Much the Miller's Son

Real Name: Much (? - see history)

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Miller's assistant, outlaw

Affiliations: Robin Hood and his "Merrie Men" (including, but not limited to Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, Allan a Dale, "Maid" Marion)

Enemies: Sheriff of Nottingham, Guy of Guisborne, Abbot of St. Mary's - York, Bishop of Hereford, Prince John, Isembart de Baleme, Simon de Belleme.

Known Relatives: Old Much (father, from Roger Lancelyn Green's children novel), Robin Hood (foster brother, at least in Robin of Sherwood)

Aliases: Midge, Nick

Base of Operations: Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire; Nottingham; Barnsdale, Yorkshire; Loxley.

First Appearance: c.1200 -1400 A.D. (same as Robin)

Powers/Abilities: Skilled fighter with staff or sword, woodsman, archer.

History: Much appears in the early Robin Hood ballads. In Robin Hood and the Monk (circa 1450), Much cuts off the head of a page to stop him talking. Later portrayals have shown Much to be a more innocent character. Given the alias-like quality of his name, it is not certain whether there was a historical inspiration for this character.

Modern versions have made Much a poacher who was caught after killing a king's deer. He was rescued by Robin Hood. In Howard Pyle's novel, the Merry Men attempt to rob Midge (a variant of Much's name) and he throws flour in their faces.

In the television show Robin of Sherwood Much was the son of a Nottinghamshire miller who joined Robin Hood's band after the death of his family at the hands of the Sheriff, and he was Robin's foster brother.

Comments: Thanks to Allen Wright for providing information for this page. Check out his Robin Hood website. Allen notes "The first clear literary reference to the legend occurs in the B-Text of Piers Plowman, published circa 1377. The earliest surviving ballads date from about 1450-1460, Little John, Will Scarlet and Much all appear in those ballads (and there are literary references to Little John just a bit earlier).

Little John, Much and Will Scarlet were part of the Yeoman class."


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