Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1996)
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The Rose Rent 

A beautiful, wealthy widow turns her back on the world to find solace with the church and gives her house over to the abbey for the rent of a single white rose each year.


Richard Stroud (as Rick Stroud)


Christopher Russell (screenplay), Edith Pargeter (novel) (as Ellis Peters)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Jacobi ... Brother Cadfael
Terrence Hardiman ... Abbot Radulfus
Michael Culver ... Prior Robert
Julian Firth ... Brother Jerome
Mark Charnock ... Brother Oswin
Eoin McCarthy Eoin McCarthy ... Sheriff Hugh Beringar
Kitty Aldridge ... Judith Perle
Tom Mannion Tom Mannion ... Niall Bronzesmith
Graham McGrath ... Brother Eluric
Crispin Bonham-Carter ... Miles Coliar (as Crispin Bonham Carter)
Sarah Badel Sarah Badel ... Sister Magdalen
Paul Whitby Paul Whitby ... Thomas Hynde
Sebastian Abineri Sebastian Abineri ... Godfrey Fuller
Margery Mason Margery Mason ... Agatha Coliar
Paul Trussell Paul Trussell ... Bertred


Wealthy widow Judith Perle still mourns her late husband but is pursued by numerous single townsmen. She has turned her house over to the abbey for the rent of a single white rose each year from the house's bush. But as one admirer is found stabbed, one of her workmen is found drowned, and Judith herself is kidnapped, she thinks entering a convent is her only avenue to peace. Cadfael must identify the killer in order to give Judith a chance of happiness. Written by mama.sylvia

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Release Date:

12 August 1997 (UK) See more »

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Cadfael: The Law judges the crime, not the man.
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User Reviews

They must be after her money...
20 January 2009 | by jglillis-1See all my reviews

The widow Perle has inspired a crew of would-be husbands (and suspects). But what a strange performance! She blames herself for all the deaths, even that of the rose bush, although she's done nothing to cause them. She tries to flee into a convent. She consults Brother Cadfael and then ignores his advice. Wonder why she and her dead husband had no children despite having such a blissful marriage?

The usual solid performance from Cadfael. Other pluses: Niall Bronzesmith and Master Fuller. Hugh Beringar does well with his bit part. Prior Robert isn't quite as odious as he was in "A Morbid Taste for Bones," but Brother Jerome is his usual insufferably smarmy self. Not so strong: the "kidnapper" who brags about his ability to satisfy women, but quails at a noise heard outside his door.

Cadfael is badly misled here and for a long time does indeed "persecute" an innocent man. It's only by luck that he sees the truth when it's almost too late for it to do any good. It's the acting that makes this worth watching, not the plot.

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