise of being able to locate someone in history named 'Robin Hood' is predicated on the tautolgy that such a person existed. However, many have looked and not succeeeded in this endeavour, which leads us to a conclusion that the actual name 'Robyn Hode' of the Geste is entirely of balladic construction.
Indeed it is, but there was a person who modelled for the ballad hero and although his name was not 'Hood' the logic of the derivation will I think astound you. From this you may guess that all those individuals listed in the table above are not that person and in this supposition you would be quite correct.

                                                               ROBIN HOOD, LEGEND NOT MYTH.

Sources:
1. Danziger D. & Gillingham J., 1215 The Year of Magna Carta, Hodder & Stoughton, 2003.
2. Holt, J.C. Robin Hood.Thames & Hudson, London, 1982.
3. Phillips G. & Keatman, M. Robin Hood : The Man Behind the Myth. Michael O'Mara Books, London, 1995.
4. Gladwin, Irene. The Sheriff. Victor Gollancz, London, 1974.
5. Dobson, R.B. & Taylor, J. [Eds.]. The Rymes of Robyn Hood : An Introduction to the English Outlaw. Heinemann     Ltd., 1976, Sutton Publishing; revised edition 1989; 1997
6. Bellamy, John. Robin Hood : An Historical Enquiry. Indiana University Press. 1985.

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© Copyright Tim Midgley 2005, revised 22nd February, 2009.


Robin Hood search for the Truth | Robin Hood Places | Hood surname statistics | Robin Hood of Wakefield | Robert Hood of Newton | The Pinder of Wakefield Marian | Friars | Loxley and 'Huntington' | Myriads of Robin Hoods | Ballads of Robin Hood | Kirklees | The Armytages of Kirklees | Little John | Roger De Doncaster | The Penurious Knyght | Our Comly King  | Shire Reeve | Priory of Kirklees | Wakefield Rolls | Saylis of the Geste- a new site | Robert III Butler of Skelbrooke | Barnsdale and the Geste | De Lacis of PontefractAlice De Laci and John of GauntBarnsdale Gallery | Stephen II Le Waleys a suspected compiler of the Geste