Robin Hood (St James's Square)
|Adm. div.||Middlesex, now Greater London|
|Vicinity||On Charles II Street, NE of St James's Square, St James's, Westminster|
|Interest||Robin Hood name|
|A.k.a.||Robin-hood; Robin Hood and Little John|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-21. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.
A pub named the Robin Hood existed at one of London's most fashionable addresses, Charles II Street, often called simply Charles Street, by 1762 and at least until 1812. Presumably it lent its name to the adjacent Robin Hood Yard (St James's Square).
The pub, which figures occasionally in the records of the Old Bailey, was the venue for one or more meetings of the Freemasons of St. Andrew's Lodge in 1789.
[17 Sep. 1762:]
Mr. Pierce. I live at the Robin-hood, in Charles-Street, St. James's-square. Mess. Mason and Co. are my brewers; when casks are empty, I put them out into the stable-yard, because we want room in the cellar.
Mr. Mason. There are three partners of us; Wm Mason, Wm Lake, and Hen. Mason.
Thomas Earle. I am cooper to Mess. Mason and Co. I was at Mr. Clark's, in order to search, and found some butt staves with our mark upon them (produced in court); I found some staves, where it plainly appeared the marks had been cut out; I also saw whole butts with the marks cut out: On his cross examination, he said, he had known brewer's butts sold by auction, when a person had left off trade; but then it was not usual to cut the old marks out; that he never knew his masters to sell casks; that he remembered two being missing at the Robin-hood, in Charles-street, and that they had Mr. Mason's mark on them. 
[20 Oct. 1762:]
Heusch. This was on the 10th of December, the first time that I saw him after his father-in-law's death. Immediately after that, citations were served. It rested for some time, to, I believe, the 22d of last June. Mr. Bellas's clerk sent a person to our house to let us know, two witnesses had been in the commons and examined on the execution of this will. I I went to Mr. Bellas's to know who they were, which I found to be the prisoner Biddle and Hannah Frankland, and that the attorney concerned was Sparry. I found Frankland had been a servant to Sparry, but then resided with one Thomas Morvil in Blackfriars. Then I went to Mr. Bellas's to get his clerk to see Frankland, to know whether she was the same woman, that had been in the commons; he said, she was the very same person. After that, I and Mr. Hamlen went to Greenwich, and took Sparry in an alehouse, and brought him to town; it was very cold weather; we came up by water, and went to a tavern and dined. I do not now recollect whether it was in the boat or in the tavern, but he declared to us that very day, that Farr was taken by Oliver, who was going to carry him to the Marshalsea-prison, at the suit of Mountstephens, that then he should have given us notice that we might have taken him up, and he believed it to be a'bad affair, and if I would admit him a witness, he would give me all the assistance in his power; he said, Farr brought him a draught of an old man's will, (I will not be sure to the time when he said he brought it) and desired him to dictate a will to him for his father-in-law. That Farr told him, that the testator had an utter aversion to a lawyer making a will; and that he, at Farr's request, dictated a will, which Farr wrote; I think he said this was at the King's head in Broad St. Gile's, that after the will had been wrote by Farr at that house, he went with him to the next house, called the Robin-hood, at Farr's request, in Charles-street; that Farr desired him to wait there, while he went in to the testator his father-in-law, and upon Farr's not returning immediately, he went away; nor was he at the execution of the will; and that it was the same will that was produced in the commons. As we were in Guildhall-yard, just before we went before Mr. Alderman Blunt, I said to him, As you say you are innocent of this affair, I should be glad to know who wrote the will? He said, as Mr. Farr wrote the body of the will, you may easily guess who wrote the name; he likewise declared, he did intend to let us into the secret, and did send his brother once or twice to have given information; that he had a letter wrote by Mountstephens, which he said was either two or three sheets of paper, and Mountstephens had no concern in the affair, and desired to know if I had any thing against Mountstephens; I told him, I had not, and that instead of desiring Mountstephens to keep out of the way, I desired him to get him to come to me, that I might know what he had to say on that affair. [...]
