It has long been questioned whether or not the Robin Hood of legend existed, or is solely a creature of mythology. Although not beyond doubt, the better view is that probably the stories so familiar to us all are based to a large extent on the exploits of an actual person.
There is evidence that a Robert Fitzodo held land in Hilderstone in 1138 or 1166. Odo or Eudo was sometimes rendered as Heud. Robert Fitzodo is almost certainly the Robert (Robin) of Loxley who owned the (or a) manor of Hilderstone in the 12th century. Robin did not acquire the manor of Loxley until some time later than he acquired his holding in the manor of Hilderstone.
Robin of Loxley is one of the most likely candidates for the origin of the Robin Hood stories. His grandfather was Hugh Fitzodo. Hugh was said to have been a sub-tenant of a Robert of Stafford and to have held land in Hilderstone (thus this is consistent with the Doomsday entries for Hilderstone). The Hilderstone Robin acquired land in Loxley, Staffordshire. One of the daughters of Robin of Loxley married William Trussell. The Trussells were a well-established landholding family in Staffordshire and Warwickshire. It is after a branch of that stock that Acton Trussell is named.
The existence of Robin (Robert) Fitzodo can be proved positively since he witnessed an extant deed which was also signed by Richard of Hintes and Robert of Wolseley. Hintes and Wolseley were (and are) two other Staffordshire hamlets. The Hintes and Wolseley families together held the manor of Wolseley.
There are several candidates for the origin of Robin Hood. The "Hilderstone" Robert Fitzodo is at the very least a strong contender. He flourished during the period when it is likely to be that Robin Hood was most active. He did not accept the establishment willingly and what we know (and can prove) relating to him appears to fit easily with the earliest records of the stories of Robin Hood. The association with Nottingham with the story of Robin Hood appears to be a fairly recent attribution and does not fit in well with those facts which can be established beyond doubt, nor with the earliest "folk" references.
As mentioned above, one of "our" Robin's daughters even married a William Trussell. Trussel is the Anglo Saxon word for red (Will Scarlet?).
More research is being carried out and will be reported on this webpage.
If you are able to cast more light on the history of Robin Hood and the possible Hilderstone connection please contact the webmasters.