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Henry 4, Part 1 Characters

King Henry IV

King Henry IV is the Bullingbrook of Richard II. Never forgetting his own usurpation of the throne from Richard II, he cannot help but notice similarities between the state of affairs at the time and the one he finds himself in now. 

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Prince John of Lancaster

John of Lancaster is Henry IV’s younger son, Prince Harry’s brother. Unlike his brother, he attends his father at court, and has in fact taken Harry’s place at the council

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Earl of Westmorland

Earl of Westmorland is one of King Henry’s noblemen. He reports to the King the events of the Council meeting that the latter has missed, particularly the news of rebellion in Wales. 

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Sir Walter Blunt

Sir Walter Blunt is a knight in King Henry’s service, high-ranked enough that messengers report to him, though he is not a member of the landed nobility. 

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Henry Percy

Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy) is a nobleman from the North, Northumberland’s son, and the most dashing man of the age. 

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Owen Glendower

Owen Glendower is a Welsh war leader who has rejected Henry IV’s lordship over Wales, and fought off his armies three times already. 

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Sir Richard Vernon

Richard Vernon comes to warn Hotspur of the King’s forces and of Glendower’s inability to join up with the other rebels in time. 

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Sir John Falstaff

Falstaff is an extremely fat, lying, thieving, cowardly, drunken, and utterly shameless rogue with a talent for telling tales and rationalizing his actions. 

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Sir Michael

Sir Michael is a member of the Archbishop of York’s household, who is sent to carry the Archbishop’s messages to his fellow rebels. 

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Edward Poins

Ned Poins is one of Prince Harry’s tavern companions, with a taste for practical jokes – particularly those played on Falstaff. 

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Peto is one of Falstaff’s cronies, who assists at the robbery of Gadshill. 

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Chamberlain works at the inn, and tells Gadshill who the best guests to waylay are. He receives a cut of the profits for every robbery he recommends.

Lady Mortimer

Lady Mortimer is Glendower’s daughter, a pretty Welsh lady who enjoys singing and does not speak a single word of English. 

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The Sheriff is told of the robbery and goes searching for Falstaff. He does not expect to find the Prince of Wales at the Boar’s Head tavern instead.


Ostler takes care of travelers’ horses at the inn.

First Carrier

The First Carrier (Mugs) is transporting goods on the road between Canterbury and London, and resting at the inn near Gads Hill. 

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Second Carrier

The Second Carrier is transporting goods on the road between Canterbury and London, and resting at the inn near Gads Hill. 

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First Messenger

The First Messenger comes from the Earl of Northumberland to warn Hotspur that he is ill and cannot join the other rebels. He confirms that Northumberland’s has seen doctors, who are worried about him.

Second Messenger

The Second Messenger brings letters from an unknown sender to Hotspur, which the latter claims he has no time to read.

Third Messenger

The Third Messenger warns Hotspur that the King and his forces are advancing on the rebels and that it is time to fight back.

First Traveler

The First Traveler is carrying a large sum of money, which he has been foolish enough to mention aloud at the Inn. 

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Second Traveler

The Second Traveler is part of the company of travelers who are going along together in the hopes of discouraging thieves. They are unsuccessful.


Hotspur's Servant has been ordered by him to make all ready for his departure to meet the other rebels.


The Vintner is essentially the barman at the Boar’s Head. He dislikes seeing Francis idle rather than hard at work.


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