Robin Hood Wiki


The sheriff an occupation which existed at the time of the ballads (though the title was High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests, the simple title of Sheriff of Nottingham was a later job title of a less powerful position) but he is never named in the surviving ballads and it is not known if he was based on a historical figure. Phillip Mark, the historical High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests in 1208 has been proposed as a candidate and been named as the Sheriff in several adaptations.

The Shooting Competition

The Sheriff organized a shooting competition to lure Robin from the forest, from there the outcome and preparation varies even as early as the ballads, though he often has or allows Gilbert his head archer enter the contest.

In one version when Robin was able to win the contest in disguise he led the Sheriff to the forest promising to help him find where Robin is hiding. When he returns home after being outwitted and robbed by Robin he tells his wife that the outlaw had him dead to rights and would have probably ended his life had he not known his adversary had such a good wife waiting for his return.

Sometimes Robin's disguise as a one eyed beggar goes undetected and the outlaw wins the golden or in some cases silver arrow that is the prize of the tourney. Robin later feels cheated that the Sheriff considers him too much of a coward to show his face at the obvious trap and shoots an arrow through the Sheriff's window with a message letting him know just who he gave the prize to.


The Sheriff has had many deaths, even in the surviving medieval ballads he gets a handful of different ones. In the ballad "Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne" the Sheriff is shot through the heart by Little John after the outlaw is saved from execution by Robin Hood who had disguised himself as Sir Guy after defeating and killing the assassin.

Alterations in Modern Adaptations

In modern media his wife is often absent to allow for his oft used modern trait of pursuing Maid Marian or the bride despite their despising him. This new element sometimes compiles Marian with the bride's tale resulting in a much weaker Marian than the swordswoman was in the original tales and ballads in order to allow for her rescue by Robin. In some tellings she rescues herself but the bride is erased as a character when her tale is given to Marian. In stories with this version of events the bride and the Sheriff's Wife are often absent.

Appearances in Media


  • Robin Hood and the Potter
  • Robin Hood and the Butcher
  • Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne


Sheriff of Nottingham.png

  • 1883 Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  • 1906 Robin Hood by E. C. Vivian (as Robert de Rainault)
  • 1992 The Sheriff of Nottingham by Richard Kluger (as Phillip Mark)


  • Robin Hood (1912)
  • Robin Hood (1913)
  • Robin Hood (1922)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  • The Prince of Thieves (1948)
  • Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950)
  • The Men of Sherwood Forest (1954)
  • Robin Hood (1973) voiced by Pat Buttram
  • Robin and Marian (1976) played by Robert Shaw
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) (as George) played by Alan Rickman
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) played by Roger Rees
  • Robin Hood (2010) played by Matthew Macfadyen
  • 2018 Robin Hood played by Ben Mendelsohn


  • The Adventures of Robin Hood played by Alan Wheatley
  • Robin Hood (as Vaisey) played by Keith Allen
  • Robin of Sherwood (as Robert de Rainault) played by Nickolas Grace
  • Maid Marian and her Merry Men played by Tony Robinson
  • Doctor Who
  • Once Upon a Time


Video Games:

  • Stronghold Crusader

Board Games:

  • Sheriff of Nottingham


  • (1941) Classics Illustrated #7 (Gilberton Publications)
  • (1942) More Fun Comics #82 (DC Comics)
  • (1942) Classic Comics #7 (Gilberton Publications)
  • (1942?) Bugs Bunny #79 (Dell)
  • (1944) Jumbo Comics #67 (Fiction House)
  • (1948) Treasure Chest of Fun & Fact #42 (George A. Pflaum)
  • (1948) Robin des Bois #1, 49 (Éditions Pierre Mouchot)
  • (1952) Four Color #413 "Walt Disney's Robin Hood" (Dell)
  • (1952) Walt Disney's Robin Hood #1-2 (Western Publishing)
  • (1953) MAD #4 (DC Comics)
  • (1955) Young Heroes #35-37 (American Comics Group)
  • (1955) The Brave and the Bold #6 (DC Comics)
  • (1955-1956) Robin Hood #1-3, 5 (Magazine Enterprises)
  • (1956) Robin Hood and His Merry Men #29, 32 (Charlton)
  • (1956) Adventures of Robin Hood #1-3 (Brown Shoe Company)
  • (1959) Adventure Comics #258 (DC Comics)
  • (1962) The Three Stooges #10, 47 (Gold Key)
  • (1963) Robin Hood #1 (Dell)
  • (1965) Herbie #9 (American Comics Group)
  • (1976) Shazam! #24 (DC Comics)
  • (1978) Marvel Classics Comics #34 (Marvel)
  • (1987/2005) Fantomet #198714, 200524 (Egmont)
  • (1991) Robin Hood #1 (Eclipse)
  • (1991) Green Arrow Annual #4 (DC Comics)
  • (2004) Grimm Fairy Tales presents Robyn Hood: Legend #2, 4 (Zenescope Entertainment)
  • (2007) Robin Hood: Outlaw of Sherwood Forest #1 (Graphic Universe)
  • (2008) Fantastic Four: True Story #2-3 (Marvel)
  • (2010) Frank Bellamy's Complete Swift Stories Collection (Book Palace Books)
  • (2013) Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Color Sundays #2 (Fantagraphics)
  • (2014) Robin the Hood #2-3 (TidalWave Productions)
  • (2014) Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #9-12 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • (2016) Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century #3 (Turbo Comics)
  • (2016) Merry Men #1 (Oni Press)


External links