Robin Hood and Feudalism Essay

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Robin Hood and Feudalism

ROBIN HOOD In the years of King Richard the Lionheart (1189-1199) there lived a brave and intelligent man called Robin Hood. He was a feared outlaw, who loved liberty and hated oppression. He took the law into his own hands and robbed the rich to give to the poor. People loved him and thought of him as a justice-maker. In time he acquired a heroic reputation and came to represent the ideal of heroism of his age. Stories about him and his closest friends Friar Tuck, Little John, and Maid Marian may be found in the time. They say that Robin Hood and his companions lived in Sherwood Forest, near Nottingham. They were called the ‘merry men’ and used to wear green clothes, a particular shade of green, called
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A lord would grant land to another noble in exchange for protection and military services. This grant was called a fief. Those who received fiefs were called vassals. Within the fief, the vassal was the highest authority. Fiefs could be various seizes. Some were single estates just big enough for a knight and his family. Others were large, as big as an entire country or province. The vassals promised the lord military services. Military service was their main obligation. This service was usually limited to forty days a year. Vassals also owed payments call aids on certain occasions. When a lord’s oldest daughter married the vassal made special payments as a gift. The vassal also had to pay for the arming of the lords oldest son when he became a knight. Vassals pledged to pay the ransom for their lord in the event of his capture during war. A vassal’s son usually inherited his father’s responsibility to serve and pay aids. Before receiving the fief, the son had to pay a fee called a relief. The amount of payment all depended on the size of the fief. The lord in turn, had obligations to his vassals. He promised the vassal protection and could not deny the vassal’s claim to the fief. If at any time an outsider tried to steal the vassal’s fief, the lord would join in with his other knights to aid him. Levack states: “The bond of loyalty between lord and vassal was formalized by an oath. The oath established personal
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