List of Sharpe series characters

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This is a list of characters in the Sharpe series.

Major d'Alembord[edit]

Peter d'Alembord
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Honour
Last appearance Sharpe's Waterloo
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Edward Atterton
Information
Nickname(s) "Dally"
Occupation British Army Officer
Title Major (highest rank achieved)
Religion Protestant (Hugenout)
Nationality British, of French descent

Major Peter D'Alembord, nicknamed "Dally" joined the British Army after killing a man in a duel over a woman's favours. He is of French Hugenout extraction and enters the South Essex Regiment as one of Sharpe's many Light Company Subalterns. He becomes captain of the South Essex Light Company after Sharpe's promotion to major. After Napoleon's return from Elba, D'Alembord is also promoted to major as an inducement to rejoin the army. He is badly injured at the Battle of Waterloo and has to have his leg amputated. It remains unclear whether he survives the wound.

In the Sharpe television series, his only appearance is in Sharpe's Honour, where he is portrayed by Edward Atterton, who received no credit for the part.

Lucille Castineau[edit]

Lucille Castineau, nee Lassan (novels), Lucille Castineau, nee Maillot (TV)
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Revenge
Last appearance Sharpe's Devil
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Cecile Paoli
Information
Occupation Farmer
Title Madame la Vicomtesse de Seleglise
Family Comte de Lassan (father), Henri Lassan (brother)
Spouse(s) Xavier Castineau (deceased), Richard Sharpe
Children Patrick-Henri Lassan, Dominique Lassan
Nationality French

Lucille Castineau was Richard Sharpe's third (common-law) wife. She was born about 1786 to the Lassan family of Normandy. Her father was the Comte de Lassan, a minor aristocrat in possession of a large estate house and farm fallen on hard times. Lucille herself bore the title of Vicomtesse. Her father was killed during the revolution and was succeeded in his title by her older brother Henri Lassan. Her brother soon renounced his title in the face of further persecutions and later joined Napoleon's army as an officer. This left Lucille and her mother, the Dowager Countess, to run the estate.

During the Napoleonic wars, Lucille married the son of a French general, a cavalry officer named Xavier Castineau. However, he soon after died in Russia, forcing Lucille to move back into the Lassan home. After his defeat by the British, her brother Henri also returned home and made arrangements to marry. Unfortunately, both Henri and her mother were murdered soon afterwards by thugs of French spymaster Pierre Ducos, trying to prevent Lassan from revealing Ducos's own treachery to Richard Sharpe. Lucille was left alone on the farm.

When Sharpe afterwards came to seek out her brother, Lucille mistakenly shot him with a large blunderbuss, wounding Sharpe. Realising her mistake, she took him and his friend William Frederickson in for several months. While Sharpe recuperated, Frederickson became interested in Lucille, but when he proposed, she turned him down. Frederickson left to pursue their original investigation and Sharpe took a hand in helping Lucille on the farm. During this solitude, Sharpe learned to speak French and the two became lovers (leading to Sharpe's permanent estrangement from Frederickson).

After travelling to Italy to defeat Ducos, Sharpe returned to the Lassan estate permanently. Lucille bore Sharpe a son, Patrick-Henri (named for her brother and for Sharpe's friend, Patrick Harper), who was still an infant at the time of the Waterloo Campaign. In 1820, Sharpe was still living on the farm with Lucille, who had born him a second child, a daughter named Dominique. Both children carried the Lassan name. According to his son, Sharpe and Lucille never married formally. Probably this was because Sharpe's English wife, Jane Gibbons, did not predecease him and he could not afford a legal divorce. Later in 1861, Patrick-Henri Lassan, by then Lieutenant-Colonel in the French Cavalry and liaison to the Union Army during the US Civil War in Cornwell's Starbuck Chronicles reported that Lucille was still alive and well but lonely - implying that by this time Sharpe is dead.

In the Carlton UK TV series, Lucille was portrayed by Cecile Paoli. However, in the original episode "Sharpe's Challenge," the series departed from the novels' continuity and reported that she had died of fever around 1817.

William Dodd[edit]

William Dodd
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Triumph (novel)
Sharpe's Challenge (TV)
Last appearance Sharpe's Fortress (novel)
Portrayed by Toby Stephens
Information
Gender Male
Occupation East India Company Officer
Title Major (highest rank achieved)
Nationality English

William Dodd appears in the novels set in India near the start of Sharpe's army career. Although he is based on a real historical figure, his involvement in the Sharpe novels is entirely fictional. Dodd appears in the 2006 television revival Sharpe's Challenge, portrayed by Toby Stephens. He also appears in the Simon Scarrow novel "The Generals" as the actual historical character.

The historical Dodd[edit]

The real William Dodd was a lieutenant in the East India Company. In 1803, he was responsible for beating a native worker to death and was fined by the Company. Arthur Wellesley was outraged by the leniency of the sentence and demanded his dismissal, aiming to have him tried as a civilian for murder. Instead Dodd deserted to the Maratha army. Despite the offer of a seven hundred guinea reward for his capture, he was never seen again.

Dodd in the Sharpe novels[edit]

Cornwell uses this backstory, adding the desertion of Dodd's entire sepoy company. Dodd is charged by the mercenary commander of the Mahratta army, Anthony Pohlmann, with raiding the British fort at Chasalgoan, where he massacres the entire garrison, with the single exception of Richard Sharpe. He is rewarded with a promotion to Major and command of a battalion, which he christens "Dodd's Cobras". Dodd escapes the British capture of Ahmednuggur. Shortly afterwards he encounters Sharpe with his mentor Colonel Hector McCandless and offers Sharpe a commission in his battalion. Sharpe is tempted to desert, but chooses instead to remain with McCandless when the Colonel is wounded during the theft of his horses by Dodd. Dodd survives Pohlmann's defeat at Assaye taking his Cobras with him.

In Sharpe's Fortress Dodd has allied with Manu Bappoo and has been promoted to Colonel. Once again he survives defeat at the Battle of Argaum and withdraws to the mountain fortress of Gawilghur. There he makes plans to usurp power from his Indian employers. He welcomes Obadiah Hakeswill, an old antagonist of Sharpe's, when the former deserts, making him an officer in the Cobras. When the fortress is stormed by the British, Dodd betrays the Indian commander and locks the gates of the inner keep against both the retreating Indian defenders and the British assault force. Newly commissioned Ensign Sharpe leads a small force over the walls and traps Dodd on the ramparts. Dodd first kills Sharpe's young Arab servant, Ahmed, then almost defeats Sharpe in single combat, inflicting the facial scar which becomes Sharpe's most noted feature in later novels. He is only defeated and killed after the intervention of Sharpe's companion Sergeant Lockart.

Dodd in Sharpe's Challenge[edit]

The Dodd of the television series is a British deserter but makes no reference to the real Dodd's back story. The film begins with the massacre at Chasalgaon in 1803 before skipping forward to the post-Waterloo period, circa 1817. By now, Dodd is the effective ruler of the region, being the lover of the regent Madhuvanthi. Dodd meets Sharpe and Patrick Harper when they arrive at his fort posing as deserters and offers them places in his army until he learns their true allegiance. He has arranged a mine to take care of the attacking British force but Sharpe and Harper manage to escape during the attack and set off the mine prematurely. Seeing his cause lost, Dodd kills Madhuvanthi and attempts to flee with the royal treasury but is confronted by Sharpe. A sword fight between the two men sees Dodd disarmed after which Sharpe forces him to sit on the throne he had coveted and skewering him through the chest with his sword, pinning him to it.

