Dr. Thomas Thorne
Dr. Thomas Thorne, the benevolent physician of Greshamsbury in East Barsetshire. He had adopted Mary, the illegitimate child of his brother and Mary Scatcherd, a village girl, after his brother was killed by Roger Scatcherd, Mary’s brother. Dr. Thorne conceals Mary’s identity until after she has inherited Roger Scatcherd’s fortune. a humane man, Dr. Thorne is friendly with both the Scatcherds and with the aristocratic Greshams of Greshamsbury Park.
Mary Thorne, the niece of Dr. Thorne, unaware, until the end of the novel, of her illegitimate origin. She was brought up with the young Greshams at Greshamsbury Park and is in love with Frank Gresham, the heir. Although banished from Greshamsbury Park because Frank must marry money, Mary remains true to Frank. When she learns of her origin and her inheritance, she is able to marry Frank.
Frank Gresham, the young heir to Greshamsbury Park. Although his mother constantly insists on his need to marry a wealthy heiress, Frank never wavers in his devotion to Mary. Sent to win wealthy Miss Dunstable, Frank cannot overcome his innate honesty, despite family pressure.
Francis Newbold Gresham
Francis Newbold Gresham, the father of Frank and squire of Greshamsbury. He has dissipated his family fortune in an unsuccessful attempt to regain his father’s seat in Parliament. He has also sired ten children and watched his land gradually sold in order to pay his bills. Although kindly, he recognizes that his son must marry money in order to rebuild the family’s holdings.
Lady Arabella De Courcy Gresham
Lady Arabella De Courcy Gresham, wife of Squire Gresham and mother of Frank. a proud member of the De Courcy clan, she is ambitious for her son and eager to assert her lineage. She insists that Frank marry money and banishes Mary Thorne from her house.
Sir Roger Scatcherd
Sir Roger Scatcherd, the poor stonemason who served six months in jail for killing Dr. Thorne’s brother after he betrayed Mary Scatcherd. Through intelligence and industry, he becomes a wealthy railroad manufacturer. He is elected to Parliament but later is unseated when an election fraud of which he is innocent is uncovered. Always fond of alcohol,...
(The entire section is 967 words.)