680: Young Ned Hawkins comes to Hadley, Massachusetts, to collect rents from the settlers on behalf of his father, the landlord. When native Americans attack Ned fights them off along with Pastor Russell and his daughter Hope in a party led by William Goffe, a fugitive regicide wanted by Charles II for his part in his father's execution. Goffe makes it clear to Ned that he sees his father as a greedy land grabber. In England republican Angelica Fanshawe falls foul of tyrannical clay pit owner Hardwick and his kinsman Judge Jeffreys, who forces Will Blood to spy on Angelica's 'nest of vipers' in return for his father's life. Now married to Roman Catholic John Francis Angelica is about to celebrate her daughter Beth's birthday when outlaws led by Goffe's son Abe arrive, robbing the guests, who include the Duke of Monmouth, Charles' illegitimate son who is hoping to mount a rebellion. Abe rides off with Beth and tells her that her true father was Edward Sexby, a man who gave his life fighting injustice. Back in Hadley Edward Randolph, the king's agent, tracks down Goffe, who commits suicide rather than be arrested. As Pastor Russell is taken to be tried for harbouring a regicide he asks Ned to warn Angelica that she is in danger.

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