Pierre Ducos[edit]

Pierre Ducos
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Battle
Last appearance Sharpe's Revenge
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Féodor Atkine
Information
Occupation Spy
Title Major
Nationality French

Pierre Ducos is a French secret agent and alongside Obadiah Hakeswill is Sharpe’s most bitter and persistent enemy through the later novels.

Ducos' exact origins are unclear. It appears he was born in France sometime in the 1770s, of fairly humble background. How he became involved in the world of espionage is not revealed, though he is described as a zealous revolutionary, and his rise occurred during the French Revolution of 1789 and the Terror that followed it. He was a protégé of Joseph Fouché, the notorious secret policeman of the revolutionary period. Following this he came into the service of the young General Napoleon Bonaparte, who was to crown himself Emperor of the French in 1804.

Until he first met Sharpe his schemes were largely successful and he is well regarded by his Imperial Master who entrusted him with matters of great importance, posting him to Spain to resolve what Napoleon described as the "Spanish Ulcer". As an example of his talent he is said to have bribed the Spanish commander of the strategic city of Badajoz to hand the keys of the garrison to the French. Ducos possesses a book listing a number of enemy officers, British, Portuguese and Spanish, whom he crosses out when they have been killed. He possesses a fervent hope that one day all the names in his book will be crossed out. Sharpe is already listed when their paths cross in 1812, during the events of Sharpe's Battle and in the following months Ducos comes to regard Sharpe as his nemesis, as the latter thwarts several plans to change the course of the war in Spain, particularly by defeating a surprise French invasion of Portugal in the winter of 1812, during which Sharpe had personally insulted Ducos and broken his spectacles (Sharpe's Enemy). In 1813 Ducos finally captures Sharpe and tortures him, destroying Sharpe’s telescope (a gift from Wellington) in retaliation for his own smashed spectacles. Sharpe is rescued by the intervention of a former lover, Helene Leroux and escapes after the accidental destruction of the castle.

In 1814, with acute foresight Ducos anticipates the fall of Napoleon and in its wake decides to betray the cause he has served so zealously for years. He steals the Imperial jewels and treasury, in the process implicating Sharpe in the crime and retires to the comfort of a villa in Naples. Unfortunately, he is once again bested by Sharpe, who escapes from custody, captures him and takes him back to Paris to face execution by firing squad; as with Hakeswill, Sharpe chooses to hand Ducos to the proper authorities for justice, rather than killing his enemy himself.

Personality[edit]

Ducos is described as short, his face scarred by smallpox. Weak and timid when physically confronted, he claims to detest ‘unnecessary violence’ and is indifferent to the suffering of others. He is despised and feared by many of his colleagues, who nonetheless obey and respect him because of the enormous influence he wields. Until his final betrayal of Napoleon, Ducos seems entirely motivated by his dedication to the ideals of the French Revolution, continuing to use the French Republican Calendar long after it has been abandoned by his fellow countrymen (Sharpe's Enemy). He has no personal friends and shows no sexual interest in women or in men, although is not entirely asexual, as in Sharpe's Battle it is said that he visits prostitutes.

In the TV adaptations Ducos was played by Féodor Atkine.

Joseph Ford[edit]

Joseph Ford
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Waterloo
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Information
Occupation British Army Officer
Title Lieutenant Colonel
Nationality British

Joseph Ford is not a military man, but a wealthy landowner who purchases a commission as lieutenant colonel of the Prince of Wales Own Volunteers in the peace of 1814-1815, which he subsequently commands during the engagement at Quatre Bras and at the Battle of Waterloo. He is not confident in command and relies on the support of other under-experienced senior officers, Major Micklethwaite and Major Vine, both of whom are killed in the course of the campaign. Only the timely intervention of Richard Sharpe and his fellow Peninsula veteran, Major Peter d'Alembord saves the regiment from the twin threats of the incompetent command of the Prince of Orange and an attack by Napoleon's Imperial Guard.

In the television adaptation, he was portrayed by Shaughan Seymour.

William Frederickson[edit]

William Frederickson
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Enemy
Last appearance Sharpe's Revenge
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Philip Whitchurch
Information
Nickname(s) "Sweet William"
Occupation Army Officer
Title Captain
Nationality Half English, half German

William Frederickson comes from Westphalia. Nicknamed 'Sweet William' by his men, Frederickson has suffered a serious facial wound which has destroyed his left eye, broken his jaw, knocked out several teeth and caused nerve damage giving him an uncontrollable and permanently smug look. When fighting he takes out his false teeth (taken from dead French soldiers) and removes his wig and eye patch, to terrifying effect. He is however a cultured and sensitive man, with an informed knowledge of European architecture. He is of German and English descent and speaks both languages fluently, as well as competent French in Sharpe's Siege. He is a close and loyal ally of Sharpe until the fallout over the affections of Lucille Castineau, who rejects Frederickson's proposal of marriage before taking Sharpe as a lover, which makes Frederickson angry at Sharpe, so he ends up leaving Sharpe. A discussion between Sharpe and Harper in the lead-up to the Battle of Waterloo indicates that Sweet William has been posted to Canada to serve in the War of 1812.

In the Sharpe adaptation, Frederickson was played by Philip Whitchurch. Instead of leaving Sharpe, he forgives him at the end of the episode.

Jane Gibbons[edit]

"Jane Sharpe" redirects here. For the 17th century English midwife, see Jane Sharp.
Jane Gibbons
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Regiment
Last appearance Sharpe's Waterloo
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Abigail Cruttenden
Information
Gender Female
Family Christian Gibbons (brother, deceased), Henry Simmerson (uncle)
Spouse(s) Richard Sharpe (separated)
Significant other(s) Lord John Rossendale
Nationality English

Jane Gibbons (later Sharpe) is the second wife of Richard Sharpe. She is first mentioned in the very first Sharpe novel, Sharpe's Eagle, in which Sharpe encounters her sadistic brother Christian. After Gibbons' death (at the hands of Sharpe's friend Patrick Harper), Sharpe finds he is wearing a locket containing a miniature of Jane, signed "God keep you. Love, Jane" and wonders if she knows what her brother was like. (Sharpe would wear the locket himself for some time afterwards before losing it while he was a prisoner of Ducos in Sharpe's Honour.)

At some point in between Sharpe's Gold and Sharpe's Company, Sharpe and Harper met Jane off-page during a visit to England. She makes her full debut in the series in Sharpe's Regiment where Sharpe and Harper encounter her again while back in England investigating the apparent disappearance of the South Essex Regiment's Second Battalion. The battalion is being used for illegal soldier auctions by Jane's uncle Henry Simmerson, an old enemy of Sharpe's. Jane herself is eking out a miserable existence in Simmerson's country house, unwillingly engaged to the battalion's arrogant and incompetent commander Bartholomew Girdwood. She explains to Sharpe that her parents died when she was thirteen and she went to live with Simmerson and his wife, her mother's sister. Since her father was a commoner, Simmerson considers her an embarrassment and keeps her away from high society. After Sharpe puts an end to the auctions, he takes Jane back to Spain with them where they marry.

