Robin Hood's Bay
|Adm. div.||North Riding of Yorkshire|
|Vicinity||8 km S of Whitby|
|Interest||Robin Hood name|
|First Record||c. 1324–46|
|A.k.a.||Robin Hood's Town; 'Bay; Bay; Bay Town; Baytown|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-07. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-16. Entry based on information from Robert Lynley.
Robin Hood's Bay is the name of a bay on the North Yorkshire coast, 8 km south of Whitby, as well as a picturesque village on the north side of the bay. Cited as "Robyn Oeds Bay" in a letter sent from the count of Flanders to a King Edward (probably Edward II, possibly Edward III) some time in the period 1324–46 (see Allusions section below), Robin Hood's Bay is the earliest recorded of all Robin Hood place-names. Fishing was the main industry at Robin Hood's Bay until World War I, but already then this little picturesque town by the sea had become something of a tourist magnet. It is now a summer holiday resort for well-heeled Englishmen. The local colloquial name for the town is simply Bay; on early 20th century postcards – of which there are a substantial number – it can be found referred to as "Robin Hood's Town". As is the case in the letter from the count of Flanders, it is often impossible to decide whether historical allusions or references concern the bay, the settlement or both. For this reason IRHB does not include separate entries for the bay and village.
The only reference cited by A.H. Smith in the English Place-Name Society's volume on the North Riding of Yorkshire is the 1539 record entry found below, which he dates 1532. A printed edition of the record dates it "31-38 Henr. VIII", i.e. 22 April 1539 to 28 January 1547. It is uncertain whether it antedates John Leland's entries relating to Robin Hood's Bay (see 1535 allusions below) as these may date from any time from 1535 to 1543. Smith notes with regard to Robin Hood's Bay that "[t]he name is not found before the 16th cent. and probably arose from the popular ballad" (The Noble Fisherman, or, Robin Hood's Preferment). The editor of the 1539 accounts observes that the name "is never mentioned in any of the documents hitherto printed and connected with the Fylingdales Manor." He finds that "[t]he time and reason of its imposition appear to be hid in obscurity, and it is hard to frame even a probable surmise on the subject."
The allusion in the letter from the reign of Edward II or III was brought to light by Robert Lynley in 2006. See further 1324 - Louis, count of Flanders - Letter to Edward II or III, where the place-name 'Robin Hood' Bay' is discussed in detail from a historical and philological perspective.
REDDITUS ET FIRMÆ ROBIN HOODE BAYE. [...p. 743: ...] Alloc. reddituum. – Et in allocatione redd. sive firmarum decem cotagiorum de novo re-ædificatorum apud Robyn Hoode Bay superius infra summam ix li. xix s. ii d. onerat. ad xx s. – videl. quolibet eorum ii s. per annum. Eo quod eadem cotagia de novo ædificantur et quod nullus dies solutionis redditus inde post ædificationem eorundem accidebat prout satis constat officiariis D'ni Regis per examinationem super hunc compotum, XX s.
[6 August 1734:]
John King, additional assistant to the surveyor of the warehouses, London port, loco Charles Carkess, junior, preferred to be searcher at Gravesend, loco Wm. Parker, superannuated; Jonas Tettlay, riding officer at Robin Hood's Town, Whitby port, loco Thomas Medd, deceased.
[6 December 1743:]
Robert Hughes, tidesurveyor at Chester, loco John Poynton, deceased; John Fox, riding officer at Robin Hood's town, in Whitby port, loco Jonas Tetlay, deceased; John Woodill to succeed Pox as waiter and searcher at Reighton, in Scarborough port.
[13 Jan. 1873:]
THOMAS SMITH. I am a master mariner—I live at Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire—the name of my vessel is the Helen—this note is not in my handwriting, and it was not written by my authority—I have seen the prisoner before, where, I can hardly say, but I rather think he has sailed with me—I am not certain.
