A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by Isaiah as an example of a God's mercy and power.


Nab is mentioned on two occasions by Mrs. Generous and is one of the witches who harass the Soldier at the mill in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches; Nab is not given lines and is driven off by the soldier.


Nabarzanes is a "ghost character" in Daniel's Philotas. He is a traitor who has betrayed his lord, mentioned by Philotas when he is arrested by Attaras and his men.


A maid of honor to Epimenide in Percy's Arabia Sitiens. Implores Epimenide to be merciful to Caleb and Tubal by withdrawing her request for them to steal Geber's ring and purse. Also implores Epimenide to be kind to Haroth and Maroth, but then capitulates to her mistresses' disdain. When Epimenide goes to Heaven, Nabatha and Shebe travel to Mecha to ask the oracle Sergius her whereabouts. He tells them Epimenide is in Heaven, then tells them they will both be wed that same evening. Dressed in their wedding garb, the women meet Caleb and Tubal near Mecha and tell them of Epimenide's fate. When the men tell them they fear breaking their sacred vow, Shebe and Nabatha take them to Sergius. Sergius agrees to transport all four to Heaven so they can find Epimenide. Mahomet grants her Tubal as a husband.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by Isaiah as an example of a wicked king.


A ‘ghost character’ in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. This is the horse James rides to Harwich. Doucebella imagines the horse will carry him straight to Maldon.


A "ghost character" in P. Fletcher's Sicelides. Probably a misprint for "Mago." Since Alcippus makes a reference to "Magoe's charmes," he seems to be the same character who is referred to as "Nago" at the play's beginning–a "deformed enchanter" and "subtill witch" who takes on the "shape and habit" of Glaucilla in the garden near "Neptunes temple" and tempts Olinda to take one of the "golden apples" from the "Hyperian tree" situated in the "sacred garden" (a deed for which she is sentenced to die at the hands of the sea monster, Malorcha).


A "ghost character" in Peele's David and Bethsabe. Nahas is the father of Hanon. Years before the action of the play, Nahas had sheltered David when the latter was in exile.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by John Baptist as an example of a prophet.

NAM **1607

Mendacio’s nickname for Anamnestes in Tomkis’ Lingua.


Daughter to Bohemia and sister of Marba, Clapa and Reba in Verney’s Antipoe. Along with her sisters, they love the Tartar knights, Dabon, Liperus, Macros and Sapos and agree to be wooed by them once the strife has ended, hoping noble Antipoe will be freed from prison. She climbs into the masquers’ chariot when they arrive to take her and her sisters away to Egypt. She and her sisters appear before the President of Tartar identified as their ‘contracted wives’ of the four worthy knights of Tartar. Upon learning of her husband’s death, she is next to kill herself after Cleantha, Clapa and Reba. She is later seen as a ghost, clad in white, ascending to the throne with the others at the behest of Brutus.


Arrives with the Twelve Peers of France in Greene's Orlando Furioso. Fights a disguised Orlando, but is defeated and in the end makes peace with him.

NAN **1588

A "ghost character" in Porter's 1 The Two Angry Women of Abingdon. Nan is Will's girlfriend. He imagines she is the object of Sir Raph's lust.

NAN **1593

A "ghost character." Nan does not appear on stage but is mentioned by Launce in Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona. She is a maid in the home of Launce, and Launce uses a hat to represent her in pantomime.

NAN **1599

Nan Drewry is a familiar name for Anne Drewry in (?)Heywood's A Warning For Fair Women that both George Browne, George Sanders, and Anne Sanders all use at one time or another.

NAN **1600

Nan, Mariana's maid, appears in only one scene of Haughton's The Devil and his Dame, where she prepares the banquet for the adulterous meetings between Musgrave and Honorea and between Mariana and her various lovers. When Mariana's husband, Castiliano (the devil Belphagor) turns up unexpectedly, Nan tries to warn the couple but is forced by her master's threats to reveal the identity of Mariana's visitor.

NAN **1606

Sister of Susan and in love with Sparke in Sharpham's The Fleire. Along with her sister, Nan disguises herself as a boy in the hope of entering Sparke's service and winning his love. By happenstance, she enters the service of Piso instead. Later, after her disguise is penetrated by Antifront, Nan, Susan, and Antifront work together to prevent the murders of Ruffel and Sparke. When the murders are prevented, she and Sparke are united.

NAN **1607

The daughter of Alderman Venter in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig. Nan is engaged to Young Lord Nonsuch but is unwilling to marry him because of his promiscuity. She runs away and stays with her friend Peg at the Troublesome's house. She mocks the Welsh courtier Nucomb, engages in several knowing conversations about marriage, and falls in love with the servant Slacke, not realizing this is one of Young Nonsuch's disguises. She agrees to be married wearing a mask, and, through the efforts of Wages and Cupid, is united with Young Nonsuch.


One of the Milk-maids for the Country-woman in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Coxcomb. After Viola enters the employ of Mercurie's mother, she meets Madge and Nan. The maids offer Viola some milk and in return Viola gives them a jewel from her father's house. Viola asks them if they know of a place where she might find lodging and work and Nan and Madge lead her to the Country-woman. When Valerio and Ricardo find Viola, they two maids hesitate to leave Viola with the two strange men.

NAN **1625

Nickname for Ann, daughter to old Boote in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker.

NAN **1630

A "ghost character" in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass. "Bouncing Nan" is one of Justice Nimis' "subsidy-women" along with Incontinence, "Jumping Jude," "Heroic Doll," and Cis, all of whom he sets free because of his relationship with them.

NAN **1638

A “ghost character" in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable. She’s a grocer’s daughter, born in Bread Street, who is being courted by Alderman Covet’s foreman with trips to Pimlico.


Nan Sanders is a familiar name for Anne Sanders used by George Sanders in (?)Heywood's A Warning For Fair Women.


A "ghost character" in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. Nan Spit is the kitchen maid at the inn where Robin works, and Rafe lusts after her.


A “ghost character" in (?)Shipman’s Grobiana’s Nuptials. One of Ursin’s bears along with the white bear, Rose, and Tearthecoat. Grobiana thinks the bear’s name is probably Annie and Ursin has nicknamed her Nan.


A London artisan in Cooke's Greene's Tu Quoque. Tickleman loans Spendall forty shillings only to realize that he has extorted those monies along with those of a number of other acquaintances. Along with his wife Sweatman, he watches with approval when Spendall is arrested and his property seized, encouraging the Sergeants to hang the "rogue."


Nane, also spelled Nan and Nancye, is daughter to Chremes and Maud, and sister to July and Dick in the anonymous July and Julian. She is tired of having to fit into the stereotypical role of women in the Renaissance. She is determined not to have a rest until she manages to break with that stereotype of the English Renaissance housewife that her mother is trying to cast upon her.

NANO **1590

The dwarf Nano is the son of Bohan and the brother of Slipper in Greene's James IV. He enters Ateukin's service and is given by him to Dorothea, whom he serves loyally, accompanying her when she flees in man's disguise and fetching Sir Cuthbert Anderson after she is attacked by Jaques.

NANO **1606

A dwarf in the service of Volpone in Jonson's Volpone. Nano's main role is to participate in shows to entertain his master.

NANO **1642

A young and small man enamoured of Corinna in Salusbury’s Love or Money, he enters at the end of Act I with musicians intending to dance with her. He challenges the claim that Corinna is Mendoso’s wife but runs away when Mendoso threatens to ‘carbonado’ his ‘small bones’. He returns and woos her later but Corinna rebuffs him because he has no heart to fight. When Mendoso confronts him again, he draws a sword upon him but is run off a second time. He later swears that when Mendoso takes Corinna to church that he will steal her from him; he makes her vow that she will be his if he can accomplish this. At the wedding, he appears dressed as a Turk with a turban on his head, which indeed frightens Mendoso away. He takes Corinna to wife and bids all to his home for the wedding feast where he promises there shall be plenty of dancing.


Rosalura and Lillia-Bianca's father in Fletcher's Wild-Goose Chase.


A dwarfish servant to Guadagni in Brome's The Novella. He guards Flavia to prevent her from running away with Francisco.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's All's Well. A famous physician in the service of the Old Count of Rossillion and the father of Helena. De Narbon has died six months before the play begins, but it is one of his remedies that Helena uses to cure the King.


Like Spendola, Jovinelli, and Brisco, Narcisso is a Count of Naples in Dekker's If It Be Not Good. Narcisso reports to the King of Naples that his uncle Octavio has deserted Naples to go fight on the side of the Duke of Calabria. During the Duke's seige, he hides with the other courtiers in the merchant Bartervile's cellar. He is betrayed by Bartervile to the Duke of Calabria, captured, and beheaded.


Narcissus or daffodil is Echo's beloved and a "ghost character" in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. According to Greek mythology, a beautiful nymph named Echo fell helplessly in love with Narcissus. Narcissus refused to love Echo. In punishment, the goddess Aphrodite condemned him to fall in love with his own image. Forced to gaze constantly at his reflection in a clear pool, Narcissus pined away and died. In pity, the gods changed Narcissus into a lovely flower bending its head on the water. Beside the fountain in the valley of Gargaphie, Echo laments the death of her lover and names the place in which her beloved Narcissus lost his life the fountain of Self-love.


One of the chorus of men and women in Percy’s A Country Tragedy in Vacunium who enter at the beginning of the play and place the instrument of their deaths upon Cupid’s altar. He carries a looking-glass decorated with white daffodils. See CHORUS for more details.


Narcissus, also spelled Narcisse, is son to Cephisus and Lyriope in the anonymous Narcissus. He is an obedient and beautiful child. The first time he appears, he is waiting for Tyresias, the Prophet, with his mother and father, but he does not actually hear the prophecy. Later, he challenges Cupid, equaling his own beauty to that of the god. He then meets Dorastus and Clinias, and at their praising his beauty and declaring their love for him, he thinks they are being misled by his fair appearance, and that they have taking him for a woman. Therefore, he tries to make them realize their mistake. To his surprise, they do not seem to mind, and still insist on wooing him and on his requiting their love. Astonished, he explains he cannot love another man. Later, two nymphs–Florida and Clois–praise his beauty, but he turns them down as well. Then he runs away for about ten miles and a half, escaping from Dorastus and Clinias. Tired and weary, he is seen by the nymph Eccho, who also falls in love with him, and watches him from a distance, repeating his last words. Feeling teased, he goes away, and finds a well. As he is drinking, he sees his own face refelected in the water. But he does not recognize his own face, he thinks it belongs to another person, and, unawares, he falls in love, desperately, with his own reflection in the water of the well. Then Eccho repeats his last words again, and he associates Eccho's utterances to that face he has fallen in love with, amounting to his despair. Thus, feeling his love is unrequited, he finally dies of love. According to Greek mythology, Narcissus was son to Cephisus and Liriope. When he was just a child, his parents consulted Tyresias, an old sage with prophetic vision, whether their son would live a long life, and they received an enigmatic reply: 'If he does not discover himself." When Narcissus reached the age of sixteen, many young boys and girls, including the nymph Eccho, desired him, but his pride led him to reject them all. But one of those who had been turned down, lifting hands to the skies, implored "So may he himself love, and so may he fail to command what he loves!" and he was heard by goddess Nemesis. Meanwhile, Narcissus arrived near a fountain with fresh and clear water, and he decided to quench his thirst there. As he was drinking, he was infatuated by the vision of his reflected form, and he immediately fell in love with and desired himself. He suffers at the thought that they are just separated by a little water, but, still, he cannot have his beloved one. Finally, he realizes he is desperately in love with himself. Then, he started to be weakened by love, and worn away by his passion. He lost his color, strength, shape, and finally, his breath. He is said to have become a flower, with a yellow heart surrounded by white petals.


Narcissus is a freedman of Claudius in May's Julia Agrippina who has stayed loyal to him and wishes to secure the succession of Britannicus. To this end he advises Claudius to execute Agrippina. When Claudius is murdered, he flees to Campania, where Agrippina has him killed.


A "ghost character" in Knevet's Rhodon and Iris. Acanthus announces the advancement of Martagon's army which includes "Narcissus with a thousand Daffidils" that "doth flanke / The right side of the battaile."


Narcissus is a freedman of Claudius in Richards' Messalina. He, together with Pallas and Calistus, finally persuades him to act against Messalina. Narcissus subsequently plans her death.


Narrowit is a Puritan in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. He visits Master Silence when the latter is busy with another 'patient'–a Catholic he is "converting for our glorious cause, a Romanist that is tacking about to us." And the divine asks him for leave to offer his counsel to both of them, in the same room. Narrowit accepts and proceeds to relate his scruples–petty devotional trespasses of Puritanism–which would not have been trespasses at all had he been a Catholic. When he finishes his report, Master Silence explains that "it would be too long to answer every particular," but he is glad because his scruples "show a tender conscience, which is a great sign of a good man." Then he informs him that, as regards his scruples, "the brethren of Amsterdam will quit you from them all," and he offers him a medicine: "a cordial beyond the elixir for the separation" to preserve him "from all superstitions and abominable ways." Narrowit is curious about the ingredients of the elixir, and he is told it has "a piece of Master Prynne's ear, our blesses saint, which cost me much of the executioner." In order to recompense Master Silence's services, Narrowit will give him "the just sum of five pounds", nevertheless, when the divine suggests he should double that amount, he agrees. Later, when he finds out he has been cozened, he goes to threaten Silence, but he ends up being threatened by him with taking Prynne's ear from about his neck. Afterwards, encouraged by Damme de Bois, he and the other cozened victims siege the house of the three cheaters. Finally, Master Algebra, who was passing by, offers to act as a judge, and he actually solves the case satisfactorily for all the parties involved, cures the cozened people and he is recompensed both by the victims and by the cheaters.


Only mentioned in the anonymous 2 Return From Parnassus. Iudicio and Ingenioso praise Thomas Nashe's wit and lament his early death.


He is a cavalier and friend of Samorat in Suckling's The Goblins. In Samorat's complicated chivalric adventures he plays an appealing but not wholly heroic part.


A Roman tribune who is involved in the second attempt to invade Britain in The Valiant Welshman.


Nastus and Polyposus are engaged in an apologetic dialogue with the Author, placed outside the play, in lieu of epilogue, and addressed to the reader of Jonson's Poetaster. The reader is asked to judge directly the conflicting situation created as a result of unfair detraction against Author. At Author's lodgings, Nastus invites Polyposus in to see how Author is taking all the libels perpetrated against him. Nastus says they must sympathize with Author, whom he expects to find very affected by these detractions. Nastus asks if Author is guilty of the allegations raised against him, but Polyposus says it is of no importance. Nastus and Polyposus enter Author's study and they listen to his monologue about how he is unaffected by other people's envious attacks. Nastus and Polyposus make their presence known, and Nastus inquires about the issues in Author's play that could have generated such a surge of envious attacks against him. Author says he could reply to his detractors in verse, but he refuses, because slanderers are punished by their own actions. Nastus confirms, saying that, by responding to slander, one indirectly confesses to have felt the injuries, and thus give satisfaction to the detractors. When Author asks Nastus and Polyposus to leave him because he has a sudden jolt of inspiration and wants to turn to writing a tragedy, Nastus says he respects these poetic raptures and obeys them. Nastus exits with Polyposus.


Along with Synis and Bedunenus, Nasutus is one of the three rustic fiddlers who attempt to play a song in honor of the bride (Livia) in Lyly's Mother Bombie. Their bumbling attempts to salute the clandestine marriage are met with hostility at the various houses they visit. They unwittingly help to rouse the parental suspicions of the fathers in the play, and this in turn contributes to the unraveling of the plot of the witty servants (Dromio, Riscio, Lucio, and Halfpenny).

NATHAN **1538

A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by David as an example of an upright, virtuous man.

NATHAN **1587

Nathan is a prophet in Peele's David and Bethsabe. He castigates David for arranging the death of Urias and reveals that the sickness and death of the Child are marks of God's displeasure with the king. In the final scene of the play, the prophet, abetted by Bethsabe, elicits from David the promise that Salomon will rule in Israel after him, and when David learns of Absalon's death, it is Nathan who observes that the sorrow demonstrated by both David and Bethsabe is inordinate.


Only mentioned in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Nathan Field (1587-1619) was an actor, dramatist, and friend of Jonson. He was probably a member of the original cast of Bartholomew Fair. When Lantern/Leatherhead shows Cokes the puppets as the "actors," Cokes asks about his Burbage, meaning the best actor. The puppeteer does not seem to understand the reference, so Cokes is more explicit, asking about his best actor, his Field. It seems likely that Lantern/Leatherhead prefers Field, and that is why he probably feigned to misunderstand the reference to Burbage. It has also been suggested that Field played Cokes.
Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Field is mentioned by Sir Cupid Phantsy when, after Doctor Clyster compares his reciting poetry to the way several actors do it, he corrects him in the following terms: "Nay, sir, rather Field in Love Lies a Bleeding." Nathan Field (1587-1619?) was an actor from a very early age. When he attended St Paul's School (London), he became a member of the Children of the Queen's Revels about 1600. He remained with the company until, round 1616-17 he joined the King's Men and he was reputed for being an outstanding player–his name is included in the list of actors contained in the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays (1623). He was also the author of two comedies: A Woman Is a Weathercock (staged round 1609) and Amends for Ladies (acted c. 1611). He also collaborated with Philip Massinger, and with Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. In fact, he played the title role in Philaster (c. 1609) by the two latter playwrights. This tragicomedy would most certainly appeal to Sir Cupid Phantsy more than the early plays mentioned by Doctor Clyster.


One of Petruchio's servants in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Nathaniel, along with fellow servants Curtis, Joseph, Peter, Nicholas, Philip, Walter, and Sugarsop, remains in Verona while Petruchio and Grumio travel to Padua to find a wife for Petruchio.


One of the pupils of the Pedant in Marston's What You Will.


First Clerk of the Staple of News office in Jonson's The Staple of News. His name, frequently paired with references to butter, alludes to Nathaniel Butter, the real-life publisher of the first newsbooks in 1622.


(Originally spelled "Nathaniell" in Brome's The English Moor.) A young rake who plots with Edmond and Vincent to cuckold Quicksands. He has debauched Phyllis and refuses to marry her. Hoping to cheer Theophilus with his plan to cuckold to Quicksands, he is attacked by him instead and flees with Edmond and Vincent. Disguised as a mummer, he appears with Edmond, Vincent, and others at Quicksands' house in a profane marriage-masque. He, Edmond, and Vincent have Buzzard pose as Quicksands' idiot bastard and Arnold as his keeper, to disrupt Quicksands' feast. When Quicksands presents the disguised Millicent as his blackamoor servant, Catalyna, Nathaniel is instantly attracted to her. During Quicksands' masque, he is exposed as penniless; however, he spirits the "Queen of Ethiopia" away during the dance and has sex with her, unaware that she's really Phyllis. When Quicksands laments that it is his wife who has been debauched, Nathaniel is overjoyed; he swears to marry the "Moor" in Testy's court the next morning, in spite of Testy's warning that she will have no dowry. He is angered to discover that his bride is Phyllis, but contents himself with the jewels that Quicksand has promised to bestow on her.


A "ghost character" in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. One of the workers in the shipyard. His name is called out by the Clerk of the Check.


Sir Nathaniel, a curate in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost, plays Alexander the Great in the Pageant of the Nine Worthies.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Tragedy of Nero. Listed by Melichus as one of the conspirators against Nero.


Natta (Pinnarius), follower of Sejanus in Jonson's Sejanus His Fall. He and Latiaris are arrested along with Sejanus at the end of the play and led off to execution.


The law of Nature in Bale's Three Laws. He represents the law that is the first of the three laws sent by God to instruct mankind. Naturae Lex governs the ways of mankind for the first age, up until the covenant formed between God and Man which gave mankind the Mosaic Law. Naturae Lex is sent down to earth to work in men's hearts and bring them to love God and desire to do His will, but is defiled and infected with leprosy when Idolatry and Sodomy corrupt mankind both in body and in spirit. Naturae Lex is finally healed by God the Father and joins with the other virtuous characters in singing God's praises.


The natural fool is an Antipodean, a character in the inset play of Brome's The Antipodes. He is giving "grave instruction" to the lord ambassador.

NATURE **1517

Also called "Natura Naturata" in the Latin stage directions and "Lord Nature" by Studious Desire in Rastell's Four Elements. Describes to Humanity the organization of the physical world and the behavior of elements. Leaves Humanity in Studious Desire's care, but returns after the musical interludes to chide Humanity for wasting his time with Sensual Appetite. The rest of the play is lost.


Mother of Wit in the anonymous Marriage of Wit and Science. She tells her son that she cannot make Science love him. She can give him only the mettle he needs, but he must earn his right to the fair lady with toil. She gives him her blessing and a servant, Will.

NATURE **1593

Nature creates Utopia in Lyly's The Woman in the Moon. When the shepherds in Utopia ask Nature to make them a mate, she and her maidens Discord and Concord create Pandora. However, Pandora's beauty makes the other planets jealous. After the planets have, in turn, ruled Pandora's behavior, Nature puts her into Luna's orb.


She tells Horestes to forgive his mother in Pickering's Horestes because it was she who suckled him; animals do not kill their mothers. For him to do so would be tyranny. She reminds him of those in the past who slew their parents.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Birthe of Hercules. Naucrates is cousin to Alcumena, and a soldier fighting on Amphitruo's side. The latter mentions him when, thinking his wife has been unfaithful to him with another man, he threatens to bring her "Cousin Naucrates, that was there wth me, prove all you have said to yor face." He has witnessed that Amphitruo has been on board the ship all night, therefore he could not have been with his wife, as she affirms. He is later mentioned by Alcumena as well, when she is talking to Iupiter (in the shape of her husband).


Naupegus is a shipbuilder in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. He shows Hobab the model of the Mary, and prepares the ship for her maiden voyage. He discusses the launching with the Clerk of the Check, who hopes that the Queen will come to watch.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's 2 The Iron Age. Father of Cethus and Palamades; incensed by reports that the Greek leaders have treacherously branded Palamedes a traitor and contrived his death, he and Cethus try to lure them onto the rocky shores of Nauplia by lighting beacons, which draw many Greeks to their death. The intended victims, however, escape.