Jane plays only a small role in the following novel, Sharpe's Siege in which Sharpe is alarmed to discover she has been visiting his friend Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Hogan, who is sick with fever and fears she has been infected. When he returns from the mission that is the main focus of the book, he finds he was mistaken.

The following book, Sharpe's Revenge, sees a major change in Jane's character. With the Peninsular War nearing an end, Sharpe sends Jane back to England to procure a house in the country. Disliking the idea, she instead buys an expensive and gaudy London town house and is seduced by the wealth of high society previously denied her. When she hears Sharpe has been arrested on suspicion of theft, she initially tries to help him but when it appears he has murdered Commandant Lassan, a man who might have given evidence against him, she sees it as license to begin an affair with Lord John Rossendale. The affair is discovered by Harper and Peter D'Alembord when they come to Jane with a message from Sharpe, during which Jane gleefully watches as Rossendale horsewhips Harper. When Sharpe's name is cleared, Jane and Rossendale are fearful he will come looking for him, not least because Jane has withdrawn a large sum of money from his account.

Jane accompanies Rossendale to Belgium in Sharpe's Waterloo but finds herself shunned by society since she is only Rossendale's mistress. She attends the Duchess of Richmond's ball with him where they have a violent encounter with Sharpe. She then encourages Rossendale to kill Sharpe using the confusion of battle so that they may marry. She has not told anyone that she is pregnant with Rossendale's child, an idea that appalls her. At the end of the book, she is left to await the news of Rossendale's death at Waterloo.

The fate of Jane and her child is unknown, although she is referred to as still being alive at the time of Sharpe's Devil. In his book The Sharpe Companion, Mark Adkin claims Jane died in 1844, presumably of natural causes, but this has not been confirmed in any novel.

Television[edit]

In the Sharpe's television series, Jane is played by Abigail Cruttenden. Her character arc stays very close to that of the novels. She and Sharpe are familiar with each other in Sharpe's Regiment but she has not been mentioned previously and how they met before is never stated: although her brother appeared in the television version of Sharpe's Eagle he is not mentioned there and indeed their relationship is never explicitly confirmed (although it can be inferred from their shared surname and uncle in Simmerson). In Sharpe's Siege, Jane does contract fever, rather than Sharpe merely fearing she has and is already ill when he leaves (here she visits Major-General Ross rather than Hogan, who had already left the series). When he returns he finds she recovered thanks to Wellington acquiring some quinine from the Spanish. In this episode she is also seen working as an assistant to the regimental surgeon, Kenefick and her wedding to Sharpe, unlike in the books, occurs onscreen towards the beginning. In Sharpe's Revenge, Jane's betrayal of Sharpe is partly motivated by his breaking a promise to not fight again after Toulouse when he challenges Colonel Wigram to a duel.

In addition to the television adaptations of the four novels she appeared in, Jane is present in two stories unique to the television series. In Sharpe's Mission, set after Sharpe's Siege, she is shown to already be disenchanted with the soldier's life that seems destined to always be Sharpe's lot and is easily seduced by the arrival of the superficially cultured poet Shellington. She appears to contemplate an affair with him in Sharpe's absence but sees through him when Harris reveals that the poem he has supposedly written about her is plagiarised and reconciles with Sharpe at the end. In Sharpe's Justice, Jane accompanies Rossendale to a property left for him by a recently[when?] deceased aunt and in doing so encounters Sharpe, who is in the area commanding the Scarsdale Yeomanry (ironically, a position assigned to him by Rossendale's connivance in order to keep him away from London). Jane and Rossendale seem eager to take advantage of Sir Willoughby Parfitt's schemes to bankrupt and buy out mills but fail when Sharpe exposes his methods. Afterwards, Jane tells Sharpe that Rossendale will obtain him release from his post in exchange for him leaving them alone.

In Sharpe's Waterloo, as in the novel, Jane travels to Belgium with John. She is shunned for being the wife of another man and when Sharpe turns up, he disgraces her at a ball, calling her a whore. Jane convinces John to kill Sharpe at Waterloo but he is killed before he can do so.

Bartholomew Girdwood[edit]

Bartholomew Girdwood
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Regiment
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Mark Lambert (actor)
Information
Occupation British Army Officer
Title Lieutenant Colonel
Religion Protestant
Nationality British

Bartholomew Girdwood is a British Army officer, the nominal commander of the South Essex Regiment's Second Battalion and later the first Commanding Officer of the Regiment after its renaming as the "Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers."

Girdwood served as a junior officer in Ireland during the United Irish rebellion of 1798. While on patrol he became lost and was ambushed. The court of inquiry at Dublin Castle dismissed him on half pay, effectively ending his military career. Some 10 years later Girdwood was recruited by Sir Henry Simmerson to command Second Battalion of the South Essex Regiment, a cover for an extensive financial fraud and crimping scheme. Girdwood is also betrothed to Simmerson's orphaned niece, Jane Gibbons. The scheme is discovered in 1813 by, Major Richard Sharpe, when he returns to England seeking reinforcements for the Regiment's First Battalion in Spain. With the help of Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick Harper, Sharpe, under an assumed identity, tracks the South Essex's recruiting parties to a secret training camp on Foulness island, where he observes the new recruits being brutalised, cheated and auctioned to other, less popular regiments. When Harper intervenes to protest the summary execution of a deserter, he and Sharpe are hunted through the Foulness marshes by Girdwood and his fellow officers. Sharpe returns to the camp and removes Girdwood from command. Girdwood escapes and Sharpe attempts to follow his trail to evidence that will implicate Simmerson and his allies in Government. After discrediting Simmerson and saving the Battalion, Sharpe retains Girdwood as the nominal commander of the South Essex. On his first experience of battle, a relatively minor engagement in the Pyrenees, Girdwood suffers a complete mental breakdown and is invalided home.

Girdwood is punctilious in his dress and military protocol, modelling himself on the reforming military king Frederick the Great of Prussia, to the extent of stiffening his moustache with hot pitch. He harbours irrational fears of the Irish and of dogs and writes poetry which glorifies the art of war. The contrast between his image of himself as a great military leader and the reality of battle leads to his breakdown.

In the TV adaption, Girdwood was played by Mark Lambert.

Daniel Hagman[edit]

Daniel Hagman
Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Prey
Last appearance Sharpe's Waterloo
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by John Tams
Information
Nickname(s) Dan
Occupation Poacher, Rifleman
Title Sergeant (highest rank achieved)

Rifleman Daniel Hagman is a former poacher from the county of Cheshire, who enlisted to avoid imprisonment or transportation. He is the oldest man in Sharpe's company and, over the entire course of the novels, its best shot. Hagman is one of the Chosen Men.

Hagman is discharged from the army in 1814 and features as a civilian in the original TV episode Sharpe's Justice, which is not based on the novels. He then re-enlisted at the start of the Hundred Days campaign, with the rank of Sergeant. He and Rifleman Harris are the last of the original 95th Rifles rescued by Sharpe in 1809 (Sharpe's Rifles) to fight with Sharpe, but are killed at Waterloo in 1815.

In the TV adaptations he was played by John Tams, a noted English folk musician and composer, who arranged and sang much of the music used in the series.

