Robin Hood or catechism?

Aaron Denlinger recently wrote about a 16th-century English catechism by Robert Legate in which a husband was to catechize his wife:

In his opening letter to the “Christen reader” Legate provides a brief apology for his catechism. He notes that many parents fail to properly instruct their children in the knowledge of the Lord because they “knowe not themselves wherein the ryght and true Chrstendome consysteth.” “How is it than possyble,” he continues, “that they shulde instructe and geve good example to their chyldren, whan they knowe not themselves the wholsome learnynge and will of their loadesman & master Jesus Christ, of whose name not withstandynge they boaste and bragge themselves?” Part of the problem, he seems to think, lies in Christian folk’s gravitation towards tomfoolery and entertainment over thoughtful theological conversation. “Ye fathers and mothers, learne your children these [Christian] thynges, and not tales of robyne hood with suche other vayne fables.” Legate’s goal, in sum, is to see parents sufficiently versed in Christian doctrine to fulfill God’s command to bring children up “in the instruction and discipline of the Lord” (Eph. 6.4).

He has some of the text from the catechism, but to my odd mind the reference to Robin Hood was unexpected, and as a fan of Robin Hood stories I wanted to note an early modern reference to them.

P.S. I’m also a fan of catechisms.


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