NAVARRE **1593

The Prince of Navarre and a Protestant in Marlowe's Massacre at Paris. He marries Margaret, sister to King Charles IX of France, but when the massacre begins, he is forced to flee. He gathers his troops, returns to face the French in battle and emerges victorious. Then, when the King of France is forced to battle Guise, Navarre pledges his support to the King. As King Henry III lays dying, Navarre is named heir to the throne of France. [n.b. in history, Henry of Navarre, or more appropriately Henri de Bourbon–Navarre was destined to become Henry IV of France, the first Bourbon king of France. He converted to Catholicism before ascending the French throne.]

NAVARRE **1595

An alternative designation for Ferdinand in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost.

NAVARRE **1601

The King of Navarre is at war with King Lewes of France, who claims his kingdom as his own in the anonymous Trial Of Chivalry. He is the father of Ferdinand and Bellamira. Navarre agrees to a truce with King Lewes, during which truce his daughter's face is covered with poison by Navarre's treacherous supporter Burbon. Burbon then offers battle to Navarre, but before the batlle begins, Navarre passes by the tomb in the lonely wood where he fights, and is defeated by, Pembroke. He then joins battle against the forces of Lewes and Burbon. Navarre is happy to cease fighting against Lewes once he finds that their children are alive and in love with one another.

An Irish soldier, secretary of Shane O'Neil in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley. He flees after his master is attacked and eventually killed by Gilam Buske.

NEANDER **1632

The disguise worn by Cleopes throughout Hausted’s Rival Friends. Friend to Lucius and rival to him for Pandora’s love. He refuses to woo Pandora for love of his friend who also loves her. Both Lucius and Neander have asked Lively to win Pandora for the other, but because Lively most favors Lucius, he tells Neander to pretend to marry another girl so Lucius might believe himself free to marry Pandora. Lively tells Neander that Constantina is a boy dressed as a girl and has them contract marriage before a vicar in furtherance of this plan. Neander believes that, as this is a boy, the contract will not be valid. When he learns that Endymion is Pandora’s new love, he and Lucius threaten to kill the boy until Pandora tells them it is a prank. He then offers Pandora to Lucius (as he is already wed), but Lucius surprises him by declaring himself a eunuch. Neander discovers he has married a woman and threatens Lively with a sword. Constantina swoons and calls upon Cleopes whereupon ‘Neander’s’ heart melts and he reveals that he is in fact Cleopes and gives up all claim on Pandora.

NEANDER **1638

A Bithynian courtier in Mayne’s Amorous War. He, Callias, and Artops, frightened by the invasion from Thrace, resolve to volunteer to guard Barsene and Roxane on a safe island beyond Bithynia. They go to Orythia and Thalaestris to ask that they be included in the ladies’ guard but the wives refuse them. Once made captain of a band of rough soldiers, the foppish courtier expounds upon their country habits. He brings news that the Amazon queen has brought an army of archers and their ambassadors wish to speak to Archimdamus about joining his fight. Whilst attempting to seduce the “Amazons" they dispraise their own court women (especially Orythia, Thalaestris, Menalippe and Marthesia, not realizing those are the very women to whom they speak.) Their soldiers threaten to mutiny, but the captains turn a deaf ear to them. Orythia, Thalaestris, and Marthesia tease Callias, Neander, and Artops by pretending they are prepared to bed them, but at the crucial moment an alarum sounds (by prearranged sign) that the camp is up in arms and the three men are “captured" by their own soldiers, Macrinus, Lacero, and Serpix, in disguise. Callias, Neander, and Artops are blindfolded and led away and made to exchange clothes with their soldiers (still believing them to be Thracians), and Macrinus, Lacero, and Serpix tease and taunt them with visions of slavery and gelding in Thrace. Callias begs to be hanged instead. They are further humbled by swearing never to bear arms against Thrace and agree to be paraded in women’s clothes before having their blindfolds put off to discover they are standing before the “Amazons," Theagines, and Meleager. To save their reputations, Callias, Neander, and Artops capture four of the “treasonous" Amazons only to discover they are Orythia, Thalaestris, Menalippe and Marthesia (newly unmasked) and the captains are again made fools.

NEANIAS **1627

A young gallant and younger brother in need of money in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. He has been Anus' gigolo, taking goods and money in return for servicing her in bed, but now Plutus has given him his own money. He no longer visits Anus. He is drunk in the street and singing merrily when he meets Anus. He is saucy with her and will not go back to her bed for all her pleas.


One of the gentlemen of the Corinthian court in Fletcher's Queen of Corinth. He is invited (along with Eraton and Sosicles) to prove his sycophantic love for Prince Theanor of Corinth by joining in the rape of Merione by Theanor and Crates. He declares that he is "sure [he] should not" put up with the treatment accorded Theanor when Leonidas and the Queen take his affianced bride, Merione, away from him. He is likely one of the Maskers who appear disguised before the raped Merione and sprinkle water on her face while singing and dancing. He joins Crates in mocking Lamprias and his train, and in insulting Euphanes, but when Crates repents his ill deeds he joins Euphanes in the plot to disclose Theanor's sins, and is present at the final scene when Theanor repents his ill deeds and makes amends to Merione.


Nearchus is the prince of Argos in Ford's The Broken Heart. Although he would seem to have best reason to resent Ithocles as a rival for the hand of princess Calantha, he turns out secretly to support their love. When the lovers die, Nearchus becomes leader of Sparta. His honorable promises to keep Sparta independent, however, are intended to be accepted as sincere. His name means "young prince."


Servant to Sir Alexander Wengrave in Middleton and Dekker's Moll Cutpurse, The Roaring Girl. The word neat is the collective for bovine animals: bulls, oxen, and cows. Neat's-foot oil is a greasy and unctious substance used to soften leather. When Mary Fitzallard disguises herself as a seamstress to meet with Sebastian Wengrave, Neatfoot presumes that she is his whore.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by John Baptist as an example of a sinful man.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. The zealous Puritan Busy addresses invectives to Leatherhead, calling his hobbyhorse a rank idol. In Busy's opinion, the hobbyhorse man was the proud Nebuchadnezzar of the Fair. Nebuchadnezzar was a Babylonian ruler, mentioned in the Bible, who enforced the worshipping of idols.
Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned by Doctor Clyster when, as Sir Cupid Phantsy is praising the lady he is in love with, the moment he starts describing her nails–tired of listening to him, Doctor Clyster ironically replies: "Their length make her wife to Nebuchadnezzar." Nebuchadnezzar (c. 630–562 B. C.) was the king of the Chaldean Empire. He became the most powerful monarch of his dynasty, being mainly famous for his role in Bible History and Prophecy as well as for his vast military conquests.


The name taken by Gerardine in Middleton's The Family of Love when disguised as a porter.


A "ghost character" in Zouche's The Sophister. Demonstration is described by Definition as "the noblest sonne of Discourse, by the Lady Necessity," and Division claims that Necessity is descended more nobly than Probability and shows virtue which "we have so seldome experience."


A disguise that Montescelso uses at the court of Mantua in (?)Brome's The Cunning Lovers. The first person that comes to see him is Antonio to whom he reveals his real identity. He uses his experience to know everything about the lord's life, what makes him be compared with Mephistopheles. He also knows about the existence of a secret door so the Clown cannot inform the Duke about the plot against him. The Necromancer tells Antonio to take Valentia to the window and to arrange a meeting with the Duke in Saint Laureta's Chapel to celebrate the wedding. Later, he is visited by the rest of the courtiers. To Florence he tells that he will help him enter the tower during the wedding by making a secret door and he gives him a piece of paper where he can read what to do. He also commands him to go in disguise. He does the same to Julio and Ferrara. Thus, he tells the Clown to call the Duke and his army when he sees the suitors next to the tower. Later, he is visited by the Duke of Verona, whom he recognizes. Finally, he is seen by the Duke of Mantua and the Duchess, for whom he will make the Architect's ghost appear.

NED **1586

One of Prince Harry's rowdy companions who rob in jest and fight in taverns in the anonymous Famous Victories of Henry V. They laugh with the prince at the king's illness, wishing him dead so that they would all be kings through their close friendship with the Prince of Wales. He and his companions are ultimately rejected by Harry after he is crowned Henry V of England.

NED **1589

Ned is the nickname used by and for several characters in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay

NED **1590

A diminutive of Edward, and an alternate name for Edward a Barley in Greene's George a Greene.

NED **1591

Ned is the nickname Queen Elinor customarily uses for Edward in Peele's Edward I.

NED **1599

Ned is the name taken by King Edward as he visits Hob the Tanner in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV; as Ned he claims to be the king's butler.

NED **1604

Nickname of Holmes in Dekker and Webster's Sir Thomas Wyatt, who is a trusted follower of the Duke of Suffolk (who refers to Holmes as Ned). He arranges to hide the duke in a cabin after the arrest of Northumberland, and in spite of swearing absolute loyalty to Suffolk, he leads the Sheriff and officers to arrest him. Guilt stricken after the arrest, Holmes procures a halter, buries the gold he has received for betraying his master (so it will do no further harm), and like Judas, hangs himself.

NED **1604

A nickname for Prince Edward as well as Edward Browne in Rowley’s When You See Me.


Ned is the butler in More's household in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. With his fellows Robin the brewer and Giles the porter, he is dismayed to learn of More's death sentence, and with them, he receives More's gift of twenty nobles.

NED of ALDGATE **1607

A "ghost character" also called Drum-Ned in Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. He is a fondly remembered person whom the grocer George recalls having acquitted himself well in a past muster at Mile End.


Katherine's true love in Marston's Jack Drum's Entertainment. Pasquil means "Truth" and, like Fortune, Puffe and Mamon, his name reflects this character's qualities. Pasquil speaks the finest verse in the play. He loves Katherine and is her obvious match and exchanges vows with her. Unknown to either of them, Mamon is in the wings spying on them. When Pasquil discovers that Mamon has hired a man to kill him, Pasquil feigns death in order to trick Mamon in the hopes of later revenge. When Mamon comes to gloat, Pasquil arises and strikes the old man. In the meantime, however, Brabant tells the Fortunes that Pasquil has been murdered. Upon hearing this, Katherine disappears into the night. Pasquil goes in search of her with his young Page. He finds her roaming the area where she believes he was attacked. As he watches her, she prepares to stab herself. He stops her by revealing himself and, when she thinks she is seeing his ghost, he assures her that he is not dead. After an embrace, Katherine sends Pasquil to her house to get her a decent robe. It is at this point that Mamon reappears. He pours poison oil on Katharine and disappears; Pasquil returns to find Katherine dying. He chases and overtakes Mamon, takes the indenture papers from the older man, and tears them to pieces. Later, he uses a country maid's basket of eggs to demonstrate how Katharine was destroyed. Making references to tragic tales in classical literature, he tells everyone that "his heart is burst with miserie." He goes mad, but when he sees the recovered Katherine in the Banquet Hall of her father's house, he immediately regains his wits, embraces her, and is accepted into the family by a very happy Sir Edward.


Edward Poins, also called Ned, is a companion of Falstaff's who presents a plan for the robbing of the Canterbury pilgrims in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. He is Hal's compatriot in turning the robbery into a huge joke on Falstaff.
Ned Poins is a longstanding acquaintance of Falstaff and Prince Hal in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. He and Hal don the garb of tapsters in order to eavesdrop on Falstaff.
Ned Poins is one of Hal's drinking companions in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth. He is Hal's confidant. They play and carry out the robbery together at Gads Hill at the expense of Falstaff. Poins and Falstaff do not appear to get along; both men fancy themselves Hal's best friend. Hal reveals to Poins the extent to which the Prince of Wales cynically fosters the companionship of commoners at the tavern. Poins and Hal torment a young drawer named Francis at the tavern. When Hal is called up to military service, Poins is the only companion from the tavern that personally accompanies the prince to battle.


Vallenger, Challenger's friend in the anonymous The Fair Maid of Bristow, is initially scornful of love and women but falls in love at first sight with Annabel. When Challenger wounds him and leaves him for dead, Vallenger is taken in by Annabel's family and subsequently marries her. As soon as the wedding is over, however, Vallenger falls in love with the courtesan Florence. He solicits the supposed Doctor Julio to murder Sentloe, Florence's existing protector, and implies that Annabel herself will be next. He also takes her jewelry to give to Florence. However, Florence turns against him when his father disinherits him, and Vallenger embraces his ensuing disgrace. He is finally pardoned when both Annabel and Challenger agree to die in his place and when it is revealed that Sentloe is not in fact dead.


Ned Walgrave is the hotheaded English suitor of Mathea in Haughton's Englishmen for My Money. His father has pawned his lands to Pisaro, so he has no money. He is a colleague of Ferdinand and Harvey who are in similar circumstances and who are suitors to Pisaro's other daughters. Anthony, the girls' teacher, has been dismissed for acting as a go-between for the lovers. Eager to be revenged upon Pisaro, Anthony sets off for St. Paul's Church where, disguised as a Frenchman, he will wait to be rehired. The three young suitors are to direct Frisco, Pisaro's servant, to Paul's where he will meet and hire the disguised tutor. Mathea tells Ned to spend money because he will get back his lands after marrying her. The three men set off for the Exchange to raise some money. At the Exchange, Pisaro invites them to his house between two and three. They arrive early and when Delio, the French merchant, insists on speaking French to Anthony, he is rescued by Ned among others. Pisaro develops a plan to have the foreign suitors visit his house that night. Knowing this, Ned and his colleagues stand outside Pisaro's house and misdirect them. Ned reminds them of the parson waiting to marry them, he promises Mathea that the three suitors will earn back their lands through the great bellies of the daughters. Pisaro, having overheard everything, threatens to have the men imprisoned for their crimes, advising them to pay their debts and keep their lands. Ned replies that they owe him nothing, that Pisaro has their land and is charging ten percent more than the law allows. They, in fact, will have him imprisoned for extortion. Ned continues to rail while Ferdinand tries to calm him. Ned, musing on how they had been discovered, recognizes that the sleeping man was Pisaro and wishes that he had killed him there and then. Anthony instigates his plan and sends Ned away immediately. Later that night, Ned disguises himself as Susan Moore because, although Pisaro locks up his daughters, he allows Mistress Moore in because she has already made arrangements to sleep in Mathea's room that night. Pisaro lusts after her/him, telling her/him that he will speak at greater length about marriage the next day. Next morning, when Pisaro calls down Mathea and Susan Moore, Ned still dressed as a woman, addresses him, calling him father, explaining that he and Mathea are married, and announcing that they will have a son. Thus they defeat Pisaro and Delio.


Nephew to Lady Wild in Killigrew's Parson's Wedding. At the beginning of the play, Ned Wild and his best friend Tom Careless have just returned from three years in France, and Wild, true to his name, is up for "anything good, bad, or indifferent, for a friend and mirth." Early in the play Wild and Careless join forces with the Captain and Jolly, and together they come up with a strange plan to rail against women and marriage in an effort to win the attentions of Mistress Pleasant and Lady Wild. They also help the Captain and Wanton play tricks on the Parson, Wild by pretending to be a justice and Careless by pretending to be a summoner. Though Ned Wild, in the words of his widow aunt, "dances well and has a handsome house in the Piazza," Mistress Pleasant is reluctant to consider him as a suitable marriage prospect. She thinks he's arrogant and disdains his tendency to rail against women, which is, the play suggests, mostly an act. Indeed, when she wakes up in bed with him, with several witnesses standing by, though, she rethinks her former position and agrees to marry him.


Ned Winwife is a gentleman, suitor to Dame Purecraft and rival to Busy in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Winwife comes to Littlewit's house early in the morning, to pursue his suit to Dame Purecraft. When the Cokes party exits to the Fair, followed by the Littlewit party, Quarlous convinces his friend that the Fair could give many opportunities for Winwife's pursuit of Dame Purecraft. At the Fair, Winwife and Quarlous see Knockem and Whit, to whom they seem to be acquainted. During the confusion created before Ursula's booth, Edgworth tries to steal Winwife's and Quarlous's purses, but it emerges that they carried no money. Winwife and Quarlous are at the Fair, before Ursula's booth, when Edgworth steals the Cokes' second purse. Winwife and Quarlous see the theft and confront Edgworth with it. Quarlous blackmails Edgworth and forces him to steal the box with Grace's marriage license from Wasp. In an aside, Winwife observes that Quarlous has made an unfortunate bargain with the cutpurse and he is likely to repent. Quarlous and Winwife enter fighting for Grace's hand. Grace wants to pacify them, suggesting that they should let fate decide between them. Winwife and Quarlous write a secret code-name on a tablet and Trouble-all chooses randomly between the two names. Winwife stays in Grace's company while Quarlous drifts away. Winwife and Grace enter the puppet-theatre area of the Fair. Winwife is wondering what has become of Quarlous. Quarlous disguised as Trouble-all enters and, through a trick, discloses that Winwife is the winner of Grace's hand. Winwife and Grace attend the puppet play. In the final revelation scene, Winwife finds out that, though he is the winner of a wife, she is not rich at all, because Grace had to relinquish all her land to Quarlous because of the bond from Justice Overdo. Winwife makes no comment to this situation. He and Grace will be among the guests at Overdo's house for supper.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Nedar never appears in the play, but Lysander names him in I as Helena's father. In IV Egeus refers again to "old Nedar's Helen."


Placentia's tailor in Jonson's The Magnetic Lady. He brings his mother, Mother Chair, a midwife, to assist with Placentia's labor, and takes the child away to a wet nurse afterwards. He agrees to help Tim Item, the apothecary, preserve his professional reputation by pretending to be mad so that they don't have to admit their knowledge of the birth. After he is revealed to be the father of Placentia's child, Captain Ironside gallantly offers to provide a dowry so that he and Placentia can marry.


A "ghost character" in Middleton's Your Five Gallants. Briefly mentioned as one of Frippery's clients.

NEGRO **1637

A “ghost character" in Carlell’s Osmond. Calibeus tells Orcanes that his garden was planted by a Negro, a skillful gardener. This may be a falsehood to cover the fact that he’s just wished in an aside that his beautiful wife had been born a Negro and Orcanes asked him what he said about a Negro.

NEGROES **1638

“Ghost characters" in Mayne’s Amorous War. When the ladies seem to disappear, Polydamas suggests hiring Archidama’s “Negro’s" who stand at the door to go dive in the ocean for them as Indians dive for pearls.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by John Baptist as an example of a virtuous man.


Son to Lady Nestlecock in Brome's The New Academy. He is nineteen years old, but has been coddled excessively by his mother and spends his time playing a Jew's trump, reading ballads or playing childish games. He is at first excited about the proposed marriage between himself and Blithe Tripshort, but he becomes disillusioned when she refuses to play games with him, breaks his Jew's trump and throws one of his bounding rocks at his head. In the altercation between Blithe and Lady Nestlecock that ensues, he is impressed by Blithe's ability to "out-scold" his mother and resolves once again to marry her. To help him court her, Ephraim educates him in the art of being a man. To this end, Nehemiah destroys all of his toys, starts wearing a sword and memorizes a jest book (which he misunderstands, identifying himself with the characters at the butt of the jests). In return, he advocates Ephraim as a suitable husband for this mother. He agrees to go to the New Academy with Blithe as he wants to learn French. After losing Blithe, he advises his mother to marry Valentine.


The priest's (John's) neighbor in the anonymous A Knacke To Knowe A Knave. He asks to live in his house for 30 shillings a year, but John wants more.


Neybour Pratte is the constable the Curate calls to help him in throwing the Pardoner and the Friar out of his Church in John Heywood's The Pardoner and the Friar. They do not succeed in that and are beaten by the two rascals instead.


In Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, before Thomas Horner faces his apprentice Peter Thump in the single combat that will determine whether Thump's accusation of treason against his master is well-founded, three of Horner's neighbors drink with him.


A Neighbour joins Beech to visit Merry's tavern and drinks a can of beer in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies. Later, a Neighbour hears the Maid's call for help and discovers the murdered Winchester. He calls to Loney, Beech's landlord, for help, and asks the Maid if she saw anyone leaving Beech's shop. Four Neighbours meet to discuss the attack on Winchester, some suspecting Beech while others worry that Beech may also have been murdered. They call on Loney, who informs them that while Winchester still lives, he remains unconscious and so cannot provide them with any information. They witness Winchester brought in on a chair with the hammer still in his head, and later are joined by Merry, who questions them about the boy's injuries. Three Neighbours later ask Loney for news concerning Winchester's health when the two Watermen arrive bearing Beech's head and legs. Loney and the Neighbours identify the remains as Beech's and reward the Watermen. They then greet a Gentleman and his Porter who bring in Beech's torso, which the Gentleman found while walking his dog. The Neighbours vow to find the murderer of Beech and Winchester, and the first Neighbour, who recognizes the make of the bag which contained Beech's head and legs, leaves to fetch the man who sold it. They then hear from a Woman that Winchester has died of his wounds, and the third Neighbour asks them to bring in Winchester's body and lay it beside Beech's remains. When Salter's man arrives, Loney and the Neighbours escort him from house to house in hopes that he can identify the maid to whom he sold the bag.


Referred to as 'Rustics' in the stage directions of The Valiant Welshman. They bear away the body of Gloucester, which they have found, and engage in a comic discussion with the Clown about Gloucester's death.


"Ghost characters" in Fletcher and Massinger's Spanish Curate. They seek legal advice from Bartolus, diverting his attention from Amaranta and Jamie. Though they never appear on the stage, he quickly realizes they have no money and flatly refuses to help them.


An alternate designation for Tenants in Nabbes' Tottenham Court.


Earthworm's unnamed Neighbors in May's The Old Couple. Three are assigned lines and more may be present. Theodore enlists Earthworm's poor neighbors in his plan to cure his father of avarice. He pretends to be Jasper's fellow servant, tells them that Earthworm has already repented his miserly ways and is determined to make amends. Claiming Earthworm is too embarrassed to meet them, or receive their thanks, Theodore invites them to take their first weekly gifts of gold and corn from Earthworm's store. The neighbors are thrilled, offering praise and blessings for Earthworm's reported religious conversion into a good and charitable neighbor. They are later reported rushing to put out the fire in Earthworm's barn and appear to earn his thanks for their intervention, as the incident, combined with their good intentions and prayers for him have truly caused him to repent.