Obadiah Hakeswill[edit]

Obadiah Hakeswill
Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Company (1982)
Last appearance Sharpe's Fortress (1998)
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Pete Postlethwaite
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Soldier
Title Biddy Hakeswill (mother)
Children Barabbas Hakeswill
Nationality English

Obadiah Hakeswill is a fictional character who appears in several of the Sharpe books by Bernard Cornwell.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Hakeswill's early history is related in every novel in which he appears. He was raised by his mother, Biddy, in an unknown "dale" town in England. He sexually assaulted a parson's daughter. To protect the girl's reputation he was charged and convicted of stealing a sheep and sentenced to death by public hanging. On the day of his execution, the hangman hoisted the numerous victims into the air to die by strangulation, for the amusement of the crowd and paid little attention to the small boy struggling at the far end of the scaffold. When a heavy rainstorm scattered both executioner and crowd, Hakeswill's uncle was able to cut the boy from the scaffold "for his mother's sake". Hakeswill fled south and enlisted in the 33rd Regiment of Foot as a drummer boy.

As a result of this close encounter with death, Hakeswill was convinced that he was unkillable and protected by God and the spirit of his mother. He extended this reverence to mothers in general, "Mothers were sacred... Mothers were Obadiah Hakeswill's guardian angels" (Sharpe's Tiger) and in Sharpe's Enemy, he protects his hostage Josefina LaCosta when she lies that she came to a church in the town of Adrados to pray for the health of her own mother. Sharpe's Enemy also hints that Hakeswill's mother was actually abusive of him before his hanging, but those memories have been eclipsed by his belief that she sent his uncle to save him.

The hanging left him with a thick dark scar around his neck and uncontrollable facial tics.

Army career[edit]

Hakeswill gains promotion to Sergeant by brutalising the lower ranks and pandering to the whims and vanity of less experienced officers. Outwardly he is punctilious in his military routine and obsequious towards officers, who find him very useful for keeping order among their soldiers. Thus protected, Hakeswill is free to terrorize the soldiers in his units, forcing them to bribe him to avoid floggings for imaginary infractions and forcing their wives to have sex with him to protect their husbands.

In the early 1790s he recruits the young Richard Sharpe into the 33rd from a public house in Sheffield.

In subsequent campaigns in Flanders and India, Hakeswill torments Sharpe, until in 1799 he conspires with Captain Charles Morris to have Sharpe flogged to death (Sharpe's Tiger).

Although Sharpe escapes with "only" 202 of the assigned 2000 lashes after an intervention by Sir Arthur Wellesley, Hakeswill continues to pursue a vendetta against him for the next three years, during which he betrays Sharpe and Lawford to Tipoo Sultan (Sharpe's Tiger), falsifies a second assault charge and murders Sharpe's friend and mentor Hector McCandless (Sharpe's Triumph). He later kidnaps Sharpe and sells him to a corrupt merchant and finally deserts to join the turncoat William Dodd at Gawilghur in Sharpe's Fortress.

Hakeswill reappears in Sharpe's life in 1812, in the novel Sharpe's Company, as a Sergeant in the new draft of the South Essex Regiment, in which Sharpe has risen to the rank of Captain. He is quick to resume the vendetta, conspiring to have Sharpe's friend and ally Patrick Harper flogged and demoted and disarming Sharpe's remaining riflemen. He also attempts to rape Sharpe's wife, Teresa Moreno and plots to assault her during the sack of Badajoz, murdering Captain Robert Knowles in the process.

His evil finally exposed, Hakeswill deserts from the army once again, joining a band of cross-national deserters on the Portuguese border, led by the Frenchman, Deron, aka "Marshal Pot-au-Feu". He is captured by the now Major Sharpe during an operation to release hostages, but escapes to shoot and kill Teresa. Hakeswill surrenders to a French officer, Colonel Alexandre Dubreton who, disgusted by his actions, hands him back to Sharpe.

Hakeswill is finally executed by firing squad, the coup de grâce administered by Sharpe

Attempts on his life[edit]

The novels record at least four unsuccessful attempts by Sharpe and/or Harper to kill Hakeswill, which lend weight to the latter's conviction that he cannot die:

However, it can be argued that the first three incidents are not serious attempts at murder; Sharpe is aware that the Tipoo's tigers are not invariably savage after seeing Colonel Gudin stroke one some days earlier; does not give the elephant the final command needed to crush Hakeswill; and is not familiar with the snake pit at Gawilghur. He is not aware at this time that Hakeswill has murdered McCandless and seems to prefer to torment the living Hakeswill with his own continued survival.

Only after the murder of Knowles and Hakeswill's threat to kill his infant daughter, does Sharpe seek Hakeswill's death and even then choses to bring him to justice within the formal structures of the British Army. He feels that Hakeswill has victimized so many people that their families deserve to know that Hakeswill died after a fair legal process.

Author Bernard Cornwell has admitted that he regrets finishing the character off, as he has struggled since to create an antagonist of equal depravity and energy.

Sharpe TV series[edit]

In the TV adaptations, Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill was played by Pete Postlethwaite.

In Sharpe's Peril, set in 1817, it is revealed that Hakeswill has a surviving son, Barabbas, played by Amit Behl.

In video games[edit]

In the popular post-apocalyptic role playing game Fallout 2, a character by the name of Obidiah Hakeswill resides in the town of Redding. In the side quest to aid the sheriff, you can choose to bring Obadiah to justice for cutting up the face of a prostitute. Besides their somewhat sociopathic nature, Obadiah and Obidiah share a scar around their necks and obsession with their mothers and a belief in their own invincibility.

Patrick Harper[edit]

Patrick Harper
Richard Sharpe character
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Daragh O'Malley
Information
Nickname(s) Harps/Pat
Occupation Soldier
Title Regimental sergeant major (highest rank)
Spouse(s) Isabella Harper (books)
Ramona Harper (TV series)
Religion Catholic
Nationality Irish

Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick Harper is a fictional character created by Bernard Cornwell in the "Sharpe" series of novels.

Harper is a large, fierce-seeming man from Donegal, Ireland, recruited in the early years of the 19th century into the British Army and eventually the 95th Rifle Regiment.

Harper is initially an antagonist, as he leads a mutiny against Sharpe's command and conspires to murder him (Sharpe's Rifles). Over the course of the series Harper becomes one of Sharpe's closest friends and his reliable companion, sharing most of his exploits and rising in rank beside him to sergeant and regimental sergeant-major.

Along with Sharpe he is one of the principal protagonists of the series and appears in the majority of the books.

Career[edit]

Patrick Harper was born in Tangaveane, County Donegal in 1784, one of many children born into a farming family in the Catholic peasantry that predominated in rural Ireland at the time. Hunger and rural poverty drove him to join the British army, despite his antipathy to the British in Ireland.

This ambivalence at his role led to frequent rebellion against authority and a reputation as troublemaker, one of the wildest men in the army. Consequently he was transferred from regiment to regiment, until he settled in the newly formed 95th Rifles.

Rifleman Harper got his first taste of battle when, in 1806, he was part of the disastrous attempt to capture Buenos Aires and the following year saw action at the Battle of Copenhagen (Sharpe's Prey).

In 1808 the Rifles were posted to Portugal and fought in the opening campaigns of the Peninsula War, at the Battles of Rolica and Vimeiro. During the retreat to Corunna Harper was among a small group of Riflemen trapped behind enemy lines and led an unsuccessful mutiny against the only surviving officer - Richard Sharpe (Sharpe's Rifles).

