Characters

Thank you for your interest in Murder at Shipley Manor. Below are characters that will be in the mystery. Characters will be assigned closer to the date of the mystery.

Suspects/Accusers

Emily Shipley: Emily is the only daughter of Henry and Katherine Shipley. They are a well-known family in the county, well-beloved by all who know them. Emily is known to be the prettiest girl in the entire town and lately, the dashing and extremely rich Nathaniel Drake has been showing her much attention. It is becoming well known that the two have started a courtship. Emily, as lovely as she is, has never had a strong constitution and has often struggled with headaches and frequent illness. Despite this, she is brave, rosy, and persevering.   

Henry Shipley: Henry is a well-known gentleman of a sizable income. His estate is large and gorgeous. To show off his wealth, he often enjoys inviting half the neighborhood to elaborate dinner parties. However, there have been rumors that Henry has been involved in some bad business deals and that his fortune might be suffering as a result. Could the dinner party tonight just be a facade?

Katherine Shipley: A flighty woman who married Henry merely for his thousands a year, Katherine has never been a woman of sense, but is known to have a quick temper when angered. In fact  , when the gossip mongers in town speak of her, they always remark on how incredible it is that Emily acquired as much sense as she did, considering that her mother has very little. But, is Katherine really as silly as she seems, or does she know exactly what she’s doing?

Henrietta Fletcher: Henrietta is Katherine Shipely's niece. She was born into inferior circumstances, so years ago, the Katherine's sister and her husband agreed to take her in and help to better her education. Since then, she's spent much of her time with the Shipleys and is a close friend to Emily. However, she is often treated as a charity case, and sometimes resents it.

Emaline Roper: Emalina is a typical, silent, obedient maid. She keeps herself out of trouble and can usually be found standing quietly in a corner somewhere...when she isn’t busy in the kitchen or cleaning the house, of course. However, is Emalina really a subdued maid, or is she silently listening, remembering, and making use of the information she gleans?

James Morgan: James is a savvy and worldly-wise man who joined the family law practice to help his father who had fallen on hard, with nothing else to leave his son. James remembers what it was like to be a gentleman of leisure—and used to consider himself something of a rouge. Such parties as this evening’s are a bittersweet reminder to James that perhaps that part of his life isn't quite closed for him yet... Is there more to him than meets the eye?

Matthew Prescott: Matthew is a dashing man in the King’s militia. He is silver tongued and known for being quite a rogue. He is rumored to have once gotten a young lady in trouble, but as she was of a much lower station than himself or the circles he travels in, it is hardly ever spoken of, however, few fathers are willing to let him near their daughters. But, he has a questionable parentage, being an orphan, and no one really knows who he truly is.

Lady Elizabeth Ford: Lady Elizabeth is a gentlewoman of the highest degree. She is exceedingly accomplished in all the arts known to femininity, as well as a skilled dancer and player of the piano forte. Her greatest goal in life now is to marry a man of the highest pay and level of renown. Even tonight, she is searching the room for a man with a...heavy pocketbook.  

Evelyn Parker: Evelyn is Emily Shipley’s closest and dearest friend. The two might as well be sisters for the amount of time that they spend each day in each other’s company. At first, it was rumored that Evelyn was falling in love with the young dashing Nathaniel, but soon it became clear that he only had eyes for Emily. Evelyn did not seem to mind, however, and even seemed happy for her dear friend Emily. The town has forgotten all about when Evelyn was thought to have been Nathaniel’s interest, but has Evelyn forgotten?

Hannah Rogers: Hannah is the woman the whole town dreads, but no one wants to neglect or leave out from a party. Hannah has always had a wagging tongue and is never afraid to speak her mind. Be careful of revealing any information to her, if you don’t want it spread around town.

Emma Pope, has always been contented with her quiet home life. Her sister Margaret always yearned for adventure, but to Emma, life in the small town was enough for her. Even tonight as their carriage broke down in front of Shipley Manor, Emma was hoping for a quiet night of calm conversation. What she got, however, was not as all what she expected...

Margaret Pope, has always resented her sheltered life. While her sister, Emma has always been content with her lot, it was just never enough for Margaret. She wanted adventure, a big city life. Yet, she never married, which she knew would really be the only way a lady of her breeding could ever leave home. Yet, with her carriage breaking down so conveniently tonight in front of the Shipley house—just in time for a party, she hopes for a little bit of adventure. What she doesn’t bargain for is murder!

Nathaniel Drake: Nathaniel is one of the handsomest men in the county, even if he is nowhere near close to the richest. It is quite well-known that many young ladies would like to be courted by him. However, as of recently, he’s only seemed to have eyes for Emily Shipley. The disappointment amongst the local young ladies is great, but no one is surprised that Nathaniel would be attracted to Emily. The two seem like a perfect match. Nathaniel is quite happy in his choice and plans to propose to Emily as soon as he can.

Kitty Baker: Kitty is the most beloved daughter of Captain Baker. Having always lived nearby, and having been mostly raised by the townspeople after the death of her mother, while the Captain was away on a voyage, she’s become the town’s sweetheart. However, as she’s gotten older, other new faces in town have often taken her place in the hearts of the people. She’s not as pretty as she once was, and she’s begun to feel a little out of place and neglected lately, missing the days when she was more precious to her loved ones.  

