Adapted from Henry Fielding’s novel by John Osborne and directed by Tony Richardson, In 18th-century England a squire finds a baby in his bed and adopts him as his own son. He becomes a handsome man with many amorous adventures while struggling with the social disgrace of being illegitimate.
Squire Allworthy (George Devine) returns to his home west of London and discovers a surprise. He calls Mrs. Wilkins (Angela Baddeley) and shows her the baby on his bed. His sister Bridget Allworthy (Rachel Kempson) comes in and asks who could be the mother. Mrs. Wilkins says it is Jenny Jones and brings her in. Jenny Jones (Joyce Redman) admits she is the mother to Allworthy who asks who the father is. Mrs. Wilkins has them bring in Partridge (Jack MacGowran) the schoolmaster. Allworthy sends Jenny away and says he will bring up the boy as his own son and will call him Tom Jones.
Years later Tom Jones (Albert Finney) finds sport in the woods where he meets Molly Seagrim (Diane Cilento). He says it is a good night to be looking for game, and they lie down together.
Tom hunts with Allworthy’s gamekeeper Black George (Wilfrid Lawson). Tom goes to retrieve a bird he shot, and Squire Western (Hugh Griffith) shoots at him for trespassing. Tom runs away.
Bridget Allworthy’s pious son Blifil (David Warner) is tutored by Square (John Moffatt) and Thwackum (Peter Bull), but they had little success with Tom. Thwackum claims he is teaching Tom and Blifil religion according to the Church of England. Square fears that Tom proves the truth of the saying that foundlings should be left to the parish. Blifil says neither one can touch his bastard’s heart. Molly reaches Tom’s heart, and she asks him to get her a position as a maid.
Tom visits Sophie Western (Susannah York) and brings her a thrush in a cage. He says two years is a long time and asks if she has been made a lady. He says she has grown more beautiful than ever. She has studied in France and tries to teach the bird a French song. He asks if she will take Molly as a maid because her father Black George has many hungry mouths to feed. Sophie says she already has a maid, but she will see if she can do anything.
Squire Western welcomes his sister Miss Western (Edith Evans) home, and Sophie shows her family the bird Tom gave her. Blifil takes the bird from the cage and throws it into the sky, pretending that it escaped by accident. Tom tells Sophie he will get it back for her and climbs a tree. He goes out on a limb while Blifil apologizes and comments that caged birds are against the laws of nature. Tom reaches out for the bird and falls from the tree into the water. He comes out soaked holding his hand up with the bird. Sophie says he will catch a cold, and Blifil says it serves him right. She pushes Blifil in the water, and everyone else laughs.
At the local church Tom sees Molly and notices that she is pregnant. Outside women castigate Molly and throw mud at her. Molly fights back in a brawl. Tom tries to stop the fighting and rescues Molly. She begs him not to leave her, and he picks her up and puts her on a horse. He leads the horse away. Thwackum calls her a filthy slut, but Squire Western calls Tom a good lad.
While dining Squire Western realizes that Tom must be the father of Molly’s child. They say she is ruined and laugh. He says Sophie knows about Tom and asks her how she feels about him fathering a bastard. She plays the harpsichord.
Tom is riding his horse and sees two poor women washing. He asks Mrs. Seagrim for Molly and goes upstairs. Molly asks why he has not been to see her before this. She pushes a chicken toward him, and he catches it. She says he must admit he had his wicked will of her. She says she will never love another man but him, not even the greatest squire for all the riches in the world. She hits him with a pillow and accidentally exposes an undressed man who was hiding. They laugh as he realizes that she has another lover.
Sophie’s maid Honor (Patsy Rowlands) is helping her tighten her corset. Honor says Allworthy is angry at Tom and won’t see him, but she pities the young man. Sophie asks what that has to do with her, and Honor says he is a handsome young man. Sophie does not want to be late for the hunt.