Harper's growing respect - eventually deep and lasting friendship - for Sharpe and his promotion to Sergeant finally provide Harper with a stability that allow him to flourish in the Army. He transfers with Sharpe to the South Essex Regiment, (Sharpe's Eagle) and serves throughout the Peninsula War with great courage, a ferocious and adept soldier and natural leader of infantry.

Among the exploits he shares with Sharpe, Harper is credited with the capture of a French Imperial Eagle at the Battle of Talavera in 1809 and storming of one the breaches at Badajoz in 1812 (Sharpe's Company).

He is discharged from the Army in 1814, but is present at the Battle of Waterloo as a civilian (Sharpe's Waterloo).

He enjoys a successful second career in Dublin as a horse dealer (many of which are stolen) and owner of a public house.

Character and relationships[edit]

Despite his ferocity in battle, where he seems to embody the berserker energy of legendary Irish heroes such as Cú Chulainn, Harper is a kind and gentle man, with a passion for birdwatching. His weapon of choice is a Nock gun, given to him by Sharpe as a "Christmas present" (Sharpe's Gold).

Harper is flogged during the siege of Badajoz as a result of the machinations of Sharpe's enemy Obadiah Hakeswill.

Harper protects Isabella, a young Spanish girl, through the horrific hours of rape and looting that follow the British capture of Badajoz. They subsequently marry and settle in Dublin, where they raise many children.

(In the television adaptations Harper's wife is called Ramona and their meeting during the sack of Badajoz is not depicted.)

Harper speaks fluent Irish, his native tongue.

Trivia[edit]

  • Five years after Waterloo in "Sharpe's Devil" he had grown very fat. Ironically, as Harper was not wounded throughout the Peninsular War, he is wounded for the first time in Chile while there with Sharpe attempting to locate the whereabouts of Blas Vivar, the Spaniard who rescued them in Sharpe's Rifles.
  • Harper is played by Daragh O'Malley in the Sharpe TV series.
  • In the Sharpe novels, Harper's middle name is given as Augustine. But in the Sharpe TV series, it was changed to Michael.
  • Tangaveane, where Harper was born, ceased to exist after the Irish Potato famine in 1840.

Sergeant Harris[edit]

Harris
Sharpe character
First appearance "Sharpe's Rifles"
Last appearance "Sharpe's Waterloo"
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Jason Salkey
Information
Occupation Rifleman

Sergeant Harris is a fictional character from Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series of novels, an alcoholic scholar who enlisted because of debt.

In the TV series, he is a rifleman, one of Sharpe's "Chosen Men" or lance corporals and is played by Jason Salkey. In Sharpe's Rifles, he claims to be from Wheatley, Oxfordshire. This is contradicted in the novel Sharpe's Havoc, written after the television adaptations, where Harris tells Sharpe he is from Lichfield, "where Samuel Johnson came from".

He enjoys reading books, especially philosophy and is the intellectual member of the company. In the books the educated Rifleman was Isaiah Tongue, killed in Sharpe's Gold.

He was eventually promoted to sergeant but was killed alongside his friend Sergeant Daniel Hagman at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In the books Harris is absent from the battle, though a different Harris appears.

His first name is never revealed in the series and in fact a joke is made of this in his final scene, with Hagman asking him what it is.

The character was named in tribute to Benjamin Randell Harris, of the 95th Rifles, whose memoir, The Recollections of Rifleman Harris, about his experiences during the peninsular campaign, was a major source for Cornwell's original research for the Sharpe novels (an audio version of the book was recorded by Salkey).

Michael Hogan[edit]

Michael Hogan
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Rifles
Last appearance Sharpe's Siege
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Brian Cox
Information
Occupation British Army Officer
Title Major
Religion Catholic
Nationality Irish

Michael Hogan is a fictional character in the Sharpe series of novels by Bernard Cornwell, loosely based on the career of the historical Colquhoun Grant.

Career[edit]

Hogan is a Royal Engineers officer — while the Purchase System still allowed many British infantry and cavalry officers to buy commissions in the early 19th century, all other British military branches, including the engineers, the Royal Navy and the Royal Artillery, promoted by seniority or merit. Unfortunately, this meant promotion was rather slow and Hogan is still a Captain in 1808, despite his long service and abilities.

Born in Ireland of presumed Catholic ancestry, his life before he encounters Sharpe is rather unclear. It is implied that he has spent time in India and Gibraltar, before joining the British garrison in Lisbon in 1808 following the British capture of the Portuguese capital after the Battle of Vimeiro. He is employed by Arthur Wellesley in mapping the Portuguese border and it is here that he first meets Lieutenant Richard Sharpe, who is to become his friend and colleague (Sharpe's Rifles).

Hogan is promoted to Major in 1809, and thereafter appears to head the British intelligence network in the Iberian Peninsula. This was at a time when there was no formal military intelligence unit and Hogan's role is a good illustration of the sort of ad hoc arrangements used by the British in the field in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Sharpe is frequently employed (with or without his men) to carry out small scale secret operations for Hogan - for example, destroying a bridge in Sharpe's Eagle, capturing a renegade exploring officer in Sharpe's Havoc, retrieving treasure vital to the war effort in Sharpe's Gold, retrieving hostages in Sharpe's Enemy and uncovering or capturing French spies in Sharpe's Battle, Sharpe's Sword and Sharpe's Siege.

Although Hogan's role as spymaster requires him to be at times both ruthless and duplicitous, he is a good friend to Sharpe throughout the series, often protecting him from official censure and advancing his career.

In 1814, in the last months of the war, Lieutenant Colonel Hogan is fatally stricken by fever. Even in his final delirium he is able to warn Sharpe of the presence of a double agent and so foil plans by his French counterpart, Pierre Ducos, to lure Sharpe into a trap. Thus he fulfils his obligations as a friend and officer to the very end.

Hogan is addicted to snuff taking.

Irish heritage[edit]

Hogan is clearly proud of his Irish heritage and for many years carried around a small box of earth around with him, so that if he died he could be buried in 'Irish soil' (Sharpe's Battle).

However, unlike Sergeant Patrick Harper, Hogan does not wear his pride on his sleeve, nor does he demonstrate any anti-English sentiment. In the same novel he exhibits no qualms about arranging the assassination of Father Sarsfield, a nationalist Irish priest, who has been working as a French agent.

Hogan was portrayed in the TV adaptations by Scottish actor Brian Cox. However, due to scheduling conflicts, Cox was unable to reprise the role after the first two films and Hogan's character was subsequently merged with other exploring officers from the novels, particularly Major-General Nairn (Michael Byrne), Mungo Monroe (Hugh Ross) and Major-General Ross (James Laurenson).

Captain Robert Knowles[edit]

Robert Knowles
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Eagle
Last appearance Sharpe's Company
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Information
Occupation British Army Officer
Nationality British

Robert Knowles (? - 1812) is a fictional character in the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell.

Robert Knowles first appears in Sharpe's Eagle as an inexperienced Lieutenant in the Light Company of the South Essex Regiment. He is one of the handful of officers who sides with Lieutenant Richard Sharpe in his feud with Sir Henry Simmerson, quickly recognising Sharpe's abilities as a soldier and adopting him as a role model.

Knowles plays a significant role in the recovery of stolen Spanish gold behind enemy lines in Sharpe's Gold and is shortly afterwards appointed as Adjutant to Lt Colonel William Lawford, the South Essex's senior officer (Sharpe's Escape).

