Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow [Child 152]
DESCRIPTION: The sheriff of Nottingham plots to catch Robin by means of an archery competition. Robin and his men go, but dress differently and scatter in the crowd, so are not recognized. Robin wins. To gloat, he sends a letter to the sheriff, by arrow.
EARLIEST DATE: 1777 (garland); the Forresters Manuscript version is from c. 1670
KEYWORDS: Robinhood contest disguise
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Child 152, "Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow" (1 text)
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. 25-33, "Robin Hood and the Sherriffe 1" (1 text, with substantial differences from Child's text as found in the garlands; Knight thinks some material has been included based on the "Gest")
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. 541-548, "Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow" (1 text)
NOTES: For background on the Robin Hood legend, see the notes on "A Gest of Robyn Hode" [Child 117].
This ballad seems more directly linked to the "Gest" than most, since the golden arrow of the seventh stanza is described in terms similar to that used of a golden arrow in the "Gest." Child thinks that the first 23 stanzas of this song are derived from the "Gest." The plot of the remainder, however, is different (and probably not as good, unless you like the Robin-as-trickster motif which is almost invisible in the "Gest"). The whole effect of this ballad is very late and rather feeble.
The last stanza promises that listeners shall soon hear the "end" of Robin Hood. This is a reference to the fact that, in the garland, "Robin Hood's Death" [Child 120] follows. - RBW
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