Lady Mary Mason
Lady Mary Mason, the widow of Sir Joseph Mason, forty-five years her senior. After Sir Joseph’s death, her son Lucius was awarded Orley Farm by a codicil to his father’s will. The codicil had been contested by Joseph Mason, Sir Joseph’s son by an earlier marriage, but Lady Mason won the court case. Later, a shady attorney, Dockwrath, angry at Lucius, digs up some papers that lead him to believe the codicil a forgery. He gets Joseph Mason to reopen the case. Lady Mason is befriended by Sir Peregrine Orme. When Sir Peregrine proposes, Lady Mason confesses that the codicil was, indeed, a forgery, her only means of gaining property for her son. Nevertheless, she also wins the second case. She then confesses to Lucius, who turns the property over to Joseph, and mother and son leave for Germany.
Lucius Mason, the son of Sir Joseph and Lady Mary Mason, educated in Germany. When he returns, he decides to establish Orley Farm as a working experiment for his agricultural theories. This project involves forcing Dockwrath off his small fields, and Dockwrath’s ire precipitates the second court case. He proposes to Sophia Furnival, but she refuses him after he is no longer in control of Orley Farm.
Sir Peregrine Orme
Sir Peregrine Orme, a wealthy and highly respected gentleman, the owner of The Cleeve. Chivalrous, he is willing to stand by his proposal to Lady Mason even after he knows she has forged the codicil.
Mrs. Edith Orme
Mrs. Edith Orme, the widowed daughter-in-law of Sir Peregrine Orme, who lives with him. Also loyal to Lady Mason, she accompanies her to court.
Peregrine Orme (Perry)
Peregrine Orme (Perry), the son of Mrs. Edith Orme and heir to The Cleeve. He proposes to Madeline Stavely but is rejected.
Joseph Mason, owner of Groby Park in Yorkshire and older son of Sir Joseph Mason. He is a severe man, a county magistrate, but he is not unjust; he has always believed that his father intended to leave Orley Farm to him.
Mrs. Mason, his wife, an inhospitable, parsimonious woman.
Judge Stavely, a kind and perceptive judge who owns Noningsby. He is proud that his daughter has chosen an ugly, brilliant man rather than the suitable young Peregrine Orme.
Lady Stavely, his devoted wife, who cannot understand her daughter but finally gives her blessing to the marriage.
Madeline Stavely, their beautiful daughter, who chooses and waits for the penniless Felix Graham to win her parents’ permission to propose.
Augustus Stavely, a friend of Felix Graham. He, like Lucius Mason, proposes to Sophia Furnival, but she puts him off.
Felix Graham, a brilliant and ugly young barrister who is the youngest lawyer taking Lady Mason’s case. At first he is engaged to Mary Snow, a girl he befriends and is training to be his wife. He then breaks several bones while hunting at the Stavely’s, is forced to remain at Noningsby, and falls in love with Madeline. He arranges another wedding for Mary Snow and marries Madeline himself.
Mr. Furnival, an attorney for Lady Mason and a member of Parliament. He suspects that Lady Mason is guilty but remains loyal to her.
Mrs. Furnival, née Kitty Blacker, his wife, who is frequently left alone while he works. At one point, she suspects her husband is attached to Lady Mason and leaves him, but she later returns.
Sophia Furnival, their pretty daughter, who flirts her way into two proposals but accepts...
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Samuel Dockwrath, a shady attorney who wants to be employed by Joseph Mason. His efforts are unsuccessful.
Mrs. Miriam Usbech Dockwrath
Mrs. Miriam Usbech Dockwrath, his wife, the mother of sixteen children.
Jonathan Usbech, Miriam’s father and Sir Joseph’s attorney. He was supposed to be ill at the time the codicil was drawn up, and he died before the first trial.
John Kenneby, Sir Joseph’s former clerk, who testifies that he had witnessed the signing of a document. Heckled by the attorneys at both trials, he acknowledges that he did not know the nature of the document he witnessed.
Mr. Moulder, a salesman of tea, coffee, and brandy, brother-in-law to John Kenneby.
Mrs. Mary Anne Moulder
Mrs. Mary Anne Moulder, Kenneby’s sister, anxious to promote his marriage to a wealthy widow.
Mrs. Smiley, a widow who owns brick fields and is engaged to John Kenneby.
Bridget Bolster, a chambermaid who testifies at both trials.
Mr. Chaffanbrass, a seasoned attorney and a friend of Mr. Furnival, adept at breaking down witnesses.
Mr. Solomon Aram
Mr. Solomon Aram, an Old Bailey lawyer, also employed for Lady Mason.
Mr. Matthew Round
Mr. Matthew Round, attorney for the firm of Round and Crook, employed by Joseph Mason.
Mr. Crabwitz, an old assistant in Mr. Furnival’s office.
Miss Martha Biggs
Miss Martha Biggs, the friend who wants Mrs. Furnival to join her in Red Lion Square when she contemplates leaving Mr. Furnival.
Mary Snow, the daughter of an engraver, engaged to Felix Graham, later married to Albert Fitzallen.
Albert Fitzallen, a worker in an apothecary shop, helped by Felix Graham.
Mr. Snow, an engraver, Mary’s father, a habitual gin drinker.
Mrs. Thomas, who uncovers Mary’s correspondence with Albert.
Mr. Green, the curate at Groby Park.
Mrs. Green, his wife, who receives patent steel furniture in bad condition from Mrs. Mason.
Mr. Slow and
Mr. Bideawhile, attorneys to Sir Peregrine Orme.