Robin Hood search for the Truth | Robin Hood Places | Hood surname statistics | Robin Hood of Wakefield | Robert Hood of Newton | The Pinder of Wakefield Marian | Friars | Loxley and 'Huntington' | Myriads of Robin Hoods | Ballads of Robin Hood | Kirklees | The Armytages of Kirklees | Little John | Roger De Doncaster | The Penurious Knyght | Our Comly King  | Shire Reeve | Priory of Kirklees | Wakefield Rolls | Saylis of the Geste- a new site | Robert III Butler of Skelbrooke | Barnsdale and the Geste | De Lacis of PontefractAlice De Laci and John of GauntBarnsdale Gallery | A suspected compiler of the Geste | Images of Robyn Hode

                      Loxley & Huntingdon

Locksleah, Locksley, Loxley are all synonymous with the claimed place-name for the birth-place of Robin. Surely then following naming patterns his name would have been Robin or Robert de Loxley?
If it can be relied upon, the 'Sloane Manuscript' of 1600 gives Robin's birthplace as Loxley.  However, although the inspiration for the ballad character was granted 'Loxley' he was not born there. There is a Loxley in Warwickshire, another in Staffordshire and one in Yorkshire. Locksley/Loxley near Sheffield is reputed to be his birthplace. However there is no corroborating written record of this. If his name was Robert de Hode, could he not just as easily have been a native of Hodresfeld (Huddersfield)? or Hotham [D.B. Hode] in east Yorkshire? Just as in the words neighbourhood, knighthood or priesthood, could not the word "hood' represent a "state of being". In fact I find that the modern word 'Hood' has been completely  hijacked by the allusions to hooded clothing, whilst hoods have become synonymous with criminals wishing to hide their identity. Yet the name for the inspiration of the ballad character was not Hood, Hode or Hod &c. 

To confuse the issue a gravestone reputed to be a copy of  Robin's grave from Kirklees is known from Loxley in Warwickshire, with a Lombardic style or fleuretty cross on the capping stone. This confusion is modern conflation par excellence redolent of some of England's finest story-tellers.
A very similar style grave cover was drawn by John Throsby from St. Anne's Well in Nottingham which could have been sold to the Nottingham tourist traders by the Armitage family of Kirklees.

Loxley village in Yorkshire lies on the River Loxley about three miles from the centre of present day Sheffield near the site of a Roman road from Doncaster to Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire ("the road to nowhere"). See The Last Eorl
A few miles to the west of Loxley is Hathersage, the reputed burial place of his second-in-command, "Little John". The Hathersage district has a number of places using the name "Robin Hood"- Robin Hood's Stoop, Robin Hood's Cross and Robin Hood's Cave. 

However, from more recent findings neither this Yorkshire Loxley, the Staffordshire Loxley nor the Loxley in Warwickshire are the site of one of Robyn's manor houses. The name has been changed as they say 'to protect the innocent' and has yet to be announced. When the present owner discovers his good fortune, he will be well pleased and 'Time Team' or their hopefully subsequent equivalent,  will have to spend more than three days sifting the soil.

See: Robin Hood Places

Earl of Huntington's arms according to Hunter. Huntington
The earl of Huntington's arms were described by Joseph Hunter as Gules, two bends, engrailed or. However Hunter appears to be using earlier sources (e.g. Ritson, Major without question. If there were a coat of arms or an achievement then the arms would have evolved after the invasion of 1066, as such they were introduced by the Norman-French into England in Henry I's reign.. 

Further research has shown that in fact a coat of arms very similar to the one provided above is found in the family of a traditional adversary of the person styled 'Robin Hood', William Brewer, an early Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The title earl of Huntington is used by Munday in his plays but whether this refers to an imaginary place of title or Huntington in Yorkshire, Huntington in Staffordshire, Huntingdon in Huntingdonshire/ Cambridgeshire or Huntingdon in Herefordshire/Worcestershire, is not apparent. The phonetic spelling of Huntington as written in Munday's plays and the ballad Robin Hood and Queen Katherine could easily have been originally spelled with a "d". However it seems to be common to spell Huntingdon as Huntington during the Tudor period.
According to one author, Robin Hood was the earl of Huntington whose true name was Robert Fitzooth (Filii Ooth, corrupted to Robin Hood) who was descended from a Gilbert de Gaunt, the earl of Ryme and Lindsey [Muschamps were his stewards]. Gilbert de Gand [Gaunt/Ghent] according to the Domesday Book, also held lands in the East Riding of Yorkshire at Humanby, Ricstorp & Wold Newton.

