Robin Hood’s Grave 2

1632 At the end of Martin Parker’s ballad A True Tale of Robin Hood he writes, ‘the epitaph which the prioress of the monastery of Kirklees lay in Yorkshire set over Robbin Hood, which as is before mentioned, was to bee reade within these hundred yeares, though in old broken English, much to the same sence and meaning’.
  Decembris quarto die, 1198 : anno regni Richardii Primi 9.
  Robert Earle of Huntington
  Lies under this little stone
  No archer was like him so good
  His wildnesse named him Robbin Hood
  Full thirteen yeares, and something more
  These northern parts he vexed sore
  Such out-lawes as he and his men
  May England never know agen.
  ‘Some other superstitious words were in it, which I thought fit to leave out’. (One wonders what these words were).
1665 It is believed that Nathaniel Johnston made a drawing of the grave,* a slab with a cross and the inscription;
  ‘Here lie Robard Hude Willm Gold burgh Thoms’
  There is a stone erected near the slab with some sort of inscription, this is clearly visible in the drawing, however the words cannot be read.
1697-1702 Thomas Gale dean of York, left a record of an epitaph of Robin Hood among his papers:
  Hear undernead dis laitl stean  
  laiz robert earl of Huntingtun  
  near arcir ber az hei sa geud  
  an pipl kauld im robin heud  
  sick utlawz az hi an iz men  
  vil england nibr si agen  
  obiit 24 kal dekembris 1247.  
  The epitaph has been written in some form of archaic English.
  * It has recently been suggested by David Hepworth, that the drawing which appears in several books, is not by Nathaniel Johnston. He believes this is a copy of a drawing  by William Stukeley. The copy could be the work of the wife of the Rev. Fleming St. John of Herefordshire who owned the Stukeley papers, which are now in the Bodleian Library. The original drawing is among the Stukeley papers, he may have copied Nathaniel Johnston’s drawing which could now be lost.