By early 1812 Knowles has purchased a captaincy in 45th Regiment of Foot, but is on hand to assist Lawford when the later is seriously injured during the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo (Sharpe's Company).

Knowles sympathises with Sharpe when he learns that his mentor has been demoted from Captain to Lieutenant and promises to protect Sharpe's lover, Teresa Moreno, who is trapped with her young child in the besieged city of Badajoz.

Subsequently Knowles takes part in a successful escalade of the castle at Badajoz (in this Cornwell has borrowed the real life achievement of a Lieutenant James MacPherson). He then seeks out Teresa, but is shot and killed by Obadiah Hakeswill.

Knowles does not appear in the TV adaptations of the Sharpe series; his role in Sharpe's Gold was abandoned when the script was first, then radically revised, following an injury to the actor originally cast as Richard Sharpe, Paul McGann. In Sharpe's Company the character is combined with that of Lieutenant Harry Price and it is Price who shot in the last minutes of the film, though his character re-appears in Sharpe's Waterloo.

Josefina LaCosta[edit]

Josefina LaCosta
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Eagle
Last appearance Sharpe's Enemy
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Katia Caballero
Information
Aliases "Lady Farthingdale"
Gender Female
Occupation Courtesan
Title "Countess"
Spouse(s) Duarte (estranged)
Nationality English

Josefina LaCosta is a fictional character in the Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell.

History[edit]

Portuguese by birth, LaCosta is to married a nobleman, Duarte, who has fled to South America with the Portuguese family, in the aftermath of the French invasion in 1808, abandoning his wife. She is however happy to find herself unencumbered and seeking a wealthy man to provide her with a life of luxury and excitement, attaches herself to Lieutenant Christian Gibbons, the nephew of Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry Simmerson, commander of the South Essex Regiment.

Lt Richard Sharpe, temporarily attached to the South Essex, desires LaCosta, which fuels his growing feud with the arrogant Gibbons.

This breaks into the open after Gibbons and LaCosta come to blows over a game of cards; Gibbons claims that LaCosta "staked her body" on the next hand, then lost and refused to pay the debt, while LaCosta claims that she was winning and Gibbons attacked her. Sharpe steps in to protect LaCosta from Gibbons and his crony, John Berry and takes her into his protection. He is forced to borrow heavily from his friend, Major Michael Hogan to pay for her room and board. They become lovers.

Gibbons, smarting over Sharpe's brevet promotion to Captain, attempts to provoke Sharpe into a duel by raping and beating LaCosta. Sharpe takes revenge by killing both men in the confusion of the battlefield.

LaCosta deserts Sharpe for a wealthy cavalry officer, Claude Hardy, souring Sharpe's pleasure in his capture of the French Imperial Eagle, during the Battle of Talavera (Sharpe's Eagle).

After Hardy is murdered by a treacherous band of Spanish partisans, in 1810, Sharpe seeks out LaCosta in Lisbon and discovers she has set herself up in business as a courtesan. He is happy to buy her services, despite his growing attachment to Teresa Moreno, his future wife (Sharpe's Gold).

LaCosta reappears in 1812 as the supposed wife of Sir Augustus Farthingdale, a prominent British diplomat. Sharpe is detailed to rescue "Lady Farthingdale" when she is taken hostage by a gang of deserters led by Sharpe's nemesis, Obadiah Hakeswill, in a remote village on the Portuguese border.

When Sharpe discovers that a substantial French force is approaching the village, he blackmails Farthingdale into resigning command, by threatening to reveal the nature of the fake marriage and LaCosta's former profession.

With Farthingdale removed Sharpe is able to hold the border crossing against the French until reinforcements arrive, but in the last moments of the siege Hakeswill escapes and murders Sharpe's own wife, Teresa.

Sharpe is devastated by his loss, the more so because Teresa had caught him flirting with LaCosta only hours before her death. Meanwhile, Farthingdale returns home to England, deciding that LaCosta is too great a liability to him. When LaCosta writes, bitterly reprimanding Sharpe for his betrayal of her secret and the destruction of her financial future, Sharpe remains unmoved (Sharpe's Enemy).

Television adaptation[edit]

In the TV adaptation, Josefina LaCosta appears only in Sharpe's Eagle, played by Katia Caballero. Several changes were made to her history which made her a more sympathetic character.

She is a widow, rather than separated and is courted in earnest by Lt. Gibbons (who, unlike his sadistic counterpart in the novels, is more of a clod), but is drawn to Sharpe, as a genuinely honorable man. When Gibbons attacks her after suborning her maids, she is protected by Sharpe but they do not become lovers, due to the presence of Teresa Moreno in the story, sometime before the couple meet in the novel continuity. Sharpe kills one of her attackers, John Berry, but not Gibbons, who is disgraced along with his Uncle, Sir Henry Simmerson, by the latter's cowardice during the Battle of Talavera. Josefina becomes attached to Captain Thomas Leroy, an American Loyalist on Simmerson's staff and another honorable soldier.

LaCosta does not appear in the television adaptations of Sharpe's Gold or Sharpe's Enemy; her role in that story is taken by an original character with a similar backstory and a previous liaison with Sharpe, Lady Isabella Farthingdale, played by Elizabeth Hurley. Ironically, although Sharpe does not commit adultery with LaCosta in the novel, he does sleep with Isabella Farthingdale in the film.

William Lawford[edit]

William Lawford
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Tiger
Last appearance Sharpe's Regiment
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Martin Jacobs, Benedict Taylor
Information
Occupation British Army Officer
Title Lieutenant Colonel
Family Hector McCandless (uncle)
Spouse(s) Jessica
Religion Protestant
Nationality Anglo-Scottish

Sir William Lawford is a fictional British officer and a character in Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books.

Lawford is the son of a Scottish mother and English father and raised near Portsmouth in Hampshire. He is a member of the gentry and is able, with the help of his maternal uncle, Hector McCandless, to purchase a commission as a Lieutenant in the 33rd Regiment of Foot. As McCandless is an officer in the East India Company, it is probable that Lawford joins the regiment, then under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Wellesley sometime after its arrival in India in 1796. He is posted to the light company under Captain Charles Morris and there meets Private Sharpe for the first time.

When McCandless, who acts as an exploring officer for the Company, is captured by the forces of the Tipoo Sultan, Lawford is tasked with his rescue and chooses Sharpe to accompany him, thus saving the latter from execution by flogging.

The pair infiltrate the city of Seringapatam and, posing as deserters, are recruited into the Tipoo's army. Lawford learns to rely on and trust Sharpe's instincts and experience as a soldier to ensure the success of their mission. Unfortunately they are betrayed by Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill and thrown into prison, where Lawford teaches Sharpe to read, using a single page of the Bible.

During the British assault on the city, Lawford and Sharpe escape and successfully detonate a mine built into the city walls, saving many British lives and ensuring a British victory.

As a result of this both men are promoted, Sharpe as a Sergeant, Lawford as Captain. Lawford is still in India at least as late as 1803, when his uncle is killed in the closing stages of the Battle of Assaye, but he returns at some point in the next six years.

In 1809 Lawford is part of the garrison of Dublin Castle in Ireland, but purchases a Lieutenant Colonelcy and transfers to Wellesley's staff in Portugal (Sharpe's Eagle). There he is reunited with Sharpe, now a Lieutenant in the 95th Rifles. During the Battle of Talavera Lawford is given command of the South Essex Regiment when its commander Sir Henry Simmerson attempts to flee the field, thus once again becoming Sharpe's commanding officer.

