ohn Hawkins sends Ned back to England to avoid his being accused of helping a regicide whilst pastor Russell dies in prison and John insists that Hope marry widower Henry Cresswell so she will not be alone. In Oxfordshire Beth and Abe blow up the clay-pits where Hardwick has been using slaves as his work force and go on the run as highway robbers. They meet Ned, who is on his way to warn Angelica that her letters to Goffe have been intercepted. As a result Jeffreys, who is trying to provoke John Francis into denying the Popish Plot to kill the king, has his evidence and arrests John. Abe tells Ned that he is Goffe's son and soon afterwards attempts to kill king Charles but is himself wounded and nursed by Angelica. The boys escape but Beth and her mother are also arrested and charged with assisting a regicide. Angelica agrees to plead guilty if Beth is exiled to the Americas, rather than face execution. King Charles now seems to have eradicated all opposition and dissolves his parliament, giving himself total autocracy.

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