Lady Mary Mason
Lady Mary Mason, the widow of Sir Joseph Mason, forty-five years her senior. After Sir Joseph’s death, her son Lucius was awarded Orley Farm by a codicil to his father’s will. The codicil had been contested by Joseph Mason, Sir Joseph’s son by an earlier marriage, but Lady Mason won the court case. Later, a shady attorney, Dockwrath, angry at Lucius, digs up some papers that lead him to believe the codicil a forgery. He gets Joseph Mason to reopen the case. Lady Mason is befriended by Sir Peregrine Orme. When Sir Peregrine proposes, Lady Mason confesses that the codicil was, indeed, a forgery, her only means of gaining property for her son. Nevertheless, she also wins the second case. She then confesses to Lucius, who turns the property over to Joseph, and mother and son leave for Germany.
Lucius Mason, the son of Sir Joseph and Lady Mary Mason, educated in Germany. When he returns, he decides to establish Orley Farm as a working experiment for his agricultural theories. This project involves forcing Dockwrath off his small fields, and Dockwrath’s ire precipitates the second court case. He proposes to Sophia Furnival, but she refuses him after he is no longer in control of Orley Farm.
Sir Peregrine Orme
Sir Peregrine Orme, a wealthy and highly respected gentleman, the owner of The Cleeve. Chivalrous, he is willing to stand by his proposal to Lady Mason even after he knows she has forged the codicil.
Mrs. Edith Orme
Mrs. Edith Orme, the widowed daughter-in-law of Sir Peregrine Orme, who lives with him. Also loyal to Lady Mason, she accompanies her to court.
Peregrine Orme (Perry)
Peregrine Orme (Perry), the son of Mrs. Edith Orme and heir to The Cleeve. He proposes to Madeline Stavely but is rejected.
Joseph Mason, owner of Groby Park in Yorkshire and older son of Sir Joseph Mason. He is a severe man, a county magistrate, but he is not unjust; he has always believed that his father intended to leave Orley Farm to him.
Mrs. Mason, his wife, an inhospitable, parsimonious woman.
Judge Stavely, a kind and perceptive judge who owns Noningsby. He is proud...
(The entire section is 962 words.)