The 2nd earl Warrene had two children [some sources state six], William and Adeline. Adeline married Henry Canmore [Gaelic : Ceann mhor] or Henry de Huntingdon  [b. 1114, d. 1152] Prince of Scotland, earl of Northumbria and Huntingdon. Prince Henry's fifth child, David earl Lennox became the 2nd Earl of Huntingdon. One of Henry's grandchildren [Isabella Ceann mhor] married Robert de Bruis [Bruce] of Scotland. The title earl of Huntingdon was not lost to the [Ceann mhor] Canmores with David's death in 1219 at Yardley [Northamptonshire]  for his youngest child John Ceann mhor inherited the title. However with John's death, the Huntingdon honour was eventually broken up in 1245 when John Le Scot's wife died. Earl David was succeeded by two daughters, for his eldest son Robert, who some have equated with "Robin Hood" died at about the age of  thirty in 1221. Both Robert and John pre-deceased their two sisters, Ada and Isabella. The title could then have passed through Ada to the Hastings family but the title earl of Huntington was went into abeyance until granted to William Clinton [Fiennes] of Climpton, Oxfordshire by Edward III for his assistance against the Scots.

                  Arms of Fiennes:
       Azure, three lions rampant or
                .The Arms of Fiennes

Thus the title earl of Huntingdon was taken from the Scottish line. Jean/John le Scot/Cean mhor, earl of Chester and Huntingdon was probably the the last in the Ceann mhor Scottish line to hold the title. Thus if there were a dispossesion of the earldom then this is where it definitely occurred. See: The Earls of Chester.

In the pedigree of the Scottish kings there is a Robert of Huntington [born before 1207 perhaps 1180]. He appears to be the eldest child of seven, of David Earl Lennox [2nd Earl Huntingdon]. This would appear to be Huntingdon in what is now Cambridgeshire but was then Huntingdonshire. Robert's mother was Mathilda [Maund/Maud] of Chester, Countess de Keveliock [Ceuelioc, Wales] whose father Hugh, was the earl of Chester. Coincidentally the first reference to the ballads of Robin Hood is titled 'Rymes of Robyn Hood and Randolf Erl of Chestre' Thus this Robert should have inherited the title "Earl Huntingdon" but because he pre-deceased his father he did not aquire the title. According to Fordun, Robert Ceann mhor died in infancy. Robert's younger brother Jean le Scot appears to have inherited the title "Earl of Huntingdon" as well as the earldom of Chester. Interestingly, the 6th child of David and Mathilda was Isabella Ceann mhor [FitzDavid] of Huntingdon who married Robert Bruce, 4th Lord of Annandale which led to the line of Bruces including the great Robert le Bruis I King of Scotland.[note: Bruis, like other titled Scottish family names is in fact French!#].

     Pedigree for the earls of Huntington*:

Malcolm III  ===============St. Margaret Aethling              Waltheof II=========Judith de Boulogne

"Canmore"               |                 Queen of England                    Earl of Huntingdon   
King of Scotland                                                                                               |
David I King of Scotland=====2<=====Matilda [Maud] of Northumberland, daughter & heir of =====>1=====Simon I de St. Liz
                                  Waltheof II of Northumberland                                            Earl of Huntingdon
                                                       Queen of Scotland b.Huntingdon abt. 1074
                  Henry Ceann mhor=========Ada, Adeline Warrene, daughter of William de Warrene 2nd Earl Warrene.
          Prince of Scotland &                   Countess Warrene
    2nd Earl of Northumberland      |
          Earl of Huntingdon          
       David Earl Huntingdon, Earl Lennox.========= Mathilda [Maud] of Chester, Countess de Kevelioch
  _____________________________Ceann mhor______________________________________________________        ____
      |                                 |                                      |                               |                                                 |                                       |

Robert of                 John le Scot                   Marguerite==Alan           Ada=====Sir Henry                 Isabella====Robert          Henry
Huntingdon             de Huntingdon                                  of  Galloway                 Hastings                                    Bruce           of Stirling
1191-1221              Earl of  Huntingdon                                                                                                                                       [illegit.]                   
Earl of Chester                                                       |                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                               John Baliol=====Devorguilla                                                                                           
                                                   |                                                    |                                               |
                                              Balliol line                    Hastings  line                               Bruce line

* Indeed there is a connection to Robyn here but it is very, very distant.