Q. Do you remember what conversation you had with him?
Hamlen. I do. After we took him we had him before a magistrate. The magistrate ordered us to take him to London: he was a little obstinate at first, and wanted to go home; but the constable said, he should go before a magistrate. We brought him from the magistrate's by water to London. Coming along, he said, he had no occasion to come to London to throw himself into our hands; that he had kept at Greenwich some time, and if we had sent to him he would have surrendered: and if we had not come down to day he intended to have surrendered himself; that he knew the will to be a forged thing himself, and that he dictated the will at a public house in St. Giles's and Farr wrote the will; he said, Mr. Farr said to him, I should be obliged to you if you will do this thing for me, because my father-in-law always said no lawyer should make his will; and that he dictated it, and Farr wrote it; then they went to the Robin Hood, and there, at Mr. Farr's request, he staid some time, in order for Farr's coming back to let him know whether his father-in-law was ready for him to come to be a witness to the will; finding him not coming immediately, he went away; he said several times, he was concerned for Mr. Farr in such an affair, and that Farr had such an estate left him by his father-in-law, a taylor in Charles's square, and he was going to mortgage an estate which Mr. Farr had at Crookhorn, in order to carry on this affair, and he had no manner of doubt but they should succeed. And coming along, and afterwards at the Queen's Head in Tower street, on Tower-hill, where we dined, he mentioned it; and there he begged we would admit him an evidence, and he would give us all the assistance he possibly could; that he knew it to be a forgery, and had several papers relating to this will, and if we would call at the Counter in a day or two after, he would deliver the papers up to us. While coming by water, he several times said, he knew the thing was forged. We asked him, if he knew who signed the name Jeffery Henvill? Said he, Mr. Farr wrote the body, and who do you think signed the name? He said, he hoped we would be as favourable as we could to him, and he hoped we would not take up Mr. Mountstephens: he said, he had a letter from him as long as my arm, wherein he sets forth the thing; and said, he as well as myself knows it to be a forgery. He said, Mr. Farr had given him a note of 50 l. and he was to make out a bill of cost for the business he had done to that amount.
[2 Apr. 1800:]
THOMAS DUNCAN sworn. - I lodge at the Robin-hood and Little John, Charles-street, St. James's-square; Robert Winter keeps the house; on the 17th of February, about dusk, I was in my own room, up one pair of stairs; I heard a noise at my room door, I heard a second noise, and then I went and opened the door, I perceived the two prisoners, each of them with a bundle upon their backs, one was lower down the stairs than the other; I saw the colour of their clothes, one said to the other, this is the way; I followed them down stairs, and called Mr. Winter, they were then going out at the door; Winter and I went in pursuit; I went up Charles-court, which is almost directly opposite our house, but I saw nothing of the prisoners there; I saw them both turn the corner of Charles-street, into St. Alban's-street; I went round, with an intention to interrupt them; I heard that the prisoner Yeomans was then taken; I cannot swear positively that he was one of the men that I saw upon the stairs; Yeomans had a brown coat, and the other a blue coat; about half an hour after that, I saw Smith; they were both drest the same as the two men that I saw coming down stairs; I saw the colour of their clothes very distinctly, when I opened my room door, and likewise when they got across the street.
[13 Jan. 1802:]
CUTHBERT KITCHEN sworn. - I am a farmer, near Bishop's Castle, in Shropshire; I came to town this day fortnight, and it will be a fortnight tomorrow since I lost my property; I was sitting in the parlour of my nephew, who is a cheesemonger, in Whitcomb-street, and a man came in and fetched him to decide a wager of a foot-race that was run at York some years back; he asked me to go with him, and I did; we went first to a public-house in the Haymarket that my nephew used, and there we had a pot of beer between us two and the man that fetched him; one man came, and said, if it was not decided by such a time, he would lose his wager; and my nephew went, and came back again to me, and then I went with him to the Robin-Hood, in Charles-street, St. James's-square. [...] JOHN BOLDERSON sworn. - I am a cheesemonger, No. 7. Whitcomb-street, Haymarket; Parker called upon me.
Q. How long have you known him? - A. I did not know any thing of him further than coming to my shop for cheese and butter: On Tuesday, the 6th of January, he called upon me, about eight o'clock at night, and asked me if I was busy; I told him I was; he said, he had betted a wager of a bowl of punch about a foot-race at York; and I told him I knew the man won his wager that he run for, but I could not tell what time it was to be done in; I told him I had an uncle from the country, if he would take him with me, I would go; we went first to the tap under the Opera, and there they said he was gone to the Talbot; then we went to the Talbot, and then a man came in with a note from the Robin-Hood, saying, that his bowl of punch would be forfeited, unless I came directly; I left my uncle, and went there; there was only one person in the back parlour, and he asked me what I knew about the wager, and I told him; he said, he was satisfied that he had lost, and called for a bowl of punch; I had a glass of punch, and a man came in, and said, Mr. Bolderon, how do you do? I was astonished at his knowing me, and he asked me to have some brandy and water; he said, he should like to smoke a pipe with me, and persuaded me to fetch my uncle; Parker went with me, and my uncle came; after we had sat down some time, a pack of cards was produced, and my uncle was asked to play; he said, he never did; we played for a bowl of liquor; I had a capital good hand, and they proposed to bet wagers as far as forty pounds; my uncle put down a thirty-pound note and two five-guinea notes; Parker took them up; and then my uncle, dreading something, said, John, you have brought me here to be robbed; I said, G - d bless you, no, we are all countrymen together; then there was a proposal to go to the tap under the Opera. [...]
