Who was Robin Hood?
Have you heard of England’s famous, ‘Robin Hood?’ Perhaps you have seen a movie or read the story about him? Robin Hood is a legendary hero from olden day, medieval England. He was a skilled archer and a clever swordsman, who used his skill and wit to steal from the rich and give to the poor!
No one knows for sure if Robin Hood was a real person, though famous poems from around the time suggest he was and probably once a nobleman himself. Because he was an outlaw with a reward on his head, he had to live in camps that he made, deep inside Sherwood Forest. A big old oak tree is thought to have been a main hideout.
But he wasn’t there alone! Legend says he lived with other outlaws, nicknamed his ‘merry men’. These were, Little John, Much the Miller’s son, Will Scarlet and the Friar tuck, the monk. At some point, it is thought he even got married to a lady called Maid Marion.
Robin’s arch-enemy was The Sheriff of Nottingham who ruled with an iron fist from Nottingham Castle. The stories say he was a greedy, selfish man who treated the poor people of his land very badly, taking their money and leaving them with little to survive. Robin Hood is supposed to have escaped his capture many times, though strangely enough, a statue of Robin Hood now sits inside the castle’s Gatehouse!
Was Robin Hood bad?
This is an interesting question. As we know stealing is wrong, but we need to remember that at that time in England, there was a huge gap between what the rich people had — castles, manor houses, lots of servants and delicious foods to eat and what the poor people had — basically nothing. It was a very hard life for the poor people and to make matters worse, a law was passed to say the common people were no longer allowed to hunt deer in Sherwood Forest. This meant entire families and villages would have gone hungry, got sick and worse.
What do you think?
Do you think Robin Hood was good or bad… or somewhere in between? Pretend you were a ruler in medieval England. Can you think of some good ideas to make sure that ALL the people in your kingdom had a fair chance to earn a living and had enough to eat?
By Deborah L. Caine (Whyzz writer)