Squire Western leads a hunt and welcomes his guests. Tom and others drink before the dogs are released. Western has about two dozen hunting dogs. Men and women ride horses to a field. A man blows a horn, and a deer is running chased by the dogs and the hunters. Tom rides fast. A man falls off his horse. Men spurring their horses cause bleeding. A farmer finds a goose with a broken neck. Another man falls during a jump. Sophie is keeping up with Tom by whipping her horse. They get off their horses and search among ferns until Western finds the dead deer. Sophie’s horse takes off, and Tom rides after her. He stops her horse and helps her off as he falls. She hopes he is not hurt. He says he broke his arm, but he has another to lead her home. However, he faints.
Tom is in bed, and Sophie says her maid is in love with him. While Honor talks to her, Tom holds Sophie’s hand. Honor says he is awake. Tom says he is awake for the first time.
Sophie shaves Tom’s face while he is in bed. They walk while his arm is in a sling. She picks flowers, and he holds the basket and smiles at her.
Tom lies in a boat smoking a pipe while Sophie pushes with a pole. Then they reverse positions. They ride small mules and large horses. He dances around her. He goes into a swamp to pick her a wildflower and gets muddy. He retrieves something from the dog and pretends his arm hurts. They play tag and then look at each other seriously and kiss. They ride horses and look at the country.
Squire Allworthy and his sister Bridget are riding in a carriage; but going downhill it gets out of control, and a wheel comes off. In the accident they are both thrown to the ground.
Tom is riding a horse and comes home. Blifil is crying and tells him his mother died in the accident. Tom consoles him, and Blifil says Allworthy is not expected to live. Tom rushes in, and Thwackum says they can only pray.
At the funeral of Bridget a minister speaks words, and Squire Western says another one is gone. Square tells Blifil she will be with the angels. The lawyer Dowling (Redmond Phillips) tells Blifil that his mother gave him a letter and instructed him to give it to Squire Allworthy after her death. Blifil says he will give it to his uncle, and he promises to recommend him to his uncle as the new steward. Dowling gives him the letter.
Allworthy in bed is very ill and tells Blifil not to grieve, and he tells Tom that death comes to us all. He announces that he is leaving his entire estate to Blifil except that to Tom he gives £1,000 ready money and an estate of £800 a year. Allworthy believes that Tom is good, generous, and honorable; if he will add prudence and religion to these, he will be happy. He leaves £1,000 each to Thwackum and Square.
While others are reading scripture downstairs, Tom comes down shouting that Mr. Allworthy has recovered. He happily says the fever is gone as he takes down the mourning curtains.
Tom is sitting in a chair drinking in celebration while Thwackum complains that he provided better for him. Tom insults him and goes for another bottle. Blifil stands up and reminds Jones that this house is in mourning for his late mother. Tom asks him to forgive him. Blifil says he is fortunate to know who his parents were, and he is grieved by their loss. Tom calls him a rascal for insulting him and slaps him. Blifil slaps him back. Tom throws him down and laughs. Thwackum and Square take Tom and throw him out of the house.
Tom wanders in the dark calling for Sophie. He starts carving her name on a tree. Then he sees Molly and starts carving M. He offers her some of his wine, and she drinks from the bottle. He laughs and says it was because of the man in her bedroom.
Square tells Thwackum and Blifil that Tom has a wench, and they go to find the wicked girl. Squire Western arrives on a horse and has Sophie help Tom. She finds him lying on the ground and wipes his face. They tell her to search the bushes, and she finds Molly. Sophie knocks Tom down, but Western invites Tom to drink with him. Thwackum and Square blame Western for not ridding the country of such persons. Western says he would rather rid the country of foxes, and he invites Tom to sup with him. Tom goes with him on his horse. Blifil says a better time will come to do something about Tom.
Squire Western comes home with Tom, but Sophie says she wants to go to bed. Western’s sister tells Sophie to come to bed and argues with her brother.
The next day Miss Western walks on the farm to her brother and asks if he noticed something unusual about Sophie lately. She says her niece is desperately in love. He says without his consent he will disinherit her. She asks if she fixed on the person he would wish. She asks what he thinks of Blifil and says he is the only one of her class. He sees it would be handy to connect his family to him. She suggests that her brother propose the match to Allworthy immediately. He says he will.
