Tuck is a common character in modern Robin Hood stories, which depict him as a jovial friar and one of Robin's Merry Men. The figure of Tuck was common in the May Games festivals of England and Scotland during the 15th through 17th centuries. He appears as a character in the fragment of a Robin Hood play from 1475, sometimes called Robin Hood and the Knight or Robin Hood and the Sheriff, and a play for the May games published in 1560 which tells a story similar to "Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar". (The oldest surviving copy of this ballad is from the 17th century. ) The character entered the tradition through these folk plays, and he was orginially partnered with Maid Marian: "She is a trul of trust, to serue a frier at his lust/a prycker a prauncer a terer of shetes/a wagger of ballockes when other men slepes". His appearance in "Robin Hood and the Sheriff" means that he was already part of the legend around the time when the earliest surviving copies of the Robin Hood ballads were being made.
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