Inspired by the life of the pioneering 18th-century barrister, legal drama Garrow’s Law returns to BBC One for a third series later this month.
William Garrow is played by Andrew Buchan, James Hadfield by Mark Letheren, Lady Sarah Hill by Lyndsey Marshal, Sir Arthur Hill by Rupert Graves and John Southouse by Alun Armstrong.
Sunday 13th November 2011, 9pm
William Garrow risks his reputation as he returns to the Bailey. In an episode based on a true story, Garrow risks his reputation to defend James Hadfield, who is on trial for high treason for attempting to assassinate King George III.
Garrow agrees to meet Hadfield at Newgate, but finds his defence perplexing. Hadfield is convinced that God has spoken to him. He insists that he did not want to kill the King, but rather wanted himself to be killed by an outraged patriotic crowd. Is he a madman or an assassin? But 18th-century law does not permit a man to be mad “sometimes”.
Convinced of Hadfield’s insanity, Garrow risks a defence which seeks to change the law. But in a country where the King himself seems completely lunatic “sometimes”, is it a defence which threatens the Establishment, or is it an assault on George III himself?
Now living in an “irregular” relationship with Lady Sarah Hill, Garrow finds himself ostracised and impoverished. He must deal with the competing demands of domestic happiness and professional integrity.
Meanwhile, separated from her husband, Sir Arthur Hill, Sarah is informed by Southouse that she has no independent rights of her own. She is determined to be reunited with her son and commits a desperate act to try to get him back. But if she provokes her estranged husband too far, what will be the implications for her and Garrow?
Sunday 20th November 2011, 9pm
Spitalfield silk-weavers, Quinn and Foley, are accused of feloniously destroying silk looms in an act of industrial sabotage. However, their defence is perilously thin and the evidence is strongly against them.
A bored and disillusioned Garrow is looking for a case that will challenge and engage his restless mind and he must persuade a sceptical jury of their innocence.When one of the defendants turns Kings Evidence against his friend, love and loyalty compete with fear and death in the 18th-century courthouse. Garrow is conflicted – are his clients innocent or guilty? And do they deserve the noose?
Meanwhile, John Southouse is furious. He regards Lady Sarah’s attempt to get custody of Samuel as misguided, futile and ruinous. The creditors are at Garrow’s door and Southouse believes Sarah’s obsession with Samuel is an indulgent distraction. But Southouse’s own life is about to be turned upside down when he is diagnosed with Typhus (“gaol-fever”) and his prognosis is uncertain.
Sunday 27th November 2011, 9pm
General Thomas Picton, Governor of Trinidad, is in the dock accused of the brutal torture of a16-year-old mixed heritage woman. In prosecuting the case, Garrow sees the potential to expose not only the man, but also the colonial system that makes many an Englishman rich.
Garrow is approached by his political nemesis, Lord Melville, who has a proposition. If Garrow agrees to limit the scope of his prosecution, Melville will use his considerable influence to persuade Hill to give Sarah back her son. Garrow is confronted with an impossible choice; to expose British colonial brutality in open court or to re-unite his beloved Lady Sarah with her son.
Meanwhile, Sarah, supported by an ailing Southouse, faces her husband at the Court of Chancery, determined to advocate the rights of the mother as equal to those of the father.
During the Picton trial, a now gravely ill Southouse collapses, exhorting that Garrow “let justice be done though the heavens fall”. What will be the outcome for Sarah? Will Garrow be forced to follow his head or his heart?
Sunday 4th December 2011, 9pm
A vicious riot erupts on polling day in the Westminster constituency. As the crowd parts, an old man lies on the ground, brutally clubbed to death. A black man, Nicholson, stands on trial for murder.
Garrow is distraught because Sarah has left him. Southouse’s assiduous young nephew, George Pinnock, brings him news of the case and manages to coax him back to life.
When it is revealed in court that Nicholson is completely innocent, and the evidence against him a feeble fabrication by a newly created police force, Garrow is galvanised into action. What is the purpose of the cover-up? Garrow and George begin to unearth vote-rigging, state brutality and abuse of power at the very highest levels.
But without Sarah, Garrow is incomplete. She has disappeared and has illegally taken Samuel with her. Sir Arthur Hill is furious and vengeful. Garrow must somehow untie the destructive knot that binds all three of them together in anger and recrimination. Will he succeed? And at what cost to all three of them?