Squire Allworthy asks Blifil how he feels about marrying Sophie, and Blifil says he will do as his uncle wishes. Allworthy says that is a cold answer for such a prospect. Blifil says he is aware of the pleasures of the noble institution of marriage, and he will be glad to marry her. He will call on her when she will receive him. Allworthy tells him to call on her this afternoon.
Miss Western finds Sophie by a lake reading a book and says she loves her. Miss Western admits she was called cruel in regard to men. She says her father has arranged for her to receive her lover. Sophie is excited, and her aunt says he is charming. Sophie says he is brave, gentle, and handsome, and she asks what it matters if he is base-born. Her aunt says it is Blifil, but Sophie thought she meant Jones. She says her aunt can’t be in earnest and says she is the most unhappy woman alive. Her aunt asks how she can think of disgracing her family by allying herself with a bastard. Sophie says she extorted her secret from her for she had intended to carry her thoughts about Tom Jones to the grave. Sophie walks off, and her aunt says she would rather follow her to the grave than see her make such a match.
Sophie tells her father that she will not marry that idiot, and he says then she can die and be done. She cries and runs off. He sits down with his dogs and says what a calamity it is to have a daughter when he has a good mare and dogs. He sees Tom and tells him to go to her to see if he can convince her to marry Blifil. Sophie runs toward the house, and Tom gets around Miss Western. He finds Sophie crying by a lake and asks her to promise that she will not give herself to Blifil and that he may hope. She says he must go, or he will be destroyed. He says the only destruction he fears is the loss of his Sophie. He says he cannot part with her and hugs her.
Miss Western tells her brother that Sophie is in love with Tom. He gets up and swears. They find Sophie and Tom kneeling and holding hands. They run toward them, and Tom runs off.
Squire Western rides his horse and finds Squire Allworthy in his garden. Western says that his daughter is in love with his bastard. He says that is what comes from bringing up a bastard like a gentleman. Allworthy is sorry to hear this. Western curses him, sits down, and says he lost his only daughter, the joy of his heart. He loved Tom as a sportsman but did not think he was poaching after his daughter. Allworthy wishes he did not give him so many opportunities with her. Allworthy asks what they should do. Western tells him to keep him away from his daughter while he locks her up. Western says he will make her marry Blifil and tells Blifil he will have no other son-in-law but him. He tells him to go to her and that he shall have her. Western gets on his horse and says if Jones comes around he will make him a gelding. Western is drunk and falls off his horse.
Thwackum and Square with Blifil tell Allworthy that he must expel Tom from his house.
While on a hay wagon Western asks his sister if she let his daughter out of her room, and she replies that women are convinced by reason, not by force. She says she learned these things after she came to live with him, but he denies he taught her these things. She refers to the great Milton and says that his ignorance almost subdues her patience. She walks off, and he damns Milton. He grabs a servant woman.
Thwackum and Square tell Allworthy that during his illness crisis Tom was involved with debauchery, and he struck Blifil who says he forgave him for that. Blifil says they saw him with a girl in a manner not fit to be mentioned. Thwackum tried to reprimand him, and Blifil says Tom beat him outrageously.
In the garden Miss Western asks Sophie what objection she has to the young man, and she replies that she hates him. Her aunt says she has known many couples who detested each other and have lived comfortable and genteel lives. Sophie assures her she will never wed a man she detests.
Squire Allworthy says he still believes that Tom has some redeeming graces. He says Tom showed compassion for the gamekeeper and his family, but Square calls it lust. He says that his generosity was bribes to seduce women, and Thwackum says Sophie will be undone next. He says Blifil begged them to give him another chance. Allworthy tells them to send Tom to him.
Tom stands before Allworthy who says he has forgiven him too often in the past, hoping that he would improve. He says he must leave this house forever. He has educated him as his own child and gives him something he can use to get good employment. He says goodbye and leaves the room.
Tom hugs each of the servants as he says goodbye. He leaves walking.
