Robin Hood was a heroicoutlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln greenclothes. The origin of the legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, or from ballads or tales of outlaws. • Robin Hood became a popular folk figure in the medievalperiod continuing through to modern literature, films and television. In the earliest sources, Robin Hood is a yeoman, but he was often later portrayed as an aristocrat wrongfully dispossessed of his lands and made into an outlaw by an unscrupulous sheriff.
In popular culture, Robin Hood and his band of "merry men" are usually portrayed as living in Sherwood Forest, in 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 scherewodestod.“ However, the overall picture from the surviving early ballads and other early referencessuggest that Robin Hood may have been based in theBarnsdale area of what is now South Yorkshire (which borders Nottinghamshire).
Robin Hood is not a lone outlaw but the leader of a trained band of fighters. And it's a good thing too. Robin's a reckless lad sometimes. He'll sneak into Nottingham once too often and get caught by the sheriff. Or he'll pick a fight with the wrong traveller. And when the going gets rough, Robin blows three great blasts on his horn. That's when his Merry Men appear. Some say they are a small group of outlaws. Others say there were 140 or 150 Merry Men in Robin's band. Some tales even say there were 300 stout fellows in the band. Whatever the case, if it weren't for these sturdy yeomen (and yeo-women), Robin wouldn't last a week.
More than once the Sheriff of Nottingham tried to catch Robin and his merry men, but he couldnt. Robin always fooled his enemies.