Roger Marshall

It began with the arrest of two men in Walsall (who were from Wednesbury and Dudley) for assault. Roger Marshall and three others, including a priest and a squire, with two hundred followers, (armed with bows and arrows and other weapons), assembled in Wednesbury and threatened a rescue. They were forbidden to attend Willenhall fair on Trinity Sunday, but Marshall, now named as Robyn Hood, and the priest came with a hundred armed men. Also present were sixty armed men from Wolverhampton led by the ‘abbot of Marram’. They threatened to attack any Walsall men they met at the fair.

In his defence Marshall claimed to be playing the Robin Hood game:

. . . hit hath byn of olde tymes used and accustumed on the said fere day that wyth the inhabitantes of Wolverhampton, Wednesbury and Walsall have comyne to the said fere the capitanns called the Abot of Marham or Robyn Hodys to the intent to gether money with their disportes to the profight of the chirches of the seid lordshipes. (Quoted in Holt, Robin Hood, 1982, p. 149).

In the May Games, Robin is mentioned alongside the abbot of Marham, one of the traditional Lords of Misrule in the west Midlands. (Holt, Robin Hood, 1982, p. 149).