Harry Gilmore, the squire of Bullhampton and the chief landholder after the marquis. The woman he loves, after much reluctance and hesitation, becomes engaged to him. He is crushed when she breaks her engagement to marry the man she loves.
Mary Lowther, Janet Fenwick’s friend and guest. Prevented by lack of money from marrying her cousin, whom she loves, she finally becomes engaged to devoted Squire Gilmore. Her cousin’s sudden acquisition of wealth, however, enables her to break her engagement to the squire and marry her cousin.
Janet Fenwick, the vicar’s wife. In her sympathy for the squire after he is thrown over, she wishes that Mary had never come to Bullhampton.
Walter Marrable, Mary’s cousin, a soldier home from India. He is trying to regain an inheritance from his father, who has cheated him of it. He and Mary become engaged but are forced to break their engagement when it is discovered that Walter’s father has spent the inheritance. Subsequently, Walter is made heir to his uncle, a wealthy baronet. On the uncle’s death, Walter is united with Mary.
The marquis of Trowbridge, a wealthy landholder and owner of most of Bullhampton, though he has no residence within ten miles of it. Disliking the vicar personally as well as for his leniency to ne’er-do-wells, he complains of the vicar to the bishop. His complaint proving ineffectual, he conspires with the Methodist minister to build a Methodist chapel across the street from the vicarage. Both the Methodist minister and the marquis are greatly upset to learn that the land on which they are building is really the vicar’s and that their chapel will have to be removed.
Jacob Brattle, a crabbed, hardworking mill owner. With two exceptions, his many children have turned out well.
Sam Brattle, his son, who consorts with low companions. His association with a known former convict leads to his being suspected of a murder and robbery. The vicar defends him, and Sam is at last proved innocent.
Carry Brattle, Jacob’s daughter. Her father is heartbroken because she has become a prostitute. She is living with the former convict, but the vicar befriends her and finds her a home with a farm family. Later, through the vicar’s intercession, she is received at her old home, and at last even her stubborn father is reconciled to her.
Miss Marrable, Mary Lowther’s unmarried aunt, with whom she lives.
Colonel Marrable, Walter’s profligate father.