Robert Earl of Huntingdon
Lies under this little stone.
No archer was like him so good;
His wildness named him ROBIN HOOD.
For thirteen years, and something more,
These northern parts he vexed sore.
Such outlaws as he and his men
May England never know again.
THE HUNTINGDON, WALTHEOF, AND LOXLEY CONNECTION
The Earldom of Huntingdon goes back to Saxon times, Harold II held the honour of Huntingdon in 1051, Earl Siward (Waltheof's father) held it immediately after and he died 1055. Waltheof was too young so the Earldom went to Tostig, the brother of the king who held it till he was banished Oct. 1065. Harold II held it again, and when he was killed at the battle of Hastings in 1066 the Earldom passed through Judith-de-Lens the niece of William the Conqueror to Waltheof, then through Matilda who was Waltheof's eldest daughter, to David, who became King of Scots.
Waltheof's family on his mother's side was Earl Uhtred who had been the Earl of Northumbria earlier. They cleared a site at Hallam Head near Sheffield on the old Roman Road to Brough and built a Manor House there, for they were the Lords of the Manor of Hallam. Waltheof was born into this high-ranking family and he would have known Hallam near Sheffield from childhood.
WALTHEOF SOWS WILD OATS
Living in Ughill Hall, which is still there, was another Saxon Lord called Aldene who looked after Waltheof's interests while he was away. While they were growing up they would have known other people in the area, and perhaps they played with the girl who lived just across the Loxley valley in Little Haggas Croft, which could be seen from the manor house where Waltheof spent some of his childhood. As they grew up their relationship may have become stronger and young people being what they are, the young lady and Waltheof may have fallen in love. Then all it needed was for nature to take its course and in due process of time the young lady in Little Haggas Croft was delivered of a son who we call Robert of Loxley. Little Haggas Croft is where Robin Hood grew up and where he lived with his mother and stepfather.
ROBIN HOOD TERRITORY
The Robin Hood ballads that can be ascribed to the medieval period like the Geste, Robin Hood and the Monk, Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne, Robin Hood and the Potter, indicate that the action took place chiefly in South Yorkshire, not in Nottinghamshire. This is not just my view for it is echoed in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the case for Robin Hood being a Yorkshire-man is made all the stronger when one considers that Nottingham was in Mercia while Yorkshire and Barnsdale Forest were in Northumbria, Barnsdale Forest being where the King's Royal Forest was. Little John was from the Scottish Borders, and there is mention that when Robin was outlawed he went to the Calder Valley where he met Little John, and it is my belief that Robin Hood's Nottingham connection is through the sheriff of that fair city.
HUNTING IN THE ROYAL FOREST
The boundary of Barnsdale Forest starts at the River Don in the south, which is the approximate Northumbrian Boundary and continues to the River Aire in the north, i.e. from Sheffield to Leeds. A quick look at a map of England will show that Loxley lies in the foothills of the Pennines and the whole of central England was covered in forest. Loxley was in the centre of this massive forested region where the hunting was at its best and the roads were at their most dangerous.
We know that Robin Hood is linked with forest life and the Sheriff of Nottingham at that time had jurisdiction over this central wooded area where Loxley was situated. Here was some of the best hunting anywhere in the country. Back in the time of Robin Hood, Loxley, Bradfield, Stannington, and parts of Sheffield were in the manor of Hallam, its boundaries extending to Conisborough and Penistone. In modern estate agent language Hallam and Loxley were location, location, and location.
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