When an unpleasant and cruel nobleman spites his stepson by ceding his estate to the abbey, he ends up being poisoned by one of Brother Cadfael's medications.



(screenplay), (novel) (as Ellis Peters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Gallagher ...
Gervase Bonel
Mary Miller ...
Huw Garmon ...
Sophie Lawrence ...
Albie Woodington ...
Terrence Hardiman ...
Freddie Boardley ...
Brother Petrus


A man, dissatisfied with his step-sons life choices, decides to leave his manor to Shrewsbury Abbey. When the man ends up poisoned after eating food sent from the abbey, the step-son becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Cadfael doubts the quick assumption, sets out to find the actions and motives behind the crime, and in the process may help to redeem himself for a promise long unfulfilled. Written by M. Astaphan

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

19 June 1994 (UK)  »

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A character is sent to fetch basil, which was introduced to England in the 1600s. See more »


Prior Robert: [Hugh Beringar has been defending Cadfael's actions] My lord Beringar, it is not your place to intefere in the business of this Abbey!
Abbot Radulfus: And it is not *your* place, Brother Prior, to speak to guests of this House in such a way! Furthermore, it is not your place to say who is fit to serve this House... but *mine*.
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User Reviews

A bit more insight into the earlier life of Brother Cadfael.
1 December 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In previous installments of "Cadfael", the shows gave hints about the early life of the title character before he joined the priesthood. However, some of these glimpses are hashed out further. You know he went off on the Crusades and that he'd lost his fiancée as a result. However, here you actually get to meet her--and both she and Cadfael are surprised by their chance meeting. I like that the film gives you more insights--and makes the character even more multi-dimensional.

The show starts with a nasty landlord disinheriting his step-son. You KNOW based on previous "Cadfael" shows that he's likely to end up dead--and he soon is. However, Cadfael is pulled into the case because it's his unguent that is used to poison the man. While no one suspects Cadfael, it is an interesting coincidence that the dead man's wife is Cadfael's old fiancée! And, out of his life and respect for her, he decides to intervene in the case even though the temporary head of the order declares that Cadfael is NOT to get involved. Can he figure out the real murderer? Well, duh! But it's worth seeing exactly how all this is worked through and the plot twists.

This is a better episode of the show. It's not only because of his past coming into play but because of the interesting way it all works out at the end--since Cadfael feels sorry for the killer and seemed to feel that the dead man had it coming! My only qualm is that the show seems to be establishing a pattern--rich people are evil and will die in the episode! Well worth seeing regardless.

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