Mirth in Heaven’: Festivity and Religion in As You Like It

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Shakespeare and Religious Change.


Palgrave Macmillan, London

Publication Date



In a 1549 sermon attacking ‘unpreaching prelates,’ Bishop Hugh Latimer described an occasion on which he ‘was fain there to give place to Robin Hood.’1 While traveling from London to Worcester, the bishop sent word ahead he would preach the next day at a parish church, but on his arrival found the church locked and deserted:

At last the key was found, and one of the parish comes to me and says, ‘Sir, this is a busy day with us. We cannot hear you; it is Robin Hood’s day. The parish are gone abroad to gather for Robin Hood. I pray you let them not.’

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