A countryman who steals thatch from Mother Sawyer's cottage, to use it in a witch-test in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. Like W. Mago, this is probably the name of an actor, rather than a character.


Listed in the dramatis personae, but does not appear in the play in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. Like W. Hamluc, this is probably the name of an actor, rather than a character.


A London merchant in Dekker and Webster's Westward Ho. He visits Luce but is dismayed to learn that she also entertains Tenterhook and Honeysuckle. Informed by Justiniano of his disguises and the wives' plot, he accompanies the other husbands to Brainford, where he witnesses the gallants' humiliation and reconciles with his wife.


Wafer's frequently pregnant wife in Dekker and Webster's Westward Ho. She and Judith Honeysuckle invite Clare Tenterhook to share their "schoolmaster," from whom they are learning to write. She agrees to meet the gallants at an afternoon tavern-party. There, she agrees to the assignation at Brainford, and to pretend that her youngest child is sick to cover up their absence. Left alone at Brainford with the other wives, she agrees to Clare's suggestion to abandon the gallants. She and the other wives ungratefully condemn Birdlime for enticing their husbands, and then forgive and reconcile with the men.


A witty and underpaid servant to Sir Timothy Troublesome in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig. Wages helps reconcile his jealous master and chaste mistress. When Young Lord Nonsuch attempts to court Lady Troublesome, Wages delivers his letter. When Troublesome decides to have himself gelded to help cure his sexual jealousy, Wages accompanies him and later advises his master not to divorce his wife, in part because it will be difficult to find a new one now that Troublesome is castrated. When Young Lord Nonsuch, disguised as Slacke, tells Troublesome that Lady Troublesome is pregnant, Troublesome suspects that Wages is the father of the child. Wages begs his master for his back wages, using them as a negotiating tool when Troublesome asks Wages to help him reconcile with his wife, a task Wages completes by engaging his master and mistress in separate conversations that the other overhears. Mistress Corrections pursues Wages, offering to keep him with money she earns as a bawd, and claiming her husband is a bigamist; the two of them participate in Cupid's final masque as a couple, but Old Lord Nonsuch returns Mistress Correction to her husband.


The Widow's "wild mad jealous husband" who has supposedly died at sea, but in fact is disguised as Jarvis in William Rowley's A Match at Midnight.


Wagner, Faustus' faithful servant in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, summons Cornelius and Valdes for Faustus, banters foolishly with the Scholars about philosophy, conjures up devils Banio and Belcher to persuade Clown to become his servant, and is willed Faustus' wealth when the latter dies.


Mistress Wagtail attends the wedding of Bellafront and Count Frederick in Field's A Woman is a Weathercock with Sir Innocent Ninny, Lady Ninny and Sir Abraham Ninny. She finds that she is suffering from morning sickness, and tries to decide on a man to father her child. The Page, who has been listening, offers to help her. Wagtail accuses Pendant of having fathered her child; he denies it but offers to help her to "lay the child" on Sir Abraham, with whom she has been intimate, albeit not enough to make a child. Wagtail proclaims her love for Sir Abraham, who has been to listen by Pendant; she moves to stab herself, and Sir Abraham, revealing himself, declares his love to her. They are partners in the wedding masque, and after Sir Abraham secures his parents' blessing to marry her they are betrothed.


In Killigrew’s The Conspiracy, they marvel when Cleanthus accidentally comes into the company of Hianthe and her ladies.


A servant to Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth. The Waiting-Gentlewoman summons the Doctor of Physic to witness Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking.


One of Artesia's ladies-in-waiting, who brings Uter a jeweled crab from her lady, and explains its symbolism in William Rowley's The Birth of Merlin: or, The Child Hath Found His Father.


Waits upon the new Queen in Preston's Cambises.


Enters in Chettle and Dekker's Troilus and Cressida carrying a light for Cressida in the scene where she meets Troilus and Pandarus. The part was played by Jones's boy.


Mute character in Markham and Machin's The Dumb Knight. She passes over the stage to establish the location as the court.


A "ghost character" in Jonson's The Alchemist. The waiting maid is one of Subtle's clients. When Face, Subtle, and Dol Common make an inventory of the goods cheated from the dupes, Dol Common comments that one jewel is from a waiting maid, who stole it from her lady to be certain she should have precedence over her mistress.


A fictional character in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. In an apartment in Cynthia's palace, Phantaste, Philautia, Argurion, and Moria are expecting the miracle water from the fountain of Self-love, so much publicized by Amorphus. While waiting, the vain nymphs discuss fashion, their admirers, and fantasize on what they would like to be. While Moria and Philautia imagine they could be extremely powerful women, Phantaste fantasizes that she could impersonate many women and do various things. As a Waiting Woman, Phantaste imagines that she could taste her lady's delights before she did, and be able to enjoy all sorts of men.


Oriana's Waiting Woman accompanies her mistress to court to visit Honoria in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Woman Hater, but on the way they are caught in a hailstorm and forced to take shelter in Gondarino's house. Waiting Woman accompanies Oriana all the time. In the brothel, Waiting Woman is with Oriana at the window. The more experienced Waiting Woman says she does not like the place and says she thinks it is a house of ill repute, but Oriana thinks nothing of it. It is understood that Waiting Woman follows Oriana before Duke.


Brings Lessingham the letter from Clare in Webster and Rowley's A Cure for a Cuckold.


Lady Alworth's waiting woman in Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. She warns Lady Alworth of Welborne's poor hygiene but later takes part in Welborne's charade. Along with the Chambermaid she dotes on Alworth, giving him quince-cakes, requesting kisses from him and pledging her service to him until Order reminds her of her obligations to Lady Alworth.


The Waiting-Woman serves Lady Peregrine in Shirley's The Example.


The waiting woman is an Antipodean, a character in the inset play of Brome's The Antipodes. She is servant to the lady and is herself pregnant with the gentleman's child. In Antipodean fashion, the waiting woman holds authority over both the lady and gentleman.


Accompanying Julietta in Shirley's Hyde Park, she is left alone with Bonville's Page, who makes bawdy proposals to her. She claims virginity.


"Ghost characters" in Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. The grocer George gives the Prologue two shillings to have the Waits of Southwark come to play the shawms (proto-oboes) to accompany Rafe's part. The have not arrived by the end of II, and the grocer George complains.


A "ghost character" in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. Wakefield Pinner is mentioned by Scarlet as an outlaw who loved Scathlock and himself well. When Prince John enters the forest in disguise, he sings a song by Wakefield Pinner (here spelled Pinder). (See "GEORGE A-GREEN").


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.


A London usurer, uncle of Joyce and sworn enemy to Witgood's uncle Pecunius Lucre in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One. In marriage to the wealthy Jane Medler (really a disguised courtesan), Hoard sees the opportunity to both improve his financial situation and cozen Lucre and Lucre's nephew Witgood. By informing Medler of Witgood's unpaid debts and spendthrift nature, Hoard dissuades her from marrying Witgood, and, by offering her half his own wealth, wins her hand in marriage himself. Reveling in the thought of outdoing his rival Lucre and his nephew, and imagining his new lifestyle with the influx of new wealth through marriage to Medler, Hoard hires five liveried servants (a perfumer, barber, falconer, huntsman, and tailor) and otherwise flaunts his wealth. The titular trick, however, is on him, and he is devastated to discover—through his brother Omnipherous, whom he has summoned for the wedding festivities—that Medler is really Witgood's former courtesan who, in reality, has no money of her own. Witgood, having married his niece, Joyce, assures him that the courtesan, but for him, is a virgin and now is his aunt, with whom he will never meddle.


Wall is the part played by Tom Snout the tinker in the rude mechanicals' performance of Pyramus and Thisbe in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.


William Wallace is a fiery Scottish warrior and title character of J.W.'s The Valiant Scot. When Young Selby captures his beloved Peggie, Wallace kills him. Peggie is captured by the English commissioners, who demand that he exchange his life for Peggie's. Wallace agrees, and gives himself up. Grimsby, a secret sympathizer with the Scots, pretends to lead Wallace to the English camp, and then releases him, so that Wallace is reunited with his family and friends. Wallace and Peggie are married, and Wallace then massacres the town of Lavercke in revenge for the English affronts, but disaster strikes when his father and Peggie are murdered by the commissioners. Sebastian, Glascot and Mountford then arrive at his camp as ambassadors from the English. Wallace orders Sebastian to be beheaded, Glascot blinded, Mountford's tongue to be cut out. Then he disguises as a lame Scots soldier loyal to King Edward and leads Mountford and Glascot to the English camp. He uses his disguise to eavesdrop while Clifford and Percy decide to lead Wallace into a trap. He offers to guide the English messenger, Beaumont, to the Scottish camp, but after they have set off, he triumphantly sends Beaumont back to the English with one of his crutches. Later, he is shipwrecked and washed up on a beach, where he gulls Sir Jeffrey Wiseacres and Bolt out of a trunk of food by pretending to be an anonymous Scot. When he reveals his identity they run away. Meeting Selby, who is in a state of wretchedness and does not recognize him, Wallace decides to be merciful rather than kill him. This is a wise decision, as Selby and Haslerig are shortly afterwards killed by other means. During the battle against the English, Wallace is offended when the General of Scotland orders him to bring up the rear. When the English capture the General and Grimsby, Wallace fights off the enemy but is too late to save the General from being killed. He then meets Robert Bruce in the field and tells him he is fighting on the wrong side. They agree to meet him in secret later. After the battle, Wallace is visited by the ghosts of Friar Gertrid, Old Wallace, and Peggie, who warn him against meeting with Bruce. He goes, warily, to his meeting nonetheless, but the traitors Mentith and Coming are lying in wait. They capture him and take him to the English. There, Wallace kills Mentith "with his fist" but he is then ordered by King Edward to be hung, drawn and quartered.


Old Wallace was the Sheriff of Ayre before Edward I's invasion in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot; his office is now possessed by Haslerig, and his lands have been surrendered to the English. He warns Wallace that Peggie is going to be executed, and is delighted when Wallace saves Peggie and then marries her. But then he, Friar Gertrid and Peggie are captured by Selby, who stabs Old Wallace to death in revenge for Wallace's murder of his own son. Later, he appears as a ghost to Wallace and frightens him without offering any useful information.


A "ghost character" in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot. The Sheriff of Fife. He offers Mentith money in addition to that of King Edward, to kill Wallace.


Family name of Albertus the elder, his Duchess, and their sons Fredericke and Albertus the younger.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Wallenstein is mentioned by Sir Conquest Shadow when, telling Doctor Clyster about his imaginary valor, he explains: "I'll tell you, Doctor, all the time of the / German War I have overthrown the Emperor I cannot tell how many times, Tilly in many a battle, Bucquoy before, Wallenstein afterward and made Pappenheim fly like atoms in the air with my great ordnance. And so methought Swede and I came to play for the empire ... won the game, and so established the Princes of the Empire ..." Albrecht Eusebius Wenzel von Wallenstein (1583-1634) was a controversial Austrian general who fought for the Hapsburgs during the Thirty Years' War, and was, on several occasions, commander of the imperial forces.

WALTER **1592

A farmer in the Anonymous A Knacke To Knowe A Knave; he is one of the four sons of the Bailiff of Hexham, the brother of John, the priest; Cutbert Cutpurse, the Coneycatcher; and Perin, the courtier. Walter is a "husbandman", an early capitalist who knows how to "make shift." He tells the Knight he should provide for himself and let God provide for the poor. His treatment of a "poor old man" shows how he manages to become rich by influencing the corn market. There has been a shortage of corn because Walter has withheld his corn to raise the price, and the old poor man had to borrow some corn. Now he can give it back but Walter wants double the amount because the prices have dropped in the meantime. According to Walter, the other poor old man's horse has destroyed a cornfield. The old man denies it, but he has to pay anyway. As both men are unable to pay the 40 shillings Walter wants, they have to go to prison unless they sign a deed to give their cottages to Walter. At the last moment the Knight redeems and frees them. When Honesty leads Perin to Walter, the brothers seem not to recognize each other. Perin is collecting money for the King. While the aristocracy (Squire and Knight) are only able to give £10 and £20, the capitalist farmer Walter offers £200 for the King and promises a lot more if he may have a royal license for the export of corn. For his punishment, Honesty decides that he should be carried into a corn field, have his legs and hands cut off, and rest there until the crows pick his eyes out.

WALTER **1594

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

WALTER **1614

Servant of Isabel and Widow in Fletcher's Wit Without Money. He helps them pack for the country. He has one short line spoken from offstage.


A possible "ghost character" in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington, but also a possible mistake in the extant text. Walter Blunt is the keeper of Lady Bruce and her son at Windsor Castle and is mentioned several times by John. There is some confusion; a messenger reports that Young Bruce has slain Blunt when he takes the castle, but in a later scene, a William Blunt appears to clear John of deliberately starving Lady Bruce and her son, saying that Brand did bring food with him, but locked it away and would not allow the Bruces to have any. It seems likely that the playwrights' final intention was to have a single constable who was not killed. (See also "WILLIAM BLUNT").
Possibly a "ghost character" or a mute character in Davenport's King John and Matilda. He is named as the custodian of Windsor Castle, where the King sends Lady Bruce and her young son to be incarcerated. In the Windsor scenes, therefore, he might be inferred as present.


Supremely loyal to King Henry in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV, Blunt serves as emissary to the Percy camp, bringing the king's offer to hear the rebels' complaints and grant pardons. Blunt is killed by Douglas in the ensuing Shrewsbury battle; disguised in the king's armor, Blunt offers the ultimate sacrifice.
Sir Walter Blunt is Henry IV's most trusted adviser in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth. He is respected both by the king and by the rebel Percy faction. Blunt is almost always by the King's side, except for the battle of Shrewsbury, where Blunt dons Henry's colors and plays a royal body double. Before the battle, Blunt visits s to the rebel leadership and delivers Henry's terms for peace. In the subsequent battle, Blunt is killed by Douglas, who mistakes Blunt for Henry IV.


Nephew to Sir Arnold Cautious and son to the deceased London merchant Chamlet, friend and brother-in-law to Gilbert Goldwire in Brome's The Sparagus Garden. Gilbert notes that he is a younger brother and born to no fortune. He joins Gilbert in an unsuccessful attempt to convince Touchwood to lay aside his feud with Striker and incenses Touchwood in the process. Joining in the plot to convince the two feuders that Samuel Touchwood has impregnated Annabel, he takes a disguised Samuel to meet his uncle, Sir Arnold, at the Asparagus Garden. While they are there, Gilbert introduces Sir Arnold to Walter's dangerous new 'friend,' the poet-soldier Bounce (really Samuel in disguise). When Bounce assaults Sir Arnold, Walter comes to his uncle's aid and thus gains his favor. He begs Sir Arnold's help in his determination to marry a rich young lady, who turns out to be none other than Annabel. This leads to Sir Arnold's eventual courtship of Annabel for himself, and in the end to the disclosure of all plots and the happy reunion of Samuel and Annabel.


A fictitious character in Shirley's Changes. Sir Walter Cormorant is the made up uncle of Lady Bird, who is really Caperwit's Page posing as a woman.


A "ghost character" in Middleton's Michaelmas Term. He is the father that Andrew Gruel (a.k.a. Lethe) has forgotten.


Supporter of Richmond in Shakespeare's Richard III. Herbert predicts that Richard's forces will desert him during the Battle of Bosworth.


A "fictional character" in Cavendish & Shirley's Country Captain. Dorothy pretends that he is a wealthy knight from an old family, and claims in a phony letter to Sir Richard that he is her long-lost father.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Richard III. A nobleman who is killed during the Battle of Bosworth.


Sir Walter Peregrine is the husband of Lady Bellamia in Shirley's The Example. Supposedly out of the country because he has debts he cannot pay, Sir Walter returns to find that Fitzavarice has inexplicably released the mortgage and debt owed by Peregrine. Suspicious that Fitzavarice's generosity stems form favors bestowed by Bellamia, Peregrine challenges Fitzavarice and wounds the lord in their eventual fight. Fitzavarice survives, however, and Sir Walter ends with all his debts forgiven.


Sir Walter Plainsey is regularly referred to as Old Plainsey to distinguish him from his son in Chettle and Day's Blind Beggar of Bednal Green. Lady Ellanor is his ward, and at first he declares he loves her, but it is quickly revealed that he loves her lands more than her, and no more is made of this point. At the trial of Strowd, he declares that not only has Strowd confessed to the murder of Sir Robert, but that Sir Robert's daughter begged for his execution, an unlikely claim since Kate has just been forced into marriage to Old Plainsey's son. However, once the truth is revealed he tries to make peace, and when he finds his son and Sir Robert attempting to kill the disguised Mumford, he takes the side of the servingman and is convinced that Sir Robert and his son plotted against Mumford. He appears before the King and asks that the two sides be allowed to prove their cause through battle. He also declares himself innocent of his son's treachery.


A "ghost character" in Quarles' The Virgin Widow. Quibble says Sir Walter Ralegh's ointment cured Count Gondomar's fistula.


Sir Walter Terill is the bridegroom of Cælestine and the son-in-law of Sir Quintilian Shorthose in Dekker's Satiromastix. This character's name is borrowed from a real historical figure, Walter Tirel, lord of Poix, who was rumored to have assassinated king William Rufus, but in Satiromastix Sir Walter Terill is rendered as a noble and virtuous character. His happy marriage to Cælestine at the outset of the play is almost immediately threatened by the lecherous king, William Rufus, who commands Terill to present Cælestine at court so that he may deflower her on her wedding night. Terill is tortured by the conflict between his duty to the king and preserving his bride inviolate, but ultimately sees himself as forced to submit to the king's wishes. Cælestine, however, decides to drink poison rather than submit her body to the king, viewing the alternative as a stain of sin that will taint both her marriage and the state, and Terill nobly assents to her suicide. Terill presents the king with Cælestine's body and confronts him with the horror his lechery has engendered. When William Rufus discovers that Cælestine has taken poison rather than relinquish her chastity to any man other than her husband, he repents his actions. When he declares her a truly constant wife, however, Cælestine revives, having unwittingly consumed a potion of her father's devising to make her only appear dead. The king is content now not to interfere between bride and bridegroom, and Cælestine and Terill are happily reunited.


Walter Whitmore, an English pirate in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, helps to capture several gentlemen prisoners among whom is the exiled and disguised Suffolk. Suffolk identifies himself in the hope that Whitmore will spare his life, but Whitmore and his lieutenant agree that Suffolk's misdeeds, compounded by his rude behaviour to the pirates, merit death. They kill him.


A seemingly wealthly ne'er-do-well with his eye on Moll, the goldsmith's daughter in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Whorehound arrives with his "niece" who is not his niece at all but rather his whore from Wales. He has a plan to marry the Goldsmith's daughter for the dowry and to marry his whore to the Goldsmith's son for the inheritance. He must thwart several elopement attempts between Moll and Touchwood, Jr. At last, he fights a duel with Touchwood, Jr. and both are wounded. Whorehound, having narrowly escaped dying in the gutter, and feeling the perdition of his soul for his lecherous acts, abjures the Allwits—he makes out his will, leaving the Allwits nothing but curses. Allwit, rebuffed by Whorehound's curses, orders the presumed murderer out of his house. When he learns that the Kixes are with child and his inheritance gone. Whorehound is taken away to debtor's prison (Fleet prison in the Knight's ward), where his creditors torment him.


A "ghost character" in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV. Walworth is mentioned by Lord Mayor Crosby. Walworth was a past Lord Mayor of London who once killed a rebel in Smithfield during the reign of King Richard.


A knight in the anonymous Jack Straw. After the rebels are defeated, King Richard II knights the Lord Mayor as Sir William Walworth, for his loyalty and bravery.


A "ghost character" in Shirley's The School of Compliment. This gentleman has supposedly requested a speech from the Compliment School.


Wanton is the first of the new incarnations into which Infans is transformed in the anonymous Mundus et Infans. He is an unruly child, selfish and spoiled, ready to disgrace his parents and torment his peers. After seven years service to Mundus, he is transformed into the adolescent character "Lust and Liking."


Considered clever and attractive by virtually every man in Killigrew's Parson's Wedding, Wanton herself prefers the libertine Captain. At the beginning of the play the Captain tells her that he'll never marry her or keep her, and that the only way he'll continue to visit her bed is if she agrees to marry the Parson as a joke on the Parson. Wanton, clearly in love with the Captain, does so, though by act two she says she is happy to be in a marriage in which she wears the breeches. One of Wanton's first conjugal acts is to get her husband drunk and steal his plate and jewelry. The Captain and Wanton then scheme to play a trick on the drunken Parson. The Parson is put to bed with the Baud. The Captain pretends to be the constable and Jolly pretends to be the summoner, and they break into the house and arrest the Parson on charges of adultery. Wild, who pretends to be the justice, suggests whipping, but then Wanton says that the Parson should be allowed to go free if he promises to look the other way when she has affairs with other men, to which the Parson readily agrees.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Hick Scorner. One of the "three wenches" that Hick Scorner keeps upon his brothel-ship, The Envy. Perhaps the same character as the Sibley mentioned elsewhere in the play.


One of King Humanity's courtiers in Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates. Along with Placebo and Solace, he recommends that the King begin an affair with Lady Sensuality. While wooing the Lady for the King, he claims Hameliness for his paramour. He and the other courtiers encourage the King to indulge in ceaseless sexual activity and drinking, but are admonished when Divine Correction arrives, and promise to engage only in lawful pleasures henceforth.

WAR **1554

War is an alternative name for Hance Beerpot, the drunken Fleming in the Anonymous An Interlude of Wealth and Health.

WAR **1599

Warre's reign in Act Five follows that of Envy in Marston's Histrio-Mastix. She is attended by Ambition, Fury, Horror, and Ruin.

WAR **1605

A non-speaking role in Marston's Parasitaster, or The Fawn: one of the allegorical attendants in the Masque of Cupid's Council.

WARBECK **1621

A country gentleman in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. He is angry when Old Carter spurns his suit toward Susan, and this makes him a likely suspect when Susan is murdered. He is released from custody when the truth is revealed. When Frank repents his crime on the gallows, Warbeck forgives him.

WARBECK **1632

Warbeck believes himself to be the rightful king of England, Richard of York, second son of Edward IV in Ford's Perkin Warbeck. He is at first characterized as an upstart. He grows in our affections, however, as a charismatic young man who wins James and Katherine and his followers by his rhetoric. His final victory is in his steadfast refusal to relent his position in what he believes to be true. Although misguided in his beliefs, he is in the final analysis true to his ideals, unlike some of his followers who are merely true to their purses and hopes for advancement.

WARD **1610

Kentish-born fisherman turned pirate, the Christian who later turns Turk in Daborne's A Christian Turned Turk. His officer Gismund introduces him as ' Lord of the Ocean, terror of Kings.' A cunning and completely ruthless outlaw, he has rejected his family, nation and religion for a successful life of crime at sea. A bold opportunist and violent predator. Short of men at the opening of the play, he abducts the French merchants, Albert and Ferdinand, refusing to ransom them, as their service was the point of the kidnapping. He scorns their pleas to be allowed to return home, as he is himself, by choice, homeless and deaf to sentiments of blood and nationhood. Priding himself on this public face of inhumanity, he privately grieves over the body of an unnamed friend killed during the battle to take Monsieur Davy's and his usually hidden emotions are strong. He denounces heaven and curses Fortune and fate before resolving to follow his martial destiny. Ferdinand fails to comfort Ward, and in a soliloquy reflects on the pirate's imperfect judgement and lack of faith. Where Ward blames his fate, fortune, heaven and the stars for his misfortunes, Ferdinand sees only the results of Ward's bad choices in life. Ward's grim passivity and 'atheism' are a warning of his future susceptibility to the tenets of Islam. He is tempted to kill all of Davy's passengers in revenge, but makes do with drowning their leader, the blinded Lemot. Answers Gismund's defiance with blows, but decides to drown his sorrows in drink rather than waste profitable lives. Does not notice that Gismund is becoming mutinous. Ward accepts the challenge from rival pirate, Francisco, to duel for a half share of the captured ship, whose pursuit he has intercepted. Pirate honour is at stake in the combat, and Ward's courage depends again on his defiance of fortune and the authority of others. Ward and Francisco fight. Ward loses, to his own amazement. He cannot believe that his opponent has not used 'enchantments' to defeat him. He agrees to keep their deal and the two pirates become allies, swearing brotherhood and co-operation henceforward. When Gallop and Gismund mutiny and escape with the captured ship, Ward is again amazed at his own failure to anticipate or prevent this defection. Vowing revenge he follows them to Tunis. Confronts and terrifies Gallop at the house of Benwash. After the intervention of Dansiker and Sares, Ward agrees to pardon Gallop in return for the gold from the sale of his abducted captives. (Unclear in the dialogue, at some point Ward takes the enslaved Fidelio as his own pageboy). In pursuit of Gallop to Tunis, Ward has taken another prize and brings his new prisoners for sale at Benwash's–Raymond and his two sons, the younger being Alizia's betrothed. Ward again demonstrates is inhumanity, refusing both Raymond junior's plea for their freedom at the price of their ship and goods, and their father's plea not to be separated from each other in slavery. The father dies of grief, prophesying the revenge of heaven; Ward heartlessly and scornfully proposes a party, before the body is even removed. When the women join the celebration, he instantly desires Voada, both the first sign in him of any human emotion since the death of his friend, and another sign of his inability at judging other people below the surface. Ward and Dansiker come to blows over Voada's favors, and are parted by her brother, Crosman. Ward's reputation as already 'half a Turk already' prompts Crosman and Voada to convert him fully. Ward is presented to the Governor of Tunis, who also tries to persuade him of the material advantages of conversion. Crosman then cites his brother-in-law as an example of a prosperous convert to Ward. Ward confirms his disinterest in divinity, and remains unconvinced of any material benefits to him. The irresistible bait is marriage to Voada herself when other temptations are rejected. Ward confesses his torment of love to her–she makes his conversion the condition of her acquiescence. He is taken in by her passionate act of desperate devotion and agrees to convert for her sake. He rationalizes thus: having already forsworn his name, country and religion, he will gain new 'beauty, command and riches' in adopting a new faith. When Ward decides to turn Turk, Francisco/Alizia [see notes on attribution problem at head of play listing, ed.] pleads with him to reconsider, begging on his/her knees that Ward resist the temptation to sell his soul and deny his redeemer. His/her eloquence troubles Ward's conscience and he briefly recants his decision, before being quickly turned again by Voada, furious at the intervention. The sight of his former captives on their way to the galleys now troubles his conscience too–both Ferdinand and Raymond plead with him not to convert, offering to forgive him his wrongs, but Voada's spell over him is too strong. Ferdinand prophesies a 'hell of lust' for him. A dumbshow depicts the formal rites of his conversion, in the presence of the Muffty (Mufti) and many Turkish dignitaries. Ward is first humiliated as a Christian, entering bareheaded on an ass. He swears his allegiance, signs his name to the oath and is formally robed as a Turk. He symbolically rejects the wine offered to him by a Christian, and abuses him. His circumcision is not staged, but is narrated by Sares to Dansiker, with the opinion that Ward managed to fake the mutilation. This is not confirmed. In the fire at Benwash's house, Ward looses valuable property stored there. He is now finding Voada hard-hearted with him. It is unclear whether they are now married, but it seems likely. News arrives that every ship in the harbour except Ward's own has been burned, and on that Dansiker has escaped. He still dotes on Voada, despite her contempt for him as a 'false runnagate'. He refuses to listen to Francisco, who denounces her as a whore, but credits his report that troops are about to re-take Tunis castle, given to him as one of the rewards of his conversion. Ward would rather blow up his own castle than relinquish it to his treacherous co-religionists. He is interrupted by the arrival of Janissaries intent on his capture, but manages to hide from them. In a soliloquy he considers his shame, guilt, disgrace and certain damnation. Francisco returns and shows great loyalty, calling him brother. Ward fears that flattery, not pity moves him, but is persuaded his compassion is genuine. Ward repents his life of blood and blasphemy, regrets his lost life of simple content as a fisherman. Francisco warns him not to fall into the mortal sin of despair. Ward revives and declares that seeking revenge against Voada will be his new aim in life. He pretends to accept Fidelio's warning of his wife's lust, and to believe Fidelio innocent of complicity. He frees Fidelio from slavery, but secretly plans to punish Voada by contriving that she shoot and kill the object of her desire. (The plotting which follows is inferred offstage, and sketchily depicted.) Ward laughs to witness Voada's murder of 'Fidelio', before realizing that she has shot Raymond by mistake. Alizia commits suicide and Ward discovers that Fidelio is really a woman. He blames Francisco for these deaths. (The reason is unclear, but probably another example of Ward's inability to take responsibility for his own actions.) Voada refuses to accept that Fidelio, her dead love, was a girl, and attacks Ward with her dagger to avenge Fidelio's death. In the struggle she is wounded and calls for the watch, falsely accusing Ward of murder. The officers who arrive do not care about the alleged murder of an infidel servant, but arrest Ward for the wounding of his wife, a true Turk. Called on to surrender, Ward appears to despair at the injustice he has suffered, and resolves to go mad–to 'turn cannibal' in their Turkish bedlam. Finally seen demanding justice as a Turk from the Governor and Muffty. He is granted a private interview with his wife and protests his devotion and faith to her. She scorns him. To prevent her ruining him with further lies (and despite lack of a stage directions) he kills her. Denouncing the ingratitude of the Turks he kills himself, praying to be the last Christian renegade, for the reunification of Christendom into a force fit to beat the Turkish Empire, and finally making a profession of belief in the justice of Heaven.

WARD **1621

The Ward is wholly unlikable, though funny in Middleton's Women Beware Women. He is first seen with Sordido carrying toys and sniggering over a proposed marriage to Isabella. He treats his intended as a curiosity and inspects her as though she might be a prize cow or mare got for breeding (at best) toying with (at worst). He has no respect for anyone, not even his best friend, Sordido or even himself. Ward goes so far as to say that he hopes Isabella will not want to see him naked because of his bad skin. He accidentally kills Guardino by foolishly springing the trap door too soon. The two had meant to kill Hippolito.


He aids Cromer in arresting John Oldcastle and driving Lady Cobham from her home in Munday, Drayton, Hathaway, and Wilson's Sir John Oldcastle.


Warder of the Tower in ?Tarlton's Three Plays in One. Possibly a mute character. Appears in the induction scenes.

WARDER of the TOWER, FIRST**1595

When the First and Second Sheriffs of London arrive at the Tower in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More, the First Warder greets them and tells them the Lieutenant wishes them to come the "limits" of the Tower to receive their prisoner.


Two Warders of the Tower of London refuse to allow Gloucester entrance at I.iii of Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI when the Lord Protector comes to inspect it.


