Who was Robin Hood?
Earl David of Huntingdon (79958030) as “Robin Hood”:
5/31/1170 at Windsor, David knighted by King Henry II (47277568) of England.
4/1173, David and his brother William, the King of Scotland, joined in the revolt of the sons of Henry II. [Which included Richard (future King Richard I).]
12/8/1174, An agreement is formed between William (39979020), king of Scots, and King Henry II.
8/1175, David a hostage for Scotland. David lost the earldom of Huntingdon, but retained the earldoms of Lennox and Garioch in Scotland. [Note that in the Robin Hood story he had lost his castle and home.]
5/8/1177, King Henry II named his son John (23638784), age 9, as King of Ireland.
6/1183, King Henry II’s eldest son Henry, the Young King, died of fever in Martel, France, the heir becoming Prince Geoffrey.
1184, When King Henry II refused the crown of Jerusalem, Prince John asked for the title. King Henry refused to allow John to take the position.
12/25/1184, King Henry held Christmas court at Windsor with Queen Eleanor (47277569), princes Richard and John, and the Duke and Duchess of Saxony, and David, brother of the King of the Scots, in attendance. [David invited to the royal gathering must have been a very close friend of Richard.]
1185, Knighted by his father, Prince John sent to subdue [unsuccessfully] rebellious chieftains in Ireland.
8/18/1186, John’s older brother Geoffrey died in a tournament in Paris, France; leaving a son Arthur of Brittany as heir apparent to John’s older brother Richard. [After Richard names John as his successor on his deathbed, John captures young Arthur and kills him – no other ruler of England named “John”.]
11/1187 in Paris, Richard “the Lionheart” took the vow of a crusader.
9/3/1189 at Westminster, David carried the golden sword worn at the coronation of Richard I.
12/12/1189, King Richard, leading a large contingent of crusaders, departed on the 3rd Crusade. [David did not leave on crusade with the original group – see marriage date. King William did not have a male heir, so David was likely left behind in case William died on the crusade. By the legend of Robinhood, David would not have attended the crusade.]
1/1192, King Philip Augustus (94555248) of France offered John all the Angevin lands in France, and marriage to his sister Alys, if he would join him in his claims of other disputed territories in France. [The fact that John was married did not seem to be an issue.]
10/9/1192, King Richard secretly left the Holy Lands by ship for home in the dead of night, expecting to be protected as a crusader.
12/21/1192, King Richard was captured near Vienna [the most likely story] by Leopold V, Duke of Austria. Richard was carrying the Great Seal of England with him. [This was stolen when he was captured, but later returned when the thief was found drowned in Cyprus.] Richard was initially imprisoned in the small town of Durnstein. He was welcomed by the locals under an agreement that, as part of any release agreement, they would be absolved by the Pope of imprisoning a crusader. Richard’s captor, Hadmar II, had been with Richard at the siege of Acre. Queen Berengaria was still in Rome where she learned of Richard’s capture because she saw his belt for sale in a market.
Bef. 1/8/1193, Leopold V moved Richard to Gegensburg.
1/11/1193, Prince John at Cardiff received a letter from King Philip II of France informing him that Richard I was imprisoned near Vienna. John immediately went to France and did homage for English lands in France, and with a plan to marry Alys, who was imprisoned in Normandy.
2/1193, Saladin, Richard’s nemesis in the holy lands, died, leaving 17 sons to fight over his legacy.
3/21/1193, Richard’s trial began in Speyer. Richard was charged with betrayal of the Holy Land by making peace with Saladin. Also charged with conspiracy to kill Conrad de Montferrat, demolishing the defenses of Ascalon, and breaking agreements with his allies. Richard defended himself with the story of the crusade, the fact that he was only guilty of being more successful than others, and the if had wanted to kill Conrad, he would have done it with a sword in his hand. Richard defended himself so well that the German princes were shifting to his favor. Richard ended by kneeling before the Emperor. Moved by the speech, Henry gave Richard the Kiss of Peace, in effect a dismissal of the accusations. Henry accepted Richard as a prisoner, and the “ransom” was changed to a payment for reconciliation between Emperor Henry IV and Richard’s brother-in-law Henry of Saxony. Richard was imprisoned in the castle of Trifels, in the mountains to the west of the city – very secure – the place where the crown jewels were kept.
