Garrow's Law

Season 2 Episode 1

Season Two, Episode One

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 14, 2010 on BBC
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Episode Summary

Season Two, Episode One

Garrow is prosecuting Captain Collingwood for insurance fraud, after 133 slaves were thrown overboardhis ship "Zong" during the journey to Jamaica. The captain blames the conditions at the sea, but the Liverpool Assurance insurance company blames his poor seamanship. Garrow meets Gustavus Vassa, who was once a slave and now wants to challenge the Law under which slaves are seen as cargo and charge the captain with murder. Meanwhile, Sir Arthur Hill is convinced that his wife, Lady Sarah, has been unfaithful to him and that Samuel is Garrow's son.


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    Jasper Britton

    Jasper Britton

    Captain Collingwood

    Guest Star

    Colin Tierney

    Colin Tierney

    James Kelsall

    Guest Star

    Stephen Boxer

    Stephen Boxer

    Lord Melville

    Guest Star

    Watch Online

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (2)

      • The Zong massacre really happened in 1781 when 132 living slaves were thrown overboard by the crew of a slaving ship Zong, owned by Liverpool slave-trading firm. In English law, the act was legal; throwing slaves overboard was not murder. The publicity over this case was the first major turning point in the campaign to abolish slavery.

      • The real William Garrow defended the accused for free more than once. The words "My Lord, as this poor woman has no Counsel; will you permit me, as Amicus Curiae, to ask ... a question or two" are taken word for word from the case of Sarah Peason, who Garrow defended in 1790.

    • QUOTES (7)

      • Sir Arthur Hill: You are of this trade. You cannot undermine it.
        Liverpool Assurance Man 1: We do not predict history, we follow policy. And we are 4000 Pounds out of pocket because of a fraudulent claim.
        Liverpool Assurance Man 2: And slaves overboard or not, Sir Arthur, I am afraid that is our most grievous discovery.

      • Lord Melville: Garrow! In every case, he smells out a cause and a challenge to our laws.

      • William Garrow: Lose a prosecution for murder and a definitive precedent is set that slaves can be killed at will. But if I can prove the claim to be fraudulent, if I can prove the plea of necessity for those deaths to be false...
        Gustavas Vassa: Then the insurers' interests will be served.
        William Garrow: Yes, but more than that. In future, because of this case, they may find a better way to see those interests served by providing the least possible indemnity for slaves murdered in passage.
        Gustavas Vassa: Instead of 30 Pounds for a Negro's head, they will only pay out 20? That is your idea of progress, Mr. Garrow?
        William Garrow: If it will inhibit the murder of slaves, then yes.
        Gustavas Vassa: So you will inch towards justice and not demand it?

      • Gustavas Vassa: If I am angry, I am a savage. If I am sanguine, I am not a man.

      • Lady Sarah Hill: I hope my appearance did not cause you any discomfort.
        William Garrow: It was only your previous disappearance that caused me any difficulty.

      • Sir Arthur Hill: I shall not condemn you for my spurious offspring. I will accept the child as my own. He will inherit my entire estate, my title and my property. At least I shall keep my dignity in society, with you alongside me.
        Lady Sarah Hill: So you will arrange our marriage according to your own delusion? You will allow me to have deceived you when I have never been anything but constant to you? And all this in the cause of your dignity?
        Sir Arthur Hill: You cannot be glad that I forgive you?
        Lady Sarah Hill: I cannot be glad... that you believe it so.

      • William Garrow: You'll tell me why your husband seeks to disown you?
        Lady Sarah Hill: He is in the grip of an idea that Samuel is not his, that I am not faithful, but most of all... he insists that I love you.
        William Garrow: Despite how you must have refuted every accusation?
        Lady Sarah Hill: His fancies have pushed me here. But from such fancies, a truth comes, Will.
        William Garrow: I asked you once in vain to leave him. Your refusal exhausted every hope I ever had of you. Now you declare your love for me as Hill seeks to banish you.
        Lady Sarah Hill: I did not come to you seeking refuge, to hide from the disgrace he is determined to put upon me. In fact, I have come to say... I will own it.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)