Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–1992)
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Rumpole on Trial 

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When Rumpole is charged by Judge Oliphant with contempt of court and faces disbarment, Hilda persuades Sam Ballard to defend him.


John Gorrie


John Mortimer



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leo McKern ... Horace Rumpole
Marion Mathie Marion Mathie ... Hilda Rumpole
Robin Bailey Robin Bailey ... Mr. Justice Graves
James Grout ... Mr. Justice Oliphant
Peter Bowles ... Mr. Justice Featherstone
Joanna Van Gyseghem Joanna Van Gyseghem ... Lady Marigold Featherstone
Julian Curry Julian Curry ... Claude Erskine-Brown
Patricia Hodge ... Phyllida Erskine-Brown
Peter Blythe ... Samuel Ballard Q.C.
Rowena Cooper Rowena Cooper ... Marguerite Ballard
Jonathan Coy ... Henry
Camille Coduri ... Dot
Abigail McKern Abigail McKern ... Liz Probert
Christopher Milburn Christopher Milburn ... Dave Inchcape
Denis Lill Denis Lill ... Mr. Bernard


In great pain from an abscessed tooth, a dyspeptic Rumpole is particularly acerbic and sarcastic to Judge Oliphant, a judge who Rumpole considers particularly deserving of his disdain. When Erskine-Brown informs the justice that Rumpole was heard coaching his witness during the lunch break in total defiance of instruction, Oliphant has had enough and brings misconduct charges against the barrister. Although Hilda is able to persuade Sam Ballard to defend him, it is Rumpole's old nemesis, Justice Graves, who will preside at the disbarment hearing. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

3 December 1992 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Last episode of the series. See more »


Samuel Ballard Q.C.: Ah, judge. This is a great day for Equity Court. We're celebrating Mrs. Claude Erskine-Brown elevated to the bench...
Mr. Justice Graves: Yes...
Samuel Ballard Q.C.: ...and her husband in silk.
Mr. Justice Graves: [Taken by surprise] Claude Erskine-Brown?
[With total disdain]
Mr. Justice Graves: They must be giving away silk gowns with pounds of tea!
See more »

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User Reviews

End of series episode
22 February 2019 | by lucyrfisherSee all my reviews

Rumpole annoys Judge Oliphant while defending a boring man who claims his wife fell and hit her head on the fender. Claude thinks that Rumpole is talking to his client in the lunch break, when he's been told not to. Liz and Hilda stand by Rumpole.

And the gang's all here: Phillida Trant, now a judge. Judge Graves (who is rather suave), and one of the Timsons. That's at the usual party at the end.

But what happens to Mr Tong, beautifully played by Peter Sallis? All we hear is that he has run off with Mrs Grabowitz from next door.

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