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Revision as of 10:08, 27 July 2017 by Henryfunk (talk | contribs) (Originators)

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-06. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-07-27.

Illustration by Harry E. Theaker from: Vivian, E. Charles. Robin Hood and his Merry Men (London and Melbourne, [1927]), plate facing p. 116.

Short introduction

It is hoped this wiki will in due course come to live up to its somewhat grand title. I have called it "International" because in addition to the vast amount of material that exists in English, I intend to add information about materials in other languages such as translations of ballads, secondary literature, children's fiction, literature on foreign analogues of Robin Hood etc. Arguably "Bibliography" is a misnomer as the site already includes a wealth of all sorts of information one would not nor­mally expect to find in a biblio­gra­phy, but the biblio­gra­phical aspect is in all cases taken quite seriously, and there is already a wiki named the Robin Hood Wiki, so I had to find another name for the site.

Work in progress

The menu items in the top right area of the site provide a rough guide to the topics and genres that are covered on this site. Given the vastness of the Robin Hood tradition — and this is no exaggeration — the site will always remain work in progress. This is important to keep in mind when reading specific entries, for although I sometimes gather materials from several sources and write a more or less well-rounded in-depth page on some topic, more often than not I work my way through the sources and add the various nuggets they contain where I believe they belong in the structure I have created. So any entry may at a given time lack important pieces of information because I have not yet got round to adding them. Over time this problem should become less pronounced.

At present there is at least some information on each topic or area of interest. As time will permit I gradually add information under all headings, but as there is such a wealth of data I have felt it necessary to focus, for the time being, on a couple of areas in order to retain the feeling – illusion? – that I am making measurable progress. Current high priority areas are allusions (especially from the 16th and 17th centuries), historical records, and especially place-names. With regard to the latter a milestone was reached on 12 October 2014 in that all relevant names from the eight English Place-Name Society volumes for the West Riding of Yorkshire had then been entered: more than one hundred Robin Hood-related place-names and localities are now included for that (important) area alone. My tally for Yorkshire alone now exceeds that of Dobson & Taylor[1] for all of England, and in many cases I have been able to supplement or correct information they provide. My entries on specific localities are often written up into short articles and generally are accompanied by photos, Google maps, links to, or images of, online O.S. maps at NLS, links to other sites with information, bibliographical lists and (where relevant) lists of quotations from ballad sources or from IRHB's Allusions section.

Current focus

In the spring of 2016 I embarked on a systematic search for Robin Hood-related place-names on the 6" O.S. maps of England and Wales at NLS. There are 38,370 maps, so in order to make the task more manageable I decided to focus on England and first edition map sheets only. However, when a sheet is found to include a relevant place-name, I also check all later revisions available at NLS. So far I have worked my way through more than half of the counties. I am currently checking Somerset, where I do not expect to find many relevant place-names. When I am done with that county there are just 14 more, which I expect to finish by the end of 2017. The search so far has yielded a good many 'new' place-names which are added to the site as time permits. I am also in the process of checking all English Place-Name Society volumes for relevant material, most but not all of which is included in Dobson & Taylor.[1] I have now been through all volumes except one.


I wish to thank the following for help, information, photos, unpublished papers, encouragement, stimulating discussions, a Robin Hood teapot and hat etc.: Mogens Andersen, B.A.; Karl Bencke; Gudrun Billeskov; Jill Boyes; Professor Graham D. Caie; Mogens Christensen, M.A.; Malte Christian Thiil Ehlers, M.A.; Dorrit Einersen, M.A.; Andrew Dawson; Paul Dunnill; Professor Søren Balling Engelsen; Robert Fortunaso; Karen Glente, M.A.; Inge Guldal, MPsych; Peter Harrod; Richard Hawlor; David Hepworth, Ph.D.; The Historic Counties Trust for permission to quote their county descriptions in toto; Søren Bartholin Holm, M.A.; Professor Sir James Holt (who is no longer with us); Annette Jung, M.A.; Gerner Dan Lauridsen, M.A.; Robert Lynley who does historical sleuthing better and more doggedly than any other Robin Hood aficionado; Bob Mullen; Søs Museth; Markus Kai Nielsen for the IRHB logo; Vagn Thiil Nielsen (who is no longer with us) for his support and many hours of photocopying; Ingeborg Nixon, Ph.D. (who is no longer with us); Nottingham Hidden History Team through their liaison officer Mr Jimmy Notts for permission to use illustrations from their blog; Thomas Ohlgren, professor emeritus; Jan Eigil Pedersen; Tim Prevett, MA, producer, consultant and lecturer on slow TV, for use of photos; Philip Sampson; Ian Short, professor emeritus; Hans-Christian Simonsen, M.A.; Vibeke Sommer, M.A.; Geoff Spencer; Mimi Stawski; Thorpe Thewles Local History Group; members of 'robinh­hoodforum4'.

