Lord William Hastings is the Lord Chamberlain, the same characters as the Hastings of Henry VI, Part Three.
He is not a friend of Queen Elizabeth’s family, particularly as her son has had him imprisoned. However, he is a loyal subject of King Edward’s and a strong supporter of legitimacy, preferring to see the rightful heir on the throne however young and even if it means bringing the Queen’s family to power. He is a faintly gullible sort, unable to understand why the Queen should take sanctuary after her husband dies, seeing as they have all sworn friendship at the late King’s request. He takes Mrs. Shore, King Edward’s mistress, for his own after Edward dies. Hastings has great hopes for power under Richard as Protector, seeing it as a chance to settle accounts with some old enemies, and never dreams that he might himself be at risk. He is an energetic man with a carefree manner about him, and is not a particularly deep thinker; he takes every man at face value and pays no attention to ill omens, which is unfortunate for him. His inability to see where things are headed costs him his head. His ghost comes to haunt Richard the night before the battle of Bosworth and to bless Richard’s opponent Richmond.