FRIAR TUCK is a companion to
Robin Hood in the legends about that
* 1 History
* 2 Portrayals in other media
* 3 Cultural references
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Tuck is a common character in modern
Robin Hood stories, which depict
him as a jovial friar and one of Robin's
Merry Men . The figure of
Tuck was common in the May Games festivals of
England and Scotland
during the 15th through 17th centuries. He appears as a character in
the fragment of a
Robin Hood play from 1475, sometimes called Robin
Hood and the Knight or
Robin Hood and the Sheriff, and a play for the
May games published in 1560 which tells a story similar to Robin Hood
and the Curtal
Friar . (The oldest surviving copy of this ballad is
from the 17th century.) It has often been argued that the character
entered the tradition through these folk plays, and that he may have
originally been partnered with
Maid Marian . His appearance in "Robin
Hood and the Sheriff" means that he was already part of the legend
around the time when the earliest surviving copies of the Robin Hood
ballads were being made.
A friar with Robin's band in the historical period of Richard the
Lion-Hearted would have been impossible because the period predates
England (but see
Eustace the Monk , a medieval outlaw);
however, the association of the
Robin Hood with
Richard I was not made
until the 16th century; the early ballad A Gest of
Robin Hood names
his king as "Edward".
What follows is a story which includes different versions of the
legend . He was a former monk of
Fountains Abbey (or in some cases, St
Mary\'s Abbey in
York , which is also the scene of some other Robin
Hood tales) who was expelled by his order because of his lack of
respect for authority . Because of this, and in spite of his taste for
good food and wine, he became the chaplain of Robin's band. In Howard
Pyle 's The Merry Adventures of
Robin Hood , he was specifically
sought out as part of the tale of
Alan-a-Dale : Robin has need of a
priest who will marry Allan to his sweetheart in defiance of the
Bishop of Hereford .
In many tales, from "
Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar" to The Merry
Robin Hood , his first encounter with Robin results in a
battle of wits in which first one and then the other gains the upper
hand and forces the other to carry him across a river . This ends in
Friar tossing Robin into the river.
In some tales, he is depicted as a physically fit man and a skilled
swordsman and archer with a hot-headed temper . However, most
commonly, Tuck is depicted as a fat , bald , and jovial monk with a
great love of food and ale , though the two are not mutually
exclusive. Sometimes, the latter depiction of Tuck is the comic relief
of the tale.
Two royal writs in 1417 refer to Robert Stafford, a
who had assumed the alias of Frere Tuk. This "
Friar Tuck" was still at
large in 1429. These are the earliest surviving references to a
character by that name.
PORTRAYALS IN OTHER MEDIA
Friar Tuck meets the disguised
Richard the Lionheart
Richard the Lionheart in Sir
Walter Scott 's
In the 1891 romantic opera
Ivanhoe by Sir
Arthur Sullivan and Julian
Friar Tuck was played by
Avon Saxon .
In the movie, The Adventures of
Robin Hood (1938 ) the character
Friar Tuck was played by actor
Eugene Pallette as a fat individual
fond of food but also skilled with a sword. He was also quick to
quarrel with anyone who slighted him, deprived him of his food or made
fun of his girth.
In the late 1950s British television series The Adventures of Robin
Hood , he was played by
Alexander Gauge as a fat friar a tad too
devoted to good eating. He is also clearly devoted to the Church and
the poor people he serves, using his wits in order to spare them
unjust taxes, provide them education or shelter them from harm. He
often uses the power and rights of the Church to good effect against
the forces of the Sheriff.
Merrie Melodies animated short
Robin Hood Daffy featured
Porky Pig as a "fat friar", who sought Robin Hood, but refused to
Daffy Duck was the legendary outlaw. At the end of the
cartoon, Daffy becomes "
In the 1966 television series Rocket
Robin Hood ,
Friar Tuck is again
depicted as a traditional fat friar with a tonsure, despite the story
taking place in the year 3000.
Friar Tuck is memorable for a vignette
that played during each episode depicting him in front of a large
feast, taking a single bite of each piece of food on the table before
throwing it over his shoulder.
In the 1973
Robin Hood ,
Friar Tuck is a badger ,
Andy Devine . He is taken to be executed at the end of the
film in a plot of Prince John's to lure
Robin Hood out of hiding. He
is rescued in time.
In the British
Robin of Sherwood TV series of the 1980s,
was played by Phil Rose . In this version, the character reluctantly
served the Sheriff of Nottingham's brother, an evil abbot , and also
served as Maid Marian's confessor. He helped Marian escape and joined
the band alongside her.
In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves , Tuck was played by
Mike McShane ,
drawing heavily on the overweight, ale-loving interpretation.
Mel Brooks movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights parodies the character
Rabbi Tuckman," a self-described "purveyor of sacramental wine and
mohel extraordinaire." Brooks, who also plays the character, made
Tuckman Jewish (as Brooks himself is Jewish), reprising a gag from
Blazing Saddles where Brooks made a cameo as a Jewish Native American
In the video game Robin Hood: The
Legend of Sherwood , Tuck was once
again portrayed as Marian's confessor. He joins the band at her
request. His enjoyment of alcohol is in the game as one of his
abilities involves leaving beer flasks to intoxicate the guards.
In the 1991 film adaptation
Robin Hood ,
Friar Tuck (played by Jeff
Nuttall ) is portrayed as an itinerant seller of phony relics, who is
first mugged and then adopted by the Merry Men. He also confesses to
being on the run for killing the nephew of an abbot.
Friar Tuck is called Brother and later Father Tuck in
Angus Donald 's
Outlaw Chronicles series - so named as "there were no friars in
England at that time"; consisting of Outlaw (2009), Holy Warrior
(2010), and King\'s Man (2011).
The first appearance of Tuck (in this case, not an anachronistic
Friar) in the BBC show
Robin Hood came in 2009 during its third
series. After Robin was hurled over a ravine by
Guy of Gisbourne
Guy of Gisbourne ,
Tuck finds Robin further downstream. Tuck distracts Guy from the cave
he is treating Robin in after Guy is told to look for Robin's body,
thus saving Robin's life. He is played by
David Harewood and portrayed
Mark Addy plays
Friar Tuck in
Ridley Scott 's
Robin Hood (2010). In
the film, his hobby is beekeeping , which he uses to make mead and as
a weapon against the French.
Friar Tuck in episode named
Qpid (1991) from Gene
Roddenberry 's Star Trek: The Next Generation series (4th season,
Friar Tuck goes by the name "Brother Tooke" in Azlander- Second
Nature (2012) by Gabriel Brunsdon.
He was portrayed by
Trevor Cooper in the
Doctor Who Series 8 episode,
Robot of Sherwood .
VeggieTales show, Robin Good and His Not-So-
Merry Men ,
Archibald Asparagus portrays a version of him named
A pattern in androgenic alopecia (male balding) has been named after
the character. Like the widow\'s peak ,
Friar Tuck has been attached
to naming the final stages of balding in men. The Friars Tuck is the
common pattern of a border of hair around the back of the head/neck
and the sides of the head. This is attached to
Friar Tuck the
character due to the similar appearance of his tonsure .
* ^ Michael Patrick Hearn, "Afterword",
Howard Pyle The Merry
Adventures of Robin Hood, p 384 ISBN 0-451-52007-6
* ^ Roberts, Martin (2010-07-14). "Novelist reinvents
Robin Hood as
medieval gangster Reuters". In.reuters.com. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
* ^ Propecia Description of MPHL: propecia.co.nz Archived August 3,
2007, at the Wayback Machine