Lawford continues in that role until early 1812, when he is gravely wounded in the assault on Ciudad Rodrigo, loses his left arm and is invalided back to Britain (Sharpe's Company).

Back in England Lawford dedicates himself to his family and political career. He is knighted and elected to parliament, seeking advancement through alliance with the ruling Tory administration. He attempts to use these contacts to extricate Sharpe from the scandals that threatens to destroy their old regiment (Sharpe's Regiment).

Lawford is the South Essex's second Commanding Officer, preceded by Sir Henry Simmerson and succeeded by Colonel Brian Windham.

Thomas Leroy[edit]

Thomas Leroy
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Eagle
Last appearance Sharpe's Honour
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Gavan O'Herlihy
Information
Occupation British Army Officer
Title Lieutenant Colonel
Nationality American

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Leroy (17?? - 1813) is a fictional character in the Richard Sharpe series of novels by Bernard Cornwell. He is an American Loyalist serving as an officer in the British Army during the Peninsular War.

Thomas Leroy was born in Virginia to a relatively prosperous planter family at some point prior to the American War of Independence. As Leroy's family support the Crown, they fled first to Canada and then to Britain on the defeat of loyalist forces. In 1809, Leroy purchased a Captain's commission in the fictional South Essex Regiment, where he first meets Richard Sharpe in the novel Sharpe's Eagle. During Sharpe's first mission with the South Essex, its officers quickly place themselves into one of two categories: inept, cowardly dilettantes, such as the regiment's Colonel, Sir Henry Simmerson and his nephew, Lt. Christian Gibbons and professional, or at least competent officers, such as Leroy, Major Forrest and the regiment's only veteran officer, Major Lennox.

Leroy remains with the South Essex throughout his military career, rising steadily in ranks through the Peninsular Campaign. He is present at the loss of the regiment's colours at the fictional engagement at Torrecastro and at the subsequent capture of a French Imperial Eagle at the Battle of Talavera in 1809. (Sharpe's Eagle), is severely injured in the breach at Siege of Badajoz in 1812, (Sharpe's Company), but recovers to take command of the regiment after the death of Colonel Windham shortly before the Battle of Salamanca in the same year (Sharpe's Sword). He dies in action at the Battle of Vittoria in 1813, leading the assault on the village of Gamarra-Mayor.

Leroy is the last Commanding Officer of the South Essex, before its change of name to the Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers, commanded by Lt. Col Bartholomew Girdwood (Sharpe's Regiment).

In the TV Adaptations, Leroy was played by Gavan O'Herlihy. The character appears only in the episode based on Sharpe's Eagle.

Teresa Moreno[edit]

Teresa Moreno
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Gold
Last appearance Sharpe's Enemy
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Assumpta Serna
Information
Aliases La Aguja
Occupation Partisan
Spouse(s) Richard Sharpe
Children Antonia
Religion Catholic
Nationality Spanish

Teresa Moreno (died 27 December 1813) is a fictional character in the novels of Bernard Cornwell. She is a Spanish partisan and the second wife of Richard Sharpe. Richard Sharpe was un-officially married to Mary Bickerstaff in Sharpe's Tiger

Teresa Moreno is the daughter of wealthy Spanish border landowner and one time partisan Cesar Moreno. She first appears in Sharpe's Gold, in the aftermath of a French attack on the village of Casteljada, in which her brother Ramon is tortured and she herself raped. This, in addition to the earlier rape and murder of her mother by the French, fuels her desire for revenge and lead to her becoming a leader of a guerrilla force, with the nom de guerre "La Aguja", or "The Needle", after the stiletto knife which is her weapon of choice .

Sharpe takes Teresa hostage to ensure the safety of his men as they escape from the partisan El Catolico. They fall in love, despite Teresa's engagement to El Catolico and form an alliance which delivers to Sharpe the Spanish gold he has been tasked to collect and grants to Teresa leadership of the partisans.

The couple are separated for over a year, until Teresa finds Sharpe in the aftermath of the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo and reveals that she has given birth to their daughter Antonia, in the French held city of Badajoz (Sharpe's Company).

The British are about to besiege the city and Sharpe is determined to be first over the wall to protect his new family. He is foiled by his bitter enemy Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill, who plans to rape and murder Teresa. Sharpe and his close friend Sergeant Patrick Harper only just arrive in time to prevent the crime. Teresa and Sharpe are married the next morning.

Eighteen months later Teresa and her partisans are involved with Sharpe in an operation to remove a murderous gang of deserters, including Hakeswill, from a remote mountain village. Hakeswill escapes and murders Teresa (Sharpe's Enemy).

Her daughter is adopted by Teresa's brother, Ramon and, as far as is known, never meets her father again.

In the TV adaptations, she was portrayed by Assumpta Serna.

Charles Morris[edit]

Charles Morris
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Tiger
Last appearance Sharpe's Fortress
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Information
Occupation British Army Officer
Title Captain
Nationality English

Captain Charles Morris is a fictional character in the Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell and a significant antagonist in the hero's early career.

Morris is a lazy, venal and corrupt officer in the 33rd Regiment of Foot's Light Company, replacing the more energetic and decent Captain Hughes after the latter's death from "the flux". He relies on the brutal Sergeant Obidiah Hakeswill to run the company and is easily drawn into peculation and other abuses of authority.

On the eve of the regiment's deployment against the Tipoo Sultan in 1799, Morris conspires with Hakeswill to frame private Richard Sharpe for assault, leading to a sentence of 2,000 lashes, a prolonged and agonising death sentence. Only the reluctant intervention of the Regiment's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Wellesley, prevents the flogging being carried beyond the 200th stroke (Sharpe's Tiger).

Four years later Hakeswill is able to manipulate Morris into laying a further charge of assault against Sharpe, by knocking the Captain unconscious himself and dousing the officer with the contents of a full chamber pot (Sharpe's Triumph). This plot is foiled when Sharpe is given a battlefield commission as Ensign, after the Battle of Assaye and placed out of Hakeswill's power.

Morris makes one final appearance during the assault on the fortress at Gawilghur, when he refuses to lead a detachment of troops over the wall; Sharpe knocks him unconscious, leads the assault and so takes the fortress (Sharpe's Fortress).

Little is known of Morris's subsequent career, until 1812, when Hakeswill joins the South Essex Regiment and informs Sharpe that Morris is part of the garrison of Dublin Castle in Ireland (Sharpe's Company).

Author Bernard Cornwell has indicated that Morris is one of the story threads he has yet to complete.[citation needed]

Nairn[edit]

Nairn
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance (novels)Sharpe's Enemy
(television)Sharpe's Company
Last appearance (novels)Sharpe's Revenge
(television)Sharpe's Honour
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Michael Byrne
Information
Occupation Soldier
Nationality Scottish

Major-General Nairn (first name unknown) is a fictional character in the Sharpe series of novels written by Bernard Cornwell.He was a regular on the second series of the Sharpe television programme, in which he was played by Michael Byrne.

Character history[edit]

Nairn first appears in Sharpe's Company, where he orchestrates the assault on the fortress of Ciudad Rodrigo.

