According to legend he’s annoyed the sheriff, sneaked into St Mary’s Church and maybe even propped up the bar at the Olde Trip. Now an author and historian tells ERIK PETERSEN about his research into the possible real life behind the Robin Hood story
IT can be safely assumed that, if Robin Hood really existed, he didn’t sound much like Kevin Costner.
In this parish, however, there’s always the somewhat more contentious issue of whether his accent had more in common with Arthur Seaton or, say, Geoff Boycott.
The conundrum of “Robin: Notts lad or Yorkshireman?” is just one of the mysteries of the man believed by some to have not existed at all, believed by others to have been an amalgamation of several people, and believed by others still to be a real person whose details have been lost to time and distortion over the years.
Now a writer and historian has waded into the debate with a book that offers a unique take on who this Robin fella really was.
Robin Hood: The Unknown Templar is John Paul Davis’ contribution to the body of work devoted to the question of whether that famed re-distributor of wealth actually existed. As the title indicates, Mr Davis posits the theory that the hero was a member of the powerful order of knights that fell out of favour with Rome, effectively turning many of its members into outlaws.
His theory, he said, is plausible but not definitive.
“The information we have – some of it’s open to interpretation as well,” he said.
Mr Davis’ interpretations put Robin Hood squarely in the camp of another group that has over the centuries been the subject of numerous legends and stories, but that most certainly did exist.
The Knights Templar were one of the most powerful Christian military organisations of the Middle Ages. It’s the time of their disbanding in the early 1300s that intrigued Mr Davis.
After being a dominant force for two centuries, the order suddenly found themselves out of favour across Europe. Spurred on by King Phillip of France, Pope Clement V turned to outlawing, arresting and in some cases torturing and burning at the stake members of the order.
In England however, Edward II enforced the Vatican’s orders more halfheartedly. There was little torture, and some members of the order simply fled and melted into the countryside.
But they still fled.
Mr Davis writes that “hundreds, if not thousands, of men became fugitives practically overnight and disappeared from the records for ever … It seems very possible that, hunted by Church and county officials, former Templars who had obeyed the strict code of the Order continued to do so, only now as outlaws, dwelling among the trees of England’s forests.” …
via Author says Robin Hood was Knights Templar.