Robin Hood (spelled Robyn Hode in older manuscripts) is a heroic outlaw in English folklore, a highly skilled archer and swordsman. He has become known for “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor”, assisted by a group of outlaws known as his “Merry Men”. The origin of the legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, but some say it is only from ballad and story.
Robin Hood and his band of “merry men” are usually shown as living in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, where much of the action in the early ballads takes place. So does the very first recorded Robin Hood rhyme, four lines from the early 15th century, beginning:
“Robyn hode in scherewode stod.”