and John Fletcher
HENRY VIII, or
ALL IS TRUE
in performance on 29 June 1613
(performance during which the first Globe Theatre was set alight)
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
ABBOTT OF LEICESTER
This churchman allows Wolsey to retire to his abbey after the Cardinal's deposition.
A "ghost character." Referred to only by others, the Ambassador is reported as having nothing to say now that France has violated the treaty and seized British goods at Bordeaux.
Beginning simply as Queen Katherine's Maid of Honor, Anne meets the masked King Henry at Wolsey's dinner. Though originally feeling sorry for what King Henry is doing to Katherine, Anne nevertheless accepts first the title of Marchioness of Pembroke and later that of Henry's second wife and queen, mother of Elizabeth.
A "ghost character." The Duke of Buckingham mentions banister as the servant who betrayed Buckingham's father years ago.
BISHOP OF BAYONNE
A "ghost character." King Henry argues that when he was debating a marriage between his daughter Mary and the French Duke of Orleance, the Bishop of Bayonne was the French ambassador who originally sowed doubt into Henry's mind about the validity of his marriage to Katherine.
BISHOP OF LINCOLN
A "ghost character." King Henry claims that it was this Bishop that he first openly questioned the legitimacy of the marriage to Queen Katherine. The Bishop of Lincoln supposedly had urged the King several years ago to seek a divorce.
Brandon is in charge of the guards who arrest Buckingham.
Rumored as having been sent by the Pope, Cardinal Campeius urges the case against Queen Katherine to proceed without the presence of the Spanish advisors she requests.
Churchman Cardinal Wolsey holds many titles, including Cardinal of York, Lord of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, and "Ipswich fellow," the last after his place of birth. He has inveigled himself into King Henry's confidence, amassing a personal fortune through misdealings with the public and false use of the royal seal. Wolsey desires to see a Henry/Katherine divorce and a subsequent marriage between Henry and the French king's sister. Despite conniving, however, Wolsey and his machinations become known to the King. Wolsey is deposed and dishonored, returning at last to his faith before his death at the Abbey of Leicester.
CARDINAL OF YORK
The Cardinal of York is one of several names and titles for Cardinal Wolsey.
A "ghost character." Charles is Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the nephew of Henry's wife Queen Katherine. He does not want to see a close alliance develop between Britain and France, and he bribes Cardinal Wolsey to help disrupt British and French relations.
Only mentioned. Clotherius was a seventh century Frankish king mentioned in passing by Lord Chamberlain.
Named Archbishop of Canterbury because he provided King Henry with positive opinions concerning the divorce of Katherine. Cranmer will not be allowed to rise as did Wolsey. Cranmer is made aware that his preferment and status depend solely upon the whim of the King; at the play's close Cranmer offers a powerful and glowing prophecy about his goddaughter Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry and Queen Anne.
Unnamed, the Crier's task in the play is to act as something of a court bailiff, summoning the parties involved in the King's case against Queen Katherine.
Originally in service to Wolsey, Cromwell rises steadily in rank under King Henry. Growing ever more powerful, by the play's close Cromwell has been named Master of the Jewel House, member of the Privy Council, Master of the Rolls, and secretary to King Henry VIII.
Doctor Butts serves as physician to King Henry VIII. He eavesdrops with the king as Cranmer is summoned to the council and made to wait with messengers and attendants.
A "ghost character." Richard Pace supposedly had enough influence upon the king that Wolsey kept the Doctor away from Henry and out of the country until Pace "ran mad" and died.
DUCHESS OF ALANSON
A "ghost character." The Duchess is sister to the French king. It is this lady that Wolsey wishes King Henry to marry once he has divorced Katherine.
DUCHESS OF NORFOLK
This old Duchess does not speak during the play. Her role is to carry Anne's coronation train.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
Edward Bohun, Duke of Buckingham, also known as Lord High Constable and Earl of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton. He only thinly disguises his hatred of Wolsey's ambition and calls the churchman treasonous. It is Buckingham, however, who is maligned by his own surveyor and executed for high treason.
DUKE OF NORFOLK
Norfolk is first to break the news to King Henry about taxations that have been troubling the people: taxations that Henry knew nothing about. Often a court insider, Norfolk recognizes the treachery done to Buckingham as well as that perpetrated by Wolsey. Norfolk is to become Earl Marshal after the new queen's coronation.