Blifil walks with Sophie and tells her that Mr. Allworthy is interested in binding their two estates together. She says she did not know he was so interested in property and asks about Blifil. He says he is most interested in the blissful pleasures of holy matrimony. He tries to take her in his arms, and she breaks away. Miss Western asks Blifil if he is using clandestine amours so soon. Sophie asks to be excused because she feels faint, and she runs off. Miss Western tells Blifil to go after the fox, and he runs after her.
Squire Western is lying in hay next to a young woman who is asleep, and his sister calls him a boor and says he has taught her disobedience. He denies he is a boor. She calls him ignorant and says his manners deserve a cane. He rolls over and puts his arm around the young woman. He gets up and says he is going to lock up her niece in a tower this time. She tells him not to do that.
Sophie tells her maid Honor that she must keep her word, but she says she is frightened and can’t. Her father takes Sophie by the hand and pulls her away, saying she won’t get out this time.
Tom is walking in the country toward London. He comes across British soldiers and asks which way they are going. They say they are going north to fight the Scots. He is hungry and asks if he can buy some food and drink. The sergeant tells them to give him some. The captain welcomes him as a gentleman, and Tom says he will be glad to march with them.
Soldiers march and sing “Rule Britannia.” At night they eat at an inn. Northenton (Julian Glover) asks if he has been to the university, and Tom says he never has been at school at all. Northenton says that accounts for his ignorance. Tom says it is easier for a man not to have been to school and know things than it is for a man who has been to school to know nothing. The captain believes that was well said. Tom stands up and proposes a toast to Sophie Western. Northenton claims he knew a woman of that name who slept with half the men at Bath. He stands up and offers a wager that Tom French had her at Bridge Street. Tom Jones says he can bear no jesting about this woman. Northenton says he was never more in earnest. He repeats his charge and throws a cup at Tom that hits him in the forehead. Tom falls to the floor, and a servant says he killed him. Northenton admits he was jesting and says he never heard of the woman in his life. The captain says then he deserves to be hanged, and he orders a sergeant to arrest him. They lay Tom on the table, and he recovers.
At night Honor helps Sophie escape from a second-story window with sheets tied together, and she runs off. She tells the dogs to keep quiet, and her father is sleeping among his dogs. Sophie and Honor ride the same horse.
The innkeeper tells Tom to get up. She says that Northenton escaped last night, and the rest of the soldiers went after him without paying the bill. He asks how he escaped, and she says Mrs. Waters helped him. Tom gets up and says he will repay her. He looks for his money but realizes his £500 note is gone. She denies he ever had it, and they argue. She makes him leave.
Miss Western tells her brother to wake up because his daughter is gone. He rides his horse while she travels in a carriage.
Sophie and her maid Honor arrive, and she asks the innkeeper if Tom Jones has been there. She says he has and that he is a thief and bragged about his mistress, Sophie Western. Honor says she is not surprised after what happened with Molly. Sophie says she is that person, and the innkeeper tells her to get out of there quickly.
Tom is walking and sees a soldier trying to hang a woman. He runs over and chases the soldier away. He cuts the woman loose, and the soldier Northenton comes back with a sword. Tom uses his staff. Tom gets him down, and he lets go of the sword. Tom picks it up and stabs the ground between his legs. The man gets up and leaves with his sword. The woman’s blouse is torn away, and Tom offers his coat. Mrs. Waters (Joyce Redman) walks behind him, and he rarely looks back at her naked chest.
Sophie and her maid ride on the horse, and from a coach her cousin Harriet Fitzpatrick (Rosalind Knight) calls to her. Harriet gets out and embraces her, asking what she is doing there. Sophie says she is on her way to London. Harriet says she is going there too, and Sophie says she is running away from home. Harriet says she is running away from her husband. She warns Sophie never to marry an Irishman especially if he is jealous and a fool with a quick temper. She says Sophie can stay with her.
Tom comes into Upton and asks a landlady for two rooms and some clothes for the woman. At the inn Tom and Mrs. Waters are eating crab, chicken, meat, and fruit as they look at each other with lust. Later they drink wine and then go to a room and kiss.