Participants wanted

Unlike many other wikis, this one cannot be edited or added to by casual visitors who also cannot sign up via the site. The reason for this restrictive policy is that I wish to avoid vandalism and confine active membership to people with knowledge of the Robin Hood tradition. Contributors are more than welcome. There are really only two requirements: interest in the Robin Hood tradition and an objective mindset. The learning curve will not be steep if you are used to editing Wikipedia or other Mediawiki sites and know basic html. If you don't, I will put a little list of how-to's together. If you do not wish to spend time and energy learning mark-up, you are very welcome to write your contributions as plain text and let me handle the technical stuff. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to IRHB. See next for contact information.


Do contact me with comments, corrections etc. Do let me know if you wish to contribute to IRHB. You can reach me via the Contact page.

Section by section

IRHB has grown into a quite large site. The information for each section listed in the boxes below will help you find your way around if you are a new visitor. If you are a regular, it will help you stay up-to-date with changes and additions to the site. It will also give you a good idea which sections of the site are more mature and which are still at an early stage of development. Perhaps you can help create more content for the latter?


Mass-produced artifacts such as postcards and cigarette cards, unique artifacts such as statues

This section currently includes a total of 7 pages.

Section landing-page: Artifacts.


IRHB favourites

Most recently added


Bibliographies, from bibliographical monographs to short lists in books and articles. Analytical bibliography also covered

This section currently includes 1 page.

Section landing-page: Bibliography.


Literary criticism, literary history, folklore studies, cultural studies, semiotics etc.

This section currently includes 1 page.

Section landing-page: Criticism.

Early Prose

Early prose works, between chronicle and children's book

This section currently includes 2 page.

Section landing-page: Early prose.

Most recently added


Feature films, TV series, cartoons, films with Robin Hood titles etc.

This section currently includes 11 pages.

Section landing-page: Films.


IRHB favourites

Most recently added


Records relating to historical persons, criminal or law-abiding, named Robin Hood, Little John etc. Origin and audience of early tales, archery, crime etc.

This section currently includes 460 pages, including two landing pages for each century, one with links, the other with allusion texts, as well as landing pages for various groupings of records.

Section landing-page: Historiography.

Topic pages

Records per century

General record groupings and topics

  • Criminals named Little John · links · texts Records (14 pages)
  • Criminals named Robin Hood · links · texts (6 pages)
  • Criminals surnamed Robinhood · links · texts (1 pages)
  • Persons named Little John · links · texts (28 pages)
  • Persons named Richard at the Lee · links · texts (6 pages)
  • Persons named Robin Hood · links · texts (49 pages)
  • Persons surnamed Littlejohn · links · texts (2 pages)
  • Persons surnamed Robinhood · links · texts (105 pages)
  • Persons with names of minor characters · links · texts (2 pages).

Special record groupings and topics

  • Little John the mariner · links · texts (11 pages)
  • Robert le Hod of West Tisted · links · texts (11 pages)
  • Robhoods of Walsham le Willows · links · texts (104 pages)
  • Robin Hoods in Wakefield Manor Court Rolls · links · texts (23 pages).

IRHB favourites

Most recently added


List of works and paper discussing linguistic aspects of early Robin Hood tales. IRHB notes on linguistic topics.

This section currently includes 3 pages.

Section landing-page: Linguistics, includes list of IRHB notes on linguistic topics (2 pages).

IRHB favourites

Most recently added


Music – operetta to post-punk.

Section landing-page: Music (1 sub-page)


Most recently added


Monographs and articles arguing the Robin Hood figure originated in fertility rites etc. Monographs and articles arguing criticizing such hypotheses.

This section currently includes 1 page).

Section landing-page: Mythology.


Full bibliographical data of printed (and some MS) sources cited on IRHB, arranged alphabetically under originators' sur­names. Item entries include short title forms for citation on other pages.

This section currently includes 5100 pages.

Section landing-page: Originators, with a landing page for each letter of the alphabet, including letters in non-English alphabets as well as Anonymous (29 pages).

Most recently added


Poetry, excluding poetry written for children..

This section currently includes 5 pages.

Section landing-page: Poetry.

IRHB favourites

Most recently added


Software, excluding websites and web-based games.

This section currently includes 3 pages.

Section landing-page: Software.

List pages

IRHB favourites

Most recently added


Websites dealing exclusively with Robin Hood or having substantial Robin Hood-related content.

Section landing-page: Websites.

This section currently includes 1 page.