Gavin Dishart, the little minister of Auld Licht Parish, in Thrums. He falls in love with Babbie, a girl he believes to be a gypsy but who is actually the ward of Lord Rintoul. Their path of love is strewn with difficulties, but the sincere and able young minister wins out and marries Babbie, at first in a gypsy camp and, later, in a church. He and his wife live happily afterward, parents of a little daughter who learns their story from her grandfather.
Mr. Gavin Ogilvy
Mr. Gavin Ogilvy, a schoolmaster. He is really Gavin Dishart’s father. When his wife’s first husband returns, Mr. Ogilvy disappears from her life, thinking he can thus make happy the woman he loves. Eventually he tells Gavin the story, but he never lets his identity be known to Gavin’s mother.
Babbie, a girl whom Lord Rintoul was expected to marry. In an attempt to help rebellious weavers escape the law, she disguises herself as a gypsy. While disguised, she claims to be the little minister’s wife at one time. Although at first she laughs at the minister, she falls in love with him. After some harrowing adventures, she and Gavin are married.
Margaret Dishart, Gavin’s mother. She marries Mr. Ogilvy, thinking her first husband has been lost at sea. When the first husband returns, Mr. Ogilvy disappears to save her embarrassment, and she never sees him again.
Lord Rintoul, a local aristocrat. Planning to marry Babbie himself, he tries unsuccessfully to prevent her marriage to the little minister at the gypsy camp.
Rob Dow, a man rescued from drink by the minister. He tries to protect the minister from Babbie, whom he believes to be a witch. He leaps to his death to save the minister from drowning during a flood.
Nanny Webster, a penniless old woman in Gavin’s parish. Babbie thwarts the minister’s attempt to send the old lady to the poorhouse.
Dr. McQueen, who helps Gavin in his attempt to send Nanny to the poorhouse.
Micah, Rob’s little son.
Adam Dishart, Margaret’s first husband, for a time believed lost at sea. He eventually returns home to claim his wife.