Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 444
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Amyas Leigh, a handsome blond giant, a hardy adventurer who accompanies Francis Drake around the world and Walter Raleigh to Ireland and who valiantly engages the Spanish in the Old World and the New. Struck blind by lightning during the battle against the Spanish Armada, he retires from the sea and marries Ayacanora.
Frank Leigh, his scholarly older brother, a sometime tutor and courtier. Captured by Don Guzman’s men, he refuses to accept Catholicism and is tortured and burned to death.
Sir Richard Grenvile
Sir Richard Grenvile, Amyas’ godfather, a famous seaman and explorer.
Sir Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, the leader of the first English voyage around the world.
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Walter Raleigh, an English courtier, navigator, historian, and poet.
Eustace Leigh, the cousin of Amyas and Frank, a Catholic distrusted by his cousins. Spurned by Rose, he vows revenge. Threatening to turn Rose over to the Inquisition, he is attacked by Amyas and Frank. Before escaping and disappearing, he informs the Inquisition that Rose is a Protestant. His villainy is attributed by the author to his Jesuit training.
Rose Salterne, the mayor’s beautiful daughter, loved by Amyas and Frank but married to Don Guzman, whom she loves passionately. She is brought before the Inquisition because of her Protestant belief, which she will not renounce. She is tortured and then burned to death.
Salvation Yeo, Amyas’ friend, a tall, dark sailor who idolizes Amyas and shares his adventures. Lightning kills him during the storm that aids the English in the destruction of the Armada.
Don Guzman de Soto
Don Guzman de Soto, a charming but treacherous Spanish nobleman who captures Rose’s heart and marries her. Amyas hates him because of Frank’s death. In the destruction of the Armada, Don Guzman goes down in a wrecked ship.
Ayacanora, a supposed Indian maiden who falls in love with Amyas. She is really John Oxenham’s lost daughter. She dislikes Amyas’ brotherly attitude toward her, which finally changes when he becomes her adored, though blind, husband.
Mrs. Leigh, the widowed mother of Amyas and Frank, a devout Protestant made somewhat melancholy by memories of earlier Catholic persecution of English Protestants. Saddened by Frank’s death, she is happy at last to have the blind Amyas (Sir Amyas now) home with her.
Lucy, a witch who goes with Rose to Spain and who later reports the deaths of Rose and Frank. Lucy escapes by accepting the Catholic faith.
John Oxenham, Salvation’s friend, who is captured by Spanish Inquisitors. He is the father of Ayacanora.