Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires [Child 140]

DESCRIPTION: Robin learns from (a women/their mother) that three men are to be hanged for deer-killing. He meets a (palmer/beggar) who confirms this. Robin insists on trading clothes, goes disguised to Nottingham, blows his horn for his men, and rescues the three.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1750 (Percy manuscript)
KEYWORDS: Robinhood execution disguise rescue
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South,West),Scotland) US(NE,SE)
REFERENCES (18 citations):
Child 140, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (4 texts)
Bronson 140, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (7 versions+2 in addenda)
BronsonSinging 140, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (3 versions: #3, #5.1, #7)
GreigDuncan2 243 (plus 1 verse on p. 547), "Robin Hood and the Squires" (2 texts)
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly2 42, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (1 text, 1 tune)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 2420-242, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (1 text)
Flanders/Olney, pp. 69-72, "Bold Robin Hood Rescuing the Three Squires" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2}
Flanders-Ancient3, pp. 107-116, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (3 texts, with A1 and A2 being variant versions from the same informant, 1 tune) {Bronson's #2, with some small variants}
BrownII 140, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (1 text with variants from several performances by the same informant)
BrownSchinhanIV 33, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Friedman, p. 341, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (1 text)
OBB 122, "Robin Hood and the Widow's Three Sons" (1 text)
PBB 69, "Robin Hood and the Sheriff" (1 text)
Niles 47, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (2 texts, 2 tunes, the second perhaps being mixed with Child 143)
Chase, pp. 124-126, "Bold Robin Hood" (1 text, 1 tune, clearly this piece although it has many floating lyrics, e.g. from "The House Carpenter") {Bronson's #4}
Darling-NAS, pp. 87-90, "Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Stephen Knight and Thomas Ohlgren, editors, _Robin Hood and Other Oudlaw Tales_, TEAMS (Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages), Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 2000, pp. 476-485, "Robin Hood Rescues Three Young Men" (1 text,based on one of the garlands)

Roud #71
Robin Hood and the Old Maid
Robin Hood and the Old Woman
NOTES: For background on the Robin Hood legend, see the notes on "A Gest of Robyn Hode" [Child 117].
Knight/Ohlgren, p. 513, notes the interesting fact that this is the only ballad incident to appear in the plays of Anthony Munday, who seems to have thrown the Robin Hood legend in a very different (and less attractive) direction after the appearance of the plays in 1598-1599. Knight/Ohlgren think that Munday borrowed the story. I am not sure I agree. The ballad feels like a seventeenth, or even eighteenth, century composition, by a literary hack who is trying to imitate true ballad style (and not succeeding very well). I would not be surprised if the poem takes the incident from Munday rather than the reverse.
And yet, it is Child's opinion that "Robin Hood Rescuing Will Stutly" [Child 141] is an "imitation" of this piece, which means it must predate the 1663 garland which contains "Will Stutly." Also, there are several garland prints of this, all undated, but this strongly hints at a date before 1675. Possibly well before. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: C140

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