A merchant, threescore and ten years old in Mayne’s City Match. He took Frank Plotwell under his wing when old Plotwell, destroyed by Seathrift, escaped from the counter and disappeared. Before making Frank his heir, however, he plans to fake his own death to see if the boy is worthy. He has taken Frank from the Temple to teach him the merchant trade. He and Seathrift go to sea together leaving Frank and Timothy behind in charge. He returns a few hours later, not having gone to sea, to discover that Frank changed into his silks and went to Roseclap’s Ordinary. He sends Cypher to tell the boy that Warehouse has died. He then disguises himself as a Cobbler. He witnesses his nephew’s joy at the news of his death and plans to open his cellar so the wine flows as free as at an Ordinary. He unmasks and disowns the boy. He hires Baneswright to find him a wife to get a new heir upon. He agrees to marry Madam Aurelia in the French church (and language) because it does not require a license (and Baneswright tells him that Frank has bribed all the offices not to grant him a marriage license). He discovers that there’s been a mistake and he is to marry Dorcas rather than Aurelia. He is satisfied with that arrangement and agrees to settle his property upon her and disinherit Frank. He has brought his lawyer for that very purpose. Salewit, playing the French priest, reads not from the scriptures but rather from Rabelais when he “marries" Dorcas to Warehouse. Once alone with his ‘wife’ Dorcas will not let him touch her but claims to have married him for his money and to use him as her cloak when she has lovers come to her. He is aghast to have been tricked, robbed, and cuckolded all at once. He also learns (from a disguised Cypher) that two of his ships are lost at sea. He agrees to enrich Frank if he can, as he says, make all well. He is further angered when Bright and Newcut arrive to be Dorcas’ “night pieces." He undertakes assurances with the disguised Quartfield and Baneswright to assure Warehouse’s ‘lost’ ships to give three parts of his ships to have the fourth secured. He immediately learns that Frank has tricked him. His ships are safe. He has given three quarters of the profit to Frank through the assurances. Dorcas is chaste and has now married Frank because her marriage to Warehouse was a sham. He realizes his foolishness and forgives them. He is overjoyed when Baneswright unmasks and proves to be his lost brother Plotwell. He invites everyone in to the feast he had intended for his own wedding.


Warman is Robert of Huntington's steward in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, but he helps John and the Prior in their plan to have him outlawed. Before Robin is outlawed, the Prior gives him one hundred crowns for his help. When Robin is actually outlawed, Warman protests to him, but Robin compares him to Judas, making clear that he is aware of Warman's treachery. With the Sheriff's help, he attempts to take Little John's chest, suspecting that it has Robin's goods in it, but they fail. Beginning at II.ii, Warman takes on the previously separate role of Sheriff of Nottingham, indicating the play's unfinished revision. In his role as Sheriff, he attempts to hang Scarlet and Scathlock as outlaws, but they are rescued by Robin Hood and his men. When Ely escapes from his custody, Prince John is convinced that Warman let him go in exchange for bribes. Warman offers him a letter that accuses the Prior of treason, and John believes him, but remains angry with Warman, who loses his position and is banished. At first he believes that if he can find a place to hide until Ely is taken, he will be reinstated, but after meeting with his Cousin, the Jailor of Nottingham, and a Woman, all three of whom curse and spurn him, he decides his only choice is to commit suicide. He is stopped by Fitzwater, who sends Marian to fetch Robin and his men. Robin then forgives Warman and gives him comfort.
Warman is Robin Hood's steward in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. He enters with Robin Hood and is told by him to shun solitary walks and become more cheerful. Unlike the Prior and Doncaster, he is truly repentant for his treachery against Robin Hood. When the two plotters ask him to join them in their plot to kill Robin, Warman is appalled and declares at length his loyalty to Robin. In the midst of his declaration, Doncaster stabs him to death, and the Prior then puts the knife in his hand, making it appear that Warman has committed suicide.


Warman's Cousin is one of the three characters who mocks Warman after he has been banished in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. He refuses to succor Warman, having heard of Prince John's anger, and states that he hates the treachery Warman has committed.


Warman's Wife (apparently French from her accent) enters as Little John resists Warman and the Sheriff in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. She mocks her husband's inability to deal with Little John and tells him she will not sleep with him if he does not arrest Little John immediately. When the Prior comments that Robert is now Robin, as simple a yeoman as his servants, Warman's Wife takes great offense since her husband was Robert's servant. Much accuses her of taking the linens after Robin was outlawed, and she claims she only took them to wash them. When Warman tells her to go away, she does go, but insists that she is angry and should by rights be addressed by all as Mistress Sheriff.


Master Warner appears on stage together with his brother-in-law Master Hammon during the hunt scene that serves as a thematic overture to Hammon's thwarted seduction of Rose Oatley in Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday.


A clerk to Sir Generous Worthy in Nabbes' Covent Garden. He challenges Spruce to a duel over the love of Susan, after she has assured him that she can get him pardoned, but they are interrupted by the arrival of Dorothy and Lady Worthy. Later, at night, Dorothy and Susan watch Warrant and Spruce comically try to duel in the moonlight, and when Ralph and Dobson show up, Susan tricks them into robbing Warrant and trying to rob Spruce. Later, when the constable brings in Ralph and Dobson under arrest, Warrant denies that he was robbed, leading into the mock trial which concludes the play. In that mock trial, Ralph ridicules Warrant for his Latin and says to "make his Mittimus and send him to school".


The Earl of Essex in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. A member of Prince Edward's inner circle and a friend of Lacy's, Warren comments sarcastically on the variableness of women when Margaret suddenly gives up her plan to enter a convent and accepts Lacy's marriage proposal.


A suitor to Lady Loveright in Davenant's News From Plymouth. He is a scholarly gentleman with a great fortune. He divests himself of his money and books and begins training to be a soldier in the hopes of winning over Lady Loveright. She agrees to marry him if he achieves the character of a soldier as described by her father. Upon reading the description, he finds it unattainable. When Lady Loveright and Jointure unexpectedly enter the room, he hides behind a wall hanging and learns of Loveright's love for Seawit. After overhearing the subsequent exchange, in which Seawit rejects both women, he challenges Seawit to a duel. The duel is prevented by Loveright, who announces her intentions of marrying Warwell. Warwell happily agrees.

WARWICK **1590

When King Edward asks for information on George in Greene's George a Greene, Warwick describes how George once beat him. When Edward expresses shock that he would hit an earl, Warwick responds that George would fight a king, so long as it is not Edward himself, to protect Wakefield. After the contest between the disguised Edward and George, Warwick brings out the royal garments.

WARWICK **1590

The Earl of Warwick is an English nobleman and the father of the Countess of Salisbury in the Anonymous King Edward III. He accompanies the king on his mission to rescue the Countess from the Scots. When Warwick sees that Edward is distressed, he swears to do anything that Edward might want if it will help him to feel better. When Edward reveals that he wants Warwick to convince the Countess to give into him, Warwick is upset, but does what he has sworn. He presents the best case he can to his daughter, but is very pleased when she violently rejects the idea of yielding. When the King eventually returns to the French invasion, he makes Warwick Warden of the North.

WARWICK **1592

Richard Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick is a Yorkist in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI, supporting Richard Plantagenet's claim to the throne. Shakespeare imagines a fictitious debate in which the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions choose the symbols of their quarrel, the white and the red roses. Suffolk sides with Somerset and the Lancastrians, plucking a red rose from a nearby bush, while Warwick and Vernon choose a white rose to show their support for Richard Plantagenet's Yorkist side. Warwick tries to make peace between Gloucester and Winchester, who are vying for control over the youthful king and his nation.

WARWICK **1599

The Earl of Warwick in Shakespeare's Henry V intervenes in the contretemps between Fluellen and Williams. Historically, he was Richard Beauchamp and was sent back to England with the spoils of Harfleur and was not, therefore, at Agincourt.

WARWICK **1623

The Earl of Warwick is one of Hal's brothers in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth. He is the most sensitive of the brothers, very sympathetic toward both his father's pain and his eldest brother's plight. Warwick discovers Henry IV walking the halls tormented late at night. Warwick soothes the king's mind and sends him back to slumber.


The Earl of Warwick, King-Maker in ?Tarlton's Three Plays in One. He comes into Henry's tower cell in the penultimate scene of the play, presumably to espouse his cause and free the captive monarch.

Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, son of the Earl of Salisbury in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, is a Yorkist and opposes the treaty which Henry has signed ceding Anjou and Maine to the French in exchange for Margaret of Anjou. After Gloucester dies in prison, Warwick reports that the commoners blame Suffolk and Cardinal Beaufort for the death, and after examining the body at Henry's request he concurs that Gloucester has been murdered. Warwick's investigation, along with pressure from the commoners, persuades Henry to banish Suffolk. Warwick serves Henry faithfully throughout most of the play even though he supports the Duke of York's claim to throne, and in 3 Henry VI will return to the Lancastrian side. In the final lines of 2 Henry VI, Warwick is still a Yorkist, and he praises the Yorkist forces for their victory in Saint Albans, anticipating their future glory. Historically, Richard Neville became Warwick through marriage. His wife, Anne, was daughter to Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. Richard Neville's grandmother was Joan, youngest daughter of John of Gaunt.
The Earl of Warwick speaks the last lines of 2 Henry VI and the opening lines of Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. Following his defeat at Saint Albans, Warwick journeys to Herefordshire to inform the Duke of York's sons that King Henry's Lancastrian forces have vanquished their side. After the Yorkists succeed in placing Edward on the throne, Warwick is sent to France as an ambassador to propose an alliance between England and France via a marriage between Edward and the French queen's sister, Lady Bona. When letters arrive reporting that Edward has married Lady Grey, Warwick withdraws his support of the Yorkist cause, and the French king becomes Edward's enemy. Later, after Edward's brother George Duke of Clarence has joined the anti-Yorkist forces, Warwick tells Edward that a man who does not know how to treat his ambassadors or his brothers, or how to promote his country's best interests, does not deserve to be king. When King Henry is freed from prison thanks to Warwick and Clarence's efforts, Henry abdicates power to them. Warwick dies defending Henry against the Yorkists.
He is the English ambassador to France in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV. Before the king's recent marriage to the widow of John Gray, Warwicke had been negotiating a match for Edward with the French Princess Bona. Historically, this was Richard Neville, "the Kingmaker." Warwicke is cousin to King Edward by marriage. Isabel, George of Clarence's wife, was Warwick's daughter, making him father-in-law to Edward IV's brother George.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Richard III. This is "Warwick the Kingmaker," Richard Neville. He is the father of Lady Anne; father-in-law of George, Duke of Clarence (who married his daughter Isabel); and also father-in-law of Prince Edward, Henry VI's son, who married Lady Anne (who in this play is found following Henry VI's corpse and who becomes Richard's queen). Warwick originally supported Edward IV and placed him on the throne in 1461 but later changed allegiance to Henry VI, and at Warwick's urging Clarence vowed to fight for them during the Wars of the Roses. Clarence deserted Warwick and the Lancasters, though, and in Clarence's dream Warwick and Edward accuse him of perjury. Historically Richard Neville died in 1471 at the Battle of Barnet.

WARWICK, GUY, EARL of **1592

Guy, Earl of Warwick, stands with Lancaster and Mortimer in demanding the exile of Gaveston in Marlowe's Edward II. Older than the other barons, he speaks alternately with wisdom and with defiance. When the barons capture Gaveston and reluctantly agree to allow Edward II to see him one last time, Warwick defies his peers as well as his king by capturing and executing Gaveston. Years later Warwick is defeated on the battlefield along with Lancaster and Mortimer, captured by the Edward II's men, and executed on the king's orders.

WARWICK, GUY, EARL of **1593

Guy of Warwick serves the English King Athelstone of Winchester in the anonymous Guy Earl of Warwick. The audience learns that before the play begins Guy had earned a glorious reputation by defeating both the savage Bore [sic] of Called and the wild cow of Dunmore Heath. After seven years of wooing, Guy finally wins his true love Phillis' hand in marriage. After marrying and impregnating Phillis, Guy decides to repent for the sins of his life by leaving England in search of the Lord's Sepulcher. Even after Phillis informs Guy of her pregnancy, he remains determined to leave. Before he leaves, Guy takes Phillis' golden ring and tells her that if she ever sees the ring off his hand, it will be because he is dead. Guy takes the clown Sparrow with him. While traveling, Guy comes upon a hermit who had not spoken in forty years. The hermit blesses Guy's mission. At the Tower of Donather, Guy is trapped by an enchanter's spell. Oberon, King of the Fairies, rescues Guy and directs him to Jerusalem. Guy then saves the King of Jerusalem from an onslaught of Muslim warriors led by the Sultan Shamurath. Guy defeats the Muslims in spite of the sorcerer Zorastes' best efforts. Guy refuses the throne of Jerusalem; he instead forswears battle altogether. He puts on a palmer's weeds and becomes a hermit. He promises God that he will not see his family or friends for twenty-seven years. With seven years left on his self-imposed exile, Guy returns to England. Although he is now an elderly man, Guy is chosen by King Athelstone, thanks to the intervention of an angel, as the English champion against the Danish giant Colbron. Guy easily slays Colbron, but refuses any reward. He divulges his identity to his king, but he asks Athelstone to keep his return to England a secret. Athelstone agrees. Athelstone informs Guy that his father-in-law Rohon is dead, his son Rainborn is grown and his faithful wife Phillis is still alive. Guy builds a shelter within a cave a mile away from Phillis' house. He travels to see Phillis with a pair of palmers and is overcome with love when he sees her offer food to all palmers in the name of her husband Guy. Guy considers ending his exile early, but recommits to his obligation. One week before his twenty-seven year self-banishment ends, an angel comes to Guy and informs him that, ironically, Guy is going to die in seven days and that there is nothing to be done about it. Guy commits one final time to his mission and waits in his cave to die. As he lay dying, Guy's son Rainborn comes upon the cave. Rainborn comforts the dying man and agrees to take a gold ring to his mother Phillis. Guy dies before Phillis can arrive. His body is identified on account of the gold ring as well as a wart under his ear. King Athelstone honors his most extraordinary knight by swearing to build a hermitage in Guy's cave.

WASP, THE**1637

Disguise assumed by Gilbert, Baron of Claridon in the anonymous The Wasp. As The Wasp, he is a malcontent who buzzes against authority. He watches over his wife, Countess Claridon, and learns about his son Gerald's misconduct.


Humphrey (Numps) Wasp is Cokes' servant in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Wasp enters Littlewit's house to retrieve the marriage license between Bartholomew Cokes and Grace Wellborn. Although Wasp pretends to be the helpless Cokes' protector, he fails to see when Edgworth pinches his master's purse in two instances, and himself falls prey to the con men at the Fair. At the Fair, Wasp enters with the Cokes party when Overdo/Madman is delivering his anti-tobacco speech. When Cokes observes that his purse is missing, Wasp blames the orator, whom he thinks to be an accomplice to the thieves. Wasp starts beating Overdo/Madman and all ends in confusion. In another scene at the Fair, Cokes wants to buy all he sees, and Wasp tries to temper him. When Cokes complains that his second purse has been stolen, Wasp blames Overdo/Madman for the second theft as well. Wasp leaves with Cokes to take the culprit to the stocks. Wasp is next in the company of Cutting, Knockem, Northern, Puppy, and Whit, playing a game of "vapours." During the confusion created by the game, ending in a drunken brawl, Edgworth steals the marriage license out of Wasp's box, while Knockem and Whit steal all the men's cloaks. The officers arrest the brawlers and they put Wasp into the stocks. Wasp manages to escape by using a trick. While the officers are occupied with the other two prisoners, Wasp puts his shoe on his hand and slips it in for his leg. Taking advantage of another moment of inattention, Wasp manages to escape. Wasp enters the puppet-theatre in search of his master and attends the puppet show. When Cokes confronts him with the loss of the marriage certificate, Wasp replies that he will never speak again.


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

WAT **1608

Wat is a waterman that carries luggage in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. He is a foolish character.

WAT **1611

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

WAT **1635

Nickname of Walter Chamlet, friend and brother-in-law to Gilbert Goldwire, in Brome's The Sparagus Garden.

WAT **1637

Wat is Vermine's son in Brome's The Damoiselle. Rejected by his own father, he is going to be deprived of his inheritance. Not to be left without money, he goes back home disguised as Sir Amphilus's Country Servingman to talk to his sister. Proud of his sister's wisdom, he reveals his hidden personality and praises Alice. Later, he tells her that he had escaped from the justice thanks to Dryground's help. He needs money and he asks his sister for money. He also invites her to leave her father and go with him because Sir Amphilus is coming to marry her. They run away to Brainford. Wat is in love with a prostitute and he wants to marry her. In IV.i, he escapes from a group of fellows thanks to Oliver's help and he leaves the scene with Phillis. However, before that he will suffer from Ambrose's anger who kicks him twice. Having learned a lesson, he goes to the brothel to pick up his sister and leave. However, he is arrested and kept in a room for a while. Finally, he marries Phillis.

WAT **1639

Wat is a blunt fellow and servingman to Carelesse in Brome's A Mad Couple. At the very beginning, he is asked to take a letter to Mr Saveall, which he does. Nevertheless, Wat advises his master to find another way to support himself. Wat has always been on his side. He asks Carelesse if his father has bequeathed something to him, but he has not. Thus, Wat will ask his aunt to help them. In Act Three, he takes a letter to Mistress Crostill, whom his master will marry. He will emulate him marrying his master's whore.


Tyler joins the group of commoners who plans to confront the aristocracy and take over their powers in the anonymous Jack Straw. He advocates immediate action while they have momentum, and prods Strawe to confront King Richard II in London. Tyler tells King Richard II that commoners are as worthy as nobility to receive the king's favors and, perhaps because of his outspokenness, is one of two members of the group to be hanged (Ball being the other). Before his death, he reminds Morton that Tyler saved Morton from some unspecified difficulty at Rochester Castell. He maintains his sense of humor throughout.

WATCH **1591

The Watch accompanies the Mayor to the Arden home just after the murder in the Anonymous Arden of Feversham. The Mayor has a warrant for the arrest of Black Will, who has been seen at the house. While there, the Franklin comes to inform them that Arden's body has been discovered at the Abbey.

WATCH **1598

When the Sheriff and Warman attempt to look in Little John's box in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, the Watch shout "Down with him!" when he struggles. Presumably it is the Watch who set upon him, as the stage direction notes, and Little John knocks them down.

WATCH **1599

The constable and a watch twice intercept Skinke in his disguise as Redcap in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. First time round they take him directly to the Tower, the second time they present him first at the house of Faukenbridge and then escort him to the Tower.


He is alerted to the fight between Ricardo, Pedro, Uberto, and Silvio by Drawer in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Coxcomb. He helps Drawer and the Constable escort Ricardo and his friends, Pedro, Uberto, and Silvio home.

WATCH **1620

Four Watchmen, not identified by name in May's The Heir. They accompany the Constable on patrol and assist in the arrest of 'Irus' on his confession to the murder of Eugenio.

WATCH **1622

A watchman who accompanies Busy in his patrol in William Rowley's A Match at Midnight.


In Verney’s Antipoe, he commits suicide rather than watch the dishonourable execution of Macros. Macros says that he was wrong to do so.


With the Sentry and the Second Watch, the First Watch overhears Enobarbas' dying speech of regret in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. The First Watch recognizes that Enobarbas has collapsed, rather than simply fallen asleep. The Second Watch, however, mistakes Enobarbas' collapse for sleep, and believes, even at the end, that he might recover.


Along with the Corporal, there are two members of the watch in Fletcher's The Knight of Malta.
  • The First Watch, with the Second Watch and the Corporal, are singing while on guard when Norandine makes bizarre noises to confuse them. The First Watch is convinced it is the Dutchman's sow that has escaped, but when he sees Norandine, he believes it is a devil and that their muskets will be useless against it.
  • The Second Watch, with the First Watch and the Corporal, are singing while on guard, when Norandine makes bizarre noises to confuse them. The Second Watch is at first convinced it is a bear, but then agrees with the First Watch that it is the Dutchman's sow and her piglets. When he sees Norandine, the Second Watch is convinced he is a devil with cloven feet, and urges the Corporal to confront it.


He is part of the watch in Rowley’s When You See Me set out to investigate the recent murder of two merchants in the stews. Although Capcase (first watch), Prichall (cobbler), and Dormouse (third watch) are named as watchmen, there is a “second" who is given no name. He helps to arrest Black Will and the disguised Henry when he finds them fighting in the street.


A servant of Lady Alworth's in Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. Watchall plays a minor part in Welborne's charade.


A "ghost character" in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. Arthur Watchins is Doll Williamson's brother. During the May Day riots, Doll urges the London crowd to hear More speak because he has always been generous to the common people, and as evidence, she notes that More made her brother Arthur a yeoman working for Sergeant Safe.


In Tourneur's The Atheist's Tragedy after Languebeau Snuff discovers the corpse of Borachio in St. Winfred's graveyard, he summons the watch to show them the body. Charlemont admits on the spot to having killed the man but insists that Castabella, who is present, had nothing to do with the matter. The Watchman counters that, because she has been taken with him, she must be sent to prison with him to await trial. Later, the watch arrest Cataplasma, Fresco, Snuff, and Soquette following the deaths of Levidulcia, Sebastian, and Belforest. As the group is being led off, the Watchman comments explicitly upon the need for virtue to restrain lust, for lustful action often ends in bloodshed.


The sleepy watchman who fails to report the lawbreakers to his superiors is a "ghost character" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. When Overdo enters the Fair disguised as madman, in order to detect those who break the law and bring them to justice, he says he adopted this wise stratagem because he cannot trust the probity of those who are responsible with reporting the delinquents. Overdo holds the opinion that people in his position see and hear with other people's eyes. Therefore, Overdo thinks, a Justice of Peace must rely on the improbable report of a sleepy watchman for information.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas. According to Launcelot, he and Thomas stole the sleeping watchman's shoes while on their drunken spree; waking, he chased them barefoot through the streets.


Several watchmen figure in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:
  1. The Chief Watchman arrives first to investigate the deaths at the Capulet tomb.
  2. The Second Watchman is one of the watchmen who investigates the deaths at the Capulet tomb.
  3. The Third Watchman also arrives to investigate the deaths at the Capulet monument.
(See also "CITIZENS of the WATCH").


There are two watchmen, presumably in Dover, who are supposed to guard against invasions from Gallia in the Anonymous King Leir:
  1. The First Watchman comments that in thirty years of watching the beacon, there has never been a need to light it, and he quickly allows the Second Watchman to persuade him to leave his post and go for ale and bacon at Goodman Jennings'. Both are almost stabbed by the First Captain when they return, very drunk, after the Gallian army lands.
  2. The Second Watchman persuades the First to leave his post and go to the alehouse for ale and bacon. Both are almost stabbed by the First Captain when they return, very drunk, after the Gallian army lands.
They are inadvertently saved by the arrival of the Gallian, Mumford, on the shores. Both Captains flee when Mumford arrives. Both Watchmen are too drunk to be frightened of Mumford, and he leaves them.


The First and Second Watchmen in Shirley's Constant Maid attend the Constable.


They help in the apprehension of Crackstone and Attilia at the close of ?Munday's Fedele and Fortunio. The capture reveals Crackstone and Attilia's plans.


Three watchmen accompany the Constable in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies as he arrests Rachel and Merry for the murders of Beech and Winchester. They express surprise that a respected Puritan like Merry could be guilty of such a crime.


There are at least three watchmen in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. The first watch is a speaking part as is the second watch, who is given the name George Seacole and nominated constable of the watch. Another member of the watch is named Hugh Oatcake, but he is not distinguished within the group. When Dogberry explains their duties, the watchmen show that they have little desire for the work: they prefer to sleep and avoid altercations with any of Messina's nocturnal criminals. Despite these intentions, the watchmen overhear Borachio telling Conrade about the plot to convince Claudio that Borachio and Hero are lovers. The watchmen apprehend Borachio and Conrade, and are instrumental in unraveling Don John's plot.


These guards in Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters are employed by Harebrain to protect his house from impending robbery after he acquires valuable jewel.


Brought to the court by Meshant when the King is investigating the Queen's infidelity in Markham and Machin's The Dumb Knight, and ordered to prevent anyone from seeing the King. When Alphonso, wearing Prate's clothes, persists in his efforts to see the King, the watchmen arrest him.


Two watchmen in Fletcher's The Woman's Prize are stationed to guard the supposedly plague stricken Petruchio and to treat him well. Angry Petruchio rails against them, insisting that he is not ill, and they counter by charging him to prepare for death. The confrontation ends when Petruchio chases them off with a fowling piece.


The underlings of the Constable who guard the jail in Henry Shirley's The Martyred Soldier. Also referred to as 'Officers.'


The assistants to the Constable in Cartwright's The Ordinary; they are the classic stupid watch as also reflected in Much Ado About Nothing.


They open act five, complaining of the cold in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable. The third watchman’s name is Mandeville. They gossip about various monsters displayed and found in and around London. Busie gives them instructions in the manner of Dogberry not to meddle with the criminal classes. Their instructions include allowing all men and women to pass the gate without let. They are bribed sixteen pence by Jeremy and four groats by Sir Timothy, who wish to pass with a sedan chair.


Three watchmen in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI guard King Henry's tent, but they cannot protect him from an attack led by Warwick.


One is named Dungo in Wild’s The Benefice. Sometimes he is identified as the first watchman, sometimes as accompanying the first watchman. They comment upon being watchmen and listen to Marchurch practice his mayoral speech. Later, they are abroad to arrest drunkards and have heard that Hob–nail, their constable has been drinking. They leave behind their basket of Christmas capons intended for Murchurch, and Homily finds it. The watchmen return to claim the basket and not realizing the baby is now hidden inside take it to Marchurch.


A disguise assumed by Overdone in Middleton's No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's when the four disgruntled former suitors of Lady Goldenfleece (Pepperton, Lambstone, Overdone, Weatherwise) intrude upon the wedding feast of the newly-remarried widow. Somewhat remarkably, and in keeping with Weatherwise's interest in almanacs and other arcane subject, the four elements embrace at the end of this pseudo-masque.


Master Water Chamlet is a merchant in London, the owner of a cloth shop, "The Lamb" in Lombard Street in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. "Chamlet" is the name originally applied to some beautiful and costly eastern fabric. Chamlet says he is the cousin of the late Lady Cressingham, and therefore entitled to raise her children, Edward and Maria. His support of the children raises suspicion in Rachel, his wife. At Sir Francis's house, Chamlet reminds Sir Francis that he owes him money for the wedding expenses, besides the sustenance of his two children, Maria and Edward. Chamlet's philosophy of life is to "do anything for a quiet life." In his shop, Chamlet bears patiently Rachel's admonitions regarding the children and sees her leave in a rage. Hoping that George might be able to placate Rachel's temper, Chamlet promises him a new suit and sends him to Knavesbee's house to fetch his wife. Later Franklin comes into his shop disguised as "Sir Andrew," accompanied by George Cressingham disguised as his tailor, and Chamlet inflates the prices and makes the gentleman buy expensive cloth of gold. The imposters play a trick on Chamlet's apprentice Ralph and steal off with the expensive cloth. Outside the tavern "Man in the Moon", Ralph reveals to Chamlet that Franklin is the trickster who pretended to be "Sir Andrew" and cheated him of the golden cloth. Franklin thinks quickly however, speaks French, and pretends to be a French gentleman. Chamlet is gulled once more, and Franklin escapes him. Twice cheated without knowing it, Chamlet learns that Rachel is suing him for divorce, accusing him of having two illegitimate children. He sends George to conduct Sir Francis's children back to their father and to try to persuade his wife to come home. Unaware that George had devised a scheme of fooling Rachel into coming home by informing her that her husband is presently to marry a French woman, Chamlet receives Margarita in his shop and gives her money for her help as interpreter with the "French gentleman" (who was really Franklin). Rachel enters and, thinking that Margarita is Chamlet's intended bride, attacks her and makes her leave the shop. George's trick is soon discovered. It was his idea to pass the rumor of Chamlet's supposed marriage. Considering that George's ruse was for a good purpose, Chamlet proposes a second marriage to Rachel, promising her new clothes and a new suit for George. Rachel does not forgive George, however, and dismisses him as apprentice. Outside Beaufort's house, Chamlet takes his leave of his friends, announcing he intends to leave for the Bermudas for a quiet life. Hearing that Old Franklin is willing to pay for the cloth of gold, now that Franklin has apparently died, Chamlet decides not to leave after all. When Rachel arrives, George plays an echo game upon her. Chamlet overhears how his wife is persuaded to take George back into his apprenticeship and also that she intends to let her husband Chamlet have a quiet life. When George enters with a much-subdued Rachel, Chamlet is very happy.


A suitor in John Heywood's The Play of the Wether. The Water Myller asks Jupiter for plenty of rain and no wind. He engages in a debate with the Wynde Miller who, on the contrary, asks for unceasing wind and no rain at all.


A disguise assumed by Ariel after saving Ferdinand from drowning in Shakespeare's The Tempest. In the form of a water nymph, Ariel leads Ferdinand to Miranda, with whom he promptly falls in love.


A “ghost character" in Rowley’s When You See Me. In Will Sommers’s fooling, he says she told him that the old pope had gone to purgatory.


A Waterman in (?)Heywood's A Warning For Fair Women rows George Sanders back from Greenwich and thanks him for his tip. A second Waterman rows George Browne, notices his bloody hose and the clothing he was wearing, and confirms them to the Lords at Court who are taking testimony to determine whether an arrest warrant should be issued.


A "ghost character" in the Anonymous Nobody and Somebody who ferries Nobody across the Thames.


The Waterman on the Thames is a "ghost character" in Jonson, Marston, and Chapman's Eastward Ho!. He sends the Drawer to warn Sir Petronel that his voyage must be put off because of the oncoming storm. The Waterman says that the sky is overcast and a porpoise was seen at London Bridge, which is always a sign of tempests.


Hired to carry Touchwood, Jr. to Barn Elms in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Another is hired to convey Moll to Barn Elms to be married.


Musophilus first enters dressed as a waterman in the anonymous Wisest Have Their Fools. All references in the scene, however, suggest he has been a sailor rather than a waterman plying the Thames in a wherry. There is no reference to this dress being a disguise nor is it used as one. It is possible that the lost opening of the play relates a tale of how Musophilus has just tried to gull his father in this disguise. He later attempts to do so again dressed as a soldier.


Disguise adopted by Cypher in Mayne’s City Match. He tells Frank and Timothy (still dressed as the wonderful fish) that their uncle and father have both drowned eight miles east of Greenwich, their boat crushed by a coal barge.


The waterman is an Antipodean, a character in the inset play of Brome's The Antipodes. He exchanges various refined pleasantries with the carman and the sedanman. His courtly behavior and refinement are a comic contrast to the coarse vulgarity of the courtiers Will and Jack.


Two Watermen, on their way to their boats in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies, stumble over the bag containing the head and legs of Beech. They debate whether the remains might be those of a quartered traitor until the first Waterman recalls news of Beech's disappearance and Winchester's murder. They take the bag with them and head to the vicinity of Beech's shop. . The Watermen bring the bag with Beech's remains to Loney and the Neighbours, who identify the remains. They explain where they found the bag and are rewarded by the Neighbours for their troubles.


Three or four watermen enter but only two speak in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. The first waterman is called Sam. Touchwood Junior gives them a French crown and orders them to take Moll to Barn Elms. When the Yellowhammers and Whorehound stop Moll, the watermen beg them to spare her. They tell Mrs. Yellowhammer that she is cruel to drag Moll by the hair. One of them goes to the Touchwoods to tell them what has happened.


A "ghost character" in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. Mother Waters is mentioned by Miles as an innkeeper whose ale will put a "copper" (i.e. red) nose on Burden, even if Friar Bacon fails to animate his Brazen Head.


Master Waterthin is probably a fictional character in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. This is probably a stock joke name invented by George. With Franklin supposedly dead, Old Franklin decides to pay all his son's debts. He asks George to identify all his son's creditors for him. George reads a list, which contains Master Waterthin the brewer as the first entry. According to George, Waterthin is an obstinate fellow who caused Franklin to be arrested for debt.


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.


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


Only mentioned in the anonymous 2 Return From Parnassus. Watson is among the poets listed by Ingenioso and discussed by Iudicio, who along with Lodge accords him only faint praise, among "men of some desert."


The real name of Purser in Heywood and Rowley's Fortune by Land and Sea.


Pecunia's chambermaid in Jonson's The Staple of News. Her name refers the red wax seals used to legalize contracts.

