1420 - Wyntoun, Andrew of - Original Chronicle (1)

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Date c. 1420
Author Wyntoun, Andrew of
Title The Original Chronicle
Mentions Robin Hood; Little John; Inglewood [Cumberland]; Barnsdale

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-07. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


litill Iohne and Robyne rude
Waichmen were commendit gud
In Yngilwod and Bernysdale,
And vsit þis tyme þer travale.
[Wemyss MS, ll. 3453-56.]

Litil Iohun and Robert Hude
Waythmen war commendit gud;
In Ingilwode and Bernnysdaile
Þai oyssit al þis tyme þar trawale.
[Cottonian MS, ll. 3525-28.][1]

Source notes

Variant readings for the passage include the following. Robert: Robyne, Ruben; Waythmen: Wicht men; Ingilwode: Ingland Woddis, Inglis Wod. Note "rude", in the first line, a in printed source.

IRHB comments

This allusion occurs in book VII under the year 1283, i.e. during the reign of Edward I. Wyntoun's chronicle is preserved in nine MSS.

"Yngilwod" is Inglewood forest in Cumberland. Wyntoun is the only writer to locate Robin Hood's activities in that area. "Inglewood" at first denoted a smaller, more well-defined area, but over time it became a general name for forested areas in Cumberland. Discussing the extent and administrative history of Inglewood forest in the Middle Ages, F.H.M. Parker notes:

Properly, Inglewood denoted the forest between Eden and Shawk, the beck forming the head of the Wampool; but it was afterwards used in a wider sense, the other forests [those of Copeland and Westward] being treated as bailiwicks within it. In this extended sense, the one in which the name is far the more often used, it probably conveyed exactly the same idea as the Forest of Cumberland did, neither meaning a specific tract of country, but the whole of the royal forest land in the county, whatever area that included at the time.[2]

Wyntoun is the first writer to mention Little John and the first to mention Barnsdale as a locale of the tradition.






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