John Day, William Rowley,
and George Wilkins

THE TRAVELS OF
THE THREE ENGLISH BROTHERS

1607

a synoptic, alphabetical character list

AGENT

An English agent who delivers the King of England's request for the Great Turk to return Thomas Jr (q.v.).

ANTHONY SHERLEY

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.

BASHA

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.

BOY

A servant of the Sophy's Niece, who is cheeky to Calimath (q.v.).

CALIMATH

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.

CAPTAIN

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 (q.q.v.).

CITIZEN OF VENICE

Promises Anthony (q.v.) that the Venetian state will help him in his case against Zariph (q.v.).

DALIBRA

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 character.

FAME

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.

GREAT TURK

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.

GUNNER

A gunner on Thomas Jr's (q.v.) ship who protests when the mutineers abandon Thomas.

HALIBECK

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.

HARLEQUIN

An Italian actor, who engages in an improvised comic routine with Will Kemp (q.v.).

HARLEQUIN'S WIFE

Non-speaking role. Assists her husband in his comic routine with Will Kemp (q.v.), during which Kemp steals a kiss from her.

HERMIT

A Christian hermit in Persia. He encourages Robert (q.v.) to build a church in Persia.

JAILER

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 Thomas (q.v.).

KING OF SPAIN

Appears in the final dumbshow, awarding the order of St Iago to Anthony (q.v.).

MESSENGER

Brings the Great Turk the news of Robert's offer to exchange prisoners of Thomas Jr (q.v.).

PERSIAN

Joins with Robert (q.v.) in his triumph over the Turkish prisoners.

POPE

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.

PROLOGUE

A Venetian actor, who speaks the opening lines of a play before Zariph (q.v.) interrupts it.

ROBERT SHERLEY

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.

RUSSIAN LORD

Administers justice on Anthony (q.v.).

SAILOR

Discusses with the Captain (q.v.) the mutiny against Thomas Jr (q.v.).

SERVANT

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.

SOPHY'S NIECE

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.

TURKS

Four Turkish islanders, who capture Thomas Jr (q.v.).

TUSCAN MERCHANTS

Do not appear in the play. They corrupt Thomas Jr's (q.v.) crew and encourage them to mutiny.

WILL KEMP

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 Harlequin's wife.

ZARIPH

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.