Lord Marmion, an English nobleman whose reputation as a fine, brave knight is spotless. He is sent by the English king to try to persuade the Scots to stop raiding the border. Actually, he had declared his love for a young nun, Constance de Beverley, who renounced her vows, left the convent, and followed him. He then met a young heiress and abandoned Constance. He has fought a duel with the knight who loves the heiress, Clare, and left his adversary for dead. He is mortally wounded in battle and on his deathbed repents all of his sins.
Ralph de Wilton
Ralph de Wilton, Marmion’s foe in the duel, who is now disguised as a palmer. He loved Clare but was betrayed by Marmion with some forged papers attesting to the fact that de Wilton was not true to the king. He is finally restored to his title and lands and wins the hand of Clare.
Clare Fitz-Clare, a young novice nun who has joined the convent rather than marry Marmion after the man she really loves, de Wilton, is believed to be fatally wounded. She is finally able to marry de Wilton with the king’s blessing.
Constance de Beverley
Constance de Beverley, a nun who broke her vows, fled the convent, and followed Marmion for three years as a page boy. She has the papers forged by Marmion to discredit de Wilton, and she begs the abbess to get them to the king so that Clare will not be forced to marry Marmion. The ecclesiastical court puts her to death.
Archibald Douglas, a Scottish nobleman who is charged with Marmion’s safe conduct while he is in Scotland, and with the safekeeping of the nuns.