Mystery!: Cadfael (1994–1998)
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The Holy Thief 

Ramsey Abbey in Cambridgeshire puts in a claim for the remains of St. Winifred, whose reliquary is the object of prayer and lucrative donations to Shrewsbury Abbey.


Ken Grieve


Ben Rostul (screenplay), Edith Pargeter (based upon: The Holy Thief) (as Ellis Peters)




Episode complete credited cast:
Derek Jacobi ... Brother Cadfael
Terrence Hardiman ... Abbot Radulfus
Michael Culver ... Prior Robert
Julian Firth ... Brother Jerome
Anthony Green ... Hugh Beringar
George Irving ... Herluin
Richard Lintern ... Lord Beaumont
Benedict Sandiford ... Tutilo
Louise Delamere ... Daalny
Frank Baker Frank Baker ... Remy
Natasha Pyne Natasha Pyne ... Lady Donata
Neil Caple Neil Caple ... Alfred
Jonathan Tafler ... Money Lender


Prior Herluin arrives at Shrewsbury Abbey demanding that Abbot Radulfus hand over the reliquary containing the bones of the holy virgin St. Winifred. Pilgrims to Shrewsbury have been generous to the Abbey because of the holy relic and its loss may result in an economic downturn for the Benedictines there. Hurliun bases his claim on the reported visions of his novice monk Tutilo and the need to rebuild Ramsey Abbey, which was burned in the civil war. When a dying wealthy old woman, Lady Donata, takes a liking to the handsome Tutilo and doubts his vocation, she bequeaths a priceless jeweled necklace to him. As the necklace is worth more than enough to rebuild the abbey, Winifred's bones now seem safe at Shrewsbury, but the theft of the gems and a resultant murder throw the issue in doubt again. Among the red herrings facing Cadfael are a minstrel, his slave -- a beautiful singer who's drawn to Tutilo -- an arrogant nobleman, and Tutilo himself. The episode showcases two medieval methods... Written by, beth-243

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


The Shrine of St Winifred would remain at Shrewsbury Abbey for another four centuries --until both it and the Abbey were destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540. See more »


The reliquary is not the same, much smaller and more elaborate, than in "A Morbid Taste for Bones". See more »


Lord Hugh Beringar: The church disapproves of slavery but not the slave.
See more »


Oh My Love Has Golden Hair
Performed by Louise Delamere
See more »

User Reviews

Technically terrible
14 July 2020 | by jamison0601See all my reviews

What could have been a really good episode was severely hampered by terrible editing. The plot was good, and Cadfael's sleuthing excellent. But the edits were so sharp and did time jumps so quickly, it was sometimes difficult to follow. We found ourselves saying "that doesnt make any sense", or "wait, how did she get out of there without being seen" etc, numerous times. Unusual for a normally really well done show.

But, it's Cadfael. Always enjoyable, and the last 30 minutes or so seemed to level out. Derek Jacobi, perfection in the role as always.

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Release Date:

23 June 1998 (UK) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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