Richard at the Lee

Richard At The Lee

Richard at the Lee

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Richard at the Lee (also referred to as Rychard at the Lea and Sir Richard of Verysdale) was a major character in the early medieval ballads of Robin Hood, especially the lengthy ballad A Gest of Robyn Hode, and has reappeared in Robin Hood tales throughout the centuries.

Sir Richard is said to have been a nobleman, the lord of Verysdale. In many versions, Sir Richard appears as a sorrowful knight whose lands will be forfeited because he pledged them to an abbot to get a loan he can not repay; Robin assists him with the money. This is his first appearance in the Gest, although he is not named at that point. Later in the Gest, he reappears, now named, and gives Robin Hood and the Merry Men sanctuary from the Sheriff of Nottingham by hiding them in his castle, after they have nearly been caught in an archery tournament; this part of the tale features in fewer later versions.

In A Gest of Robyn Hode

Richard came from a long line of noble knights (see line 188 of the ballad) and was a courteous man indeed. He had inherited a great castle at the wooded village of Lee in Verysdale in which he resided; a castle fit for knights with thick fortified walls, surrounded by two ditches and with a drawbridge at the entrance.

Richard resided in this castle with a small group of loyal servants and he had a beautiful fair wife and a son whom, although he was a wild spirit, Richard loved dearly. His son entered into a jousting contest and accidentally killed an opponent, a knight of......
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