Of the forty "ghost character" neighbors who come complaining to Lovewit of the strange comings and goings at the house during his absence, there are six who actually appear on stage in Jonson's The Alchemist. When Lovewit wants confirmation of the frequency of the mysterious visitors, the six answer him:
  • The First Neighbor says they come daily, and some of them were knights, beside other gallants. When Lovewit sends the smith to break the door open, the First Neighbor says it is better to knock again before breaking the lock. Face denies all the neighbors' accusations, saying they are delusional, but the First Neighbor insists, saying he is certain he saw a coach. Face asks if they saw him all this time, and the First Neighbor says he is sure he has not seen Jeremy. When the Third Neighbor comes with his tools to break the door open, the First Neighbor tells him patiently that he may leave his tools because they have been deceived. When Mammon and Surly enter, the First Neighbor says these are two of the gallants he thinks he saw, insisting that all the people present saw them go into the house.
  • The Second Neighbor says the visitors come nightly, and some of them were oyster-women. When Lovewit asks if they saw posters that promised cure of agues or toothache, the Second Neighbor says they did not. When Lovewit asks if they saw Jeremy all this time, the Second Neighbor says he is certain of not having seen Jeremy for the past month. The Sixth Neighbor says he heard a doleful cry, and the Second Neighbor confirms it, saying it was about three weeks before. The First Neighbor says he thinks he saw a coach, and the Second Neighbor confirms that too. The neighbors are increasingly uncertain about what they think they saw or heard. The Second Neighbor states the doubtless fact that Jeremy has had the keys and he says the door has been shut these three weeks. When the First Neighbor insists that all the neighbors saw Mammon and Surly enter the house, while Face denies it, the Second and Third Neighbor confirm it.
  • The Third Neighbor is the smith. He says some of them were lords, and some were sailors' wives. When Lovewit asks if they saw banners of a strange calf with five legs or a giant lobster with six claws, the Third Neighbor denies it categorically, saying they would have gone in then. Probably the suspicion refers to black magic practices. When the Sixth and Second Neighbor say they heard a cry like that of a man's being strangled for an hour and could not speak, the Third Neighbor confirms it. When Lovewit asks the Third Neighbor about his trade, he says he is a locksmith, promising Lovewit to go presently and fetch his tools to break the door open. When the Third Neighbor returns with his tools, the First Neighbor says they are no longer needed, because Jeremy has answered the door and they were deceived. The neighbors are increasingly uncertain about what they think they saw or heard. However, when the First and Second Neighbor confirm that they saw Kastril, Tribulation, and Ananias enter the house, the Third Neighbor strengthens the affirmation.
  • The Fourth Neighbor says some of them were ladies and gentlemen, and others tobacco-men. Lovewit asks when they saw Jeremy enter the house, and the Fourth Neighbor says he has not seen him for five weeks. When the First and Second Neighbor say they think they saw a coach, the Fourth Neighbor is not so sure and says that Jeremy is an honest fellow
  • The Fifth Neighbor says they were citizens' wives, adding that the place has been turned into another Pimlico. Pimlico was a popular London place of entertainment near Hogsdon. When the other neighbors say they have not seen Jeremy for five weeks, the Fifth Neighbor adds stupidly that, if Jeremy's master knows not where his butler is, he has surely slipped away
  • The Sixth Neighbor says they were knights in coaches. When Lovewit asks if they saw banners of a strange calf with five legs or a giant lobster with six claws, the Sixth Neighbor denies it categorically. When Lovewit wonders how Jeremy could have disappeared for six weeks, the Sixth Neighbor prays to God he should not have been killed. The Sixth Neighbor has good hearing and seems to suffer from insomnia. He says that, about three weeks before, while he sat up mending his wife's stockings, he heard a doleful man's cry coming from the house.
The neighbors are increasingly uncertain about what they think they saw or heard. The neighbors attend part of Face's conversation with Lovewit and then depart. The neighbors' intervention shows the unreliability of witnesses.


Simplicity and "three or four" neighbors brandish their clubs and hunt for Fraud in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London.


Neither Money Nor Learning is a humble and old beggar in Lupton's All For Money. He is given alms by Learning With Money, but not by Money Without Learning.

NELL **1589

Nell is the nickname for Elinor of Castile used in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay by Rafe, Prince Edward, and the German Emperor.

NELL **1591

Nell is the nickname Edward uses for Queen Elinor and Lluellen uses for Lady Elinor de Montfort in Peele's Edward I.

NELL **1592

Nell is a kitchen maid for Adriana at the Phoenix Inn at Ephesus in Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. Also known as Luce, Nell has a relationship with Dromio of Ephesus that she anticipates will end in marriage.

NELL **1595

A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet mentioned by Peter as one to be let into the Capulet house.

NELL **1597

A "ghost character." Nell does not appear on stage but is the sister of Ned Poins in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. Falstaff mentions her in a letter to Hal; Poins has apparently claimed that Hal is to wed his sister Nell.

NELL **1599

A "ghost character" in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV. Nell, the daughter of John Hobs the Tanner, is not seen but is referred to by her father.

NELL **1599

Nell, a London tavern hostess known as Mistress Quickly in the Henry IV plays, is Pistol's wife in Shakespeare's Henry V. She reports Falstaff's death, blaming Henry's rejection for killing him. Near the end of the play, Pistol learns that Nell has died of the "malady of France", syphilis. See "QUICKLY, MISTRESS."

NELL **1607

Referred to as "Wife" in the dramatis personae in Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. She is the grocer, George's wife and seconds his call for a play about a grocer. She says she has never seen a play before. She nominates Rafe to act in the newly proposed play. Completely misunderstanding the plot of The London Merchant, she foolishly champions Humphrey's wooing of Luce, giving him green ginger when Jasper beats him. She assists her husband in thinking up adventures for Rafe. In V she suggests that Rafe should take a company to muster at Mile End. At play's end, it is her idea that Rafe should come out and die. She delivers the Epilogue by thanking the gentlemen and hoping they will applaud Rafe. She ends the play by saying, "Come, George."

NELL **1612

Lelia's Waiting Woman in Fletcher's The Captain. She is more sympathetic than her mistress. She admits Lelia's destitute father against Lelia's orders. She also demonstrates a talent for learning Lelia's lessons. When Julio returns later with Angilo, she follows Lelia's commands to pretend that she is not allowed to let them enter until they bribe her adequately. She uses these principles on her own initiative later when Angilo returns unexpectedly and first tries to wheedle, then bribe his way in. She finally agrees to let him in as long as he promises to conceal his presence. When bidden, she brings nightwear and slippers to Lelia's father. Lelia's Waiting Woman is taken to Angilo's house with Lelia to be redeemed.

NELL **1613

A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Two Noble Kinsmen. Nell is mentioned as a woman who plans to perform morris-dances for the Duke.

NELL **1638

Busie’s daughter in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable. Jeremy claims that she will have his bride’s garters when he is married. She disguises as Grace and marries Jeremy.

Daughter of the immensely wealthy London alderman Sir Thomas Curtis in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley, she rejects the suit of Vernon in favor of her true love, Captain Thomas Stukeley. After convincing her parents that Stukeley's youthful habits will mellow with age, the couple are married. Soon after, however, she begins to question her husband's singular drive to honor and quickly realizes that their marriage was simply a means for Stukeley to finance his various overseas adventures.


Only mentioned in ?Rastell's Calisto and Melebea. Alternative spelling of Nimrod, invoked by Sempronio as a true example of aspiration.

NEMESIS **1553

A goddess who arrives in the last scene of Udall's? Respublica to right what is wrong with a wheel and wing in one hand and a rudder in the other. She forgives Adulation on his assurance that he will henceforth work for the good of the commonwealth, and Avarice whom she gives to People to squeeze till restitution is complete. She does not forgive Insolence (who has sinned as Lucifer did) or Oppression (who has taken everything from the people), handing them over to People for safe custody and for a trial according to the laws when the right time arises.
Nemesis, a non-speaking character in Peele's The Battle of Alcazar, is the "high mistress of revenge, that with her scourge keeps all the world in awe." The Greek goddess of fate and punisher of extravagant pride appears in the allegorical dumb shows that precede each act. Nemesis awakens the god of war and summons the furies to inflict vengeance upon the Moor after he brutally murders his uncle and the two young princes. Her duty is to inflict vengeance upon Muly Mahamet for his sins. On one occasion, the Moor addresses Nemesis and asks her to ride her fiery cart and sprinkle gore amongst the war and to take the mangled body of Abdelmelec to her tormenting hell. Nemesis is once referred to by her surname, Ramnusias.
In Goffe's Raging Turk, Nemesis leads onto the stage a visionary parade of all the victims of Baiazet's ambition, as prelude to his death by poison.

NEMESIS **1588

Laches adopts this name when he takes his revenge and beats Hermogenes in the anonymous Timon of Athens.


There is some confusion over the name Nemo in the anonymous Wit of a Woman:
  1. According to the dramatis personae, Nemo is the name of the character otherwise known as Giro.
  2. According to a stage direction, Nemo is the name of the mock-doctor discussed here as Niofell.
  3. An imaginary character, "Lord Nemo," is an imaginary client of the fraudulent Doctor Niofell.


The Judge in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London who tries Love, Conscience and Lucre and sends them to prison.
Nemo is the Judge who condemned Love, Conscience and Lucre to prison in The Three Ladies of London. The three lords beg him to release the ladies in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London. Nemo agrees, but warns them that the ladies are not a pretty sight since they are dressed in rags. He releases the ladies, announces to them the arrival of the lords, and orders them to unveil. He warns Love and Lucre against Falsehood and Double-Dealing. When the ladies have been brought new attire, Nemo invites the three lords to meet them again the next day. The only problem is that they all prefer Lucre, so Nemo tricks them by bringing in Conscience, telling them she is Lucre, and asking her to choose her favorite lord. Conscience chooses Pleasure, who is happy to marry her even when he learns that he has been tricked. Nemo introduces the lords of London to the lords of Lincoln. At the end of the play he explains the consequences of the action, and laments the death of Hospitality.


Sir Nicholas Nemo is a fictional suitor of the Widow invented by Jarvis and impersonated by John in order to gull Bloodhound into taking home Mistress Coote instead of the Widow in William Rowley's A Match at Midnight. John walks up and down in a sinister way to increase Bloodhound's urgent desire to keep the Widow under observation at his house.


Sir Nicholas Nemo offers to help Sincerity and invites him to his house in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London, but Sincerity can see that he is a nonentity. Sure enough, when Sincerity and Simplicity visit Nemo's house, there is nothing there.

NEMOURS **1608

A French nobleman in Chapman's The Conspiracy of Charles, Duke of Byron.

NEMOURS **1624

The Duke of Nemours is present but has no lines in Massinger's The Parliament of Love.


Nennius is a British warrior in Fletcher's Bonduca. He is a loyal supporter of Bonduca throughout the play.
Beli maur's son, Cassibelane's and Lud's brother in Fisher's Fuimus Troes. The "Britain Hector" is spurred on to fight against Caesar by the ghost of his ancestor, Brennus. He fights Caesar in a man-to-man combat and is wounded. But Caesar has to flee nevertheless and he even loses his sword "Crocea Mors." The wounded Nennius is still able to kill Laberius, too. He dies only after having heard that the Romans have fled and the battle is won. In his dying speech, he wants to have Caesar's sword, Crocea Mors, in his grave and he looks forward to meeting Brute and Dunwallo in heaven.


Sister of Vandona, and serving-woman to Lucora in Cokain's The Obstinate Lady. Nentis advocates love and marriage in opposition to her mistress's devotion to chastity. Nentis encourages Lucora to accept Falorus as her husband, and praises the freedoms a woman finds in marriage. She criticizes Lucora's passion for Tucapelo, and attempts attempts to persuade her that Falorus would be a preferable choice. She agrees to go to Ethiopia with her mistress when she elopes, but changes her mind when she is wooed and won by Phyginois, dressed as a gentleman with Cleanthe's aid. Nentis helps Lucora escape to elope, and when Tucapelo reveals himself to be Carionil, Nentis encourages Lucora to marry Falorus once again. When the low economic and social condition of her husband-to-be is revealed, Nentis is upset, but Polidacre rewards his service to his family by giving him lands and money befitting a gentleman, Nentis is satisfied and accepts him as her husband.


A "ghost character" in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. A blind thief whom Esculapius did not cure, according to Carion.


One of Nero's servants and sycophants in the anonymous Tragedy of Nero. During the fire, he brings Nero the news that his own palace is aflame.


Only mentioned in Jonson's Poetaster. In the Iliad, Neoptolemus (also called Pyrrhus) was the son of Achilles. He entered Troy in a wooden horse and slew Priam, king of Troy. When Tucca enters Albius's house as his guest, he calls Albius noble Neoptolemus, probably alluding flatteringly to the jeweler's leading position among the tradesmen in Rome.
Alternative name for Pyrhus in Heywood's 2 The Iron Age.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. He is one of the first group of Portia's suitors, described by Nerissa who leaves without attempting to find the correct casket.

NEPTUNE **1565

Only mentioned in Edwards's Damon and Pithias. Neptune is the god of the sea in Roman mythology. On their arrival in Syracuse, Damon and Pithias thank Neptune for their safe passage.

The god of the sea in Lyly's Gallathea. Annoyed at being ignored, he has demanded that once every five years, the most beautiful local virgin be sacrificed to him. During the course of the play, he disguises himself as a shepherd to find out why things are going so badly with his sacrifice, and ultimately he negotiates peace terms between Diana and Venus.
The god of the sea in Peele's The Arraignment of Paris, Neptune serves on the Olympian panel hearing the charge against Paris.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. In Roman mythology, Neptune corresponds to the Greek sea-god Poseidon. He is usually shown as a bearded man holding a trident and standing in a shell being drawn over the sea. When Cupid enumerates Mercury's famous actions of legerdemain, he says that Mercury stole Neptune's trident. Reporting that Mercury stole Neptune's most treasured and symbolic possession Cupid emphasizes his cousin's ability as a deceiver.
The third son of Saturn, brother of Jupiter in Heywood's The Golden Age. He is sent to Athens where he lives unknown to his brothers. He is reunited with his brothers, Jupiter and Pluto, at which time he informs the eldest of the beautiful Danae, daughter of King Acrifius, locked up in a "brazen tower." At the end of the play, the three Fates assign him the kingdom of the sea.
Only mentioned in Heywood's 1 The Iron Age. Neptune is the sea god from whose monster Hesione was rescued by Hercules. When Paris leaves Oenone and heads for Greece, he invokes the aid of Neptune.
Only mentioned in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. He raised the tempest during the Spanish invasion.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. When Quarlous sees Knockem at the Fair, Winwife recognizes him as the roaring horse-courser. Since Winwife tries to persuade his friend to avoid the rascal, Quarlous says he would talk to Knockem, even if he cries louder than a storm provoked by Neptune.
A "ghost character" in P. Fletcher's Sicelides. Neptune sentences Olinda to die at the hands of the sea monster, Malorcha, for taking one of the "golden apples" from the "Hyperian tree" situated in the "sacred garden" near his temple. Dicaus is Neptune's "chiefe Priest." The newly-returned Tyrinthus sends Gryphus back to their ship to get "vestments vowd to Neptune, and the chest" in which he has locked his "other offerings," and promises to reward Neptune with riches after he has seen his children.
A mute character in Goffe's The Courageous Turk. Neptune, the Roman sea god and brother to Jupiter, appears dancing with Diana in the masque prepared by Lala Schahin for Amurath and Eumorphe.
Only mentioned in Kyd's Cornelia. God of the sea; prayed to by Caesar as well as Cornelia.
Neptune is the god of the sea in Heywood's Brazen Age. He sets a giant whale against Troy after the Trojan king refuses to pay back loans from Neptune's priests. Neptune demands that Troy offer a virgin a month in sacrifice. Later in the play, Neptune witnesses Mars and Venus's shame.

NEPTUNE **1610

Neptune is a character in the masque in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy.


Alphonsina's brother in Dekker's Wonder of A Kingdom, Tibaldo Neri is secretly in love with Dariene, Lord Nicoletto Vanni's wife. Like Vanni, he is a secret lover. His and Vanni's schemes to gain access to the women they love drives much of the play's complex plot. Lovesick for Dariene, Tibaldo begs his sister to advise and help him to seduce her. Alphonsina refuses, telling him to forget her. However, when Alphonsina receives Lord Vanni's letter and the jewel, Tibaldo recognizes an opportunity to gain access to Dariene. He finally persuades his sister to accept Lord Vanni's invitation and disguises himself as a woman to accompany her. On their way Tibaldo explains to his sister what he intends to do: Alphonsina must promise to sleep with Lord Vanni the next night, thus enticing him away from his wife. Meanwhile, Tibaldo will disguise himself as a woman and ask Dariene to be "her" bedfellow. The scheme fails when Dariene's daughter, Alisandra, thinks that the disguised Tibaldo is his own sister, Alphonsina, offers to share her bed, and reveals her own secret love for Tibaldo. After Alisandra leaves, Tibaldo confesses to Alphonsina that he has changed his mind about Dariene, and wants to marry Alisandra. He and Alisandra then receive Lord Vanni's consent to marry.


A huntress, beloved of Hylas and of Daphnis in Rutter's The Shepherds' Holiday, Nerina is Dorinda's friend and the daughter of Charinus. Although her father means to marry her to Daphnis she confides in Dorinda that Hylas has loved her in her infancy and that she reciprocates his love, although she chides him for testing her chastity with a lustful kiss and informs him that she cannot love him. Forced by her father to accept Daphnis's gift of a "looking-glass" Nerina becomes ill and slips into a death like state, although she first calls back to life the grief-stricken Hylas, confesses her love for him, and convinces Charinus to grant her final wish that they be married. Awakening in the grave after Alcon and Daphnis have cured her, she cries out for help as Daphnis attempts to ravish her and is rescued by Hylas and Mirtillus. Disgusted with Daphnis's behaviour Charinus gives his daughter to Hylas and, although Montanus ponders having Daphnis killed for his attempt to ravish Nerina, Hylas argues for the rich shepherd's life so that he will live to envy the happiness of he and Nerina.


A fictitious character in Rutter's The Shepherds' Holiday. Hylas claims that he will visit Nerina's blessed ghost every day at her tomb.


Nerissa is Portia's waiting woman in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. She consoles Portia about her inability to choose her own husband, but believes that her father was a wise man. She also mentions Bassanio, apparently aware that Portia already has feelings for him. When Bassanio chooses the correct casket, Nerissa and Gratiano reveal that they are in love and wish to marry as well. Like Portia, Nerissa gives her new husband a ring he swears never to remove, and, like Portia, she disguises herself as a young clerk, although she does not engage in any of the legal debates. When Gratiano brings Bassanio's ring to Portia, Nerissa promises her mistress that she too will get her husband's ring away from him. And like her, she swears that she slept with the clerk who asked for the ring, before revealing that it was her, disguised.


Only mentioned in Pickering's Horestes. Fame rather anachronistically refers to the bad fame of Nero who had his teacher, Seneca, and his mother killed.
Only mentioned in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. Mitis criticizes the scene that involves Deliro, Fallace, and Fastidious Brisk, implying it lacks "construction." Cordatus replies that the characters' defects are not oversized, but rather they are applied as foils to their virtues. Cordatus rises against generalizations in literature. He presents a situation in which someone writing of Nero, the first-century A.D. Roman emperor, would refer to all emperors. Nero had the reputation of being a tyrant, and Cordatus speaks against the general assumption that all emperors are tyrants.
Nero, born Domitius A[he]nobarbus, is the son of Agrippina minor in May's Julia Agrippina. He has been adopted by Claudius, and through his mother's scheming eventually becomes Claudius's successor as Emperor. He takes first Acte and then Poppaea from his friend Otho, neglecting his wife Octavia in the process, and orders the deaths of first Britannicus and then Agrippina in his bid to consolidate his power. n.b. Nero is a nickname, a cognomen of the Claudian family that Agrippina bestowed upon him to stress and strengthen his Claudian relationship. It had also been a cognomen of the emperor Tiberius. His regnal name was Nero Claudius Caesar.
An egotistical Emperor and an exhibitionist in the anonymous Tragedy of Nero. His self-indulgence and cruelty make him the worst of tyrants. He has already murdered his first wife and his mother Agrippina minor amongst others. The play begins after Nero's return to Rome after a wasteful vacation in Greece. His obsessive love of sports, the performing arts, greed and sexual depravity encourage a conspiracy against his rule, led by Piso and Scevinus. Nero brags about his achievements and demands flattery from his followers. Critics are executed or banished. Rivals, as Lucan, are suppressed. He is petulant and oblivious to the growing hostility towards him. His blood lust grows beyond single deaths, and he fantasizes about the mass destruction of Rome itself. Rome burns. He plays the timbrell as he watches, growing delusional that he is watching his own Troy. Bereaved victims of the fire entertain him with their suffering. He later quarrels with his wife, who has discovered his effeminate marriage to the eunuch Sporus; he resents her jealousy. Melichus's betrayal of the conspiracy first makes him aware how vulnerable he is, and he afterwards becomes more paranoid. He kills his wife in a sudden rage when she tries to intercede on behalf of a Young Man he has condemned. His grief for her takes the shape of threatening a massacre to accompany her in death. He becomes complacent after the conspiracy is frustrated and is scornful at the news of the uprising of Vindex in Gaul. When later news of Galba's uprising in Spain reaches him, he has a tantrum (offstage). He is deserted by his flatterers and accompanied in his flight by Tigellinus. He blames Tigellinus for his unpopularity; an ambiguous stage direction suggests that at this point Tigellinus also abandons him. Two unnamed Romans bring him news of the gruesome death sentence passed on him by Galba and leave him to die alone. He ends his life dreading the revenge of his mother's ghost and the waiting Furies.
Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. Nero was a Roman emperor between 54–68 AD. Famous for his cruelty and licentiousness, he married one of his favorites, Poppaea, whom he kicked to death while she was with child. Mammon wishes to emphasize to the mysterious lady (Dol Common in disguise) the importance of their love story. He tells her that he will lavish such riches on her that, when her name is mentioned, the queens may turn pale with envy and the love story of Nero and Poppaea will seem insignificant by comparison. Ironically, the marriage of Nero and Poppaea, based on sexual desire and lust for power, ended unfortunately for the empress and is not one of the great love stories.
Emperor of Rome at the start of Hemminge's The Jews' Tragedy. He is faced with wars in several parts of his Empire, most recently Judea. He is characterized by his attention to superstitious ritual and his emotional tirades. He confirms the crown of Judea to Agrippa and sends his best general, Vespatian, to wage war on the rebellious province. He does not re-appear. His death and the brief reigns of intervening Emperors are glossed over before the succession of Vespatian.
Only mentioned in ?Rastell's Calisto and Melebea. Nero is adduced by Sempronio as an example of obsessive love, having burned Rome because of "Tapaya" (Poppaea?).
Only mentioned in the anonymous Pathomachia. Envy foresees himself as another Nero, playing the sack of Troy on his lute as Rome burns.
Only mentioned in Fletcher’s Bloody Brother. Allan opines that Rollo is equal to Nero in murdering those close to him save he has not killed his own mother.


