Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Thomas Mendip

Thomas Mendip, a discharged soldier who wants to be hanged. He is part egoist and part misanthrope. So that he will be hanged, he claims to have killed old Skipps. After he is tortured to make him stop confessing, he falls in love with Jennet Jourdemayne. His love for her makes him decide to escape from jail and go on living.

Jennet Jourdemayne

Jennet Jourdemayne, a beautiful girl accused of being a witch so that her property can be confiscated by the town. She is accused of turning old Skipps into a dog. When her supposed victim turns up, she is allowed to escape with Thomas, leaving her property confiscate. She learns that love and fancy have a place in life.


Skipps, an old rag and bone man, supposedly turned into a dog by Jennet Jourdemayne. Thomas claims to have killed him. He turns up hale and hearty.

Hebble Tyson

Hebble Tyson, the mayor of Cool Clary. He wants to confiscate Jennet’s property and is bothered by Thomas’ attempts to be hanged. His problem is solved when Jennet and Thomas fall in love and escape from jail.


Richard, an orphan and the mayor’s clerk. He loves Alizon Eliot and marries her.

Alizon Eliot

Alizon Eliot, a handsome young woman betrothed to Humphrey Devize. She loves Richard and on the night of her betrothal party elopes with him.

Humphrey Devize

Humphrey Devize, the mayor’s nephew. He decides that he does not really want to marry Alizon, though he and his brothers had fought over her. He tries to seduce Janet by offering to help her escape. She refuses him.

Nicholas Devize

Nicholas Devize, Humphrey’s brother. He thinks for a while that the stars have decreed that he shall marry Alizon. After his brother decides he does not want to marry her, Nicholas decides that he does not want to marry her either.

Margaret Devize

Margaret Devize, the sister of the mayor. She is Humphrey and Nicholas’ mother.