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Richard III :: Characters

Richard III Characters

King Edward IV is the same as the King Edward of Henry VI, Part Three, who won his throne by battle. 

 
 

Prince Edward is King Edward’s eldest son and heir to his throne, the same as the baby of the final scene in Henry VI, Part Three.

 
 

Duke of York (Richard) is King Edward’s second son. He is a cheeky young thing, bright beyond his years, given to eavesdropping and not shy with his opinions. 

 
 

George, Duke of Clarence is the brother of King Edward and Richard of Gloucester, and the same as the Clarence of Henry VI, Part Three

 
 

Richard Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III, is rather a nasty piece of work. Duplicitous, ambitious, murderous, and quite jolly about all of these things, he has been planning to take the crown for some time now (see Henry VI, Part Three). 

 
 

Edward Plantagenet is the son of George Duke of Clarence, and is in his grandmother the Duchess of York’s keeping after Clarence’s arrest. 

 
 

Henry, Earl of Richmond is the grown-up Richmond of Henry VI, Part Three, Lord Stanley’s stepson and the next heir in blood of the Lancastrian cause. 

 
 

Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbur, accompanies Prince Edward to London, and then goes to help convince Queen Elizabeth to let her son York leave sanctuary. He stands upon the privilege of the church, but is reasonably easy to convince otherwise.

 
 

Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York, is a friend of Queen Elizabeth’s. He is shocked at the news of the arrest of Rivers and Grey, and offers the Queen sanctuary.

 
 

John Morton, Bishop of Ely, is a member of the regency council following King Edward’s death, who wishes the young Prince to be crowned as soon as possible. He owns a garden that produces superlative strawberries.

 
 

The Duke of Buckingham is Richard’s closest ally as he maneuvers himself onto the throne. 

 
 

John, Duke of Norfolk, the same as the Norfolk of Henry VI, Part Three, is a loyal supporter of King Richard’s who commands one of the main battalions at Bosworth. 

 
 

The Earl of Surrey, son to Duke of Norfolk, is one of Richard’s supporters, who does not look very optimistic on the eve of the battle of Bosworth.

 
 

Earl Rivers (Anthony Woodvile) is Queen Elizabeth’s brother, the same as the Rivers of Henry VI, Part Three

 
 

Marquess of Dorset is Queen Elizabeth’s son by her previous marriage, ennobled after his mother’s marriage to King Edward. 

 
 

Lord Grey is Queen Elizabeth’s son by her previous marriage, ennobled after his mother’s marriage to King Edward.

 
 

The Earl of Oxford is one of Richmond’s supporters and military leaders, the same as the Oxford of Henry VI, Part Three. He has been a Lancastrian supporter all his life.

 
 

Lord William Hastings is the Lord Chamberlain, the same characters as the Hastings of Henry VI, Part Three

 
 

Lord Stanley, Earl of Derby is a close friend of Lord Hastings and Henry Earl of Richmond’s stepfather. 

 
 

Lord Lovel is one of Richard’s supporters. He takes Lord Hastings to his execution and delivers the head to Richard.

 
 

Sir Thomas Vaughan is a knight in the escort sent to fetch Prince Edward to England. 

 
 

Sir Richard Ratcliffe is one of Richard’s chief supporters, and his major executioner at the time of his coup. 

 
 

Sir William Catesby is one of Richard’s chief supporters and an important figure in his coup. 

 
 

Sir James Tyrell is a poor and bitter knight who is willing to do anything to enrich himself and make himself more prominent. 

 
 

Sir James Blunt is one of Richmond’s supporters, a captain in his army, and serves as his messenger to Stanley on the eve of the battle of Bosworth. 

 
 

Sir Walter Herbert is one of Richmond’s supporters, a well-known and respected soldier. He is convinced that Richard’s followers will all desert him.

 
 

Sir Robert Brakenbury is the Lieutenant of the Tower of London, a stubbornly loyal man who does his job to the letter no matter his own thoughts on the matter. 

 
 

Sir William Brandon [mute role] is one of Richmond’s supporters, given the high (and dangerous) honor of carrying the Earl’s standard into the battle of Bosworth.

 
 

Christopher Urswick, a Priest is used as a messenger between Stanley and Richmond. He brings Stanley an update on Richmond’s forces.

 
 

Hastings, a Pursuivant is a herald who works for the College of Arms. 

 
 

Tressel [mute role] is a gentleman who accompanies the Lady Anne as she takes the corpse of Henry VI to burial. He escorts her when she leaves to go to Crosby House at Richard’s request.