Nero, son of Agrippina major in Jonson's Sejanus His Fall. In a ruse to divert suspicion from his plans against Agrippina, Tiberius presents Nero and his brothers Drusus and Caligula to the Senate for preferments. He is arrested on orders of Sejanus for treason.
Nero, son of Germanicus and Agrippina major in the anonymous Tragedy of Tiberius, pleads with Tiberius to take the imperial crown. He later upholds Tiberius' right to be Emperor under a theory of divine right of kings. He is sorry later not to have killed Tiberius when he and Drusus had the opportunity. The two of them are captured and imprisoned. They try to survive by cannibalizing one another's arms, but they ultimately die together of starvation.


Princess of the Isle of Strange Marshes in the anonymous Clyomon and Clamydes. While walking with some of her Lords and Ladies, she comes upon Clyomon, who is seasick almost to death and cast upon her shores. He will not reveal his name to her, but she knows him as the Knight of the Golden Shield and offers the worthy man her succor. She falls deeply but secretly in love with him and fears he hides his name because he is lowly born or else a "runnagate." She slyly tricks him into declaring his love and gives him a jewel if he promises to return from Macedonia within "three score days." Thrasellus, the Norwegian king, kidnaps her and takes her to Norway. In Norway, she escapes by tricking him into believing she loves him and then disguising herself as a page and running into the woods. Still disguised as a boy, she gives herself in service to a shepherd, Corin, who calls her Jack. Later, bemoaning her shepherd's toil, she comes upon Thrasellus's forest grave adorned with Clyomon's arms. She believes that Clyomon has been slain. Determined to end her own life, she sings a song, and is interrupted by Providence, who descends to her. She is bidden to read the inscription on the grave and discover that Clyomon lives. She leaves Corin's service, exchanging her shepherd's disguise for the page disguise and calling herself "Cur Daceer." Dressed thus, she meets Clyomon, who is also disguised, and becomes his page (neither recognizing the other). They travel to the Isle of Strange Marshes, where Clyomon means to become the queen's champion. There Clyomon and Clamydes become friends, and "Cur Daceer" is sent to Denmark to announce the homecoming of Clyomon. When all is resolved in Denmark, Neronis takes the Danish Queen into her confidence and, with her aid, reveals her true identity to Clyomon, and they are reunited. They plan a double wedding with Clamydes and Juliana.


Cocceius Nerva, a flamen in the anonymous Tragedy of Tiberius, is first seen officiating Augustus' funeral. He is the first to offer Tiberius the imperial crown and ultimately places the crown on Tiberius' head. Later Germanicus entrusts his children and wife to Nerva, Sabinus, and Asinius should he die in Armenia. He starves himself to death after witnessing the strangulation of Agrippina.


Nessus is a Centaur in Heywood's Brazen Age who had been beaten by Hercules before in combat. Nessus comes upon Hercules and Deianeira as the two make their way from Calidon to Thebes. Nessus pretends to have recovered from the defeat, yet confides in the audience that he is simply waiting for the opportunity to seek revenge. Nessus, in addition to hating Hercules for defeating him, also wants to harm him out of jealousy: Nessus lusts after Deianeira. Nessus plans to serve Hercules while waiting for the opportunity to betray him. When the trio approaches the Euenus flood, Nessus offers to carry Deianeira across the water on his back. Nessus takes Deianeira across the river and is shot with a poisonous arrow by Hercules while the Centaur is attempting to rape the princess. As Nessus dies, he tricks Deianeira into soaking up the poisoned blood and touching Hercules with it.
The only centaur to survive the battle with the heroes in Heywood's The Silver Age, he flees, thus setting up the fatal encounter with Hercules in a subsequent play.
Only mentioned in Randolph's Jealous Lovers. Tyndarus likens his love to the "viperous shirt of Nessus" that "cleaves to my skin, and eats away my flesh." It was such a shirt, soaked in the blood of the centaur Nessus, that so killed Hercules.


Family name of Lady Nestlecock, her son Nehemiah, and her late husband Justice Nestlecock in Brome's The New Academy.


A widow, around age Fifty-five, sister to Old Matchil, half-sister to Stigood in Brome's The New Academy. She is a busybody who dotes on her son Nehemiah. Disliked by Old Matchil, she nonetheless visits him immediately upon hearing of his son's death. Upon learning that Joyce has displeased her father, Lady Nestlecock offers to take her in and teach her "duty" while also expressing hope that Nehemiah will now become Matchil's heir. Her plans to watch over Joyce and Gabriella are thwarted when the two women escape with Strigood. Meanwhile, she is busy trying to arrange a double marriage between herself and Sir Swithin Whimlby and between her son and Whimlby's niece Blithe Tripshort. When Blithe refuses to marry Nehemiah, Lady Nestlecock agrees with Whimlby's idea that the youths should be educated at the New Academy. While there, she succumbs to Valentine's flirtations and rejects Whimlby for him.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's 1 The Iron Age. Nestor, the king of Pylos and the oldest of the Greeks at Troy. Ajax maintains that Ulysses fled from the battlefield at Hector's approach, leaving the old man to fend for himself, and that only good fortune enabled the old man to make his escape.
Only mentioned in Jonson's The New Inn. When Host rails against the current decayed ways of the nobility, Lovel defends the good education received by the noble youths. Among other arts, Lovel says the young gentlemen study the figures, numbers, and proportions. This would enable them to exercise the philosophical art of rhetoric, practiced and perfected by the grave Nestor and the wise Ulysses. In the love-trial session, Lovel says that his masters have taught him the moral strength of the classical heroes, among whom he mentions Nestor, remarkable for his wise counsels. It is inferred that Nestor is seen as a classical example of wisdom and experience, though his lengthy lectures are sometimes boring. Nestor is the king of Pylos and the oldest Achaean commander in the Iliad. Although age has taken much of Nestor's physical strength, it has left him with great wisdom. He often acts as an advisor to the military commanders. Nestor and Ulysses are the Achaeans' most deft and persuasive orators, although Nestor's speeches are sometimes long-winded.
Nestor is one of the Greek kings meeting in Athens to discuss Horestes's action in Pickering's Horestes.
Nester is the ruler of Pylos in Heywood's Brazen Age. He comes to hunt the Caledonian Boar with Meleager and is one of Jason's Argonauts. He escapes the boar by climbing a tree. Nester travels to Lydia to rescue Hercules from Omphale.


Nestorius is the father of Polidora in Shirley's Coronation. When Arcadius is deposed by Seleucus, Arcadius seeks refuge in Nestorius' house.

NEVE GENT **1627

Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. Pond, Booker, Allestree, Jeffry, Neve Gent, and Merlinus Anglicus were good astronomers, according to Carion, who nevertheless cannot predict so well as Chremyla's corns.


A sequestrator in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. He is the only person who does not like Master Clip-Latin, according to Stiff. He has become impoverished since Plutus regained his sight because he is one of the knaves. Starving now, Never-good seeks to put out Plutus' eyes again. Carion and Goggle scorn him and strip off his finery to give as a gift to Plutus.


A "ghost character" in Udall's Ralph Roister Doister. Nichol Neverthrive is one of the individuals Merrygreek admits to having sponged from before taking up with Ralph Roister Doister.


Nevill is a friend of Scudamore in Field's A Woman is a Weathercock. He tells Scudamore about the wedding of Bellafront to Count Frederick, and agrees to help him. Nevill disguises himself as a parson and, having dismissed the priest who should have performed the wedding, pretends marries Bellafront to Count Frederick. In his own clothes, Nevill attends the wedding banquet. He advises Scudamore to accept Bellafront's repentance, and finally promises to deliver her to him that night. Scudamore agrees to follow his lead. With Count Frederick, Pendant and Sir Abraham Ninny, Nevill prepares to take part in the wedding masque. He swaps clothes with Scudamore, in order that Scudamore can talk to Bellafront during the dancing. Nevill leaves (in Scudamore's vizard-maker disguise) when the other masquers reappear. After Bellafront and Scudamore are married by the real Parson, Nevill enters in his parson's clothes and confesses that he "married" Bellafront and Count Frederick. He removes his habit to reveal a Devil's robes, then removes the robes to disclose his real identity.


Friend to Damon in Gascoigne's The Supposes. Helps to capture and imprison Erostrato (a.k.a. Dulippo).


A "ghost character" in Middleton's Your Five Gallants. One of Tailby's conquests, who sends her Servant to him with a new beaver hat.


A "ghost character" in Brome's A Jovial Crew. At Oldrents' guesthouse, one of the beggar women, or "doxies," gives birth to a child. The other beggars laugh and sing to drown out her cries, though they are audible to Oldrents. He proposes a christening, but Randall informs him that the beggars will not remain long enough to hold one.

NEWCUT **1637

One of two Templars along with Bright, one of Frank Plotwell’s “Fleet street friends" in Mayne’s City Match. Bright and Newcut tear off Frank’s velvet jacket (his merchant weeds) and tell him to put on one of his Temple suits of silk. They propose to go to Roseclap’s and meet Captain Quartfield and Salewit and attempt to see a new lady in London, Aurelia, who lives like a queen by her wits alone. He engages in a war of wits along with Bright, Timothy, and Frank, and she bests them. Bright and Newcut overhear Baneswright’s plan to marry Warehouse to Madam Aurelia and go to dissuade her from the match. They try to talk her out of marrying the cold old man and taking instead their friend Frank Plotwell. She says she knows him to be only a prodigal and abused with the company of Bright and Newcut who live by “the new heresy" of Platonic Love. They agree later to help Frank in his plan to abuse Warehouse. After the faux marriage, the footmen bring in two “night pieces" for the new bride, Dorcas. When Warehouse pulls the curtains aside the ‘pictures’ turn out to be Bright and Newcut.


A merchant's wife in Middleton's Your Five Gallants, already once widowed, with her current husband at sea, she has an unmanageable craving for sex and no scruples where she obtains satisfaction. Her servant, Marmaduke, is plainly incapable of the role of gigolo, so she discreetly frequents Primero's brothel where she pays to participate as an amateur prostitute. She narrowly avoids meeting her country-cousin, Bungler, there, but instead has Primero arrange an immediate liaison with Tailby. She later invites Bungler to dinner with a friend hoping that Tailby will attend. Having invited Goldstone instead, Bungler is fooled by the latter's disguise and brings him to visit her instead, in the character of a distant mutual cousin. In this disguise, Goldstone steals her salt-cellar; returning as himself, they seduce eachother after dinner, and she gives him a ring as a post-coital gift. On a later visit to Primero's, his Courtesans jealously attack her (mentioning in passing the report of her husband's 'welcome' death). She is only saved from a severe mauling by the intervention of Fitsgrave. The women all agree to participate in disguise in the Gallants' masque, becoming firm allies in romantic adversity, having heard enough to desire and contribute to the Gallants' shameful exposure. In the Gallants' masque, Newcut, together and the Courtesans disguise as pageboys. When the Gallants are exposed, Newcut echoes the First Courtesan's acquiescence with Fitsgrave's ultimatum that they should each marry one of the disgraced Gallants in order to avoid further punishment. Having heard news of her husband's death at sea, Goldstone had promised her marriage. She cynically encourages the other women, offering her own example that seemingly respectable wedlock is the best cover for sexual promiscuity. Given her disillusionment with Goldstone, it is unclear whether she will take him or one of the other Gallants as her next husband.


Newfangle is an allegorical figure residing in the court of Venus in Wilson's The Cobbler's Prophecy. Mars overhears a dialogue between Niceness and Newfangle in the garden. Newfangle plays music with Folly, Niceness, Jealousy and Dalliance, while Venus sings a lullaby to Mars.


Mistress Newlove is a gentlewoman and the wife of a merchant in Fletcher's The Night Walker. She is sympathetic to Maria's cause and the object of an attempted seduction by Wildbraine.


Colonel Newman, an English soldier loyal to Wallenstein and close friend to Wallenstein's sons, especially Albertus in Glapthorne's Albertus Wallenstein. His robust opinions and vulgarity provide an element of brash soldierly comedy in the play. First seen teasing Albertus for his lover's melancholy, insisting that soldiers should concentrate on sex, not romance, where serving-girls are concerned. His crudity angers Albertus. Next seen with both Wallenstein's sons, this time comically advising Fredericke how to court his political bride, Emilia, whom he has not yet seen. Accompanying Fredericke, he interrupts Albertus proposing honourable marriage to Isabella, and mistakes the scene for a promising seduction. After the brothers' fight over their respective brides, Newman plans to make them friends again, but Albertus's death soon follows. Next seen accompanying Wallenstein's party to Egers, where he feels left out of the copious drinking going on, but sings a catch to entertain the Lords, when Wallenstein retires to rest. The jovial Newman is murdered alongside Kintzki, Tertzki and Illawe by Lesle's Soldiers.


Newman, a suitor to Lucy in Cavendish's The Variety, is a humour character who is motivated by an unreasonable fear of melancholia. Voluble, acting on behalf of Simpleton, tells Newman that "love is a melancholy business," which often ends in suicide. Newman goes to a tavern to find merriment and thus escape melancholia. There he engages in some drinking, listens to a good deal of singing, and dupes Formal. Nevertheless, he cannot get Lucy out of his mind and really is, as he admits, unfit for "roring and whoring." He decides to abandon tavern life and soon after learns from James that Simpleton plans to abduct Lucy. Newman rescues Lucy but is charged by Simpleton with assault. After the truth comes out and as the play ends, Newman leaves the stage with Lucy to be married. [n.b. Many of the tavern songs were written by Newcastle for the play and were set by the composer John Wilson. Some of these songs are to be found in seventeenth-century songbooks.]


A "ghost character" in ?Clavell's The Soddered Citizen. Sir Newman is mentioned by Modestina. She describes him as a sweet young gentleman, suitor to Miniona. Since he is not of noble birth, Miniona turns him down.


A "ghost character" in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker. One of a group of English and Scots soldiers praised by Arguile for their bravery at the siege of Leith.

NEWTON **1600

He and Crosbie are two merchants in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell whom Banister has to dinner so that they call collect heir bonds in (he is now rich enough not to worry about the money he owes. In a following scene they discuss how reliable Banister is at repaying his loans to them and then talk about the bitter hostility between Cromwell and Gardiner.

A citizen of London in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley, Stukeley's page assists Old Stukeley in discovering his wayward son's various adventures, both at home and abroad.


A knight in the anonymous Jack Straw. Sir John Newton reports to Spencer that King Richard II did not keep his first promise to talk with the rebels because the commoners made so much noise that the king was afraid that they were involved in a plot against him. Later, Newton tells the rebels that they need to select a spokesperson so that the king can hear their grievances. After some of the rebels have ignored the king's instructions to go home, Newton asks the group to speak with the King. When Jacke Strawe demands Newton's sword, the nobleman refuses. In the ensuing fight, Newton kills Strawe, which leaves the mob leaderless. King Richard II quickly appoints himself leader. Newton acknowledges the benefits of mercy, but he suggests that the king is pardoning too many people, too quickly and has special reservations about allowing Tyler and Ball to go free.

NIB **1632

Only mentioned in Hausted’s Rival Friends. A cat in the kitchen of the Queen of Fairies. Anteros says Ursely was her kitten.


One of the Duke's counselors, father to Julia in Ford's Love's Sacrifice. With Petruchio he represents the old order of moral courtiers outraged by the degeneracy of the new Duke's régime. He bitterly rejects his daughter when he learns of her pregnancy. Relenting together with Petruchio, both fathers command their daughters to be revenged on their seducer, Ferentes. He successfully pleads for his daughter's life and liberty after the murder of Ferentes. Together with Petruchio, after the murder of the Duchess, he is convinced by Fernando's declaration of the innocence of the platonic lovers. He accepts that the Duke is a jealous madman, and agrees too late to rescue the Duchess. He offers his own sword to the unarmed hero. He is not subsequently mentioned by name, but his attendance at the Duchess's tomb with the rest of the court, may be inferred.

NICANOR **1585

A Captain under Sardinapalus in ?Tarlton's Three Plays in One. He helps Arbactus defeat Sardinapalus.

NICANOR **1604

Nicanor is a "ghost character" in Daniel's Philotas. According to Dymnus, Nicanor is part of a plot to kill Alexander. Elsewhere, however, Philotas refers to a now-deceased Nicanor, his brother, and describes him as the 'half arch' of his father's house.

NICANOR **1608

Nicanor is a spy in Shakespeare's Coriolanus. He is a Roman who sympathizes with the city's enemies and provides intelligence to the Volscians. His tells the Volscian spy Adrian of Coriolanus's banishment from Rome.

NICANOR **1618

An aging nobleman of Sicilia in the anonymous Swetnam, one of King Atticus' leading councillors and charged by him with the guardianship of Princess Leonida. At the outset, Nicanor appears as loyal and dedicated to the crown as Iago and Sforza. However, we soon discover that he has designs on the crown and wishes to be made Atticus' heir at any cost. At first he tries to reach this goal by courting Princess Leonida. However, the fact that he unknowingly reveals his plots to her lover Lisandro, who is disguised as a Friar, does nothing to further his suit. When he discovers from his servant Scanfardo that Lisandro and the Princess have been meeting in secret, he is delighted to revenge himself by accusing them of treason before the King. At the trial, he recommends the use of torture to force Lisandro and Leonida to admit one another's guilt; Iago accuses him of cruelty and tyranny, but he laughs the accusation off. He abets Swetnam's arraignment of Leonida and helps to bring about her condemnation. He pretends grief at Leonida's supposed death, but is in fact thrilled, as he stands next in line for the throne. He decides to bring the day of his good fortune closer by designing a masque that will bring the King to despair by showing him his own guilt. However, he unwisely invites the help of the 'Amazon' Atlanta in this regard, and she introduces the figure of Repentance into Nicanor's masque of sin. Nicanor himself is moved to grief by Repentance's appearance. Confronted with the apparent resurrection of Lorenzo, Leonida and Lisandro, he professes himself contrite–although he blames Leonida's rejection of him, rather than lust for power, for his sins, suggesting that some of Swetnam's misogyny lives on.

NICANOR **1620

A courtier in May's The Heir. He attends the King, who confides to him his guilt at the consequences of his binding oath not to pardon Philocles. He tries to help by checking through a textbook of ecclesiastical law, 'The Taxes of the Apostolic Chancery', which fails to offer a solution; he further finds a lawyer, Matho, who, to their joint surprise, is too honest to be of help. Nicanor accompanies his royal master to Philocles's trial, which they overhear in secret and thereby witness the happy conclusion.

NICANOR **1626

A Roman Captain in Hemminge's The Jews' Tragedy, paired with Valerio in service to Vespatian and later Titus Caesar. The more humorous and disgruntled of the pair, but loyal and efficient. Both Captains conduct the search for Josephus after his defeat at Jotapata and take his honorable surrender. They are equally active in ceremonial and combat scenes. Titus interrogates them closely after the massacre of refugees but accepts their innocence. Nicanor initiates the performance of the masque to placate Titus and with Valerio is active in the capture of Skimeon, whom he identifies beneath his disguise.


Nicasia is Panthea's companion in the anonymous Wars of Cyrus; her singing brings comfort to her lady. In sympathy, when Panthea kills herself Nicasia leaps into the river Euphrates.


Nice is Cousin to Gripe and serves mainly as comic relief in S.S's Honest Lawyer. He is deeply superstitious and takes everything as a sign that ill will happen. He decides not to travel to Bedford for his wedding, for example, because Gripe has spilled salt towards him, although when Thirsty spills wine in his lap he takes that as a counter sign and agrees to keep the wedding plans. He has little to do in terms of the actual plot-he refuses Anne and Robin aid when they ask and goes to seek help for Gripe from Sir Bare Notwithstanding-instead he mostly comments from the background.

NICE **1641

Family name of Mr. and Mrs. Nice, Splendora, and William in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden.

NICE **1641

Nice is the chambermaid of the elderly rich widow who is the mother of Simpleton in Cavendish's The Variety. Nice exchanges places with her mistress in order to fool the widow's suitors. Nice is married to Galliard, who believes she is the widow. When Galliard learns that he has been gulled, he is at first angry, but when exposed as something of a fraud himself, is happy enough in his marriage. She is required to give back the jewel that has been used to lure suitors.


A rich merchant in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden, Mr Nice is father to Splendora and disapproves of her relationship with Mercurio, thinking instead to marry her to Sir Reverence Lamard. He has Mercurio arrested on the pretext of debt. After being tricked into believing that Mercurio has died in prison, he changes his mind about Mercutio's suitability as a husband for his daughter.


A "ghost character" in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden. Splendora's mother is referred to in the dialogue as calling for her daughter, and in connection with her son's journey to France.


Niceness is an allegorical figure residing in the court of Venus in Wilson's The Cobbler's Prophecy. Mars overhears a dialogue between Niceness and Newfangle in the garden. Niceness plays music with Folly, Newfangle, Jealousy and Dalliance, while Venus sings a lullaby to Mars.


