Robin Hood's Tomb
As we are in the season for spooky stories and tales of eerie events, I thought it would be appropriate to feature a mysterious account by Thomas Gent (1693-1778) about Robin Hood’s tomb.
Born in Ireland of English parents, Thomas Gent was a member of the Stationer's Company and worked with Samuel Richardson in London before setting up as a printer at York in 1724. From his print shop in York, Thomas Gent produced many editions of Robin Hood Garlands. This story however, appeared in Gent’s 1730 work, ‘Ancient and Modern History of the famous City of York,’ and was also published in Joseph Ritson’s collection on Robin Hood in 1832.
Gent had been told that:
“[Robin Hood’s] tombstone, having his effigy there on was ordered not many years ago, by a certain knight, to be placed as a hearth-stone in his great hall. When it was laid over-night, the next morning it was ‘surprisingly’ removed [on or to] one side; and so three times it was laid and as successively turned aside. The knight, thinking he had done wrong to have bought it thither ordered it should be drawn back again; which was performed by a pair of oxen and four horses, when twice the number could scarcely do it before.”
(Joseph Ritson Robin Hood page xxxix)
Robin Hood’s grave at Kirklees has been the subject of much controversy. The drawing of the gravestone above was made in 1665 and only a small portion of the stone now remains. It is said that a chip of Robin’s tombstone was a cure for toothache and when the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway was being constructed in the early 19th century, the navvies placed pieces of it under their pillows to allay the pain!
For more information on Robin Hood's death and Kirklees, please click here.