London: The true identity of Robin Hood --the medieval outlaw known for robbing from the rich and giving to the poor -- has long been a mystery. Now, a new book claims that he could likely have been a yeoman farmer named Roger Godberd.

Though the origin of the legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, or from ballads of outlaws, the book says, citing documents, that Hood was very likely a peasant who was once captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Author David Baldwin believes he has unmasked the outlaw after decades researching the story. The retired University of Leicester lecturer found that Godberd led a band of men who robbed travellers, the 'Daily Express' reported.

He was also accused of poaching deer in Sherwood Forest along with his companion Walter Devyas -- believed to be the Little John of popular legend.

Baldwin said: "There are probably several outlaws whose deeds have contributed to the modern day stories of Robin Hood. But I believe there is one man whose career underpins the stories."

The book, 'Robin Hood: The English Outlaw Unmasked', reveals how Godberd was finally pardoned and died at his farm in the 1290s.