Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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INTRODUCTION.                           xxi
son," like Adam Bell, and one who superadds to deer-stealing the irregularity of a genteel highway robbery.
Thus much of these conjectures in general. To recur to the particular evidence by which Mr. Hun­ter's theory is supported, this consists principally in the name of Robin Hood being found among the king's servants shortly after Edward II. re­turned from his visit to the north of his dominions. But the value of this coincidence depends entirely upon the rarity of the name.1 Now Hood, as Mr. Hunter himself remarks, is a well-established hereditary name in the reigns of the Edwards. ■We find it very frequently in the indexes to the Record Publications, and this although it does not belong to the higher class of people. That Robert was an ordinary Christian name requires no proof, and if it was, the combination of Robert Hood must have been frequent also. We have taken no extra­ordinary pains to hunt up this combination, for really the matter is altogether too trivial to justify the expense of time; but since to some minds much may depend on the coincidence in question,
1 Mr. Hunter had previously instituted a similar argument in the case of Adam Bell, and doubtless the reasoning might be extended to Will Scathlock and Little John. With a little more rummaging of old account-books we shall be enabled to " comprehend all vagrom men." It is a pity that the Sheriff of Nottingham could not have availed himself of the services of our " detective." The sagacity that has identified the Porter might easily, we imagine, have unmasked the Potter. VOL. V.                          0







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