Will Stutely

Will Stutely or Will Stutly is in English folklore a prominent member of Robin Hood's Merry Men. He was possibly confused with Will Scarlet because of the similarities in their surnames.


He was present in two of the ballads in the Child collection, although not ones dating from the early medieval period. Sometimes Stutely is just another name for Will Scarlet, a character appearing in the early ballads under many last names.

In Robin Hood Rescuing Will Stutly, Will was set to spy on the Sheriff of Nottingham and captured; the ballad recounts his rescue from the gallows.

In the ballad Robin Hood and Little John, Stutely is one of the men summoned by Robin's horn when Little John bests him, and when Robin takes him into the band, it is Stutely who questions Little John and gives him his outlaw name.

Later adaptionsEdit

Stutely appears in various Robin Hood children's novels, such as Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, which includes the tale of Will's rescue and also mentions that he likes to play pranks, and the occasional film. In some versions,[citation needed] he was the most trusted of Robin Hood's inner circle because he had been his father's steward at Locksley castle (in the tales where Robin originally comes from an aristocratic family). It is said that Stutely was the eldest and wisest of the merry men, and that he was Robin Hood's confidant and advisor in strategy.

In the 1952 film The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, Stutely is played by Bill Owen. Robert Desmond plays Stutely in "A Guest for the Gallows", an episode of the television series The Adventures of Robin Hood; the episode depicts Robin rescuing Stutely, combining elements of the Stutely ballad with the ballad "Robin Hood and the Butcher").