Little John a Begging [Child 142]
DESCRIPTION: Little John (goes/is assigned by Robin to go) a-begging. He meets up with beggars feigning disabilities who do not want his company and they fall to blows. Little John overcomes them and is much enriched by their stores which he takes to Sherwood.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1663 (braodside printed by William Gilbertson); also a garland of 1663
KEYWORDS: Robinhood begging fight disability
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Child 142, "Little John a Begging" (2 texts)
Bronson 142, comments only
Leach, pp. 406-408, "Little John a Begging" (1 text)
BBI, RZN2, "All you that delight to spend some time"
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, "Little Johns Begging" (1 text, close to the 1670 garland)
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. 521-526, "Little John a Begging" (1 text,based on one of the garlands)
Little John and the Beggars
NOTES: For background on the Robin Hood legend, see the notes on "A Gest of Robyn Hode" [Child 117].
Knight/Ohlgren, p. 525, note the inherent improbability of this song -- would Robin Hood, a "proud outlaw," permit his men to go begging? And would Little John, himself a proud man, consent, even under constraint? Unlikely. I find myself wondering if there might not have been an earlier song about someone exposing feigned beggars which some enterprising, but hardly competent, hack writer converted to a Robin Hood ballad. - RBW
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