Table of contents:
- 1. Janosik
- 2. "The errand rat"
- 3. Scottie Smith
- 4. Phulan Devi
- 5. Salvatore Giuliano
- 6. Pancho Villa
Robin Hood archetypes can be found in many folklore stories around the world. Apparently, the world needs this lone hero who takes money from the rich and shares it with ordinary people who suffer from poverty and powerlessness. And surprisingly, in real life there was more than one hero who fought for the rights of the poor, robbing the rich. In our review, there are several "real Robin Hoods" that have gone down in history.
Juraj Janosik - "Robin Hood" from Slovak and Polish legends. He was born in Slovakia in 1688 and joined the ranks of the Kurutz rebels when he was only 15 years old. After the defeat at the Battle of Trencin, Janosik was recruited into the Hapsburg army. According to legend, one fine day young Yurai was going home, having received a vacation. As he approached his parents' house, he noticed a nobleman whipping his father in the field. Janosik snatched the whip from him, but it was too late: his father died from the beatings.
Since then Janosik allegedly took revenge on the rich for his father. While serving as a prison guard in Bitca, Janosik met a prisoner - the robber Tomasz Uhorczyk - and helped him escape from prison. Together they formed a gang, the leader of which was 23-year-old Yurai. With his gang, Janosik roamed the mountains and valleys of Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, robbed aristocrats and wealthy merchants and gave his booty to the poor. At the same time, the Yanogik gang never killed anyone. Nevertheless, Yaroshik was caught and sentenced to death on March 17, 1713.
2. "The errand rat"
Nakamura Jirokichi, better known as Nezumi Kozo (translated from Japanese as "Errand Rat"), was Robin Hood in the Land of the Rising Sun. According to legend, he got his nickname because of his style of theft - Kozo entered the rich estates of daimyo through the attic quietly and unnoticed, like a rat. There is another version - he always carried a bag full of rats with him in order to deceive the owners who could wake up at night. As a typical superhero, he had two personalities: during the day he was Nakamura Jirokichi, who worked part-time as a volunteer in the local fire brigade, and at night he was Nezumi Kozo, who stole from wealthy people.
Lived Kozo at the end of the 19th century in Edo (present-day Tokyo). His career as a thief lasted more than 15 years, during which Kozo was caught twice. The first time he was caught, he was tattooed as a criminal and expelled from Edo. The second time, Kozo was captured at the age of 36 and confessed to robbing nearly 100 samurai classes. Many of these thefts were hushed up because the samurai were ashamed to admit their humiliation. According to popular stories, Nezumi Kozo gave his money to the poor, but historians suggest that he squandered the stolen money on women and gambling.
3. Scottie Smith
George St. Leger Lennox, better known as Scottie Smith, was a South African Robin Hood. He was born in 1845 to a noble family in Scotland. According to a book written about him in 1962, Smith refused to marry the woman his father had chosen to marry him, and was left without an inheritance. Smith first trained as a veterinarian in Scotland, then traveled to western Australia, succumbing to the gold rush in Kalgoorlie. He served in the British Army for a short time, but was soon dismissed.
Smith came to South Africa in 1877 and became a customs officer in the Eastern Cape. But this work did not appeal to him, he dodged this position and began to engage in illegal transportation of weapons across the border, theft, elephant hunting, illegal purchase of diamonds, horse theft and robberies on the roads. He robbed rich people and distributed this money to poor, elderly women and single mothers.
Rumor has it that he even turned himself over to his friend to the police so that he could receive the reward assigned for his capture. Smith was caught and tried several times for his crimes, but he always managed to escape somehow. Subsequently, it turned out that many of his crimes were committed on behalf of the British government, so he was released so as not to destroy his legend. Scottie Smith ended his days as a respectable farmer in Upington growing vegetables on the banks of the Orange River.
4. Phulan Devi
Phaulan Devi or the Indian "Bandit Queen" was a lower caste girl who, like many others like her, worked in the fields of the upper caste landowners. At the age of 11, she was married to a 30-year-old man who offered her family a cow. He was violent and constantly beat Devi. She fled from him and returned to her village, where she was charged with a crime she did not commit. Shortly thereafter, the girl was raped by members of the higher castes for two weeks.
Phulan miraculously survived and then organized her gang. In 1981, on her orders, 22 people from the higher castes were killed, including two of her rapists. This massacre attracted the attention of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Although there is no record of her "acting like Robin Hood," her actions fully justified the poor and humiliated Indians, who considered Phulan a deity.
In February 1983, she agreed to surrender to the authorities and spent 11 years in prison. In 1996, two years after her release, Phulan was elected to the lower house of the Indian Parliament.
5. Salvatore Giuliano
Salvatore Giuliano, who was born in 1922 in the Sicilian mountain town of Montelepre, is considered by many to be the "Sicilian Robin Hood". Giuliano did steal from the rich and help his poor compatriots during the harsh times of World War II. He began his career as a "bandit" at the age of 20 after he was caught by a police officer for smuggling food (at the time, 70 percent of Sicily's food supply came from the black market). Resisting arrest, Salvatore killed a police officer and fled.
He gathered a gang of 50 people, and they began to rob rich people in order to provide the peasants with food and weapons. However, his popularity among peasants was undermined after Giuliano was implicated in the murder of 11 innocent people during a May procession in 1947. Giuliano claimed that he was about to shoot over the heads of the crowd, but what happened happened. He was never able to restore his reputation. And in 1950 he was killed in a street battle with soldiers while trying to escape from Sicily.
6. Pancho Villa
Born Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula in 1878, he later became known as Pancho Villa - Mexican revolutionary general, leader of the guerrilla resistance and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican revolution. After the death of his father, he became the head of the family at the age of 15. In 1894, Pancho shot and killed a man who molested his sister. It was this case that became a turning point in his biography.
He spent six years hiding in the mountains, where he met a group of fugitives, with whom he formed a gang. His gang was engaged in robbing rich estates and distributing grain and livestock to the poor. Pancho Villa is described as a bloodthirsty, ruthless killer who tortured his victims, as well as a generous man of the people who regularly sent generous donations to children's charities and orphanages.
In 1910, while still on the run, Pancho Villa joined the successful rebellion of Francisco Madero against the Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. In 1913, he was elected interim governor of Chihuahua by local military commanders. In 1920, Villa retired from active work and lived quietly on his ranch until his assassination in 1923. The Mexican people simply adored Pancho Vilho and numerous ballads, legends and stories have survived about him.
Continuing the theme, the story about the real Robin Hood and his mysterious story - why the robber, nicknamed the Hood, became more popular than the king.