Trespoissans et treschers sires: a nous ont esté Jehan Cullin, bourgois de Nuefport en Flandres, et ses compaignons pescheurs, complaignant et mostrant que en | cest aoust darrainement passé il se misent en mer atout leur harnas pour gaaignier leur pain, si avoient pris, par l’aide de Dieu, .xvij. | lastz de herens, puis furent geriez decoste [?] Saint Edmont a autres d’Engleterre atout .vj. nefs, et pristrent la neif de mes bourgois dessus dis | atout l’avoir qui dedens estoit, et amenerent gentz atout [?] a Robyn Oeds Bay, ou les gens dou pays pristrent nos bourgois dessus dis et les | menerent a Witteby. Leur [sic] on plaida sur eux de leur vies, de quoy il furent jugiés quites sans calange par bone cognissance ... auq ... | de bones gens, et ne leur fu leur neif ne biens point delivrez ne renduz, sicome plus a plain il declarront les choses dessus dites qui sont ... | Treschers sires, nous vous prions, tant aimablement et de ceur que nous plus poons, qu’a nos dessus dis bourgois il vous plaist faire | rendre et restituer leur neif et biens dessus dis, ensi que faire on le doit par droit et par raison, quar vraiement che sont povrez gentz et | qui il convendra mendier se la dite restitution de lur nef et biens ne leur est faite hastivement et par vous en ce en aide de droit | soucouru. Trescher sires, si vous en plaise tant faire en consideration de droit et a meie pryere que nous en soions tenuz a vous de | faire le semblable a vostre requeste, lequel nous feriemes volenters et de ceur, et assez plus grant se il avenoit. Nostre Seigneur vous voille | garder corps et arme, et vous doinst bone vie et longue! Escrit a Male en Flandres le premier jour de March.
[Translation by Ian Short:]
Most powerful and most dear sire: Jean Cullin, a burgess of Nieuport in Flanders together with his fishermen companions, have come before me lodging a complaint and testifying that during the August recently past they set out to sea with their equipment in order to earn their living, and they had caught, with the help of God, eighteen measures [or lasts] of herrings, and subsequently they were attacked near Bury St Edmunds by some or other people [?] of England in six boats, and they seized the boat of my aforementioned burgesses together with all the possessions which were on board, and people [?] took them in addition [?] to Robin Hood's Bay, where the local people took our aforementioned burgesses captive and led them off to Whitby. There they were put on trial in relation to their way of life, from which the judgement was that they were discharged [or cleared] on good authority without any objection, but neither their boat nor their goods were handed over to them or returned, as they will explain in more detail in an oral statement of what has been stated above, which are ... Most dear sire, we beg you, as kindly and as sincerely as we possibly can, that it be pleasing to you to have returned and restored to our aforementioned burgesses the aforementioned boat and goods, as one should do in all justice and as reason dictates, for in truth they are poor people, and it will be necessary for them to become beggars if the said restitution of their boat and goods is not made promptly and if they are not helped in this, with legal aid, by you. Most dear sire, if it pleases you act in such a way as to take the law and my entreaty into consideration so that we become obligated to you to act in the same way should you ever request us to do so, this we would do willingly and sincerely, and all the more so if this should come about. May our Lord be willing to preserve you, body and soul, and may he grant you a good and long life! Written at Male in Flanders the first day of March.
From Scardeburg to Robyn Huddes Bay an 8. miles
Thens [i.e. from Scarborough] an 8. miles to a fischer tounlet of 20. bootes caullid Robyn Huddes Bay, a dok or bosom of a mile yn lenghth; and thens 4. miles to Whiteby [...]
Decayed state of the piers of Bridlington and Robin Hood's Bay, in Yorkshire. Requests that certain lordships of the Crown may be let for defraying the necessary repairs.
There is also a creke on eche side of Robin Whoods bay, of whose names and courses, I haue no skil sauing that Fillingale the towne doth stand betwene them both.
The Darwent ryseth in the hilles that lye west of Robin Whodes baie, or two myles aboue Ayton bridge, west of Scarborow as Lelande sayth: and eare it hath runne farre from the head, it receyueth two rilles in one bottome from by west, which ioyne withall about Langdale ende. Thence they go togyther to Broxey and at Hacknesse take in an other water comming from about Silsey. Afterwarde it commeth to Ayton, then to Haybridge, and there crosseth the Kenforde that descendeth from Roberteston. After this also it goeth on to Pottersbrumton where it taketh in one rill, as it doth another beneath running from Shirburne, and the thirde yet lower, on the fader bancke, that descendeth from Brumpton. From these confluences, it runneth to Fowlbridge, Axbridge, Yeldingham bridge, and so to Cotehouse, receyuing by the way many waters [...]
