Old Mortality Characters (Sir Walter Scott)

Sir Walter Scott

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Henry Morton

Henry Morton, a gallant young Scottish gentleman unwillingly involved in the revolt of the Covenanters against the Crown in 1679. After aiding John Balfour of Burley, the Covenanter leader and a friend of his dead father, Henry is arrested and sentenced for treason, but he is saved through the intercession of his sweetheart, Edith Bellenden. Still a prisoner, he witnesses the victory of the rebels. Henry is rescued by Balfour and made a member of their council. A moderate, he detests their violence but helps them take a castle peacefully and then leads an attack against the victorious royal forces. After the battle of Bothwell Bridge, Henry is sent into exile. He returns years later to find that Edith is about to marry his rival, Lord Evandale. Henry’s attempt to save his rival from assassins fails, leaving him free to marry Edith.

Lady Margaret Bellenden

Lady Margaret Bellenden, a staunch royalist, the mistress of Tillietudlem Castle. She lives in the past, when King Charles II visited the castle. Ousted from her estate by Covenanters and her unscrupulous turncoat relative, Basil Olifant, she is forced to live on charity until Basil’s death.

Edith Bellenden

Edith Bellenden, Lady Margaret’s modest, attractive granddaughter and Henry Morton’s sweetheart, who shares her family’s royalist sympathies. When Henry is sentenced to die, she saves him by appealing to her other suitor, Lord Evandale, to intercede for him. While Henry is in exile in Holland, Basil Olifant lays claim to the Tillietudlem estates. Homeless, Edith and her grandmother are forced to live on the charity of friends. When Henry returns, she refuses to marry Lord Evendale. The death of the young nobleman in a plot hatched by Olifant leaves Edith free to marry Henry.

Colonel John Grahame

Colonel John Grahame, called Grahame of Claverhouse or simply Claverhouse, the experienced, noble royalist soldier who sternly sentences Henry Morton to death. Gradually, he comes to respect Henry’s personal honor, and he sees to it that Henry is exiled rather than shot after the defeat of the...

(The entire section is 891 words.)