Peter Simple, the younger son of the younger son of a viscount, who chooses the navy as a livelihood. Eventually proving the trickery of his uncle, he inherits the title and estates of his grandfather.
Old Lord Privilege
Old Lord Privilege, the grandfather of Peter, who unwittingly allows young Lord Privilege to cheat Peter and Mr. Simple.
Young Lord Privilege
Young Lord Privilege, his rascally son and Peter’s uncle, who cheats his nephew out of an inheritance from his grandfather and succeeds in having Peter committed to an insane asylum.
Mr. Simple, Peter’s father, who becomes nearly insane when cheated out of his inheritance.
Terence O’Brien, an older midshipman aboard the Diomede who befriends Peter. He is captured with Peter during a raid on the French coast. He locates the woman who had helped dispossess Peter.
Colonel O’Brien, a French officer, not related to Terence O’Brien, who captures Terence and Peter.
Celeste O’Brien, his daughter, who frees Peter from the insane asylum and marries him.
Captain Hawkins, the illegitimate son of Lord Privilege, who has Peter court-martialed.
Ellen Simple, Peter’s sister, who is rescued from poverty and married by Terence O’Brien.