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1757 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey

Record
Date 1757
Topic Criminals meet at Robin Hood on High Holborn
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Site of Robin Hood on High Holborn.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-16. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-10-18.

Record

14 Sep. 1757:]
Q. from Price. What day was this, or what time of the day ?

Bell. To the best of my knowledge it was between ten and twelve. I do not know the day of the month. We went to a publick house near the edge of the town, I think it was the Robin Hood in Holbourn, just by Little Queen street. We found some half crowns, some shillings, some halfpence, and a silver groat. I can't be positive to the sum, because those that took the money out of the prosecutor's pocket, sunk some of it; we had each of us about half a crown. Then we went to our lodgings. I then lodg'd in Bolton-street, at a coach-maker's.[1]

Source notes

IRHB has silently regularized the use of spaces before punctuation marks in the quotation and corrected the HTML text at Proceedings of the Old Bailey from the PDF of the original printed edition.

IRHB comments

There were (at least) three public houses named the Robin Hood in Holborn: one in Leather Lane, the other in the now lost Robin Hood Court, and that at 281 High Holborn. We seem to be concerned with the last of these in the above passage. Lockie in his Topography of London (editions of 1810 and 1813) lists no less than 32 streets in London named Queen Street, Little or Great Queen Street etc.,[2] but only the surviving Great and the lost Little Queen Street near Lincolns' Inn Fields can be said to be close to one of the Robin Hoods in Holborn: that at 281 High Holborn. However, these Queen Streets were about 400 m west of the pub, so "just by Little Queen street" seems a little odd, but perhaps Mr Bell was confusing this pub with another clsoer to Great or Little Queen Street? After all he only says he thinks this was the pub where he and his fellow culprits met. The full case summary mentions both Great and Little Queen Street several times and Holborn once, so the identity of these streets is not in doubt. If Mr Bell was not just being imprecise, could there have been a fourth Robin Hood pub in Holborn? Or perhaps that later found at 281 High Holborn was then located a little further west? Perhaps the numbering of the houses changed considerably at one point?

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