Garrow's Law

Season 2 Episode 4

Season Two, Episode Four

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 05, 2010 on BBC
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Episode Summary

Season Two, Episode Four

Sir Arthur Hill is convinced that his wife, Lady Sarah, and Garrow are lovers. He accuses Garrow of Criminal Conversation, a legal action where a husband can prosecute his wife's lover for damages. Garrow must fight for his honour, and for love.

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Hayley Carmichael

Hayley Carmichael

Alice Whiley

Guest Star

Emma Davies

Emma Davies

Lady Elisabeth Fox

Guest Star

Benny Young

Benny Young

Judge Kenyon

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In 18th century England, the age of criminal accountability was seven (in 1795, a nine-year-old boy, Peter Tracy was sentenced to death); and Garrow often defended children. In 1784 he successfully defended eleven-year-old William Horton and nine-year-old Peter Miller. But, he could not prevent a lesser punishment in Miller's case: whipping.

    • Criminal conversation - legal jargon for adultery - is still legal in North Carolina, Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico and Utah. One wronged lady in North Carolina won damages of $9 million in 2010.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Judge Buller: You must, you will, forget this day.
      William Garrow: How do I forget the fear in his eyes?
      Judge Buller: I stopped looking in the eyes of unfortunates I sentence to hang some years ago. William, it doesn't help them and I sleep better.
      William Garrow: I think I could not so easily turn away.
      Judge Buller: Then as long as you continue in this profession... you will not sleep.

    • William Garrow: What kind of foul swamp is this in which I must live and make my living? I cannot decipher which half of it is worse; the endless monstrous crimes of men or the many barbarous ways by which we punish them. For little more than the theft of a penny, we flog, brand, burn, maim and jail them, or dispatch them to Godforsaken lands. And hang a boy... a boy of only 12. And this has so seeped into my guts and bones, become so usual to my life, that it turns the murder of boys into a mere prologue to the main business of the day. This business of ours in the civil court, where in a pantomime of justice the interweave of our two lives will be redrawn as animal fornication, our chastity re-minted as debauchery. What does a man do when all of this weighs too heavy on his soul? This man says he is beaten. I am. I am beaten.
      Lady Sarah Hill: Then this man is not William Garrow. When the temptation of my son's return was offered to me, William Garrow saw it clear and stayed true to his self. And by so doing, kept me true to mine. The man who talks here of defeat is not the same. When I, in my confusion, resolved to flee the clamour of this invented scandal, it was William Garrow who kept me here with protestations of love.

    • William Garrow: There has been no adultery. There has been, almost from the moment of our first meeting, animosity between myself and Sir Arthur Hill. There has been great sadness on my part that the full radiance of Lady Sarah Hill should be daily smothered by her husband's possessive and deadening hand. There has been regret that the road of my fate did not cross hers before this mis-allied couple met and were wed. But there has been no adultery. There's been disappointment that a weak husband's self-delusion on the fidelity of his faithful wife could not only grow into desperate obsession, but that it could find support in those who, to meet their own aims, seek to suppress my activities as a barrister and entrap me in this charge of Criminal Conversation. Because there has been no adultery, gentlemen. There has been... There has been the tug of attraction. There have been ideas exchanged. But there has been no adultery.

    • John Southouse: William Garrow is a most difficult man to call "friend". He is obdurate, and driven to acts of principle that test the usual bonds of fellowship. He is short on temper and long on haste. He is guided by such impatient fervour that often, the normal courtesies of sociability are left behind. But I would rather claim his friendship than have the approval of a multitude, or the favour of kings and queens.
      It pains me greatly that a man who has, in the pursuit of justice, changed the law, and in so doing, changed a nation for the better, should find his livelihood imperilled by an action as flimsy and unfounded as this.

  • NOTES (0)