Robin Hood and the Monk



a) Before you read the story below, you might want to find out more about Robin Hood and his 'merry men'. Who were Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet and the others? At the bottom of this page you will find the address to a website that will give you more information.

b) Read the legend about Robin Hood and the Monk. Then choose one of the characters in the story. Your task is to retell the legend from that person’s point of view (see Toolbox). Read the story again and pay special attention to ‘your' character. Find a partner and tell her or him your story. Feel free to improvise.


Robin Hood and the Monk

It was spring in Sherwood Forest, and the sounds of the forest mingled with the scent of a May morning. Robin Hood was in a thoughtful mood as he stood gazing into the greenery. His only thought was that he had not attended church for a long time and he declared to his men that he would go to Nottingham alone so that he could make his peace with God.

He did not listen to Much the Miller’s son who advised him to take twelve strong and well-armed men with him. Instead, he decided to go with only one man, his friend Little John.

The two travelled to the edge of Nottingham shooting for pennies but quarrelled over the winnings. A fight broke out and a furious Little John declared that he would not serve Robin anymore. He turned his back to his friend and walked away.

Sadly, Robin travelled the rest of the journey to Nottingham alone and entered St. Mary’s Church without disguise in full view of the people there. Instantly, he was recognised by a treacherous monk who called for the City gates to be shut and warned the Sheriff of Nottingham that the King’s enemy was in the town.

Gathering a large company of men, the Sheriff rushed to the church and confronted a surprised Robin. A great fight broke out. Robin swiftly killed twelve of the Sheriff’s men and wounded many more before he finally broke his two-handed sword over the head of the Sheriff himself. Alas, Robin was finally captured and thrown into Nottingham prison.

News of Robin’s capture travelled back to Sherwood Forest and the outlaws were deeply distressed. Only Little John kept his head and put faith in the power of the Virgin Mary to keep Robin safe.

Little John set off with Much the Miller’s son and eventually spied the Monk and his servant travelling on the road out of Nottingham towards London. After tricking the Monk who was taking the news of Robin’s capture from the Sheriff of Nottingham to the King, Little John and Much killed him and his servant and went themselves to London on the Monk’s business. The King gave the pair a reward and a warrant and sent them back to Nottingham to collect Robin Hood under guard and send him back to London unharmed.

On returning to Nottingham, they found the gates shut and the town swarming with guards as the Sheriff tried to protect the prize he had locked up in his dungeon. Little John quickly showed the King’s warrant and was granted admittance to Nottingham. On seeing the King’s seal, the Sheriff was beside himself with joy and drank heavily of fine wine until he fell into a deep slumber. The fate of the Monk was explained by the story that he had been promoted to the Abbot of Westminster and that Little John and Much the Miller’s son had been sent in his place.

Little John and Much headed straight for the cells and tricked the jailer into opening the jail door. Robin was released and armed with a good sword. Then they made their way to a low wall and jumped down into the forest.

At cockcrow the next morning, the Sheriff found the dead jailer. He ordered his men to search every street and alley for the fugitive outlaws. But without success, as Robin and his men were already safe and sound back in Sherwood Forest.

The King realised that Little John had made fools of them all and left the Sheriff in peace. Meanwhile, back in Sherwood Forest, Robin and Little John patched up the quarrel they had had before the events in St. Mary’s Church, and the outlaws lived to fight another day.


Robin Hood (Wikipedia)