DUKE OF ORLEANCE
A "ghost character." This French duke was at one time considered as a possible match for Henry's daughter Mary.
DUKE OF SUFFOLK
Charles the Duke of Suffolk attends Queen Katherine during her first audience with the king early in the play. Suffolk sees Wolsey's power as creating a form of slavery for everyone.
EARL OF HEREFORD
The Earl of Hereford is one of several earldoms and titles held by the Duke of Buckingham.
EARL OF NORTHAMPTON
The Earl of Northampton is one of several earldoms and titles held by the Duke of Buckingham.
EARL OF STAFFORD
The Earl of Stafford is one of several earldoms and titles held by the Duke of Buckingham.
EARL OF SURREY
The Earl of Surrey is Thomas Howard, father-in-law to the Duke of Buckingham. Surrey has been sent to Ireland so he could not interfere with plans for Buckingham's death. When Surrey returns to Britain, he swears revenge for Buckingham's death.
Edward Bohun is the given name of Buckingham; he uses this name in referring to himself as a stalwart loyalist.
A "ghost character." Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, is nephew to Katherine, Queen of England. He is also sneeringly called "The Spaniard" by those English who dislike the Spanish.
Ferdinand is the Spanish king and father of Queen Katherine of England.
The remarks of the First Gentleman serve to recount events unseen by the audience, such as Buckingham's trial. He also lists those who will claim royal offices on the day of Anne's coronation.
Originally the king's secretary, Gardiner is elevated to the bishopric after Wolsey's deposition and attends Anne at her coronation.
Garter is part of Queen Anne's coronation processional. He serves under the Earl Marshal.
A "ghost character." Gilbert is chancellor for the Duke of Buckingham and supposedly has offered testimony against the Duke.
GREGORY DE CASSADO
De Cassado is a nobleman of Ferrara. Without the king's knowledge or permission, Wolsey established an alliance between Ferrara and the King of England.
Griffith serves as usher for Katherine after her divorce; he brings her news of Wolsey's death.
A "ghost character." Father of Henry VIII, Henry VII restored the Buckingham title and estates, feeling pity for the fall and betrayal of Buckingham's father.
Henry is well duped by Wolsey's machinations into believing that his marriage to Katherine is incestuous. Urged further by a passion for Anne Bullen, Henry divorces Katherine and marries Anne, who gives birth to Elizabeth. Due to a series of events, such as intercepted letters and overheard conversations, however, the king eventually discovers Wolsey's treason. He deposes the Cardinal and works to fill positions in his realm with people more easily controlled than was Wolsey. Unfortunately, Henry is blind to the power that Cromwell is developing and will eventually wield in England.
A "ghost character" most usually called Hopkins.
A "ghost character" sometimes called Henton. Hopkins is a Chartreux monk (that is of the Charterhouse, a Carthusian monk), called a "devil monk" in the play, serving periodically as Buckingham's confessor and testifying against Buckingham.
JOHN DE LA CAR
A "ghost character." John de la Car, or John Car, is the Duke of Buckingham's chaplain, arrested on the same warrant with Buckingham but also testifying against him.
KATHERINE OF ARAGON
Queen Katherine is the daughter of the King of Spain and wife of King Henry VIII. Widowed when the king's brother Arthur died, Katherine is years later divorced by Henry in a move that begins Henry's break with Catholicism. She is the mother of Princess Mary.
The Keeper guards the door of the Council chamber. He keeps Cranmer waiting outside for half an hour before bringing him in upon the demand of the council members.
A "ghost character." Kildare once served as deputy of Ireland and accuses Wolsey of working to remove him from that Irish office.
Unnamed in the play, the King's Attorney is mentioned in the First Gentleman's account of Buckingham's trial.
The son-in-law of the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Aburgavenny is arrested at the same time as Buckingham.
LORD OF CANTERBURY
A "ghost character." The Lord of Canterbury is asked by King Henry to prepare the summons of Queen Katherine.
Lord Capuchius is Queen Katherine's nephew. Sent by the king to Katherine following the coronation of Queen Anne. Capuchius is commissioned by Katherine to deliver a request to the king concerning the future kind treatment of Princess Mary and Katherine's serving women.
Lord Chamberlain feels the British have gained little in attempting friendly relations with the French, making fun of French fashion and walling style. He brings news to Norfolk, Surrey, and Suffolk of Henry's marriage to Anne Bullen and the order for her coronation.
