Time has come for only those who believe to remain! Behold, Lord Blackwood!
~ Coward introduces Lord Blackwood to the Parliament
Lord Coward is the assistant of Lord Blackwood and the secondary antagonist of the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes. As Home Secretary he has influence over the police which he uses to stop Sherlock Holmes' investigations. Coward is also an occultist and member of the Temple of the Four Orders.
He is portrayed by Hans Matheson.
In the movie
Coward is first introduced when Sherlock Holmes meets him at the headquarter of the Temple of the Four Orders but Sherlock had unknowingly already encountered him before during the ritual in which Lord Blackwood was arrested. At the Temple he alongside Sir Thomas and ambassador Standish want to employ Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery of Lord Blackwoods resurrection.
After the death of Sir Thomas Coward calls in a meeting of the order. When the last member, Lord Standish, arrives he tells them of the demise of their leader and nominates Lord Blackwood as the new head of the order. At that moment Blackwood appears and tells the order of his plans. When Standish tries to kill him he fails due to a rigged pistol and burns to death. After the death of Standish Coward is the first member of the order to accept the chalice given by Blackwood that contains the antidote to the poison Blackwood plans to use on the Parliament. He is then told to use his influence on the police to stop Sherlock Holmes.
Holmes is indeed arrested by Inspector Lestrade who brings him to Lord Coward (after giving Sherlock the keys for his handcuffs). Coward dismisses Lestrade and immediately gets accused by Sherlock who recognizes him from the ritual due to his handmade shoes. While Sherlock secretly closes the chimney and thereby fills the room with smoke Coward loads a pistol to shoot Holmes but when he turns around he can't see him due to the smoke. Holmes tells Coward that thanks to the condition of Cowards clothes he now knows that the device for killing the Parliament is located in the sewers. Sherlock then jumps out of the window Coward opened to clear the smoke into the Thames, thereby escaping Lord Coward.
Coward then heads to the Parliament where he meets the other conspirators. During the meeting the members of the Order block the exit and Coward who by then has the attention of the audience points to Lord Blackwood who has entered the room. Blackwood then tries to use his device to release the poison but as the device was disarmed by Holmes and Adler nothing happens. Shocked, Blackwood leaves the room and leaves Coward behind, who is then attacked by angry members of the parliament. If he was arrested or simply mauled to death is unknown.