Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Richard I and Robin Hood

Did they ever meet? From the BBC:
If Robin Hood had been working for Richard in the years of his absence, then if the opportunity did arise for King Richard and Robin Hood to meet, with regard to their individual characters both men would have seized it. Both men had much to gain from mutual support.

The famous painting Robin Hood entertaining King Richard the Lionheart in Sherwood Forest by Daniel Maclise currently hanging in Nottingham castle depicts the meeting between King Richard I and Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest. In the picture, the initial formalities have obviously having been dealt with and both men are seen amidst scenes of drinking and feasting under broadleaf trees surrounded by lots of people, all paying great attention to Robin Hood and King Richard. Little John looks like Hercules in style and dress, carrying a dead deer over his shoulder - a seriously grave offence under the strict Forest Law at the time. Marian sits demurely at the base of a nearby oak tree crowned with woodland flowers. Robin with a drink in his hand postures before the King whilst recounting a tale - and definitely looking a little tipsy - whilst King Richard is dressed in mail armour ( armour was not worn for hunting as it was considered both uncomfortable, unfair and unsporting ) covered by a white sleeveless surcoat attended by a strange-looking page who pours him wine from a jug. King Richard sits and smiles benevolently at Robin, with his similarly-armoured guards standing well in the background. Friar Tuck is pictured with many other background characters who have been identified as Will Scarlett, Gilbert, Much, Gamwell, Alan a Dale and so on by the eager viewers of the painting. The picture we have is very much part of the 19th century Victorian-period romantic ideal of the meeting between the two men and the steadily increasing tourist trade involving Robin Hood going on in Sherwood Forest at the same time as this image was painted. The most remarkable feature in the painting - often missed by viewers - is that Robin Hood is dressed not in green clothes, but in bright red.

St Mary's Priory would be seen by both sides as 'neutral territory', though Robin Hood's belligerent attitude to the clergy is made pretty clear. The monks there did not permit the wearing or carrying of weapons in the precincts of the Priory so a meeting between Richard and Robin could have been arranged there easily by a go-between prompted by either side.
(Read more.)
Via Stephanie Mann. Share