Medieval Facts and Myths: How much would a Robin Hood heist be worth today?
Robin Hood was renowned for shaking down medieval tax collectors. How much would a heist by Nottingham’s famous rogue be worth today? For that, we need some historical detective work.
A tax collector’s saddlebag might hold four to five dozen pound sterling coins. Scholars tell us that a pound sterling coin in 928 AD could buy 15 cows. So, what would each coin be worth now?
In today's UK prices, a cow sells for an average of £1,100. Multiply that by 15 and the buying power of that medieval silver coin would equal £16,500 in the current economy. With 48 to 60 coins in his saddlebag, a tax collector’s haul would be worth £825,000 to £990,000. In U.S. dollars, that would be well over a million.
In effect, Robin Hood’s heist of a tax collector in today’s economy would be the equivalent of knocking over a U.S. armored car carrying more than a million in cash. Not a bad day’s take for the guys in Lincoln green.
In KING ROBIN, Robert Webber (eventually known as Robin Hood) covertly leads a series of daring raids on royal tax collectors to keep peasant families from losing their farms for unpaid taxes.
Medieval Facts & Myths is a blog series featuring KING ROBIN, a novel by R. A. Moss releasing February 2021 from Beck and Branch Publishers.