By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-08. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-04-26.
With regard to the name of Adam Bell's comrade, William of Cloudesly, it may be noted that there are a Cloudesly Bush and Cloudesly Farm in Withybrook, Warwickshire, the former being first recorded in 1576. However, beyond the name there is nothing to connect Cloudesly Bush with Adam Bell's companion.
Primary sources: literary
Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesly (Child 116)
Scholarly and literary editions
- Child, Francis James, ed.; [Kittredge, G. L.], ed.; [Ireland, Catharine Innes], bibl. The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Boston and New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, ©1882-98), vol. III, pp. 14-39. Additions and corrections: vol. IV, p. 496; vol. V, p. 297.
- Flügel, Ewald, ed. Neuenglisches Lesebuch (Halle a. S., 1895), pp. 186-92, notes pp. 456-57
- Knight, Stephen, ed.; Ohlgren, Thomas, ed. Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales (Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1997), pp. 235-67.
- Knight, Stephen, ed.; Ohlgren, Thomas H., ed. Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesley (TEAMS Middle English Texts Series); web edition of preceding.
- Hahn, Thomas, adapt. 'Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough and William of Cloudesley', in: Ohlgren, Thomas H., ed. A Book of Medieval Outlaws: Ten Tales in Modern English (Stroud, 1998), pp. 239-52, 320-23. Modern English prose translation.
- Hahn, Thomas, adapt. 'Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough and William of Cloudesley', in: Ohlgren, Thomas H., ed. A Book of Medieval Outlaws: Ten Tales in Modern English (Stroud, 2000), pp. 239-52, 320-23. Modern English prose translation.
- Hahn, Thomas, adapt. 'Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough and William of Cloudesley', in: Ohlgren, Thomas H., ed. Medieval Outlaws: Twelve Tales in Modern English Translation. Revised and Expanded Edition (Anderson, SC, 2005), pp. 397-419. Modern English prose translation.
The Second Part of Adam Bell (Child 116 Appendix)
Scholarly and literary editions
- Child, Francis James, ed.; [Kittredge, G. L.], ed.; [Ireland, Catharine Innes], bibl. The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Boston and New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, ©1882-98), vol. III, pp. 34-39.
- C., A. 'English Romantic Ballads. No. VIII. William of Cloudeslie.—Robin Goodfellow', The Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1839), pp. 44-47; see pp. 44-46.
The woman wantonnesse, shee commes with ticing traine,
Pride in hir pocket plaies bo peepe, and bawdry in hir braine.
Hir handmaides be deceipte, daunger, and dalliaunce,
Riot and Revell follow hir, they be of hir alliaunce:
Next these commes in Sim Swashe, to see what sturre they keepe.
Clim of the Clough then takes his heeles, tis time for him to creepe: [p. 70:]
To packe the pageaunt up, commes Sorrow with a song,
He say[s] these jestes can get no grotes, & al this geare goth wrong
Clim of the clough, thou that vsest to drinke nothing but scalding lead and sulphur in hell, thou art not so greedie of thy night geare.
He that will passe into a Clownes conceit,
Let him take heed he know a clouted shooe,
Lest him be cousoned with a close deceit:
When seely Fooles know not what Knaues can do,
With, Yea, and Nay, to bring an Ideot to:
But if he kindly know Clim of the Clough,
Then let him passe, he shall doe well enough.
What maist thou be that ould Winken de word,
that of all shepheards wert the man alone,
that once with laughter shook'st the shepheardes
with thyne own madnes lastly ouerthrown (boord
I think thou dotst in thy declining age.
Or for the loosnesse of thy youth art sory, [p. 69:]
and therefore vowed som solemn pilgrimage
to holy Hayles, or Patricks purgatory,
Come sit we down vnder this Hawthorn tree,
the morrows light shall lend vs day enough,
And let vs tel of Gawen, or Sir Guy.
Of Robin-hood, or of ould Clim a Clough,
Or els some Romant vnto vs areede,
By former shepheards taught thee in thy youth,
Of noble Lords and Ladies gentle deed
Or of thy Loue or of thy lasses trueth.