Was not master of any ship belonging to Rochester, but of one belonging to one Thompson, dwelling beside the castle near Rochester, who furnished her with victuals, munition, and seven men, besides examinate. A fly-boat, once Phippson's of Rochester, was set forth by Mr. Andrewes, the Queen's presser, whereof one Hodges was master, in which were 40 men, and a pinnace went with him. Twelve months since, Thompson bought broad cloths, hats, &c. of Phippson, between Coquet island and Newcastle, and sold 14 or 16 firkins of soap at Bridlington to Consett, one of Lord Clinton's men, who said he was deputy for the Lord Admiral.
Thompson also bought pewter of Clarke and Phippson, with two cables, but no anchors or sails. Was never at Robin Hood's bay, nor took or bought anything there, but Phippson gave Thompson, certain bunches of hemp and bed covers.
Of such ports and creeks as our seafaring-men doo note for their benefit vpon the coasts of England. Chap. 17.
In Yorkeshire, Dapnam sands, Steningreene, Staies, Runswike, Robinhoods baie, Whitbie, Scarborow, Fileie, Flamborow, Bricklington, Horneseie becke, Sister kirke, Kelseie, Cliffe, Pattenton, Holmes, Kenningham, Pall, Hidon, Hulbrige, Beuerleie, Hull, Hasell, Northferebie, Bucke creeke, Blacke cost, Wrethell, Howden.
I delivered Council's letter to the Mayor, but it produces only the impressing of three men. Their plea was that 33 sail went for London a day or two before I came. After two days I went to Burlington and pressed nine men, finding Sir Wm. Strickland most ready to promote the service. Thence to Scarborough and delivered Council's letter to the bailiffs, but to little purpose. I could only impress six strangers, not one townsman. Then to Whitby, but some ill-affected person having warned them, they got away, and I only impressed nine by aid of Capt. Axtell, late lieutenant of the Speaker, who might be useful in the other ports. Thence I came to Newcastle, but the Mayor would not mention impressing, lest the seamen on 208 sail for which a convoy was to be sent should run away. Thence I went to York, hoping help from the judges at the assizes, but they only gave me a slight warrant to the constables at Selby and Cawood.
I have taken up 45l. from Fras. Greame, collector at Hull. I enclose a list of ships bound for London. A frigate or two would be very useful on these coasts, as many ships are lost. Two Dutch men-of-war chased two English vessels into Robin Hood's Bay, and would have taken them but for the country and Capt. Axtell's company from Whitby. .[sic] Ensign Ledgard might be useful in impressing men at Scarborough, as there are many there, and the frigates would receive them; if an order was given to stay trading for the present, the fleet would soon be supplied.
Sailing from Harwich for Scotland, took an Ostend man-of-war off Robin Hood Bay, after a two hours' chase; intended to deliver her and the prisoners up at Newcastle, but there being no one there to receive them, made for Leith, and gave Lord Gen. Monk notice thereof, who ordered him to deliver them up there, which he has since done, and is now about to convoy several ships and vessels bound for London and other parts as far as the Yarmouth Roads.
Sailing to the northward last Sunday, and descrying a sail, I gave chase, and after doing so for six hours and firing several shots, I fetched her Up, and entered 40 men on board of her, which caused them to yield. I brought her into Whitby, and while riding at anchor, a boat arrived and certified there was another small rogue in Robin Hood's Bay. Having weighed anchor and sailed there, in a short time I had possession of him; only one of the enemy was killed and 2 of our men wounded, but they are likely to do well. I have set the men of both vessels, being 60 in number, on shore at Scarborough, and have the vessels still with me. As one has 4 guns and the other 8, I desire leave to keep one of them, as it is possible it may trepan some of his consorts, and there are many of them upon the coast. In the two vessels there were 4 masters belonging to Lynn and Colchester, who were to pay 250l. each. If you have any order for ine as to disposing of the vessels, I desire you will let me have it, either at Yarmouth or Scarborough, where I intend to leave one of them, and keep the other until you order to the contrary.