WEALTH **1554

Wealth is the companion of Health and Liberty in the Anonymous An Interlude of Wealth and Health. His full name is "Wealth of this realm." He claims he is always with the Queen and her council, and is superior to Health, but agrees to work together with Health to assure England's wellbeing. He welcomes Liberty into friendship with him and Health. Wealth succumbs, with Health and Liberty, to the manipulations of Shrewd Wit (disguised as Wit) and Ill-Will (disguised as Will). While the actual location of Wealth after the downfall of the trio is uncertain, Hance Beerpot (a.k.a. War) claims that he has taken Wealth to Flanders when Good Remedy interrogates him. It seems most likely, however, that Wealth is imprisoned with Liberty, since the two are retrieved together when Good Remedy releases Liberty and sends Ill-Will and Shrewd Wit to prison.

WEALTH **1588

Wealth is the page of Pomp in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London. He is left to guard his master's shield, and explains the image on the shield to the other pages, Wit and Will. When the Spaniards invade, the pages of London fight their Spanish pages (Treachery, Terror, and Shame) with lances, and defeat them. For an unspecified reason, unnamed boys perform the pages' functions during the wedding of the lords and ladies.


Family name of Old and Young Lord Wealthy and Maria in Tailor's The Hog Hath Lost His Pearl.


A sycophantic parasite on Sir Lancelot in The London Prodigal. He contributes little to the plot, but is a source of much comic hypocrisy.


One of the four suitors to the wealthy widow, Lady Goldenfleece, in Middleton's No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's. Weatherwise, throughout the play, is obsessed with almanacs and other arcane subjects, to the point that he has his six tenants present the twelve astrological signs at a banquet during his courtship of Goldenfleece. With the emergence of the disguised Kate Low-Water as Lady Goldenfleece's favorite, the suitors realize that they have wasted their time, money, and energy pursing the widow. Disgruntled, they disrupt Goldenfleece's wedding feast by masquerading as the four elements (Weatherwise portrays Air) and presenting a pseudo-masque. Weatherwise also presents the play's epilogue.


Master Weatherwise is probably a fictional character in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. This is probably a stock joke name invented by George. Upon Franklin's alleged death, Old Franklin decides to pay all his son's debts and asks George to identify Franklin's creditors for him. George reads a list, which contains the name of Master Weatherwise by St. Clement Church in Eastcheap. When George Cressingham suggests he might be the "astrological tailor" considered a prophet, George denies it.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous 1 Return From Parnassus. Gullio foolishly takes pride that a poem addressed to him has been included in John Weaver's (or Weever's) book of epigrams.

These non-speaking characters are present at the wedding of Stukeley and Nell, daughter of London aldermen, Sir Thomas Curtis in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Hick Scorner. A sin destroyer. One among the "true religious" men and "holy women" whom Hick Scorner was glad to see drown in the Irish Sea at the Race of Ireland when their thirteen ships foundered and sank.

WEEPING **1617

A mute character in the anonymous Pathomachia. One of the sixteen banished Affections not otherwise listed in the dramatis personae but included in Madame Curiosity’s list of banditti. He is to join the main battle of Pride’s army. She disguises herself as Grief, but Justice sees through the disguise at once and sentences her to imprisonment both gentle and free.


From the Old English "wyrd," or fate, they are the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Their peculiar appearance, bearded like men but with women's breasts, combined with the audience's unfamiliarity with the ancient word "wyrd" succeeded in changing the word's meaning to the modern usage of "weird." There is debate over how much control they exert on Macbeth and events; do they merely predict the future or cause future actions to occur? There are three main Witches, though they are later joined (in scenes often attributed to Thomas Middleton) by three others and by Hecate, the Queen of the Witches. Macbeth and Banquo encounter the three on a heath after putting down Macdonald's and the Thane of Cawdor's rebellion against Duncan. They predict that Macbeth will be made Thane of Cawdor and will become king, and that Banquo will father a long line of kings. Later, after Macbeth usurps the throne, he confronts all of them for guidance. They conjure the Apparitions that pronounce warnings to Macbeth and show him the future.


Frank Welborne is a prodigal and the protagonist of Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. He is the son of the late Old Sir John Welborne and Sir Giles Overreach's nephew by marriage. After having been manipulated by Overreach into deeding over his land when he was experiencing bad fortune, Welborne concocts a plan to be revenged upon him–a plan that requires the help of Lady Alworth. Banking on his longtime friendship with Lady Alworth's late husband, who was known to have experienced some particularly bad fortune in his past and was "set upright" by Welborne, to whom he remained forever indebted, the prodigal is the first man to be graced with Lady Alworth's presence since her husband's death. He is successful in convincing Lady Alworth to pretend to be romantically interested in him in order to fool Overreach into paying his "old debts" for him. With the help of Lady Alworth's servants, and using Marrall as a pawn in his charade, Welborne's plan is successful, and Overreach redeems his clothes and offers money to his nephew to pay off his debts. Welborne also successfully bribes Justice Greedy into revoking the tapping and drawing license of Tapwell and Froth, refusing to repay his debt to them while punishing their refusal to serve him at the play's beginning, but he does, however, repay his debts to the three Creditors who petition him. With Marrall's help Overreach is exposed and punished for his extortion, and Welborne's land is restored to its rightful owner. At the play's close the prodigal shuns the service of Marrall because, in his denial of Overreach, he has proven himself to be a "false servant." Instead, Welborne requests a military mission from Lord Lovell in order to reinstate his good reputation.


A "ghost character" in Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. Old Sir John Welborne is the late father of Frank Welborne and brother of Overreach's wife (Margaret's mother), who was once the "quondam master" of Timothy Tapwell as well as a "justice of peace, and quorum" who "stood fair to be custos rotulorum."


Captain Wel-Don is a gentleman by birth, and a soldier by profession in the anonymous The Contention Between Liberalitie and Prodigalitie. He has fought for his sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, in many wars. Due to his bravery and loyalty, he is rewarded by Liberalitie: first, being offered employment in his own country, and later, being granted 100 crowns for his good service.


Welford is a suitor to the Lady in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady. Coming to the house, he is welcomed by Abigail Younglove. Telling him that the Lady will deny him, Abigail attempts to woo him herself. Martha takes pity on Welford when he is treated harshly by the Lady, and she and Abigail carry him a posset. The Lady pretends to love him as part of her battle of wits with Elder Loveless, only to reject him later. Annoyed by their treatment at the Lady's hands, Welford and Elder Loveless join forces to seek revenge. They go to the Lady, with Welford disguised as a masked woman, and claim that 'she' is Elder Loveless's newly betrothed sweetheart. When Elder Loveless appears to have rejected his masked lover in order to marry the Lady, Martha takes pity on 'her' and invites the masked woman to share her bed for the night. Welford takes the opportunity to seduce Martha, and, the next morning, refuses to preserve her honour by returning to his women's clothes. Instead, he persuades Martha to marry him.


Grace Wellborn is Adam Overdo's ward, soon to be married to Bartholomew Cokes in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Grace is not enthusiastic about the marriage because Cokes is a fool, but her uncle has got her into a legal situation in which she must either marry Cokes or relinquish her lands. Grace accompanies Cokes and his sister to Littlewit's house so Cokes may retrieve their marriage certificate. Though unwilling, Grace agrees to go with her foolish fiancé and his sister to the Fair. At the Fair, Grace is in the Cokes party when Edgworth pinches Cokes' first and second purse. When Grace explains the reason why she needs to be in possession of the marriage certificate, Quarlous proposes that Edgworth steal the box containing the it from Wasp. Grace's guardian, Justice Overdo wanted to marry her off to his brother-in-law, or else she was obliged to pay value of her land. The legal situation is such that Grace must either marry Cokes or forfeit her land unless, as Quarlous suggests, she can prove that Cokes is her inferior and that marriage to him would be a "disparagement." Quarlous and Winwife become Grace's suitors, and they quarrel over her hand. Grace devises a game in which each suitor should write a code name on a writing-tablet, and let the first person passing by choose between them. Trouble-all makes the random choice, and Winwife is chosen. Grace and Winwife enter the puppet-theatre of the Fair and attend the puppet play. In the final revelation scene, Grace hears that Quarlous has won her by a warrant from Justice Overdo, yet she must refuse the marriage because Winwife is the winner of the fortune game. Therefore, she must give away her land to Quarlous. Hearing that she is to be married to an impecunious but lucky man, Grace remains speechless. Grace and Winwife are among the guests invited to Overdo's house for supper.


Wellbred is a gentleman in Jonson's Every Man in His Humour. He is Downright's half-brother and Dame Kitely's brother. He lives at Kitely's house and his brother-in-law is displeased with his frivolity and libertine company. At the Windmill Tavern in the Old Jewry, Wellbred enters with Mathew and Bobadill. Edward Knowell enters with Stephen, informing Wellbred that his father had read the ill-fated letter from his friend inviting him to the tavern. When Brainworm in disguise reports of Knowell's intention of spying on his son, Wellbred is ready to devise a plan to dupe Knowell, and he exits with the gallants. At Kitely's house, Wellbred enters with his party. After smoking and light conversation with the ladies, when Downright enters to chase the intruders, Wellbred is instrumental in instigating the brawl. When Kitely enters and the others disperse, Wellbred exits diplomatically following his companions. At the Windmill Tavern, Wellbred enters with Edward Knowell, Stephen, and Brainworm in disguise. Wellbred promises Edward Knowell to fetch Bridget to an amorous assignation. Wellbred exits to look for Bridget and perform his Cupid role. At Kitely's house, Wellbred discusses with Kitely, Bridget, and Dame Kitely. When Brainworm, disguised as Formal, lures Kitely away on a false pretext, Wellbred congratulates Brainworm on his disguise. Wellbred instructs Brainworm to tell Edward Knowell that he will accompany Bridget to their meeting at the Tower. Wellbred exits with Bridget. In the final revelation scene, Wellbred is brought before Justice Clement together with Bridget and Edward Knowell. Since the judge has already acknowledged the union between Bridget and Edward Knowell, Wellbred is left with introducing Mathew as Bridget's official poet. It is understood that Wellbred participates in the final merriment.


Welltried is a friend of Bold in Field's Amends for Ladies. He repeatedly defends his reputation in his absence. He challenges Lord Feesimple when he insults Bold, and reports that Bold was successful in a duel. Welltried takes Feesimple to meet the "roarers" Whorebang, Tearchaps, Bots and Spillblood, in an attempt to cure his fear of steel. A fight breaks out between them all, and Whorebang, Tearchaps, Bots and Spillblood flee. Welltried and Feesimple continue drinking, and Welltried eventually has to take a comatose Feesimple back to his own lodgings. Welltried scorns Bold's failure to win Lady Bright's acceptance, but agrees to help him in a new plan and goes to tell Lady Bright that Bold is to be married, inviting her to the wedding. At the wedding, Welltried and Bold introduce Lady Bright to a masked woman who is supposedly Bold's fiancée (she is really Lord Feesimple in disguise, who thinks that he has been brought there to marry Lady Bright).


A ‘ghost character" and likely fictitious in Dekker’s Match Me in London. One of the gentlemen of court tells Cordolente that the Welsh Embassador sends him a message that he will be with him soon, when the moon’s horns are full. The meaning is Cordolente will soon wear cuckold’s horns.


A madman in the madhouse in Signoria in Fletcher's The Pilgrim. When he appears before Alphonso, the Master describes him as "a mountaineer, a man of Goatland." By his own testimony, his name appears to be Owen. He is said to have run mad "because a rat ate up's cheese."


The inmates of Alibius's asylum in Middleton and Rowley's The Changeling include a Welshman who was driven mad when a mouse ate his parmesan cheese. Lollio says there is no hope of his recovery.


The Welshman in Heywood's Royal King has come to London to see if the organ at St Paul's is really bigger than the one at Wrexham. He means to relate his findings to his Welsh uncle, Rice ap Davy ap Morgan ap Evan ap Jones ap Geffrey.


A prostitute masquerading as Whorehound's niece, a wealthy Welsh gentlewoman who is claimed to own "nineteen mountains" and 2,000 head of runts in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Whorehound means to marry her to the foolish Tim and claim his inheritance. In order to impress her, Tim speaks Latin. Not understanding him, the woman speaks Welsh. They misunderstand each other to high comic effect. She marries Tim at play's end and proclaims herself made honest by marriage, and with that Tim is satisfied.


Welt is the Shoemaker in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. At his house Valentine stays while in his disguise. In Act Five, he has an argument with his wife because his guest is leaving without paying.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Hick Scorner. Imagination dallied with a wench until a "knave catchpoll" intervened.

WENCH **1588

A Wench in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London sings as she strews flowers for the wedding of the lords and ladies.

WENCH **1605

The wench, betrothed to Rafe and married to the clown in the Anonymous Nobody and Somebody, deserts both men when King Archigallo makes her a lady if she stays with him.

WENCH **1605

A woman at the house of John Gresham in France in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me.

WENCH **1616

The Wench does not appear on stage in Fletcher's Love's Pilgrimage, but speaks from "within." She answers the Second Hostess when called.


A serving-wench who only appears briefly in Nabbes' Tottenham Court to pour water into the washtub where George is hiding, leading him to be discovered.

WENCH **1637

A fictitious character in Carlell's The Fool Would Be A Favorite. She appears in the Second Courtier's play. She is a simple country wench and does not understand Man's courtship of her.


A "ghost character" in Nabbes' The Bride. When Kickshaw shows up at Squirrel's tavern dressed as a gentleman, he encounters the blades, who rob him and taunt him with a greasy wench before leaving him tied up.


Lethe's Mistress in Middleton's Michaelmas Term, this woman moves to the city at Hellgill's behest, without the consent of her father, and soon adorns herself in city fashion with the assistance of Hellgill and Comings. Her appearance is changed so drastically that her father, who in an effort to locate her poses as the lady's servant, is unable to recognize her. When her identity as Lethe's courtesan is discovered, his impending marriage to Susan is immediately cancelled. Under order from the judge, the Country Wench radically improves her social status through marriage to Lethe.


A woman who has borne one of Touchwood Senior's children in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. She brings the child to Touchwood Senior demanding restitution and claiming he has also ruined her cousin Ellen of Derbyshire. Touchwood Senior gives her is purse, and she takes pity on him and promises to leave him alone. She also admits that this is her fifth bastard, but whether it is the fifth by Touchwood Senior she does not amplify.


In the tavern, three wenches play an active role in Cavendish's The Variety:
  1. The First Wench is asked by Newman to take the part of Lucy in a little play. The First Wench is supposed to appear from behind a hanging at the end of a song, but instead she disappears.
  2. The second wench offers herself to Newman sexually, but, for all of his bluster, he is unwilling to be untrue to Lucy. The Second Wench disappears saying as she exits, "These Gentlemen are for nothing but song and drink, I see no market all this while."
  3. The [Third] Wench is raised up in the mechanical throne with Formal. She complains that she needs to lowered and allowed to leave so that she can meet "three Innes of court Gentlemen at the Stillyard." When her request is not honored, she throws down her wine on those below.

WENCH, FOUL **1599

A “ghost character" in Ruggle’s Club Law. Brecknocke says his only mistake in office was that “once I made a foule fault by fettering a wench to keepe her from her bawderie."


A "ghost character" in the Anonymous Clyomon and Clamydes. Corin tells the disguised Neronis that Frumpton's wench wears a "freese sacke" and is merry with Corin at milking time.


A "ghost character" in Hawkins's Apollo Shroving. Implement reminds Captaine Complement that he "once courted a sousing Dame, (a fulsome Kitchinwench)."


A "ghost character" in the Anonymous King Leir. When The King of Gaul and Cordella plan to travel to England, Mumford refers to his oath that he would not leave there without his wench. Cordella questions if she is still a maid, and Mumford says it does not matter to him. After the highly emotional scene reuniting Leir and Cordella, when the King swears to return Leir to his throne, Mumford injects a comic note by also kneeling and swearing to bring his wench home or else be gelded.

WENCHES **1604

Erinta, Gianetta, Lodovica, and Isabella are the four wenches (identified in stage directions under this name in the anonymous Wit of a Woman) who are studying together at Mistress Balia's school. Each is the daughter of one of the Fathers and the sister of one of the Gallants. The wenches swear an oath of sisterly loyalty to one another. Each wench is courted by one of the Fathers, and each induces that Father, as a demonstration of their love, firstly to grant financial independence to their own children, and secondly to act as a stand-in father at the clandestine marriage of one of the other wenches to one of the Gallants. Thus, all four Wenches get to marry all four Gallants.

WENCHES **1632

These six wenches are silent characters in ?Brewer's The Country Girl that come in Act II for the dance.


Wendith attends Elizabeth in Heywood's 1 If You Know Not Me. He considers her ill but able to travel to the queen.


A gentleman whom Frankford admires, and invites to become a member of his household in Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness. Wendoll is overwhelmed with lust for Frankford's wife, Anne, and they have an adulterous affair. When Frankford discovers them in flagrante delicto, Wendoll runs away. Consumed with repentant grief, he escapes to the Continent.


Family name of Sebastian and Sir Alexander in Middleton and Dekker's Moll Cutpurse, The Roaring Girl.


Wentloe, along with Bartley, is one of Ilford's dissolute companions intent on using Scarborrow's money in Wilkins's The Miseries of Enforced Marriage.


Wermond is a nobleman of Norway, loyal to the former king, and Frederick's friend in Burnell's Landgartha. In Act One, he announces Frollo the arrival of two postmen with bad news.


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 keeps a house in the country and is never in town. He is not at the roll call of electors and is fined.


Family name of Kate, Sir Robert, and the Captain in Chettle and Day's Blind Beggar of Bednal Green.


Westmerland in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth reports to Henry IV that Prince John has put down a rebellion led by Bishop Scroop and Hastings.


The Earl of Westmoreland supports King Henry against the Duke of York in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI. Historically he was Ralph Neville, second Earl of Westmoreland, who did not actively side with either party during the Wars of the Roses. He was the grandson of the Westmoreland that appears in 1 & 2 Henry IV and Henry V.


Cousin of King Henry IV in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV, the Earl of Westmoreland is much given to remarks upon astrological portents. He sets forth with Prince John on the king's order to battle the Percy faction at Shrewsbury. In history, he was Ralph Neville, first earl of Westmoreland.
The Earl of Westmoreland is a loyalist who questions the Archbishop of York about the motivation behind the Archbishop's insurrection in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. At Gaultree Forest and under the orders of Prince John, Westmoreland arrests the Archbishop, Mowbray, and Hastings for high treason.
After the English leaders discuss the disproportion of fresh French soldiers to exhausted English ones at Agincourt in Shakespeare's Henry V, Westmoreland expresses a wish for more soldiers on the English side. His comment prompts Henry's rousing "St. Crispin" speech to his troops. After the speech, Westmoreland is deeply moved and wishes that he alone could stand by Henry in the battle.


Lord Whachum is a "fictional character" in Jonson, Marston, and Chapman's Eastward Ho!. At Touchstone's house, the future bridegroom Sir Petronel arrives later than expected claiming he met some friends. Since he wants to impress Touchstone, he invents a fictional Lord Whachum with whom he played a match at balloon for four crowns.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's Brazen Age. Neptune's giant whale is killed by Hercules during the attempt to sacrifice Hesione to the monster.


A fictional character in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Sir Conquest Shadow mentions Dick What-shall-I-call-'em, explaining that–should he become a famous duelist and kill his adversaries–his name could be used to frighten young children by saying: "This is he that killed Dick What-shall-I-call-'em."

WHELP **1619

A “ghost character" in (?)Goffe’s Careless Shepherdess. When Bacheus comes home in a fury, he hits the whelp with his staff for yawning.


The maternal nephew of Master and Mrs. Generous and a bastard in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches, Whetstone Byblow is a fool with pretensions to wit. He insists on insinuating himself into the company of the gallants (Masters Arthur, Bantam and Shackston) even though he becomes the butt of their humor. Master Generous asks that the gallants tolerate Whetstone for his sake, but his insufferable company proves too much for Bantam, who insults Whetstone by calling him a bastard. Whetstone vows vengeance and leaves. He is one of the guests at the wedding celebration of Lawrence and Parnell, where he witnesses the mischief of the witches and issues an invitation to the gallants to dine at the Generous home. The gallants arrive for dinner but are afterward treated to Whetstone's revenge. With the aid of Mrs. Generous' and Mall Spencer's witchcraft, Whetstone offers to conjure up the gallants' fathers, and subsequently calls forward three spirits, the Pedant, the Tailor, and Robin: the implication being that the gallants too are bastards got by lowborn men. Whetstone then offers to call forth his own (unknown) father, who appears as the Gallant, suggesting that his father is of a higher social rank. Whetstone, who has been supportive of his aunt's dabbling in witchcraft throughout the play, offers to stand by her when the Soldier wounds her. He hopes to be remembered in her will. But this proves his undoing. He is finally disowned by Master Generous for consorting with witches, and his inheritance is conferred on Master Arthur instead.

WHIBBLE **1628

Whibble is servant to Worthy and loyal to Worthy's daughter Penelope in Shirley's The Witty Fair One. He disguises himself to visit Fowler, the dishonest young man who feigns illness in an effort to seduce Penelope.

WHIBBLE **1633

Whibble in Marmion's A Fine Companion is a poor excuse for a Captain in any institution, for he is out for himself on all occasions. He pretends to befriend Careless and urges the young man to sell his land for ready cash. Later, he and his friends exit a dining establishment, leaving Lackwit with the bill. His true feelings about Careless finally revealed, Whibble eventually weds the Hostess (to whom he is in debt) and becomes himself a Host.


Signior Whiffe is the name by which Orange knows Shift in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. At St. Paul's, Clove greets Shift by the name of Signior Whiffe. Orange asks Signior Whiffe what he was doing in these west parts, and Shift says that he had taken some tobacco with a gentleman and came into St. Paul's to spit in private. It appears that Carlo Buffone also knows Shift as Signior Whiffe, and when he hears Clove call him Master Apple-John, Carlo Buffone concludes that Shift adopted a double impersonation. When Carlo confronts Shift with these two names, Shift admits that, when he is a tobacconist, he has the name of Signior Whiffe, and when he is a poor squire about the town, he takes the name of Master Apple-John.


The tutor at the Drinking Academy in Randolph's(?) The Drinking Academy. He teaches Knowlittle to smoke, drink and quarrel, and promises Worldly that he too can become a gentleman under his tutoring. He teaches Knowlittle ridiculous poetical compliments to speak to Pecunia, and has him practice on Worldly. He is with Wordly and Knowlittle when they are tricked by Bidstand, Nimmer and Shirke, and he loses his possessions and clothes.


Family name of Sir Swithin and his late wife Gressil in Brome's The New Academy.


A widow in May's The Old Couple. Admitting to thirty-five, she is in search of a rich husband to replace her first, whose huge fortune she has already spent. She is Artemia's friend and first visits her en route to pursue her apparent plan to seduce and marry the rich but miserly widow, Earthworm. She is known to Euphues as a cheerful cynic in matters of love and marriage; he also hints that she is promiscuous. Her opinions are witty and robustly "feminist." She is prepared to act like a man in marrying purely for money, would prefer to marry a fool rather than her intellectual equal and would prefer a much older man she is certain to outlive and inherit from. This is why she has apparently set her sights on the elderly and repellent Earthworm rather than his otherwise eligible son. Dotterel, originally in pursuit of Artemia, falls in love with her at first sight. He flirts with her during their visit to Lady Covet's house; she gives him her scarf to wear as a favor. Later in the visit Euphues and Barnet discuss the successful progress of Dotterel's suit. Barnet is secretly working as Lady Whimsey's agent, on commission, to assist her in her actual plan to marry Dotterel. If she succeeds in marrying Dotterel, she will cause an estate to be returned to Barnet that was fraudulently taken from him by Dotterel's father. Lady Whimsey marries Dotterel offstage while other characters are involved in the happy resolution of the main plot; the couple return to share in the general celebrations.


Whip is a coachman in Cokain's Trappolin. He is accused by Mrs. Fine of having run down one of her children with his coach. He is instructed by Trappolin to lie with the unfortunate widow until she is again with child, as a replacement for the one she has lost. While she is outraged, Whip finds the judgment very much to his liking.


A gallant in Dekker and Webster's Westward Ho who attends the afternoon tavern-party and participates in the assignation at Brainford, but he and Sir Gosling become too drunk to perform. The wives then refuse to complete the assignation, and he is humiliated by Justiniano.


This hapless man in the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock proves the extraordinary ingenuity of Nimble, who arrests him for "whistling treason".

WHIP **1602

A "ghost character" in Middleton's The Family of Love. A beadle mentioned by Gerardine as a criminal who must appear in court.

WHIP **1632

A silent character in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. He comes with the Constable to arrest the bawd.


A spirit of the air in Percy's Arabia Sitiens. He quarrels with Pyr over which of them is wiser. Belpheghor intercedes in their argument and sends them to Mecha to bring back a pair of people for Belpheghor to interrogate and determine which is a greater knave–thereby naming the more scurrilous man's partisan the wiser of the two spirits. Whisk chooses Friar Dervis, who is in the midst of a dispute with the Chiause, Pyr's choice. He brings the Friar to Belpheghor. A sort of trial ensues, in which Dervis and Chiause are each compelled to list their own misdeeds. Pyr, Belpheghor, and Whisk eventually agree to let Mahomet pass judgment on the pair. They take the Friar and Chiause to Heaven. After Mahomet passes judgment on the various parties, he orders Pyr and Whisk to whip Belpheghor and Sergius.


Captain Whit is a bawd and a con man in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. He also works as a paid informer for the watch, but he is actually a pimp. At the Fair, Whit enters with Haggis and Bristle, whom he apparently called to restore order after the quarrel before Ursula's booth. Seeing that the rioters are gone, Whit tells the officers to avoid being seen in his company. When the Littlewit party approaches Ursula's booth, Whit invites them in to eat pig and drink ale. In another scene at the Fair, Whit is in the company of Wasp, Knockem, Northern, Puppy, and Cutting. 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. During the commotion created by the ensuing drunken brawl, Edgworth steals the marriage license out of Wasp's box, while Knockem and Whit steal all the men's cloaks. Whit puts the stolen goods away in Ursula's booth. When the watch enter to restore order, Whit tells them the brawlers must be arrested. Whit whispers to Haggis that Puppy and Northern will pay him five shillings to get free. Whit arranges with Ursula to take Mistress Overdo inside to relieve herself. Whit, Knockem, and Ursula plot to turn Mistress Overdo and Mistress Littlewit into ladies of pleasure for the gallants. Whit enters the puppet-theatre with Edgworth, Knockem, and Mistresses Overdo and Littlewit masked. Whit takes charge of Mistress Overdo, helps her to a chair, and attends the puppet play. When Overdo/Porter asks about the masked ladies, Whit tells him he can have them both for twelve pence. In the revelation scene, just when Justice Overdo prepares to arraign the bawd Whit, he realizes that his wife is one of the six-penny women. Whit escapes trial and punishment.


The White Bishop in Middleton's A Game at Chess is presumably intended to represent the Archbishop of Canterbury although he is not an obvious caricature of the real Archbishop. He 'takes' the Fat Bishop at the end and throws him into the Bag.


The White Bishop's Pawn in Middleton's A Game at Chess does not seem to be based on a real person although various possibilities have been suggested. He once had a romance with the White Queen's Pawn, but the Black Knight's Pawn castrated him. He accompanies the White Knight and White Duke on their first journey to the Black House. He 'takes' the Black Bishop's Pawn, at the end, and is prevented from being killed by the Black Knight's Pawn when the White Queen's Pawn rescues him.


The White Duke in Middleton's A Game at Chess represents George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (1592-1628). He accompanies the White Knight on his two journeys to the Black House. In the conclusion, he throws the Black Duke into the Bag.


The White King represents King James I in Middleton's A Game at Chess. He is virtuous to the point of folly, believing too easily in the innocence of the Black Bishop's Pawn when the Black House produce false letters to absolve him. He is unshaken by the treachery of the White King's Pawn. In the play's conclusion he embraces the White Knight and thanks him for unmasking the evil of the Black House. He throws the Black King into the Bag.


The White King's Pawn in Middleton's A Game at Chess does not seem to be based on a real person although various possibilities have been suggested. He is a White piece who has secretly converted to the Black cause, and the Black Knight offers him a cardinal's position. Before the White House, the Black Knight grabs the Pawn and throws off his white costume, revealing a black one underneath. But the Black Knight does this only to cause dissension in the White House and promptly throws the White King's Pawn into the Bag.


The White Knight is a flattering depiction of Prince Charles in Middleton's A Game at Chess. Brave and virtuous, he saves the White Queen's Pawn by riding to the Black House and uncovering their deception. Later, he and the White Duke travel to the Black House with the aim of unmasking their treachery. The Black House welcomes them with a display of luxury. The White Knight inquires how certain of his desires, such as greed and lechery, may be satisfied. The Black House boasts of their superlative ability to satisfy such desires, but the White Knight announces that their evil has been proven from their tongues and that he has won the game with 'checkmate by discovery'. He then throws the Black Knight into the bag.


Disguise assumed by the Duchess while escaping from England in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk. The Duchess disguised as Mistress White pretends to be Goseling's daughter to fool the Constable.


The White Queen in Middleton's A Game at Chess is unlikely to represent Queen Anne, who had been dead since 1619, and was in any case a Catholic. She is probably best understood as a symbol of the Church of England. The Black House is plotting to rape her. She is threatened with capture by the Fat Bishop, but is rescued by the White Bishop's Pawn. She 'takes' the Black Queen's Pawn, and later throws the Black Queen into the Bag.


The White Queen's Pawn in Middleton's A Game at Chess does not seem to be based on a real person although various possibilities have been suggested. She once had a romance with the White Bishop's Pawn, but the Black Knight's Pawn castrated him. She is virtuous, but susceptible to temptation by the Black Queen's Pawn and the Black Bishop's Pawn. The latter's attempts at converting her are undermined by her revulsion at his lecherous advances. When he tries to force her, she escapes and tells the White House what has happened. But, when the Black House forges evidence to disprove her claim, the White House leaves her at the mercy of the Blacks, who plan unpleasant penances for her. Fortunately, the White Knight travels to the Black House, finds out the truth, and saves her. The White Queen's Pawn is then gulled by the Black Queen's Pawn into thinking that a magic mirror has shown her future husband to be the Black Bishop's Pawn. She demands marriage before sex, and agrees to a marriage contract with him. But the Black Queen's Pawn then uses a 'bed trick' to fool the Black Bishop's Pawn into sleeping with her, and the White Queen's Pawn's virtue is thus preserved. When the Black Knight's Pawn tries to kill the White Bishop's Pawn, she 'takes' him. She speaks the epilogue.


A White pawn in Middleton's A Game at Chess. He is caught between the Black Jesting Pawn and a Second Black Pawn. They move off, sandwiched together. The Second Black Pawn kicks the White Pawn, who kicks the Jesting Pawn in turn.


Walter Whitmore, an English pirate in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, helps to capture several gentlemen prisoners among whom is the exiled and disguised Suffolk. Suffolk identifies himself in the hope that Whitmore will spare his life, but Whitmore and his lieutenant agree that Suffolk's misdeeds, compounded by his rude behaviour to the pirates, merit death. They kill him.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me. A former mayor of London whose portrait is admired by Doctor Nowell. He is the famous Dick Whittington who, along with his equally famous cat, rose from poverty to become Lord Mayor.


Tribulation Wholesome is an austere Puritan pastor of Amsterdam in Jonson's The Alchemist. Tribulation and Ananias require Subtle's services for their Brotherhood. While Ananias maintains that Subtle is a heathen and a devil, Tribulation says that they must use any means they can to help further their Cause. Subtle admits Tribulation and Ananias into the house, promising them, inter alia, to turn copper into golden Dutch dollars for the cause. Tribulation and Ananias go to see the inventory of the goods they are going to take home. Later, Tribulation returns with Ananias and Kastril to complain of having been cheated. When Face, disguised as Jeremy, shuts the door to their face, Tribulation shouts vituperations against the cheaters, calling the house profane as Bel and the Dragon. The frustrated Tribulation and Ananias leave with Kastril. Tribulation and Ananias return with the other complaining defrauded dupes, cursing all those who inhabit that damned house. Tribulation tries to recover some of the goods, but Lovewit says they must first prove ownership, which they cannot. Lovewit threatens to send the Puritans to Amsterdam to their cellar, and Ananias and Tribulation leave.

