Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight [Child 153]
DESCRIPTION: The king sends a knight with 100 to arrest Robin. The knight goes alone to Robin to request surrender. Robin refuses and battle ensues. The knight (retires/is killed) but Robin, wounded, sends for a monk whose bloodletting ends his life. The men scatter.
EARLIEST DATE: before 1741
KEYWORDS: Robinhood knight battle injury death clergy
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Child 153, "Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight" (1 text)
Bronson 152, comments only
ADDITIONAL: R. B. Dobson and J. Taylor, _Rymes of Robyn Hood: An Introduction to the English Outlaw_, University of Pittsburg Press, 1976, pp. 184-186, "Robin Hood and the Valiant Knight" (1 text)
cf. "Robin Hood's Death" [Child 120] (subject)
NOTES [161 words]: We've all heard of revisionist history, but whoever heard of revisionist mythology? Child comments, "Written, perhaps, because it was thought that authority should in the end be vindicated against outlaws, which may explain why this piece surpasses in platitude everything that goes before." Dobson and Taylor declare, "this song certainly has strong claims to be regarded as the least distinguished Robin Hood ballad ever composed." And, indeed, how many ballads include a rhymed version of a epitaph?
It will be noted that this contradicts the standard legend of Robin Hood's death, long since established by Child #117 and Child #120.
I also noted that the metre matches that of the "Yarn of the Nancy Bell." Suitable, for such a piece of accidental humor. I find it amazing that it was actually printed multiple times. Forget the story. It just plain sounds stupid.
For background on the Robin Hood legend, see the notes on "A Gest of Robyn Hode" [Child 117]. - RBW
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