Anecdotes of Archery
Part 8 of 34
HUBERT, Archbifhop of Canterbury and chief Judiciary of England, we are told, iffued feveral proclamations for the fuppreffing of outlaws; and even fet a price on the head of this hero. Several ftratagems were ufed to apprehend him, but in vain. Force he repelled by force; nor was he lefs artful than his enemies. At length being clofely purfued, many of his followers flain, and the reft difperfed, he took refuge in the Priory of Kirklees, about twelve miles from Leeds, in Yorkfhire, the Priorefs at that time being his near relation. Old age, difappointment, and fatigue, brought on difeafe; a monk was called in to open a vein, who, either through ignorance or defign, performed his part fo ill, that the bleeding could not be ftopped.
Believing he fhould not recover, and wifhing to point out the place where his remains might be depofited, he called for his bow and discharging two arrows, the firft fell in the river Cal-der, the fecond falling in the park, marked the place of his future fepulture. He died on the 24th of December, in the year 1247, as appears by the following epitaph, which was once legible on his tomb, in Kirklees park; where, though the tomb remains, yet the infcription hath been long obliterated. It was, however, preferved by Dr. GALE, Dean of York, and inferted from his papers by Mr. THORESBY, in his Ducat. Leod. and is as follows:
HEAR, UNDERNEAD DIS LATIL STEAN,
LAIZ ROBERT EARL OF HUNTINGTON ;
NEA ARCIR VER AZ HIE SA GEUD.
AN PIPL KAULD IM ROBIN HEUD :
SICK UTLAWZ AZ HI AN IZ MEN,
VIL ENGLAND NIVR SI AGEN.
OBIT 24 KAL. DEKEMBRIS, 1247.
In a fmall grove part of the cemetery formerly belonging to this Priory, is a large flat graveftone, on which is carved the figure of a Crofs de Calvary, extending the whole length of ftone, and round the margin is infcribed in Monaftic characters:
+ DOVCE : IHU : DE ; NAZAREH : DONNE :
MERCY : ELIZABEH : DE . STANTON :
PRIORES : DE : CETTE MAISON.
The lady whofe memory is here recorded, is faid to have been related to Robin Hood, and under whofe protection he took refuge fometime before his death. Thefe being the only monuments, remaining at the place make it probable, at leaft:, that they have been preferved on account of the fuppofed affinity of the perfons over whofe remains they were erected.
R. HOOD'S mother had two fifters, each older than herfelf. The firft married ROGER LORD MOWBRAY; the other married into the family of Wake. As neither of thefe could be priorefs of Kirklees, ELIZABETH STANTON might be one of their defcendants.
In the churchyard of Hatherfage, a village in Derbyfhire, were depofited, as tradition informs us, the remains of JOHN LITTLE, the fervant and companion of ROBIN HOOD. The grave is diftinguifhed by a large ftone, placed at the head, and another at the feet; on each of which are yet fome remains of the letters I. L.