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Robin Hood's Elm (Woodstock)

Locality
Coordinates 51.848333333333, -1.355
Adm. div. Oxfordshire
Vicinity On Oxford Street in Woodstock
Type Natural feature
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1608
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Oxford Street, Woodstock.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-09-21. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-09-24. Reference found by Robert Lynley.

Robin Hood's Elm on Oxford Street in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, figures in the Woodstock chamberlains' accounts for 1608, 1618 and 1640 (see Records section below). Elms seem to have been quite common in Woodstock and often stood in front of houses.[1] A "greate elme in Oxford streete", most probably not that named after Robin Hood, was encircled by a bench which needed "newe makinge" in 1627 and "settinge upp" in 1637.[2]

While Robin Hood's Elm was certainly a living tree, not a Maypole or May tree brought in from the woods, it is not inconceivable that it may have owed its name to some connection with spring festivals. There are references to bringing in the summer rood or Maypole and to Whitsun revels or sports etc. in the chamberlains' and churchwardens' accounts, and at least once, in 1627, these activities involved Robin Hood. See Woodstock festivals.

1608 - Robin Hood's Elm (Woodstock)

House in Oxford streete near Robin Hoodes elme 20s [...] [tenant and occupier] Bridgett Spittle widdowe her house
[... p. 38: ...]
Tenement in Oxford streete near Robbine Hooddes elme 1½d [...] [tenant] Thomas Browne alderman [...] wherein John Ackly dwelleth
[... p. 40: ...]
House by Robin Hooddes elme in Oxford streete 12d [...] [tenant and occupier] John Tomlins[3]

1618 - Robin Hood's Elm (Woodstock)

Of widdowe White for an ould asshe digged upp at Symon Colliers dore and for the lopp of twoe other litle trees thereby0   7 0
Of Thomas Love for the shrewde of the trees in the almeshouse backside and of the tree before the almeshouse dore0 25 0
Of Thomas Heathen and Richard Reade for the shrewde of Robbine Whodes elme in Oxford Street0 26 0
[...] Of WIlliam Holloway gent for the shrewde of the elme before Mr Brownes dores0   6 8
Of Merriall Tayler for the shrewde of a litle elme before Thomas Gees dore0   2 6
Of William Archer for the shrewde of the elme at John Lowes the coopers dore0 15 0[4]

1640 - Robin Hood's Elm (Woodstock)

Of Bartholomew Love for the lopp of Robbin Hoodes elme 18s and for 7 asshes sould out of Forrestes backside 36s. For the shrewde of the trees 5s. nexte to Richardsons house neere the hollowaye.2 19 0[5]

Gazetteers

Background

Also see

Notes