137: Robin Hood and the Pedlars

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I have no other copies of this ballad in any other collections (although Gutch published it). This is not surprising as it comes via J. Payne Collier, a noted forger. Child’s first paragraph on it sums it up pretty well. ‘The manuscript in which this ballad occurs contains a variety of matters, and as the best authority (E M Thompson, Keeper of Mss at the BL) has declared, may in part have been written as early as 1650, but all the ballads are in a nineteenth century hand and some of them are maintained to be forgeries. I see no sufficient reason for regarding this particular piece as spurious, and therefore, though I should be glad to be rid of it, accept it for the present as perhaps a copy of a broadside, or a copy of a copy.’ No such broadside has come to light since Child’s time, and therefore, I would deal with it as Bronson has done and ignore it completely.