Episode description by:
The steamship `Anne Onedin' is launched by Elizabeth and Robert. Albert Frazer
has gone to the Argentine to make his fortune and Jack Frazer wants paying for
the ship his yard has built.
We see a 10 year old William as we are told that James is busy making as much
money as he can from buying cheap, old sailing ships and working them. Jack
Frazer urges Elizabeth and Robert to get out whilst shares in the Onedin Line
are worth something.
James is still in mourning 6 months after Anne's death in childbirth and is
aboard ship with a young Leonora Biddulph and her coal mine owner/ merchant
father who finds her a lively handful. James saves Leonora from being injured by
some swinging rigging and it is obvious from the look and the thanks that she
gives him that she is infatuated by him.
Biddulph tries to console James as he too has lost a beloved wife. He feels he
can do this as he tells James that Leonora has a great admiration for him.
`She's a child'- James dismisses Biddulph's news and also his sympathy.
Daniel Foggarty and Emma Callon have an unhappy marriage and the Callon company
is losing money
`You're a failure at business Daniel'.
Baby Charlotte and Captain Webster appear to be the responsibilities of Robert
and Sarah and James did not even attend his daughter's christening. Robert has
ambitions to be a Liverpool Liberal councillor.
Leonora begins her plan of action to gain James' notice and approval by asking
Capt Baines what would please him most. Biddulph offers James the contract to
carry his coal because Leonora asked him to.
Emma Foggarty goes weeping to Jack Frazer, pleading with him to run her company
for half the profits – he settles for 51% - The Frazer Shipping Company. Daniel
goes back to sea.
Mr Samuel Plimsol is photographing all ships to have proof of overloading and
support his campaign to help sailors.
Elizabeth is at James' house with a letter from Albert saying he is developing
the means of shipping refrigerated meat. James says of Albert ` he's not the man
I took him for'. Elizabeth replies `nor are you these days James. You're not one
half the man you once were – you've lost your spirit'.
James and Frazer argue over the costs of the Anne Onedin and they both attend a
dinner at Robert's where Mr Plimsol is guest of honour and expands on his plans
to protect sailors. Leonora, there with her father, tries to attract James'
attention, without success.
Foggarty is captain of a ship chartered by James that sinks and he maintains
that it had been patched up cheaply for sea with sham bolts (ship devils) for
the Frazer yard and James to make quick profits. Biddulph is unsettled by this
and states that the coal contract cannot be given to James.
Plimsol challenges Frazer about the quality of the shipyards work. There is an
enquiry which clears James and Frazer of any wrong doing.
Eliz refuses Albert's request to join him in the Argentine which James agrees
with as he thinks she should come and live with him. Elizabeth refuses to be
James `housekeeper' as Leonora arrives and she says `should you wish to apply
for the position of unpaid housekeeper and drudge, I'm sure my brother will give
you a sympathetic hearing'. Leonora `oh I should love to apply. I'm a most
excellent cook' James `Miss Biddulph, my sister has a somewhat acid sense of
humour – a family trait'. As a possible hint of what is to come Leonora says
that her father has been persuaded to change his mind and allow James the coal
contract – `persuaded? By whom?' James asks.
Leonora `I always get my own way Mr Onedin'
Oh aye?' James
Script by Cyril Abraham.