Liliwin is a poor acrobat hired to entertain at an Aurifaber wedding. But when he is dismissed and the master of the house is found unconscious and robbed, Cadfael must find the real thief before the mob takes vengeance.



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

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video



Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Barraclough ...
Walter Aurifaber
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Juliana Aurifaber
Susanna Aurifaber
Maria Miles ...
Margery Aurifaber
Daniel Aurifaber (as Richard Bonneville)
John Boneth
Roger Booth ...
Baldwin Peche
Sara Stephens ...
David Tysall ...


Lilwin, a traveling minstrel, entertains at the wedding feast of the son of wealthy Walter Aurifaber but incurs the wrath of the bride's grandmother when he accidentally breaks a piece of crockery. When the wealthy man is apparently bludgeoned to death and a great deal of money stolen, suspicion falls on the young man, who becomes the sparrow of the title when he seeks sanctuary at the abbey from an angry mob. Although it later turns out that Aurifaber survived his attacker, further complications arise from Lilwin's romantic involvement with one of the household's serving girls, the murder of a blackmailing gossip, and the rivalry between the young bride and her controlling sister-in-law. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 June 1994 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




See  »

Did You Know?


Hugh Bonneville (Daniel Aurifaber) and Derek Jacobi (Brother Cadfael) have both played Edward Masterson in adaptations of the 1934 novel "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie: Bonneville in Agatha Christie's Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (2010) and Jacobi in Murder on the Orient Express (2017). See more »


(at around 39 mins) When the assistant is being questioned. See more »


Susanna Aurifaber: [to Walter Aurifaber] May you be fed molten gold in Hell until your belly and throat burn into ashes!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fiona Gillies steals the show
4 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the better in the Cadfael series. There's not a weak acting job in the lot. Prior Robert and Brother Jerome are their usual slimy selves. Abbot Heribert displays some vigor when it's called for. Cadfael, of course, goes about his sleuthing business with his usual thoroughness and perspicacity. Hugh Beringar shows his usual resolve, courage and sensitivity. The new Aurifaber wife is unlikable but determined and courageous. Iestyn, Daniel, and John are convincing both as suspects and in their actual roles. It's also neat to see a quiet but effective bit performance by Madoc the boatman. But the master performance is that given by Fiona Gillies as Susanna. You can see her also as Beryl Stapleton in the Jeremy Brett version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. A good job there too.

I do find these a little hard to follow at first - who are all these characters, anyway? I think the writer, already knowing all the characters, doesn't quite realize that the viewers don't already know who these people are. Watching it a second time made it much more enjoyable and understandable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why so many recasts for Hugh Beringar? bunnellius
Cadfael's lost love patpat07-1
The 7 remaining stories... Midsomerlover
Significance of rag-dolls and item being swung around? skiddlehead
Good series? jesse-acosta
Cadfael Drinking Game! mano0002
Discuss The Sanctuary Sparrow (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: