John Day, William Rowley,
and George Wilkins
THE TRAVELS OF
THE THREE ENGLISH BROTHERS
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
An English agent who delivers the King of England's request for the Great Turk to return Thomas Jr
Sir Anthony Sherley is one of the eponymous English brothers. He leads an expedition to Persia,
where he befriends the Sophy (q.v.) and helps him fight the Turks. He convinces the Sophy to
make a league with Christendom against the Turks, but is distrusted by Halibeck and Calimath
(q.q.v.). To further the league, Anthony visits the Emperor of Russia, and the Pope. But he is
accompanied by Halibeck, who continually tries, and fails, to poison their minds against him. In
Venice, Halibeck witholds the Sophy's money, so that Anthony is imprisoned by Zariph the usurer
(q.v.). The Venetians find out the truth, and Anthony is freed. Finally, he travels to Spain, where he
receives the order or St Iago.
A Turkish lord who is taken prisoner by Anthony and Robert (q.q.v.), who then argue with
Halibeck (q.v.) over whether or not the Basha should be executed.
A servant of the Sophy's Niece, who is cheeky to Calimath (q.v.).
Halibeck's fellow in hostility toward Anthony and Robert (q.q.v.). He tries to denigrate Robert to
the Sophy's Niece. He also encourages the Sophy to be angry at Robert's deal with the Great Turk,
and at Robert's love for the Niece.
The captain of one of Thomas Jr's (q.v.) ships. He encourages mutiny against Thomas's plan to
attack a Turkish island.
CHRISTIAN IN TURK'S HABIT
A Christian forced to join the Turkish army, who brings a message from Thomas Jr to Robert
CITIZEN OF VENICE
Promises Anthony (q.v.) that the Venetian state will help him in his case against Zariph (q.v.).
The maid, and confidante, of the Sophy's Niece (q.v.).
DUKE OF FLORENCE
Does not appear in the play. He feasts and honours Thomas Sherley Jr (q.v.).
DUKE OF TUSCAN
Does not appear in the play. Offers hospitality to Thomas Jr's (q.v.) expedition, but Tuscan
merchants (q.v.) corrupt Thomas's crew by encouraging mutiny.
EMPEROR OF RUSSIA
Welcomes Anthony (q.v.) to Russia, but imprisons him after Halibeck (q.v.) tells lies about
Anthony's character. He releases Anthony after Englishmen have confirmed Anthony's good
Speaks the Prologue and Epilogue. In the Epilogue, gives the brothers a 'prospective glass', so that
they can see each other.
GOVERNOR OF CASBIN
Welcomes Anthony and Robert (q.q.v.) to Persia, and introduces them to the Sophy.
The leader of the Turks. When the captured Thomas Jr (q.v.) refuses to reveal his identity, the Turk
orders him to be tortured. He refuses Robert's (q.v.) offer to return twenty Turkish prisoners in
exchange for Thomas. When the King of England requests Thomas's return, the Great Turk
accepts, but insists that he is giving the King a present, rather than obeying an order.
A gunner on Thomas Jr's (q.v.) ship who protests when the mutineers abandon Thomas.
Cushain Halibeck is a Persian lord who is angry at the favours shown to Anthony and Robert
(q.q.v.), and is personally offended when Robert prevents him from killing a prisoner. He is made
ambassador and accompanies Anthony on his travels. In Russia he tells lies about Anthony to the
Emperor. In Rome, Halibeck is offended when Anthony prevents him, as a pagan, from ascending
the stairs to the Pope's throne. In Venice, he intercepts the Sophy's payment for a jewel, so that
Zariph the usurer imprisons Anthony. Halibeck then returns to Persia, and tells more lies about
Anthony, but when Robert reveals the truth about Halibeck's behaviour, the Sophy demands that
Halibeck be executed. Halibeck is moved when Robert requests Christian forgiveness, but the
Sophy will not back down, and Halibeck is executed.
An Italian actor, who engages in an improvised comic routine with Will Kemp (q.v.).
Non-speaking role. Assists her husband in his comic routine with Will Kemp (q.v.), during which
Kemp steals a kiss from her.
