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1539 - Dodsworth, Roger - Notes

Allusion
Date No later than 1539
Author Dodsworth, Roger
Title Notes
Mentions Robin Hood's Well [near Barnsdale]

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-07-05. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-28. Revised on the basis of comments from Geoff Spencer.

Allusion

At Himsworth there be 2 or 3 litle springs which meeting together make a small current, & come to South Kirkby (a towne pleasantly seated where the family of the Tregotts haue a long time liued in good reputation), by Elmsall where Wentworth hath his mansion, haueing long since descended out of Wentworth Woodhouse, & by marriage of the daughter and heire of . . . . Biset haue good Lands in this Tract from whom the Lo. Wentworth descended. Thence it goeth to Hampull a house of Nunns [...] nere vnto wch place St. Richard the Hermit liued, from hence to Robbin- [p. 12:] hood-well wch J rather take to be the Hermit's well near Adwicke in the Street, And through Bentley by Arksey, & falleth into Dun at Wheatley.[1]

IRHB comments

A.H. Smith dates this passage from one of Roger Dodsworth's notebooks to the 16th century.[2] Dodsworth, whose dates are 1585–1654, "devoted himself early to antiquarian research",[3] but I find it hard to believe he should have written the above before he reached the age of 15, which he would have to have done for it to be of 16th century date. Moreover, had this been the case, the date would be so shortly before 1600 that Smith would hardly simply have dated the note to the 16th century. Something like "c. 1600" or "late 16th cent." would have been more natural. On the library's website, the c. 160 Dodsworth MSS in the Bodleian Library are described as "Dodsworth's manuscripts, including transcripts, extracts and notes relating to Yorkshire and monastic houses, and pedigrees, mainly of Yorkshire families", and their dates of creation are cited as "12th-17th century".[4] I believe that in assigning the note to the 16th century, Smith was treating Dodsworth's note as a copy of an older source and suggesting a date for the latter, and there seems to be support for this conclusion in the text. The sentence "Thence it goeth to Hampull a house of Nunns" does not seem natural if written long after Hampole Priory was dissolved, which happened on 19 Nov. 1539.[5] Hence I arrive at the tentative date cited above. When I first wrote this entry, I did not succeed, with the sources I had, in dating or narrowing down the date of the passage on the basis of the references to local people and families. It is possible this could be done with further research.

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