Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Could the Nasty Ol' Sheriff of Nottingham have been a Seagraves?

This is for my Seagraves in history series. I'm not sure if these Seagraves are in our genealogy, but its fun reading about them.

Could the mean ol' Sheriff of Nottingham have been a Seagraves?

Well, lets see . . . if you've read or at least saw a movie of Robin hood and there are lots of them, you'll know that there is something missing. Namely the name of the Sheriff.

It's true.
He is only called the Sheriff or Sheriff or Nottingham and nothing else.

Let's delve a little deeper shall we?
The Sheriff of Nottingham is an important figure in the legend of Robin Hood, and the archenemy of Robin and his Merry Men. The holder of the office of Nottingham's Sheriff, it is his task to capture outlaws such as Robin Hood, either to ensure the safety of trade routes through Sherwood Forest, or to keep them from poaching the King's deer. In some stories, the Sheriff of Nottingham is portrayed as having a lecherous desire for Robin Hood's lady, Maid Marian. He is widely considered to be the principal villain of the Robin Hood stories, appearing frequently, alongside such enemies of Robin Hood as Sir Guy of Gisbourne or Prince John (though rarely both).
Sheriff of Nottingham.PNG
The story takes place in 1200-1400
That's a awfully big time frame.

So who was Sheriff during that time?

The legends are generally set far from Nottingham, one explanation being that a short-staffed King of England placed the Sheriff of Nottingham in charge of law enforcement for much of northern England. This is the case in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in which the Sheriff's influence has grown so great he attempts to take control of the throne.
In some versions, the Sheriff is more a cowardly schemer while his assistant, Sir Guy of Gisbourne is a more competent and determined physical threat to Robin. In other versions, the Sheriff answers to Prince John who is the main villain.
It has been suggested that the historical sheriff upon which the stories are based was William de WendenalRoger de Laci, or William Brewer.
Or are they?

The Sheriff of Nottingham was historically the office responsible for enforcing law and order in Nottingham and bringing criminals to justice. For years the post has been directly appointed by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham and in modern times with the existence of the police force, the position is entirely ceremonial and sustained to boost tourism due to the legendary connection to the tales of Robin Hood. However the historical position goes back to Anglo-Saxon times. The office is sometimes confused with that of the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire. Before this, during 1068 until 1449 the position existed as High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests.

So the office isn't necessarily called Sheriff of Nottingham.

Previously, from 1068 until 1449 the position existed as "High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests."
And this is the time in question. So if I expand my search to include this office . . .

Sorry couldn't copy and paste this. But it says here that Stephen de Segrave was at one time the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire during the time of December 12, 1264 which is in the time frame for the Robinhood story.

Okay, so maybe I'm reach just a bit. But you have to admit it is very interesting. *wink*

Here's another interesting link.

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