Whitby has a secure harbour for vessels, which by a drawbridge, after the Dutch manner, are let [p. 147:] into the town, which is of good esteem for trade. Thence four miles to Robin Hood's Bay, so named from that famous outlaw, who was born in Nottinghamshire, and flourished temp. Ricardi I. Thence over the sands to the moors, where was only observable his Butts, two little hills a quarter of a mile asunder. Thence by Cloughton to Scarborough [...]
Extract of a letter from the officer at Whitby, giving an account of the chasing an English pink into Robin Hood Bay, by five French privateers. The ship, when taken, was ransomed by the master going on board one of the privateers until 200l. came to him from Scarborough. They reported that they had 25 masters of ships on board on the same account, and that they were on the coast to receive their ransoms. It was suspected that they had great encouragement from the Jacobites, who would gladly go on board them to France.
So likewise a Part of the Sea takes its Name from this famous Robber, call'd Robin Hood's Bay, not very far from Whitby.
Left Scarborough, passed over large moors to Robin Hood's Bay. On my round, observed the vast mountains of alum stone, from which that salt is thus extracted: It is first calcined in great heaps, which continue burning by its own phlogiston, after being well set on fire by coals, for six, ten, or fourteen months, according to the size of the heap, some being equal to a small hill. It is then thrown into pits and steeped in water, to extract all the saline particles. The liquor is then run into other pits, where the vitriolic salts are precipitated, by the addition of a solution of the sal sodæ, prepared from kelp; or by the volatile alkali of stale urine. The superfluous water being then evaporated duely by boiling in large furnaces, the liquor is set to cool; and lastly, is poured into large casks, to crystallize.
The alum works of this county are of some antiquity; they were first discovered by Sir Thomas Chaloner, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who observing the trees tinged with an unusual color, made him suspicious of its being owing to some mineral in the neighborhood. He found out that the strata abounded with an aluminous salt.
At that time, the English being strangers to the method of managing it, there is a tradition that Sir Thomas was obliged to seduce some workmen from the Pope's alum-works near Rome then the greatest in Europe. If one may judge from the curse which his Holiness thundered out against Sir Thomas and [p. 22:] the fugitives, he certainly was not a little enraged; for he cursed by the very form that Ernulphus* has left us, and not varied a tittle from that most comprehensive of imprecations.
The first pits were near Gisborough, the seat of the Chaloners, who still flourish there, notwithstanding his Holiness's anathema. The works were so valuable as to be deemed a royal mine. Sir Paul Pindar, who rented them, payed annually to the King 12,500l. to the Earl of Musgrave 1,640l. to Sir William Pennyman 600l. kept 800 workmen in pay, and sold his alum at 26 l. per tun. But this monopoly was destroyed on the death of Charles I. and the right restored to the proprietors.
In these alum rocks are frequently found cornua ammonis, and other fossils, lodged in a stony nodule. Jet is sometimes met with in thin flat pieces, externally of the appearance of wood. According to Solinus, Britain was famous for this fossil**.
The sands near Robin Hood's village were covered with fish of several kinds, and with people who met the cobles in order to purchase their cargo: the place seemed as if a great fish fair had been held there; some were carrying off their bargains, others busied in curing the fish; and a little out at sea was a fleet of cobles and five men boats, and others arriving to discharge the capture of the preceding [p. 23:] tides*. There are 36 of the first belonging to this little place. The houses here make a grotesque appearance, are scattered over the face of a steep cliff in a very strange manner, and fill every projecting ledge, one above another, in the same manner as the peasants do in the rocky parts of China. Sand's End, Runwick, and Staithes, three other fishing-towns on this coast, are (as I am told) built in the same manner.
The country through this day's journey was hilly, the coast high.