From the above pedigree it can also be noticed that Sir Henry de Hastings married into the Canmore [Gaelic: Ceann mhor or "bighead"] family which at that time lay claim to the title earl of Huntingdon, his line ostensibly could have succeeded to the title earl of Huntington but it was granted by Edward III in 1337 to William Fiennes for services offered in the Scottish Wars.
Later Lord William Hastings was the king's Captain of the Wool Staple at Calais [during Edward IV's reign] and was given the title Tyger Pursuviant of Calais. It is this tyger which sits on the Midgley achievement of arms and indicates a follower of Lord William Hastings created a peer by Edward IV on the battlefield of Towton in 1461. Edward the IV was of the Yorkist line, Lord Hastings his great friend and warrior in arms was beheaded in 1483 by another Yorkist, Richard III, following Edward IV's death.
See Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick

Not shown in the pedigree above is the fact that another son of Henry Prince of Scotland, Malcolm IV ["The Maiden"  reigned 1153-1165] was given the title of "The 6th earl of Huntingdon"Henry II had insisted that he surrender his claim to Northumbria in 1157 in return for a re-grant of the earldom of Huntingdon. Malcolm fought as an English baron in 1159 against the French and did homage to the English king in 1163. Between 1160 and 1164 Malcolm was busy suppressing rebellions in Scotland.

Even earlier, Maud [Matilda] of Huntingdon, had married David I, King of Scotland secondly but firstly, Simon de St. Liz an earl of Huntingdon. Maud was Waltheof  II's daughter who was created  earl of Huntington under William the I. Maud and Simon I  had a son Simon II who according to the map-maker John Speed inherited the title earl of Huntington [Speed uses the spelling in both ways] through his mother. Speed says that Maud's son, Henry Ceann mhor by David I of Scotland carried away the honour after the death of her husband Simon I from his half and elder brother. However Prince Henry pre-deceased his father, David I and by "mutability of fortune and favour of princes, dignity was again restored to the de Lizours [sic] and against the Scottish"3 So here again we have a case of dispossesion of the earldom of Huntingdon.

                                           Earl of Huntington, according to John Speed 1610
"Waltheof by William the Conqueror, whose sisters daughter by the mother's side he had married  was created Earle of Huntington whose elder daughter and coheir named Maund [Maud] married Simon de Lizo [Liz]to whom she brought the Earldom a son that bore his father's name, Mand.
After the death of her husband she married David brother to Maud Queen of England who after was king of Scotland to who she bore a son Henry who carried away the honour of the Earldom for his half and elder brother. But Prince Henry predeceased his father but by mutability of fortune and favour of princes, dignity was again restored to the de Lizours and again to the Scottish as to Malcolm and William, both kings of Scotland to David and John surnamed the Scot, earl of Chester and lastly to Alexander II king of Scotland. Afterward the Earldom was .... held by the nobles written here under:-
   William Clinton E.*
    Guyfard Angolesme
    John Holland E.#
    Thomas Grey E.
    William Herbert
    George Hastings
*William Clinton [Fiennes] of Climpton, Oxon., was created earl of Huntington by Edward III of England, i.e. the title was lost by the Scottish nobility following wars with England.

# John Holland 12th earl of Huntingdon cr.1388 to his death in 1399. Knight of the Garter 1381. John De Holand, 1st Duke Of Exeter b.>1350 in Upholland, Lancashire.d. 9 Jan 1399, Pleshey Castle, Essex where he was beheaded for treason against his brother-in-law, King Henry IV, the Lancastrian who ascended in this year.
His father was Thomas De Holand, 1st earl Of Kent (1314-1360) and mother, Joan Plantagenet "The Fair Maid Of Kent"  Countess Of Kent (b. 1328 d.1385)
There is also a John Holland mentioned as the 13th earl of Huntingdon [1416-1447] also Kt. of the Garter 1416.

Arms of the various Earls of Huntingdon, note Welsh harp for Hastings.

