- Episode Description
Garrow challenges the legal definition of madness in Georgian England by defending a man accused of high treason for attempting to assassinate King George III.
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- Trivia & Quotes
Silvester: (musing out loud at the prospect of becoming a judge) My own court. And in my court, a trial in which Garrow is appearing. I would sustain every objection made against him. I would direct a jury not to find for him. My God, I'd make his life hell. (cleares his throat) Impartially and in full accordance to the strictures of the Law.
William Garrow: I cannot defend him. The law on madness does not allow me.
John Southouse: Allow you? Since when have you concerned yourself with what you are allowed to do?
William Garrow: True. But when I am required to defend the attempted assassination of the King, perhaps you will allow me a little circumspection.
Alexander Creighton: Vincent is enjoying a sunnier day than is usual. He can, in his darker moods, foam like Niagara, and has to be restrained with a jacket for the purpose to prevent the ebullitions of his anger.
John Southouse: His anger must indeed be fierce. What occasions it?
Alexander Creighton: He thinks himself cheated of his fortune by a lawyer.
John Southouse: We shall not broach that subject on the way out.
William Garrow: Our defence is not merely madness but setting about the understanding of madness!
John Southouse: Better described as a malady.
William Garrow: Exactly.
John Southouse: It will put us in dangerous territory.
William Garrow: What mean you?
John Southouse: Have you not heard the King described as afflicted in that way?
William Garrow: Then we are in very good company.
William Garrow: You would not wish me happy, Mr Southouse?
John Southouse: Always. But most especially when you stand up at the Old Bailey. To turn a jury, to confront a liar. Unmake a bad law.
William Garrow: But only when I am briefed by you?
John Southouse: Invariably.
This episode describes an actual case: James Hadfield was accused of high treason in 1800. And he was acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity. The proceedings in the episode follow very closely the original case. The trial was a crucial turning point in the British law on insanity.