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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/501

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12 S.X. MAY 27, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 411 "A ROklN HOOD WIND." (7 S. xi. 248 ; 12 S. x. 378.) I HAVE frequently heard in this locality not only the saying " Robin Hood could stand any wind but a thaw wind," but also : All sorts of weather could Robin Hood bide, But a cold thaw wind off a high hill-side. In repeating either of these sayings " wind " is usually pronounced to rhyme with ;i find." As to why the name of Robin Hood should be coupled with a thaw wind, it must be recollected that he was for many centuries a popular hero. Though usually associated with Sherwood Forest, the ballads make him of Yorkshire descent, and various incidents in his career point to the conclusion that during his earliest years he lived in the neighbourhood of Wakefield. A great part of his adventurous life was spent in York- shire, and he ended his days at Kirklees Nunnery, to the Prioress of which he is repre- sented as being related, and by whose treachery he was allowed to bleed to death. She blooded him in the vein of the arm, And locked him up in the room ; And there did he bleed all the live-long day, Until the next day at noon. His memory was kept alive by numerous ballads which were widely current at an early period, as witness the following lines in

  • Piers Plowman ' :

I kan not perfitly my paternoster as the prest it sayeth, But I kan rymes of Robyn Hode and Randolf Earl of Chester. His popularity was fostered by his persona- tion in May Day games and other popular sports. Harland and Wilkinson ( ; Legends and Traditions of Lancashire ') say : In the sixteenth century, and perhaps earlier, Robin Hood presided in the May Day pageant as Lord of the May, and Maid Marian was the Lady of the May. Their companions were dis- tinguished as " Robin Hood's men," and were all dressed in Lincoln Green. In Garrick's collection of old plays is one entitled ' A new Play of Robin Hood, for to be played in the May games, very pleasant and full of pastime.' Bishop Hugh Latimer, in his sixth sermon before Edward VI., re- lates that once, riding on a journey home- ward from London, he sent word beforehand that he would preach at a certain place the next morning. On arriving there at the appointed time, instead of finding, as he expected, the church full of people waiting to hear him, he found it locked up, and after waiting over half an hour till the key was found, one of the parish came to him and said, " Sir, this is a busy day with us, we cannot hear you ; it is Robin Hood's day. The parish are gone abroad to gather for Robin Hood : I pray you let [i.e. hinder] them not." Hollingworth states that John Bradford, the martyr, preaching at Manchester in Edward VI. 's reign, prophesied that because the people did not readily embrace the Word of God, Mass should be said again at the Collegiate Church and the play of Robin Hood acted there, which, he adds, accord- ingly came to pass in Queen Mary's reign. Drayton, writing in the reign of James I., in his ' Polyolbion,' sings of Robin Hood and his companions : In this our spacious Isle I think there is not one But he hath heard some talk of him and Little John ; And to the end of time the tales shall ne'er be done, Of Scarlock, George-a-Green, and Much the Miller's son ; Of Tuck the merry friar, which many a sermon made In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws and their trade. Robin Hood has given his name to many places throughout the country, such as Robin Hood's Hill, Robin Hood's Chair, and Robin Hood's Bay. We have two Robin Hood Wells in this neighbourhood ; one near the top of Pendle, above Downham, which is probably the spring at which George Fox drank, as recorded in his Journal ; and the other on Grindleton Fell, a very strong spring, which is one of the sources of the excellent water supply that Clitheroe now enjoys. There is also a Robin Hood Well a little to the North of Doncaster, on the Great North Road. Larwood and Hotten, in their ' History of Signboards,' say that the most frequent sign, derived from the ancient ballads, is undoubtedly that of Robin Hood and Little John, which is often accompanied by a verse, the language of which slightly varies, but which, to the best of my recollection, on a West Riding inn runs as follows : Stay, traveller, stay ; the ale is good, Step in and drink with Robin Hood, If Robin Hood is not at home, Then take a glass with Little John. The use of Robin Hood's name became proverbial in many connexions. There is the proverb (found in Walker's ' Proverbs,' A.D. 1672), " Many talk of Robin Hood that never shot in his bow," which appears in