Lord Chancellor is one of several titles held by Wolsey.
LORD HIGH CONSTABLE
Lord High Constable is one of the titles held by the Duke of Buckingham.
A "ghost character." The Lord Mayor of the city of London is given no name in the play. He is sent by the king to allay public rumor about the supposed separation of Henry and Katherine. He also carries the mace during the procession for Anne's coronation.
A "ghost character." Lord Montacute is a nobleman arrested by Brandon at the same time as the Duke of Buckingham.
Sir Walter Sands' participation in the play is limited to being in attendance at Buckingham's execution.
LORD OF WINCHESTER
Lord Winchester is one of several titles held by Wolsey.
This unnamed character is the assistant to the Porter; the two converse about revelers who throng about at the time of Princess Elizabeth's christening.
The Marques Dorset carries the gold scepter in the processional for Anne's coronation.
A "ghost character." Mary is mentioned as the daughter of King Henry and Queen Katherine.
This term is used by the Surveyor in testifying against Buckingham; the words refer to the Duke of Buckingham's father who was executed without trials or evidence.
This unnamed Old Lady has been sixteen years at court and attends Anne Bullen. She predicts a queen's crown for Anne and near the play's end brings news to the king that Anne has borne a girl child.
Patience serves as waiting-woman for the divorced Katherine. She is especially attuned to the recent physical changes in her mistress.
A "ghost character." Pepin is a sixth century Frankish king mentioned by Lord Chamberlain.
The Porter demands calm and quiet from the noisy revelers who throng about at the time of Elizabeth's christening.
A "ghost character." Prince Arthur is the deceased brother of King Henry and was Katherine's first husband.
Princess Elizabeth is the newly born and christened daughter of King Henry and Queen Anne.
A "ghost character." Richard is the deceased King Richard III, mentioned by the Surveyor and supposedly threatened with death by the Duke of Buckingham's father.
This Second Gentleman is sympathetic with the Duke of Buckingham's cruel fate. He announces the hatred of the common folk for Wolsey and posits that the Cardinal is behind the trial and conviction of Buckingham.
The Servant brings news to Wolsey's banquet that a group of strangers on a barge have just arrived; the Servant does not recognize the disguised King Henry among the visitors.
SIR ANTHONY DENNY
Sir Anthony Denny is commanded by King Henry to summon Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, during Queen Anne's labor.
SIR HENRY GUILFORD
Henry Guilford, along with Lord Chamberlain, is to be master of ceremonies at Wolsey's dinner. He is also more familiarly called Sir Harry.
SIR NICHOLAS VAUX
Vaux is in attendance as the Duke of Buckingham is led to execution at the water's edge.
SIR THOMAS BULLEN
Thomas Bullen is Anne's father and the Viscount Rochford.
SIR THOMAS LOVELL
Lovell was supposedly one of several names on Buckingham's "death list" if King Henry had died during a recent illness. Lovell is in attendance at Buckingham's execution and asks the Duke's forgiveness.
SIR THOMAS MORE
A "ghost character." Cromwell reports that Sir Thomas More has been chosen Lord Chancellor to replace Wolsey.
SIR WILLIAM BULMER
A "ghost character." Bulmer is mentioned in the Surveyor's testimony against Buckingham. The Surveyor reports that Buckingham was angry when King Henry scolded him for drawing away the friendship of Bulmer.
The Spaniard is a derogatory term used by some in King Henry's court to refer to Emperor Charles V, nephew of Queen Katherine.
Six unnamed Spirits "of peace" provide a vision to the divorced Katherine. They bow to her in her dreams and hold a garland over her head. She awakes in a state of rejoicing after the vision.
John Stokesly is a bishop accompanying Anne to her coronation ceremony.
In service to the Duke of Buckingham, the Surveyor testifies falsely to the Duke's "treason." Although Queen Katherine discredits the surveyor as having recently been dismissed from Buckingham's employ, the king chooses to believe his testimony.
This Third of three gentlemen joins the other two in describing the pomp and detail of Anne's coronation ceremony.
Thomas Howard, titled as the Earl of Surrey, is Buckingham's father-in-law. Sent as deputy to Ireland as safeguard against his interference in the plot against Buckingham, Howard returns to promise revenge for Buckingham's death.
Viscount Rochford is a title held by Sir Thomas Bullen, father of Anne Bullen.