In the days of this Abbot Richard, and Peter his successor, lived that famous and renowned outlaw Robin Hood, who took from the rich that he might have wherewithal to give to the poor. He many years kept under him a considerable number of men, who lived by rapine and plunder. He resided generally in Nottinghamshire, or the southern parts of Yorkshire: But when his robberies became so numerous, and the outcries against him so loud, as almost to alarm the whole nation, parties of soldiers were sent down from London to apprehend him: And then it was, that, fearing for his safety, he found it necessary to desert his usual haunts, and, retreating northward, to cross the moors that surrounded Whitby, where, gaining the sea-coast, he always had in readiness near at hand some small fishing vessels, to which he could have refuge, if he found himself pursued; for in these, putting oﬀ to sea, he looked upon himself as quite secure, and held the whole power of the English nation at deﬁance. The chief place of his resort at these times, where his boats were generally laid up, was about six miles from Whitby, to which he communicated his name, and which is still called Robin Hood's Bay. There he frequently went a fishing in the summer season, even when no enemy approached to annoy him; and not far from that place he had butts or marks set up, where he used to exercise his men in shooting with the long-bow. It was always believed that these butts had been erected by him for that very purpose, till the year 1771, when one of them being dug into, human bones were found therein, and it appeared they had been burying-places for the dead used by our pagan ancestors, either the Danes, the Saxons, or the ancient Britons, all of whom, it is certain, raised such kind of monuments over the bodies of their deceased friends and relations; which practice they borrowed from the Celts and Gauls; and these probably had it from the Jews, the Egyptians, and other eastern nations, who used it soon after Noah's ﬂood. However that be, there is no doubt but Robin made use of those houes or butts when he was disposed to exercise his men, and wanted to train them up in hitting a mark.
Tradition further informs us, that, in one of these peregrinations, he, attended by his trusty mate Little John, went to dine with the Abbot Richard, who, having heard them often famed for their great dexterity in shooting with the long-bow, begged them after dinner to shew him a specimen thereof; when, to oblige the Abbot, they went up to the top of the Abbey, whence each of them shot an arrow, which fell not far from Whitby-Laths, but on the contrary side of the lane; and in memorial thereof a pillar was set up [p. 147:] by the Abbot in the place where each of the arrows was found, which are yet sanding in these our days; that ﬁeld where the pillar for Robin Hood's arrow stands being sill called Robin Hood's Field, and the other where the pillar for Little John's arrow is placed, still preserving the name of John's Field. Their distance from Whitby-Abbey is more than a measured mile, which seems very far for the flight of an arrow, and is a circumstance that will stagger the faith of many; but as to the credibility of the story every reader may judge thereof as he thinks proper; only I must here beg leave to observe, that these very pillars are mentioned, and the ﬁelds called by the aforesaid names, in the old deeds for that ground, now in the possession of Mr. Thomas Watson.
[...] If we prefer the figurative meaning of the term larus, as corresponding better with streon, we may suppose that Streoneshalh [i.e. Whitby] derived its name from some greedy plunderer, or pirate, who like Robin Hood in a later era, had his abode in this retired quarter: and, in that case, we must call it Pirate's Bay. At the same time I may add, that if larus can be translated a gaping, as I find it is in an old dictionary, Streoneshalh might be rendered Gaping-Bay, or Open-Bay [...]
Nearer [than Stainton Dale] to Whitby is the inlet called Robin Hood's Bay, in the north-west part of which there is a fishing town of the same name, of a romantic appearance, containing about 1000 inhabitants. The village and bay derive their name from the celebrated outlaw Robin Hood, who is said to have frequented the spot.§ [...]
[Note §:] This Robin Hood (or Robert earl of Huntington) celebrated for his predatory exploits, is said to have died in the year 1247. According to tradition, he and his trusty mate Little John went to dine with one of the abbots of Whitby, and being desired by the abbot to try how far each of them could shoot an arrow, they both shot from the top of the abbey, and their arrows fell on the west side of Whitby Lathes, beside the lane leading from thence to Stainsacre; that of Robin Hood falling on the north side of the lane, and that of Little John about 100 feet further, on the south side of the lane. In the spot where Robin's arrow is said to have lighted stands a stone pillar about a foot square, and 4 feet high; and a similar pillar 2½ feet high, marks the place where John's arrow fell. The fields on the one side are called Robin Hood closes, and those on the other Little John closes. They are so termed in the conveyance, dated in 1713, from Hugh Cholmley, Esq. to John Watson, ancestor to the present proprietor, Mr. Rob. Watson. The tradition is scarcely credible, the distance of those pillars from the abbey being about a mile and a half. Much more incredible is the tradition, that Robin shot an arrow from the height where Stoupe Brow beacon is placed, right across the bay to the town which bears his name; having resolved to build a town where the arrow lighted. To the south of that beacon are two or three tumuli or barrows, called Robin Hood's butts; from a fabulous story of his using them as butts, when he exercised his men in shooting.