A lawyer who demands money from the Clown in return for advice about how to conduct a paternity suit in William Rowley's The Birth of Merlin: or, The Child Hath Found His Father. When the Clown threatens to accuse him of being the father, Sir Nichodemus says his name is 'Nothing', thereby adapting a joke as old as The Odyssey.


A "ghost character" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Novice names "nimble Nichol" in a list of boys who have left "the satchell" and "turne[d] fine gentlemen" while entreating Complement to "consider" tutoring him, and Implement claims that each boy in this list has "profited very well" under Captaine Complement and himself. This character is, presumably, the same character whom Implement is referring to when he describes the accomplishments of a "Mister Nimble."


One of judge All For Money's suitors in Lupton's All For Money. Nichol Never Out Of The Law is a rich franklin who wants his poor neighbour's land. All For Money accepts to postpone the judgement to allow Nichol to procure forged documents and false witnesses.


A "ghost character" in Udall's Ralph Roister Doister. Nichol Neverthrive is one of the individuals Merrygreek admits to having sponged from before taking up with Ralph Roister Doister.


Sinquapace's usher in Middleton's More Dissemblers Besides Women. He demonstrates dancing while Sinquapace plays the viol.


One of Petruchio's servants in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Nicholas, along with fellow servants Curtis, Nathaniel, Joseph, Peter, Philip, Walter, and Sugarsop, remains in Verona while Petruchio and Grumio travel to Padua to find a wife for Petruchio.


Frankford's loyal servant in Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness. Nicholas is suspicious of Wendoll, and informs Frankford of his affair with Anne. He assists Frankford in catching the adulterers in flagrante delicto. Later, he is moved by Anne's repentance.


A boy singer in Jonson's The Staple of News who performs Madrigal's ode to Pecunia in the Tavern.


Nicholas Bromley in S.S's Honest Lawyer was formerly the Vaster steward, but is now is independent and holds the mortgage on Sagar's property. When Sagar refuses to give up his lands Bromley decides to kill him, and shoots what he thinks is Sagar in a field. He is immediately afraid of getting caught and runs off, but his crime is found out by Griffin, who agrees to conceal the fact if they share the lands. He is accused of the murder and at first denies it, but finally admits to the crime and implicates Griffin. Benjamin then tells Bromley to give up his lease to Sagar's wife and children. When he does so, Sagar then reveals himself.


A young student in Ruggle’s Club Law. Much is made of his diminutive size. He hits Brecknocke in the head with an apple. Cricket lures Tavie from the Burgomaster’s feast by telling him a countryman named Morgan waits for him. Tavie goes to Cricket’s room where he is locked in and whipped until he misses his dinner. Whilst eavesdropping under a window, he learns of the plan for Colby to steal the students’ corn away in his coal wagon. While waiting to catch Colby, and for a prank, he ties a rope across the Burgomaster’s threshold, cries “murder," and trips Niphle, Tavie, Puff, and Catch as they rush out. He then beats them with his club. He overhears Niphle setting up the assignation for Luce and telling Tavie that the password will be “I burn." After they arrest Colby and the colliers stealing corn, he tells Musonius of the assignation planned between Niphle and Luce at Tavie’s house. Whilst waiting for Musonius to return from Rector with a warrant of arrest, Cricket knocks on Tavie’s door thrice and gives the password. When Tavie answers, he knocks Tavie down. He is offended when Musonius returns and sends him away, as he is but a ‘boy.’ He returns, however, in time to see Niphle sneak into a tub where a vagabond wench is already sleeping. With this knowledge, he has the searchers name him their captain and then betrays Niphles hiding place. The searchers find Niphle hiding in a tub with a beggar-wench and parade them to jail in the tub. He returns to assist Musonius in stealing the arsenal of staves and poles from Cobly’s storehouse where he taunts Monsieur Grand Combatant that the Frenchman will be the first to run away when the fight begins. In the fight, Cricket acquits himself well and earns Musonius’s praise. He glories in seeing the townsmen take an oath of subservience to the students. When Tavie approaches him for employment, he says that he will talk to the Butler about makin Tavie an under skinker in the Buttery–and assures the audience that he intends to do nothing but mock at him and make him an arrant fool. He delivers the epilogue, saying that all was in good fun and craving applause.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. Although never appearing on stage, Sir Nicholas Gawsey is a knight reported as sent by Prince Henry from Shrewsbury to obtain reinforcements.


Only mentioned in Jonson's The Alchemist. Harry Nicholas was a religious fanatic. The timid Drugger enters upon a scene in which all the cheated people complain of their hardships before the authorities. The puritans are loudest among them. When Drugger enters, Lovewit thinks he is one of the extremist puritans and chases him away yelling, "you, Harry Nicholas!"


Sir Nicholas Mannering is one of the rebel lords in Greene's George a Greene. He is sent by Kendall to demand provisions from the towns. When he meets with the townspeople of Wakefield, Justice Woodruffe tells him that they will not help the rebels. Mannering threatens them, but George steps in and tears his commission and then forces Mannering to eat the three seals.


The name taken by Gerardine in Middleton's The Family of Love when disguised as a porter.


Sir Nicholas Nemo offers to help Sincerity and invites him to his house in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London, but Sincerity can see that he is a nonentity. Sure enough, when Sincerity and Simplicity visit Nemo's house, there is nothing there.


Sir Nicholas Nemo is a fictional suitor of the Widow invented by Jarvis and impersonated by John in order to gull Bloodhound into taking home Mistress Coote instead of the Widow in William Rowley's A Match at Midnight. John walks up and down in a sinister way to increase Bloodhound's urgent desire to keep the Widow under observation at his house.


A baker and Brecknocke's successor as Burgomaster in Ruggle’s Club Law. “He’ll do anything as he is Nicolas Nifle; and all his fellow bretheren are Asses; wee ragtailes." He agrees to make Tavie chief sergeant in return for Tavie supplying him with Luce, the courtesan at Tavie’s house. Once elected, he promises the town to be unmerciful on the students. He tells Colby to carry away their corn. He later trips over Cricket’s rope and is beaten. He sets up an assignation for Luce, telling Tavie that his password will be “I burn." He arrives and is surprised when Tavie will not at first let him in, saying he has already beaten his head once. At last he gets in but the Rector sends a warrant to search for him there with Luce and he must escape. He hides in a tub but there is a poor wench already sleeping there. Cricket sees him, however, and betrays him to the search. He tries to maintain that he was arresting the beggar-wench, but she tells them he offered her two pence to lie still. He is found out and arrested along with the beggar-wench and both are paraded to jail in their tub. He is released from prison after the fight and is followed by angry mobs of townsfolk who shout at him. He goes to Brecknocke to have him go with him to the duke for remedy, but Brecknocke refuses. He next approaches Colby and Rumford and finds them willing. Brecknocke and two burgesses entreat them not to cause more harm, and Niphle comes up with a compromise plan to appear to make peace with the students and look for an opportunity for revenge. He leads the townsmen before Philenius and Musonius and acts as spokesman. He agrees to their order to take an oath to be subservient.


Nicholas Proverbs is Master Barnes's servant in Porter's 1 The Two Angry Women of Abingdon. He tells Barnes the time and gets the tables so that the women can play at dice, but speaks constantly in proverbs, to the irritation of Barnes's son, Phillip, who amuses his father by imitating him. Phillip claims that Nicholas chooses to talk in proverbs so that he will always speak the truth. He takes a letter from Master Barnes to Master Gourcey proposing a marriage between Mall, Barnes's daughter and Frank, Gourcey's son. He gives the letter to Frank to pass on to the father. On the eventful night when everybody is running in and out of the dark, looking for each other, he utters more proverbs but does nothing .


A reprobate spark, son to Rooksbill, who, before the action of Brome's The Weeding of Covent Garden, was the "slippery Trojan" who took shameless advantage of a lovelorn, and subsequently ruined, Dorcas. He is sympathetic to Mihil's desire to marry his sister Lucy Rooksbill, but only on the condition, assuming himself to be disinherited, that he will recover half of the family estate. Finally recognizing Damaris as Dorcas, Nicholas undergoes an alehouse conversion and, by marriage, makes her an honest woman. His recuperation is contingent, however, because it is unclear whether this marriage is emotionally sincere or merely intended as a satisfaction of conventional morality.


Servant to Lady Plus and Sir Godfrey in Middleton's(?) Puritan. A kinsman to Idle, he joins with Oath in attempting to free him. He is not convinced by Idle to steal his master's gold chain, which Idle will use to purchase his freedom; instead, he "loans" it to Pyeboard, who convinces Nicholas to tell his master that Idle can retrieve the stolen item, if he is freed from jail.


He is the parish priest of Ards, Picardy in the anonymous Weakest Goeth to the Wall. The downcast Lodowick addresses him as he is reading a letter in Latin. Hearing Latin, Sir Nicholas is disturbed. He likes plain language and reprimands Lodowick for using Latin and inkhorn terms. When Lodowick laments that these days everyone is suspicious of a man who is poor, Sir Nicholas offers him the job of parish sexton and gravedigger, explaining that it will not pay much but it will provide him with a rent-free house. Lodowick accepts. When Frederick and Odillia, fleeing from her father, meet Lodowick dressed as a sexton, Ferdinand asks Lodowick, as a representative of the church, to arrange for him to marry Odillia. Sir Nicholas agrees to perform the ceremony. When Ferdinand announces he is leaving to join the wars in France, Sir Nicholas comforts Odillia in her distress. Shortly thereafter, because he has to play a game of bowls that afternoon, Nicholas persuades the disguised Lodowick to read a paper in church announcing that all Lodowick's lands and property are to be returned to him. Lodowick explains that he must leave and persuades Sir Nicholas to let Bunch replace him as sexton. When Lodowick is restored, Sir Nicholas receives a letter from him explaining his true identity. Nicholas is proud. But he cannot write a letter so asks Odillia, who has been summoned to see Lodowick, to convey his thanks to the Duke and to tell him that he would like to be vicar of a richer parish. After Odillia leaves to go to Lodowick, Nicholas and Bunch go off to the Dragon for a pot of ale. There will be no church service that night, says Bunch.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Pilgrim. The parish priest to the four peasants who attack Roderigo in Segonia. They regret that Sir Nicholas is not with them, as Roderigo was known "for ringing all in with [the priest's] wife in the belfry."


Nicholas Stuff is Lady Frances Frampul's tailor in Jonson's The New Inn. In her suite at the New Inn, Lady Frampul discusses with Prudence about fashion and the unreliability of tailors. Lady Frampul says that her tailor never delivers on time. Prudence and Lady Frampul indulge on a fantasy of horrors being inflicted on the poor tailor. The tortures include being cropped with his own scissors and having the stumps seared with his own searing candle. In another dream of horror, the tailor would be stretched in his own yard, or have an eel of taffeta shoved up his guts by way of glister. Both Prudence and Lady Frampul show a morbid imagination in devising tortures for the tailor. Lady Frampul says that burning his hand with his own pressing iron is not enough punishment for not having delivered her gown on time. In fact, the reason for which Stuff did not deliver Lady Frampul's dress on time was because he had a sexual fantasy to perform. He likes dressing his wife up in the new gowns he made for the ladies, calling her a Countess. He pretends to be her coachman, takes her to an inn, and has fiery sex with her. Actually, Stuff disguises himself as Trundle, Lady Frampul's coachman. After having played the coachman, Stuff enters with his wife, Pinnacia, dressed in an elegant gown. When Lady Frampul recognizes the dress designed for her on Pinnacia, Stuff's disguise is discovered, and Pinnacia reveals her husband's sexual fantasy. Lady Frampul orders that Pinnacia should be stripped of her elegant clothes and sent home in a cart, wearing only her flannel. Stuff, the pretended footman, must walk before her and beat the drum. This practice was meant to ridicule the aggressive wife and the henpecked husband and, in this situation, it draws the public opprobrium on the sexually deviating couple.


Treedle is the knight to whom Sir Richley has pledged his daughter Violetta in Shirley's The Witty Fair One. A foolish man who keeps a Tutor for learning travel by book, Treedle has seldom seen his bride-to-be and is easily duped into wedding Sensible, a chambermaid disguised in her mistress' garb. Rather than lose face and admit his mistake, Treedle takes Brains' advice and claims to have wed Sensible on purpose.


Name given to the Burgomaster by Palsgrave in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk.


Vaux is in attendance in Shakespeare's Henry VIII as the Duke of Buckingham is led to execution at the water's edge.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Clyomon and Clamydes. One of Corin's neighbors who has a daughter.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Clyomon and Clamydes. Corin knows her as "a jolly smug whore" with fat cheeks who is sure to like the looks of "Jack" (Neronis in disguise).


Nichomachus is the brother of Cebalinus in Daniel's Philotas. He was befriended by Dymnus, who tried to involve him with a plot against Alexander. When Nichomachus refuses to join the plot, Dymnus threatens him in an attempt to keep him quiet. Nichomachus promised to keep the plot secret, but told his brother, who informed Philotas. He later testifies before Alexander at the trial of Philotas.

NICK **1607

The barber in The Grocer's Honour portion of Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. The Host nicknames him Barbaroso, supposedly a notorious giant. He and the Knight of the Burning Pestle fight. He is defeated and must beg for his life. Then his "captives" (actually clients undergoing treatments for venereal disease) are released. His character and the action of this sequence are lifted from Cervantes' Don Quixote.

NICK **1611

One of Whorehound's bastards by Mrs. Allwit in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. He and his brother Wat call Allwit "father" in Whorehound's presence, and Allwit fears Whorehound will hear them. Allwit calls both boys "bastard" and, ironically, "Whoreson." Toward play's end, he and all his siblings are brought before Whorehouse as he lies wounded.

NICK **1641

A "ghost character" in Quarles' The Virgin Widow. Nick the butler's boy is mentioned by Cis and Madge.


Nick Bottom, a weaver by profession, is one of the rude mechanicals in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Misusing words in a typical Shakespearean clown fashion (saying 'odious' when he means 'odorous' flowers, et cetera), Bottom has an inflated sense of his own dramatic capabilities. He takes the role of Pyramus in the clowns' theatrical production of Pyramus and Thisbe and spends an eventful night with Titania, his head transformed by Puck into that of an ass and Titania's view of him transformed by Oberon's love essence into one of passionate dotage. His performance as Pyramus at the play's end is one of the most amusingly overacted in all of Shakespeare: he has seven lines of dialogue after stabbing himself and repeats the word 'die' not fewer than five times in his final moment.


A friar in Dekker's If It Be Not Good, reported to have stabbed another friar, Silvester, in a drunken rage.


Nicodemus is a character in "The Triumph of Honor," the first play within the play of Fletcher's Four Plays in One. He is a corporal in the Roman army who owes Cornelius money and who has slept with Cornelius's wife. He gulls Cornelius with a money-making plan that results in a beating for Cornelius.


A "ghost character" in Daniel's The Queen's Arcadia. Nicoginus is the father of Colax.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Copernicus is mentioned by Doctor Clyster when, having heard Master Algebra's claim that "the earth moves and that the sun stands still", he replies "Sir, this was a drunken conceit of Copernicus the German and Tycho Brahe the Dane." Later, Copernicus is mentioned by Doctor Clyster again, when he offers Master Algebra a cure for his disease: "I shall beseech you not to taste Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, or Kepler, but especially Galileo." Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Polish astronomer who defended the astronomical theory that the Earth spins on its axis once daily as it revolves around the sun–which is stationary–annually.


The Florentine aristocrat Lord Nicoletto Vanni is Dariene's husband in Dekker's Wonder of A Kingdom. He is also father of their daughter Alisandra, an old friend of the Duke, and the uncle of the prodigal Signior Torrenti. Like Tibaldo Neri, he is a secret lover. His and Tibaldo's schemes to gain access to the women they love drives much of the play's plot. In Act IV, Vanni's final attempt to seduce Alphonsina provokes the resolution of the two secret lovers' pursuits. Vanni appears extremely energetic in spite of his age. After the initial meeting at court, he intervenes in Angelo Lotti and Piero's swordfight, and parts them immediately. He questions Angelo about his presence in Florence, and reminds him that he has been officially banished. After Angelo's subsequent departure, Lord Vanni commands his servant Cargo to deliver a jewel and love letter to Fiammeta, who had mockingly rejected his earlier advances. Cargo returns with Alphonsina's reply, and Vanni immediately leaves for the Florentine court. There, at a procession led by Signior Torrenti, Vanni's nephew, he rebukes his nephew for his profligacy. Lord Vanni admonishes him to be careful with his inherited riches, or he will find himself bankrupt. The next time Lord Vanni appears on stage, he takes leave from his wife under the pretence of having to read an important document for the Duke, but steals away to Alphonsina's chamber, where he attempts to seduce her. This is interrupted when his son Trebatio, enters, playing a flute. Alphonsina seems to dismiss Trebatio, assuring Lord Vanni that he has won her. However, Cargo suddenly storms on stage to tell his master that Dariene has found out her husband's adulterous intentions. She enters and explains that she knew all along and that she, Alphonsina and Trebatio had deliberately played this trick on Vanni. She informs him that his son and Alphonsina are engaged. Vanni gives them his blessing, and asks his wife for forgiveness.


A servant to Pantaloni in Brome's The Novella. Pantaloni saved Nicolo's father from the galleys and constantly reminds him of this fact. Nicolo grows resentful of Pantaloni and conspires to cross him. Pantaloni instructs him to disguise himself as a Zaffi and bribe the hangman to converse with the Novella. Instead, he reveals this plan to Fabritio. Dressed as a Zaffi, he encounters a real Zaffi outside Guadagni's house when Flavia's chest of jewelry is thrown out. The two conspire to split the contents. He returns at the end of the play dressed as a Zaffi to identify Fabritio as the hangman, prompting Fabritio to remove his disguise.


A "ghost character" in Kyd's Cornelia. A Middle Eastern King of little importance, and yet Cassius judges him to be more worthy than Caesar.


Nicusa is the nephew of Sebastian in Fletcher and Massinger's The Sea Voyage. Pirates attacked the Portuguese settlers and pursued their ships when they fled, marooning them on the islands. Sebastian and Nicusa were the only male survivors after fights broke out between the survivors over the treasure. They offer to pay Albert for their passage from the island, but take the opportunity to steal his ship when the Frenchmen begin to fight over the treasure. They encounter another storm and are rescued by Raymond. Raymond takes Nicusa and Sebastian back to the island in search of Albert and Aminta, and when he finds nobody there he leaves them there with four days' supplies, vowing to return only if he finds evidence of the Frenchmen having been on the island. Sebastian and Nicusa are rescued by Crocale and Tibalt and are brought to Rosellia just in time to prevent the sacrifice of Albert and Raymond.

NIECE **1604

The care of this unnamed Niece was left to Falso when his brother, her father, died in Middleton's The Phoenix. The Niece loves Fidelio, but her uncle Falso presses her for intimacy, and he has no intention of approving a husband for her or parting with the dowry set aside for her by her deceased father. Privy to much of what goes on in Falso's home, she is aware that it was the servants of Falso who robbed Phoenix and Fidelio. Her plight is relieved at the play's end when Phoenix reveals before the Duke all the chicanery he has observed while traveling about Ferrara.

NIECE **1609

The Niece of Sir Perfidious Oldcraft is a rich and witty heiress in Middleton and Rowley's Wit at Several Weapons. When Sir Perfidious introduces Cunningham as her proposed husband, she is delighted, and is horrified when her uncle reveals that Sir Gregory is in fact the proposed candidate. She pretends to find Gregory attractive, but only when he father is around. When she sees Cunningham wooing the Guardianess, she tries to make him jealous by wooing Pompey the clown in front of him, and tells the Guardianess that Cunningham is only trying to get access to her own niece, Mirabell. She confuses Gregory by railing on him when they are alone, but speaking lovingly when Sir Perfidious is present. Cunningham gulls Sir Gregory into delivering a secret love-letter to her, and convinces her that he loves her by wooing a woman openly in front of her and then revealing that it was merely a puppet. She is delighted by Cunningham's wit, and they elope under the cover of a masked ball.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher and Massinger's The Little French Lawyer. She is mentioned in the play's concluding lines in order to provide a partner for the reformed Dinant.


A "ghost character" in Chapman's Sir Giles Goosecap. She is the niece of the Countess of Lancashire, whom she accompanied in a trip where they met Lord Furnifall.


King Edward II plans to marry his niece to his beloved Gaveston in Marlowe's Edward II. Heir to the Earl of Gloucester, she is in love with the king's favorite and is delighted by the prospect of the wedding. She asks Edward to take the late earl's servant, Spencer, and her own tutor, Baldock, into his court, and they become his flatterers after Gaveston is assassinated.


Hornet's Niece has been secluded by Hornet in Shirley's Constant Maid, who wants to keep her dowry for himself. Her supposed melancholy is cured through a clever ruse of Hornet's Cousin, disguised as a doctor. Later, the Cousin obtains the keys to release the Niece; she weds her beloved Playfair at the home of Sir Clement.


A disguise assumed by Valentine in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable, but he is almost instantly revealed when Knowell pulls his wig off in front of Covet and the rest.


Niente is a servant of Alteza in Davenant's The Just Italian. He is threatened by Altamont and rather than fight, seeks Alteza for safety. When Alteza finally decides to sleep with Sciolto, Niente is the one ordered to prepare the bedroom. He is also the one who reveals to Charintha the true identity of Florello. Finally, after Alteza's change of heart, she dismisses from her service and gives him gold to keep him from further sin. Niente leaves with the ambiguous promise to mend or become worse.


A disguise which Olimpa assumes throughout Wilde's Love's Hospital, Nigella is a "blackamoore" who has been given to Facetia as a gift from Surdato. In this disguise Olimpa assists Comastes and Piscinus in their suits to Facetia, is almost forced to marry Caecilius at the cruel hands of Lysander and Lepidus, and helps to prevent the marriage of Facetia and Lysander before eventually revealing her true identity at the play's end.