1193, The pope responded to Richard’s arrest by excommunicating Leopold, and threatening Philip II of France with a country-wide interdict if he attacked Richard’s lands.
4/1/1193, William Longchamp arranged for Richard to be moved to Hagenau, where he was free to have visitors and send messages to England.
6/1193, in Worms, Germany, at Richard’s request, a 2nd court was convened. Richard would now be freed when the emperor had received 100,000 silver marks of Cologne [35 tons] plus hostages [60 for the emperor, 7 for Leopold] for another 50,000. [The additional 50,000 was to be waved if Richard was to achieve something that never was revealed.] At this time a sheep cost a penny. The amount was about 3 times the money raised in England in any previous year.
6/1193, King Philip sent John the message “Look to yourself, the Devil is loosed”, upon hearing the new terms for King Richard’s release from captivity. John, upon receiving the message, fled to Paris. John’s properties were confiscated; and in France John gave King Philip fortresses in Touraine.
1193, Pope Celestine excommunicated both King Philip and Prince John for attacking a returning Crusader.
12/1193, After hearing of Richard’s pending release, King Philip and Prince John sent a letter to Emperor Henry offering £1000 a month, and £80,000 if he would keep Richard in captivity until autumn. They also offered to match the English ransom if he handed Richard over to them.
2/4/1194 at 9 AM, Richard released from custody. Richard left immediately for England via Cologne, Antwerp, then by ship to Zwin [now in Belgium].
2/1194, Knowing King Richard was on the way back to England, Ranulph, Earl of Chester, and his brother-in-law David, Earl of Huntingdon, laid seige to the Castle of Nottingham in support of the King Richard.
3/1194, Joined by King Richard, David and Ranulph and the Earl of Chester stormed Nottingham castle to end the siege. [Note the similarities with the story of Robinhood – return of King Richard, meets Robinhood in Nottingham at Sherwood forest.]
A 14th century poem, Piers Plowman, speaks of “the Rymes of Robyn Hood and Randolf Erl of Chester.” The Earl being David’s brother-in-law. Other events in David’s life provide good circumstantial evidence. The chronicler Jordan said “David of Scotland … was a most gentle warrior, for never by him was robbed holy church or abbey, and none under his orders would have injured a priest.” Some of the legend may have been created by the French book ‘Histoire d’Oliver de Castile’ which has the Robinhood plot imbedded as a Scottish tale, published in 1482.
William de Cassingham Esq. (20001288). Sean McGlynn, an academic at the University of Plymouth and the Open University, has amassed evidence suggesting Robin Hood is based on William of Kensham, a largely forgotten 13th century forest bandit, who went by the alias Willikin of the Weald. (S) 3/9/2013, The Telegraph. “He was a squire from Cassingham (today known as Kensham) in Kent during the time of the First Baron’s War (1215-1217), which was a civil war in England during which several prominent landowners and noblemen were split in their support for King John of England and the future Louis VIII of France, who had invaded England in a bid to seize the crown from John.” (S) Thevintagenews.com. A monk by the name of Roger of Wendover wrote at the time that William, “a certain youth, a fighter, and a loyalist,” refused to give fealty to Prince Louis, and instead brought together a group of archers, 1,000 in total, as a guerrilla army. Just like the actions of the better-known Robin Hood, William and his group would attack the French as they moved through the forests of the Weald. William of the Weald was known to be quite brutal. Labeled an outlaw, he did not take any prisoners; any French soldiers who were captured or who surrendered would be killed.