Robin Hood's Golden Prize [Child 147]
DESCRIPTION: Robin, disguised as a friar, asks alms of two priests in the wood. They claim that they were robbed and have nothing. Robin follows them and forces them to reveal the gold they are carrying. He makes them vow never to lie or cheat in the future
AUTHOR: unknown (Wing suggested Laurence Price, whose initials appear in one early copy)
EARLIEST DATE: 1663 (garland); what seems to be this ballad was registered 1656 in the Stationer's Register and Wing dates one broadside version to 1650
KEYWORDS: Robinhood money clergy lie
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Child 147, "Robin Hood's Golden Prize" (1 text)
Bronson 147, comments only
Leach, pp. 420-422, "Robin Hood's Golden Prize" (1 text)
OBB 123, "Robin Hood's Golden Prize" (1 text)
BBI, RZN11, "I have heard talk of Robin Hood"
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 Preists" (1 text, with few significant differences from the broadsides)
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. 556-562, "Robin Hood's Golden Prize" (1 text, newly edited from the sources)
NOTES: For background on the Robin Hood legend, see the notes on "A Gest of Robyn Hode" [Child 117].
Wing's attribution of this piece to Laurence Price seems to be widely accepted; Chappell mentioned it in his book on the Roxburghe Ballads, and Knight, p. 77, says that it is "apparently written" by Price. Dobson/Taylor, p. 48, seem to have no doubts in the matter. This would explain the strong anti-clerical tone of the piece; Price was active in the middle part of the seventeenth century (Chappell dates his work "before the restoration"), when England was extremely anti-Catholic.
Price himself is such an obscure figure that (as of October 2010) he doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry. Nor have I found biographies of him in my literary references. The few poems I've manage to find (such as those in Chappell) did not impress me. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
- Dobson/Taylor: R. B. Dobson and J. Taylor, Rymes of Robyn Hood: An Introduction to the English Outlaw, University of Pittsburg Press, 1976
- Knight: Stephen Knight, editor (with a manuscript description by Hilton Kelliher), Robin Hood: The Forresters Manuscript (British Library Additional MS 71158), D. S. Brewer, 1998
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