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The Death of Robin Hood


At first it bled the thicke thicke blood
And afterwards the thinne
And well then wist good Robin Hood
Treason there was within

The death of Robin Hood is a well known legend. He was treacherously bled to death by the wicked prioress of Kirklees nunnery, a small Cistercian house near Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The outlaw's gory and unheroic end is shrouded in mystery. Who was the evil nun and why did she commit so foul a murder ? What was the role of Red Roger of Doncaster, who was present at the scene of crime ? Was he a priest and also the prioress's lover ? Who WAS the prioress ? Was she Dame Elizabeth de Stainton, whose grave can still be seen at Kirklees, or was it Sister Mary Startin, who died of the Black Death in 1350 ?

All that is left of this medieval whodunit is a ruined grave, hidden in deep woodland, and the derelict priory gatehouse of Kirklees where Robin was so gruesomely done to death. Was the famous outlaw a victim of thwarted passion, pagan sacrifice, bad nursing, accident, natural causes or vampirism ? The entire area where this horrific drama took place is shrouded in, according to one old book, a mystery which local people only reluctantly tried to penetrate. The mystery was helped physically by the thick shroud of trees that surrounded the place and was sustained by local tales of prioresses and nuns and of the death of Robin Hood.

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