Little notice is taken here of May day, or of midsummer; nor is there any day devoted here to Robin Hood, though Robin once lived in our neighbourhood.
"ROBIN HOOD'S BAY
is a small fishing town, thirteen miles north from Scarborough*, and is frequently visited by strangers, on account of the alum-works in its vicinity. The road to it is stony and uneven, over a dreary barren moor, and the hill at Stoupe-brow† is impracticable for a carriage. On descending this hill, from the moor to the sands at Robin Hood's Bay, the road passes the alum-works, where the curiosity of the traveller is gratified with a view of those immense mountains of alum-stone from which the salt is extracted; and the interior works are worthy of observation.
"The road from the alum-works to the village of Robin Hood's Bay, is along the sandy beach, close under a high,steep cliff, to which the sea flows as the tide advances, and the passage is unsafe, except there be a spacious area of the sand uncovered by the water, or the tide be receding. [p. 89:]
"The Sea-coast northward from Scarborough is craggy, wild, and terrific, bending inward as far as the River Tees, and by its winding, forming this bay, nearly a mile in breadth. The sands here, are firm and level; but the shore, at a little distance from the Cliff, is rocky; and there is only a narrow passage from the sea, where the fishing boats can land in safety.
"The village consists of the habitations of fishermen, and once made a grotesque appearance, the houses being strangely scattered over the face of a steep cliff, and some of them hanging in an awful manner on the projecting ledges of the precipice; but this place has lately sustained a great alteration by the falling of the cliff; in consequence of which, the projecting houses and the pavement of the principal street as far as the fronts of the houses on the opposite side, are ruined, and a new road has been made from the landing-place through the interior part of the town. The village derives its name from that famous outlaw, Robin Hood."
- Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), p. 306, s.n. 'Robin Hood's Bay'
- Smith, A.H. The Place-Names of the North Riding of Yorkshire (English Place-Name Society, vol. 5) (Cambridge, 1928), pp. xxxix, 118.
- 6" O.S. map Yorkshire 47 (1853; surveyed: 1849)
- 6" O.S. map XLVII.NW (1895; surveyed: 1892) (Robin Hood's Bay town and bay both indicated.)
- 6" O.S. map XLVII.NW (1914; surveyed: 1910) (Robin Hood's Bay town and bay both indicated.)
- 6" O.S. map XLVII.NW (1930; surveyed: 1926) (Robin Hood's Bay town and bay both indicated.)
- 6" O.S. map XLVII.NW (1952; surveyed: 1950) (Robin Hood's Bay town and bay both indicated.)
- 1:25,000 O.S. map NZ90 & Parts of NZ91 (1954) (Robin Hood's Bay town and bay both indicated.)
- Mellor, Frank. Yorkshire, Quiet Places (Hendon Mill, Nelson, Lancashire, 1973), pp. -: 'Robin Hood's Bay'.
- Mellor, Frank. Yorkshire, Quiet Places. Second impression (Hendon Mill, Nelson, Lancashire, 1987), pp. -: 'Robin Hood's Bay'.
- Labistour, Patricia. A Rum Do! Smuggling in and around Robin Hood's Bay (Robin Hood's Bay, 1996)
- My Pennines: Robin Hood's Bay. Photos
- Pease, Alfred Edward, compil.; Fairfax-Blakeborough, John, annot. A Dictionary of the Dialect of the North Riding of Yorkshire (Whitby: Horne & Son, 1928), Appendix IV (unpaginated).
- Steers, J.A. The Coastline of England and Wales (Cambridge, 1946), pp. 446-48, 468. 473-74; on the physical geography and geology of the area
- Yorkshire Film Archive: Fylingdales (film 2642). c. 1955. Colour, silent film, 25.22 min; from 16.51 the film deals with Robin Hood's Bay.
- Brentnall, Margaret. 'Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest', [Unknown British travel and tourism magazine] (Dec. 1963), pp. 15-17, 58, see p. 58.
