Adam Bell: Cumbria’s own Robin Hood

Cumbria has had its very own Robin Hood character for centuries. As it says in the poem, Adam Bell, written in 1557,

Mery it was in the grene forestCopyright D Mcilmoyle

Among the leves grene

Where that man walke both east and west

Wyth bowes and arrowes kene

Adam Bell had two Merrie Men, William of Cloudsley and Clym the Clough, who were outlawed to the Forest of Inglewood, by Hutton-in-the-Forest, north of Penrith, for stealing game. After an audacious adventure at Carlisle, the outlaws were captured. The King agreed to pardon Adam and the Merrie Men if Adam could shoot an apple on his young son’s head at a distance of 120 paces. Adam, a master longbow man, did just this and earned his pardon.

©Diane McIlmoyle 27.10.10

2 thoughts on “Adam Bell: Cumbria’s own Robin Hood

    • I suspect there were a lot of forest-dwelling outlaws who were popular when overlords were less than kind to their peasants. Adam Bell just had a poem written about him! I must go back and write the long version of his story one day…

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