This film is part of Free


Early film: The life of a gentleman farmer is turned upside down when he discovers his wife in the arms of the local asylum's chief warder.

Drama 1904 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Love or lunacy? Tragic tale of a gentleman farmer [Wm Haggar Jnr] whose life is turned upside down when his wife embarks on an affair with the local asylum's chief warder. Revenge is taken not cold but in the heat of desperate anger and brings the film's death toll to 7. One of the few surviving films shot by [Arthur] William Haggar (1851-1925), a travelling showman and film pioneer based in Wales from the 1880s onwards. NB: Source material courtesy of the Library of Congress.

This film was identified as the work of William Haggar in 2007, the digital copy being created from a 16mm negative of the only existing element: a paper print, held by the Library of Congress, USA (where, until 1911, films could not be copyright registered without a paper record, which led to film frames being printed onto strips of 35mm photographic paper). Members of William Haggar Junior's theatrical company will have played the various roles, his wife – Jenny Lindon – too heavily pregnant at the time for the role of the wife but their daughter, Jennie, probably played the daughter. Copies of the film were circulated in Britain and beyond – it was exported to the USA and France.