The Hymen Household

  • Major Solomon Hymen: Chief Magistrate and Mayor of Troy; Commander of the Voluntary Company of Coastal Artillery or the ‘Troy Gallants’. The Hymens were reduced to poverty following the collapse of the South Sea Bubble in 1720. Solomon left Troy at 16 to establish himself as a draper and silk-mercer at Cheapside in London. He returned a wealthy man and purchased the family’s former home, a Queen Anne (1702-14) building at the foot of Custom House Hill. For a description of Hymen see Chapter XVII. He is single and involved in the contraband trade with Guernsey. Based in part on John Bennet, Mayor of Fowey.
  • Miss Marty or Martha Hymen, a distant cousin of Solomon from the north coast of Cornwall. Although her name is given in Chapter XX as Miss Martha Hymen, Chapter I suggests that she came from the female side.
  • Lavinia, maid to Miss Marty.
  • Caius or Cai Tamblyn, one of the Major’s factotums. He alone recognises the Major following his return from prison in France. Marries in 1814.
  • Scipio Johnson, the second of the Major’s factotums. A negro from the Gold Coast, standing six feet, three inches. Probably based on the black servant of Dr. Samuel Johnson.

Other Troy Residents

  • Dr. Hansombody, Deputy Mayor, later Mayor and husband to Miss Marty Hymen
  • Alderman. Collector of butterflies, Chief Magistrate
  • Vicar of Troy, M.A. Oxon
  •  Lawyer Chinn
  • Miss Jex, postmistress.
  • Miss Georgina Pescod
  • Miss Sally Tregentil of Admirals’ (or Admiral’s) Row

 Troy Voluntary Coastal Artillery or Troy Gallants

  • Commander, Major Solomon Hymen
  • Surgeon, Dr. Hansombody
  • Lieutenant Chinn
  • Sergeant Sullivan
  • Gunner Sobey
  • Gunner Trippet
  • Gunner Warboys
  • Bugler Opie
  • Tadd

East and West Looe Voluntary Artillery or Looe Die-hards

  • Commander, Captain AEneas Pond
  • Senior lieutenant Clogg
  • Second lieutenant Couch of Polperro
  • Pengelly
  • Gunner William Oke
  • Israel Spettigew or Uncle Issy

Representatives of Law and Order

  • Major Solomon Hymen, Chief Magistrate
  • Dr, Hansombody, Chief Magistrate following Hymen
  • Mr. Pennefather, Collector of Customs, Customs House
  • Mr. Smellie of Glasgow, Riding Officer
  • Captain Arbuthnot of the 5th Dragoons, stationed at Plymouth, temporarily Bodmin Jago, Constable of Troy


  • Mr. Elihu Basket, once of London, The Retreat, East Hoe
  • Mrs. Maria Basket
  • Chief Constable of Plymouth
  • Orlando B. Sturge of London and the cast of Love Between Decks, the Theatre Royal, Plymouth

The Vesuvius Catamaran

  • Captain Crang
  • Mr. Wapshott, First Officer
  • Surgeon
  • Ben Jope, bosun
  • Bill Adams, bosun’s mate

Guernsey Merchant

  • M. Cesar Dupin