Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 5 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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From Ritson's Robin Hood, i. 81. " This curious, and hitherto unpublished, and even unheard of old piece," remarks that editor, "is given from a manuscript among Bishop More's collections, in the Public Library of the University of Cambridge (Ee. 4. 35). The writing, which is evidently that of a vulgar and illiterate per­son, appears to be of the age of Henry VII., that is, about the year 1500; but the composition (which he has irremediably corrupted) is probably of an earlier period, and much older, no doubt, than The Play of Robyn Hode, which seems allusive to the same story."
Mr. Wright thinks the manuscript is proved to be of the time of Henry VI. by a memorandum on one page, setting forth the expenses of the feast on the marriage of the king with Margaret:—" Thys ys ex-spences of fflesche at the mariage of my ladey Market, that sche had owt off Eynglonde." But this memoran­dum is more likely to apply to Margaret, daughter of Henry VII., who was married " out of England," that is, in Scotland, to James IV., than to the Margaret who was married in England to Henry VI. (Ed. Rev. lxxxvi. 126.)
The adventure in the first part of this story,—the encounter between Robin Hood and a sturdy fellow who proves his match or his superior—forms the sub­ject of a large number of this circle of ballads, the antagonist being in one case a beggar, in another a tanner, a tinker, the_ pinder of Wakefield, &c. (See the preface to Robin Hood and the Beggar, p. 188.)
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