ROBYN HOD AND THE SHRYFF OFF NOTYNGHAM is the manuscript fragment of
a late medieval play about
Robin Hood , the earliest known Robin Hood
playscript and the only surviving medieval script of a Robin Hood
play. The manuscript dates from c1475, that is it is approximately as
old as the earliest copies of the ballads. In addition to being
incomplete the script has no scene or stage directions, and does not
identify speakers, so it offers uncertainties of interpretation.
However it has been interpreted as telling essentially the same story
Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne . If correct this would confirm the
medieval origin of the Gisbourne story. The play is also important for
containing the earliest reference to
Friar Tuck ,"ffrere Tuke", as a
member of Robin Hood's band.
The manuscript is preserved in the library of Trinity College,
Cambridge . A number of scholars agree that it was probably originally
part of the papers associated with the
Paston Letters and is the Robin
Hood play referred to in a 1473 letter by Sir John Paston ,
"presumably acted before the Paston household in the 1470s"
* ^ Dobson and Taylor, Rhymes of Robyn Hood, pa