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Robin Hood : London coffee houses and taverns

A historical site about early London coffee houses and taverns and will also link to my current pub history site and also the London street directory


Mr. Akerman describes a Token of the Robin Hood Tavern : — " iohn thomlinson at the. An archer fitting an arrow to his bow ; a small figure behind, holding an arrow. — ft. in chiswell street, 1667. In the centre, his halfe penny, and i. s. t. Mr. Akerman continues :

" It is easy to perceive what is intended by the representation on the obverse of this token. Though ' Little John/ we are told, stood upwards of six good English feet without his shoes, he is here depicted to suit the popular humour — a dwarf in size, compared with his friend and leader, the bold outlaw. The proximity of Chiswell-street to Finsbury-fields may have led to the adoption of the sign, which was doubtless at a time when archery was considered an elegant as well as an indispensable accomplishment of an English gentleman. It is far from obsolete now, as several low public-houses and beer-shops in the vicinity of London testify. One of them exhibits Robin Hood and his companion dressed in the most approved style of ' Astley's/ and underneath the group is the following irresistible invitation to slake your thirst : —

" Ye archers bold and yeomen good,
Stop and drink with Robin Hood :
If Robin Hood is not at home,
Stop and drink with little John."

" Our London readers could doubtless supply the variorum copies of this elegant distich, which, as this is an age for i Family Shakspeares/ modernized Chaucers, and new versions of ' Robin Hood's Garland' we recommend to the notice of the next editor of the ballads in praise of the Sherwood freebooter."

References :  Lots of references are made to two sources on the internet archive :
Edward Callows, Old London Taverns &
John Timbs, Club life of London Volume 2

And Last updated on: Tuesday, 26-Apr-2022 01:16:40 BST
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