The earl of Brumpton
The earl of Brumpton, a British nobleman. Believed dead, he recovers immediately after the funeral but is persuaded by his faithful servant to remain “dead” until his survivors reveal their true characters.
Lady Brumpton, his young wife by a second marriage. Having gotten him to disown his only son, she is delighted with her presumed widowhood and large fortune. She plots to ruin the earl’s two young wards, but counterplots are successful. Even after the earl’s reappearance, she hopes to regain his favor, but when it is revealed that she has a still-living first husband, she loses everything.
Lord Hardy, the earl’s son by a first marriage. An officer in the army, he remains steadfast in his loyalty to his father even after his disinheritance. In love with one of his father’s wards, he is at last united with her and reinstated as his father’s heir.
Mr. Campley, Lord Hardy’s friend and junior officer. He is in love with the earl’s other ward, whom he helps to escape in disguise from the Brumpton mansion.
Lady Sharlot, who is loved by Lord Hardy. She hides in the earl’s empty coffin, which Lord Hardy’s soldiers take by force from the Brumpton mansion.
Lady Harriot, Lady Sharlot’s sister and the earl’s other ward. He gives his blessing to her marriage with Mr. Campley.
Trusty, Lord Brumpton’s faithful servant and the only person present at the earl’s recovery. He recognizes the opportunity to prove Lady Brumpton’s falsity.