NIGER **1622

A loyal soldier and a servant to the emperor Numerianus in Fletcher and Massinger's The Prophetess. Niger reveals his suspicions that the emperor has been murdered to Charinus, Numerianus' brother. Niger identifies Aper as the killer and suggests that Charinus put a price on Aper's head. When Charinus agrees, Niger discreetly spreads the word that Aper's killer will be named co-emperor and will win the hand of Aurelia, Charinus' sister. Diocles hears Niger make this offer. After Aper's execution, Niger announces the arrival of Charinus and Aurelia, and Diocles rewards him by making him pro-consul of France. In the dumb show, Niger tries to persuade Aurelia to marry Diocles, and is unable to defend Aurelia and Charinus against the Persians. After expressing his loyalty to Diocles, who proposes to rescue the captives, Niger negotiates the terms of the battle between the Romans and Persians and entreats the Persians to treat their captives well. When the Romans defeat the Persians, Niger announces the victory, and suggests additional honors for Diocles. Diocles declines the honors and gives his share of the empire to his nephew Maximinian. When Maximinian and Charinus have a falling out over how to rule Rome, Niger attempts to appease Charinus.

NIGER **1635

A "ghost character" in Kirke's The Seven Champions of Christendom. A knight with sable horse and sable armor, who hopes to slay the dragon of Trebizond. The dragon eats him.


Night is a character in the masque in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy.


Nightingale is a ballad singer and an accomplice to Edgworth in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. At the Fair, Nightingale advertises his wares as everybody else, only in rhymed couplets. He invites customers to buy new ballads. Making a show of selling his ballads, Nightingale whispers to Edgworth about the disposal of the stolen goods. It seems that Nightingale distracts the customers' attention with his singing, while Edgworth pinches their purses. Then, Nightingale takes over the stolen things and takes them to Ursula's booth. Nightingale attends the fight provoked by Knockem with the purpose of distracting Quarlous and Winwife, and having Edgworth rob them. While Cokes listens in admiration to Overdo's anti-tobacco speech, Edgworth picks Cokes' purse and gives it to Nightingale with the instruction to take it to Ursula's. Nightingale leaves discreetly. Later, while Nightingale sings his song, a spell against cutpurses, Edgworth steals Cokes' second purse. Edgworth gives the purse to Nightingale. Without giving the others time to say something, Edgworth starts abusing the poet, telling him to go away. Thus, Nightingale exits the crime scene with the stolen purse. When Cokes enters alone and rather lost, Nightingale tells the naïve young man that he is practicing a new tune, Nightingale makes Coster-monger trip and fall with his basket of pears. When Cokes offers to help him pick up the pears, Nightingale volunteers to hold Cokes' cloak and sword, running away with the things.


A warbler in Shirley's Hyde Park, sings repeatedly in Hyde Park, raising hopes of good luck for characters including Carol, Lord Bonville, and Bonavent.


Gentlewoman to Lady Loveright in Davenant's News From Plymouth. She delivers a letter announcing Warwell's arrival to Loveright. Later, she delivers news that Warwell and Seawit plan to duel. She may also be the character identified as "Lady Loveright's woman" in I.ii.


A “ghost character" and fictitious in Dekker’s Match Me in London. When Cordolente learns he is to be cuckolded, he says the Night-Mare rides his wife.


The family name of Old Nightwork, Jane and Robin in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV.

NIGRO **1636

Facertes’s foster father in Killigrew’s The Princess. He took Facertes and Terresius took Lucius when they were young. When the old king fell in battle (before the play begins), Nigro charged the Romans and would have died except Virgilius spared the old man in reverence of his age. He falls from wounds suffered into Cicilia’s arms. The soldiers that take Cicilia away drag his and the viceroy’s bodies into the woods for later burial. He is still alive, however, and finds the lieutenant. The lieutenant resolves to help the old man and entrusts him to Crabb’s care. He tells Cilius, Terresius, and the lieutenant who he is and that a worthy woman was with him that has since been stolen from them all and sold in Naples. Nigro tells Terresius his identity and finds the pirates are sympathetic to his cause. He is on hand at play’s end to help reveal the true identities of the young people and bring about harmony.


A justice in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass who will acknowledge no offenders.


Nilo is an officer in Beaumont & Fletcher's Cupid's Revenge. He orders the desecration of the temple of Cupid.


Nilus is one of the characters in the masque Ptolemy arranges for Caesar in Fletcher and Massinger's The False One. Nilus sings a song describing the wealth the river brings, both in fertility for the land, and in gold and pearls. After this song, masquers enter, representing the seven heads of Nilus.

NIM **1601

‘A lift’ in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. He welcomes Shift to Colchester by ‘clapping his two thumbs upon his fellowes lips’ saying ‘welcome to Colchester by these couple of Teasters’. When they overhear Pearle ordering the ‘Bolle’ from Wright, he promises Shift that he will ‘have such a hurl of Legerdemaine’ at it as to astonish the other thief. He eats at the Tarlton tavern with Shift and, to pay, promises Pigot that he will steal the ‘Bolle’ that Pearle has ordered. He uses the phrase ‘Rome was not built in a day.’ Pretending to be Mr. Wright’s man, he presents a hare to Christian for cooking. He asks to have the ‘Bolle’ back, and gets it, earning the praise of Pigot and Shift. He stands silently by and enjoys watching as Pearle discovers that his prize has been taken. He helps encourage the sport as Pearle grows angry and threatens to beat Christian. He and Shift disguise as sergeants, approach and arrest Pearle, saying they do so in the name of Wright, the goldsmith. With Pigot’s help, they agree to let Pearle go in exchange for two Angels apiece, forty shillings, and he must buy them wine. When all is resolved between the cuckolds and cuckqueans, Pigot keeps the money they extorted and returns the ‘Bolle’ to Pearle in exchange for Pearle showing mercy to the ‘lifts’; Pearle (showing lenience) banishes Nim and Shift from Colchester with the clothes on their backs and money in their pockets and if they ever return they are to be given a firkin apiece at the town’s expense.

NIMBLE **1592

Servant to Tresilian in the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock, for whom he acts as comic retainer and agent; he is the focus of the play's comic interest. Nimble is not impressed by his master's promotion to Lord Chief Justice of England, but he welcomes the improvement in his own prospects, and is very happy to act as agent with the "blank charters" - blank cheques which King Richard is imposing on his people as an extraordinary form of taxation. Nimble easily outmanoeuvres the Butcher, the Farmer, Cowtail the Grazier, the Schoolmaster, the Serving-man, the Whistler, and Ignorance the Bailiff into signing the charters, and many cases also suffering arrest. In the final battle between the King's uncles and his favorites, Nimble and Tresilian both decide to take off their armour in order to run away more easily; Nimble capitalizes on his situation by seizing his master and handing him over to the other side. It seems from the last surviving scene that he succeeds in thereby exculpating himself.

NIMBLE **1627

A "ghost character" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Implement describes the accomplishments of a "Mister Nimble" who has "profited very well" under the tutorage of Captaine Complement and himself. This is, presumably, the same character whom Novice refers to as "nimble Nichol" when reciting a list of boys who have left "the satchell" and "turne[d] fine gentlemen" while entreating Complement to "consider" tutoring him.


A prentice in service to Hobson in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me.


An idle lover in the anonymous Philander, King of Thrace. None of his actions are recounted in the surviving plot.


An attendant on Scattergood in Cooke's Greene's Tu Quoque.


A grasping, reckless justice in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass.

NIMMER, TOM **1629

Nimmer is a friend of Shirke's in Randolph's(?) The Drinking Academy and helps him in his plots against Knowlittle. He delivers false messages to Knowlittle and Worldly, telling them both to visit Pecunia and setting up the robbery.


The lowborn son of a freedwoman in the anonymous Tragedy of Nero, Nimphidius has risen to become current court favorite and lover of Poppaea. But he is using her to gain political influence. He relishes Nero's excesses, especially the fire, and his lusts will cause his own destruction without a plotter's intervention. After the conspiracy is discovered, he is sent to arrest Lucan and Scevinus. In a long debate with Scevinus, his rehearsal of the emperor's great achievements contrasts with Scevinus's political idealism. Nero ignores his warning against complacency after the conspiracy is put down. Still, he plans to take power when Nero panics at the news of Galba's revolt and his inevitable defeat. He names Antonius Tribune during the anarchy following Nero's flight and believes the Emperor has escaped to Egypt. Captured by Galba's friends and, with Antonius, he is condemned to death at play's end.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by God as an example of man's sinfulness.


A pageant of the Nine Worthies is staged in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. During the Pageant, Marcade arrives with the news that the princess' father, the King of France, is dead.
Only mentioned in the anonymous Blurt, Master Constable. When Hipolito accuses Truepenny of having played the pander between Fontinel and Violetta, the page denies the allegation vigorously, swearing by the Nine Worthies that he would never do such a thing. Truepenny takes over Hipolito's association with Sir Pandarus of Troy and refers to a group of nine famous conquerors comprised of three pagans (Hector, Alexander, Julius Caesar), three Jews (Joshua, David, Maccabeus), and three Christians (Arthur, Charlemagne, Godfrey of Bouillon).
"Ghost characters" in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker. A group of ancient heroes mentioned by Joshua as an example of fighting men. Joshua is particularly proud of the fact that his namesake, the Hebrew hero Joshua, stands foremost in the painted cloth that depicts them.


Family name of Sir Innocent and Lady Ninny and their son, Sir Abraham Ninny, in Field's A Woman is a Weathercock.


Lady Ninny is the wife of Sir Innocent Ninny and the mother of Sir Abraham Ninny in Field's A Woman is a Weathercock. She is much larger than her husband, and is a drinker. She attends the wedding of Bellafront and Count Frederick and gets drunk at the wedding banquet. Before the wedding masque Sir Innocent and her aqua vitae bottle attend her. Sir John sends the First Servant to bring them to the hall. Lady Ninny and Sir Innocent agree to bless the marriage of Sir Abraham and Mistress Wagtail.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Mentioned by God as an example of man's sinfulness.
A "ghost character" in Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great, Part 2. A former conqueror of Babylon to whom Tamburlaine compares himself.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ninus does not appear in the play but supposedly lies in a tomb that forms part of a scene in the rude mechanicals' theatrical performance. "Old Ninus' tomb" is the rendezvous point for the lovers. Historically, Ninus is credited with founding the city of Nineveh.

NIOBE **1590

Niobe is one of Ceres' nymphs in Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis. She is being courted by Silvestris but she refuses to return his love, despite a lecture from Cupid on the proper way for lovers to behave. Silvestris complains to Cupid, who turns Niobe into a bird of paradise. Niobe is only returned to her true form when Ceres pleads with Cupid. However, Niobe says she would rather be turned back into a bird than fall in love. Ceres tries to change her mind and eventually Niobe agrees to be Silvestris' lover.

NIOBE **1601

Only mentioned in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. In Greek mythology, Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus. She boasted that she and her husband, Amphion, had many children, while Leto had only two. As punishment, Artemis and Apollo killed all Niobe's children and Zeus turned Niobe into a stone that wept continually. When Echo sits by the Fountain of Self-love lamenting her lover's death, she senses that the place is cursed with tragic deaths. Besides Narcissus's pining away out of self-love, Echo mentions the deaths of Acteon and Niobe. Echo shows Mercury the statue of weeping Niobe, a rock brought from the Phrigian mountains to stand there as a symbol of Diana's revenge. At the revels, Cynthia speaks solemnly declaring the celebrations concluded and mentioning Niobe's name concerning self-conceit. Cynthia says that Niobe, by presuming too much, was turned into stone. Cynthia intends to make her fate a lesson for all self-conceited mortals who dare challenge divine powers.


Niofell is the alias of Filenio when disguised as a doctor in the anonymous Wit of a Woman.


A "ghost character" in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. One of the workers in the shipyard. His name is called out by the Clerk of the Check.

NIPHLE, MRS. **1599

She would do anything for Philenius in Ruggle’s Club Law. She tells him of her husband’s plan to have the town’s boys beat the students with their own clubs.


A baker and Brecknocke's successor as Burgomaster in Ruggle’s Club Law. “He’ll do anything as he is Nicolas Nifle; and all his fellow bretheren are Asses; wee ragtailes." He agrees to make Tavie chief sergeant in return for Tavie supplying him with Luce, the courtesan at Tavie’s house. Once elected, he promises the town to be unmerciful on the students. He tells Colby to carry away their corn. He later trips over Cricket’s rope and is beaten. He sets up an assignation for Luce, telling Tavie that his password will be “I burn." He arrives and is surprised when Tavie will not at first let him in, saying he has already beaten his head once. At last he gets in but the Rector sends a warrant to search for him there with Luce and he must escape. He hides in a tub but there is a poor wench already sleeping there. Cricket sees him, however, and betrays him to the search. He tries to maintain that he was arresting the beggar-wench, but she tells them he offered her two pence to lie still. He is found out and arrested along with the beggar-wench and both are paraded to jail in their tub. He is released from prison after the fight and is followed by angry mobs of townsfolk who shout at him. He goes to Brecknocke to have him go with him to the duke for remedy, but Brecknocke refuses. He next approaches Colby and Rumford and finds them willing. Brecknocke and two burgesses entreat them not to cause more harm, and Niphle comes up with a compromise plan to appear to make peace with the students and look for an opportunity for revenge. He leads the townsmen before Philenius and Musonius and acts as spokesman. He agrees to their order to take an oath to be subservient.


Niraleus is a courtier to King Herod in Markham's Herod and Antipater. He has surveyed the Temple and states that the work ordered by Herod has made the Temple better than it was originally under Salomon. He offers details as to the building structure, size, and materials. When Antipater's treachery is suspected, Niraleus is sent to bring Antipater back from Rome.

NISA **1590

Nisa is one of Ceres' nymphs in Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis. She is being courted by Ramis but she refuses to return his love, despite a lecture from Cupid on the proper way for lovers to behave. Ramis complains to Cupid, who turns Nisa into stone. Nisa is only returned to her true form when Ceres pleads with Cupid. However, Nisa says she would rather be turned back into stone than fall in love. Ceres tries to change her mind and eventually Nisa agrees to be Ramis' lover.

NISA **1605

A "ghost character" in Daniel's The Queen's Arcadia. Colax told Silvia that he saw Palaemon courting Nisa in the woods.

NISUS **1608

Nisus is a lord at the court of the duke Leontius in Beaumont & Fletcher's Cupid's Revenge. With his fellow lords Dorialus and Agenor he speculates about Leontius' birthday gift to his daughter Hidaspes. Leontius has promised to grant Hidaspes any request she cares to make; the lords are doubtful about the wisdom of this decision. On hearing her demand that the cult of Cupid be suppressed in Licia they are even more doubtful: although they agree that the Licians have lived wickedly, they fear the revenge of Cupid and regret that they are unlikely to retain their sexual freedom. The three lords attend Leontius and witness his refusal to grant Hidaspes' request to be allowed to marry the dwarf Zoylus . They later comment cynically on the execution of Zoylus, the dispatch of Leontius' son and heir Leucippus to the wars, and the marriage of Bacha and Leontius. Having roused Leontius' suspicions about his son, Bacha sends Agenor, Nisus and Dorialus to Leontius to defend Leucippus, knowing that this will make him even more suspicious. The lords later discuss the prince's coming execution. Dorialus refuses to watch, and Agenor and Nisus witness Leucippus' rescue by the citizens. Ismenus, Agenor, Dorialus and Nisus bring the news that Leontius is dead. They take Bacha to Leucippus, where the lords witness her murder of Leucippus and subsequent suicide. They will accompany the new duke, Ismenus, and the body of Leucippus back to the court.

NISUS **1639

Only mentioned by Julio in J.D.'s The Knave In Grain New Vamped, who says that he'd try to defeat Antonio, even if he were as dear as Nisus to Euralius.


Nitido is the young page of the Marquis, Octavio in Ford's The Fancies Chaste and Noble. He arranges access to the Bower of Fancies for Romanello, but this later proves to be on the orders of Troylo-Savelli. Spadone tells Secco that Nitido is having an affair with Secco's wife Morosa, but there is no truth in this.


A “ghost character" in Ruggle’s Club Law. Though mentioned in the dramatis personae and in the text, he does not actually appear on stage. One of the twenty-four Electors for the Burgomastership. He is not at the roll call of electors and is fined.


A peculiar character in Dekker's Noble Spanish Soldier. He converses with Medina's faction before the wedding between Onælia and Cockadillio. His only response to any question or statement is "no."


Noah is the second human to request God's mercy in Bale's God's Promises. When God intends to destroy humanity all together, Noah reminds him of his mercy to Adam and Eve, and asks that he correct humanity, not destroy it. God admits to being moved by Noah's righteousness, and agrees to spare Noah and his family, and to establish the covenant of the rainbow. Noah rejoices and sings praises to God.


"Ghost characters" in Bale's God's Promises. Part of Noah's family that God promises will be saved from the great flood.


"Ghost characters" in Bale's God's Promises. Part of Noah's family that God promises will be saved from the great flood.


A "ghost character" in Bale's God's Promises. Part of Noah's family that God promises will be saved from the great flood.


Marcus Fulvius Nobilior is a knight of the equestrian order and a member of Catiline's conspiracy in Jonson's Catiline. At Catiline's house, Fulvius enters with the other conspirators. Fulvius remarks that the darkness falling over the city before the storm is dreadfully foreboding. After hearing Catiline's incendiary address, the confederates are invited to partake of fresh human blood as a symbolic seal of their pact. Fulvius takes an oath like all the others. After the ritual ceremony, the conspirators exeunt. After the plot has been exposed in the Senate, the conspirators gather at Catiline's house to elaborate their strategy. The plan is to set Rome on fire on the night of the Saturnalia, and remove all the enemies at once. After each conspirator has been allotted his task, all depart secretly. Eventually, when the confederates are sentenced to death, it is understood that Fulvius shares the conspirators' punishment.


Nobility is one of King Johan's three estates in Bale's King Johan, Part 1. He swears allegiance to the king, but Clergy throws him into confusion.
One of King Johan's three estates in Bale's King Johan, Part 2. Nobylyte is persuaded by Good Perfeccyon (who is really Sedicyon in disguise) to be disloyal to King Johan, who has been excommunicated by the Pope. After the King's death, listening to Veritas's words, Nobylyte repents and is forgiven. He then swears allegiance to Imperyall Majestye, who represents King Henry VIII, promises to put Privat Welth out of the monasteries and helps to catch Sedicyon.


One of Antiochus' courtiers in the anonymous Wars of Cyrus urges the young king to stop mourning his father's death. He is promised the lieutenancy over Gobrias' castle and lands. Later he participates in the discussion of Ctsiphon's actions.


Two nobles figure in Goffe's The Courageous Turk:
  • The First Noble is a follower of Aladin, the First Noble urges him to flee after the city of Iconium is taken.
  • After Amurath takes the city of Iconium, the Second Noble urges Aladin to dress like a petitioner, summon his wife and children, and throw himself upon the mercy of the Turk.


A nobleman in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI brings the message to King Edward that King Henry has been captured.


A disguise adopted by Surly to trap Face and Subtle in Jonson's The Alchemist. Surly appears as a Spaniard, complete with ruff and hat. Face and Subtle call him ironically Don John or Don Diego. Face, going to meet Surly at Temple church, met a Spaniard instead, who looked like a person easily duped. According to Face, he said he had brought many trunks full of arms and gold, and he wanted to meet a woman. When Surly enters Lovewit's house as the Spanish nobleman, he speaks Spanish. Face and Subtle mock him openly, thinking he cannot understand English, while the Spaniard says in Spanish that he can. Dol is engaged with Mammon and cannot play the lady's role for the Spaniard. Face suggests they should use Dame Pliant in the game. When Surly as the Spaniard sees Dame Pliant, he praises her beauty in the sonneteering mode, in Spanish. Since Dame Pliant does not understand Spanish, Subtle tells Kastril what she must do and Kastril forces her to kiss the Spaniard. In the garden, Surly casts off his disguise before the widow, warning her about the pack of cheaters, and proposing marriage to her. When Subtle enters, trying to pick his purse, Surly knocks him down. Face fetches Kastril and Ananias, whom he turns against the so-called Spaniard. Face tells Kastril that the false Spaniard is a cheater employed by another conjurer to abuse his sister, while Subtle tells Ananias that the false Spanish nobleman is in fact a spy for the Spanish Inquisition in search of Anabaptists. "The Spaniard" is thereby driven away.


These noblemen in Dekker's Old Fortunatus come to the aid of the Soldan when he realizes that his hat has been stolen.


Two trusted nobles whom the Duke sends to redeem Lussurioso from prison before Ambitioso and Supervacuo can arrive with the Duke's signet and order his death in [?]Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy. One of these may later prove the Lord who conspires with Vindice and Hippolito to kill Lussurioso when he takes the throne, but such is not at all clear in the text.

NOBLES **1567

Horestes consults them after taking over the throne in Pickering's Horestes. They are happy with peace. As a result of the Nobles' obedience to Horestes, Duty and Truth crown Horestes.

NOBLES **1611

The Nobles in [?]Middleton's The Second Maiden's Tragedy support the Tyrant's usurpation of Govianus, but they drift away when his necrophilia becomes apparent. They release Helvetius from prison, and support Govianus' return to the throne.


The English Nobles in the anonymous King Leir apparently have a single speaker because he uses the pronoun "I," but Leir's response is to "my lords." They suggest matching Leir's three daughters with neighboring kings, both to provide for them and to guarantee peace for the kingdom. Later, when Leir returns with the Gallian army, the Nobles greet him with happiness (although this may be the "CHIEF of DOVER"). They say that he has been watched for and that, since he gave up the throne, the country has been harshly overtaxed. The Nobles also appear in two other scenes (the marriage scene and when Leir arrives almost alone at Cambria), but in these scenes they do not speak.


Three French Nobles in the anonymous King Leir. They have been discussing with the King of Gaul his proposed trip to England. From the King's first words, they apparently have been trying to persuade him not to go, but when he proves determined, they wish him luck.


Shadowy characters from the original plot of the anonymous Tamar Cam. They are taken off by Otanes, Artaxes, and Trebassus. Shortly thereafter, these latter three return carrying the severed heads of the three rebels.