That night Mr. Fitzpatrick (George A. Cooper) comes in and asks where his wife is. He bribes a maid to tell him who is there, and she says there are only Mr. Jones and Mrs. Waters. He suspects she is using a false name. He has her show him the room. The coach arrives, and Harriet and Sophie get out. He shouts that he is looking for Mrs. Fitzpatrick, and Harriet realizes he is her husband.
Mr. Fitzpatrick goes in and accuses Tom of debauching his wife, but his friend tells him that this woman is not his wife. A maid comes downstairs and says Tom Jones is in bed with Mrs. Waters. Sophie hears this, confirms it is Tom Jones, and faints.
The landlady goes into the room, and Mr. Fitzpatrick says he was mistaken and asks their pardon. Tom claims that he heard her and ran to her assistance from the adjoining chamber. He says he prevented the lady from being robbed, and Mr. Fitzpatrick threatens him.
Harriet and the maid revive Sophie so that they can flee. Tom runs downstairs and finds Sophie’s pocketbook. Squire Western grabs Tom, but he gets away and runs upstairs. Tom puts on his pants and says goodbye to Mrs. Waters. Western and others chase him. Miss Western sees him from a coach, and he runs off into the night.
Mr. Fitzpatrick sees Mrs. Waters who smiles at him. He removes his belt and turns out the light.
The next day Squire Western rides his horse ahead of the coach and regrets missing a day of hunting. He sees a hunt and joins them. Miss Western tells the coach driver to go on.
On a country road Partridge with a pistol tells the coach to stand and deliver. Miss Western refuses to stand for him or any man. She orders the driver to go on, and Partridge watches them go.
Tom is walking, and Partridge asks for his money or his life. Tom says he has only one guinea. He tosses it in the air and takes Partridge’s pistol and gets him down, pointing it at him. Partridge says he meant no harm and that the gun is not loaded. He is a poor man down on his luck. As Tom rides the horse, Partridge walks along and tells his story. He says that Allworthy dismissed him after he was accused of being the father of Tom Jones. His name is Partridge. Tom calls him father and kisses him. Partridge rides the horse as Tom walks, but Partridge says the accusation was not true. Tom asks what he can do, and Partridge asks him to take him on as his servant. They both walk in front of the horse, and Partridge says that the kind Mrs. Miller may get him back in Allworthy’s favor.
They arrive in London. A woman says Tom is a lovely boy and asks if he came to stay. Tom calls on Mrs. Fitzpatrick who is having tea with Lady Bellaston (Joan Greenwood). The servant Abigail tells Harriet that Tom wants to see Sophie again, but Harriet tells her to send him away and tell him that Sophie is no longer there. Lady Bellaston looks out the window and sees Tom while Harriet asks her to take in Sophie. She tells Harriet that she can rely on her and that he is a pretty fellow.
By a fireplace Tom tells elderly Mrs. Miller that he is certain that Sophie was there when he called. He asks what he can do with no friends, no money, and no introductions. She tells him not to worry about the money and that he can stay there now. Partridge comes in with a package. Tom opens it and finds an invitation to a masked ball from the queen of the fairies. He tries on the mask included.
At the masked ball people dance. Tom arrives with Partridge. Squire Western complains to his sister and says he will have Sophie arrested. She says that would not be proper in this civilization. Lady Bellaston tells Tom not to engage with that trollop, or she will tell Sophie. He dances with Lady Bellaston, and they chat. She asks if he is used to sudden conquests. He says he submits. If his heart is taken, his body has the right to follow. She implies that if he follows her, she will not know what to say. She leaves in a chair, and he goes after her.
Tom follows Lady Bellaston in her house and up the stairs. He goes into her bedroom and sees her without her mask and says he thought she was Mrs. Fitzpatrick. She says it is impolite to keep a lady waiting, and she sits on the bed. He walks over, sits next to her, and kisses her.
Lady Bellaston takes Tom shopping and buys fine clothes for him.
He returns to her house and looks at himself in a mirror.
Upstairs Lord Fellamore (David Tomlinson) asks Sophie when he may see her again. She says her plans for staying in London are uncertain and says goodbye.
