Preface

 

“Forgive me, but if I might be permitted to speak.
You kill too readily. When I was Sheriff-,”pleaded Edward…

 

Edward was the former Sheriff, the ‘good’ Sheriff, the Sheriff whom King Richard himself had chosen some twenty years before.
But now that King Richard was fighting in the crusades in the Holy land his tyrannical brother, Prince John, had gathered his own forces. Calling themselves ‘The Black Knights’, they planned to oust King Richard from the throne. The Black Knights called this plan ‘Operation Shah Mat’, which in Persian meant ‘kill the king’. The way the black knights went about this was unjust – indeed, even fatal to those who dared speak out against their High Treason. Prince John hoped that in spite of putting his most cunning and most brutal friend one rank under the King (that being Sheriff of Nottinghamshire), he would gain the favor of most, if not all, the populace, who lived in and close by Nottingham Castle. The man was called Vaizey, but he was widely known just as ‘the Sheriff’. As it has already been mentioned, he was a brutal man. Why do we say brutal? Well, if anyone one spoke out against the Sheriff, or for King Richard, they knew that they would either be killed by the sword, hung on the gallows or have their tongues chopped out, those being the most used practices to keep control of the peasants. As a result, they only rarely voiced their concerns, bowing, instead, to the Sheriff’s every whim. Every whim, but one, that is. Taxes!  Money was scarce and yet every penny earnt was taken in the form of taxes. The peasants would have been willing to pay their taxes had not the Sheriff taxed so much and so often. But the Sheriff did both and he did not like mercy as his main dish, so over time the once thriving city had dwindled to a poor town. It was not long until Nottingham was nicknamed Rottingham.

Nottingham had only one hope for redemption and restoration of justice – Robin Hood. That would be Robin along with his band of men, who were also outlawed; Little John, Will Scarlet, Allan A Dale, Djaq and Much.
But all credit should not go only to Robin and his band. The peasants and villagers thanked “The Night Watchman”, otherwise known as Marian, for distributing food, even though she was caught in the act and nearly put to death for her troubles. If Marian had not had the same passion for justice that Robin had, she undoubtedly would not have carried on in the face of such adversity.   

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