 
 

Berkeley [mute role] is a gentleman who accompanies the Lady Anne as she takes the corpse of Henry VI to burial. He escorts her when she leaves to go to Crosby House at Richard’s request.

 
 

The Keeper is George Duke of Clarence’s jailer, who converses pleasantly enough with his prisoner.

 
 

Lord Mayor of London is one of the chief officials of the country, whose recognition of Richard as King is key for his coup to succeed. 

 
 

The Sheriff of Wiltshire leads Buckingham to his execution.

 
 

Queen Elizabeth is the wife of King Edward, the Lady Gray of Henry VI, Part Three

 
 

Queen Margaret is the widow of King Henry VI, the same character as the Queen Margaret of the Henry VI plays. 

 
 

The Duchess of York is the mother of King Edward, Clarence and Richard, and the widow of the Duke of York of the three Henry VI plays. 

 
 

Lady Anne is the daughter of the Earl of Warwick (see Henry VI, Part Three) and the widow of Prince Edward of Lancaster, whom Richard helped kill. 

 
 

Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury, is the daughter of George Duke of Clarence, and is in her grandmother the Duchess of York’s keeping after Clarence’s arrest. 

 
 

Sir John, a Priest comes to speak to Lord Hastings the morning of the council meeting, but Lord Hastings puts him off till the next Sunday.

 
 

The First Murderer is a reasonably cautious man, requiring a warrant to get to Clarence and commending Brankenbury on the wisdom of informing the King that he has handed Clarence over. 

 
 

The Second Murderer is a blunt fellow who is less secure about his job than he would like. 

 
 

A Gentleman is one of those carrying King Henry’s coffin.

 
 

Hastings, a Pursuivant is a herald who works for the College of Arms. 

 
 

Halberds [mute roles] escort a variety of people to their deaths, as well as King Henry’s coffin to its grave.

 
 

The First Citizen is shaken by the King’s death, but is more optimistic than his fellows, trusting that the royal uncles on both sides of the family are wise men. He is either very trusting or putting a good face on his fears.

 
 

The Second Citizen is deeply worried by what will come after the King’s death, though he holds out some hope that the council will govern well until Prince Edward comes of age.

 
 

The Third Citizen is profoundly uneasy about what will happen after the King’s death. 

 
 

Messenger to the Queen brings the Queen the news that her son and brother have been arrested on Richard and Buckingham’s orders.

 
 

Stanley Messenger is sent to Lord Hastings with the tale of Lord Stanley’s premonitory dream, to beg Hastings to fly to the north with Stanley. 

 
 

A Scrivener is a public scribe with particularly nice handwriting who has been hired by Catesby to write up the official explanation for Hastings’s execution so that it can be posted for all to see. 

 
 

Aldermen of London accompany the Lord Mayor to request that Richard take the crown.

 
 

Two Bishops [mute roles] walk out on the walls of Baynard’s Castle with Richard to give the impression that he has been praying rather than plotting to take the throne.

 
 

A Page keeps tabs on people who might be useful to the King for him.

 
 

The First Messenger comes to inform Richard that rebellion has broken out in Devonshire.

 
 

The Second Messenger comes to inform Richard that rebellion has broken out in Kent.

 
 

The Third Messenger attempts to inform Richard that Buckingham’s army has been ruined by a flood, but is beaten by the ill-tempered King first.

 
 

The Fourth Messenger comes to inform Richard that rebellion may have broken out in Yorkshire, but that Richmond refused to trust Buckingham’s men and has gone back to France.

 
 

The Fifth Messenger is sent by Richard to order Stanley to bring his forces to the battle, and returns to inform the King that Stanley refuses.

 
 

The Ghost of King Henry VI comes to haunt Richard the night before the battle of Bosworth and to bless Richard’s opponent Richmond. His reasons for disliking Richard can be found in Henry VI, Part Three.

 
 

The Ghost of Prince Edward of Lancaster comes to haunt Richard the night before the battle of Bosworth and to bless Richard’s opponent Richmond. His reasons for disliking Richard can be found in Henry VI, Part Three.

 
 

First Lord to Richmond comes with others of Richmond's company to wake him up on the morning of the battle of Bosworth.

 
 

Second Lord to Richmond comes with others of Richmond's company to wake him up on the morning of the battle of Bosworth, and wonders what sort of state he's in.

 
 
 
 
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