Jane Laurence: Lady Jane has been ill with consumption for sometime now. She has her good days and her bad days. This is one of her good days. Some people think that Lady Jane is simply faking her illness for attention. If she is...could there be more to her fraud than just attention?

Regan Laurence (Male or Female Role): Regan is known for being a lover of science and enjoys nothing more than reading up on the latest diseases, poisons, and indigenous tribes throughout the world. Once dreaming of traveling the world, Regan now has settled into a quiet life of study. However, the study of poisons is somewhat taboo, so Regan mostly keeps these studies a secret thing, yet, the entire neighborhood knows…

Lord Douglas Adams: Lord Douglas has long been a quiet and secretive man. He’s mostly kept to himself, especially over the past several years. In fact, even the members of his own household don't know what he does with his trips out of town... or his evenings shut up in his study. Is he just a quiet man of introspection? Or is there something darker behind his silent demeanor? 

Lady Bridget Adams: Lady Bridget is a perfect wife and everyone knows it. She doesn’t ask too many questions, she’s quite accomplished, and she’s the perfect hostess. Although her husband has a reputation for being sullen and unsociable, Bridget takes up where he leaves off and has smoothed many feathers ruffled by Douglas. However, behind her perfect smile and her unstained hands, could she be hiding secrets of her own, covered up only by her proper demeanor?

Spectators

Lord Thomas Barton: Lord Thomas is a grand gentleman and widower. He’s always had an income of more thousands than he knows how to use, and a large estate that has been sadly empty since the loss of his wife.

Reverend Paul Harrison: Paul is a mousy man and a single preacher. His parish has been trying to get him to marry for some time, but he’s either not had the inclination, or he’s not been able to attract any young ladies to him. His sermons are universally boring, although everyone pretends that they are not. However, Paul is not completely without interest, for he is known for saying strange things at the oddest times. Whether it’s an obscure quote, or an ill-timed observation, he’s not a dull person because his mind works in...mysterious ways.

Fanny Drake: A sweet girl, Fanny is known for her demure ways and for her delicately-stitched pillowcases and fine needlework. She is often a quiet girl, who prefers to observe rather than speak out. However, her knack for observation may prove useful...

Edmund Thorp: Edmund is Nathaniel’s dearest friend. The two were schoolboys together and have continued to remain close throughout the years. Edmund is a jovial young man who always has a good joke to tell or song to play on the piano forte. He’s a delight at parties, only eclipsed by the charm and good-looks of his friend Nathaniel. He always acts as if everything in his life is pleasant and good, but is he really fine with his friend always upstaging him...even if it is by accident?

Mary Parsons: Mary is a young, orphaned woman who lives locally with her wealthy aunt and uncle. Of no high birth herself, Mary enjoys the society that her aunt and uncle provide her, and has made friends with the Drake family through them. Fanny Drake took an especial liking to her, and the two have become very close friends. However, the secret of Mary's past often bothers those who know her. She could be anyone...

Philip Anthony: Philip Anthony, a young man that Captain Baker met during one of his trips, has been spending a lot of time with the Barkers lately. Philip has hopes of winning the love of young Kitty Baker, but so far, she’s rebuffed him repeatedly. However, he’s not ready to give up yet...

Joanna Laurence: Joanna appears to be a perfectly-functioning woman...until she opens her mouth to speak. Going deaf, Joanna tries to behave as if there is nothing the matter with her, but her loud voice gives her away. But, being a kind woman, no one wants to say anything to her about it...

Martha Todd: Martha is Bridget Adams’ sister. She married very young to her dashing husband, George. Although he had charmed her once upon a time, she now finds that his charms are often directed...elsewhere, to the great shock of anyone who has ever seen him flirt with a lady who is not Martha. Thus, Martha keeps her husband on a short leash and hardly ever lets him out of her sight. She seems content enough on the outside,  but within, could she be boiling up at rage towards her wandering husband?

George Todd: George Todd was quite a charmer in his day. He had managed to marry the prettiest girl in town at the time, Martha Adams (now Todd), but now, years later, he’s lost interest in her, and his eyes are wandering again. He tries not to be overt about it, but he always is looking out for an opportunity for...a little fun.

Peggy Martin: Peggy, a dear friend of both the Adams’ family, as well as the Todds, has long been thought of as a member of the family. However, in recent years, she often travels with her doctor, Josiah, due to her complains of “delicate” health. However, there have been rumors of a budding relationship between the two, yet, that is to be proven...

Josiah Cromwell: Josiah is one of the most trusted doctors in the county. Having never married, he’s dedicated his entire life to the health of others. As of late, he’s been paid a healthy sum in order to become more of Peggy Martin’s personal physician. Although some people believe that there might be an improper relationship between Peggy and Josiah, the real scandal is that Josiah’s finances are not what they used to be. Where is all his money going? Did he have to take on the personal physician job for financial reasons?

Amelia Baker: Amelia is well-known throughout town and to the Shipley family because of her great kindness. She's the motherly sort and always knows when to bake a batch of scones and take them to a friend who needs cheering, and can often be found ministering to the poor. However, is her kindness simply a front? Does she have a darker side?

Dinah Hancock: Dinah is known for starting trouble. She's the sort of woman who comes across at first meeting as a little awkward...and perhaps even silent. But once she gets her bearings, she can say the most absurd and strange things. No one would ever think of excluding her from tonight's dinner, but everyone is afraid of what she might say or do...