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Ancient note criticizes Robin Hood

AN academic says he has found evidence that Britain's legendary outlaw Robin Hood wasn't universally popular as folklore suggests.

Julian Luxford says a note discovered in the margins of an ancient history book contains criticism of the supposedly benevolent bandit.

According to legend, Robin Hood roamed 13th-century Britain from a base in central England's Sherwood Forest, plundering from the rich to give to the poor.

But Luxford, an art history lecturer at Scotland's University of St Andrews, says a 23-word inscription in the margins of a history book, written in Latin by a medieval monk around 1460, casts the outlaw as a persistent thief.

"Around this time, according to popular opinion, a certain outlaw named Robin Hood, with his accomplices, infested Sherwood and other law-abiding areas of England with continuous robberies," the note read, Luxford said.

Luxford said he found the reference while searching through the library of England's prestigious Eton College, which was founded in 1440.

"I knew enough about the relative dearth of references to him from the medieval period to know this might be important," Luxford said.

Luxford said the note is the earliest known reference to the outlaw from an English source.

He said it supports arguments that Robin Hood lived in the 13th century, even though most popular modern versions of the story set him in the late 12th century.


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