1883 - Bayzand, William - Coaching in and out of Oxford
|Title||Coaching in and out of Oxford from 1820 to 1840|
|Mentions||Robin Wood (Robin Hood); Little John|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-03. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-17.
Soon after leaving Whitchurch, we had two Fellows of [a] college, and they made a proposition to Joe Stephens, the coachman, that a verse of poetry extempore was to be made before they reached the Chequers Inn, Whitway, and if his was the best composition, they would give him [a] double fee. They were not long in repeating their verse. Not so with Stephens, for he was a long time thinking of his. We had reached the Common, and [were] within a 100 yards of the Chequers, when Stephens said, 'Gentlemen, I am ready,' –two pigs feeding on the green, belonging to Mr. Perkins, no doubt gave him the idea:
Mr. Perkins had two pigs,
As fine as one another;
Robin Wood1 was one's name.
Little John the other.'
'Bravo, Stephens ! You have fairly beaten us, and you shall have the double fee with pleasure.'
Editors' brackets. P. 309 n. 1: "N.B. Wood and Hood are dialectically pronounced '´ood.'"
William Bayzand, who wrote this anecdote in his memoirs, worked as a guard on the Mazepa coach from London via Oxford to Hereford in the years 1820-40. In 1840 or later he became janitor of Camera Radcliviana at Oxford. His MS memoirs, purchased by the Bodleian Library in 1884, were written, according to their title, when the author was in his 75th year. Based on this and the rare surname we can probably conclude that he is identical with a William Bayzand who was born in Worcestershire, 1808, and died in Oxford in 1886 aged 78. This yields a date of writing of c. 1883. He would have been only 12 years when he started work on the coach. This sounds a little young for a "guard", but he may have started in another position. Bayzand does not say when the incident occurred. "Whitchurch" is Whitchurch-on-Thames. For other examples of 'Wood' for 'Hood', see the page on Wood for Hood. The allusion has not been included in previous lists or studies.
- Not included in Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 293-11.
- Outside scope of Sussex, Lucy, compil. 'References to Robin Hood up to 1600', in: Knight, Stephen. Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 262-88.
- Bayzand, William. '[MS. Bodl. Add. A. 262.] Coaching in and out of Oxford from 1820 to 1840. By a Chip of the Old Block (with Anecdotes and Reminiscences) in His 75th Year [i.e. William Bayzand, for Many Years Janitor at the Camera Radcliviana] [Purchased in 1884 from the Writer]', in: Committee of Oxford Historical Society, ed. Collectanea, Fourth Series (Oxford, 1905), pp. 266-309, see p. 303 & n. 1.
- Bayzand, William. '[MS. Bodl. Add. A. 262.] Coaching in and out of Oxford from 1820 to 1840. By a Chip of the Old Block (with Anecdotes and Reminiscences) in His 75th Year [i.e. William Bayzand, for Many Years Janitor at the Camera Radcliviana] [Purchased in 1884 from the Writer]', in: Committee of Oxford Historical Society, ed. Collectanea, Fourth Series (Oxford, 1905), pp. 266-309, p. 303 & n. 1.
- Mundia: William Bayzand Profile.