Robin Hood’s Grave 3

1715 Ralph Thoresby in his Ducatus Leodiensis writes: ‘near unto Kirklees the noted Robin Hood lies buried under a grave-stone (the slab?) that yet remains near the park, but the inscription scarce legible’. In the appendix is the following note: ‘Amongst the papers of the learned Dr. Gale, late dean of Yorke, was found this epitaph of Robin Hood’. Thoresby then quotes Gale’s epitaph.
1727 The epitaph as quoted in Sepulchrorum Inscriptions records another version:
  Here underneath this little stone
  Thro’ Death’s assaults, now lieth one
  Known by the name of Robin Hood
  Who was a thief, and archer good
  Full thirteen years, and something more
  He robb’d the rich to feed the poor
  Therefore, his grave bedew with tears
  And offer for his soul your prayers
1746 Roger Dodsley in The Travels of Tom Thumb over England and Wales, gives us yet another version of the epitaph:
  Here under this memorial stone
  Lies Robert earl of Huntingdon
  As he, no archer e’er was good
  And people called him Robin Hood
  Such outlaws as his men and he
  Again may England never see
1786 Richard Gough in his Sepulchral Monuments in Great Britain writes: ‘The figure of the stone (the slab) over the grave of Robin Hood (in Kirklees park) now broken and much defaced, the inscription illegible. That printed in Thoresby Ducat. Leod. 576, from Dr. Gale’s papers, was never on it’. (Gough appears to be confusing the slab with the stone with the epitaph). Gough goes on to say: ‘The late Sir Samuel Armytage, owner of the premises caused the ground under it (the slab) to be dug a yard deep, and found it had never been disturbed’. (Perhaps they should have dug down another yard just to make sure).