Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham [Child 139]

DESCRIPTION: Robin at age 15 falls in with 15 foresters in Nottingham. He intends to enter a shooting match. They taunt him with his youth. He wagers on his ability and wins by killing a hart, but they refuse to pay. He kills them all, escapes to the merry green wood.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1663 (garland; title found 1656 in the Stationer's Register)
KEYWORDS: Robinhood hunting contest escape money youth
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Child 139, "Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham" (1 text)
Bronson 139, "Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham" (2 versions)
BronsonSinging 139, "Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham" (1 version: #1)
Ritson-Robin, pp. 115-117, "Robin Hoods Progress to Nottingham" (1 text)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 69-70, "Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham" (1 text (composite from 2 singers), 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}
Creighton-NovaScotia 7, "Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham" (1 fragment, 1 tune) {Bronson's #1}
Leach, pp. 400-402 "Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham" (1 text)
BBI, RZN19, "Robin Hood he was a tall young man"
ADDITIONAL: Stephen Knight, editor (with a manuscript description by Hilton Kelliher), _Robin Hood: The Forresters Manuscript_ (British Library Additional MS 71158), D. S. Brewer, 1998, pp. 2-5, "Robin Hood and the Forresters 1" (1 text, with substantial differences from Child's text based on the garlands)
Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren, editors, _Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales_, TEAMS (Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages), Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2000, pp. 507-512, "Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham" (1 text)

Roud #1790
Bodleian, Wood 402(14, 15), "Robin Hoods Progresse to Nottingham," F. Grove (London), 1623-1661; also Wood 401(37) [partly illegible], "Robin Hoods Progresse to Nottingham"; Douce Ballads 3(120a), "Robin Hood's progress to Nottingham" [subtitle "Shewing how he slew fifteen foresters"]
NOTES [257 words]: For background on the Robin Hood legend, see the notes on "A Gest of Robyn Hode" [Child 117]. This seems to be the earliest ballad to explain why Robin Hood became an outlaw, but we note that it is much more recent than ballads such as the "Gest" and "Robin Hood and the Potter" [Child 121].
It is interesting to note that the Forresters Manuscript version of this (but not Child's texts) begin "Randolph kept Robin fifteen winters." Since our first literary reference to Robin Hood is William Langland's line "But I kan rymes of Robyn Hood and Randolf Erl of Chestre." (Piers Plowman, Passus V, line 396, in the so-called "B" text as printed in A. V. C. Schmidt, editor, William Langland, The Vision of Piers Plowman: A Critical Edition of the B-Text Based on Trinity College Cambridge MS. B.15.17, 1978; I use the updated Everyman 1995 paperback edition, p. 82)
Knight speculates that the editor of the Forresters Manuscript (or someone) added this line to link the two. This is certainly possible, but the line as it stands makes very little sense in the Forresters text; "Randolph" is not identified, nor his relationship to Robin. On the other hand, that first stanza follows a different form from the rest of the piece, so it does look editorial. - RBW
This, according to broadside Bodleian Douce Ballads 3(120a) and all other broadsides which list a tune, is to be sung to the tune of "Bold Robin Hood." But Bronson notes that this song cannot be identified, and that several Robin Hood ballads use the same stanza form. - BS, RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: C139

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