Henry Blackwood
Guy Ritchie adaptations
Vital statistics
Sex Male
Died 1890 in London, England
Nationality British
Family Thomas Rotheram (father)
Behind the scenes
Appearances Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)
Portrayed by Mark Strong
"Death...... is only the beginning."
―Lord Blackwood

Lor​d Henry Blackwood is the main antagonist in the 2009 film, Sherlock Holmes.

Blackwood is a cultist and performs several human sacrifices before being brought to justice. He wishes to see Sherlock Holmes in prison where he warns the famous detective of three more deaths that will change the nation. He is then hanged and pronounced dead by Dr John Watson. The following night he supposedly bursts out of his tomb and runs across the cemetery, leaving the night guard catatonic. In the following week, three important figures are murdered as Holmes struggles to make sense of it all.

Holmes eventually discovers that Blackwood plans to kill the members of Parliament with a poisonous gas machine thus starting a civil war. Part of the machine was taken by Professor Moriarty while Holmes is distracted chasing Blackwood and Irene Adler to the unfinished Tower Bridge. Holmes and Blackwood then have an intense sword fight atop the bridge until Holmes pushes Lord Blackwood off the bridge onto a mess of chains and ropes where he deduces the methods of the science behind Blackwood's trickery. Lord Henry Blackwood became entangled amongst the chains and falls catching his neck on a chain thus hanging and killing himself.


"My powers were given to me for a purpose. A magnificent...but simple purpose: To create a new Future!"
―Blackwood dictates his plans to the Temple of the Four Orders.

Blackwood was arrogant, egotistical and callous. He was insidiously reclusive and had a tendency to brag that he was cleverer than Sherlock Holmes. He was very intelligent and had a talent for science and illusionment, specialising in physics and biology. He was treacherous and his callousness is evident when he self-righteously murdered John Standish to complete the pattern of his plan and to gain the trust of his fellow conspirators at the Temple.

Ironically, his last words were 'It's a long journey from here to the rope!', but only seconds later he ended up falling from the construction site of the Tower Bridge during his climatic face-off with Sherlock Holmes, a chain curled around his neck and severed his spine, choking him to instant decapitation.

He was an adept swordsman and a skilled marksman, capable of holding his own against Sherlock Holmes for a considerable amount of time.


While Lord Blackwood is an original character, it is possible that his name is inspired from the main antagonist of The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone, none other than Count Negretto Sylvius. Negre and Silvi mean Black and Wood.

His obsession with spiritualism is possibly a reference to Conan Doyle's own occult eccentricity. The way his "magic" is revealed to be nothing more than trickery and elaborate science mirrors the confusion of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

According to the newspaper in the beginning of the film, the names of Blackwood's five female victims were Susan Willis, 18, of Bethnal Green; Margaret Coils, 20, of Spitalfields; Jane Gray, 21, of Whitechapel; Mary Wilson, 19, of White City; and Sarah Moss, 22, also of Whitechapel. The victim of the interrupted ceremony was named Beatrice Church.