A "gentleman" who consistently plays on his paradoxical non-identity to avoid payment, capture, and liability in numerous situations throughout the anonymous Nobody and Somebody. This protagonist is a champion of the common man and has a reputation for relieving the poor and helping distressed prisoners. After his good name is slandered throughout the country by Somebody, Nobody travels to the city with his servant the clown where he gives hundreds of thousands of pounds for the release of all prisoners. Pursued by his nemesis and a constable, he fights with Somebody and escapes. After fleeing to court, he is subdued by the braggart but saved by the clown. Finally captured by Somebody and the Sycophant and brought before King Elydure, he deflects the accusations by pointing out that Somebody must have committed the crimes he is charged with since "nobody" cannot act as an intentional agent. [n.b. Nobody is depicted in a woodcut illustration on the frontispiece of the quarto edition (sig. A1r) as having, literally, no body. He is an exaggerated crotch with arms and a head (compare the illustration of Somebody (sig. I3v), whose body is elongated to contrast with Nobody's.)]


A fictional character in Day's Humour Out of Breath. Signior Nobody is the fictional addressee of the author's dedication. There is no reason to believe that Signior Nobody exists within the world of the play or even serves as prologue.


Nobs dismisses the consequences of rebellion in the anonymous Jack Straw. He urges the commoners to avenge the violation of Strawe's daughter by the tax collector. He identifies himself as a boy who may escape the gallows by being unnoticed. In soliloquy, he speaks about the importance of the rebellion even though it is doomed to failure. Nobs offers information about the location and strength of the King's supporters. In a comic interlude, he cuts off and steals the body of the goose Tom Miller plans to eat. Later, he warns commoners that the King's pardon will protect them from being hanged. Finally, he reports that supporters of the rebellion have gone home.


Rafe Nod is a soldier in Bowyer's company in the anonymous Trial Of Chivalry. He is noted for going to sleep, and Bowyer refuses to have stand sentinel. Nonetheless, Rafe does stand sentinel, and falls asleep, not waking even when Bowyer throws him in a ditch.


An Inns of Court man in Hausted’s Rival Friends. He is biding his time at the Inns of Court until he can gain a knighthood, inherit nine hundred a year when his father dies, and marry some woman worth three thousand pounds. He can manage his rapier, quote from plays, and speak French that he’s learned from Littleton. Anteros and Loveall attempt to set him at odds with Hammershin. Hammershin bloodies his pate with his chamber key. Loveall convinces him that he has killed Hammershin by falling against him and giving him an internal injury with his hilt. Noddle hides in a foul dog kennel when Loveall pretends the constables are coming. A long time later, at play’s end when the trick is quite forgotten, he humorously calls to be released. Anteros and Loveall release him and the others but also tell Placenta that they are the ones that tied Stipes and Merda to the tree, and he is cudgeled away with the others.


Friend to Moll Cutpurse in Middleton and Dekker's Moll Cutpurse, The Roaring Girl. Noland's name implies that he is poor, a lord with "no land." He joins her, Jack Dapper, Sir Thomas Long, and Sir Beauteous Ganymede when Ralph Trapdoor and Tearcat disguised as poor soldiers accost them along with a group of cutpurses. Moll explains to Lord Noland and the others the practice of canting and the profession of cutting purses. Later, Lord Noland and Sir Beauteous escort Mary Fitzallard to Sir Alexander Wengrave's home as Sebastian Wengrave's wife.


Only mentioned in Jonson's Epicoene. Nomentack was an Indian chief from Virginia. Clerimont and La-Foole discuss Daw's expertise in drawing maps. La-Foole says that Daw has many mathematical instruments, such as square, compasses, brass pens and black lead to draw maps of every place and person that he comes across. Clerimont is amazed to hear that Daw can draw maps of persons and La-Foole testifies that Daw drew the map of Nomentack when he was here. The reference to the Indian chief might suggest the identification of the person with the place he comes from. It is possible that La-Foole refers to the portrait of Nomentack as containing a "map" of his features.


Only mentioned in Jonson's Poetaster. In Horace's Book I, Satire viii, Nomentanus and Pantolabus are named in relation to the graves belonging to them. They are fictitious semi-historical characters invented by Horace, such as Canidia, Bolanus, Persius, and Scaeva. Pantolabus was a buffoon and Nomentanus was a spendthrift and a parasite. Horace's ironical temper induced him to treat the follies of society in the spirit of a humorist and man of the world, rather than to assail vice with the severity of a censor. The greater urbanity of his age or of his disposition restrained in him the direct personality of satire. The names introduced by him to mark types of character such as Nomentanus (the parasite) or Pantolabus (the buffoon) are reproduced from the writings of Lucilius. In Author's apology, which quotes Horace's Satire i, Book II, Trebatius advises Horace it is better to write verses praising Caesar's virtue than write satires that abuse the powerful of the day. Trebatius offers the example of Pantolabus, who might feel hurt by Horace's serious verse while performing his saucy jests, and Nomentanus, who spends his life in riotous feasts.


A Priest "inferior" to Dicaus in P. Fletcher's Sicelides. Nomicus leads the bounded Cancrone and Scrocca to the "hils [. . .] to the greedy Cyclops" in order to meet "the death of slaves." While waiting for Dicaus to arrive and preside over the executions of the two fishers, Nomicus informs Cosma of Dicaus's decision that Perindus may exchange the loss of his life for that of Glaucilla's, Perindus's fall from the rock, and his rescue by Cancrone and Scrocca. After it has become evident that Olinda is alive and Cosma confesses to her initial "foule offence," Pas convinces Nomicus to "pardon"Cancrone and Scrocca and Nomicus allows Pas to "call back" the "Prisoners."

NOMIUS **1630

Only mentioned in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass. An alternate name for Apollo which Comedy employs.


A "ghost character" in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta. Barabas describes him as a Jew of great wealth who lives in Portugal.


Family name of Young Master Solomon Nonsense and his father Sir Hercules in Brome's The Northern Lass.


Family name of Old and Young Lord Nonsuch in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig.


Noose is a page in Marston's What You Will who discusses the nature of pages and their masters with Doit, Trip, Holifernes Pippo, Bidet and Slip.


This character's limited function is to enter at the moment when the Soldier and the Courtier would duel in Shirley's Contention for Honor and Riches. No-Pay's entrance ruins the Soldier's appetite for fighting.


Norandine is a comic character as well as a valiant Danish captain in Fletcher's The Knight of Malta. He first appears after a battle with the Turks that he has won, and despite his wounds he refuses to be treated until the spoil is shared out. He at first refuses to protect Lucinda, offering her instead to his soldiers, but when she entreats him he makes sure she is given safely to Miranda. He goes to watch the trial by combat, despite his doctor's orders. He verbally spars with his doctor along the way. After the fight is concluded, Norandine goes for a walk and plays a trick on the Watch, convincing them first that he is an escaped pig and then that he is the devil. He also urges Miranda to enjoy Lucinda's charms and to "convert" her to Christianity. He is with Miranda when the latter discovers that Oriana is still alive and helps get her to safety. He then returns with the Watch when he hears Abdella's pistol shot, and arrests Mountferrat, Rocca and Abdella. He also brings levity to the final scene, when he rejects the offer to join the Order because he has too much flesh to be chaste.


Norbanus is a consul and a supporter of Marius in Lodge's The Wounds of Civil War. After Scilla retakes Rome, Norbanus enters to beg for the citizens of Rome, who are being killed by Scilla's soldiers. Scilla responds with amazement that Norbanus would dare approach him after having fought with Marius, and has Norbanus taken off with Carinna to be executed.


A member of Bolingbroke's army, which, the Earl of Northumberland tells us at the end of II.i, is making its way to England in Shakespeare's Richard II.


One of the five cheating rogues (called mathematicians, they are fraud astrologers) in Fletcher’s Bloody Brother along with LaFiske, Russe, DeBube, and Pippeau. They call him Doctor. He is the glutton of the group. He poses as a magician and seer and, learning that Latorch most fears Aubrey in court, tells him that Aubrey poses the greatest threat to Rollo. Aubrey orders the “mathematicians" whipped for their knavery and also orders them to witness Latorch’s hanging.


A Yorkist who appears only briefly in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. At the moment when the Duke of York's sons vow not to give up in the face of their father's death and Warwick's defeat at Saint Albans, a messenger sent by the Duke of Norfolk arrives to ask how the Yorkist forces should respond to Queen Margaret's imminent attack. Historically, this was Thomas Mowbray, first Duke of Norfolk.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III.The Duke of Norfolk is slain at the battle at Bosworth Field.


A supporter of Richard III in Shakespeare's Richard III. Norfolk is the captain of the watch the night before the Battle of Bosworth; during the night, a message is left on his tent warning him that Richmond has bought off part of Richard's army. Along with Surrey, Norfolk leads the first wave of Richard's soldiers during the battle and is killed.

NORFOLK, DUKE of **1600

In Act four of the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell, after the Chorus has announced Wolsey's death, Gardiner (formerly Wolsey's man and now Bishop of Winchester), discusses Wolsey's plots against the state with the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Suffolk, Sir Thomas More and Sir Christopher Hales. Norfolk and Gardiner ask Cromwell for the writings Wolsey has given him and Cromwell offers them up. Norfolk announces that Cromwell has been appointed to the Privy Council and takes him off to see the king.. Norfolk replies to Gardiner, both members of Cromwell's grand procession through London, when Gardiner has commented that Cromwell will come to a sad end, that he dislikes Cromwell but the king loves him. When Gardiner has witnesses insist that Cromwell had said he wished a dagger in King Henry's heart, Norfolk questions them and agrees to have Cromwell arrested and executed by next morning. In the scene of Cromwell's arrest Norfolk announces the traitor's arrival and gives orders that Cromwell's men should be killed if they try to defend Cromwell. He announces that it is time the king heard about Cromwell's actions and refuses Cromwell's request to speak with his men before he is taken away. Cromwell leaves for prison remarking to Norfolk that he will be next to fall. In the last scene Norfolk tells Cromwell the king had been informed of Cromwell's cause. (Although very soon after the execution a reprieve comes from the king.) Norfolk closes the play announcing that he will go to the king.


A "ghost character" in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One referred to by Dampit as one of his debtors.


Norroy, a herald in Dekker and Webster's Sir Thomas Wyatt, appears in Sir Thomas Wyatt's camp at Rochester just before the attack led by the Duke of Norfolk. He has come with Queen Mary's offer of pardon to those who retire at once. Even though Sir George Harper urges he be killed, Wyatt allows Norroy to go forward but warns him to be quiet as he performs this task. It is quite possible that the character name should be understood as a title rather than a personal name. There are three Kings-at-Arms or chief heraldic officers in England, one of whom is the Norroy King-at-Arms (the other two are Garter and Clarencieux). After allowing Norroy to go about his task, Wyatt becomes angry and refers to him as a "Whoreson prou'd Herrald, because he can giue armes."


Northern is a clothier in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. According to Edgworth, he comes from the north and is fond of drinking. At the Fair, Northern is in the company of Wasp, Knockem, Cutting, Puppy, and Whit. They play a game of "vapours," which is nonsense: every person has to oppose the last person that spoke, whether it concerned them or not. In fact, it is a confusion-generating activity enhanced by a lot of drinking. During the confusion created by the drunken brawl, Edgworth steals the marriage license out of Wasp's box, while Knockem and Whit steal all the men's cloaks. Since the game of "vapours" invariably ends in a fight, all men draw their swords, taking off their cloaks. Thus, Knockem gathers all the cloaks and Whit takes them away. After the brawl, the officers take Northern, Puppy, and Wasp away. Since Whit suggests to Bristle that Northern and Puppy will buy their freedom, it is understood that they were released as the officers put only Wasp into the stocks.


There are two Northumberlands in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI.
  • A "ghost character," Lord Northumberland is described in the opening moments of the play, bravely dying, sword in hand, at St. Albans–cut down by common soldiers.
  • The Earl of Northumberland, Lord Northumberland's son, is among the northern nobles who oppose the Duke of York's claim to the throne and defend Edward, Prince of Wales's right to inherit it from his father, King Henry. He captures Edward of York at Wakefield and dies during the battle of Towton. Historically, he was Henry Percy, grandson to Hotspur and third earl of Northumberland.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's 1 If You Know Not Me. The father of Lord Guilford, Northumberland is mentioned by Beningfield as a past rebel.


An alternative (and anachronistic) title for Percy in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot.


Henry Percy the elder. He reveals that Bolingbroke is returning to England with an army and, along with Lord Ross and Lord Willoughby, decides to fight against King Richard in Shakespeare's Richard II. He is the father of Harry Percy ["Hotspur" of 1 Henry IV].
Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, is the father of Hotspur in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. Part of the faction now opposing King Henry, Northumberland pleads illness and sends no troops to support his son Hotspur at Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury becomes the losing battle for the Percy faction.
The Earl of Northumberland is Henry Percy, father of the slain Hotspur and still part of the faction opposing King Henry IV in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. In spite of his sorrow and anger over his son's death at Shrewsbury, Northumberland is convinced by the women in his family to flee to Scotland and there await news of the success or failure of other opposition troops before committing his own forces.
The Earl of Northumberland is a northern nobleman in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth. He is Hotspur's father and Worcester's brother. Northumberland was one of Henry's key supporters during the deposition of Richard II. When Northumberland's son Percy defies the king's will and when that same son is goaded by Worcester into a full-scale rebellion against the throne, Northumberland is dragged into the alliance. However, Northumberland later falls ill, or at least reports that he is fallen ill, and cancels his support for the rebellion. After the rebels fall and Percy is killed, Northumberland flees to Scotland, where he is hunted down and killed by royal troops.


Two earls of Northumberland are mentioned but do not appear on stage in Shakespeare's Richard III:
  1. The former earl of Northumberland is a "ghost character." He had been a supporter of Henry VI. When Margaret gave to York a handkerchief soaked in Rutland's blood, York's grief moved Northumberland to tears. This was Henry Percy, 3rd earl of Northumberland, who died in 1461 at Towton. He was grandson of the traitorous Northumberland depicted in Richard II, and 1 & 2 Henry IV. He is not to be confused with the 5th earl, the present earl, referred to later in the play as Lord Northumberland, whose discription follows.
  2. The present earl of Northumberland is also a "ghost character." He is a supporter of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. The night before the battle, Lord Northumberland, along with Surrey, tries to cheer up Richard's soldiers. This is the 5th earl, whose title was restored to the Percies by Edward IV in 1570 after it was briefly held (1464-1470) by Richard Neville, brother of Warwick "the Kingmaker." This is not the Lord Northumberland referred to earlier in the play, who had supported Henry VI and was moved to tears at York's grief for Rutland.


As wife of Henry Percy the Earl and mother of the slain Hotspur in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV, Lady Northumberland pleads with her husband to go to Scotland, there to wait and see what befalls the rest of the Percy faction who battle King Henry IV. She is able to persuade the Earl to take that self-saving step.


Family name of Wilkin and his Widow in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Norway is the uncle of Fortinbras and, although king, is evidentially old and bedridden. He does not realize that his nephew is planning to invade Denmark until Cornelius and Voltemand are sent by Claudius. When he does find out, he immediately demands that Fortinbras apologize for his actions. When Fortinbras does so, Norway is quickly appeased and suggests that he take the army already raised and fight in Poland.


A disguise assumed by Trappola in (?)Jeffere's The Bugbears. Trappola is recruited to impersonate Nostradamus, the famous French astrologer, as an expert in exorcising spirits and curing disease. As Nostradamus, Trappola convinces the skeptical Amedeus that his house is haunted by bloodthirsty spirits, the dotard Cantalupo that he should not marry the young Rosimunda, and the elderly Brancatius that his daughter is cured of her mysterious illness (pregnancy).


A court official in Jonson's Volpone.

NOTARY **1599

At Puntavorlo's lodgings in London, Notary draws a deed of travel insurance for Puntavorlo, Dog, and Cat, upon their safe return from the journey to Constantinople in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. Puntavorlo dictates and Notary writes. Puntavorlo says that the sum he puts on must be understood, but he does not mention it. Puntavorlo states that the several names of Dog and Cat must be known, and it is understood that Notary records them. Puntavorlo dictates that the intended journey is to Constantinople, and the period of return a year. If any of the participants does not return, or turn Turk, Puntavorlo states that the whole venture is lost. The contract stipulates that, after the receipt of the insurance money, the beneficiary shall not attempt, by direct or indirect means, such as magic or witchcraft, to damage Puntavorlo, Cat, or Dog. In his turn, the knight guarantees he will never try to employ magic to travel invisible, or use fraud or imposture. As a token of his journey, Puntavorlo engages to bring back a Turk's mustache, his Dog a Grecian hare's lips, and his Cat the tail of a Thracian cat. When Notary says that the document is done, Puntavorlo responds it is only said, not done, because upon his return, he is to receive five times the sum set forth. After Notary has written the deed, he exits. When Fastidious Brisk enters to sign the insurance papers, Puntavorlo dispatches his servant to let Notary know. Notary sends word that everything is ready and they may come to sign the papers.

NOTARY **1599

A mute character in Ruggle’s Club Law. When the townsmen come after the fight to treat peace, a notary is on hand to take down all that is said.

NOTARY **1604

This character is named Kyte in the dramatis persona but the name is not otherwise used in Chapman's All Fools. The Notary is hired by Cornelio to draw up divorce papers. Cornelio declares that he has the right to hang Gazetta and her lover, to which the Notary responds that he cannot legally hang his wife. After a debate about whether or not Gazette has stolen his honor and other concerns about the correctness of the divorce papers (with many unintended double entendres), the Notary has convinced Cornelio that they are perfect. Cornelio is about to sign them when he suffers a nosebleed. He takes this as a warning to wait and tells the Notary to keep both papers and wife in his house. Valerio tells him to use Gazetta kindly, which the Notary promises to do.

NOTARY **1618

A notary records the charges, pleas and sentences at the trial of Leonida and Lisandro in the anonymous Swetnam.

NOTARY **1622

He reads the sentence of the judges at Chabot's trial in Chapman's The Tragedy of Chabot, Admiral of France.

NOTARY **1625

Produces the ironclad contract by which Charles's birthright is to be transferred to his younger brother Eustace in Fletcher's The Elder Brother.

NOTARY **1641

The notary draws up a new will for Don Ramyres in Shirley's The Brothers, making his younger son, Francisco, his heir in place of the elder son, Fernando. The notary attests that such documents are easily altered—as indeed this one will be, when Ramyres reinstates Fernando.


A "ghost character" in S.S's Honest Lawyer. Gripe tells Nice to seek out Sir Bare Notwithstanding, who lives three miles off, to trade his debt to Gripe for bail money. Nice describes him to Benjamin as worth 400 a year, but he does not come to provide bail.


One of the pupils of the Pedant in Marston's What You Will.


Novall, a wild courtier in Massinger's The Parliament of Love. He is fooled by Chamont and Dinant into attempting a seduction of Clarinda. He takes Dinant to court, but the King rules against him.


The hard and relentless judge in Field and Massinger's The Fatal Dowry, who has succeeded the modest and just Rochfort. He rebuffs Charmi, the lawyer defending Charalois against his father's creditors, dismissing the former's soldierly virtue and praising instead the gentlemanly qualities of his superficial son, Young Novall.


An unscrupulous, shallow and vain courtier in Field and Massinger's The Fatal Dowry. He is devoid of the soldierly qualities represented by the likes of Charalois and Romont. The former lover of Beaumelle, he continues as her adulterous lover after her marriage to Charalois. Effeminate and cowardly, he makes a written promise to abandon Beaumelle when forced to do so at gunpoint by Romont. Never having intended to keep it, he soon after breaks this vow. Killed by Charalois, who catches him and Beaumelle together, Young Novall is finally avenged by Pontalier, who kills Charalois upon his acquittal of the deed.


A guise adopted by Victoria in Brome's The Novella. To travel to Venice, Victoria disguises herself as the Novella, a beautiful virgin prostitute, whose price is set at an exorbitant 2,000 ducats for her maidenhead and one month's company. She is wooed by various men (many in disguise): A Frenchman (Horatio), Dutchman (first Swatzenburgh then Fabritio), English Factor (Swatzenburgh again), Piso, Pedro, Pantaloni, and the like. Pantaloni, believing that he has haggled down her price, creeps into bed with her only to find himself the victim of a "bed trick" and her Moorish eunuch, Jacomo/Jacquenetta, beside him.


A prostitute in Middleton's Your Five Gallants, newly-recruited to Primero's service from a Puritan background, supplied with fine clothes for her new life from Frippery's pawnshop. Frippery cross-examines her on her background and alleged virginity. She is certainly seduced by Tailby on her first night at work. Like the senior Courtesans, she falls for him and gives him rich gifts. She is included in the company's trip to the Mitre, but not further mentioned by that designation. By the end of the play, no longer a Novice at her trade, therefore, she is one of the five Courtesans (including Newcut) who perform in the masque and are to be married to the five disgraced Gallants to avoid further punishment. Lines attributed to the Third Courtesan would be appropriately allotted to her.

NOVICE **1627

"A young fresh schollar" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Novice is impressed by Captaine Complement and offers Implement various bribes in order to entice the Page to speak on his behalf to "the mighty man." Implement presents Novice's "suit" to Complement - that Novice may "be [his] schollar for an houre in a day"– and, after much ado, Complement agrees "to entertaine" Novice "upon probation." Novice then runs to his mother "for some cash for [his] entrance" and expresses his immense delight at being "in the way of preferment and gallantry." For bringing "a pretty fat fowle to [their] net," Complement thanks Implement. Ludio desires "some good playfellowes" and, since he claims that Gingle is "growne so proud" and Slug would not get out of bed, he searches for Novice. However, Novice is "so taken up with the Captaine" that he cannot play with Ludio. Novice is "cited" by Preco and Drudo who inform him that he must appear before Apollo's Court due to "an accusation against [him] for misspending [his] time with Captaine Complement." At this, Novice claims that he does "but as others doe" and is "not alone." At Siren's attempt to lure Drudo and Preco from their work, Novice claims that he "will have more acquaintance with her" if Apollo allows it. He also claims that "this Siren would make a good wife for [his] Master, Captaine Complement" and, thus, claims that Siren will be his "Mistresse." He is present at the sentencing of disobedient characters at the play's end, and is called by Preco as "Yong Novice, Apprentice." He proceeds to beg for mercy and attempts to bribe Museus. He is sentenced to three years of playing for only one hour of the week and is instructed that he must "never depart from the presence and guidance of Philoponus" during his "schoole time." He is to "observe and imitate [Philoponus's] painful diligence" in order that he may "get the Muses love, and Lord Apollos favour." At this pronouncement, Novice expresses his thanks to Museus.

