A popular game called Robin Hood

August 31, 2009

A popular game played in honor of pagan gods around the time of the Reformation in 1560 was “Robin Hood’. The origin of the game is not known. However, it has been played in Edinburgh for many centuries. The more modern hero Robin Hood became the principal character during the Middle Ages.
In 1561 a number of craftsmen and apprentices met to discuss revival of the play. What they ignored or perhaps were not aware of was the fact that the play had been condemned by law several years prior to their decision to revive it.
A mob gathered and became threatening after Magistrates removed some flags and weapons. The Magistrates then sized one of the ringleaders, a shoe maker by the name of James Gilion. They accused him of stealing 10 shillings. He was tried and condemned to be hanged.

John Knox’s help was sought but he refused to get involved. The deacon of crafts tried in vain to persuade the Magistrates not to hang Gilion. The mob persisted. they tore down the newly erected gallows and then charged after the magistrates who took refuge in the writer’s booth. From there the mob proceeded to the Tollbooth. They broke down the door and released Gilion.
The Magistrates fled to the Tollbooth for protection. The rioters assembled at the Tollbooth to ridicule their captives and to prevent their escape. The council was finally given their freedom when a proclamation was issued saying no one would be prosecuted for their actions that day.


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