1429 - Anonymous - Year Book

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 1429
Author Anonymous
Title Year Book 7 Henry VI
Mentions Robin Hood in Barnsdale stood [legal maxim]

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-08-10. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2015-08-28.


Annuite porte par un Abbe vers un Parson. Et connta qe labbe et ses predecessors avoyent este seisis de x. s. de rent del Eglise de B. a prendre par les mains le person de temps don't il ny ad memory. Paston. Le Dean de Pauls come en droit de sa Eglise de Pauls ad este seisi de xl. s. issant de meme leglise et vous avez este seisis de x. s. en le maner come vous auez suppose par vostre bref etc. Prest etc. Rolf. Robin Hode en Barnesdale stode. Sans ceo qe vous avez este seisis etc. car vostre ple est tant a purpose [...]

[IRHB translation:]
Annuity received by an abbot from a parson. And states that the abbot and his predecessors had been seised of 10s. in rent from the church of B. to be paid by the hands of the parson from time out of memory. Paston. The Dean of Paul's by right of his church of St Paul's has been seised of 40s. issuing from the same church and you have been seised of 10s. in the manner stated in your brief. Given etc. Rolf. Robin Hood in Barnsdale stood. Without your having been seised etc. for though your plea is to the effect that [...][1]

Source notes

The translation could no doubt be amended by anyone with knowledge of Law French. W.C. Bolland cites the case summary as a footnote to the following passage in his monograph on year books:

There is a fragment of a ballad, or what is supposed to be such, which has baffled all research as to its origin, "Robert Hood in Barnsdale stood." Editors of our ballad literature have tried to find the original source of this verse. The earliest occurrence of it which they have been able to discover is in Nicholas Udall's translation of the Apothegms of Erasmus, first printed in 1542.1 But the Year Books tell us that it was quoted in Court a hundred and fifteen years earlier than this, and quoted in circumstances which seem to show that even then it was a well-known and familiar phrase.[2]

Note 1: "Evans's Old Ballads (1810), II, p. 194."

IRHB comments

The allusion to Robin Hood is the earliest citation of a legal maxim that was quoted in a number of cases before the end of the 17th century. For examples, see IRHB's page entitled Robin Hood in Barnsdale stood.





Also see


  1. Bolland, W. C. A Manual of Year Book Studies (Cambridge Studies in English Legal History) (Cambridge, 1925), p. 107 n. 2, citing "Year Books, Pasch. 7 Henry VI, p. 37, case 45."
  2. Bolland (1925), p. 107.