1604 - Anonymous - Jack of Dover

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 1604
Author Anonymous
Title Jacke of Dover: His Quest of Inquirie, or his Privy Search for the Veriest Foole in England
Mentions Robin Hood; Sherwood Forest; Robin Hood's Well [in Nottingham]

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-08-15. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


Upon a time (quoth one of the jurie) it was my chaunce to be in the cittie of Herforde, when lodging in an inn I was tolde of a certain silly witted gentleman there dwelling, that wold assuredly beleeve all things that he heard for a truth, to whose house I went upon a sleeveles arrand, and finding occasion to be acquainted with him, I was well entertained, and for three dayes space had my bed and boord in his house, where amongst many other fooleries, I being a traveller made him beleeve that the steeple in Burndwood in Essex sayled in one night as far as Callis in Fraunce, and afterward returned againe to his proper place. Another time I made him beleeve that in the forest of Sherwood in Nottinghamshire were seene five hundred of the king of Spaines gallies, which went to besiedge Robbinhoodes well, and that fourty thousand schollers with elderne squirts performed such a peece of service, as they were all in a manner broken and overthrowne in the forrest. Another time I made him beleeve that Westminster hall, for suspition of treason, was banished [p. 5:] for ten years into Staffordshire. And last of all, I made him beleeve that a tinker should be bayted to death at Canterbury for getting two and twenty children in a yeere: whereupon, to proove me a lyer, he tooke his horse and rode thither; and I, to verrifie him a foole, tooke my horse and rode hither. Well, quoth Jack of Dover, this in my minde was pretty foolerie, but yet the Foole of all Fooles is not heere found that I looke for.[1]

IRHB comments

Jacke of Dover was entered in the Stationer’s Register on 3 Aug. 1601.



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