WHORE **1617

She resembles Calis in Fletcher's The Mad Lover. In an effort to cure Memnon of his love madness, Eumenes and the two Captains employ the Whore (who bears a resemblance to Calis) to sleep with the general. When Memnon meets the Whore, he seems to be attracted to her but is somewhat suspicious because she "stinks." Finally, he calls for a Numidian lion to be brought, saying the beast will fawn upon her if she is indeed a princess, but will devour her if she is not. The Whore immediately confesses to being no princess, and Memnon sends her away to "be a whore still, and stinke worse."

WHORE **1625

An anticke dancer in Davenport's New Trick to Cheat the Devil. He appears before Slightall wearing "I am a Whore" on her breast. She describes herself as a "hot" whore.

WHORE **1626

Bewford mistakes the disguised Jaques for a whore in Fletcher's The Noble Gentleman and arranges a tryst in his rooms with "her."


In Marmion's Holland's Leaguer:
  1. The First Whore remarks that citizens think whores must study physic, for whores know the constitutions of men's bodies extremely well.
  2. It is the Second Whore who notes that citizens often refer to the bawdy house as the Leaguer.


The Empress, or Whore, of Babylon represents Rome (that is, the Roman Catholic church) in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon; at times she appears specifically to stand for Pope Gregory XIII. She first appears in the play almost incoherent with rage because her reign, long prosperous and unchallenged, is now threatened by Titania's blasphemous rejection of her works and her ministers. When Titania rejects all her overtures of peace, including the suit of the three Kings in her pay, she accepts Como's council and resolves to arrange Titania's assassination. To this end, she retains the services of Campeius and Ropus, but tells her ministers that she will kill these hirelings once they have fulfilled her desires. She orders Campeius and Ropus to return to Fairyland and to use all necessary means to work Titania's death. She then approves Como's further plan to vanquish the whole of Fairyland with an Armada led by the Third King, Satyran. When the Armada is assembled, she declares through her herald that none must set off without her blessing, and in a show of hubris declares that "seamen one day sailing by [Titania's] land, / May say, There Fairy kingdom once did stand." The rout and destruction of the Armada leaves her utterly confounded and livid with rage at her various underlings. When some, angry with her, seem ready to leave her service, however, she goes out of her way to make up to them. Titania thus sums her up by commenting that "she never does grow base but when she braves."


Whorebang is a roaring boy in Field's Amends for Ladies. He is found in a tavern on Turnbull Street, in the company of Tearchaps, Bots, and Spillblood. Welltried brings Lord Feesimple to them in an attempt to cure his fear of swords. A fight breaks out, and Whorebang, Tearchaps, Bots and Spillblood flee the scene.


The second of the prostitutes brought before the duke in the Milanese version of Bridewell in Dekker's 2 Honest Whore. Penelope appears dressed as a citizen's wife. The First Master of the prison explains to the duke that Penelope is a frequent resident of the facility, and that she is given to assuming whatever costume is appropriate for her customer-of-the-moment whether he be a gentleman gallant or a citizen.


A seemingly wealthly ne'er-do-well with his eye on Moll, the goldsmith's daughter in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Whorehound arrives with his "niece" who is not his niece at all but rather his whore from Wales. He has a plan to marry the Goldsmith's daughter for the dowry and to marry his whore to the Goldsmith's son for the inheritance. He must thwart several elopement attempts between Moll and Touchwood, Jr. At last, he fights a duel with Touchwood, Jr. and both are wounded. Whorehound, having narrowly escaped dying in the gutter, and feeling the perdition of his soul for his lecherous acts, abjures the Allwits—he makes out his will, leaving the Allwits nothing but curses. Allwit, rebuffed by Whorehound's curses, orders the presumed murderer out of his house. When he learns that the Kixes are with child and his inheritance gone. Whorehound is taken away to debtor's prison (Fleet prison in the Knight's ward), where his creditors torment him.


Two whores in the Bawd's brothel reject the two Gentlemen because they cannot pay them in Heywood's Royal King. They are more pleased with the Captain and the Clown. But then the Captain annoys them by lecturing them on their moral corruption.


The Pardoner's Boy in Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates. His last name means "gallows-bird." He collects false relics for the Pardoner and arranges his lodgings with local prostitutes.


Mistress Fitchow's dim-witted brother, Master Widgine, is that oxymoron, "a cockney gentleman" in Brome's The Northern Lass. He supports his sister's marriage to Sir Philip Luckless, and is enthusiastic when she promotes a match between himself and Sir Paul Squelch's niece, the northern lass Constance. He enlists the help of his governor, the braggart Anvil, in his effort to achieve Constance's hand (or bed). Having never seen the object of his affections unmasked, he is deceived by Constance Holdup's impersonation of her and, thinking that he is deceiving her by masquerading as Sir Philip, beds and marries the prostitute in place of the wealthy virgin. When he discovers his mistake, he pays Holdup a hundred pounds to set him free and resolves to depart on a European tour with Anvil.


A "ghost character" in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. Muchcraft tells Budget about him. He was sued by William Woodcock but won the case.

WIDOW **1594

A wealthy widow of Padua in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Hortensio marries her after being refused by Bianca. During the final banquet scene, Hortensio wagers that she will come when he summons her; when she does not, Katherine lectures her and Bianca on the duty a wife owes to her husband.

WIDOW **1611

A wealthy widow in Cooke's Greene's Tu Quoque. She provides the monetary means by which Spendall is able to recoup his fortunes. Spendall, pursuing a rather heavy-handed marriage suit has the widow kiss him by force before the couple is eventually married. Despite the circumstance of the nuptials, however, the widow is the agent through which Spendall is rehabilitated in a transparent Christian allegory in which Spendall's fall and eventual redemption is typologically related to that of mankind's rebirth through Christ.

WIDOW **1611

Lady Bright is also called 'Widow' in speech heads of Field's Amends for Ladies.

WIDOW **1613

The Widow has been left wealthy after the death of her husband in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady. She is wooed by the usurer Morecraft, but refuses to entertain his suit unless he is knighted. She finally rejects Morecraft in favour of Young Loveless, to whom she is married. After they are married the Widow tries to persuade Young Loveless to give up his parasitical comrades, the Captain, the Poet, the Tobacco Man and the Traveller, but she is eventually convinced to entertain them.

WIDOW **1614

Lady Hartwell in the dramatis personae, always referred to as "the Widow" in Fletcher's Wit Without Money. She is attractive and rich and annoyed by the three suitors' attentions. She disapproves of Francisco as a match for her sister Isabel, and is overprotective and meddling in Isabel's pursuit of Francisco. She shows her spirit and intelligence when she meets Valentine, refuses to become angry with him and answers his jibes by saying that men always take advantage of women. She grows attracted to him when he begins to compliment her.

WIDOW **1621

A "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Pilgrim. A poor widow at whose house Juletta plans to help Alinda to change her disguise.

WIDOW **1621

Leantio's mother is unsympathetic in Middleton's Women Beware Women. She starts with something like the correct intentions towards her son's will, but she is soon tempted into escorting Bianca to the palace, thereby becoming an unwitting accomplice to the seduction of her daughter-in-law. She is tricked by Livia into a chess game and while so distracted the Dukes seduces Bianca. She lies to her son about having been to the palace. At least she pretends ignorance of how the Duke knows about Bianca. She also raises no objections once it becomes obvious that Bianca is cuckolding her son.

WIDOW **1625

The Widow is the eponymous 'woman never vexed' in William Rowley's A New Wonder: A Woman Never Vexed. She is frustrated by the fact that nothing ever vexes her and marries the prodigal Stephen Foster in the hope that he will be vexatious. But Stephen miraculously repents of his prodigality as soon as they are married. Even when Stephen cruelly disowns Robert Foster, the Widow remains unvexed because she can tell he's only pretending.

WIDOW **1633

The unnamed wife of General Sforsa and mother of Lauretta in Heywood's A Maidenhead Well Lost, she petitions the Duke of Millaine to relieve the needs of her valiant husband and his army, but learns almost at once of her husband's victory, frustration, and death. Impoverished and disconsolate, she resolves to seek a retired life in Florence. En route, she and her daughter meet the Prince of Florence, who is moved by their beauty and distress to install them in a comfortable hunting lodge. She is horrified when her daughter tells Stroza that she will consent to take Julia's place in the marriage bed, but gladdened by their restitution to an honorable place at the court of Millaine and her daughter's union with the Prince of Florence.

WIDOW **1634

The Widow is an extremely old woman captured by Vasco in the opening battle in Davenant's Love and Honor. He decides to marry her for her wealth. He hires Lelia both to be her servant and to help persuade her to accept him in marriage, which she does. Vasco, along with Altesto, Frivolo and Tristan, regularly mock the Widow for her advanced age and poor health, often in her presence since she is mostly deaf. At first, Vasco worries that she will die before the wedding, but she has the last laugh when she turns out to be sturdier than he suspected. Despite his attempts to give her a cold and tire her out so she will die, she remains as healthy as she was before the wedding and Vasco ends up complaining about his lack of sleep, although it is unclear if it is her snoring or her sexual demands that keep him up.

WIDOW **1642

The unnamed usurer's Widow acts as landlady to Cutter and Dogrel in Cowley's The Guardian. She is desired for her money by Captain Blade, who has lost his estate to her late husband. She refuses to marry him without some money of his own. This requirement leads him to plot against his niece and ward, Lucia, whose money he is entitled to take if she marries against his consent. The Widow is, however, rather a good-natured character. She goes on lending to Cutter and Dogrel, who clearly have no intention of repaying her, and she marries Blade before anything is decided about Lucia. Blade then cheerfully allows his niece to marry the man she loves. Whether the Widow minds being married to a man who neither loves her nor has any money, we are not told.

[In Cowley's own 1658 revision of this play, Cutter of Coleman Street (performed 1661), the Widow acquires a name and a life-history; In Cutter, the plain "Widow" of The Guardian becomes Mistress Barebottle, a soapboiler's widow, who had bought Jolly's estate, a pretended saint. In other words, the lightly sketched "old Puritan landlady" of The Guardian has acquired a full Cromwellian life history. In exchange for this, she has lost the generous characteristics of the Widow, and it is perhaps less bad for Jolly than it was for The Guardian's Blade to marry her without affection. He is no less cynical about it, though: he tells Aurelia hopefully that if the King gets in, the Bishops will too, and "she'll away to New England," where Puritans belong.]


A "ghost character." This unnamed aunt who does not appear in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is the dowager relation of Lysander to whom he and Hermia plan to fly when they leave Athens under cover of darkness. Lysander informs Hermia that she is wealthy, "of great revenue."


The widow in Peele's David and Bethsabe comes to David, telling him that she had two sons, one of whom has slain the other. She claims her relatives want the life of the killer, and she begs David for help so that she will not be deprived of both her children. When he promises that the murderer will be protected, she asks why it is then that he is pursuing Absalon for his having killed his half-brother Amnon. David then asks if Joab has put her up to this, and she admits that to be the case. Joab himself enters and confesses to devising this exchange so that David might see his way to reconcile with Absalon.


Mother to Diana in Shakespeare's All's Well. Helena lodges with the widow during her pilgrimage. The Widow and her daughter help Helena in her plan to win over Bertram.


A fictional character in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One whose reputation as a wealthy widow is used by the Host to pique Lucre's curiosity about the widow Jane Medler (the courtesan)


The widow of Wilkin Norton in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV, this woman has traveled with the Master of Ste. Katharine's to donate twenty pounds to the king's war effort. When Hobs the Tanner faints at her revelation of the king's true identity, the Widow revives Hobs by having him bite on a stick of ginger.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet who is invited to the Capulet feast.


The Widow's husband, Wagge, is believed lost at sea in William Rowley's A Match at Midnight. She is now the prospective second wife of Bloodhound. The Widow is unimpressed when Bloodhound shows her his house and family, and when her house is invaded by suitors–Alexander, Ancient Young and Randall–she is attracted to Alexander, whom she believes might be reformable. Bloodhound arranges to meet her at the Exchange at night, because he wants to keep her overnight at his house in order to prevent the other suitors from stealing her away. But the Widow decides to make him wait all night, as a joke. Alexander invades her bedroom, and blackmails her into agreeing to marry him to avoid a scandal. Next morning, she and Alexander arrive at Bloodhound's wedding feast, in order to disappoint him. But the Widow unexpectedly announces that she has resolved never to marry, in deference to her husband's memory. At this point, Jarvis the servant reveals himself to be Wagge in disguise: the 'Widow' has passed his test of her constancy.


The rich widows for whom Dame Purecraft plays the matchmaker are "ghost characters" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. When Dame Purecraft wants to prove her love for the madman Trouble-all (Quarlous in disguise), she makes a complete confession of her transgressions. Besides telling him she is a rich widow, Dame Purecraft says she is a special maker of marriages between the decayed Puritan Brethren and the rich widows of the congregation. The marriage contract stipulates that the widows are to transfer a third part of their wealth, when they are married, into accounts for the relief of the poor elect. It is inferred that a large part of the charity money is seeping into Dame Purecraft's purse.

WIFE **1598

A fictional character in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. Fallace is in complete admiration of Fastidious Brisk's dress and courtly manners, but she is worried about the difference in social status between them. Fallace consoles herself by saying that she heard of a courtier who fell in love with a citizen's wife.

WIFE **1599

Three wives figure in the anonymous A Larum for London.

WIFE **1605

Accused of cheating on her husband in the Anonymous Nobody and Somebody, this wife replies that she was with "nobody," a claim that Nobody refutes and, rightly, blames on Somebody.

WIFE **1606

The Wife comes from a rich family in A Yorkshire Tragedy. She has three children by her Husband. Before their marriage he was a promising young man, but he now spends all his time with gamblers, rioters and prostitutes. He has lost all his money and his land and is in debts. Although he fears that his three sons will end as beggars, his main concern is to find money to maintain his scandalous way of life. He wants his wife's dowry. His Wife promises him her jewels and her land, but she beseeches him to think of their three boys. He calls his boys bastards and his wife a whore, and he beats her. Still she tries to help him and does not tell her Uncle how he treats her. Even after he has stabbed her and killed two of their children she pities him and forgives him. She hopes that the law can forgive him, too.

WIFE **1611

Lady Perfect is also called 'Wife' in speech heads of Field's Amends for Ladies.

WIFE **1625

Young wife of old Master Wincott in Heywood's The English Traveler. Wife and Young Geraldine grew up together as playmates. They are secretly in love and have promised to marry when Wincott dies. She is also secretly sleeping with Dalavill, a guest in the Wincott house and a friend of Young Geraldine. When Young Geraldine confronts her, she confesses then faints. After writing a note of confession to Wincott, she dies.

WIFE **1625

The Quarto of William Rowley's A New Wonder: A Woman Never Vexed uses this speech prefix for the Widow once she has married Stephen.


A “ghost character" in Fletcher’s Bloody Brother. Russe jests that Norbrett often persuades the advocate’s to lie upon his doctoral bed to take the “mathematicall trance."


Aladin's Wife is the daughter of Amurath in Goffe's The Courageous Turk. Although at first he seems intent upon killing her and her family, Amurath finally relents because his daughter weeps and pleads for mercy.


A "ghost character" and probably a fictitious character in Fletcher and Massinger's Spanish Curate. This unnamed character is an extension of Lopez and Diego's fabricated memory of Alonzo Tiveria. The mother of Leandro and supposedly married to Tiveria by Lopez, she is described as a "handsome gentlewoman."


Anselmus cannot believe that his wife is virtuous until she has been proved resistant to temptation in [?]Middleton's The Second Maiden's Tragedy. He persuades his resident friend, Votarius, to seduce his wife and test her reaction. Although the Wife is initially unresponsive, Anselmus' indifference has made her lonely, and as Anselmus demands that Votarius increase the temptation, she and Votarius begin to fall in love. Although Anselmus is fooled for some time, Votarius lets slip that she is "yielding". To confound Anselmus' suspicions, the Wife decides to stage a scene in which she will spurn Votarius while Anselmus is watching. Having agreed the plan with Votarius, she later hits on an improvement: Votarius will wear armor under his shirt, and she will stab him with a sword. She sends Leonella to inform Votarius of this. But Leonella does not tell him, and puts poison on the sword, so the Wife ends up killing Votarius. When Anselmus is attacked by Bellarius, the wife runs between their swords, and dies.


The apothecary's wife that longed to see the anatomy is a "fictional character" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Mistress Littlewit's trick of pretending before Dame Purecraft that she has a craving for pig at the Fair has proved successful. Therefore, Littlewit wants to persuade his wife to pretend she longs to see other sights at the Fair. Littlewit makes the argument that his wife needs to see other things, as well as taste. He gives the fictional example of an apothecary's wife who longed to see the anatomy, pretending she had pregnant cravings. This example is inappropriate and incomplete, just as is the demand Mistress Littlewit makes. However, Dame Purecraft accepts as justifiable the request of a physiological longing for seeing things.


Archas's wife is a "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Loyal Subject. When Alinda pleads for the old general's help against the approaching enemy, Archas observes that Alinda looks and speaks like his virtuous wife. This statement foreshadows the final revelation that Alinda is Archas's youngest son in disguise. In similar foreshadowing, Alinda tells Olimpia that her mother told her that "she" was born on the same day as the princess Olimpia.


Also called uxor in the anonymous The Wasp. She pleads for her banished husband, but Marianus will not listen. Instead, she is sent to work in the laundry. Although her son later joins the loyal barons, we never learn what becomes of her.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's The Rape of Lucrece. After a drunken banquet, Sextus belligerently denies Collatine's claim to having the most virtuous wife. Collatine decides to bet horse and armor that his wife is the most virtuous and the most beautiful. They decide to visit Aruns', Horatius Cocles', Valarius', and Mutius Scevola's respective wives, and then Collatine's wife, Lucrece. Arun's wife is found reveling.


A "ghost" or possibly a fictional character in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. When Ely is in disguise as a countryman, he attempts to keep Robin Hood from looking into his egg basket by telling him that all the eggs are promised to Master Bailey's wife.


A "ghost character" in Greene's James IV. Sir Bartram's wife is mentioned as awaiting Eustace at dinner.


Only mentioned in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. She is thought to have a tooth drawn above.


A "ghost character" in Greene's James IV. Bohan's wife is mentioned in the Induction as having died; he wishes she had done so twenty years sooner.


A "ghost character" in Davenant's The Cruel Brother. Borachio mentions his wife several times, always in the context of leaving the court to return to her, and how happy this will make her.


Boroskie's wife is a "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Loyal Subject. When Theodor announces the victory over the Tartars and is received by Boroskie instead of the Duke, he gives a bloody picture of what would have happened if Archas had not come to the Duke's rescue. Theodor says the city would have been destroyed, the virgins killed, and Boroskie's very wife would have fallen prey to the cruel Tartars.


A "ghost character" in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon. According to Plain Dealing, she abets her husband's gulling of Titania's soldiers by enticing musketeers into her cabin to 'drink' tobacco.

WIFE, BUSIE’S **1638

A “ghost character" in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable. When he discovers that Clare and Grace would willingly marry the next man they meet, he says he could wish his wife dead so he could take their offer.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's A Wife for a Month. Because she is sick in the country she and Camillo are safe from Frederick's libidinous desires. This fact gives Camillo comfort.


She, along with her father, attends her husband as he is brought to his arraignment in Chapman's The Tragedy of Chabot, Admiral of France; they both attempt to leave the scene after Chabot is led off by guards and the Queen enters, but the Queen sends someone to ask to speak with her. She defends her husband's honesty and her own virtue, and begs the Queen's pardon if she has exceeded the limits she should have observed as a subject. When Chabot is condemned, she comes to the King to beg that he not believe the Queen (whom she believes is still allied with Chabot's enemies), but show mercy to Chabot. She is with her husband when he dies; the King vows he will provide for her and her family in honor of her husband's service.


The Citizen's Wife has several interests in Machin's(?) Every Woman in Her Humour, none of which is her husband, Cornutus. She likes young men, money, and nice clothes, and she dabbles in female-friendly polemics. When her neighbor the Hostess complains that men think women are the weaker sex, the Citizen's Wife encourages her friend to use her "weapon," her tongue, to fight back. This strategy seems to work for the Citizen's Wife. When she first appears, she is using her tongue to complain about the newly made statute that a widow must wait two months before remarrying. Half a month would better suit the Citizen's Wife; "winters nights are long," as she says. She attends the wedding with her friends the Hostess and Getica, but she does not approve of Acutus's message that wives should be submissive to their husbands. The Citizen's Wife hypothesizes that Acutus rails against women only because he was rejected by women in his earlier days; after all, she says, "no good face could endure the sight of him."


There are three citizen wives who enter the scene when the town of Terna is set on fire in Fletcher's The Island Princess.
  1. The first wife declares with relief that her husband is alive.
  2. The second wife is the most outspoken of the three. She curses her husband for a drunk. Her main concern is saving the Ale and sparing herself her husband's anger.
  3. The third wife is the quietest, concerned only for the welfare of her husband and her friends.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's A Wife for a Month. Because she is old, she won't be a target for Frederick's lust. Cleanthes takes comfort in this fact.


A "ghost character" in Randolph's Muses' Looking Glass. Accused of being a scold, Justice Nimis says to remind her of cucking-stools.

WIFE, COOK’S **1619

A “ghost character" in Fletcher’s Bloody Brother. Pippeau reminds his masters how he stole the cook’s wife’s pestle and she paid six souz for them to set a figure to find it.


Cozen/Cleremont's wife, "a simple country gentlewoman" in Fletcher's The Noble Gentleman. Brought by her husband to attend the Gentleman (Godfrey Marine), she is delighted by the attentions of the gallants and the advice of the Lady.


Only mentioned in Goffe's The Courageous Turk. In the second masque that Lala Schahin presents to Amurath, the captain Philoxenus offers the Wife of Darius as a war prize to Alexander the Great. By having the character of Alexander reject the offer, Lala Schahin hopes to convince Amurath that he should turn away from his dotage upon Eumorphe and concentrate on martial pursuits.


Only mentioned in (?)Speed’s The Converted Robber. Jarbus tells of how the devil fell out with his wife thus causing a scorched mark still to be seen on Salisbury Plain.


Vanderman's wife in J.D.'s The Knave In Grain New Vamped is lusted after by Valentius, who disguises as a madman to get access to her. Fub sees them together and warns Vanderman.


Mistress Downfall is the citizen's wife and sister to Asotus in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. Like her husband, she wants to participate in the courtiers' party at Cynthia's palace, but Amorphus and Morphides deny them entrance. When the citizen insists, saying that his wife is the sister of the gentleman inside, Asotus comes forward. However, he lets only the citizen's wife inside, telling his brother-in-law that husbands are not allowed at the party. The party starts, and Hedon courts Mistress Downfall, saying that he is sorry her husband could not get in. The citizen's wife says it is no matter for him, and Anaides adds that, in this way, the wife has more liberty for herself. The citizen's wife attends the entertainment and she exits with the other nymphs and gallants.


A non-speaking character in the anonymous Weakest Goeth to the Wall. She appears only in the opening dumb show. When the Duke of Anjou invades Burgundy she drowns herself, leaving the boy Frederick, the son of her nephew, Lodowick, on the riverbank. This explains how the infant becomes the foundling of Emmanuel known throughout the play as Ferdinand.


A "ghost character" in Chettle and Day's Blind Beggar of Bednal Green. The Cardinal accuses Gloucester of having abused the Earl of Flander's wife with "lascivious lust."


A "ghost character" in Carlell's 1 Arviragus and Philicia. The mother of Guiderius and Artemia, Eugenius reminds his son that he has not seen his mother for years in order to entice him to play the role of Arviragus's messenger rather than accompany the General into battle. Furthermore, after Eugenius joins forces with the King, he claims that he would have brought the Ruler his wife but "a sudden sicknesse hindred."


Conjured by Friar Bacon in ?Greene and Chettle's John of Bordeaux to take the place of Rossalyn in Ferdinand's attempt to seduce her.


A "ghost character" in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London. A guest at the wedding of Dissimulation and Love.


A ‘ghost character’ in Medwall’s Fulgens and Lucrece. A woman ‘of good condition and right comfortable to [her husband’s] intent,’ nevertheless, she has given Fulgens only one female heir.

Wife of Jack Harbart, governor of the English Garrison in Dundalk in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley. She suggests to her husband that Stukeley's valiant acts should be recognized as such, rather than interpreted as crass opportunism, as Harbart believes.


A “ghost character" in (?)Goffe’s Careless Shepherdess. Graculus says to save his life he’d give the satyrs his own wife.


A "ghost character," Gronno's unnamed wife in Edwards's Damon and Pithias. When he expresses his opinion regarding Pithias' self-sacrifice, Gronno says he has a wife whom he loves well, but would never die for her.


A "ghost character" in Hemminge's The Jews' Tragedy. Mother to Josephus and Gorion's elderly wife. She is not named and never appears, but her safe release from captivity is mentioned by Titus in the final scene.


A "ghost character" in ?Clavell's The Soddered Citizen. The Haberdasher's wife is mentioned by Shackle when he is pretending to be a Ramallyan. In that disguise, he explains that he was a "haberdasher" and that his wife "tooke lewde Courses" because she was not satisfied with what god sent.


Mother of Lenchy and Martin in the anonymous A Larum for London. She sees her family attacked and pleads with the Spanish soldiers to spare blind men, children, and women. She tells Harman that the soldiers have killed their children and resolves that all four family members will die together. She dies along with her husband at the soldiers' hands.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's The Rape of Lucrece. After a drunken banquet, Sextus belligerently denies Collatine's claim to having the most virtuous wife. Collatine decides to bet horse and armor that his wife is the most virtuous and the most beautiful. They decide to visit Horatius Cocles', Aruns', Valarius', and Mutius Scevola's respective wives, and then Collatine's wife, Lucrece. Horatius Cocles' wife is found dancing.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Captain. The Second Tavern Boy reports that the Host wants her to sleep with Jacamo and bear a child by him who would be able to drink as heavily as Jacamo. The Second Tavern Boy also reports that the Host, when drunk, tells Jacamo how he kidnapped his Wife from the country, brought her in disguise, spent nine days "bereaving her maidenhead," and getting her pregnant with "a drawer" on the tenth.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Damoiselle. She was a good wife until she passed away.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Hick Scorner. Imagination falsely claims that Pity bedded his wife and so cuckolded him.


She loathes her husband as a lecher in Verney’s Antipoe. She takes Sorcam as her servant, not knowing he is Macros in disguise. She sings a song with Macros/Sorcam which begins, ‘Come mourn, come weep, come lower’. She is hung up to die when Antipoe is found to have escaped.


Wife of John Cobbler in the Anonymous Famous Victories of Henry V, she begs the Captain not to impress her husband into military service to no avail. When Derrick mocks the Wife by asking her whom she will berate when they are gone to war, she strikes him with a pot lid.


Married to a decayed gentleman in Fletcher and Middleton's The Nice Valour, Lapet's Wife accidentally overhears Shamont's complaints about her husband's lack of honor; she then expresses her dismay that Shamont has not attempted to kiss her. Lapet later complains that his wife's social ambitions are behind the Duke's decision that Lapet is too base to be a servant and therefore must return to life as a gentleman.


A "ghost character" in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. As More is led off to be executed, he asks the Lieutenant of the Tower to thank his wife for the good food she had provided during the stay in the prison.


A "ghost character" in Jonson's The Alchemist. Face's Mistress and Lovewit's dead wife remains unnamed in the play. Face reports to Subtle that, since her death, the house has been neglected and Face (as Jeremy the butler) kept company with cobwebs and rats before Subtle's arrival.


Demetrius tells Miso that Dametas has been having an affair with Manasses' Wife in Day's Isle of Gulls. Miso goes to find him, and attacks Manasses's Wife as a whore. Manasses's Wife eventually convinces Miso that she is innocent, and they instead become convinced that Manasses is involved with Mopsa. They pursue them to Adonis' Bower.


The only spouse of the four fathers mentioned in Lyly's Mother Bombie. Memphio's wife does not appear in the play, but she is described on several occasions as a shrewish woman who is somewhat coddling of her foolish son Accius. Her scolding nature is partly what motivates Memphio's secrecy concerning his plan to marry Accius to Stellio's daughter Silena, and Memphio has his servant Dromio arrange for her to vacation in the country while the marriage negotiations take place.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's A Wife for a Month. Because she is "ugly" and "honest" she and Menallo are safe from Frederick's libidinous desires. Menallo takes comfort in this.


A disguise adopted by Lady Marrian Faukenbridge in Chettle's(?) Looke About You. Worried about her brother she dresses up as a merchant's wife to seek advice from the sage Hermit on Black Heath. Her husband, Faukenbridge, who has no good reason to be suspicious of his wife's involvement with Richard, lusts after 'the merchant's wife' and suggests an amorous rendezvous with her at his home. Lady Faukenbridge agrees, and together with Robin Hood, whom she has already employed to impersonate her when Prince Richard comes a-wooing, manages to expose old Faukenbridge in his lechery and false suspicions.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's The Rape of Lucrece. After a drunken banquet, Sextus belligerently denies Collatine's claim to having the most virtuous wife. Collatine decides to bet horse and armor that his wife is the most virtuous and the most beautiful. They decide to visit Mutius Scevola's, Horatius Cocles', Aruns', and Valarius' respective wives, and then Collatine's wife, Lucrece. The intended visit to Mutius Scevola's wife is mentioned at lines 1459–1462, but the outcome of the visit is not. Presumably, she too was found reveling and/or dancing.

WIFE, OGLE'S**1595

A "ghost character" in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. Luggins reports that Ogle's Wife would not give him the false beard he needed for the part of Good Counsel in the interlude presented to More. Earlier, the beard was mentioned by Inclination the Vice as needed for the actor playing Wit in The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom.


A "ghost character" in Brome's The New Academy. She is depicted as a domineering woman who controlled Matchil during their marriage. Since her death six years prior to the beginning of the play, Matchil has "kept continual feast and jollity." Remembering her, he exclaims, "were I on her grave, I could cut capers."


A "ghost character" in Brome's The Damoiselle. She is French and can speak Broken English. She knows about the manners of the court and she can teach courtly dames in England.


A “ghost character" in (?)Shipman’s Grobiana’s Nuptials. She keeps preserved “a turd, new laid" to be used as a sort of smelling salt.


A “ghost character" in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable. She heard a rumor at Billingsgate and passed it along to the Watchman’s wife.


A "ghost character" in Holiday's Technogamia. Cheiromantes predicts that Phlegmatico will have a wife who dies of dropsie.


A fictitious character in Daniel's Hymen's Triumph. In Clarindo's story (a thinly veiled version of Silvia's own history), the pirate captain's wife feels a natural sympathy for Sulia and pleads with her husband to release the young woman on Greek soil.


A "ghost character" in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. She is mentioned by her husband when he confesses that he loved her when they got married.


Accompanied by her manservant John in Peele's Edward I, the Potter's Wife is on her way to visit friends on a stormy night when she encounters Queen Elinor rising from the earth at Potter's Hive (afterwards called Queenhith) and aids her in finding watermen to return the queen to the court.

WIFE, PUFF’S **1599

A “ghost character" in Ruggle’s Club Law. In begging mercy, Puff reminds Monsieur Grand Combatant that he has a wife. The Frenchman taunts him that he will beget children off of Puff’s wife.