Tom finds snuff and tries it, causing him to sneeze and speak oddly. He sees Sophie come in and talks in an artificial voice. She asks what he is doing here, and he says he came to look for her. He found her pocketbook at Upton, and he would like to return it. She asks how dare he mention that place to her. He asks her pardon, and she refers to what she heard at the inn. He says she cannot despise him more than he does himself. Lady Bellaston comes in and asks Sophie why she is not at the play. Sophie says the play caused such an uproar that she got frightened and came home. She explains he came to return her lost pocketbook. Tom says he wants to present it in person. Lady Bellaston presumes he is a gentleman and says her doors are open to him. He thanks her and leaves with his cane. Lady Bellaston pretends she never saw his face before, and Sophie does the same. Lady Bellaston says she suspected it was Jones, and she noticed he was very well dressed. She says that is not usually the case with her friend. Sophie says Jones is handsome but then corrects herself to mean the gentleman who was here. Lady Bellaston says Mr. Jones still runs in her head. Sophie says Jones means no more to her than the gentleman who just left. Lady Bellaston promises to stop teasing her, and she kisses her cheeks. Lady Bellaston tells a black boy to take a note to Lord Fellamore to invite him to come tomorrow.
At her dressing table Lady Bellaston tells Fellamore about Sophie, and he says he loves her to distraction. She says her father’s estate is £3,000 a year. He thinks she is the best match in London. She says if he likes her, he shall have her.
Tom answers the door, and Sophie’s maid Honor hands him a letter from Sophie. He hears Lady Bellaston and pulls Honor in to hide behind a curtain. Lady Bellaston opens the door and complains that he has been avoiding her and walks in. He says there is a lady in the next room dying. She asks what he and Sophie have been plotting behind her back. He says he does not understand. She asks him if he has betrayed her honor to Sophie, and is he neglecting her for a country girl. They kiss, and he motions with his eyes for Honor to leave during the long kiss.
Tom is in bed with Lady Bellaston, and he furtively reads a letter from Sophie telling him to be patient.
Sophie and Lady Bellaston are playing cards with Fellamore and another man. Fellamore tries to touch her leg with his hand, but she slaps it.
Lady Bellaston is in bed and tells Sophie that she wishes that Fellamore would make love to her and that she would be mad to refuse him. Sophie says she must certainly be mad then. Fellamore comes in, and Sophie goes out. He tells Lady Bellaston that Sophie is not inviting. She asks him if he is frightened by the word “rape.”
Fellamore finds Sophie by the fireplace and kneels before her. She gets up to leave, and he chases her and grabs her hand. He puts his arms around her, and she struggles and frees herself while screaming. He tells her to have no fear. She tries to get away but falls on the floor. He jumps on her.
Squire Western has entered the house, hears her screaming for help, and finds Fellamore on top of her. She is glad to see her father, and Fellamore gets up and introduces himself. He hopes that he will accept him as his son-in-law, but Western calls him a son of a whore. He picks up Sophie and carries her out. She tells him to put her down.
Tom is walking on the street with Partridge. He suggests that Tom propose marriage to Lady Bellaston who will think he is wedding her for her wealth. Tom says if she accepts, he will be caught in his own trap; but Partridge promises that she won’t.
Lady Bellaston is reading a letter.
At tea Miss Western and Lady Bellaston discuss Sophie’s infatuation to this handsome Jones. Lady Bellaston tells her that he has had the audacity to make love to her. Lady Bellaston says he has even proposed marriage to her. Miss Western reads the letter and asks permission to show it to her niece.
Tom tells Partridge he got a letter form his Sophie. He reads that Sophie learned of his proposal and does not ever want to hear of him again. Partridge says that Mrs. Fitzpatrick might be able to help.
The next morning Tom goes to call on Mrs. Fitzpatrick.
Squire Allworthy arrives in a coach with Blifil to stay with Mrs. Miller.
By the fireplace Mrs. Fitzpatrick tells Tom that Sophie must be contemptible to overlook his merit, and she smiles at him. She invites him to meet again tomorrow, and he leaves.
