Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Mr. Mervyn

Mr. Mervyn, the son of Lord Dunoran, who was an Irish nobleman wrongly convicted and executed for the murder of a man named Beauclerc and whose estates and title were taken from his family because of his conviction. Mervyn takes a house in Chapelizod, a Dublin suburb, in order to find the real murderer and clear his father’s name. With the help of Zekiel Irons, he aids in proving Paul Dangerfield guilty of Beauclerc’s murder, and thus his father’s innocence. He regains his family’s good name, and by official action the title and estates are returned to him as his father’s heir. As the new Lord Dunoran, he marries the daughter of the commanding general of the Royal Irish Artillery.

Paul Dangerfield (Charles Archer)

Paul Dangerfield (Charles Archer), a stranger who comes to Chapelizod about the same time as Mr. Mervyn. He is rich and liberal, qualities that quickly make him popular. He is really Charles Archer, the murderer of Beauclerc. He beats Dr. Sturk and later arranges for an operation for the doctor, hoping he will die, as the doctor was a witness to the murder of Beauclerc. Dangerfield’s good works make it difficult for the authorities to believe he is really Charles Archer and a murderer. His guilt is ascertained; however, he cheats the gallows by dying in jail while awaiting trial.

Zekiel Irons

Zekiel Irons, Archer’s accomplice in the murder of Beauclerc. He lives in Chapelizod and becomes alarmed when Archer appears as Paul Dangerfield. Irons goes to Mervyn and gives him information about the murder of Beauclerc and a later murder committed by Archer.

Dr. Barnaby Sturk

Dr. Barnaby Sturk, a surgeon at the local garrison and a witness to Beauclerc’s murder. He threatens Dangerfield, who then beats him terribly. Dr. Sturk regains consciousness long enough to give depositions revealing Archer-Dangerfield as his own assailant and the murderer of Beauclerc.

Charles Nutter

Charles Nutter, a man suspected of being Dr. Sturk’s assailant. He finally proves that he is innocent.

Mrs. Sturk

Mrs. Sturk, the doctor’s wife.