Literature Study GuidesTom JonesBook 7 Chapters 11 15 Summary

Tom Jones | Study Guide

Henry Fielding

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Tom Jones | Book 7, Chapters 11–15 : Containing Three Days. | Summary



Book 7, Chapter 11

The landlord is roused by a company of soldiers to whom he serves beer. The sergeant tells Tom they are going to fight the rebels and expect to be commanded by the duke of Cumberland. In 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart (the Young Pretender) invaded the north of England with the idea of regaining the crown and restoring his family (the Stuarts) as the rulers of England (see Context). Jones asks to join them as a volunteer and is accepted.

Book 7, Chapter 12

The lieutenant of the company befriends Jones; he meets an ensign, Mr. Northerton, who takes an immediate dislike to him. Tom is called upon to make a toast at dinner, and he names Sophia Western, after Northerton insists on her surname. He then makes a joke about Sophia's chastity, and after Jones calls him an "impudent rascal" he hits him with a full bottle that knocks him unconscious. The lieutenant has Northerton arrested, and Tom wakes up and the landlady gives him a strong drink to help revive him.

Book 7, Chapter 13

The surgeon patches Tom up, and when the lieutenant visits him Tom asks to borrow a sword, thinking he will get revenge. Concerned about his health the lieutenant advises patience.

Book 7, Chapter 14

Jones eats a hearty meal and resolves to track down his assailant, so he purchases a sword from the sergeant. When Tom enters the hallway where Northerton is being confined and guarded, the sentinel faints since he thinks he is seeing the ghost of a man who died. Tom goes into the chamber and finds it empty. The sentinel is taken prisoner by the lieutenant since he is blamed for Northerton's escape.

Book 7, Chapter 15

The lieutenant suspects Northerton bribed the sentinel. In reality the landlady was charmed by the handsome ensign and helped him escape. When Tom learns the sentinel has been jailed, he explains to the lieutenant that he fainted in fright, and the lieutenant agrees to release him. Since Jones is too ill to accompany the regiment he stays behind.


In Book 7, Chapter 11 Jones meets some soldiers who are on their way to fight the invader—the Young Pretender, Charles Stuart, who wishes to reclaim the throne of England as a Catholic king. This puts the start of Tom's journey at the end of the year in 1745, since this is when the Scottish invasion occurred, as well as the first battle with the duke of Cumberland. Tom seems to have found a path to follow, but his bad fortune continues when in Book 7, Chapter 12 he is assaulted by a soldier who feels as if Tom has shown him up with his superior learning, even though he never went to a university. Once Jones is patched up he wants to reclaim his honor as a gentleman by challenging his attacker to a duel, but Northerton gets help escaping and Tom has no choice but to stay behind while his head wound heals.

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