Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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authoritative historian.1 That this would not be so, we are most fortunately able to demonstrate by reference to a real case which furnishes a singularly exact parallel to the present, that of the famous outlaw, Adam Gordon. In the year 1267, says the continuator of Matthew Paris, a soldier by the name of Adam Gordon, who had lost his estates with other adherents of Simon de' Montfort, and refused to seek the mercy of the king, established himself with others in like cir­cumstances near a woody and tortuous road be­tween the village of Wilton and the castle of Farnham, from which position he made forays into the country round about, directing his attacks es­pecially against those who were of the king's party. Prince Edward had heard much of the prowess and honorable character of this man, and desired to have some personal knowledge of him. He suc­ceeded in surprising Gordon with a superior force, and engaged him in single combat, forbid­ding any of his own followers to interfere. They fought a long time, and the prince was so filled with admiration of the courage and spirit of his antagonist that he promised him life and fortune on condition of his surrendering. To these terms Gor-
1 Most remarkable of all would this be, should we adopt the views of Mr. Hunter, because we know from the inci­dental testimony of Piers Ploughman, that only forty years after the date fixed upon for the outlaw's submission," rhymes of Robin Hood," were in the mouth of every tavern lounger; »nd yet no chronicler can spare him a word.