Anonymous - Robin Hood and the Sheriff
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-08. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-05-08.
The dialogue, without speech attributions, of the anonymous playlet known as Robin Hood and the Sheriff or Robin Hood and the Knight was jotted down on the verso of household accounts that seem to have belonged to the Paston family. Since we know that W. Wood, John Paston III's groom, performed in such a play, there is a very real possibility this is the text he would have used.
- Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 203-207
- Parfitt, George, ed. 'Early Robin Hood Plays: Two Fragments and a Bibliography', Renaissance and Modern Studies, vol. XXII, Special Number: Popular Theatre (1978), pp. 5-12, see pp. 5-6.
Studies and criticism
- Butzner, Alexis. "‘Sette on foote with gode Wyll’: Towards a Reconstruction of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham", Early Theatre, vol. 14 (2011), pp. 61-77. Discussion and reconstruction of the playlet. Whereas some critics have regarded the text as a medley of two very short playlets, Butzner emphasizes its unity and restates the case for its dependence on a now lost version of the ballad of Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne.
Item, þe Erle off Oxenfford was on Saterdaye at Depe, and is purposyd in-to Skotlond wyth a xij schyppys. I mystrust þat werke.
Item, þere be in London many flyeng talys seyng þat þer shold be a werke, and yit þey wot not howe.
Item, my lorde chamberleyn sendyþ now at þys tyme to Caleys þe yonge Lorde Sowche and Syr þomas Hongreffordys dowtre and heyre, [Davis, p. 461:] and som seye þe yonge Lady Haryngton. þes be iij grett jowellys. Caleys is a mery town; þey shall dwell þere, I wot not whyghe.
No more, but I haue ben and ame troblyd wyth myn ouere large and curteys delyng wyth my seruantys and now wyth þer onkyndnesse. Plattyng, yowre man, wolde þys daye byd me fare-well to to-morow at Douer, not wythstondyng þryston, yowre oþer man, is from me and John Myryell and W. Woode, whyche promysed yow and Dawbeney, God haue hys sowle, at Castre þat iff ye wolde take hym in to be ageyn wyth me þat þan he wold neuer goo fro me; and þer-vppon I haue kepyd hym þys iij yere to pleye Seynt Jorge and Robynhod and þe shryff off Notyngham, and now when I wolde haue good horse he is goon in-to Bernysdale, and I wyth-owt a kepere.
- Davis, Norman, ed. Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century (Oxford, 1971-76), vol. I, pp. 460-61.