NOVICE **1634

A Novice sings a song written by Lidian in Massinger's 1634 Cleander, or Lisander and Calista (a revision of Fletcher's 1623 The Wandering Lovers?).


A ‘ghost character’ in Percy’s A Country Tragedy in Vacunium. Rhodaghond recounts how Guasto, the Duke of Vacunium, called forth a ‘solemn cheer’ and his noblemen came from far and near to participate, including Camillo, Bentivole, Lepido, Collinio, Ursino, Novoli, Gonsagua, Columna, Flaminio, ‘and twenty more’. It was during this event that Florimel, who once despised Amadour, grew to love him when he earned great praise from the Duke of Vacunium for his prowess in the games.


A friend of Lady Ramsey and Dean of St. Paul's in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me. Called on to help mediate the dispute between Sir Thomas Ramsey and Gresham. He admires a series of portraits of benefactors and influential persons.

NOYSE **1627

A "ghost character" in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. A ballad singer and friend of Lackland. When Plutus makes him rich, he will ride about in coaches.


A "ghost character" in Jonson's Catiline. Publius Sittius Nucerinus is a Roman general, commander of the army in Mauritania. He is Catiline's ally. When Catiline incites the conspirators to rebellion against the Senate, he lists their main allies and enemies. While Pompey in Asia is considered an enemy, Nucerinus is listed as an ally.

King Philip's fool advises dissimulation as the best policy in the king's dealings with Captain Stukeley and the English in general in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley.


A Welsh courtier much concerned with fashion in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig. Nucome attempts unsuccessfully to court Lady Troublesome. During his first visit to the Lady, Nucome draws on her husband, who has insulted her; weary of her husband's jealousy, Lady Troublesome invites Nucome to be her servant, although she rejects his romantic advances. Nucome endures the mockery of Nan and Peg, who critique his clothes and search him for lice, and he refuses to give alms to the begging soldier Slacke, who is Young Lord Nonsuch in disguise. Nucome's tailor delivers an elaborate doublet which Nucome refuses to pay for; as he is trying on the doublet, Peg's servant enters, but Nucome rejects Peg's efforts to court him because he is attracted to Nan. Nucome, Nan, and Peg's confessions to and rejections of each other are part of the whirligig scene. Nucome takes part in the masked marriages, and inadvertently weds Peg. Also alternately Newcome.


An imaginary character in the anonymous Wit of a Woman, Lady Nulla is allegedly a patient of the fraudulent Doctor Niofell.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher and Massinger's The Prophetess. Emperor of Rome and brother of Charinus and Aurelia, Numerianus has been murdered by his provost Aper, who pretends the emperor is still alive but refusing to come out of his covered litter because his eyes are too sensitive to light. Numerianus' putrefying corpse causes Aper some difficulty in sustaining his charade, and once Aper is captured, the corpse is displayed to expose the provost's treachery.


A "ghost character" in Lodge's The Wounds of Civil War. Numitorius is a friend of Bebius and one of Marius' enemies after he takes Rome. Marius commands his soldiers to seek out Numitorius and cut off his head.


Numitorius is the uncle of Virginia in John Webster's Appius and Virginia. He houses his niece while her father Virginius is away with the Roman troops.


Nickname of Humphrey Wasp, Cokes' servant, in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. See WASP, HUMPHREY.


Only mentioned in Percy’s A Country Tragedy in Vacunium. Rhodaghond calls upon the ‘broode of Nun and Erebus’ to fill the sails of her vengeance. She likely means Nyx here. The children of Nyx and Erebus were Aether (light/the upper air) and Hemera (day).


The Nun, a servant in the Temple of Venus in Fletcher's The Mad Lover, assists Calis when she comes to consult the goddess.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Pathomachia. Envy says he can sing as well as the Florentine nun.


Messenger in Jonson's The Case is Altered. He brings word to Count Ferneze of Lord Paulo Ferneze's capture.

NUNS **1589

Several nuns figure in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta:
  • Three of the nuns are differentiated:
    1. The Abess agrees to allow Abigail to join the nunnery.
    2. While being moved to the new nunnery in Barabas' house, the First Nun comments that most of the sisters have not been outside among people for thirty years.
    3. Maria, a "ghost character," is one of the nuns who is poisoned by Barabas. She sends for Jacomo to confess her.
  • The other nuns are undifferentiated and likely "ghost characters" who die when Barabas poisons the nunnery.

NUNS **1615

Two nuns of Saint Katharine's Nunnery in Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas. They report the strange appearance of Thomas, disguised as Dorothy, in their cloister; unsurprisingly, they assume s/he is a fiend.

NUNS **1617

Two or three nuns are with Cartesmuna in Brewer's The Lovesick King when Canutus first sees her.


"Ghost characters" in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. Scarlet and Scathlock were given napkins, shirts and bands by the Nuns when they became outlaws. Scarlet comments on how pretty the nuns were.


Three nuns enter in the First Dumb Show of Hughes' The Misfortunes of Arthur and make their way to the part of the stage designated the "Cloister." This symbolizes Gueneuora's despair over her divided loyalties (to Arthur and to Mordred) and her eventual decision to retire to a convent.


See also "MESSENGER(S)."

NUNTIUS **1562

The generic form of "messenger." He enters in Sackville and Norton's Gorboduc with news that Porrex attacked first and killed Ferrex. Later he tells of Fergus, Duke of Albany, on the march with twenty thousand men.

NUNTIUS **1603

Nuntius, a messenger in Jonson's Sejanus His Fall.

NUNTIUS **1604

Nuntius appears in Chapman's Bussy D'Ambois to report to Henry and Guise the result of Bussy's fight with Guise's men. Nuntius speaks glowingly of Bussy.

NUNTIUS **1604

The Nuntius appears at the end of Daniel's Philotas to recount the conclusion to the tragedy. He reports that after the council was dismissed, Craterus continued to 'whisper' to Alexander. Craterus, Ephestion and Caenus urge Alexander that Philotas should be tortured, to which Alexander agrees. Under torture, Philotas confesses that Hegelochus incensed Parmenio against Alexander after Alexander took on the title of 'son of Jove'. He claims that Parmenio decided to do nothing against Alexander while Darius was in power, but after Darius's defeat thought that their faction could take all 'the Orient and all Asia'. Philotas eventually also confesses involvement in Dymnus's plot, and accuses Demetrius and Calin. When Philotas will say no more, he and Demetrius are stoned to death. All those who were accused by Dymnus are to be tortured and all those allied with them will also die.

NUNTIUS **1605

The Nuntius, or messenger, appears in Act II scene ii of Chapman's Caesar and Pompey to describe the progress of the war–at this point, Pompey is winning.

NUNTIUS **1605

In Marston's Sophonisba, the Nuntius (i.e. messenger) warns Syphax that Massinissa and Scipio are coming.

NUNTIUS **1608

A Roman messenger who reports that Dioclesian needs assistance from Maximinus in the Gaulish wars in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman.

NUNTIUS **1617

A messenger in Goffe’s Orestes. As part of Orestes’s plan, he tells Clytemnestra and Aegystheus that Orestes and Pylades have committed suicide by leaping from the cliffs in despair for Agamemnon’s death.

NUNTIUS **1634

A messenger in Rutter's The Shepherds' Holiday, Nuntius is sent to the well of Esculapius to fetch some water for Nerina's recovery and informs Mirtillus and Hylas that the gentle nymph Nerina is dying and wants to speak with Hylas.


A Carthaginian in Nabbes' Hannibal and Scipio who serves mainly as a bearer of bad news. He brings word in act one that Scipio has recaptured Spain, leading Hannibal to vow that he will defeat Scipio and capture Rome. At the beginning of act four, he describes to the Carthaginian senate Hannibal's defeat at the hand of the Romans. Played in the original production by Hugh Clark, who also doubled as Syphax.


Three messengers figure in Gascoigne and Kinwelmershe's Jocasta:
  • The first Theban messenger, a servant of Jocasta, arrives at the beginning of Act 4 to report that all is well: despite the challenge of Capaney the Greek assault has been repulsed, and Adrastus has withdrawn, with Eteocles in pursuit. He chills Jocasta's blood, however, by going on to say that to save further Theban and Greek losses, Eteocles and Polynice have resolved to settle the quarrel in hand-to-hand combat.
  • A second messenger brings Creon news of his son Menetius' death.
  • A third messenger (who may, however, be the same as 1 or 2) brings Creon an account of the fight between Eteocles and Polynice, in which they kill each other (making Creon king of Thebes), of Jocasta's suicide, and of the withdrawal of Adrastus and his army.


The Nuntius of Arthur's Landing opens II of Hughes' The Misfortunes of Arthur with a description of Arthur's victory over Tiberius, his having sent the Roman's corpse to the Senate in lieu of British "tribute," and the king's return to Britain to deal with Mordred.


The Nuntius of the Last Battle appears in IV.ii in Hughes' The Misfortunes of Arthur. There he describes for Conan and Gildas the great slaughter in Cornwall, Arthur's victory over Mordred, and the deaths of the king and his evil son.

NURSE **1587

Servant to Dido in Marlowe's Dido, Queen of Carthage. She is given charge of Ascanius (actually Cupid, disguised) when Dido asks that he be taken from the court so that she may hold him as a hostage to prevent Aeneas's departure. The nurse's one scene is a comic one in which (clearly under Cupid's spell) she imagines herself as a potential lover to the "grown up" Ascanius/Cupid

NURSE **1594

The nurse in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus delivers Aaron's baby to him and is killed by Aaron, who wants the birth to be kept a secret.

NURSE **1595

Friend and confidante to Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Initially the Nurse assists Juliet by helping to arrange her marriage to Romeo and by keeping her marriage secret. Later, though, following the banishment of Romeo, the Nurse callously encourages Juliet to forget Romeo and marry Paris. (See ANGELICA).

NURSE **1596

A character mentioned in the original plot of the anonymous Tamar Cam. The role is unrecoverable.

NURSE **1602

Also called Marget in the anonymous Wily Beguiled. She is Lelia's nurse and mother of the rebellious Pegge. She informs Lelia of the unhappy news that Gripe has arranged for Lelia to be married to Peter Ploddall. When she finds that Lelia loves Sophos, she encourages Sophos to woo Lelia. She dislikes Churms, finding him too smooth to be trustworthy; nevertheless, when Churms declares his love for Lelia, the nurse asks him, as the sole adviser of Lelia's father, to persuade Gripe to let her make her own choice in marriage. Later in the woods the nurse meets Sophos. She describes to him Gripe's unkindness to Lelia and chastises Sophos for not contacting Lelia for a fortnight (his letters have not been delivered owing to the machinations of Churms.) Fortunatus devises a plan, which the nurse reports to Lelia, to help the pair. This requires the nurse to have Lelia contact Churms to convince him that Lelia does not love Sophos and actually loves Churms, and that she will marry him if he can get her out of her father's house and to a friend's house far away. The nurse, as part of the development of Fortunatus's plot, tells Gripe that Lelia has run off with Churms. She is present at the end of the play when Lelia and Sophos return and it is agreed that Lelia and Sophos will marry the next day

NURSE **1608

The Nurse takes care of John in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. Later, she tells John that they are leaving for London.

NURSE **1608

A non-speaking character in Chapman's The Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron. Nurse to the Dauphin. She brings him to the King in the opening scene and helps the King to put his sword in the infant's hand.

NURSE **1608

Leodice's Nurse is her confidante in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman. She encourages Leodice to seduce Crispinus, helps to keep their meetings secret, and keeps Maximinus away when Leodice is pregnant.

NURSE **1610

She attends Sybilla, wife of Saturn in Heywood's The Golden Age. Her conversation with the clown comments on Saturn's "most unnatural" agreement with Titan. She is also present with the queen when Vesta brings the news of Saturn's decree for the execution of the child. When Sybilla and Vesta falter, the Nurse tries to murder the baby herself, but fails when she is faced with his innocent smile.

NURSE **1611

The Nurse to Maria in Fletcher's The Night Walker. She chastises Maria's mother for the intended match to Algripe. When Maria returns, the nurse helps her conceal her identity, presenting Maria as Guennith, the nurse's Welsh niece.

NURSE **1613

Summoned by Carracus in Tailor's The Hog Hath Lost His Pearl when Maria faints after Albert's treachery is uncovered. She examines Maria and takes her in, and then returns to tell Carracus that Maria is dead. While Carracus is distracted, she reveals that Maria is in fact alive and has vowed to perpetually banish herself to the woods and has ordered the Nurse to tell Carracus of her feigned death.

NURSE **1615

A "ghost character" in Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas. Francis' childhood nurse, she was killed in the sea-battle where he was lost.

NURSE **1617

In Goffe’s Orestes, she watches the new baby born to Aegystheus and Clytemnestra and, upon the queen’s command, gives the baby to be watched by Electra. She claims it is the sweetest baby she ever kissed. She sings a lullaby of Troy and Greece to the baby.

NURSE **1619

Lamira's Nurse witnesses Lamira's marriage to Champernell and Dinant's subsequent tirade against the couple in Fletcher and Massinger's The Little French Lawyer. Lamira asks the Nurse to follow Beaupre when he goes off to challenge Dinant to a duel, and the Nurse tells Lamira of the upcoming fight. The Nurse also tricks Dinant into staying home from the duel by telling him Lamira wants to see him. She later encounters Cleremont and Dinant and asks Dinant to come with her for a secret meeting with Lamira which is part of Lamira's plot to exact her own revenge against Dinant. The Nurse, commenting on the amount of gold Dinant has given her, says she would not blame Lamira if she took him as a lover, a comment Lamira dismisses with disgust. As part of the false assignation at Lamira's house, the Nurse carries bedclothes and nightgowns across the stage. During the trip to the summerhouse, the Nurse leaves the group to find the source of the mysterious music and do some dancing; she is kidnapped along with the others. She twice expresses the hope that the kidnappers choose her to be raped, and later compares notes with Charlote about their sexual encounters with the Ruffian Gentlemen.

NURSE **1624

Duchess's wet-nurse in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk. She cares for Susan and later Peregrine. Accompanies the Duchess, Susan, and Cranwell to port to escape on the boat provided by Bertie. Boards ship with the Duchess and her party and avoids capture by Bonner and Clunie when Foxe knocks Bonner into a well for a distraction. Arrives in Europe ith the Duchess and her party and attends her on the way to Santon. When thieves attack the Duchess' party, the Nurse flees with Susan. As she flees, she leaves Susan in the woods for safety.

NURSE **1624

This Nurse to Virginia exchanges bawdy words with Corbulo, a clown figure in John Webster's Appius and Virginia.

NURSE **1625

A nurse paid by Franckford to look after the baby that he has begotten on Urse in Webster and Rowley's A Cure for a Cuckold. She warns Franckford of Compass's return, and prevents Compass from taking the child.

NURSE **1629

Nurse is Frank's nanny in Jonson's The New Inn. She reveals herself as Lady Frampul, Lord Frampul's wife. In her disguise as nurse she is called Sheleemien Thomas. See Sheleemien Thomas for more.

NURSE **1631

The Nurse, also called the Old Nurse in Dekker's Wonder of A Kingdom, tends the supposedly ill Fiammetta. She informs the Duke of Florence about Fiammetta's illness, whilst complaining about her exuberant demands. The Nurse is the only character to suspect and question the disguised Angelo Lotti's proposed treatments for Fiammetta. When the others ignore her advice, she storms off in protest.

NURSE **1636

The nurse attends Evadne in Rawlins's The Rebellion. She believes that Sebastian (disguised as Giovanno) is interested in marrying her. In fact, Sebastian is using the nurse to gain access to Evadne. Sebastian suggests to Evadne that the nurse's gums stink worse than a pest-house.

NURSE **1638

Frances' Nurse in Shirley's Constant Maid would like her mistress to accept Startup as a suitor and therefore agrees to escort Startup into Frances' chamber. She is thwarted, however, when Hartwell dons Startup's clothing and gains admission in place of Startup.

NURSE **1639

A "ghost character" in Cokain's The Obstinate Lady. She is the mother of Phyginois, nurse to the infant Cleanthe, who stole Cleanthe as an infant in order to raise her and wed her to Phyginois' older brother.


A Dutch Nurse with a comedy accent is paid to look after Jane's baby and keep it hidden in Middleton and Rowley's A Fair Quarrel.


A "ghost character" in The London Merchant portion of Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. When Venturewell refuses his aid, Mistress Merrythought announces that she and Michael will go to his nurse, knit stockings, and be beholding to no one. Nothing comes of this action, however, and Mistress Merrythought is next seen begging her husband to take her back.


Nurses in the Allwit household in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. When Allwit calls for the nurse, the dry nurse appears first and is dismissed for the wet nurse. The wet nurse brings in a baby, a girl whom the wet nurse says will grow up to be "a knocker." She exits telling Allwit to wipe his mouth.


Nutriche is Maria's nurse in Marston's Antonio's Revenge. Maria wakes Nutriche at five o'clock in the morning to finish their trip to Venice. Nutriche is rather upset and complains that she was dreaming of going to bed with her groom on her wedding night. During a dumb show, Nutriche and Lucio are seen accepting a payment from Piero in exchange for their help in convincing Maria to marry the Venetian Duke. The night before Piero is supposed to wed Maria, Nutriche accompanies her lady in a walk and tries to convince her that the more husbands one gets, the better. She is present at the masque when Piero is killed.


A seaman's wife in Mountfort's The Launching of The Mary. She and Mary Spark are unlike Dorothea: they are pleased when their husbands go to sea, and enjoy the opportunity to take lovers. Later, they meet and discuss bawdy gossip. Isabel claims to be carrying in her basket some silk to work on; but when Thomas Trunnel gets the women drunk he reveals that she is in fact carrying a brickbat.


Sophonisba's waiting woman in Marston's Sophonisba.


Nym is a follower of Falstaff who, with Pistol and Bardolph, succeed in making Slender drunk and picking his purse in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. He is fired because he will not deliver a love letter to Margaret Page. To avenge his discharge, Nym tells George Page about Falstaff's plans to seduce his wife.
Along with Pistol and Bardolph in Shakespeare's Henry V, Corporal Nym is one of the Boar's Head characters, the companions of Henry's youth. He is betrothed to Nell Quickly, but when they argue she marries Pistol instead. He goes into France with the soldiers and the Boy later says (in IV.iv) that he, as Bardolph, was hanged for looting.

NYMPH **1585

A disguise assumed by Cupid in Lyly's Gallathea to infiltrate the band of Diana's nymphs in order to wind them in the coils of love.

NYMPH **1629

The habit if not disguise Cleonarda assumes in the fourth act of Carlell's The Deserving Favorite. She, dressed as a nymph, briefly converses with a huntsman about a young deer she is hunting. The discussion is presumably designed to invoke symbolically her courtship of Lysander.

NYMPH **1630

The anonymous Nymph and Shepherd in Randolph's Amyntas squabble over who ought to present the prologue to the pastoral, arriving at the agreement to share it between them. She speaks to the ladies in the audience, flattering the court beauties present, also remarking that the men escorting them will be much improved by the play's lesson in the power of love.

NYMPH **1635

A character in the poet’s play in Killigrew’s The Conspiracy. She in pursued by a wild boar.


This unnamed nymph in Lyly's Gallathea engages in a dialogue with Cupid in which she explains that she and her companions have forsworn love.


A nymph of Venus appears shortly before the arraignment begins and is wooed by both Bacchus, the god of wine, and Vulcan, the god of fire in Peele's The Arraignment of Paris. She makes her escape by blowing a horn in Vulcan's ear.

NYMPH, WOOD **1635

She appears in Carolo’s dream with a silver rod in Rider’s The Twins. She sings a song, but the words are not preserved in the text.


A courtier in Marston's Parasitaster, or The Fawn. His name is a slang term for an effeminate ladies' man; he loves all women but sleeps with none. He confides to Faunus that, although he professes to love all women, he deepest devotion is to Dulcimela. Ironically, she is the only woman not taken in by his vows of devotion and fidelity. He is accused of indiscriminate loving during the Masque of Cupid's Council.

NYMPHS **1588

In Dumb Show Two of Hughes' The Misfortunes of Arthur, three Nymphs appear out of the part of the stage designated "Arthur's house." They approach the King in the dumb show and offer him a cornucopia, a golden olive branch, and a sheaf of wheat, signifying Arthur's offer of peace to Mordred. The King scornfully rejects the offerings.

NYMPHS **1589

The nymphs of the wood are asked to judge between the musical skills of Apollo and Pan in Lyly's Midas. They judge that Apollo is the better musician.

NYMPHS **1610

They accompany Diana, princess of virginity in Heywood's The Golden Age, with garlands on their heads and javelins in their hands.

NYMPHS **1632

The wood Nymphs sing in Tatham's Love Crowns the End to the lovesick Cloë about love and tell her not to despair because she is young and fair. They take her away to Florida's dwelling where together they heal the wounded Lysander.

NYMPHS **1635

Mute characters in Killigrew’s The Conspiracy. They accompany Diana in the introduction. Two go off at Diana’s command to search for the woodsmen that sometimes join them in their hunt.


They appear in the anonymous Wily Beguiled in a short scene where they sing a song for Sophos as he sleeps in the woods.


Water nymphs carry Achelous' weapons onto the stage at the beginning of Heywood's Brazen Age when the river god prepares to fight Hercules for Deianeira's hand in marriage.

NYX **1602

Only mentioned (by the name Nun) in Percy’s A Country Tragedy in Vacunium. Rhodaghond calls upon the ‘broode of Nun and Erebus’ to fill the sails of her vengeance. The children of Nyx and Erebus were Aether (light/the upper air) and Hemera (day).