Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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name is attached to mounds, wells, and stones, such as in the popular creed are connected with fairies, dwarfs, or giants. There is scarcely a county in England which does not possess some mon­ument of this description. " Cairns on Blackdown in Somersetshire, and barrows near to "Whitby in Yorkshire and Ludlow in Shropshire, are termed Eobin Hood's pricks or butts; lofty natural eminences in Gloucestershire and Derbyshire are Eobin Hood's hills ; a huge rock near Matlock is Eobin Hood's Tor; ancient boundary stones, as in Lincolnshire, are Eobin Hood's crosses; a pre­sumed loggan, or rocking-stone, in Yorkshire, is Eobin Hood's penny-stone ; a fountain near Not­tingham, another between Doncaster and Wake­field, and one in Lancashire, are Eobin Hood's wells; a cave in Nottinghamshire is his stable ; a rude natural rock in Hope Dale is his chair; a chasm at Chatsworth is his leap ; Blackstone Edge, in Lancashire, is his bed."1 In fact, his name bids fair to overrun every remarkable object of the sort which has not been already appropriated to King Arthur or the Devil; with the latter of whom, at least, it is presumed that, however ancient, he will not dispute precedence.
"The legends of the peasantry," quoth Mr. Wright, "are the shadows of a very remote anti­quity." This proposition, thus broadly stated, we deny. Nothing is more deceptive than popular 1 Edinburgh Review, vol. 86, p. 123.