From the above pedigree we may be able to see that Matilda of Northumberland was possibly born here at Huntington, Yorkshire. This may indicate that Waltheof's Court was here or nearby, outsideYork, Eorfwich or Euric. There also appears to be a hall of Waltheof's at the lost place of Hallam in South Yorkshire. 
Waltheof was an important Anglian leader from Northampton in Northumberland who due to his young age was superceeded as leader of the English by Harold Godwinson of Wessex whose son  led the English at the Battle of Hastings. Waltheof was later defeated by William I of England. The "Harrying of the North" between Tyne and Tees removed this warriors' army from contention when every male over the age of 15 was butchered for rebelling against the Norman invaders. Was this the origin for the Robin Hood dispossession of Munday's "Earl of Huntington", for Waltheof would appear to have been the Anglian Earl of Huntington in Yorkshire.

Huntington manor in North Yorkshire lies today in the N.E. outskirts of York city. York was the Primary Cathederal in England until William I moved this hierarchy to Canterbury under a Norman Bishop. Huntington Manor would have played an important part in  food production for the city and  guarded the northern approaches to the city wall and gate. Coat of Arms for Henry de Percy, 1280 In the Domesday book of 1086 Huntington is referred to as Huntingdune [HVNTINGDVNE] but by 1579 Christopher Saxton has it spelled Huntington as does John Speed in 1610 who also distinguished Huntingdonshire as Huntingdonia. By Thomas Moule's time the spelling of Huntington in Yorkshire had retained its spelling of Huntington.

    Maps from various authors which indicate that the spelling always varied for 
    Huntingdon in Southern England but never varies for Huntington near York after 

Christopher Saxton
John Speed
Thomas  Wildey
Thomas Moule
Shire of Huntingdon* 'Huntingdonia' Huntingdonshire and Huntingtonshire Huntingdon Huntingdon & Huntingdonshire
Town of Huntingdon Huntington and Huntingdon Huntington Huntingdon Huntingdon
Village of Huntington near York Huntington Huntington - Huntington
* Huntingdon  was named from O.E. meaning "Hunter's Down"5 It is now part of Cambridgeshire.It was the first bridging point [Ermine St.] across the River Ouse above the Fens, a marshy region towards the Isle of Ely. Thus it appears as though Huntington in Yorkshire was modified by map makers from the original in the D.B. perhaps to differentiate it from Huntingdon in Southern England. Munday always refers to Huntington.
There are of course other places with the name Huntingdon/Huntington:
1. Huntingdon [Herefordshire/Worcestershire] referred to by Speed as Huntington Chapel.
2. Huntington, Staffordshire. West of Cannock Chase. See Hood Statistics
3. Huntington Lothian, Scotland. Between Dunbar and Edinburgh.

In the DB Huntingdune near York consisted of  two carucates and six bovates [taxable] and land for two ploughs which was held by Frithgestr & Arngrimr, [both Danish names] from King William I himself.
The DB also states that Thorketill & Thormothr [Danish Sokemen] held two manors of 5 carucates, taxable, with three ploughs possible. It is mentioned that "now Nigel [ Nigel de Fossard, under-tenant of Count of Mortain] has it from the Count [ the term Count is French] in lordship - half a plough, a priest & church, 8 villagers with one plough."
The whole manor was 7 furlongs by 7. The value had dropped as with other properties after "The Harrying of the North" from 20 shillings before 1066 to 12 shillings in 1086 or to put it into perspective, by 40%. See: Domesday Book Defined

Munday's plays The Death of Robert Earle of Huntington & The Downfall of Robert Earle of Huntington have striking correlations with persons in history.  These names are all associated with French-Norman family names in the North of England, indeed if Robin is a contraction of Robert then this is a particularly Norman name:

*Sir Hugh Lacy [Hugh Lacy Lord of the manor of Midgley] The de Lacis were granted large estates in Yorkshire.
*The Earl of Chester [Hugh Keveliock, Earl of Chester & his grandson Jean/John le Scot who also took the title Earl of Huntington]
*Lord Fitzwater [Fitzwalter]
*Sir Doncaster of Hothersfield [Huddersfield]
*Justice Warman [Warrene?]
*Earl of Leicester [Roger de Beaumont 1st earl Leicester married Isabel deVermandois] who married secondly, William 2nd earl de Warrene who held the manor of Wakefield]
*Hugh de Brun [Hugh le Brun married Maud de Albini dtr. of Duke of Norfolk, his daughter, Alice, married John 7th Earl Warrene]
*Henry de Burgh [Elizabeth de Burgh married Robert Bruce of Scotland in 1302]
*Aubrey de Vere [Joan de Vere entered the Warrene line by marrying William de Warrene who pre-deceased his father, dying in 1286]
*Bruce [Robert Bruce married into the Earl of Huntington generation]

Place names also have actual places in the North [line numbers refer to The Downfall of Robert Earle of Huntington by Munday]:

Sowtham [Southowram near Halifax], line 284
Hothersfield [Huddersfield], line 284
Wortley [South Yorkshire], line 284
Bairnsdale [Barnsdale], line 1282
Barnsley, line 1286
Rotheram [Rotherham], line 1292
Bawtrey [Bawtry] South Yorkshire, line 2496, a river port prior to fen draining in the 1700's.

