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Robin Hood's Birth, Breeding, Valor and Marriage

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Child 149
Title Robin Hood's Birth, Breeding, Valor and Marriage
Versions 1
Variants 3
Stanzas 55
Date 17th cent.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-07. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-28.


Scholarly collections

Notes on matter in the ballad

St. 46: the ballad of Arthur-a-Bradley.] Richard Braithwaite alludes to this ballad in "To the Cottoneers" in his Strappado for the Devil:

So Time shall crowne you with an happy end,
And consummate the wishes of a friend.
So each (through peace of conscience) rapt with pleasure
Shall ioifully begin to dance his meafure.
"One footing actiuely VVilsons delight,
"Descanting on this note, I haue done what's right,
"Another ioying to be nam'd 'mongst them,
"Were made Men-fishers ofpoore fisher-men.
"The third as blith as any tongue can tell,
"Becaufe he's found a faithfull Samuel.
"The fowrth is chanting of his Notes as gladly,
"Keeping the tune for th'honour of Arthura [sic] Bradly.
The 5. so pranke, he scarce can stand on ground,
Asking who'le sing with him Mal Dixons round?[1]


1615 - Braithwaite, Richard - Strappado for Diuell (3)

(But now for Brad-ford I muft hast away).
Brad-ford if I should rightly set it forth,
Stile it I might Banberry of the North,
And well this title with the Towne agrees,
Famous for twanging, Ale, Zeale, Cakes and Cheese:
But why should I set zeale behinde their ale?
Because zeale is for some, but ale for all;
Zealous indeed some are (for I do heare,
Of many zealous sempring sister there)
Who loue their brother, from their heart iffaith.
For it is charity, as scripture saith,
But I am charm'd, God pardon what's amisse,
For what will th' wicked say that heare of this,
How by some euill brethren 't hath been sed,
Th' Brother was found in 's zealous sisters bed?
Vnto thy taske my Muse, and now make knowne,
The iolly shoo-maker of Brad-ford towne,
His gentle-craft so rais'd in former time
By princely Iourney-men his discipline,
"VVhere he was wont with passengers to quaffe,
"But suffer none to carry vp their staffe
Vpon their shoulders, whilst they past through town
For if they did he soon would beat them downe.
(So valiant was the Souter) and from hence,
Twixt Robin-hood and him grew th' difference; [p. 205:]
VVich cause it is by most stage-poets writ,
For breuity, I thought good to omit, [...][2]