His journey back to the countryside coincides with Joseph’s for much of the way, and the vibrancy of his simple good nature makes him a rival of Joseph for the title of protagonist. Fanny Goodwill The beautiful but reserved beloved of Joseph, a milkmaid, believed to be an orphan. She endures many unsuccessful sexual assaults. Sir Thomas Booby The recently deceased master of Joseph and patron of Mr. Adams. Other characters’ reminiscences portray him as decent but not heroically virtuous; he once promised Mr.
Adams a clerical living in return for Adams’s help in electing Sir Thomas to parliament, but he then allowed his wife to talk him out of it. Lady Booby Sir Thomas’s widow, whose grieving process involves playing cards and propositioning servants. She is powerfully attracted to Joseph, her footman, but finds this attraction degrading and is humiliated by his rejections. She exemplifies the traditional flaws of the upper class, namely snobbery, egotism, and lack of restraint, and she is prone to drastic mood swings. Mrs. Slipslop
A hideous and sexually voracious upper servant in the Booby household. Like her mistress, she lusts after Joseph. Peter Pounce Lady Booby’s miserly steward, who lends money to other servants at steep interest and gives himself airs as a member of the upwardly striving new capitalist class. Mr. Booby The nephew of Sir Thomas. Fielding has adapted this character from the “Mr. B. ” of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; like Richardson’s character, Mr. Booby is a rather snobbish squire who marries his servant girl, Pamela Andrews. Pamela Andrews
Joseph’s virtuous and beautiful sister, from whom he derives inspiration for his resistance to Lady Booby’s sexual advances. Pamela, too, is a servant in the household of a predatory Booby, though she eventually marries her lascivious master. Fielding has adapted this character from the heroine of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela. Mr. Andrews The father of Pamela and, ostensibly, Joseph. Mrs. Andrews The mother of Pamela and, ostensibly, Joseph. Two Ruffians Highwaymen who beat, rob, and strip Joseph on the first night of his journey. Postilion
Lends Joseph his greatcoat when Joseph is naked following the attack by the Ruffians. Mr. Tow-wouse The master of the inn where Joseph boards after being attacked by the Ruffians. He intends to lend Joseph one of his own shirts, but his stingy wife prevents him. Later he is discovered in bed with Betty the chambermaid. Mrs. Tow-wouse The frugal, nagging wife of Mr. Tow-wouse. Betty A chambermaid in the inn of Mr. and Mrs. Tow-wouse. Her initial care of Joseph bespeaks her basic good nature, but she is also lustful, and her association with him ends badly.
Mr. Barnabas A clergyman who never passes up a drink and halfheartedly attends Joseph during his recovery from the attack by the Ruffians. Surgeon Belatedly addresses the injuries Joseph sustained during his attack by the Ruffians. Bookseller A friend of Mr. Barnabas, declines to represent Mr. Adams, author of several volumes of sermons, in the London book trade. Tom Suckbribe The Constable who fails to guard an imprisoned Ruffian and may have some financial incentive for failing in this office. Leonora
The reclusive inhabitant of a grand house along the stage-coach route, a shallow woman who once jilted the hard-working Horatio for the frivolous Bellarmine and then was jilted in turn. Horatio An industrious lawyer who intended to marry Leonora but lost her to the wealthy and flamboyant Bellarmine. Bellarmine A Frenchified cavalier who values Leonora’s beauty enough to steal her away from Horatio but who finally rejects her when her father refuses to supply a dowry. Leonora's Father A miserly old gentleman who refuses to bestow any money on his daughter during his life and thereby causes her to lose Bellarmine as a suitor.
Leonora's Aunt Leonora’s chaperone during the period of her courtship by Horatio and then Bellarmine; encourages Leonora to pursue her financial self-interest in choosing a mate. Mrs. Grave-airs A snobbish stage-coach passenger who objects to traveling with the footman Joseph but turns out to be the daughter of a man who was once a lower servant. Sportsman Encounters Mr. Adams while out shooting one night; extolls bravery when conversing with Adams but flees the scene when the cries of a distressed woman are heard. The Justice
A local magistrate who does not take his responsibilities very seriously. He handles the case of Mr. Adams and Fanny when Fanny’s attacker accuses them of having beaten and robbed him. Mr. Wilson A gentleman who, after a turbulent youth, has retired to the country with his wife and children and lives a life of virtue and simplicity. His eldest son, who turns out to have been Joseph, was stolen by gypsies as a child. Mrs. Wilson The wife of Wilson. She once redeemed him from debtor’s prison, having been the object of his undeclared love for some time. Pedlar
An apparent instrument of providence who pays one of Mr. Adams’s many inn bills, rescues Mr. Adams’s drowning son, and figures out the respective parentages of both Joseph and Fanny. Mrs. Adams The wife of Mr. Adams and mother of his six children, prone to nagging but also appreciative of her husband’s loving nature. Parson Trulliber An entrepreneurial and greedy clergyman, more dedicated to hog farming than to the care of souls, who refuses to lend Mr. Adams money for his inn bill. Mrs. Trulliber The downtrodden wife of Parson Trulliber. Hunter of Men
An eccentric and rather sadistic country gentleman who sets his hunting dogs on Mr. Adams, allows his friends to play cruel jokes on him, and attempts to abduct Fanny. Captain One of the Squire’s friends, abducts Fanny on the Squire’s orders but is himself taken prisoner by servants of Lady Booby. Player One of the Squire’s friends, a failed actor who pursues Fanny on the Squire’s orders but flees when the Captain is taken prisoner. Poet One of the Squire’s friends, a failed playwright who pursues Fanny on the Squire’s orders but flees when the Captain is taken prisoner.
Quack-Doctor One of the Squire’s friends; comes up with a Socratic practical joke that exploits Mr. Adams’s pedantry. Priest Discourses on the vanity of riches before asking Mr. Adams for money to pay his inn bill. Lawyer Scout Tells Mr. Adams that Joseph has worked long enough to gain a settlement in Lady Booby’s parish, but then becomes a willing accomplice in Lady Booby’s attempt to expel Joseph and Fanny. Justice Frolick The local magistrate who cooperates with Lady Booby’s attempt to expel Joseph and Fanny from her parish.
Beau Didapper A guest of Lady Booby’s, lusts after Fanny and makes several unsuccessful attempts on her. Pimp A servant of Beau Didapper’s, attempts to persuade Fanny to accept his master’s advances and then makes a few attempts on his own behalf. Dick Adams A son of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, nearly drowns in a river but is rescued by the Pedlar. He then reads the story of Leonard and Paul to his parents’ guests. Leonard A married man who argues frequently with his wife while entertaining his friend Paul in their home.
Like his wife, he eventually accepts Paul’s advice always to yield in disputes, even and especially when he knows himself to be right. Leonard's Wife The wife of Leonard, with whom she argues frequently while they are entertaining his friend Paul in their home. Like her husband, she eventually accepts Paul’s advice always to yield in disputes, even and especially when she knows herself to be right. Paul Leonard’s friend, separately advises both Leonard and Leonard’s wife to adhere to the “Doctrine of Submission. ”