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: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - By Howard Pyle - Robin Hood (spelled Robyn Hode in older manuscripts) is a heroic outlaw in English folklore, a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Although such behaviour was not part of his original character, since the beginning of the 19th century he has become known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes. The origin of the legend is asserted by some to have been actual outlaws, or ballads or tales of outlaws. Robin Hood became a popular folk figure in the medieval period, continuing through to modern literature, films and television. In the earliest sources, Robin Hood is a yeoman, but he was often later portrayed as an aristocrat wrongfully dispossessed of his lands and made into an outlaw by an unscrupulous sheriff.