Braunton festivals

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Locality Braunton
Vicinity c. 8 km WNW of Barnstaple
Coordinate 51.108135, -4.160709
Adm. div. Devon
Began 1562
Ended 1563/64
Events Robin Hood and his company; coat made for Robin Hood (twice); payment to Robin Hood and his company in connection with a church ale; payment for Little John's coat.

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Village green, Braunton / William Bedell, via Wikimedia Commons.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2015-08-23. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


Item for meat & drynke for Robyn hoode & his commpany ij s. [1]

...Item payd for cloth to make Robyn hoodes Cote xijs


...Item for Robyn hood & hys Company xij d....[2]

Item payd for wood & vorses – iiij s ij d/ Item for Cuppes & quartes
vij d/ Item payd for cloth to make Robyn hoodes Cote – xij s/
In primis we payd to Mr Wylliam Bellew Esquyre for vorses – iiij s/
Item for heowyng of þe same – xviij d Item for carydge of þe same
vorses – ij s/ Item to Iohn Colemore for wood – viij d/ Item for
carrayge of þe same wood – iij d/ Item to Iohanna Crowne for
brewyng our ale – iij s x d/ Item for her gallon of ale – vj d/ Item for
our meat & drynke when we brew – ij s iij d Item for vj li. of hoppes –
ij s/ Item for [Seanes] Steanes/Cuppes/ & quartes – xij d/ Item for ij
treing dysshes & a ladle – iij d/ Item to Iames Whyte for bakyng our
bred & pyes – xvj d/ Item for Robyn hood & hys Company – xij d/
Item for þe poore people þe brotherhed day – vj d/ Item for beryng
inof wood of þ churcheyerd – vj d/ Item to Mathew ffosse to be our
Cooke – xij d/ Item payd toward þr scolle at heanton – xx d/ Item
for makyng of thys accompt – xij d
   Summa – xlv s x d
Item payd to phylyp walter for þr churche howse ⌈ for stones⌉ – x
li. xj s vij ⌈d⌉
      Summa Totallis – xij li. xvij s vij d/ So Remeynes of our
ales mony – xlj s ij d/ So remeynes in our handes þe whole – xvij li.
iij s viij d ob. quadrata Item there ys delyvyred to Thomazs Stote &
wylliam Cocke being þe new wardens – xvij li. iij s iiij d/&c/
      ffinis [3]

Item payde for litle Iohns Cote vj s viij d.... [4]

Source notes

Non-bracketed ellipses as in Wasson (1986), p. 52.
1560/61 entry in churchwardens' accounts under heading: "Wardens of St John and St George: Payments", rendered Nov. 8.
1562 entries: "Wardens of St John and St George: Allowances" (payment for Robin Hood & his company under sub-heading "Whitsuntide"), rendered Oct. 17.
1563/64 entry under heading "Wardens of St John and St George: Allowances", rendered Oct. 14.
1562: marginal note "Wytsontyde" against entry of payment to "Mr Wylliam Bellew"; payment for Robin Hood's coat: "for...Cote underlined, and marked with cross in margin in later hand.
Wasson (1986), p. 577, s.n. "vorses": "timbers (?)".
Wasson (1986), p. xxxiii: The Guild of St John and St George held two church ales a year,[5] at Easter and Whitsuntide, and was in charge of the Robin Hood entertainment.
Wasson (1986a), p. xxv, notes the relative abundance of Robin Hood entries in Devon records, but warns against assuming the events in question were all of a dramatic nature, noting that the chief tasks of the persons elected Robin Hood and Little John were to collect money for the parish and frequently to serve as ale wardens; in most cases the records are not explicit as to the nature of the events.

IRHB comments

In addition to the above entries relating to Robin Hood, the churchwardens' accounts of St Brannock's, Braunton, during the period 1560/61 – 1573/74 include payments to players from Pilton and to players of interludes led by one James Crown.[6] There may be many entries relating to church ales (without Robin Hood entertainments) in the Braunton churchwardens' accounts. Such entries are generally excluded from the REED volumes unless there is some indication of (possibly) dramatic activities of one sort or another. Wasson on one occasion refers to the Robin Hood-related activities at Braunton as a "Robin Hood play",[7] but in fact we do not know what kind of activity was involved.

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