Every pure wife in London is a "fictional character" in Mammon's sexual fantasy in Jonson's The Alchemist. Imagining himself the owner of extraordinary wealth and exceptional sexual prowess gained because of the magical elixir, Mammon fantasizes he will pay every wealthy citizen and every rich lawyer a thousand pounds to lie with each man's pure wife.


A "ghost character" in Chettle and Day's Blind Beggar of Bednal Green. Sir Robert mentions his wife as sister to Mumford. Since she is mentioned in the past tense it is to be presumed that she is dead.

WIFE, SAGAR'S **1615

A "ghost character" in S.S's Honest Lawyer. Robin describes her as a former servant to his mother, and Benjamin tells Bromley, in the trial scene, to surrender his lease to Sagar's wife and children.


A "ghost character" in Jonson's The Alchemist. The sailor's wife is one of Subtle's clients. When Face, Subtle, and Dol Common make an inventory of the goods cheated from the dupes, Subtle comments the whistle is from the sailor's wife.


A "ghost character" in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. Scrape-all says that she will delight to see Plutus as much as she would for a French hood or taffeta kirtle.


A "ghost character" in Dekker and Middleton's 1 The Honest Whore. The Second Madman says that fear of her adultery is the reason for his madness.


Wife of Seroune in Marlowe's Massacre at Paris.


A "ghost character" in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. Sherwin's Wife is seduced by Francis de Bard. She moves in with the Lombard, gives him her husband's plate, and is finally sent back home. Then, in another outrage perpetrated on innocent Londoners by foreign residents, de Bard sues Sherwin for the "maintenance" of the wife during the period of the affair.


Mrs. Shore is Edward IV's mistress at the time of his death in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III. Unlike in Shakespeare's play, Shore's wife and Queen Elizabeth Gray are not the same person. After Edward's death, Mrs. Shore laments the cruelty of fortune and sees her own doom ahead. She is concerned that all of the people she has favored with her influence over Edward will abandon her. She is also certain that the new Protector Gloucester is determined to ruin her. She proves to be prophetic on both counts. Richard comes and throws her penniless into the street to starve as a condemned whore. After being accused by Richard's page of leading a wicked and naughty life, Mrs. Shore condemns Richard's hypocrisy and turns her fate over to God. She repents for all of her sins.


When Gloucester proves that the miraculous cure of Simpcox's blindness is a ruse in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, Simpcox's wife pleads for mercy on the grounds that their poverty drove them to it. Gloucester orders Simpcox and Simpcox's wife publicly whipped all the way from St. Albon to their home village of Berwick.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous Wisest Have Their Fools. When the fool tells Musophilus that his wife is ill, Musophilus offers to come on Saturday to giver her a dose of "Popes' holy shadow," holy thistle, and other sovereign medicines. The fool says that she is more a Puritan than a Papist. Later, it is discovered that she is pregnant. In repayment for speeches of celebration that Musophilus will write on the happy event, Simplicius goes to court to have Crusophilus declared a fool.


Approached by the Clown for an affair in Greene and Lodge's A Looking Glass For London And England, the Smith's Wife readily agrees, and when the Smith attempts to break up the relationship, she encourages the Clown as he beats her husband. With the Smith, she heeds Jonas's warnings about the impending divine punishment for sin, and with him, turns to fasting and prayer.


A "ghost character" in [?]Middleton's The Second Maiden's Tragedy. Sophonirus wishes he could prostitute her to the Tyrant.


Hearing that her husband is drinking with Chastity in Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates, she becomes jealous, threatens Chastity, and chases her husband from the stage. In an interlude between the Parts, the Pardoner sells her a divorce from her husband, in an obscene ceremony involving the kissing of one another's arses.


A "ghost character" in Middleton's Anything for a Quiet Life. When George Cressingham, disguised as "Gascoyn" the tailor, is sent to the Barber's shop, he reports that the Barber's wife was trimming a gentleman's hair and they were all busy at the shop. When Franklin as "Sir Andrew," George Cressingham as "Gascoyn," and Ralph come to Sweetball's house to collect money for the cloth of gold, Franklin asks the Barber to keep their little arrangement secret from his wife. Sweetball thinks the secrecy is in connection to Ralph's rash on his penis, while Ralph thinks the secrecy is about the money. Franklin as "Sir Andrew" says he thinks women tend to talk too much and it is better to keep things from them. The Barber agrees, though he says it is hard to keep a secret from his wife.


Hearing that her husband is drinking with Chastity in Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates, she becomes jealous, threatens Chastity, and chases her husband from the stage.


Tailor's wife is a "ghost character" in Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. The tailor serving the affected courtiers is summoned at their party together with the barber, perfumer, milliner, jeweler, and feather-maker. Mercury, disguised as a Frenchified Gentleman, uses and abuses these merchants, thus showing the gallants how ridiculous they are. While Barber is cutting and trimming Mercury's hair during the elegance contest, he asks Tailor if the cut is of equal proportion. Tailor answers affirmatively, eulogizing the coiffure. Since Mercury intends to overdo the courtiers' affected ways, he pretends that Tailor is wrong and starts abusing and beating him. Since Tailor has learned his lesson about expressing an opinion before such a difficult gentleman, when Mercury asks him if the perfume suits him well, Tailor says he should let his mistress be the judge. However, at Mercury's insistence, Tailor remarks there is never a mistress in the world that can mistake such a scent. At this point, Mercury starts abusing Tailor's wife, telling him that the good wife tailor has only the judgment to heat her husband's pressing tool, not the capacity to appreciate perfumes.


A “ghost character" in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable. Jeremy suggests that the imposter who claimed to be Sir Geoffrey Hold–fast’s son was some bastard of his father’s, gotten upon his tailor’s wife or laundress because “he has a good store of them."


Only mentioned in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. She was one to join Tarlton at a wine tavern and ‘make up thirteen to the dozen’ according to the ghost of Tarlton ‘God rest her sweete soul’.


A “ghost character" in (?)Goffe’s Careless Shepherdess. Thrift mentions that she is back at his shop.


She buys Ursley’s baby from Marchurch for twenty shillings in Wild’s The Benefice. She intends to sell the baby for profit. She comes upon the drunken Hob–nail sleeping, steals his money, exchanges her shoes for his boots, and leaves him the baby in exchange.


A Trojan woman in Heywood's 2 The Iron Age who is with her husband when he first hears the Greeks entering the city, she flees and is presumably killed.


Trouble-all's wife is a "ghost character" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. According to Bristle, Trouble-all is so obsessed with Justice Overdo that his wife cannot get him make his water or change his shirt without a warrant from Justice Overdo.


A “ghost character" in Killigrew’s The Princess. Terresius mentions her in passing, telling the lieutenant that he has bribed her to kill her husband.


A "ghost character" in A Yorkshire Tragedy. He comes to visit the Wife, but never appears on stage. We know from her and from the servants that she defends her husband to him; but her uncle seems to guess what is in truth happening in their household. He was her Husband's guardian before their marriage. He promises the Husband an office or a place at Court, a promise which is ultimately ignored.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's The Rape of Lucrece. After a drunken banquet, Sextus belligerently denies Collatine's claim to having the most virtuous wife. Collatine decides to bet horse and armor that his wife is the most virtuous and the most beautiful. They decide to visit Valarius', Horatius Cocles', Aruns', and Mutius Scevola's respective wives, and then Collatine's wife, Lucrece. The intended visit to Valarius' wife is mentioned at lines 1503–4, but the outcome of the visit is not. Presumably, she too was found reveling and/or dancing.


As S.S's Honest Lawyer opens, Vaster is viciously accusing his wife of infidelity. Despite her pleas he refuses to believe she is innocent, and demands that she enter a brothel. She loyally agrees, but manages to drive off potential customers by preaching to them. As first Griffin, Bromley and Sagar, and then Gripe are robbed in turn, she releases them and helps them to a nearby inn. Benjamin tests her virtue and then takes her to his uncle's house. She is found there by her son, who at first does not recognize her, but when he does, he threatens to kill her, believing she has been unfaithful with Gripe. She is rescued by Gripe, who attempts to seduce her, but fails. He then believes she was one of the thieves who robbed his house and decides to poison her, but Benjamin substitutes a harmless drink. She is then met by a disguised Vaster, who tests her purity by attempting to seduce her, then threatening to kill her. She tells him she has the pox and he reveals himself, but rejects her, still believing she is unfaithful and citing her claim to have the pox as truth. He tells her to take the blame for Gripe's stolen money and, loyal still, she does so at the trial. This finally convinces him of her faithfulness and he reveals himself to his family and promises to love his wife forever.


Warman's Wife (apparently French from her accent) enters as Little John resists Warman and the Sheriff in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. She mocks her husband's inability to deal with Little John and tells him she will not sleep with him if he does not arrest Little John immediately. When the Prior comments that Robert is now Robin, as simple a yeoman as his servants, Warman's Wife takes great offense since her husband was Robert's servant. Much accuses her of taking the linens after Robin was outlawed, and she claims she only took them to wash them. When Warman tells her to go away, she does go, but insists that she is angry and should by rights be addressed by all as Mistress Sheriff.


A “ghost character" in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable. An oyster wife heard a rumor at Billingsgate and passed it along to the Watchman’s wife.


She is the Shoemaker's wife in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. In Act Five, knowing that her guest is leaving without leaving any money for her service, she decides to keep his clothes.


Wiggen is a village spendthrift and a friend of Jack in Peele's The Old Wives' Tale. When the Sexton and Steven Loach, the churchwarden, refuse to bury Jack at the expense of the parish, Wiggen threatens them.


A "ghost character" in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. Lord Wigmore is the father of William Wigmore. He wishes his son to marry Matilda and his suit is supported by the Bruces and Fitzwater.


See also WILL and WILLIAM.


He is the son of "old man" who owes rent to Ploddall in the anonymous Wily Beguiled. His directness and simplemindedness are comic. He claims to be close to marriage with Pegge (daughter of Lelia's nurse and granddaughter of Mother Midnight) although he's never spoken to her. He tells his father's landlord Ploddall that Sophos is beloved of Lelia and that Peter won't stand a chance. Later he meets Pegge in the woods, and with Mother Midnight they all go back for bag barley pudding and a beer at her house. He has his debts discharged by his father's landlord, Ploddall. He calls a clerk to get the church's permission for his wedding with Pegge. Among the guests will be Robin Goodfellow. Adding to Gripe's misery at losing his daughter to Churms, Wil Cricket reveals that Churms has forgiven all of Gripe's debtors in exchange for a small proportion from each, which Churms has kept for himself. Wil acts as a sort of master of ceremonies at the end of the play. He arranges for his own marriage and announces Fortunatus's arrival with Lelia and Sophos. He proposes a double marriage for the next day.


Family name of the young widow, Lady Wild, and her nephew Ned in Killigrew's Parson's Wedding.


A beautiful, young widow with a good reputation and three thousand pounds per annum in Killigrew's Parson's Wedding. Lady Wild has several suitors. After Jolly proves too officious and Sadd too depressing, Lady Wild finds herself more attractive to Tom Careless. Both she and her constant companion, Mistress Pleasant, are interested in having what they call "subject lovers," what can only be described as sort of human lap dogs or love slaves. After coming home from the play to find her house boarded up from the plague, Lady Wild and Mistress Pleasant are forced to spend the night at Ned Wild's. When they are tricked into marrying Careless and Wild, their reluctance stems only from disliking not having the upper hand rather than disliking the men.


Part of the first act dumb show in Sackville and Norton's Gorboduc. They are unable to break a faggot of sticks but learn that they are able if they do so one stick at a time.


Jack Wildblood is a companion of Flylove in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden, one of the young revellers first seen drinking in the Saracen's Head Tavern in Islington. He is imprisoned along with Flylove in the Wood-Street Counter, which he claims to know of old. In Act Five he reveals that he is really Bellaflora's cousin Worthlove, returned incognito from exile in France. (The dramatis personae states that he is Bellaflora's nephew).


Jacke Wildbraine is a rake in Fletcher's The Night Walker. He is the cousin of Maria and the ward of her mother, the Lady. At Maria's wedding, he convinces an inebriated Frank Hartlove to seduce Maria in the cloister before she can lose her maidenhead to her husband Algripe. Wildbraine then takes Algripe to the cloister to witness the attempt. The ensuing fracas results in Maria's apparent death. After the wedding, Wildbraine attempts to seduce Mistress Newlove and in the dark accidentally makes advances on Toby. When Maria's mother cuts off her support and throws him out of doors, Wildbraine fights with Hartlove and his wounded. Lurcher's mistress takes him in and dresses his wounds. She gives him money and jewels that she has received from Lurcher. With Toby and several others Wildbraine goes bell-ringing; while doing so, Lurcher and Snap rob him and the others of their clothes and possessions. Wearing only a rug borrowed from the sexton, he encounters Lurcher, who returns the stolen items and concedes to him his mistress.


Described as the University Ramist in Randolph's Aristippus. He nevertheless appears to be no more than a ruined tapster. He is bitter and raging with voluble anger at the popularity of Aristippus and wine, which has caused a disastrous collapse of the market for his beer. He vows revenge on wine, damning it as a foreign invasion and Armenian; the cause of the Gunpowder Plot and the ruination of both the University and the country. He is further infuriated by the appearance of the 'Fellow Crying Wine Pots' and beats him off stage. He abuses Aristippus to his face and denounces him as a magician for bewitching his livelihood and murdering beer. He threatens to report Aristippus to the Council and blames him for several political disasters, from the loss of Calais to the failure to conquer Spain after the Armada. The First Scholler beats him out on Aristippus's orders. He returns at the end of the scholars' Philosophers' Song accompanied by two Brewers, and together they beat their enemies off stage, seriously wounding Aristippus. He rejoices in this successful attack and claims that it proves the strength of beer. He notices their abandoned pots and papers, first denouncing them, then tempted to investigate further. He reads, presumably drinks, and mellows. He is converted to wine, bewailing his wasted life and calling on Aristippus to save him and repenting his earlier attack. His friend and neighbor Medico de Campo joins him, and is able to cure Aristippus with a powder in a draught of sack. The doctor's fee is that Aristippus forgive Wildeman and formally admit him to his band of scholars. He is given a new gown, and after Aristippus's song, joins the other to drink healths.


Wildfire is page to Sir Reverence Lamard in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden. He accompanies Sir Reverence to Mr Nice's house and to prison, and takes part in the mock-parliament held in the Counter.


Family name of Jack and Mistress Wilding in Shirley's The Gamester.


The wife of Wilding in Shirley's The Gamester. She patiently listens to and avowedly accepts her husband's misogynist denunciations of her alleged shortcomings. She says that she will even allow him to have a mistress–but not her own relation who would be perennially present in the house. She tries, but fails, to get the Page to name the women that are courted by her husband on his social meanderings. Assuring Penelope that her honor will not be compromised, she persuades her to allow Wilding to be unimpeded as he makes advances on her. She observes Penelope allowing Wilding to make much of her, and takes notice of the arrangements for a night-time meeting between the adulterous couple. She tells Penelope that her course of action is contrived to display grace and mercy to her husband, so that his sensual, wild drives will be replaced by responsible deference to the matrimonial union. Her virtuousness will shame his sinful lusts. We are led to believe that Mrs. Wilding has taken the place of Penelope at the secret meeting, that she has been enjoyed by Hazard and that she has unknowingly cuckolded her husband. Her patience is tested further when a self-loathing Wilding calls her a "whore." She settles the situation, revealing that she did not actually sleep with Hazard–in fact, she has recruited him to play along with the scheme to tame the reckless womanizing of her husband. Always chaste and always controlled, she forgives her errant husband.


Wiley is George's boy in Greene's George a Greene. He dresses as a serving maid and enters Grimes' house so that he can smuggle out Beatrice in his clothes. His disguise is so successful that Grimes falls in love with him, and when Edward asks Grimes to give his permission for Beatrice to marry George, Grimes says he will if he can marry the serving maid. Permission is given and Wiley throws off his disguise, embarrassing Grimes.


Wilkin is a male servant to Chremes and Maud in the anonymous July and Julian. He sympathizes with July when the latter opens his heart to him, explaining how he suffers having to conceal the passion he feels for Julian. Later, when Dick comes to him complaining, because he has been beaten at school, Wilkin also shows his sympathy for him, suggesting that he should ask his brother July for help, and, in his turn, do something for him as well. Wilkin's argument is that, if Dick helps his brother to marry Julian, then the boy will be able to go and live with them, far from the reach of his strict mother and his severe masters. When he listens to July's confidence revealing him that his mother had overheard his conversation with Julian, in which they had arranged to meet that night, Wilkin tries to offer him a solution. Thus, he advises him to tell his mother, openly, about his intentions, in order to gain her favor. Then Wilkin will invite Fenell to take part in his plan to help July marry Julian, because that way they may obtain their long-awaited freedom. He soon runs to tell July about the fact that his father is going to send another man–instead of him–to wait on him and his beloved one that night. Later, he will go back to him to break the sad news that Julian has been sold to a Merchant, but he advises his young master to wait before taking action, assuring him that, if he promises to grant him freedom, he will go and rescue the lady. Wilkin then suggests Fenell that they could replace Julian with Bettrice before the Merchant noticed. But he grows greedy, and decides that the Merchant should give them some money as well. Thus, he devises another plan, and asks Fenell to collaborate: he will pretend to be Julian's father, and he will tell the Messenger that he still has another daughter (Bettrice)–explaining that he cannot let Julian go, but that he could let him have the other, if he paid a sum of money for her. In the end, his plan succeeds, and, therefore, he contributes to July's happiness, and gains his long-sought freedom.


A "ghost character" in Thomas Heywood's 1 Edward IV. Wilkin is the deceased husband of Widow Norton.


The Pardoner's Boy in Lindsay's Satire of the Three Estates. His last name means "gallows-bird." He collects false relics for the Pardoner and arranges his lodgings with local prostitutes.

WILL **1554

Will is the name taken by Ill-Will when he plots to dupe Health, Wealth, and Liberty in the Anonymous An Interlude of Wealth and Health.

WILL **1564

Possibly a "ghost character" in [?]Bower's Apius and Virginia. Will is mentioned by Conscience, who laments that he has been subordinated to Apius' will.

WILL **1565

Wyll is servant to Aristippus in Edwards's Damon and Pithias. Wyll disapproves of his master's having turned away from the satisfaction of philosophy to become a vain courtier. Dismissing Iacke's suspicions that Aristippus outshines Carisophus in the king's favors, Wyll considers that their masters are very good friends. At the court gate, Wyll and Iacke start an argument concerning their respective masters and Snap, the sheriff's officer, intervenes to part them. Shortly after, Wyll and Iacke eavesdrop on Grimme. The two lackeys mock the collier's education, but cannot grasp the full nuances of his sophistry and equivocation. During Grimme's moralizing speech, Wyll ironically plays upon the theme of the youth's folly and the old age's wit, and the two servants get Grimme drunk in order to steal his purse. The two lackeys pump Grimme for hearsay information regarding the Damon and Pithias story. When Grimme states his opinion that Damon had better never return again, Wyll retorts that nobody should speak for the two protagonists in this sad story. While pretending to shave and perfume Grimme, the rascals Wyll and Iacke snatch his gold and exit to share their spoil.

WILL **1568

Servant to Wit in the anonymous Marriage of Wit and Science. Spelled Wyll in the play. He is a saucy boy of eleven or twelve years and proud that he can do whatever he likes. He must first be won over to helping Wit and makes a good job of delivering Wit's message to Science. He suggests, though, that Wit first consider sewing some wild oats, though Wit rejects the notion. He worries that Wit's new wife, Science, and her father, Reason, might be harsh with him and extracts promises from Wit to protect him against them. He also worries about being made a servant to Experience after the marriage. He cannot abide the long delays proposed by Instruction, Studie, and Diligence, and encourages Wit to risk all on a rash wooing of Science. When she balks, he suggests leaving her, and Wit for a moment believes that Will is his enemy. Nevertheless, Will accompanies Wit on the quest to defeat the giant, Tediousness, but when Wit falls, Will runs for aid. He returns with Recreation and her woman, who heal Wit. Will is away when Wit falls into the clutches of Idleness and Ignorance and thereby loses his master. He finds Wit again when Wit returns to Instruction for reformation. Will is made ultimately to obey Wit. Will assists Wit in the final, decisive battle against Tediousness and trips up the giant to allow Wit to win.

WILL **1588

Will, the woodsman in Porter's 1 The Two Angry Women of Abingdon, accompanies Sir Raph during the day and the night as he hunts a buck. Looking for Sir Raph in the dark he meets various characters all lost. He assumes Sir Ralph is with a whore. The wide range of characters, Will included, halloo to each other in the dark, trying to find the others, and mis-identifying each other. Will tells Gourcey and Barnes that Raph is looking for Nan, Will's girlfriend.

WILL **1588

Will is the page of Pleasure in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London. He is left to guard his master's shield, and explains the image on the shield to the other pages, Wealth and Wit. When the Spaniards invade, the pages of London fight their Spanish pages (Treachery, Terror, and Shame) with lances, and defeat them. For an unspecified reason, unnamed boys perform the pages' functions during the wedding of the lords and ladies.

WILL **1589

Will is the boy in the troupe of amateur actors in Munday's John a Kent and John a Cumber. He sings the Welsh song in honor of the brides during the late-night rehearsal under the bridegrooms' windows. Shrimp interrupts his song and replaces it with the song of the brides' escape, thus alerting Moorton and Pembrooke. Will attends the commotion created by the ladies elopement and joins the other clowns when Chester sends them in search of the ladies.

WILL **1590

The name the King of Gaul eventually settles on for himself in the Anonymous King Leir while he and Mumford are in England disguised as palmers. He lights upon this name after discarding the name Tressilus.

WILL **1602

Will is a page in Chapman's Sir Giles Goosecap that talks to Jack about their salary in the Act One. He is Eugenia's servant. With Jack, he will tell the suitors that the ladies are not to welcome them in Barnet to test them as they want to know who the most patient is. Also, they inform them that the ladies are going to have supper at Lord Furnifall's. Together with Jack, he is compared to Merlin.

WILL **1638

Will is an Antipodean, a character in the inset play of Brome's The Antipodes. Though he is a courtier, he is illiterate, coarse, and vulgar. He has also lost some money, possibly because of a hole in his pocket. He brawls with Jack, by whom he has been kicked. They are reconciled only when the courtier offers to take them to the tavern.


Will Brand is John's henchman in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. He is first ordered to take care of Lady Bruce and her son by removing them from the custody of Walter Blunt and locking them away without food. He does this, lying to Lady Bruce in order to get her to agree. Later it is revealed that John had a change of heart and told Brand to take them food, which Brand promised to do, but did not. His next task is to poison Matilda if she will not submit to John. She, of course, refuses, and Brand tells her that he will now poison her. Rather than fearing death, Matilda welcomes it, and thanks both John and Brand for allowing her to die of poison as Robin did. Her courage and forgiveness terrify Brand and he runs from the room and attempts to hang himself high in a tree. The branch gives and he falls to his death.


An amorous gallant in Nabbes' Tottenham Court, friend of the Stitchwells and acquaintance of Frank. Along with Frank, George, and James, he represents the sensual, hedonistic form of love of which Nabbes disapproved. He flirts with Mistress Stitchwell and attempts to seduce her in front of her sleeping husband. But he becomes alarmed when Stitchwell, apparently sleepwalking, pulls Changelove's ears and calls him Sir Lancelot, apparently dreaming that they are in the court of King Arthur. Later it is revealed that Stitchwell was not really asleep, but was gulling Changelove along with his wife; upon hearing this, Changelove goes off with George to drown their sorrows in a cup of sack.


A cantankerous and truculent country gentleman in Brome's The Weeding of Covent Garden. Contrary to the intention of the 1632 Proclamation of Restraint, Crosswill sells his country holdings to take lodgings in Covent Garden. His humor is a stubborn perversity and an ironically predictable fickleness; as his children well know, Crosswill is generally duped by the playground strategy of reverse psychology. Despite himself, consequently, Crosswill is manipulated into endorsing the marriage between Mihil and Lucy, Katherine and Anthony. He is reconciled to his estranged niece and her seducer—Dorcas and Nicholas. He establishes a healthy affiliation, through marriage, between his venerable, old name and Rooksbill's new money. By the end of the play, he also promises to curb his more cross-willful ways.


Will, or Wil Crow, a carpenter in (?)Heywood's A Warning For Fair Women, meets his friend, Tom Peart, whom he has not seen for some time. They discuss the upcoming hanging of Ann Drewry, Ann Sanders, and Roger, the gallows for which Tom has just helped build. Will says he would like to see the execution, and the two go off for a beer while they wait.


Parson Will-do is Overreach's chaplain in Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts. He is "benefic'd" at Sir Giles's manor of Gotham. Due to what he believes to be the instructions of Overreach he marries Margaret and Alworth, and although he advises Overreach to be happy of his daughter's marriage he is forced to face the anger of Sir Giles after the extortioner discovers that Margaret has been married to Alworth and not to Lord Lovell. At the end of the play it is Parson Will-do who confirms the distraction of Overreach and, due to some time spent "in physical studies," diagnoses him as "mad beyond recovery."


Ermsby belongs to the circle of Prince Edward's friends in Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay. John Warren, the Earl of Sussex, refers to him as a member of the king's privy chamber.


A clown in ?Tarlton's Three Plays in One. Appears in the second playlet.


The Gamester of Shirley's The Gamester. Hazard is appalled when he hears that Hazard has asked for his wife's approval to keep a mistress–he fears for his careless friend's safety. He says that sword-fighting is a necessary means for men to maintain honor for themselves and for their women. However, he persuades Acreless, Littlestock and Sellaway not to attempt a foolish rescue effort for Beaumont. He is sought by Old Barnacle. He accepts the rich old man's gold: his task is to allow himself to be beaten by Young Barnacle in a contrived, sham fight. At the tavern, he shows off the copious money that he has taken from Old Barnacle. He spends lavishly and throws wine over a character that is seeking to entertain the company. He tells the other gamesters to countenance the bad behavior of Young Barnacle. Allowing himself to be verbally affronted by the young man, he also fails to retaliate to a blow from him–he has kept the bargain struck with Old Barnacle. Later, he enjoys the company of Penelope, who takes an immediate shine to him. He comments knowledgeably on the miscreant nobles who play at gambling in the ordinary. His money proves to be lucky–he keeps on winning. He then lends money to Wilding; for this, he gets to go to the rendezvous with the young woman instead of Wilding. He boasts to Wilding about his great time with the woman, who we are later told was not Penelope, but actually Mistress Wilding. So, it seems that Hazard has unknowingly cuckolded Wilding. Later, he accepts more money from Old Barnacle. This time, he is to beat Young Barnacle, to humble him and to render him submissive once more. With the help of the other gamesters, he aggressively executes this task, successfully curbing the young man's reckless machismo. At first, he rejects Wilding's suggestion that he should marry Penelope. But it turns out that Hazard has in fact been privy to Mrs. Wilding's husband-reforming scheme. He did go out to meet Wilding's woman on that night, but there he met both Penelope and Mrs. Wilding–their virtuousness convinced him to play along with their scheme to show gentleness and genuine love to Wilding. By the end of Act Five, he has been married to Penelope.


The famous English clown-actor, whom Anthony Sherley meets in Venice in Day, Rowley and Wilkins's The Travels of the Three English Brothers. He engages in an improvised comic routine with an Italian Harlequin, during which he steals a kiss from the Harlequin's wife.

A "ghost character" in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley who allegedly spreads rumors concerning Stukeley and his wife.


The Shoemaker's given name is used only once in Greene's George a Greene. The rest of the time he is known only as the shoemaker. He meets with Jenkin and tells him that in Wakefield men do not carry their staffs on their shoulder, but instead let them trail on the ground. He tries to fight with Jenkin, but Jenkin will not. Instead, he announces that, as under-pinner of the town, he must circle his staff above his head three times before any fight. The Shoemaker agrees, and Jenkin circles his staff twice and announces he will never circle it a third time. The Shoemaker realizes he will not fight. Next the Shoemaker meets with the disguised Edward and James and tells them the same thing. They agree, and trail their staffs, which causes George and Robin to think they are peasants pretending to be yeoman. The stage direction is confusing at this point, since it states that George fights with the Shoemakers and beats them all, when there has so far been only one Shoemaker and he was supposed to be fighting Edward and James. However, after the fight, the Shoemaker, identified as Will Perkins by George, is sent to buy ale so that all may welcome Robin Hood to town, and to drink to Edward.

WILL (or JACK) PLOD **1639

A student of law at the Inns of Chancery in Sharpe’s Noble Stranger. He and Fledwit join with Mercutio in gulling Pupillus. Early in the play, Mercutio refers to him as Will Plod but later calls to him by the name Jack. After all his work getting Pupillus to fancy and then marry Flavia, he and his friends find they have been gulled when Flavia refuses to split Pupillus’ wealth with them. Plod goes off to study mischief while Mercutio resolves to live better and go sober to bed.


A compatriot of Staines and Spendall in Cooke's Greene's Tu Quoque. This young gallant's largely functional role satirizes the outlandish fashions of arriviste Londoners including their dress, their pastimes (including gambling and playgoing), and their speech (typified by Bubble's overuse of the phrase "tu quoque").


Sadd is Lady Wild's current suitor at the beginning of Killigrew's Parson's Wedding. Lady Wild grows tired of him being depressing all the time. She predicts in act one that Sadd's successful run will soon end: "he cannot last above another Fall." Along with Jack Constant and Secret, Sadd makes up a story that Lady Wild's house has been infested by the plague, in the hopes that she and Mistress Pleasant will leave London and not fall under the spell of Careless and Wild. The scheme fails when the Captain devises a plane to trick the ladies into marrying Wild and Careless.


Will Slawter is hired by Miles Forest in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III to assist James Terrell in Richard III's plot to kill the princes in the Tower of London. Slawter is partnered with Jack Denten. When Denten voices second thoughts about the killings, Slawter threatens to kill Denten, too. Slawter and Denten kill the princes and bury them within the Tower.


Also called 1 Smith in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell. He works for Thomas Cromwell's father ("Old Cromwell") with Hodge and Tom Smith (2 Smith). He opens the play talking about how young Thomas Cromwell studies so hard.


Henry’s fool in Rowley’s When You See Me. He is sent for from Dr. Skelton and enters, booted and spurred and blowing a horn, bringing news. He delivers drolleries concerning the dead pope, Mamet, and King Arthur to Henry’s delight. Later, Sommers tricks Patch into taking a beating from the king to help bring Henry out of his depression after the queen’s death and wins a velvet coat from Compton when he succeeds. He and Patch carouse in Wolsey’s wine cellar while the cardinal is in France and there discover the gold he has hidden in his casks. Will tells Henry what he has found. The play ends with the king first, then the Emperor, and finally Queen Catherine trying Will Sommers’ wit at rhyming, which contest he wins.


A native of Cotswold, Will Squele never appears on stage in the play but is mentioned in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV as having been a crony of Shallow's during the latter's law education days.


