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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Robin Hood and the Masons


Between 1955 and 1959, England's ATV channel featured a 30 minute television drama, The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Richard Greene as the famed Robin of Locksley, the outlaw with a heart o' gold. Each week, Robin and his band of Merry Men would do battle in and around Sherwood Forest with the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and keep England safe for the eventual return of Richard the Lionheart (who was off on Crusade, or swanning about in France, or getting his royal keister tossed in an Austrian jail and ransomed). The show was quite popular, eventually generating 143 episodes, and it was exported to air in the U.S. market on CBS. 

The famous story takes place in the late 1100s, which makes the video above all the more interesting as a cultural artifact. It is an excerpt of the Season 3 episode, The Mark, and opens with a small gathering of Masons. An Apprentice explains the Operative Masons to Robin, and then an older Brother (Walter) wanders over and casually offers to make him a Speculative Mason, with a very abbreviated bit of business that should seem a bit familiar.

I haven't found any references anywhere that Richard Greene was a Mason himself - it would have been a nice touch if he had been. 

One unrelated but interesting trivia highlight: several writers on the British show were some heavy-hitting American scriveners like Ring Lardner and Howard Koch who had been blacklisted during the HUAC hearings. In fact, Koch served as the script editor for the series. They all worked under pen names.

(This video was posted originally on the Masonic Studies MS Facebook page from which it is shamelessly cribbed, for which I thank the page's owner.)

3 comments:

  1. Timely connection between TV and masonry. Last night I was watching an episode of "Murdock Mysteries" (set in 1890 Toronto) titled "Victor Victorian." Season 3, episode 3 - Detective Murdoch enters the secretive world of the Freemasons when a new member is poisoned during his initiation ceremony.

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  2. FWIW, the full episode can bee seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9e3t-IiLA

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  3. I remember seeing it on TV back in the 50's and something upset my father about the show

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