Outside Tom runs into Mr. Fitzpatrick and hopes there are no hard feelings remaining. Mr. Fitzpatrick learns who he is and says he has been with his wife after all. He slaps him and asks for satisfaction. Then he draws his sword. Tom has a sword and defends himself. They fight, and Tom knocks the sword out of his hands but gives it back. Mr. Fitzpatrick picks up a torch to use while Tom wounds him with his sword. Tom says he drew this on himself, but a man says he tried to rob him.
Dowling tells Blifil that Tom was charged with armed robbery and says he hired two men to follow him. He is certain Jones will hang, and Blifil is glad.
Blifil tells his uncle that Tom is the worst villain, and Mrs. Miller says if anyone else had said that, she would throw the boiling water on him. She realizes he has faults. Blifil says Jones attacked a man and has been sentenced to be hanged at Tyburn.
Tom is in jail.
Dowling calls on Mrs. Fitzpatrick but is received by Mrs. Waters. He says that a man wants her help to see that Jones gets his just punishment, and he is willing to pay much for her help. She asks what the proposition is.
Tom paces in jail.
Partridge looks for someone who could help prove that Tom is innocent. He asks the two men to withdraw their evidence. One says it was true and threatens him.
Partridge calls on Mrs. Fitzpatrick and sees it is Jenny Jones. She says she is Mrs. Waters now. He says he came to plead for her son Tom Jones. He says he never intended to wound Mr. Fitzpatrick. She says she met the man at Upton’s, and he tells her that is Tom Jones.
Partridge tells Allworthy about Tom and Jenny Jones, and Mrs. Waters comes to see him. She says she must talk to him alone, and he dismisses the others.
Outside the door Mrs. Miller and Partridge listen. The door opens, and Mrs. Waters comes out. She sees Dowling and says that is the man she was telling him about. Allworthy says that is his steward. Allworthy asks him if he knows this woman and demands that he answer truly. He admits he has seen her. Allworthy asks if before his sister died, she gave him a letter for him. Allworthy goes back in the room with Dowling and Mrs. Waters. Mrs. Miller and Partridge listen again and are so happy they kiss each other. Allworthy opens the door and asks for his carriage. He sees Blifil and tells him to find the letter that his sister gave to Dowling before she died.
In the street Allworthy sees Squire Western on a horse and tells him they are going to Newgate Prison to save Tom Jones. Mrs. Waters explains what Allworthy is telling him. Her friend Mr. Fitzpatrick has recovered and is no longer charging Tom with robbery. She is pleased as if he were her own son which he is not. She says Mr. Allworthy’s sister Bridget was Tom’s mother, and she herself put the baby in Allworthy’s bed. Allworthy tells Western that Tom is now his only heir. He gets in the carriage and tells them to go to Newgate. Western says he always liked Tom best and that he can have his Sophie. He decides to ride to Tyburn.
Tom is in a cart on his way to the gallows.
Allworthy goes to Newgate Prison with the pardon, but they tell him he has been taken to be hanged.
The cart arrives at the gallows, and the rope is put around Tom’s neck. The drums roll as people watch. Northenton wishes him better luck in the next world. As the cart is removed, Squire Western arrives, cuts the rope, and carries Tom away on his horse. People are happy.
On the street Allworthy gets out of his carriage and greets Tom with a hug and asks for his forgiveness for having unjust suspicions against him. Tom says he has always used him kindly. Allworthy says he is illegitimate, but his mother is not this Mrs. Waters but his sister Bridget. Tom calls him uncle and hugs him. Squire Western says Tom is a hearty cock and tells him to go after his mistress. Tom fears he sinned against her and lost her, but everyone around him encourages him to go to her. He enters the house and kisses Sophie. Western offers to bet Allworthy that they will have a boy in nine months.
This comedy of merry old England shows the bawdy humor of the age as men and women flirt and seek pleasure in addition to lasting relationships. Arrogant piety is satirized as hypocrisy while honest people recognize their own sins.