An elderly esquire of the City in Brome's The Sparagus Garden. He is involved in a notorious feud with Samson Touchwood. His daughter having married a spendthrift knight, Sir Hugh Moneylacks, and then died, he has brought up their child, Annabel. After trying to avoid lending money to Sir Hugh, he gives him a piece in exchange for the information that Annabel is secretly in love with Touchwood's son, Samuel. He is somewhat convinced by Friswood, his housekeeper and longtime mistress, that this report was only a joke, but declares that he will throw Annabel and Friswood out of doors is there proves to be any truth in it. When Touchwood tries to anger him by hinting that his son has gotten Annabel with child, Striker confesses to the audience that his feud with Touchwood and the anger it provokes is actually what is keeping him alive; when Friswood confirms Annabel's pregnancy, however, he is less amused and threatens to cast her off. Friswood prevents him by threatening to expose his affair with her as well as his cruel treatment of his sister (Mistress Hoyden, whom he long ago threw out under similar circumstances). Striker's health takes a sharp turn for the worse, and he appears at the point of death, much to Touchwood's delight, but his anger at Touchwood's mockery again restores him to health and he resolves cheerfully to accept his granddaughter's situation if only to anger Touchwood. Thomas Hoyden arrives claiming to be his nephew, but he demands proof. When Sir Arnold appears seeking Annabel's hand for his nephew, Walter, Striker describes her as exaggeratedly chaste, in the process convincing Sir Arnold that he actually wants her for himself. It seems that his plan will succeed, but when Annabel is on the verge of marrying Sir Arnold she herself discloses her supposed pregnancy. Striker is in despair, but is soon cured by Touchwood's confession of his relationship with Striker's sister, Audrey. The two old enemies are reconciled; their children are betrothed; and Striker declares himself "friends with all," not least with Friswood, whom he decides to marry.


Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. He "broke his wind" for Plutus.


Wily Will and Tom Beggar are an efficient begging team in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London. Simplicity joins them and they sing a song together. But they fool Simplicity out of all the best takings. On the orders of Fraud, they rob Mercadore the merchant.


An informal disguise, or persona, or impersonation that Asotus proposes to bestow upon Hyperbolus while roaring at Ballio's house in Randolph's Jealous Lovers.


A "ghost character" in Thomas Heywood's The Four Prentices of London. William is too busy consolidating his English acquisitions to engage in the crusade.
King William the Conqueror falls in love with the image of the princess Blanch of Denmark on Lubeck's shield in [?]Wilson's Fair Em, the Miller's Daughter. Accompanied by Lubeck, he visits the Danish court, disguised as 'Sir Robert of Windsor.' But when he meets the real Blanch, he is disappointed to find that she is ugly. He prefers Lubeck's beloved, Mariana, but she is unimpressed. During a masqued ball, William scuffles with Lubeck over Mariana, and he is thrown in prison. On his release, he reveals his true identity to Mariana in the hope of persuading her to come to England. Mariana remains uninterested and conspires with Blanch to resolve the situation by trickery. Mariana tells William that she agrees to elope with him, but it is really Blanch, in a veil, whom William takes back to England. Upon arrival in England, William is delayed somewhat when some soldiers arrest him because they do not recognize him; he is then separated from 'Mariana' and does not realize that he has been tricked. He is thus bewildered when King Zweno demands the return of Blanch, and only when Zweno arrives with an army is the truth of the switch revealed. Zweno offers Blanch as William's wife anyway, but William is furious and abjures all women for their inconstancy. When he sees the constancy of Em, however, abused by inconstant men, he changes his mind and decides to marry Blanch despite her looks. He then tells Em to marry Valingford.


The king, William Rufus is based loosely on the real Norman king of the same name (William II of England, 1087-1100) who had a reputation for lechery. William Rufus is the honoured guest at Cælestine and Sir Walter Terill's wedding celebration in Dekker's Satiromastix. Taken with Cælestine's beauty, he exercises the ancient privilege of "first night," which grants him the right to sleep with any newly married bride on her wedding night. He commands Terill to bring Cælestine to court that night as proof of his loyalty. When William Rufus discovers that Cælestine has taken poison rather than relinquish her chastity to any man other than her husband, he repents his actions. When he declares her a truly constant wife, however, Cælestine revives, having unwittingly consumed a potion of her father's devising to make her only appear dead. Content now not to interfere between bride and bridegroom, William Rufus invests Crispinus with the authority to preside over the mock trial of Horace and Asinius Bubo. The king ends the play by leading the others in a dance to honor the announced marriage between Tucca and Mistris Miniver.

WILLIAM **1591

Oliver's son in the Anonymous Locrine. He wants Strumbo to marry his sister Margerie, because he "tumbled her upon the hay." Strumbo declines, but he is made to consent after a sound beating by Margerie.

WILLIAM **1597

William, also called cousin by Justice Shallow, does not appear on stage and is said to be at Oxford in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV.

WILLIAM **1599

William is a country gentleman in love with Audrey in Shakespeare's As You Like It. He loses her to Touchstone. Touchstone overwhelms the simple man with a courtly fusillade of threats far beyond William's understanding. William withdraws at once and disappears from the text.


Referred to as "William at the bar," he is a London tapster in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One. He works with the Drawer, who briefly attends Hoard and his retainers Lamprey and Spitchcock at his London tavern. William has one line, off stage. He informs them that no gentlewoman has yet called, and only Mistress Florence has come in.


Servant One to Antonio in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Coxcomb. William enters when Antonio and Mercurie are speaking privately. When Antonio "disappears" William and his fellow servant, Roger, discuss the probable murder of their master in front of the Irish footman. The footman then reveals that he is Antonio, their master; he tells them to spread the word that he is dead.

WILLIAM **1615

A fantasy character in Tomkis’ Albumazar. Antonio, completely confused by meeting Trincalo swearing that he is Antonio, and terrified by Trincalo’s threat to stab him if he maintains the fantasy that they are both the same man, tells Trincalo that he must be Peter, Thomas, or William, what you please. Aside, Antonio considers it a strange negligence to have lost himself.

WILLIAM **1632

Mr. William is Lady Mosely's servingman in ?Brewer's The Country Girl. At the beginning of Act I, he tells Sir Oliver that his Lady does not want to marry anybody after losing his former husband. Later, he will announce her that there are some suitors waiting for her. He helps Barbara in their trick. With Hugh and Cutbert, he plans to make the suitors meet Barbara as the Lady in three different parts of Lymestreet.

WILLIAM **1642

A servant of Captain Blade in Cowley's The Guardian, who, like his fellow servant Ralph, disguises himself as his master's long-lost brother in order to foil a trick by Puny and Dogrel. In order to test the impostors Puny and Dogrel, who are themselves pretending to be Blade's long-lost brother and his manservant, William and his fellow-servant Ralph disguise themselves in the same fashion and confront them. Puny and Dogrel quickly back down.


Son of Barnavelt, governor of Barghen [better known as Bergen-op-Zoom] until 1619 in Fletcher and Massinger's Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt. His principal role in the play is to convey news to his father.


Bennet is a gentleman friend of Richard Gardiner in [?]Heywood's The Fair Maid of the Exchange. He is on hand at the Exchange when Gardiner attempts to seduce Phillis, and he asks Gardiner to pass along greetings to Lyonell Barnes when Gardiner visits Cambridge.


Sir William Blunt arrives to clear John of deliberately starving Lady Bruce and her son in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. He says that Brand did bring food with him, but locked it away and would not allow the Bruces to have any. There is some confusion here, since all previous references to the constable of Windsor have been to Sir Walter Blunt, and he is reported slain when Young Bruce took the castle. It seems most likely that the playwrights's final intention was to have a single constable who was not killed. (See also "WALTER BLUNT").


Supporter of Richmond in Shakespeare's Richard III. Brandon bears Richmond's standard and is killed during the Battle of Bosworth.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Henry VIII. Bulmer is mentioned in the Surveyor's testimony against Buckingham. The Surveyor reports that Buckingham was angry when King Henry scolded him for drawing away the friendship of Bulmer.


Favorite of King Richard II in the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock, along with Bagot, Scroop, and Greene (qq.v.; for a general account of them, see under Bagot). Bushy makes the crucial discovery of the King's birth date, thus revealing to him that he is of age and may legally cast off the Protectorship of his uncle Woodstock. In the division of the kingdom, Bushy receives Wales and the midlands. He is taken prisoner in the final battle, but is still alive when the play breaks off.


Sir William Catesby is with Richard III in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III when he first comes on stage as the newly named Lord Protector. Catesby's enthusiastic congratulations to Gloucester on the occasion of his promotion spur Richard into a scathing soliloquy against his family and against Nature. After the death of her husband Edward IV, the Queen is informed by Catesby that her son Edward V is in the custody of his uncle Gloucester, the Lord Protector. She also learns from Catesby that her brothers Rivers and Gray, along with their men Vaughan and Hapce, have been arrested by Gloucester on the charge of treason. After the Archbishop of York persuades the Queen Mother to obey Gloucester's directive, Catesby takes custody of York and delivers him to the Tower of London. Richard informs Catesby of his intentions before cutting off Hastings. Catesby briefly attempts to intervene on behalf of his friend, but quickly ends his suit when it becomes clear that Richard is set upon killing Hastings. In fact, Catesby personally helps Richard's men drag Hastings before Richard for condemnation. Catesby is awarded Hastings' title and estates by Richard as a reward for the betrayal of his friend. It is Catesby who reports to Richard that Buckingham has been captured and executed. Catesby is one of the last remaining men loyal to Richard at Bosworth Field. He is beheaded at Lester.
A supporter of Richard III in Shakespeare's Richard III. Catesby is sent to sound out Hastings, to see if he would support Richard; Catesby later conveys Hastings' head to Richard. Catesby also takes part in the charade when Buckingham leads the Mayor and citizens in imploring Richard to take the crown. Along with Lovell and Ratcliff, he was the target of William Collingbourne's satiric attack
The catte, the ratte, and Lovell our dogge
Rulyth all England under a hogge.
Finally, Catesby fights alongside Richard in the Battle of Bosworth.
Catesby in Thomas Heywood's 2 Edward IV announces to Master Shore that king Edward IV has died and that Richard has been made Lord Protector of the dead king's young sons, Edward and Richard of York.


Often spelled Cumpton in Rowley’s When You See Me. He entreats Wolsey’s presence to speak privately to Henry before the French embassy arrives. He informs Henry that it is St. Edward’s day, and so the king names his infant son Edward (note: this is an inaccuracy in the play. October 13 is the feast of Edward the Confessor, but Prince Edward was born the day before on the twelfth). He brings news that Lady Mary has married the king of France. He goes with the king in disguise to see if London is well secured. When called, he goes with Brandon to the king in the counter and redeems him. It is unclear whether Brandon or Compton is sent to give a ring to Catherine “Parry" and send Anne of Cleves back to her home, but it is one of the two. He is sent to banish Cranmer from the court and Prince Edward’s side. He tells Queen Catherine that she is to be sent to the Tower and advises her to plead her case before Henry before she can be arrested. He takes her to Henry and begs him to admit her.


The Earl of Suffolk in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI, is a Lancastrian supporter. Shakespeare imagines a fictitious debate in which the Yorkist and Lancastrian factions choose the symbols of their quarrel, the white and the red roses. Suffolk sides with Somerset and the Lancastrians, plucking a red rose from a nearby bush, while Warwick and Vernon choose a white rose to show their support for Richard Plantagenet's Yorkist side. Suffolk captures Margaret of Anjou and offers her to Henry as a bride, a marriage that will have disastrous consequences in 2Henry VI. In the final lines of the play, Suffolk envisions a future in which he will control Margaret, who in turn will rule Henry. In the subsequent Henry VI plays, Suffolk and Margaret's romance will blossom, with disastrous consequences for England.
Now Duke of Suffolk in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI. At the end of 1 Henry VI, the Duke of Suffolk had concocted a plan to have Margaret marry King Henry, believing that he would be able to control the king through her. 2 Henry VI opens with Margaret's transfer from Suffolk to Henry, and as the play continues we see Suffolk's plan coming to fruition. He is Margaret's lover and Henry's enemy. With Margaret's collusion, and some assistance from Cardinal Beaufort, Buckingham and York, Suffolk has Gloucester imprisoned for treason and arranges for him to be killed. Here, Suffolk has overreached himself, and when the commoners demand retribution for Gloucester's murder Henry banishes Suffolk. When pirates off the coast of Kent capture him, Suffolk identifies himself in the hope that they will spare his life, but Walter Whitmore and his lieutenant agree that Suffolk's misdeeds, compounded by his rude behavior to the pirates, merit death. In a long speech, the lieutenant enumerates Suffolk's crimes against England, from orchestrating Henry's match with an unworthy mate to the murder of Gloucester. Whitmore and the lieutenant kill Suffolk.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous 1 Return From Parnassus. In London, Luxurio hopes to take the place of the recently deceased Elizabethan ballad-maker, William Elderton, referred to here not only by his name but also by his notoriously large red nose.


Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. The literary antagonist of Taylor the water-poet. Cleon's ghost accuses Aristophanes of being the "Fennor of Greece."


An English officer at the siege of Orleans in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI. He witnesses the death of both Salisbury and Gargrave, who are both killed with a single shot.


Cousin and supporter of Maurice in Fletcher and Massinger's Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt.


Will is a younger brother of Philip Harding in Heywood and Rowley's Fortune by Land and Sea. He and John Harding(q.v.) are delighted when their father plans to disinherit Philip in favour of them. When Old Harding forces Philip and his wife into servitude, Will and John take pleasure in humiliating them. But they are horrified when Old Harding dies before he can change the will. Philip inherits the estate, and generously gives a large portion to Will and John, but they spend it all on drink and gambling, and are reduced to poverty.


A pewterer in The Grocer's Honour portion of Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. He is one of Rafe's men at the Mile End muster. He wears a corslet and carries a Spanish pike. At Rafe's command, he rushes at Rafe, but hi is criticized for his weakness.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Lambarde is mentioned by Doctor Clyster when he is explaining to Sir Cupid Phantsy that he can see he is getting worse, and, thus, he is going to put him on a 'reading' diet: "I prescribe you Littleton's Tenures to read in French, with Lambarde's Justice of Peace, Dalton, Crompton, and Fitzherbert, Pulton's Statutes, and Coke's Reports." William Lambarde (1536-1601) wrote Eirenarcha: or the Office of the Justices of Peace (1582). He co-authored–with Richard Crompton and Michael Dalton–The Complete Justice, published in 1636.


A "ghost character" in Heywood's 2 If You Know Not Me. A former mayor of London whose portrait is admired by Doctor Nowell.


Only mentioned in (?)Speed’s The Converted Robber. Earl of Salisbury who founded a Carthusian monastery in 1222.


Sir William Lucy acts as Talbot's messenger in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI, visiting Richard Plantagenet and Somerset and urging them to help Talbot before he is conquered by the French. Shakespeare juxtaposes Lucy's encounters with the two leaders to show how their rivalry leads to Talbot's defeat. After the battle, Lucy visits King Charles seeking Talbot, only to learn that he has been killed.


Mr Nice's son and Splendora's brother in Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden, who has been living in France but who returns to England incognito under the disguise of Sir Reverence Lamard in order to trick his father into permitting Splendora to marry Mercurio.


Name Eugenio uses to introduce St. Johan in the anonymous Johan The Evangelist.


William is the brother of Anne and son of George and Margaret Page in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor. Evans quizzes him on his Latin. Later, he joins with his sister, Anne, and a group of boys. Pretending to be fairies, they pinch Falstaff mercilessly in Windsor Park.


Only mentioned in the Anonymous Two Wise Men and All the Rest Fools. Dr. William Parry, a Welsh physician and M.P., was executed in 1585 for plotting against the life of Elizabeth I on behalf of Mary Queen of Scots. He is instanced by Furioso as the type of the intelligencer.


William Perceval, a rustic in the anonymous 1 Return From Parnassus, asks Philomusus to dig his dead father's grave, and to write the dead man's will. Having become churchwarden, it is he who tells Philomusus that the scholar has been discharged from his offices.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. Master Prynne is mentioned by Master Silence when he is explaining Narrowit what the elixir he is giving him as a cure for his scruples contains: "a piece of Master Prynne's ear, our blessed saint, which cost me much of the executioner." Later, he is mentioned by Master Silence again when Narrowit, finding out he has been cozened, goes to threaten him. Silence replies: "I will now take Prynne's ear from about thy neck." William Prynne (1600-1669) was a Puritan who opposed the church policy of the Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud. Like many Puritans, he was fiercely opposed to stage plays: thus, in his Histriomastix (1633), he included a denunciation of actresses which was interpreted as an attack of Queen Henrietta Maria. Therefore, he was tried in the Star Chamber in 1633 and sentenced to imprisonment and the removal of part of his ears. But, even in prison, he did not abandon his activities, and that cost him the rest of his ears, which he lost in the pillory in May, 1634.


Master William Roper is married to Margaret, More's elder daughter in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. He is present when the Lord Mayor's party is treated to a partial performance of The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom. After More resigns the chancellorship, Roper comments how good it will be for the family to be out of the public eye. When More rejects the final chance to submit to the king, Roper attempts to calm the distressed Lady More and her step-daughters, and he accompanies them to visit More in the Tower where he urges his father-in-law to relent and "yield to the opinion of the state."


William Scarborrow is the oldest surviving son of the Scarborrow children in Wilkins's The Miseries of Enforced Marriage. But he cannot yet inherit the estate from his deceased father since he is still a minor. As a result of English property law, he becomes the ward of Lord Falconbridge, who as William's guardian has the right to do whatever he wishes with William and the estate until he reaches the age of majority. Falconbridge thus contrives to have his niece, Katherine, marry William in order to increase his own holdings despite William's protestations that he has made a previous trothplight to Clare Harcop, the daughter of a Yorkshire gentleman. Even though William vows to have nothing to do with her and embarks on a life of dissolution designed to deplete the estate and thus frustrate his guardian Lord Falconbridge, Katherine manages to have two children by him. When he is reminded of his duty to his wife and children by Doctor Baxter, the cleric who married him, he says that he will murder them all, but he is saved from this precipitous action by the news that his guardian is dead, has repented of his earlier machinations, doubled the estate that Scarborrow originally had, and provided the sister with a dowry. Scarborrow thus has a change of heart and vows to love Katherine and his children, the two younger brothers are saved from destitution, and even Ilford seems happy with the sister now that she has money.


Sir William Scarborrow is an uncle to William Scarborrow and friend to Lord Falconbridge, young William's ward in Wilkins's The Miseries of Enforced Marriage.


Sir William Sentlow is sent to the Tower by Queen Mary in Heywood's 1 If You Know Not Me for urging the Queen's grace toward Elizabeth.


A "ghost character" in the anonymous 1 Return From Parnassus. Ingenioso says in an aside that Gullio's oration on his mistress is naught but scraps of Shakespeare and other theatrical authors, and is told that his own encomium on Gullio's mistress should imitate Shakespeare among other authors; Venus and Adonis and Romeo and Juliet are particularly approved.
Only mentioned in the anonymous 2 Return From Parnassus. Iudicio commends Adonis and Lucrece in their kind, but faults Shakespeare for avoiding graver subjects—he and Ingenioso do not mention the plays. Later, Burbage and Kempe value Shakespeare's dramatic work more highly than the plays of the university wits.
Only mentioned in Cavendish & Shirley's Country Captain. Thomas brings Underwit a book of Shakespeare's plays.
Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. He wrote his comedies for Plutus.
Only mentioned in Wild’s The Benefice. Invention reads some praise for him (‘if thy learning had been like thy wit, Ben would have blushed, and Johnson [sic] never writ’) but Furor Poeticus finds fault in his works (‘for the fine and true dramatic law, he was a dunce and scribled with a straw’) and calls for an imaginary Jailor to take him away.

A cutler of Fleet St. in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley. Along with many other tradesmen, he gossips about the impending marriage of Captain Stukeley and Nell, daughter of the wealthy Sir Thomas Curtis. Immediately after the wedding, they seek to abscond with Stukeley's newfound money, citing debs both real and fabricated.


Sir William begins Cavendish's The Variety as the suitor of Lady Beaufield. He hopes to entertain her by tricking Manley into wearing outdated and hence comic Elizabethan costume in her presence. When Manley turns the tables on Sir William with accomplished singing of old ballads and when Lady Beaufield shows a romantic interest in Manley, Sir William abandons his suit for her. In a soliloquy, he admits that what he is really interested in is money and so he instead will pursue the rich widow, who is Simpleton's mother. He does, in fact, marry the rich widow, and exchanges low-grade recriminations with Lady Beaufield afterwards.


William Sly and Sinklo try to sit on the stage during the Induction to Marston's Malcontent. They exchange banter with the actors about the rival Blackfriars theatre, and argue with them about the moral message of the play about to be performed. They are finally taken to a private box and the play is allowed to begin.


William Smallshanks is the younger son of Sir Oliver Smallshanks and the brother of Thomas Smallshanks in Barry's Ram Alley. He is a prodigal who has run up large debts, lost his land and has been disowned by Sir Oliver. His land was lost to Throat the lawyer, and he plans to regain it. William keeps a whore, Francis, whom he brought to London and introduced to a bawd, Mistress Sell-smock. He now wants to help her to an advantageous marriage. With the help of Thomas Boutcher and Lieutenant Beard, William convinces Sir Oliver and Throat that he has eloped with Constantia Sommerfield, a rich heiress, whom he has Francis impersonate. Sir Oliver is reconciled with his son, and Throat agrees to help him in his marriage while secretly plotting to steal "Constantia" for himself. Throat convinces "Constantia" that William is a wastrel, and she agrees to marry Throat instead. Throat and Dash kidnap "Constantia," and at Throat's connivance, William is arrested for a debt of thirteen pounds owing to Beard. Throat and Francis persuade him to give up all claim to "Constantia" in return for the payment of the debt and the return of his forfeited mortgage. William goes to the house of Changeable Taffeta, who has agreed to marry Sir Oliver, and insults his father. Sir Oliver again disowns him, and Taffeta banishes him from her house. William vows that he will marry Taffeta himself. William helps Boutcher to humiliate Captain Face in order to rid Taffeta of his attentions, but advises Boutcher to forget Taffeta and woo the real Constantia Sommerfield, who is in love with him. Going to Taffeta's house at night, William "woos" her by drawing his sword and forcing her to kiss him. She responds positively to this treatment and agrees to marry him. William tells his father that he is going to marry Taffeta, but Sir Oliver does not believe him and goes home to prepare for the wedding. William helps to revive Boutcher, who tries to hang himself when he discovers that Taffeta is marrying someone else, and advises him to turn to Constantia. Lady Sommerfield, Justice Tutchin, Throat and Boutcher pursue William to Taffeta's house, in search of Constantia, followed by Thomas Smallshanks and Francis. William denies that he has had any contact with the real Constantia, and reveals that "Constantia" is really the courtesan Francis. He persuades Throat to be reconciled with Francis, and advises Sir Oliver to try wooing Lady Sommerfield.


When Sir Humphrey Stafford is sent to quell Jack Cade's rebellion in Shakespeare's 2 Henry VI, the rebels kill him and his brother William Stafford. The dramatis personae gives his name though the text refers to him only as "Brother."


When in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI the captive Edward is allowed to hunt guarded only by a huntsman, Richard of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and Sir William Stanley contrive to free him.


William the Cook is a servant in the house of Justice Shallow in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV.


William Touchstone is a successful goldsmith at Goldsmith's Row, and father to Gertrude and Mildred in Jonson, Marston, and Chapman's Eastward Ho!. His tag line is "work upon that now." When Sir Petronel arrives, Touchstone informs him that his daughter's dowry consists of land inherited from her grandmother and nothing else. Touchstone gives Mildred's hand in marriage to Golding, convinced that the honest couple would do better than the ambitious noble pair. Touchstone offers to give Mildred a good dowry and pay for the wedding expenses. Just before Gertrude's departure for Sir Petronel's fictional eastward castle, Touchstone brings Mildred and Golding to say good-bye. Seeing that Gertrude and Mistress Touchstone treat Golding with contempt, ashamed of being related to an apprentice, Touchstone exits with the couple. Touchstone is aware of Sir Petronel's plot of deserting Gertrude and sailing to Virginia, but he predicts they will not reach far in this storm. As for Gertrude and his wife, Touchstone reports they have returned disillusioned. When Golding reports that Sir Petronel and his party have been cast ashore at Greenwich and the Constable has arrested them, Touchstone sees these events as divine justice. Touchstone tells Golding to commit the two rascals to prison, and he concludes with a moralizing comment. As regards Security, Touchstone says he will go to the Lord Mayor to get a warrant and confiscate the usurer's assets for the crown. When Wolf brings Touchstone two letters from Quicksilver and Sir Petronel, in which they ask for forgiveness, Touchstone is unimpressed with reports of their good behavior. Moreover, Touchstone will not hear any of Mildred's pleas for mercy. However, when Wolf reports that Golding has been arrested, Touchstone rushes to prison to bail his favorite son-in-law. In prison, Quicksilver sings a heart-breaking song about his transgression and how he wishes his master would come and rescue him. Touchstone is impressed and forgives him and the repentant Sir Petronel. In the reconciliation scene, Touchstone has a final moralizing speech. He refers to the reformation of the thrifty son, the punishment of the usurer, and the return of the prodigal child.


At the abdication confrontation with Edward II in Marlowe's Edward II, Sir William Trussell, the Earl of Leicester, and the Bishop of Winchester face the king and urge him to give up his crown. Trussell is there to convey the king's decision to Parliament.


Sir William Vergir is a knight in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. Sir William is the Lady's second husband. He offers 3,000 pounds a year to the Lady to marry his son, Humil, with his eldest daughter, but the Lady does not accept the offer and she tells Sir William that they will not sleep together. Sir William has two daughters: Mary and Tabisha. He is going to give the weight of his eldest daughter in gold and the weight of his second daughter in silver to their respective husbands. Being answered by Sir Rafe that honor is more important, he confesses that he has money, honor and beauty. He makes strange promises to his daughter's suitors: Toures will marry Mary when she dies, and Filbon will marry Tabisha when Filbon is a woman. Later, in a party, he does not like the song that the Tinker boy sings in front of the court nor that the singer is drunk, but he does not recognize him. After the performance, he does not like the fact that Filbon sends a letter to Tabisha through Tutch and he tells the clown not to come back to his house. He is also told that Mary has eloped with Toures and he is to look for his daughter. He asks Humil, some Lords, the Earl of Tumult and two of his men to go with him in his quest. They arrive at night with torches to a place where they decide to rest to continue in the morning. There, he is given Humil's letter and, catching his wife sleeping with her former husband, he is dishonored. He pretends to forgive them, but he decides to take revenge poisoning his wife with the help of Humil, who is disguised as an Apothecary in the party that he organizes. There, Sir William blames Toures for the death of his daughter. However, the accusations come back to him when it is found out that he has killed the Lady, and later when his daughter appears alive with his brother.


Never appearing on stage in the play, William Visor of Woncot is an acquaintance of Davy's in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV.


William Wallace is a fiery Scottish warrior and title character of J.W.'s The Valiant Scot. When Young Selby captures his beloved Peggie, Wallace kills him. Peggie is captured by the English commissioners, who demand that he exchange his life for Peggie's. Wallace agrees, and gives himself up. Grimsby, a secret sympathizer with the Scots, pretends to lead Wallace to the English camp, and then releases him, so that Wallace is reunited with his family and friends. Wallace and Peggie are married, and Wallace then massacres the town of Lavercke in revenge for the English affronts, but disaster strikes when his father and Peggie are murdered by the commissioners. Sebastian, Glascot and Mountford then arrive at his camp as ambassadors from the English. Wallace orders Sebastian to be beheaded, Glascot blinded, Mountford's tongue to be cut out. Then he disguises as a lame Scots soldier loyal to King Edward and leads Mountford and Glascot to the English camp. He uses his disguise to eavesdrop while Clifford and Percy decide to lead Wallace into a trap. He offers to guide the English messenger, Beaumont, to the Scottish camp, but after they have set off, he triumphantly sends Beaumont back to the English with one of his crutches. Later, he is shipwrecked and washed up on a beach, where he gulls Sir Jeffrey Wiseacres and Bolt out of a trunk of food by pretending to be an anonymous Scot. When he reveals his identity they run away. Meeting Selby, who is in a state of wretchedness and does not recognize him, Wallace decides to be merciful rather than kill him. This is a wise decision, as Selby and Haslerig are shortly afterwards killed by other means. During the battle against the English, Wallace is offended when the General of Scotland orders him to bring up the rear. When the English capture the General and Grimsby, Wallace fights off the enemy but is too late to save the General from being killed. He then meets Robert Bruce in the field and tells him he is fighting on the wrong side. They agree to meet him in secret later. After the battle, Wallace is visited by the ghosts of Friar Gertrid, Old Wallace, and Peggie, who warn him against meeting with Bruce. He goes, warily, to his meeting nonetheless, but the traitors Mentith and Coming are lying in wait. They capture him and take him to the English. There, Wallace kills Mentith "with his fist" but he is then ordered by King Edward to be hung, drawn and quartered.


A knight in the anonymous Jack Straw. After the rebels are defeated, King Richard II knights the Lord Mayor as Sir William Walworth, for his loyalty and bravery.


A "ghost character" in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. William Wigmore is a suitor for Matilda's hand. He woos by proxy, through the offices of Leicester. Matilda rejects him, preferring to remain chaste.


A quondam attorney’s clerk in Hausted’s Rival Friends. Anteros and Loveall attempt to set him at odds with Mr. Mongrel. Loveall convinces him that he is an accessory by standing by when Noddle killed Hammershin by falling against him and giving him an internal injury with his hilt. Wiseacres hides in a second foul dog kennel beside Noddle 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.


One of judge All For Money's rich suitors in Lupton's All For Money. William With The Two Wives wants to get rid of his old and rich wife and marry a young girl instead. All For Money will bribe witnesses to prove that the old wife was betrothed to another man before the marriage.


A "ghost character" in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. Muchcraft tells Budget about him. He has sued Tristam Widgroom and lost the case.


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.


Works for Merry in his tavern in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies. After hearing Rachel's outcry, Harry ascends the stairs and discovers the murder of Beech by Merry. He criticizes Merry's cruelty and refuses to stay any longer in the tavern. Merry makes him promise not to reveal the crime, and Williams leaves, expressing his fear that Merry will murder him as well in order to ensure his silence. He later meets Merry who asks him if he has still kept the crime a secret. Merry gives Williams money and his cloak and promises to offer further help so long as Williams remains silent. He agrees and exits. He meets his friend Cowley and resists Cowley's attempts to discover the source of his melancholy behavior. When Cowley insists on knowing, Williams vows to flee where no one can see or hear his lamentations. Williams, still pursued by Cowley, eventually reveals that Merry murdered Beech and Winchester. Williams is urged by Cowley to tell what he knows to the officers in order avoid being charged for concealing the murders. Williams confesses to the officers and after being convicted for concealing the murders, pleads benefit of clergy and is branded as punishment.


Michael Williams is a soldier in Henry's army in Shakespeare's Henry V. On the eve of the battle at Agincourt, when Henry puts on Sir Thomas Erpingham's cloak and wanders among the soldiers incognito, he speaks with Williams, Bates, and Court about his responsibilities in battle and their own. Still unrecognized, Henry quarrels with Williams about the king's promise not to be ransomed if the English lose, Williams mistrusting the vow and Henry defending it. They agree to resume their argument after the battle if they both survive, but Henry tricks Fluellen into fighting on his behalf, then recompenses Williams with gold.


Sir Owen Williams is a Welsh gentleman in the anonymous True Tragedy of Richard III who fights with Richmond at Bosworth Field against Richard III.


Williamson, a carpenter in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More, provides examples of the type of outrageous behavior that common Londoners have had to accept from the Lombard or French residents of the city: his wife Doll is accosted by Francis de Bard, he has two doves stolen from him by Caveler, and at the request of the French ambassador, he has served time in Newgate for having taken "the wall of a stranger" (that is, walking on the part of the sidewalk nearest the building walls where the path was relatively clean). Present when More calms the leaders of the attack on the foreigners, Williamson and his wife are taken off to prison. When it appears that Doll is to be hanged, he takes heart from the touching speech she delivers as she mounts the scaffold, takes her hand as she climbs, and kisses her. He, like his wife, is spared by the sudden arrival of the Earl of Surrey with word that the king, responding to pleas from More, has granted pardon to the rioters.


