147: Robin Hood's Golden Prize

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The earliest version of this ballad was printed by Francis Grove c1620-55 (Wood Collection) but its entry in the Stationers’ Register is for 1656. This broadside has the initials of the author Lawrence Price appended. It also appears in the Garlands of 1663 and 1670 and later seventeenth century broadsides are in the Pepys and Roxburghe collections. Child states, ‘The kernel of the story is an old tale we find represented in Pauli’s Schimpf und Ernst, 1533.’ An upmarket illustrated version was printed in the eighteenth century by L How in London and copies of this can be found at Harvard University Library and in the Douce Collection.

Not known in oral tradition and Bronson gives no versions. He presents a good case for the tune being that of 139 ‘RH’s Progress to Nottingham’.