- Pease, Alfred Edward, compil.; Fairfax-Blakeborough, John, annot. A Dictionary of the Dialect of the North Riding of Yorkshire (Whitby: Horne & Son, 1928), Appendix IV (unpaginated).
- Smith, A.H. The Place-Names of the North Riding of Yorkshire (English Place-Name Society, vol. 5) (Cambridge, 1928), pp. xxxix, 118.
- Atkinson, John Christopher, ed. Cartularium Abathiæ de Whiteby (The Publications of the Surtees Society, vols. LXIX-LXXII) (Durham; [London]; Edinburgh, 1879-81), vol. , p. 719.
- Smith. op. cit., p. 118.
- Atkinson. op. cit., vol. , p. 741 n. 1.
- Atkinson, John Christopher, ed. Cartularium Abathiæ de Whiteby (The Publications of the Surtees Society, vols. LXIX-LXXII) (Durham; [London]; Edinburgh, 1879-81), vol. , pp. 741, 743.
- Shaw, William H., compil. Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers, 1731–1734. Preserved in the Public Record Office (London; Edinburgh and Glasgow: Dublin, 1898), p.685.
- Shaw, William H., compil. Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers, 1742–1745. Preserved in the Public Record Office (London; Edinburgh; Dublin, 1908), p. 438.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 13 Jan. 1873.
- National Archives SC 1/33/202. Transcription and translation by Ian Short.
- Leland, John; Smith, Lucy Toulmin, ed. The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the Years 1535-1543 (London, 1906-10), vol. I, p. 61.
- Leland, John; Smith, Lucy Toulmin, ed. The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the Years 1535-1543 (London, 1906-10), vol. I, p. 51.
- Lemon, Robert, ed. Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reigns of Edward Vi., Mary, Elizabeth, 1547–1580. Preserved in the State Paper Department of Her majesty's Public Record Office (London, 1856), p. 211.
- Holinshed, Raphael: [Wolfe, Reyner]; [Harrison, William]; [Stanyhurst, Richard]. The Firste volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande. Conteyning, the description and Chronicles of England, from the first inhabiting vnto the conquest. The description and Chronicles of Scotland, from the first originall of the Scottes nation, till the yeare of our Lorde. 1571. The description and Chronicles of Yrelande, likewise from the firste originall of that nation, vntill the yeare. 1547 (London, ), vol. I, [The First book of the description of Britaine]: Of the Sauerne streame and such falles of ryuers as go into the sea, betweene it and the Humber. Cap. 10 leaf 31r.
- Holinshed, Raphael: [Wolfe, Reyner]; [Harrison, William]; [Stanyhurst, Richard]. The Firste volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande. Conteyning, the description and Chronicles of England, from the first inhabiting vnto the conquest. The description and Chronicles of Scotland, from the first originall of the Scottes nation, till the yeare of our Lorde. 1571. The description and Chronicles of Yrelande, likewise from the firste originall of that nation, vntill the yeare. 1547 (London, ), vol. I, The Seconde Booke of the description of Britaine: Of such streames as fall into the maine riuers betweene Humber and the Thames. Cap. 3., leaf 69r.
- Green, Mary Anne Everett, ed.; Romilly, introd. Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of Elizabeth, Addenda, 1566–1579; preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office (London; Oxford; Cambridge; Edinburgh; Dublin, 1871), p. 539.
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- Charlton, Lionel. The History of Whitby, and of Whitby Abbey. Collected rom the original Records of the Abbey, and other authentic Memoirs, never before made public. Containing, Not only the History of Whitby and the Country adjacent, but also the Original and Antiquity of many particular Families and Places in other Parts of Yorkshire (York; London; Whitby, 1779), pp. 146-47.
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Robin Hood's Bay, by F.W. Fairholt, from F.W.'s review of Gutch, John Mathew, ed. A Lytell Geste of Robin Hode, with Other Ancient & Modern Ballads and Songs relating to this Celebrated Yeoman (London, 1847).
Robin Hood's Bay, the Gulley (from Macquoid, Thomas; Macquoid, Katharine. About Yorkshire (London, 1894), p. 335).