The wife of Williamson the carpenter in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. Doll is targeted for abduction by Francis de Bard, but her fierce and spirited resistance inspires John Lincoln and the other Londoners who have suffered abuse at the hands of the foreigners to action, first by having a bill of their complaints read during the Easter sermons and later by taking up arms during the May Day riots. In the latter event, Doll enters wearing a coat of mail and a helmet, and carrying a sword and buckler. After More calms the crowd and convinces the ringleaders to surrender, Doll urges More to keep his word and gain a pardon for them from the king. When the Sheriff is ordered to begin the executions, John Lincoln is hanged first, and Doll then follows him up the scaffold. She delivers a touching speech defending her role in the matter, kisses her husband and tells him their next kiss will be in heaven, and urges the other ringleaders to face their executions bravely. The sudden arrival of the Earl of Surrey with an order from the king countermanding the death sentences and pardoning the offenders saves Doll's life and confirms her faith in More as a friend of the people.


Title character of Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk. Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk, is not called by her proper name in the play. See DUCHESS of SUFFOLK.


A nobleman who, along with Lord Ross and the Earl of Northumberland, joins Bolingbroke's army to fight against the king in Shakespeare's Richard II.


Title used by the Duchess for her son Peregrine in Drue's The Duchess of Suffolk.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Richard II. Although he does not appear on stage, he is a supporter of King Richard often referred to alongside Bushy, Bagot and Green. We learn that he is executed with Bushy and Green at Bristol.


The author of the play entitled Spectrum, who is a "ghost character," might be named Wily in the anonymous Wily Beguiled. The Prologue makes a pun on this name. He says that, since his play has been banished from the stage, being replaced with Wily Beguiled, everybody can see that Wily has been beguiled.


Wily Will and Tom Beggar are an efficient begging team in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London. Simplicity joins them and they sing a song together. But they fool Simplicity out of all the best takings. On the orders of Fraud, they rob Mercadore the merchant.


Win is the servant of Lurdo in Day's Law Tricks, and by her own account a notorious bawd. She woos Emilia on Lurdo's behalf.


For cardinals and bishops of Winchester, search also under the proper name, e.g. "HENRY BEAUFORT".


A non-speaking character in Munday and Chettle's Death of Robert, Earl of Huntington. Winchester appears briefly as a loyalist to John and is sent by John to Hertford with the Queen and Oxford. He appears immediately afterwards as a guard, identified in the stage direction and addressed by name by Richmond. However, the speech-headings all list Chester, who was previously ordered by John to keep watch. After this confusion, Winchester disappears completely, indicating that the playwrights' intention may have been to remove him entirely in revision and give his lines to Chester.
Lord Steward of England, and of the King's party in Davenport's King John and Matilda. He brings the King news of the arrival of Pandulph and explains to him the political advantages of submitting to Rome. He might be inferred to be present at the King's ceremonial submission to Rome, the masque when Matilda is abducted, and other occasions when the King's men are present in force but otherwise unnamed.


A bishop in Marlowe's Edward II. At Killingworth Castle with Leicester and Trussell for the abdication of Edward II, the Bishop of Winchester urges Edward to give up his crown for his son's sake. After Edward abdicates Winchester brings his crown to the Queen and reports a rumor that Kent had plotted to free Edward.


Winchester is a vindictive churchman desperate to remove Elizabeth from the line of succession in Heywood's 1 If You Know Not Me. He is part of the council group that interrogates Elizabeth, and he allows no niceties to her while she is in the Tower. He attempts to shuffle her death warrant unseen into papers awaiting Philip's signature, and when Elizabeth is set free he plans other ways to incense Queen Mary against her sister. When he dies, he is succeeded by Cardinal Poole.


Edward II rewards Spencer Senior with the title, Earl of Wiltshire in Marlowe's Edward II. Thereafter he addresses the old man as "my Lord of Winchester."


Beech's boy in Yarington's Two Lamentable Tragedies. Attends Beech's shop and is left in charge when Merry fetches Beech back to his tavern. Later, sitting outside Beech's shop, Winchester is ordered to go inside by Merry, who then strikes him in the head with his hammer seven times, leaving the hammer embedded in Winchester's head. Winchester's cries are heard by a Maid, who calls for help. Winchester survives unconscious for several more days before dying; his body is brought on stage and laid beside the remains of Beech as the Neighbours and Loney search for the person who bought the bag used by Merry to dispose of Beech's head and legs.


Older man married to young Wife in Heywood's The English Traveler. Friend and neighbor of Old Lionell, Old Geraldine and Ricot. Very fond of Young Geraldine. He has no children himself. He has not been abroad, and loves to hear the tales of Young Geraldine's travels. Wincott is oblivious to the romance between Young Geraldine and his Wife, and the tryst between Dalavill and his Wife. Devastated by Young Geraldine's plan to leave again, he plans a banquet in his honor. Just before the feast begins, Young Geraldine angrily confronts Wife for her infidelity to him with Dalavill. She confesses to Young Geraldine, faints, writes a note of confession to Wincott, then dies. Wincott seems more pleased that Young Geraldine is staying after all than he is saddened by his Wife's death.


A suitor in John Heywood's The Play of the Wether. The Wynde Myller asks Jupiter for unceasing wind. He engages in a debate with the Water Miller who, on the contrary, asks for plenty of rain and no wind at all.

A "ghost character" in the anonymous Captain Thomas Stukeley mentioned as a London companion of Sir Thomas Stukeley.


A wine-bearer appears in Alphonso's lodgings in ?Ford's The Queen and serves wine when Alphonso wishes to drink a (hypocritical) toast to the Queen in front of Almada.


Colonel Winfield brings news that Jack Freshwater, to whom several gentlemen owe money, has returned in Shirley's The Ball. The Colonel finds himself one of several who court the Lady Lucina, and his efforts to woo her generally meet with no better success that those of his competitors. Winfield, though, is honest with the Lady Lucina, and most of her other suitors are not.


Maid to Camelia in Marston's Jack Drum's Entertainment. She represents the stereotypically witty servant girl (who reappears frequently in Restoration Drama). Winifred listens to Camelia's explanation of her attraction to Brabant and then convinces her mistress to think about loving John Ellis instead. Ellis has paid Winifrede to plead his case to Camelia. Winifrede appears in a bawdy scene with Drum, fo de King, and Tweedle, but she shows a definite preference for the Frenchman. She proposes that he come back later with a sack and he can carry her to a more private place. She also agrees to help Planet win Camelia's love. Before she begins to work with Planet, however, she promises to entertain Jack Drum. First he has to agree to be carried in a sack to the "Farm and Holloway" and once there, she will come and meet him. Then she laughs at the thought of what she is about to do. Tweedle tells her that Camelia is calling her, and then gives the sack containing Drum to the Frenchman, who thinks it is Winifrede. Once Winifrede has finished with her joke, she turns back to her mission with the gullible Camelia. She tells Camelia that she is now the only heir to Sir Edward's fortune and that now she needs to make a better match than John Ellis. Planet is the only man who is now worthy of such a wife–but Camelia must woo him. Planet not only completely rejects Camelia's wooing, but he insults her horribly and rejects her repeatedly. Winifrede arranges a rendezvous between Planet and Camelia and there sees Brabant threaten to kill himself. She runs for help.


Wynnifred is a gentlewoman to Eugenia in Chapman's Sir Giles Goosecap. She goes for Lord Monford at her lady's request.


Winifred is Security's young wife in Jonson, Marston, and Chapman's Eastward Ho!. Though her husband pampers her, she prefers Sir Petronel and is ready to elope with him. At the Blue Anchor tavern, Winifred enters disguised in her own gown (supplied by Security, who believes the absconding woman is Bramble's wife, not his own). Quicksilver pretends she is Sir Petronel's cousin, a lady who comes to say good-bye who will not take off her mask in a tavern. Though Security is present, he does not recognize his wife. Winifred is silent while she is in the tavern, but she starts crying on seeing Security. With utmost cynicism, Sir Petronel asks Security to take the lady aside and comfort her. Thinking she is Mistress Bramble, Security tries to console her by saying that she is rid of an old jealous wimp to enjoy the arms of a loving young knight. Following the boat wreck, Winifred is cast ashore at Saint Katherine's (where the hospital for prostitutes is located). The Drawer rescues Winifred and offers clothes and shelter in the house of his friends. In the final reconciliation scene in prison, Winifred enters with the other women. When Security complains he has been cuckolded, Winifred denies it energetically. Touchstone intervenes with his ambivalent logic about cuckoldry, which determines Security to welcome Winifred back, using his favorite diminutive "Winny" as a peace offering.


Thomasine Quomodo's maid in Middleton's Michaelmas Term. She serves as the messenger between her mistress and Easy.


A Welsh princess, heir of the deceased Dunwallis in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman. Winifred has embraced Christianity and turned her palace into a cloister. She rejects the courtship of Hugh, and vows to remain a virgin. The missionary Amphiabel is convinced of her virtue when an Angel appears out of the well. Winifred is apprehended by the Romans and taken to execution. When Hugh tries to rescue her, he is sentenced to die alongside her, and they vow to have a spiritual marriage in heaven. Permitted to choose her own death, Winifred elects to bleed to death. The Romans make her bleed into a cup, and Hugh is forced to drink her poisoned blood.


A laundry woman in the service of Romelio's family in Webster's The Devil's Law Case. She attempts to give evidence that would prove that Romelio is a bastard, but her story is shown to be implausible in several ways. On the urging of a surgeon, she reveals to the Capuchin that Contarino is not dead.


A maid, pregnant by her master, Sir Arthur in Rowley, Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. She secretly marries her true love, Frank Thorney. After Frank is forced into a bigamous marriage with Susan Carter, he and Winifred decide to escape together and she disguises as Frank's page. But when Frank murders Susan, Winifred rebukes him, and reveals their marriage to Old Carter. Winifred is moved by Frank's repentance on the gallows, and forgives him. She is embraced by Old Carter and Old Thorney, and receives compensation from Sir Arthur. In the epilogue, she resolves to search for a better husband.


The true name of Scribonia, one of Mildew's prostitutes and companion to Palestra in Heywood's The Captives. It is eventually revealed that she is Thomas Ashburne's long-lost daughter. See more at SCRIBONIA.


Winnifride is chambermaid to Penelope in Shirley's The Witty Fair One. She and her mistress concoct a scheme to entrap the dishonest Fowler; the women exchange places and, in a darkened room, persuade Fowler that he must first lie with the chambermaid before he can go in to Penelope.


Only mentioned in Munday's John a Kent and John a Cumber. John a Kent, disguised as an old Hermit, pretends to read Marian's and Sydanen's palms. He prophesies fatal disasters unless the ladies wash their hands at the sacred spring of Saint Winifride. During the night, Marian, Sydanen, and the Countess go to a secret meeting with the false Hermit, apparently to be taken to the saint's sacred spring in the woods. The name probably refers to Saint Boniface, christened Wynfrith. He was an Anglo-Saxon peasant who attended the Benedictine school and wrote the first Latin Grammar ever produced in England. He is known for his missionary and monastic activities in Germany and his contemporaries believe he was a special patron of England.


A "ghost character" in Wilson's The Three Ladies of London. A guest at the wedding of Dissimulation and Love.


(Originally spelled "Winlosse" in Brome's The English Moor.) Phyllis' elderly father, imprisoned for debt for six years after being ruined in a lawsuit against Rashly and Meanwell. They ransom him, and he accompanies them back to London, a wealthy man again. In Testy's court, he initially repudiates his ruined daughter, Phyllis, but is convinced to forgive her and give his blessing to her marriage to Nathaniel.


The daughter of Old Seely and Joan Seely, and sister of Gregory Seely in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches, Winny is one of the victims of the witchcraft that upsets the Seely household. In an inversion of normal family dynamics, Winny rules over and abuses her mother Joan. In turn, Winny is deferential to Parnell, the Seelys' maidservant. Their neighbor Doughty is appalled by Gregory and Winny's mistreatment of their parents, and attributes their bad behavior to witchcraft. During the wedding celebration of Lawrence and Parnell, the witches' mischief causes the family's relationships to undergo abrupt changes; Winny becomes a contrite and penitent daughter and Joan forgives her, then her mother becomes tyrannical and refuses to forgive Winny's abuses, and finally Winny unreasonably dominates her mother again. In the final scene normal, happy family relations are restored, and it is revealed that the family is no longer bewitched because the witches responsible have been arrested.


Winter, portrayed as an old man, introduces the first of the four interludes in [?]Queen Henrietta's Florimène. He "sings some French Verses in prayse of the King," and is followed by four old men in old-fashioned clothes, who dance.


The pursuivant, whose name is Winterborne in Chettle's(?) Looke About You, is a messenger whom Gloster (disguised as Faukenbridge) meets at the Salutation Inn. Gloster who finds it is time to change his disguise drugs Winterborne and steals his clothes, his warrant, and his box.


Uncle to Frederick in Brome's Court Beggar. Raphael has vowed that he shall live a bachelor and spends his time moralizing to women about their folly and vices. He attempts to reform Lady Strangelove from her habit of courting and rejecting men but is driven away when she feigns love for him. He tries to comfort the apparently mad Ferdinand with greetings from his friends at court. He convinces Mendicant to allow Frederick to see Charissa by promising that he will guarantee a jointure to match her dowry. However, he is only able to match the £1,000 she has inherited from her uncle, not the £10,000 Mendicant hopes to add from Ferdinand's estate. Hoping to trouble Mendicant with a rumor that Ferdinand has regained his senses, he returns to the house only to learn that Ferdinand has, in fact, regained his senses and Frederick has married Charissa.


A Scottish lord who joins Wallace's revolt in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot.


Win Littlewit is Littlewit's wife, daughter to Dame Purecraft. Her name is a Puritan name given by her godfather, Busy, in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. At Littlewit's house, Mistress Littlewit appears elegantly dressed, and her husband compliments her on the fashionable gown. When Littlewit invites his wife to the Fair, but is afraid that Dame Purecraft would not approve of this vain excursion, Mistress Littlewit agrees to play the hypocrite. Win pretends to faint and convinces her mother that she has a craving for pig, which must be eaten only at the Fair. Mistress Littlewit goes with Littlewit to the Fair, followed by Dame Purecraft and Busy. At the Fair, Mistress Littlewit and the Littlewit party eat at Ursula's booth. When they come out, after having ingested a large quantity of pig, Littlewit wants his wife to pretend to have a craving to see some more sights at the Fair. However, when Littlewit gets rid of Busy and Dame Purecraft, Mistress Littlewit is not certain what she wants to do at the Fair, and Littlewit takes her back to Ursula's. Telling his wife to stay with Knockem and Whit, whom he considers trustworthy persons, Littlewit goes to observe the puppet-show. At Ursula's, Knockem and Whit persuade Mistress Overdo and Mistress Littlewit to change their clothes, dressing them up as courtesans. Mistress Littlewit enters the puppet-theatre with Mistress Overdo. Both women are masked and accompanied by Knockem, Edgworth, and Whit. Edgworth courts Mistress Littlewit, and the naïve Mistress Littlewit thinks that she is playing a game impersonating a great lady. When Justice Overdo removes Mistress Littlewit's mask and her husband recognizes her, she remains silent. Littlewit and his wife will be among the guests for supper at Overdo's house.


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.

WISDOM **1617

A “ghost character" in the anonymous Pathomachia. One of the intellectual Virtues whom King Love wishes would join him in his war. Unhappily those Virtues are at war with some of their ‘home-bred’ enemies.


A master charlatan and plotter in Thomas Heywood's The Wise Woman of Hogsdon. The Wise-Woman of Hogsdon is a central figure in many of the play's plots. In addition to cozening her neighbors by professing gifts in prophecy, palmistry, and scrying urine, she is also involved in numerous nefarious underworld affairs, such as running a brothel and a baby-brokering illegitimate and unwanted children. She takes into her service Second Luce, disguised as a boy named Jack, to whom she reveals her cozening practices and who aids her in her manipulation of the various marriage plots in the play. She agrees to help Luce secretly marry Young Chartley. But she holds a grudge against Young Chartley for insulting her. Importuned by Boyster to arrange a marriage between him and Luce, she arranges a disguised double marriage plot in which Boyster marries Luce and Young Chartley marries "Jack." The secrecy of this plot creates further complications, however:
  • Boyster believes that he has been cozened into "marrying" a boy and is angry with the Wise-Woman.
  • Young Chartley, believing he has married Luce, nevertheless pursues a bigamous marriage with Gratiana.
  • Luce, neglected by Young Chartley and unable to prove the marriage took place, turns to the Wise-Woman to help prevent Young Chartley's second marriage.
  • Sencer, who is in love with Gratiana, is about to be displaced by Young Chartley and also turns to the Wise-Woman for help.
The Wise-Woman promises set everything right, and plots with Luce to expose Young Chartley's wrongdoings. They arrange to have Young Chartley meet with Luce at the Wise-Woman's house (ostensibly for one last fling before his bigamous wedding). There, everyone whom Young Chartley has wronged arrive in advance and station themselves in rooms adjoining the main room. When Young Chartley arrives, the others overhear his conversation with Luce, and he is confronted with his lies and deceptions one by one as each of the eavesdroppers emerge from hiding. The Wise-Woman exposes the truth:
  • that Luce is in fact married to Boyster,
  • that Sencer's role in saving Gratiana from a disastrous marriage proves him worthy to have Gratiana, and
  • that Young Chartley has been cozened into marrying the servant boy Jack.
However, the cozening Wise-Woman is herself cozened when "Jack" reveals that he is really Second Luce and hence lawfully married to Young Chartley.


Sir Jeffrey Wiseacres is a comic justice of the peace in J.W.'s The Valiant Scot (although his comic nature does not emerge until the second half of the play). He is present at all the meetings of the commissioners. After the massacre of Lavercke, he stabs Friar Gertrid to death. Later, he and his clerk, Bolt, find a trunk full of food and wine washed up on the seashore. Then Wallace washes up, too, and gulls them out of the food by pretending to be an anonymous Scot. He then reveals his identity and they run away. Sir Jeffrey and Bolt then arrest Haslerig in error for Wallace and Bolt kills him. They are disappointed to miss out on the bounty when they realize their mistake.


A quondam attorney’s clerk in Hausted’s Rival Friends. Anteros and Loveall attempt to set him at odds with Mr. Mongrel. Loveall convinces him that he is an accessory by standing by when Noddle killed Hammershin by falling against him and giving him an internal injury with his hilt. Wiseacres hides in a second foul dog kennel beside Noddle 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.


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


Lady Tub's waiting-gentlewoman in Jonson's A Tale of A Tub. She is invited to share Hannibal Puppy as a Valentine with Lady Tub. She and Puppy are married by Canon Hugh after Audrey's wedding is discovered, and share in the wedding masque at Squire Tub's.

WIT **1554

Wit is the name taken by Shrewd Wit when he schemes to dupe Health, Wealth, and Liberty in the Anonymous An Interlude of Wealth and Health.

WIT **1568

Son of Nature in the anonymous Marriage of Wit and Science. Spelled Witte in the play. He is about seventeen years old according to Will, a green youth looking to find his place in the world. He has heard men speak of a fair lady named Science and wishes to marry her. He sends his servant, Will, to her with his picture and a message and is delighted when Will returns bearing the lady's good will. Reason, Experience, and Science welcome him and Experience gives him three tutors: Instruction, Studie, and Diligence. Reason gives him a mirror wherein he can see his true self. Soon, Wit rails against having to tarry with the tutors for four years and refuses Instruction's advice to rid himself of Will. Instead, he and Will go to woo Science, who sends them on a quest. They are to battle Science's great foe, the giant Tediousness. He fails against the giant and is supposed killed until Will brings Recreation to heal him. When Wit recovers, he rails against Science for sending him to fight, but Recreation reproaches him. He dances with Recreation, but soon grows tired. Idleness and Ignorance arrive to ease him. They lull Wit to sleep, steal his clothes, and leave him in the coat of Ignorance. When Reason and Science find him so attired, they do not at first recognize him. Wit hardly recognizes himself when he looks into the mirror. Reason calls on Shame, who upbraids him for squandering Nature's gifts. Wit goes back to Instruction, learns, defeats Tediousness, and wins Science.

WIT **1588

Wit is the page of Policy in Wilson's The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London. He is left to guard his master's shield, and explains the image on the shield to the other pages, Wealth and Will. He challenges Simplicity to a ballad-singing contest, and the audience is invited to choose the winner. When the Spaniards invade, the pages of London fight their Spanish pages (Terror, Treachery, and Shame) with lances, and defeat them. For an unspecified reason, unnamed boys perform the pages' functions during the wedding of the lords and ladies.


The lone boy actor in the Lord Cardinal's troop takes the role of Wit in The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More. In the interlude, Inclination the Vice tries to persuade him that Lady Vanity is really Wisdom. After the show is canceled and More's Servingman attempts to shortchange the players, Wit accosts More, saying that he has received eight angels but lost two of them, and More realizes that the payment of ten angels he had authorized for the performance has not be made. He compliments Wit for cleverly informing him in this way of the attempt to cheat them and discharges the Servingman. After More's departure, the players praise Wit for his shrewdness and More for being a good man.


For named witches, search under proper names, e.g. MOTHER SAWYER.

WITCH **1612

The powerful Witch is asked by Gloucester to help him defeat Caradoc in The Valiant Welshman. The Witch conjures up a fearful Serpent in the hope that Caradoc will try to fight it. Caradoc defeats the Serpent, drags the Witch out of her cave and burns her on her own fire.

WITCH **1636

"Th'old Beldam" whom Adrastus claims is famous "throughout this Iland" in Carlell's 1 Arviragus and Philicia. The Witch "foretold [the King's] conquest o're the Picts, and before that, his being King, tho then three brothers stood betwixt him, and the throne." She is approached by Adrastus and Cratus at the King's command near the play's end, and prophesies that he will win the battle against Arviragus but be slain shortly after by Adrastus. Though Adrastus and Cratus desire to "aske some other" questions of her she refuses, causing them to "fly" her "Cave" for their lives."
A witch in Carlell's 2 Arviragus and Philicia. Complaining that her "Spirits" are "dull and heavy," the Witch questions her Spirit Eglon as to "why all the mischiefes [she] designe[s] of late move slowly" and "yeeld [her] no pleasure as they had wont." After he informs her that the "sadnesse" that "possesses [her] of late" is "lessen[ing]" her power, the Witch conjures up a Masque which Eglon sends away. Sought out by Adrastus so that he might know his "own fate," the Witch threatens him to "be gone" or she will inform the King that he "kill'd his father" which prompts Adrastus to kill her.


Only mentioned in the anonymous Wit's Triumvirate. The Witch of Endor is mentioned by Master Ominous when, telling Doctor Clyster about his superstitions, the latter explains that some people do not believe in the existence of witches. Then, Master Ominous replies: "Then I say pray God forgive them; they forget the Witch of Endor then." According to the Bible, the Witch of Endor was a witch who invoked the ghost of Samuel the prophet at the demand of King Saul of Israel. The prophet's ghost foretold Saul's downfall as king. (See I Samuel 28: 7-14.)
Only mentioned in Randolph's Plutophthalmia. Carion likens the old woman Anus to the Witch of Endor. She was the sorceress whom King Saul asked to conjure the spirit of Samuel (1 Samuel 28: 3-25).


A "ghost character" and Mago's mother in P. Fletcher's Sicelides. She "begot" her son with Saturne, Perindus claims that the "Sea-borne witch['s] [. . .] furies have their darkest hell" within Mago's "heart."

WITCHES **1606

Also called the Weïrd Sisters (from the Old English "wyrd," or fate) in Shakespeare's Macbeth. There is debate over how much control they exert on Macbeth and events; do they merely predict the future or cause future actions to occur? There are three main Witches, though they are later joined (in scenes often attributed to Thomas Middleton) by three others and by Hecate, the Queen of the Witches. Macbeth and Banquo encounter the three on a heath after putting down Macdonald's and the Thane of Cawdor's rebellion against Duncan; they predict that Macbeth will be made Thane of Cawdor and will become king, and that Banquo will father a long line of kings. Later, after Macbeth usurps the throne, he confronts all of them for guidance. They conjure the Apparitions that pronounce warnings to Macbeth and show him the future.

WITCHES **1634

The number of "undifferentiated" witches in Heywood and Brome's The Late Lancashire Witches is unclear, but there are at least three in addition to those addressed by name. They appear at the Sabbat feast, and three of them (Witch 1, Witch 2, and Witch 3) are given a line each where they call for their familiars (Incubus, Mamillian and Tiger respectively) to spirit them away. Mamillian is supposedly the familiar of the witch Peg (or Meg) Johnson, but it is unlikely that Peg is Witch 2 because she is assigned specific lines in the same scene and, according to the play's logic, familiars are interchangeable. These witches are also presumably among those who later harass the Soldier at the mill. The additional witches have no impact upon the plot. Rather, their main function seems to be to bolster the number of witches on stage and thus make witchcraft appear to be a much more ubiquitous problem in the Lancashire of the play.

WITCHES **1638

Disguises assumed by Snap and Swift in the Anonymous Oberon the Second. They pose as witches to carry out their deception of their various gulls (Politico, Covet, Spendall, and Losarello) that they have been enchanted and transported in Fairyland.


A young spendthrift gallant residing in Leicestershire in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One. He has fallen on hard times because of nagging debts in the City of London and the loss of his lands to his Uncle Pecunius Lucre when he forfeited his mortgage. Witgood contrives with the Host of a local tavern and the Courtesan, disguised as a wealthy widow, Jane Medler, to improve both their financial straits by "tricking" his uncle, his creditors, and another London usurer Walkadine Hoard. Witgood returns to London, pretending to be engaged to Medler (and therefore entitled to a share of her wealth), leaks this information through the Host (disguised as Medler's servant) to his Uncle Lucre and his creditors. Because of his various creditors' desire to benefit through the impending marriage, Witgood is able to use this as leverage to have his debts forgiven. Pretending to be outraged when the Courtesan marries Walkadine Hoard, Witgood negotiated to further improve his own financial situation through an impending marriage to Joyce, Hoard's daughter, whom he wins over both Moneylove and Sam Freedom.


Name given to Irisdision by Eugenio in the anonymous Johan The Evangelist.


They agree in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell, when Gardiner has absolved them with holy water, to state that they heard Cromwell say he wished a dagger in King Henry's heart. They appear before Suffolk and Norfolk and Bedford and confirm Gardiner's accusations against Cromwell.


Non-speaking characters in Fletcher and Massinger's Spanish Curate. At the trial held to settle Ascanio's paternity, these friends of Henrique are accused by Jamie of being willing to support any testimony Henrique gives.


These two false witnesses in Kyd's Soliman and Perseda testify in Erastus's trial, stating that he planned to destroy the Turkish fleet. After Erastus' execution, they are then thrown from the tower at Soliman's orders.


Wittipol is a clever man in love with Frances Fitzdottrel in Jonson's The Devil is an Ass. He succeeds in declaring love to Mistress Fitzdottrel by bribing Fitzdottrel to allow him to speak to her uninterrupted. Later, serenading and fondling her from Manly's adjoining window, he is discovered by Fitzdottrel, who punishes him by beating his wife. Wittipol then substitutes himself for the boy actor, Dick Robinson, who is hired by Merecraft to play the part of the Spanish Lady, an instructress in fashionable etiquette, to gain access to Mistress Fitzdottrel, who is sent to "study" with the Spanish Lady by her husband. At Lady Tailbush's, his friend Manly recognizes him despite the disguise; Wittipol tells him that he is playing this trick partly to reveal to his friend the true nature of the woman (Lady Tailbush) Manly is pursuing. Manly, in turn, warns Wittipol against debauching Mistress Fitzdottrel. Moved by her virtue, Wittipol agrees to be her friend rather than her seducer, and uses Fitzdottrel's passion for the "Spanish Lady" to convince him to sign his estate over to Manly as security for the duel Everill has organized against Wittipol. With Manly and Mistress Fitzdottrel, he is accused of witchcraft in Fitzdottrel's fake possession, but is vindicated when all is revealed.


A "ghost character" in ?Clavell's The Soddered Citizen. Old Sir Wittworth is mentioned by Undermine, when expresses his fear that the old nobleman's friendship with the Doctor might ruin his plans to marry his daughter to the old man's son.


Sir Wittworth is "a young gentleman of qualitie" in ?Clavell's The Soddered Citizen. He is in love with Modestina, but Undermine wants him and his name and fortune for his daughter, Miniona. Sir Wittworth visits his beloved Modestina to woo her, and he realizes that Miniona is jealous. Then he agrees with Modestina to tease her, wooing her as well, thus punishing her for her vanity and thirst for nobility. However, Undermine, urged by his daughter, takes revenge and forbids him to see Modestina any more. But the young gentleman is encouraged by his friend, Doctor Makewell, who assures him he will help him have his beloved Modestina. When he actually meets her again, he finds her in a lamentable state, after she has been raped and abused. Besides, as he reads her letter, he is shocked, since he cannot understand the change of attitude he detects in her words. When he shows the letter to her, she explains that she only wrote the first line, and that the rest was added by someone else who wanted to ruin their love. Then they reconcile with a kiss, but he will soon be shocked again when he sees his lady depart and leave him there. When she flees, he goes mad, to the extent that he believes himself dead, and refuses to come back to life, not even after the performance that the Doctor and his dear Modestina, on her return, prepare to make him recover his wits. In the end, he is finally cured and married to Modestina. Thus, he demands from Undermine the sum of £15,000 as a dowry for his wife. He will even try to make the creditors realize that the wealthy man has been cheating them, in an attempt to take revenge for all the suffering the old man had caused him.


Wittypate is the son of Sir Perfidious Oldcraft in Middleton and Rowley's Wit at Several Weapons. He admires wit above all other qualities and demands that Wittypate prove his wit before he can inherit his estate. Wittypate therefore hires Sir Ruinous Gentry, Lady Runious, and Priscian to assist him in gulling his father. Ruinous and Priscian disguise as a begging soldier and scholar, and Wittypate disguises as a passer-by who is impressed by Ruinous' tales of soldiery, and converses with Priscian in an invented language. Sir Perfidious is sufficiently impressed to give money to the 'beggars'. Later, the gang disguise as a band of robbers and their victim, and trick Credulous Oldcraft into believing that he has assisted in a robbery; Sir Perfidious is then gulled into paying the 'victim' compensation, which Wittypate encourages by abusing the 'victim' so as to embarrass Perfidious. Wittypate then conspires to aid Cunningham's elopement: he promises Sir Perfidious that during the masqued ball, Gregory will be forced to marry the Niece, but in fact the masque is designed so that Cunningham and the Niece can elope without being spotted. Wittypate also gulls Perfidious out of more money by disguising his cohorts as musicians who demand payment. At the end of the play, Wittypate reveals what he has done to his father, who is so impressed by the display of wit that he awards his estate to Wittypate.


"Ghost characters" in Jonson's The Alchemist. The wives are among the gullible clients waiting at the bogus alchemist's door for miracle cures and magic potions. While Face rushed Dapper through the back door, Subtle opens the front door and tells the good wives (who remain offstage) to wait a little longer because he cannot receive them till afternoon.


’Ghost characters’ in Medwall’s Fulgens and Lucrece. The character known as A claims to have had two or three wives since his first, who was a shrew. He claims they have all kept him rather than the other way around and that they earn their keep at ‘the common place’ by ‘easing many a man.’


The citizens' wives accompany Philip in act two of Beaumont and Fletcher's A King and No King. The group is confronted by three men and a woman. Philip and the men exchange fighting words. The wives speak about life in the country.


