Farway festivals

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Locality Farway
Vicinity c. 5.6 km SE of Honiton
Coordinate 50.753546, -3.162126
Adm. div. Devon
Began 1567
Ended 1567
Events Walter Bucknole chosen Robert Hood (Robin Hood)

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By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2015-08-26. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


Item walter bucwknoll was chosen Robert howde one
daye & after put owt yeat freyd to the paryshe v s vj d.[1]

Source notes

"⌜⌝" indicates "interlineation above the line"; "˄" represents a caret mark in Wasson's source.[2]
Account rendered 1 November.
Wasson (1986), p. 562, s.n. 'freyd': "'freed,' made available (of sums of money) (?), or 'frayed,' defrayed, ie, paid (?)".
Wasson, 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.
Wasson (1986), p. lxii: There were church ales at Farway in the years 1564-67
Wasson (1986), p. xlvii: " The chief source of income seems to have been the annual Whitsun ale, but [...] [the surviving accounts] provide no details about entertainment."

IRHB comments

The first of the glosses Wasson suggests for the verb "freyed" is entirely unknown to OED2, whereas the verb "fray", an aphetic form of "defray" is recorded 1450-1631.[3] Apharesis of 'de-' in verbs can hardly be called rare in this period.[4] The surname Bucknole is still current. Bucknole is also still found as an element of place-names in Farway.[5]

Lists and gazetteers

MS sources

Printed sources



  1. Wasson, John M., ed. Devon. (Records of Early English Drama) (Toronto; Buffalo; London, ©1986), p. 207.
  2. Wasson (1986), p. 2.
  3. OED2, s.n. 'free', v.; 'fray', v.3.
  4. Thus for instance OED2 notes, s.n. 'spoil', v.1, that this verb is perhaps "also to some extent an aphetic form of despoil, v." Also see OED2, s.n. 'file', v.2, (= defile); 'fend', v. (= defend) is probably the most well-known verb with apheresis of "de-".
  5. See for instance the original description of the photo of Farway found on this page.