Shepheard no no, that world with me is past,
Merry was it when we those toys might tell
But tis not now as when thou sawst me last
A great mischance me since that time befel,
Elphin is dead, and in his graue is layde,
O to report it, how my hart it greueth,
Cruel that fate that so the time betrayd
And of our ioyes vntimely vs depriueth.
Good deeds, sir Doctor Dogs'-Meat. 'Slight, I bring you
No cheating Clim-o'-the-Cloughs, or Claribels,
That look as big as five-and-fifty, and flush;
And spit out secrets like hot custard— 
As it drew on towards eventide, the mirth increased. The rude legendary ballads of Sir Lancelot of the Lake, Beavois [sic] of Southampton, Robin Hood, The Pindar of Wakefield, and the Friar of Fountain's Abbey, Clim of the Clough, Ranulph of Chester, his Exploits in the Holy Land, together with the wondrous deeds of war and love performed by Sir Roger of Calverly, had been sung and recited to strange and uncouth music. Carols, too, were chanted between whiles in a most unreverend fashion. A huge Christmas pie, made in the shape of a cratch or cradle, was placed on the board. This being accounted a great test of orthodoxy, every one was obliged to eat a slice, lest he should be suspected of favouring the heretical tenets then spreading widely throughout the land.
Studies and criticism
- Collier, John Payne. 'Old Popular Poetry: "Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, and William of Cloudesly"', Notes & Queries, Series 1, vol. VII (1853), pp. 445-46.
- Bryant, Frank E. 'Clim of the Clough', Notes & Queries, Series 10, vol. XII (1909), pp. 386-87
- Clouston, W. A. 'William Tell and the Apple', Notes & Queries, Series 7, vol. IV (1887), pp. 241-42; lists Adam Bell among analogues of William Tell's apple shooting feat; cites at length a Persian analogue to this incident.
- Doran, John. 'William Tell a Scotsman', Notes & Queries, Series 4, vol. X (1872), pp. 285-86; on analogues to the apple shooting incident in the William Tell tradition, including Adam Bell.
- Gibson, Geoffrey. 'The Origins of William Tell', Journal of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries, vol. 18 (1975), pp. 6-8; see pp. 7-8
- Moore, John Robert. 'Omission of the Central Action in English Ballads', Modern Philology, vol. XIII (1914), pp. 391-406; see p. 394.
- R., G.H. 'William Tell Legend', Notes & Queries, Series 1, vol. III (1851), p. 187, lists Adam Bell and three other analogues to William Tell's apple shooting feat.
- Stockton, Edwin L. 'Archery in the Ballads', Journal of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries, vol. 5 (1962), pp. 40-44, see p. 42.
- Gover, J.E.B.; Mawer, Allen; Stenton, F.M.; Houghton, F.T. S. The Place-Names of Warwickshire (English Place-Name Society, vol. XIII) (Cambridge, 1936). p. 122, where no source or date is cited for the farm.
- Holt, J.C. Robin Hood (London, 1982), p. 69; facsimile p. 70; p. 194, n. 2 to ch. IV.
- Gascoigne, George; Cunliffe, John W., ed. The Complete Works of George Gascoigne (Cambridge, 1907-10), vol. I, pp. 69-70.
- Nashe, Thomas; McKerrow, Ronald Brunlees, ed.; Wilson, F.P., ed. The Works of Thomas Nashe (Oxford, 1966), vol. I, p. 206.
- Breton, Nicholas; Grosart, Alexander B., ed. The Works in Verse and Prose of Nicholas Breton (Chertsey Worthies' Library) (St George's, Blackburn, Lancashire, 1879), p. 5 of Pasquils Passe (separately paginated).
- Drayton, Michael. Poemes, Lyrick and Pastorall (Publications of the Spenser Society, New Series, Issue No. 4) (1891), pp. 68-69.
- Jonson, Ben; Adams, Robert Martin, ed. Ben Jonson's Plays and Masques (New York and London, ©1979), p. 185.
- Roby, John. Traditions of Lancashire (London, 1829), vol. I, p. 167.