Spelled Citty Wives in the text in Fletcher's The Woman's Prize. The band of City Wives drink and sing with the Country Wives and Maids in solidarity with Maria and Byanca in the former's effort to tame her new husband, Petruchio. The City Wives and Country Wives spar verbally with Petruchio and Sophocles, declaring that Maria denied her husband the wedding bed to comfort all women worn out by wedlock.


Joined in solidarity with the City Wives behind Maria and Byanca against tyrant husbands in Fletcher's The Woman's Prize. Country Wives are abbreviated Cun. and Cunt. in the text. See CITY WIVES.

WIZARD **1604

Two wizards actually figure in Verney’s Antipoe. The first is a disguise that Macros brings to Antipoe to effect his escape from prison consisting of a long white beard, head of hair, and philosopher’s gown. Another wizard appears but once, after Antipoe wins the battle with Dramurgon, and delivers a single monologue to Antipoe warning against believing all one observes.


Wolf is the keeper of the prison in which Sir Petronel, Quicksilver, and Security are incarcerated in Jonson, Marston, and Chapman's Eastward Ho!. Wolf brings letters from Sir Petronel and Quicksilver addressed to Touchstone, asking for forgiveness. A third letter is from Security who, according to Wolf, is almost mad in prison. Touchstone wonders why Wolf, as a warden of the prison, wishes to have his prisoners released. Wolf says he was impressed with these prisoners and pities them. Wolf reports that the three prisoners are penitent and devout. They will sit up all night and sing psalms, waking the entire prison. As for Quicksilver, Wolf reports he is extremely penitent. Golding gives him money to make the prisoners' life easier. Back to prison, Wolf brings the three prisoners the message that Touchstone would not withdraw his charges. When Golding comes to prison, offering himself as a convict to force Touchstone to come and bail him, Wolf comments that Golding's action shows he has no personal ambition. He is willing to act as a messenger, taking Golding's ring to Touchstone and telling the goldsmith that his son-in-law is under arrest. Wolf shows the ring and announces the news of Golding's imprisonment, which makes Touchstone rush to his son-in-law's rescue. In prison, Wolf attends the final reconciliation scene, when all conflicts are resolved.


A non-speaking character in Wilde's Love's Hospital. One of four "Beasts" which dance with the 4 "little boyes" and 4 Satyrs in the antemasque that Himen presents near the play's end.


At first a successful Flemish general in the war with Brabant, Wolfort used his military power to seize the earldom for himself in Fletcher's Beggars' Bush. After years of tyranny, he treacherously leads the faithful lord Hubert to believe that he wishes to resign his throne, and he sends his captain Hemskirk to help Hubert find the loyal nobles who have fled in disguise to Bruges. The real plan, however, is to identify the lords and to arrest them. At the same time, he intends to marry Bertha, the heiress of Brabant, who has grown up in Bruges thinking that she is Gertrude, the daughter of the burgomaster Van-dunck. At the last minute, his villainous plans are thwarted when a group of armed merchants and beggars from Bruges surprises Wolfort's party in a trap prepared by the loyal Hubert (disguised as a forester). When Florez, the true earl of Flanders and a man of extraordinary generosity, is restored, Wolfort is given the chance to repent, but he steadfastly refuses to do so. Florez then banishes Wolfort and his henchman Hemskirk until they have a change of heart.


Churchman Cardinal Wolsey holds many titles in Shakespeare's Henry VIII, including Cardinal of York, Lord of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, and "Ipswich fellow," the last after his place of birth. He has inveigled himself into King Henry's confidence, amassing a personal fortune through misdealings with the public and false use of the royal seal. Wolsey desires to see a Henry/Katherine divorce and a subsequent marriage between Henry and the French king's sister. Despite conniving, however, Wolsey and his machinations become known to the King. Wolsey is deposed and dishonored, returning at last to his faith before his death at the Abbey of Leicester.
He attends Hales's banquet with More and Gardiner in the anonymous Thomas Lord Cromwell. During the small talk he mentions the difference in customs between the Spanish and English regarding the names of meals and the quantity of meat each eats, how the Spanish eat very little. He then addresses Hales's man (Cromwell) asking him for his view on the various courts of Europe. Pleased with Cromwell's reply he asks Hales if Cromwell can work for him (Wolsey). He makes him his private secretary and ends the act foretelling that Cromwell will continue to rise. In Act 4 after the Chorus has announced Wolsey's death, Gardiner (his former "man" and now Bishop of Winchester), the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Suffolk, Sir Thomas More and Sir Christopher Hales discuss Wolsey's plots against the state. Norfolk and Gardiner ask Cromwell for the writings Wolsey has given him and on his knees Cromwell offers them up, explaining that he grieves Wolsey's death but not his fall. Hales, More and Gardiner comment on how the wheel of state brought the proud Wolsey down.
In Rowley’s When You See Me, he has expedited a meeting between Henry VIII and the French embassy with a view towards gaining the papal crown. The timeline is skewed as Wolsey had fallen from favor long before 1537, when the play’s main action is set. He has moved the king to agree to marry the king’s sister to the aged King Louis of France. He views himself as the power behind the throne and works to glorify his own name. He goes to the king to tell him he has been named “defender of the faith," but the king is in a bad mood and berates him. Later, the death of the French king stifles his ambitions, but he determines to best “the bastard Fredericke" by paying thrice the sixty thousand pounds he has offered to bribe the cardinals. Upon learning that the king will marry Catherine “Parry," Wolsey fears the Protestants will take over. Henry sends him to Charles, the Holy Roman Emperor, to treat for peace between him and France after the old French king dies. Whilst there, he defies the Holy Roman Emperor. Back in England, Henry learns from Will Sommers that Wolsey is storing up gold and learns from the Emperor himself that English forces faced him. With this intelligence, Henry VIII condemns Wolsey and dismisses him from his sight.

WOMAN **1567

A woman in Pickering's Horestes. After being attacked by the soldier who has just killed her husband, she turns on the soldier and captures him.

WOMAN **1578

One of the condemned prisoners in Whetstone's 1 Promos and Cassandra. Recites a prayer for mercy with the other prisoners. As she is led off to be hanged, she advises women to "shun pride and sloth, the roots of every vice," for these are what led to her execution.

WOMAN **1604

This Woman serves Elizabeth at home in Heywood's 1 If You Know Not Me. She asks that Tame and Shandoyse wait until morning to see Elizabeth, who has been ill.

WOMAN **1613

This unnamed Woman in Shakespeare's Two Noble Kinsmen is one of Emilia's attendants.

WOMAN **1618

This woman in the anonymous Swetnam bears the proclamation of Atlanta's determination to defend Princess Leonida and her sex against the unjust charges that have been laid against her.

WOMAN **1598

The Woman is one of the three characters who mocks Warman after he has been banished in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington. She tells him that he should not expect sympathy from her because he saved her husband from being hanged, because she wishes both were hanged, and condemns him for his betrayal of Robin Hood.

WOMAN **1606

A "ghost character" in Dekker's The Whore of Babylon. Plain Dealing reports that this woman has borne a son in the Fairy camp at Beria; he is named Beria after his birthplace.

WOMAN **1608

The Woman serves Urania in Beaumont & Fletcher's Cupid's Revenge.

WOMAN **1611

A woman in Act Two of Beaumont and Fletcher's A King and No King accompanies the three men who confront Philip and the citizens' wives.

WOMAN **1625

A servant to Constantia in Fletcher's The Chances. The Woman mistakes John for Fabritio and gives the Baby to him.

WOMAN **1626

A disguise adopted by Jaques in Fletcher's The Noble Gentleman when Shattillion convinces the elderly servant that he is being pursued by the authorities.

WOMAN **1629

The Woman is a servant of Scoperta in Davenant's The Just Italian. She comments that it is early in the night, and then Scoperta dismisses her to wait for Sciolto's arrival.

WOMAN **1639

A disguise that Bellamy adopts in the last scene of Brome's A Mad Couple until he marries Amie.

WOMAN **1640

Disguise that Valentine takes while he stays at Welt the shoemaker's house in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. Nevertheless, he is recognized by his beloved Sabina who uses a mask to hide her identity. It does not work as Sabine can see behind the dress. He rejects the idea of marriage as he has promised to stay single. But, on second thoughts, he finally accepts her without knowing her true identity. He is to leave Welt´s without paying and asks his servant to pack all his possessions. In Act Five, Valentine is to be arrested for his wicked deeds but he might be pardoned if he weds the lady. He would not have any objection if he were not married. Thus, his wife is brought to him masked. In the end, he finds out that she is Sabina, which is a great relief to him.


She appears with the Third Captive Knight in The Grocer's Honour portion of Beaumont's Knight of the Burning Pestle. She is from Turnbull Street, and she and her lover are being treated ("tortured") by the "giant" Barbaroso for what appears to be syphilis.


Sells her daughter, Phoebe, to the bawd Leucippe for the use of the court in Fletcher's The Humorous Lieutenant.


A "ghost character" in Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour. When Puntavorlo breaks the news that his Dog is dead, Macilente reports the details. Though he is the one who poisoned Dog, Macilente says he only knows the fact that Dog has been poisoned. The details of the poisoning, how and by whom, are left to a cunning woman from the Bankside to solve. By transferring the responsibility of the crime investigation from the authorities to the cunning woman, Macilente indirectly reveals the person who provided the poison for him.


A "ghost character" in Lupton's All For Money. She is a whore who has murdered her infant child and now her neighbours want her to be prosecuted for the crime. Sin brings her case before judge All For Money who accepts to help her for "an hundred pounds and more": the witnesses will be bribed.


A dancer in Heywood's Love's Mistress, one of Love's Contrarieties.


Women in Jonson's Volpone who act as a messengers between Peregrine and Would-Be and who serve Lady Would-Be.


The First Woman is Silver's mistress and the Second Woman is Hammer-head's mistress in Jordan's Money is an Ass. These characters, who appear only briefly and are not included in the 1668 cast list, would require actors in excess of the eight referred to by the Prologue. They may, therefore, be vestiges of an earlier text.


The Woman in the Anonymous King Edward III is a French citizen, fleeing with other citizens from the siege of Crécy. She cites a friar's prophecy that a Western lion would carry away the fleur-de-lis.


A "ghost character" in Brome's A Jovial Crew. At Oldrents' guesthouse, one of the beggar women, or "doxies" reportedly 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.


A "ghost character" in Fletcher's Love's Pilgrimage. She is asked after by the Second Hostess and described as a good woman. Incubo ignores the Hostess when she asks about her.


In I.ii of Davenant's News From Plymouth, a character identified as "Loveright's woman" announces the arrival of the sea captains. As this character does not appear in the dramatis personae, she may be the character elsewhere identified as Nightingale.


The Poor Woman in Chettle, Dekker and Munday's Sir Thomas More visits More shortly before his execution to ask that he return some documents she had given him as evidence in a case she had been pressing. More informs her that the king now has all such material and that she must plead with the monarch for their return. As she leaves, the Poor Woman praises More as the best friend the poor have ever had.


Non-speaking part, a singer in the anonymous Marriage of Wit and Science. The dramatis personae calls for "three other women" to accompany Recreation though the text consistently refers to Recreation and only one other–Will says he found the "twain" of them, and Wit refers to them as "worthy Damsels both." Also, the song that they sing in IV.iii is marked for only two parts.


The Second Woman is one of Olimpia's gentlewoman in Fletcher's The Loyal Subject. Whether her first gentlewoman is Alinda or Petesca is not made clear. At Olimpia's quarters at court, the ladies discuss the qualities of the new lady in waiting, Alinda. The Second Woman insinuates she could have a better face and a more slender body, and her behavior is too bold. The Second Woman, like Petesca, finds only faults with Alinda. When she sees the Duke kissing Alinda, the Second Woman says the girl is very dangerous because she jumped immediately into the Duke's arms. The Second Woman is jealous and believes they should be wary of Alinda because her next jump may bring their dismissal. She is envious of the Duke sending Alinda his ring and makes cutting remarks. During the military crisis, while the soldiers are assembled outside the city gates, the Second Woman and Petesca discuss the situation. The Second Woman thinks the soldiers handsome and that they have sexual designs upon them. When Petesca comments on Olimpia's melancholy after having dismissed Alinda, the Second Woman observes that she would have been angrier had Alinda been a man. Ironically, Alinda is a man disguised as a woman. At that moment, "Alinda" returns in his own guise as a young gentleman, asking the ladies about the princess. The Second Woman is amazed at the likeness between this man and Alinda, recalling that she heard Alinda speak of a brother who was away.

WOMAN, OLD **1609

A "ghost character" in Jonson's Epicoene. The Old Woman used to be a physician to Trusty's mad parents. Trusty is called in as a witness in the debate over the best methods of curing Morose's supposed madness. Lady Haughty avers that Trusty's parents used to be mad and they got cured. According to Trusty, both her parents were cured through hypnotherapy. Besides reading themselves to sleep with boring books, Trusty reports that an old woman, their physician, prescribed them to go to church twice a week and listen to a preacher's boring sermons to fall asleep.

WOMAN, OLD **1618

One of the women in the anonymous Swetnam who joins in attacking Swetnam after Atlanta traps him, she offers to "mumble him."

WOMAN, OLD **1621

A "ghost character" in Fletcher's The Pilgrim. The four peasants who come across Roderigo in Segonia initially mistake him for this old woman, who "keeps sheep hereabouts."

WOMAN, OLD **1634

A dancer in Heywood's Love's Mistress, one of Love's Contrarieties


A "ghost character" in the song in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. She is sad because she ate a fruit and now she has a stomachache.


A woman who enters with a basket of meat in Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Two promoters accost her and confiscate the meat. She insists that the meat is bought legally and offers to run to get one to avouch her right to have meat during Lent. She swears them to keep the confiscated goods until her return. They both swear. After she leaves they examine the booty only to discover that she has unloaded an unwanted baby on them, which they have sworn to keep.


A number of women–"as many as may be," according to the stage directions–attend Aurelia, Loretta and Atlanta at the trial of Princess Leonida in the anonymous Swetnam. These same women are likely to be those who reappear to bind Swetnam and to join in Atlanta's punishment of him at the play's end.


In act four of Percy’s A Country Tragedy in Vacunium, they attend the woodland party of Rhodaghon , Fulvia, and Jeptes. In the woodland party, Jeptes proposes that the women each name a flower most like herself, and the first names the Mulberry, the second the Lilly, the third the Adone, the fourth the Bay, the fifth the Woodbine.


Along with Lilia-Bianca, they torment Belleur at knife point, forcing him to run away in Fletcher's Wild-Goose Chase.


“Ghost characters" in Fletcher’s Bloody Brother. Norbrett jests that LaFiske lives on lechery with the market women.

WOMEN, OLD **1608

They are "ghost characters" in the song in Armin's The Two Maids of More–Clacke. They find out that the fruit is the reason why the sad woman is under the weather.

WOMEN, OLD **1618

Two old women in the anonymous Swetnam catch Swash when he tries to escape the punishment of Swetnam. He is relieved that neither have teeth to bite him, but remarks that one granddame scratched him very effectively.


The three women are Antipodeans, characters in the inset play of Brome's The Antipodes. They are engaged in dunking the man-scold.


Silent characters in Carlell's 2 Passionate Lovers. Group of women who come in Act Two to take Clorinda as Agenor's brother to bed when she faints.

WOMEN, TWO **1638

Citizens in Mayne’s Amorous War. In the second act, they have heard rumors that the ladies’ ship has been overtaken and all drowned.


In [?]Heywood's The Fair Maid of the Exchange Wood is robbed by Bobbington of jewels, including the diamond that Bobbington leaves in pawn with Master Flower. Accompanied by the Officers, he has Flower arrested at the end of the play.


Woodcock is part of Blurt's night watch and a mute character in the Anonymous Blurt, Master Constable. The name suggests a bird easily netted and thus a fool and a simpleton. During their midnight round before Imperia's house, Woodcock notices a light at the window, which draws Blurt's attention to Curvetto's whistling and rope climbing. When Frisco calls for help against the supposed "thief," Blurt arrests Curvetto. Seeing Woodcock in Blurt's company, Curvetto acknowledges acquaintance with him, probably because Woodcock was a courtier before being part of the night watch. Curvetto tries to get out of his predicament by calling on Woodcock. Blurt intervenes, saying that Woodcock's commitment lies with the guard now, and his former acquaintances at court cannot serve in this situation. Blurt orders Woodcock and the other members of the watch to take Curvetto to prison. In the street before Imperia's house, Blurt and his guards enter with the Duke to enforce the law when the incensed Venetian gentlemen want to kill Fontinel. When Camillo calls Blurt a peasant, the members of the watch jump with their swords to retaliate. Blurt tells Woodcock to keep by his side, but the furious Venetian gentlemen take it out on Woodcock and want to kill him. Only the Duke's intervention saves Woodcock from being stabbed.


A "ghost character" in Barry's Ram Alley. Woodcock is one of the clients of Throat; his name suggests that he is foolish and possibly gullible.


A "ghost character" in Chamberlain's Swaggering Damsel. Muchcraft tells Budget about him. He has sued Tristam Widgroom and lost the case.


Proper name of Rivers in Shakespeare's Richard III.


Sir John is the uncle of Eugenia in Shirley's Changes. He would like to marry Eugenia to Jack Yongrave but manages approval when Eugenia arrives already married to Thornay at the end of the play.


Alternative spelling of Woodly, the disguise name Young Lord Nonsuch adopts in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig.


Disguise adopted by Young Lord Nonsuch in an effort to gain access to Lady Troublesome in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig. First reported as Master Woodly, then appearing as the swaggering Captain Woodly, he is unsuccessful in his efforts to court the Lady. A braggart captain; the alternative spelling, Woodlie, is used in the text to emphasize both the disguise and a sexual pun–would lie.


Pike's fellow prisoner in the anonymous Dick of Devonshire. He is about to be released and agrees to carry messages of love and encouragement to Pike's wife and children in Tavistock.


“Ghost characters" in Killigrew’s The Conspiracy. In the introduction, Diana sends two of her nymphs to find the woodsmen who sometimes help them in their hunt.


Duke of Gloucester in the anonymous Thomas of Woodstock. Hero of the play. "Plain Thomas", as he is proud to be known, is uncle to the young King Richard II and begins the play as Protector of the realm. Woodstock seems originally more sanguine than his brothers, Lancaster and York, about the King: he is confident, unlike them, that Richard was not behind the plan of the Carmelite friar to poison them, and is hopeful that the imminent marriage between Richard and Anne o'Beame will have a calming effect. He makes the gesture, costly for him, of dressing "bravely" - in expensive clothes, not his usual frieze - for the coronation; but his good humour is fragile, and when Richard teases him about his "golden metamorphosis", he soon starts on an angry, public speech about the King's extravagance. This backfires: Richard at once loads his favorites Greene and Bagot, and the lawyer Tresilian, with further honours, and soon afterwards his favorite Bushy makes the discovery that Richard is of age to rule alone. He demands Woodstock's "council staff", and Woodstock relinquishes it, announcing that he will now withdraw from Court to his country house at Plashy. There he receives news from his friend Cheney of the King's disastrous policies, including the "blank charters" of unlimited taxation; he declines Richard's "entreaty" that he should return to Court. Angered by this, and afraid of "Plain Thomas"'s popularity in the country, Richard resolves to get rid of him. Tresilian has the idea of arresting him secretly, under cover of a masque at Plashy, and conveying him to Calais, English territory abroad, where he can be privately murdered. They carry out this plan: Woodstock recognizes the King among the disguised masquers, and appeals vainly to his better nature–thus starting off, perhaps, the prolonged but useless guilt that Richard will shortly manifest. Under house arrest in Calas, Woodstock is visited by the two Ghosts, one of his brother, the Black Prince, the other of his father, Edward III: both warn him of his coming danger, but in vain. Engaged by the corrupt governor Lapoole, the two Murderers attack him from the back, and kill him by strangling and suffocation. To the last, Woodstock is confident of his integrity, and wishes to write to Richard "Not to entreat, but to admonish him". His death leaves his wife, the Duchess of Gloucester, distraught, and inspires his brothers Lancaster and York to take up arms against the King and his favorites. The play ends with their victory.


The lieutenant of the Tower of London in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI. On Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester's orders, he refuses to allow Gloucester in to inspect the Tower. In history he was Lord Woodville of the Mote, Constable (not Lieutenant) of the Tower.


This is a disguise used by Prince John in (?Chettle and) Munday's Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington when he flees into the forest.


A justice of the peace, and father of Annabel in Webster and Rowley's A Cure for a Cuckold. He is puzzled by Clare's melancholy, and bewildered by Bonvile's sudden disappearance on his wedding night. Woodroff has a ship and letters of mart authorizing him to attack foreign vessels. He asks the others to become adventurers with him, and the gallants and Rochfield agree. Woodroff is delighted with Rochfield's prowess when she ship comes under fire, and holds him in the highest esteem. He is reluctant to believe Lessingham's claim that Rochfield is having an affair with Annabel, and when Bonvile threatens to disinherit Annabel, Woodroff threatens to do the same to Bonvile. Woodroff prevents Rochfield from dueling with Bonvile and, when all becomes clear in the end, he forgives Rochfield for having previously been a thief.


The Justice in Greene's George a Greene speaks for the people of Wakefield in refusing to give provisions to Mannering because they do not wish to be traitors to the king. After George tears up the commission and forces Mannering to eat the seals, the Justice praises him, saying he has honored Wakefield with his actions. When George captures Kendall and Bonfield, he hands them over to the Justice to take to the king, although it is not specified that it is Justice Woodruffe who brings Kendall as a prisoner to Edward.


This unnamed Wooer in Shakespeare's Two Noble Kinsmen unsuccessfully courts the Jailer's Daughter. His love is rebuffed when the girl falls in love with Palamon, who politely refuses her admiration. At the suggestion of the Doctor, the Wooer dresses up as Palamon, pretending to be that love object of the Jailer's Daughter in hopes of easing her unstable mind.


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.


Worcester is the mastermind behind Hotspur's rebellion in ?Dering's The History of Henry the Fourth. Worcester repeatedly states his belief that because the Percies helped topple Richard II and install Henry IV that Henry would never be able to truly trust the clan and would always look for an excuse to dispatch them. So, when Percy becomes incensed at Henry IV's refusal to ransom Mortimer, Worcester seizes upon the opportunity to goad his nephew to rebellion. Later in the play, when Henry offers amnesty to the rebels if they stand down, Worcester not only refuses the terms, he purposefully keeps the offer from Percy. After the battle of Shrewsbury, Henry singles Worcester out for blame and has him sent out immediately for execution.


A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's Richard II. He is Thomas Percy. Although he does not appear on stage we learn that when his brother Henry, the Earl of Northumberland, is declared a traitor for joining Henry Hereford/Bolingbroke, Worcester resigns his position as Lord Steward of King Richard's house and also goes to join Bolingbroke.
Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, is the uncle of Hotspur and part of the Percy faction opposing King Henry IV in Shakespeare's 1 Henry IV. He plainly explains his grievances to the king and purposely withholds from the Percys the king's offer of grace. Captured at the battle of Shrewsbury, Worcester is ordered executed along with Vernon for his treachery.
A "ghost character" in Shakespeare's 2 Henry IV. Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, is reported to have been taken prisoner at Shrewsbury as part of the faction against King Henry IV.


The miserly father of Knowlittle in Randolph's(?) The Drinking Academy. He is ridiculously pleased that his son is becoming a gentleman by learning to smoke tobacco, drink and quarrel, and even seeks to learn these talents himself. When he stands in for Pecunia while Knowlittle practices his poetry, he becomes convinced that the compliments are actually directed at him. Although a miser, he is willing to buy a new suit of clothes to meet Lady Pecunia, a suit which is promptly stolen by Bidstand and Shirke when they pretend to be Pecunia's Ghost and Pluto.


A messenger in the anonymous Nice Wanton. He informs Xantippe of the deaths of her daughter Dalilah, who has contracted the pox, and her son Ismael who has been executed. Worldly Shame mockingly blames Xantippe herself for the deaths of her children and leaves her a knife with which to commit suicide.


Sir John Worldly is the father of Bellafront, Lucida and Katherine in Field's A Woman is a Weathercock. He is keen for his daughters to marry their wealthiest suitors, and therefore promotes Bellafront's marriage to Count Frederick and Katherine's marriage to Strange; he is also keen for Lucida to marry Sir Abraham Ninny. When Pouts claims that he has had illicit sexual relations with Katherine, Sir John advises Strange to take revenge by the law. Strange rejects his advice on the grounds that it would be thought that Sir John's money and social status had influenced the court. Sir John organises the entertainments for the marriage of Bellafront and Count Frederick. He is surprised by the revelations concerning the true marriage of Bellafront to Scudamore and the news that Katherine and Strange were not properly married, but takes them with equanimity.


An unspecified number of workmen in Brewer's The Lovesick King are directed by Thornton to build a wall round Newcastle.


A penniless but worthy gentleman in Nabbes' Tottenham Court, engaged to marry Bellamie, but separated from her in the play's opening scene while fleeing Bellamie's disapproving uncle in Marylebone Park. He soon encounters the park's keeper, who agrees to help Worthgood find Bellamie. Worthgood and Bellamie are reunited in act four, and in the play's final scene, the keeper reveals that his daughter Cicely is actually Worthgood's sister, who Worthgood believed to have died in infancy. Worthgood also discovers that his rich uncle has died, making him an acceptable husband for Bellamie and winning her uncle's approval.


The Pageant of the Nine Worthies occurs towards the end of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. Traditionally the Nine Worthies are Hector (a part taken by Armado); Caesar; Joshua; David; Judas Maccabaeus (Holofernes); Alexander the Great (Sir Nathaniel); King Arthur; Charlemagne; and Godfrey of Bologne. The pageant apparently substitutes some worthies because Moth presents Hercules as a child, and Costard plays Pompey the Great. Ferdinand and his academics, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine, mock the pageant, but the Princess of France is a more courteous spectator.
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.


Worthlove is the true family name of the character referred to throughout Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsden as Wildblood.

WORTHY **1628

Worthy is Richley's brother in Shirley's The Witty Fair One. He is father to Penelope and uncle to Violetta. Worthy does not wholly agree with Richley's mandate that Violetta be kept secluded pending her marriage with Treedle, though Worthy does counsel Aimwell to give up his love for Violetta. Worthy is also part of the group that convinces Fowler of his own death, resulting in a promise of that young man's honesty and reformation.

WORTHY **1633

Family name of Sir Generous, Dorothy, Young Worthy, and Lady Worthy in Nabbes' Covent Garden.


The stepmother of Dorothy Worthy, unhappy wife of Sir Generous Worthy, and object of Hugh Jerker's affections in Nabbes' Covent Garden. She first appears warning Dorothy against men like Artlove, and Jerker's unsuccessful attempts to win her, and thus cuckold Sir Generous, provide a contrast to Artlove's successful wooing of Dorothy. When Jerker declares himself reformed and says he will no longer pursue Lady Worthy, the two of them briefly trick Sir Generous into thinking that they have consummated their affair.


Thomas Hayes, Lord Mayor of the City of London, is a "ghost character" in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. When Overdo enters the Fair disguised as a madman, in order to detect the wrongdoers and bring them to justice, he mentions a "worthy and worshipful man, sometime a capital member of this City, who used to do the same disguise trick." The indirect reference is to the Lord Mayor of London who, according to Overdo, would take the habit of a porter, or a dog-killer, or a seller of tinderboxes. In these humble disguises, he would go through the taverns of the town, check the quality of the goods and confiscate them if they did not meet the right standards, giving them to the poor. Since he would not trust his corrupt officers' reports about what went wrong in the city, the worthy man liked to see things for himself.


A "ghost character" in Sampson's The Vow-Breaker. The Dean of Canterbury and York. Cross names him as one of the commissioners at the peace negotiations in Edinburgh who have ordered the English forces to cease hostilities in Leith until talks are concluded.


Family name of Sir Politic and Lady Would-Be in Jonson's Volpone.


Wife to Sir Politic Would-Be in Jonson's Volpone. She has come to Venice, supposedly eager to know more about its language and culture. Like many others, she visits Volpone hoping to become his heir, but Volpone is so exasperated by her loquaciousness that he cannot tolerate her. When Mosca, in an effort to be rid of her, tells her that her husband is consorting with a courtesan, she rushes to investigate. Finding Would-Be with the youth Peregrine, she assumes Peregrine is the courtesan in disguise and berates both men. Later, in the court, Lady Would-Be accuses Celia of being the same harlot. She leaves Venice before the plots are exposed.


A "ghost character" in Sharpham's Cupid's Whirligig. A member of the guard and a customer at Mistress Correction's brothel.

WRATH **1585

A mute character in ?Tarlton's Three Plays in One. One of the seven deadly sins. Appears in the first scene with the other six sins.

WRATH **1592

Wrath, the third of the Seven Deadly Sins in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, tells Faustus that he leapt newborn from a lion's mouth and runs around the world wounding himself when he cannot get anyone to fight him.


A goldsmith in Percy’s Cuckqueans and Cuckolds Errants. He takes an order from Pearle for a ‘standing Bolle/Bulle’ with ‘toungs’ upon it and charges twenty pounds silver plus a noble, agreeing to deliver it ‘tomorrow.’ He arrives with the ‘Bolle’ to the Tarlton tavern, privately avouching that ‘a foolisher gawd hath never yet been devised’ and hoping it falls into the hands of a wiser man, who might ‘founder’ it into a bell to attach to the fool’s cap. He delivers it to Pearle’s wife, Christian, and says he will come again for his money. When the ‘Bolle’ goes missing, he demands his money from Pearle and threatens him with the law when he refuses to pay. When all is resolved, Pearle promises to pay for the ‘Bolle’, and Wright is content.


The rival writer to the Author of Jonson's Bartholomew Fair is a "ghost character." The stage-keeper in the Induction complains that the Author of the play does not observe the characteristics of real life in his theatrical Fair. He adds that, if some unnamed writer he knows had been required to write this play, he would have used all the tricks in the book and brought all the colorful people from the real-life Fair on stage.


Almost alone among the members of the royal council in Dekker and Webster's Sir Thomas Wyatt, Sir Thomas Wyatt objects to the disinheriting of the princesses Mary and Elizabeth, and he refuses to give his approval to the will of Edward VI which calls for Lady Jane Grey to take the English throne. Later, he reminds the council members that years before they had sworn to support the children of Henry VIII and thus manages to shift the council's support to Mary. After Mary's installation, he urges the new queen to show mercy to Lady Jane, pointing to her youth and her close blood ties to Mary herself, but the queen is in favor of the more severe actions endorsed by the Bishop of Winchester. Moments later, Wyatt becomes enraged by Winchester's sycophantic remarks that England should be flattered that the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V should so condescend to suggest a marriage between Mary and his son Phillip II of Spain, and he reminds everyone that they were sworn to uphold both the laws and the last will of Henry VIII which barred Spaniards from English soil. After Mary signals her intention to marry Phillip and sends Count Egmont, the Spanish ambassador, to inform Phillip of her decision, Wyatt determines to raise a force in Kent and save the realm from this Spanish marriage. With his forces at Rochester, Wyatt confronts the army led by the Duke of Norfolk. Although deserted by Sir George Harper before the battle, Wyatt receives new support when the five hundred Londoners led by Alexander Brett leave the queen's forces in order to follow Wyatt to London. At Ludgate, the Earl of Pembroke, who has been named Lieutenant of the City, refuses Wyatt entry, and Sir Thomas finds himself deserted by Brett's London company when they learn that their fellow citizens are firmly supportive of their new queen. The wounded Wyatt surrenders to the queen's officers and is taken to the Tower. He finally is summoned before the Bishop of Winchester, and after the two exchange insults, Wyatt is sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.
A "ghost character" in Heywood's 1 If You Know Not Me. Wyat is mentioned by Beningfield as having been a rebel recently executed.