John Inglesant, the hero. The younger of twin sons, he is educated in philosophy and the classics. After a series of adventures in the service of Charles I of England, and later in Italy, he is sent back to England, where he leads a life of contemplation.
Eustace Inglesant. A few minutes older than his brother John, he is given a worldly education. He is murdered by an Italian enemy. Years later, John finds the murderer, who is now a blind monk, and spares his life.
Father St. Clare
Father St. Clare, a Jesuit and John’s tutor. His dream is to return England to the domination of Rome; with this in mind he aids the crown against the Puritans.
Charles I, king of England. Guided by Father St. Clare, John is employed on secret missions by the king. Imprisoned, John refuses to give evidence against the king. After Charles’ execution, Father St. Clare arranges John’s release.
Lord Glamorgan, an Irish lord attempting to raise an army on Charles’ behalf. He sends John to the besieged royal garrison at Chester, with promises of aid.
Lord Biron, commander of the garrison at Chester. After weeks of waiting, he finds that the king has denied plans for the Irish invasion because of a popular outcry. The garrison is lost to the Puritans.
Lauretta Capece, with whom John falls in love in Florence. He marries her and lives with her for several years in Umbria until, returning from a personal mission, he finds the family wiped out by the plague.
Cardinal Chigi, later elected pope. He is John’s Italian patron.
The Duke of Umbria
The Duke of Umbria, to whom John is sent on a successful mission by the Jesuits.