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1817 - Young, George - History of Whitby (1)

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Date 1817
Author Young, George
Title The History of Whitby and of Whitby Abbey
Mentions Robin Hood; [Robin Hood's Bay]; [Whitby Abbey]
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North to south: Whitby Abbey and Robin Hood's Bay.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2016-05-28. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-05-07.


[...] 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 [...][1]

IRHB comments

The primary meaning of the Latin term larus is 'a ravenous seabird, perhaps a gull or mew'[2] Hence figuratively it could refer to a robber. 'Streonshalh' was the OE name for Whitby. George Young was very likely thinking of Robin Hood's connections with Whitby Abbey as well as nearby Robin Hood's Bay.



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