|“||I see the boy I knew in the man before me. Welcome home, Robin.||„|
|~ The Bishop of Hereford greeting Robin of Loxley|
The Bishop of Hereford is a supporting antagonist in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He was a 12th century Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, responsible for the Diocese of Hereford.
He was portrayed by the late Harold Innocent in his last film role before death.
The Bishop knew Lord Loxley and his son, Robin. Robin left while young to heed King Richard's call to fight in the crusades. While the King and those who answered the King's call were out of the country, the Bishop became allied with the Sheriff of Nottingham, apparently believing that the good Sheriff would make him into a very rich and powerful man. One man, though, stood in the way of that. That man was Lord Loxley, Robin's father.
Lord Loxley was ambushed by the Sheriff, and a story was concocted by the Sheriff and the Bishop that the elder Loxley was caught in the act of devil worship. Loxley's castle was burned down and he was executed, left in a gibbet to rot away. Shortly afterwards, Robin finally came home from the crusades and discovered the grisly scene. After giving his father a decent burial, he went to discover the truth of what happened. He went to the Bishop, but the Bishop would not tell him the truth of what happened.
After organizing the people of the villages to oppose the Sheriff, Robin asked Maid Marian to send a message to King Richard detailing how the Sheriff was going to pay off a number of noblemen to help him seize the throne. Marian made the mistake of approaching the Bishop for aid, however instead of ensuring the delivery of the message to the King, he gave the message to the Sheriff, who had Marian arrested.
In the aftermath of an attack on Robin's stronghold in which Robin was believed killed, the Bishop and the Sheriff forced Marian to consent to marrying the Sheriff in exchange for the lives of the children of the outlaws. Robin, however, was alive, and quickly planned a counter-attack to save the lives of his men who were going to be hanged.
During the counter-attack the Sheriff and Mortianna forced the Bishop to proceed with the marriage ceremony. He had just finished the right of marriage when Robin crashed the ceremony. The Bishop ran off while Robin and the Sheriff battled it out, with Robin being victorious.
|“||Gold? You sold your soul to Satan, your Grace! You accused innocent men of witchcraft, and let them die.||„|
|~ Friar Tuck angered at the Bishop's crimes and greed|
Meanwhile, the Bishop was packing up his money in order to beat a hasty retreat. He was discovered by Friar Tuck. The Bishop believed himself to be safe since this was after all another clergyman. What he didn't know was that the Friar was a good and decent man who was greatly angered by the fact that the Bishop had sold his soul to Satan, and had accused innocent men of crimes and allowed them to die. Pushing bag after bag of gold on to the Bishop until the man strained under the weight of the precious metal, the Friar gave him one last bag containing 30 pieces of silver - in reference to the amount of money given to Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus Christ - before pushing the Bishop through a window to his death. The Judas comparison is particularly valid because, like Judas, the Bishop's main defining trait was his treacherous nature. He was a traitor in every imagined sense: A traitor to people who thought they could trust him only for him to betray them (i.e. Lord Loxley, Marian), a traitor to his authoritative position in the church which he regularly abused for his own gain, and most of all, a traitor to the faith he claimed to profess.