Thomas Middleton
(and William Rowley?)



a synoptic, alphabetical character list


Aurelius is a brother of Constantius, King of Britain. He flees Britain when Vortiger kills Constantius and seizes the crown. Aurelius returns to lead a rebellion against Vortiger, seize Hengist, condemn him to death, propose to Castiza, and claim the crown.


The Barber, along with the tailor, petitions Hengist on behalf of the citizens of Queenborough, to choose their mayor.


The Brazier is a petitioner used by Vortiger to vex Constantius.


The Buttonmonger is a petitioner used by Vortiger to vex Constantius.


Castiza is the daughter of Devon. She is betrothed to Vortiger; he vexes Constantius by presenting her to him as a prospective spouse. Having taken monastic vows of abstinence, Constantius promptly convinces Castiza do so as well. After he has Constantius killed, Vortiger marries Castiza. He then falls in love with Roxena and plots with Horsus to rape Castiza and destroy her reputation so that he can have Roxena. When Aurelius claims the throne after the death of Vortiger, he takes Castiza for his queen.


The Cheaters appear while Simon is preparing festivities for Hengist. They pose as itinerant actors and, during their audition, stage a play in which they play the part of thieves who rob a clown. When Simon insists on playing the clown himself, they rob him, throw meal in his face, and run away.


Constantine is the former King of Britain and the father of Constantius, Aurelius, and Uther.


Constantius is the heir to Constantine, King of Britain. He is a monk who receives the crown against his will since he prefers the monastic vocation. Constantius is assassinated by Vortiger, who assumes the throne in his place.


Devon is a lord and, initially, a supporter of Vortiger. He is also the father of Castiza, whom Vortiger marries. When Castiza refuses to take the oath of chastity and reveals her rape, Devon is seized by the guards and led away. He helps Aurelius in the overthrow of Vortiger and captures Hengist.


The Fellmonger (wool merchant) is a petitioner used by Vortiger to vex Constantius.


Germanus is a monk who accompanies Constantius.


The Grazier is petitioner used by Vortiger to vex Constantius.


Hengist is a Saxon warrior who comes to Britain and offers Vortiger help in putting down a rebellion. In return he asks for land; seeing Simon the tanner with a hide, Vortiger offers Hengist as much land as the hide can cover. Hengist has Simon cut the hide into thongs and stretch them, thus entitling him to the entire earldom of Kent, where he builds "thong castle." Eventually Hengist forces Vortiger to name him King of Kent and cede to him the lands of Norfolk and Suffolk. When Aurelius leads the rebellion against Vortiger, Hengist comes to Vortiger's aid but is captured by Devon and Stafford. Aurelius sentences him to death.


Horsus is Hengist's captain. He aids Hengist in putting down the rebellion against Vortiger but is secretly the lover of Hengist's daughter Roxena. Horsus aids Roxena in becoming Vortiger's queen. During the rebellion staged by Aurelius and his followers, Horsus tells Vortiger that Roxena is his lover; the two men fight and kill each other.


Lupus is a monk who accompanies Constantius.


Oliver is a fustian weaver who runs against Simon the tanner for the mayorship of Queenborough. The two candidates engage in mudslinging; when Simon wins, he destroys Oliver's loom and has him arrested. Oliver is a Puritan, and when Simon captures him, he forces Oliver to watch a play.


Raynulph is a monk of Chester and the chorus.


Roxena is the daughter of Hengist who secretly follows him to Britain. She is also secretly the lover of Horsus, Hengist's captain. With his aid, she becomes Vortiger's wife and Queen of Britain. Because she is a pagan, the Britons rise up and claim Vortiner, Vortiger's son by Castiza, as king. Roxena plots the murder of Vortiner. She dies, apparently burned up by the ghost of Vortiner.


Simon is a tanner. When Vortiger grants Hengist as much land as a cow's hide can cover, Simon helps Hengist by cutting the hide into thongs and stretching them so that Hengist can claim the earldom of Kent. Simon runs against the Puritan Oliver, a weaver, for the mayorship of Queenborough and wins. He destroys Oliver's loom, captures, him, and forces him to watch a play in which two cheaters rob a clown. Simon insists on playing the clown, and the actors rob him in actuality.


Stafford is a lord, brother to Devon, and an initial supporter of Vortiger. He falls out of favor when Vortiger frames Castiza, Stafford's niece, with adultery. When Aurelius and Uther return from exile to overthrow Vortiger, Stafford joins them and captures Hengist.


The Tailor, along with the Barber, petitions Hengist on behalf of the citizens of Queenborough, to choose their mayor.


Uther is a brother to Constantius and Aurelius. He flees Britain when Vortiger kills Constantius and seizes the crown. Uther returns to Britain with Aurelius and helps him overthrow Vortiger.


Vortiger is a lord who seeks to become king. He has Constantius, King of Britain, killed; Constantius's brothers flee; Vortiger assumes the throne and marries Castiza. When the Britons rebel against Vortiger, he hires Hengist and the Saxons to fight on his behalf. In return he offers Hengist as much land as a hide will cover. Hengist stretches the hide so that it covers the entire earldom of Kent. Vortiger falls in love with Hengist's daughter Roxena; with the help of Horsus, he frames Castiza with adultery and marries Roxena. Because she is a pagan, the Britons rebel again and place Vortiger's son, Vortiner, on the throne, but when Roxena has Vortiner killed, Vortiger reassumes kingship. When Uther and Aurelius return to reclaim Britain, Vortiger plans his defense, but before they can arrive, he fights with Horsus, and both men die.


Vortiner is Vortiger's son by Castiza. When his father marries the pagan Roxena, the Britons rise up and place Vortiner on the throne. Roxena hires two Saxons to kill Vortiner, after which Vortiger is restored to the throne.