The Quest to Find Robin Hood

How Historians are searching for his true identity...

A brief history of Robin Hood..

Robin Hood was first introduced as a literary character in 1370, where his identity changed over time. First, early medevil ballads pictured him as only a poor bandit and robber, while later in the 1800s Robins character changed entirely. Starting from a poor arsonist in the early stories, he grew to a wealthy earl, somewhat of a hero. Hollywood took role in this change by molding him to give him character appeal to large audiences by adding the fact that he stole from the rich, and gave to the poor. Not in literary or hollywood movie form, Robin really truly just was a famous outlaw in England.

Exactly who was Robin Hood, and what historical evidence do we have to prove it?

Possible historical candidates:

Many consider the identity of Robin Hood to be one of the greatest literary mystery remaning. Historians have narrowed down a few people they think that might have actually been our favorite hooded friend:


Theory #1: The real Robin Hood was in fact Roger Godbeard, who took the alias of Robin Hood to hide from authorities. Lots of his criminal activities support this idea, including robbing wealthy traverlers, poaching kings deer, and even leading a band of highwaymen in sherwood forest ("The Real Robin Hood,"2011). He also was notably captured by the sheriff of Nottingham, held and his jail, and tried in court for his crimes ("Was There a Real Robin Hood," 2010).


Theory #2: The name Robin Hood was just an alias used by common criminals, not just one person. Some court documents supported this idea, including the fact that some legal court systems in England shamed petty criminals by giving them the last name Robehod ("Robin Hood and his Historical Context," 2011).


Theory #3: Robert Hode was the real Robin Hood. According to documents, Robert was born around the medevil time Robin Hood lived, in 1225 ("The Real Robin Hood",2014). He also notably escaped prison, to romp around Sherwood forest under the name Hobbehod.

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What modern day research reveals:

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The Image Above

The picture above shows the texts of a ancient court document suggesting Roger Godbeard of criminal activity, and the punishiment he shall recieve. This is one way that historians have based the evidence of who Robin Hood really was, by intertpreting court papers.

My point of view:

The theory that I think is the most plausiable is the theory #1, claiming that Roger Godbeard was the real Robin Hood. He has the most historically supported evidence he was Robin including several court documents. We also can prove that he lived and died in Sherwood Forest and more. The other canidates merely have the name, but none have so much as activities that are characterized across the early ballads. However, we can never fully prove the identity.
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Works Cited:

Barcly, Shelly. "Was There A Real Robin Hood? | Historic Mysteries." Historic Mysteries. N.p., 14 May 2010. Web. 10 May 2016.

History.com Staff. "The Real Robin Hood." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 01 Jan. 2010. Web. 10 May 2016.

Ibeji, Dr. Mike. "Robin Hood and His Historical Context." BBC Nottingham. N.p., 2011. Web.

"Nottinghamshire Legends: Robin Hood." BBC Nottinghamshire. N.p., 2008. Web.

Parsons, Chris. "Is This the Grave of Robin Hood? Historian Claims Farmer Buried in an Unmarked Tomb Is the Outlaw behind the Legend." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 2011. Web. 10 May 2016.

"Who Was Maid Marion?" History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 10 May 2016.