In addition:
The Greenwood, lay near Heptonstall, West Yorkshire. [from which many local people take their surname] Guisborough in Cleveland which originally lay in Yorkshire, was once held by the Bruce family & according to John Bellamy was called Gisburne in the medieval period. [GISBVRGH in Christopher Saxton's map of 1579 and also in John Speed's map of 1610]. Certainly Munday could have used the name with slight modification. Guisborough became the seat of the Chaloners. See Stanley Page 

Whether Munday was using unknown ballads or other sources as well as the Geste is not known but there is certainly a good sprinkling of recognisable Yorkshire names along with his 'grene wode' mentioned many times. The Geste, which I can show was the original Robin Hood ballad, never mentions 'Shirewode' or even 'Sherwood'. This was a later addition to the Robin Hood ballads, again 'fact' has been constructed upon fallacy, the Geste author did not only have the forest of Sherwood in mind particularly when he penned his cryptic political song.
In addition Munday has Gilbert de Hood as Robert's uncle who is the Prior of York1. Gilbert Hoode is also described in a play from 1600 as Robert's father2
In the late 1500's and early 1600's Huntington was the estate of the earls of Northumberland. The Percy's throughout the medieval period arguably possessed  as much power and baronage as the English kings and were a common source of irritation for the crown. The 9th earl, Henry Percy who was a Catholic was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his suspected role in the "Gunpowder Plot" in 1605.

Further recent research does not support the idea that Robyn was ever an an earl. However, I find that the man who modelled for the ballad character had some astounding connections which have yet to be announced.

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# De Ballilleul s= Balliol [Baliol] from Picardy10
   De Bruce = Bruis/Brus [Fr.]11
   Fraser = Freseliene, from Anjou11.
   Grant = Fr. nickname Le Grande11.
   Hay = from the Cotentin11.
   FitzAlan = Picardy10 took the name Stewart = hereditary office of the steward of Scotland. The first steward of Scotlandwas Walter FitzAlan who was descended from a long line of Breton nobles who were hereditary stewards of Dol in Brittany11. It was imperative of course that the steward who was responsible for the king's household could be absolutely    trusted, they had the responsibility for over-seeing the prepararation of food to ensure it was not poisoned. The name underwent a spelling modification in the form of 'Stuart' which enabled a more correct French pronunciation for the allies of Scotland.

Sources :
1. Munday, Anthony. The Downfall of Robert Earle of Huntington.[pdf]
2. Look About You, 1600.
3. Speed, John. The Counties of Britain, 1610.
4. Hallam, Elizabeth [Gen.Ed.] The Plantagenet Encyclopaedia, Tiger Books, London, 1996.
5. Moule, Thomas. The County Maps of Old England, 1830.
6. Wildey,George. Map of the British Isles, 1715.
9. Domesday Book for Yorkshire.
10. Fry, Plantagenet, Somerset. Kings & Queens, Dorling Kindersley, 1990.
11. Andrews, Allen. Kings & Queens of England & Scotland, Marshall Cavendish, 1976.

Copyright © Tim Midgley 2000 internal links revised  July 2023.

Robin Hood search for the Truth | Robin Hood Places | Hood surname statistics | Robin Hood of Wakefield | Robert Hood of Newton | The Pinder of Wakefield Marian | Friars | Loxley and 'Huntington' | Myriads of Robin Hoods | Ballads of Robin Hood | Kirklees | The Armytages of Kirklees | Little John | Roger De Doncaster | The Penurious Knyght | Our Comly King  | Shire Reeve | Priory of Kirklees | Wakefield Rolls | Saylis of the Geste- a new site | Robert III Butler of Skelbrooke | Barnsdale and the Geste | De Lacis of PontefractAlice De Laci and John of GauntBarnsdale Gallery | A suspected compiler of the Geste | Images of Robyn Hode