Prisoner Parker. I wish to have the landlord of the Robin-Hood called.
[19 Feb. 1812:]
CHARLES HOLLOWAY. I am a clerk to Messrs. Davison and Company, they are bankers.
Q. The names of the partners are Alexander Davison, William Middleton Newell, and George Sinclair. - A. I was introduced to the prisoner at the Robin-hood public house, on a check having been presented by another person, I was then introduced to the prisoner at the Robin-hood public-house, Charles Street, St. James's Square; I asked him from whom he received that check, which was forged; at that time having reference to the first check, he denied the forgery. I told him he must accompany me to the banking-house, he made some hesitation, and said, he must go up stairs and put on his things; he then accompanied me to the banking house, I introduced him to the chief cashier as the person from whom I had the check, he was then told it was a forgery by Mr. Allen, he declared it was a good check, that he received it from his brother-in-law Mr. Jackson.
CASE XIX. A Complication of Disorders, viz. Pleuritic, Asthmatic, and Dropsical, attended with a Sharp Humour from the Knees to the Feet.
Mrs. Pearce, wife of Mr. Pearce, at the Robin Hood, in Charles-Street, St. James's-Square, was for many years in an ill state of health, being often afflicted with a pleurisy, an asthmatic cough, dropsical swellings; and in particular, when she first began with the Powder, which was in September, 1771, she had for upwards of a year been afflicted with a most violent sharp humour, that broke out in both legs, from the [p. 60:] knees to the ancles [sic] and feet, attended with great itching and swelling. For several months, she was in such agonies, she could get little or no sleep, which made her life quite miserable. By taking a few papers of the Powder, she received so great benefit, that she has ever since enjoyed a good state of health.
CASE CLIII. Fever and Disorder in the Stomach, after Child-Birth.
Mrs. Pearce's niece, at the Robin Hood, in Charles-Street, St. James's-Square, having been for some months very feverish and ill, from catching cold after her lying-in, had, among many other complaints, a most violent pain in her stomach and bowels. of which she was cured by the Powder, taken in May, 1773.
- Not included in Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 293-311
- 25" O.S. map London (First Editions c1850s) XLIII (1878; surveyed 1869)
- 25" O.S. map London (Edition of 1894-96) LXXV (1897; rev. 1893-94)
- 25" O.S. map London (1915- Numbered sheets) V.13 (1916; rev. 1914)
- 25" O.S. map London (Edition of 1894-96) LXXV (1897; rev. 1893-94) (georeferenced).
- 6" O.S. map Middlesex XVII (1880-82; surveyed 1868-73)
- 6" O.S. map Surrey III (1880; surveyed 1868-73)
- 6" O.S. map London VII.SW (1894-96; rev. 1893-95)
- 6" O.S. map Surrey III.NW (1898; rev. 1893-95)
- 6" O.S. map London Sheet K (1920; rev. 1913-14)
- 6" O.S. map London Sheet K (c. 1946; rev. 1938)
- 6" O.S. map Surrey III.NW (1898; rev. 1893-95) (georeferenced).
- Lane's Masonic Records.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 17 Sep. 1762.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 20 Oct. 1762.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 2 Apr. 1800.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 13 Jan. 1802.
- Proceedings of the Old Bailey: 19 Feb. 1812.
- Seymour, T. A Concise Account of the Properties and Effects of the Poudre Unique, in the Cure of the Most Dangerous Putrid As Well As Inveterate and Complicated Diseases. 3rd. ed. (London, 1774), pp. 59-60.
- Seymour, T. A Concise Account of the Properties and Effects of the Poudre Unique, in the Cure of the Most Dangerous Putrid As Well As Inveterate and Complicated Diseases. 3rd. ed. (London, 1774), p. 103.
Click any image to display it in the lightbox, where you can navigate between images by clicking in the right or left side of the current image.
John Rocque's map of London and Westminster (1746), centred on the Robin Hood and Robin Hood's Yard / Locating London's Past.