1720 - Strype, John - Survey of London and Westminster (01)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 1720
Author Strype, John
Title A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster
Mentions Henry VIII's May Day celebration at Shooter's Hill
Loading map...
Shooter's Hill.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-25. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2022-05-17.


In the Month of May, namely on May Day, in the Morning, every Man, except Impediment, would walk into the sweet Meadows and green Woods, there to rejoice their Spirits with the Beauty and Savour of sweet Flowers, and with the Noise of Birds, praising God in their Kind. And for more notable Example hereof, Edward Hall hath noted, that King Henry the Eighth, as in the Third of his Reign, and divers other Years, so namely in the Seventh of his Reign, on May Day in the Morning, with Queen Katharine his Wife, accompanied with many Lords and Ladies, rode a Maying from Greenwich to the high Ground of Shooters Hill; where as they passed by the Way they espied a Company of tall Yeomen, clothed all in Green, with green Hoods, and with Bows and Arrows to the Number of 200. One, being their Chieftain, was called Robin Hood, who required the King and all his Company to stay and see his Men shoot, whereunto the King granting, Robin Hood whistled, and all the 200 Arches shot off, losing all at once; and when he whistled again they likewise shot again; their Arrows whistled by Craft of the Head, so that the Noise was strange and loud, which greatly delighted the King, Queen, and their Company.

Moreover, this Robin Hood desired the King and Queen, with their Retinue to enter the green Wood, where, in Arbors made with Boughs, and decked with Flowers, they were set and served plentifully with Venison and Wine, by Robin Hood and his Men, to their great Contentment, and had other Pageants and Pastimes, as ye may read in my said Author.[1]

Source notes

Marginal notes, top of first paragraph: "Maygames. | Edward Hall. | Robin Hood and his Men shoot before the King." IRHB's "|" indicate line shift.

IRHB comments

Walter Moseley's in his Essay on Archery (1792) notes, with reference to the account of this event in Holinshed's Chronicle (1587), that it is the earliest example of the use of whistling arrows in England.[2]




Also see