According to legend and tradition Robin Hood was a lovable outlaw who as an expert archer was adept at poaching the king's deer from his hideout in the forest of Sherwood. Stories relate how wealthy travellers through Sherwood forest were robbed and their belongings given to the poor by Robin Hood and his band of "Merry Men" (and women). Stories also tell of how Robin trickedand outwitted the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and his henchman Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and dealt with corrupt churchmen and officials who abused their power over an oppressed peasantry. n popular culture, Robin Hood and his band of merry men are usually portrayed as living in Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire. Much of the action in the early ballads takes place in Nottinghamshire, and the earliestknown ballad shows the outlaws fighting in Sherwood Forest. So does the very first recorded Robin Hood rhyme, four lines from the early 15th century, beginning: "Robyn hode in scherewode stod." However, the overall picture from the surviving early ballads and other early references suggest that Robin Hood may have been based in the Barnsdale area of what is now South Yorkshire (which bordersNottinghamshire).
Other traditions point to a variety of locations as Robin's "true" home both inside Yorkshire and elsewhere, with the abundance of places named for Robin causing further confusion. A tradition dating back at least to the end of the 16th century gives his birthplace as Loxley, Sheffield in South Yorkshire, while the site of Robin Hood's Well in Yorkshire has been associated withRobin Hood at least since 1422. His grave has been claimed to be at Kirklees Priory, Mirfield in West Yorkshire, as implied by the 18th-century version of Robin Hood's Death, and there is a headstone there of dubious authenticity.
Nottingham: is a city and unitary authority area in the East Midlands of England. It is located in theceremonial county of Nottinghamshire, and is one of eight membersof the English Core Cities Group. Whilst the City of Nottingham has a historically tightly drawn boundary which accounts for its relatively small population of 288,700, the widerNottingham Urban Area has a population of 667,000 and is the seventh-largest urban area in the United Kingdom, ranking between those of Liverpool and Sheffield. Eurostat's Larger Urban Zone listed the area’s population at825,600 as of 2004. Nottingham is famed for its links with the Robin Hood legend and, during the Industrial Revolution, obtained worldwide recognition for its lace-making and bicycle industries. It was granted its city charter as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Queen Victoria in 1897 and has since been officially titled the City of Nottingham.
The Death Coach
It is midnight. The streets of Cohoes grow silent as the citizens turn off their lights one by one and go to their well-earned rest. The night is dark, and the wind whispers softly, touching the trees and houses, rattling a window pane here and there.
In one house, a woman sits beside her window, waiting silently for the doctor to arrive. Her beloved husband lies on the bed next toher. In the light of a single candle, she can see his emaciated face. He is in terrible pain, which even the drugs prescribed by the doctor cannot abate. She clutches his hand tightly, feeling the cold creeping through it. He is barely breathing now. She knows he is slipping away. One part of her is thankful, for she cannot bear to see him in so much pain. Most of her wants to scream out indesperation, begging him not to leave her alone. Outside the house, the soft rumble of wheels and the clip-clop of hooves echo through the still night. The woman tears her eyes from her husband's face and looks out of the window, expecting to see the doctor's curricle pulling into the street. Instead, she sees a dark, closed coach with black gaping holes where the windows should be. The shafts at the...