Silas Marner is a member of a small and close knit Christian congregation in Lantern Yard. He is good and Christian man who takes comfort in his church until he is accused of stealing the Church funds while sitting with an elderly and ill member of his congregation. Two clues are given against him: a pocket-knife and the discovery of the bag formerly containing the money in his own house. Silas says that he last used the knife to cut some string for his friend William, who leads the campaign against him. Silas is proclaimed guilty of the crimeand the woman he was to marry disassociates herself from him, and later marries the aforesaid William.
With his life shattered and his heart broken, he leaves Lantern Yard.
Marner then settles near the village of Raveloe, where he lives as a recluse who exists only for work. His life is regulated, orderly and lonely. His food is meagre and frugal and he seeks no comfort or pleasure in the company of others. His only pleasure is his precious hoard of money, he look at it, counts it and worships it until, one evening when he is out delivering an order of cloth, that money is stolen by Dunstan Cass, a dissolute younger son of Squire Cass, the town's leading landowner. The loss of his gold drives Silas to seek out the townspeople in the local hostelry to tell the tale of his loss. This episode proves a turning point in the plot of the novel and marks the beginning of a better period in his life.