A Christian hermit in Persia. He encourages Robert (q.v.) to build a church in Persia.
A comic jailor who tortures Thomas Jr (q.v.) in the Turkish prison.
KING OF ENGLAND
Does not appear in the play. Sends a letter to the Great Turk (q.v.) demanding the return of
KING OF SPAIN
Appears in the final dumbshow, awarding the order of St Iago to Anthony (q.v.).
Brings the Great Turk the news of Robert's offer to exchange prisoners of Thomas Jr (q.v.).
Joins with Robert (q.v.) in his triumph over the Turkish prisoners.
Approves Anthony's plan for a league between Christendom and Persia, and forgives him for
denying Halibeck the right to ascend to the Pope's throne.
A Venetian actor, who speaks the opening lines of a play before Zariph (q.v.) interrupts it.
Master Robert Sherley is one of the eponymous English brothers. He accompanies Anthony (q.v.)
to Persia. During the war against the Turks, he angers Halibeck by preventing him from killing a
prisoner. Robert is left in Persia by Anthony as a surety while he travels abroad. He leads the
Persians in a victory against the Turks, but angers the Sophy when he independently offers the Turk
twenty prisoners in exchange for the captured Thomas (q.v.). He further angers the Sophy by falling
in love with his Niece (q.v.), but they marry after the Sophy finds their love to be genuine. Robert
and the Niece have a child, and baptize it as a Christian. Robert also builds a church in Persia.
Robert reveals to the Sophy the truth about Halibeck's behavior toward Anthony, but recommends
that he be forgiven.
Administers justice on Anthony (q.v.).
Discusses with the Captain (q.v.) the mutiny against Thomas Jr (q.v.).
A servant of Thomas Jr (q.v.), who argues against the mutineers. He stays with Thomas when the
sailors abandon him. When Thomas is captured, the Servant follows him, and informs the King of
England of Thomas's fate.
SOPHY OF PERSIA
The Sophy is a proud, but genial ruler. He is impressed by Anthony and Robert Sherley (q.q.v.).
But Calimath and Halibeck (q.q.v.) encourage him to be angry when Robert makes an independent
deal with the Great Turk to save Thomas (q.v.), and when Robert falls in love with the Sophy's
Niece (q.v.). The Sophy tests his Niece's love by pretending that he has executed Robert. He is
impressed with her reaction, and allows them to marry. When the Sophy learns of Halibeck's
plotting against Anthony, he orders his death. He is happy for the child of Robert and the Niece to
be baptized, and offers himself as Godfather.
The Sophy's Niece falls in love with Robert Sherley (q.v.), but their love is unacknowledged until
her uncle begins to suspect, and she defends Robert from his anger. When the Sophy pretends that
he has executed Robert, the Niece says that only now has she realised her love. The Sophy,
convinced that her love is genuine, reveals that Robert is not dead, and allows the couple to marry.
THOMAS SHERLEY JUNIOR
Sir Thomas Sherley Jr is one of the eponymous English brothers. He travels to meet Anthony (q.v.)
in Venice, but on the way, decides to attack a Turkish island. His crew mutiny and leave him on the
island, where he is captured and taken to the Great Turk (q.v.). Thomas refuses to reveal his
identity, and survives months of torture with Christian fortitude. He is released when the King of
England demands his return, and is reunited with his father there.
THOMAS SHERLEY SENIOR
Sir Thomas is the father of the Sherley brothers. He appears only in the dumbshows that begin and
end the play: in the first, he is seen parting from his sons, and in the second, he stands with Thomas
Jr. (q.v.) in England.
Four Turkish islanders, who capture Thomas Jr (q.v.).
Do not appear in the play. They corrupt Thomas Jr's (q.v.) crew and encourage them to mutiny.
The famous English clown-actor, whom Anthony (q.v.) meets in Venice. He engages in an
improvised comic routine with an Italian Harlequin (q.v.), during which he steals a kiss from the
A Jewish usurer of Venice, who rails against Christians because they spurn him. He takes great
delight in imprisoning Anthony (q.v.), who is unable to pay for a jewel thanks to Halibeck's plotting.