He makes his first major appearance in Sharpe's Enemy, where he is in command of the British forces in Frenada whilst Wellington is in Lisbon. He informs Sharpe that he has been promoted to major on the order of the Prince Regent and assigns him the job of rescuing Lady Farthingdale (in reality Sharpe's old flame Josefina) from a deserters' enclave at Adrados. At the climax of the novel, it is Nairn who leads the British force that comes to Sharpe's aid when he is facing a French attack at Adrados.

Nairn has something of a friendship with Sharpe and meets with him again in Sharpe's Regiment to inform him that a request for reinforcements has been refused and the South Essex Regiment is in danger of being disbanded. He therefore gives Sharpe permission to take a party of four back to England to try and find reinforcements. He later greets Sharpe on his return to Spain and observes his harsh treatment of the corrupt Lieutenant-Colonel Girdwood. He gives his tacit approval of the behaviour but also warns Sharpe that he will arrange for Girdwood's replacement to be a hard taskmaster.

By the time of Sharpe's Revenge, Nairn has finally been given command of a brigade after years as a staff officer. He has Sharpe assigned to him as his staff major and also makes Harper, Frederickson and Frederickson's company part of his command. He is finally given a chance to lead his men into battle at Toulouse, where he is injured by a canister shot. He claims he has only been hit in the leg and instructs Sharpe to lead the brigade forward. When Sharpe returns to the scene where Nairn fell after the battle, he learns that he died from his wounds - the canister had also pierced his lung.

Television[edit]

Nairn appears in all three episodes of Sharpe's second series, comprising Sharpe's Enemy and adaptations of Sharpe's Company and Sharpe's Honour. His character is recreated as a Major (rather than a major general), who effectively fulfills the same duties as Hogan in the novels - the chief of Wellington's espionage operations.

Nairn is first seen in Sharpe's Company, where he approaches Sharpe in the aftermath of the attack on Ciudad Rodrigo to discuss the wounding of Sharpe's commanding officer Colonel Lawford during the attack. Like Hogan, this Nairn is a major in the Royal Engineers and Sharpe criticises their performance during the attack. He is also a spymaster, as Sharpe learns when Nairn sends Teresa into Badajoz. Like many of the spymasters in the series, Nairn has a somewhat uneasy relationship with Sharpe, who sees him as placing Teresa in needless danger. He is at Wellington's side during the subsequent attack on Badajoz.

In Sharpe's Enemy, Nairn's role is slightly expanded from in the novel. He realises the French have an interest in Adrados when he learns of the presence of Pierre Ducos, his opposite number. Along with Teresa, he spies on the French positions and, after Teresa is shot by Hakeswill, he takes her dying body to Sharpe. He is present in the courtyard when Ducos attempts to force Sharpe to surrender.

In his last episode, Sharpe's Honour, Nairn worries about Sharpe's malaise in the aftermath of Teresa's death. It is Nairn who breaks up Sharpe's illegal duel with La Marques de Cesares el Grande ye Melida Sadaba and who arranges to have Sharpe's execution faked after he is accused of killing La Marques. He then despatches Sharpe and Harper to search for La Marques' widow, Helene and later gives permission for Harper to take the rest of the Chosen Men to rescue Sharpe after he is captured by Ducos. He is last seen, alongside Wellington as ever, watching the victory celebrations after the Battle of Vitoria. As with Hogan, his absence from subsequent series is not explained.

Harry Price[edit]

Harry Price
Sharpe character
First appearance (chronological)Sharpe's Battle
(publication)Sharpe's Company
Last appearance Sharpe's Waterloo
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Scott Cleverdon
Nicholas Irons
Information
Occupation Soldier
Nationality English

Harry Price is a fictional character in the Richard Sharpe stories written by Bernard Cornwell. Characters named Harry Price appeared in two episodes of the Sharpe television series, played by different actors.

In the novels[edit]

Price makes his first appearance in the novel Sharpe's Company (although he has a small role in Sharpe's Battle, a novel written after but set before Sharpe's Company). He is a new lieutenant in the South Essex Regiment, serving as Sharpe's second-in-command in the light company, replacing Robert Knowles from the earlier books. He is fond of alcohol but affable and well liked by the men.

Price has minor roles in the next few novels. In Sharpe's Sword, he is briefly placed in command of the light company after Sharpe is believed killed during the capture of Salamanca. He is involved in the action on the Portuguese/Spanish border in Sharpe's Enemy and is present at the Battle of Vitoria in Sharpe's Honour.

He is given a larger role in the next novel, Sharpe's Regiment, where he accompanies Sharpe, Harper and D'Alembord back to England to try and find recruits to bolster the depleted regiment. He plays a part in helping Sharpe take control of the battalion's training camp and expose a plan by corrupt officers to sell the recruits to other regiments. He then returns to Spain with the regiment, now known as the Prince of Wales' Own Volunteers and is promoted to captain and given command of a company after Captain Thomas is killed at the Battle of Nivelle.

In his last appearance, in Sharpe's Waterloo, he is still with the regiment and, after they suffer casualties at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, the most senior officer after Colonel Ford to escape uninjured.When Sharpe takes command of the battalion, he promotes Price to major.

In the TV series[edit]

Price appears in the TV adaptation Sharpe's Company, played by Scott Cleverdon. He is given a similar role to that in the book but he is shot and apparently killed by Sergeant Hakeswill during the storming of Badajoz while trying to protect Teresa, a fate that befell Captain Knowles in the book.

However, a character named Harry Price appears in Sharpe's Waterloo, played by Nicholas Irons. He talks to Sharpe and Harper and it is clear they know him quite well and that he is a veteran, possibly indicating that this is meant to be the same Harry Price from Sharpe's Company.[citation needed] When several soldiers are killed as a result of the Prince of Orange's incompetent orders at Quatre Bras, Price worries that his brother, who has just joined up, is among the dead. He is last seen in the closing seconds of the episode, standing alongside Sharpe as he turns back the French advance at Waterloo.

Lord John Rossendale[edit]

John Rossendale
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Regiment
Last appearance Sharpe's Waterloo
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Alexander Armstrong, Alexis Denisof
Information
Occupation British Cavalry Officer
Title Lord, Captain (military rank)
Nationality British

Lord John Rossendale (17? – 18 June 1815) is a minor antagonist in the Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell.

Rossendale first crosses Richard Sharpe's path in 1813 in Sharpe's Regiment as a courtier to the Prince Regent in London. Rossendale is initially an ally in Major Sharpe's attempts to find missing recruits to the South Essex Regiment, providing support and guidance through the social pitfalls of Court circles.

However, a year later, in Sharpe's Revenge, Rossendale takes advantage of Sharpe's arrest for theft to embark on an affair with his wife, Jane, while also laying waste to Sharpe's considerable fortune.

In June 1815, at the outset of Napoleon's Hundred Days campaign, Rossendale satisfies his desire to see active service by joining the heavy cavalry appropriately enough under Henry Paget, Lord Uxbridge, who had conducted a similarly adulterous affair with the wife of Wellington's younger brother, Henry. He is accompanied by Jane, who is snubbed by society for her affair and who suspects she may be pregnant with Rossendale's bastard child (Sharpe's Waterloo).

Unfortunately Sharpe, now a Lieutenant Colonel, is also serving with the Allied army, as staff officer to the Dutch Prince of Orange. Jane attempts to persuade Rossendale to murder Sharpe during the chaos of the imminent battle. When he suggests the French may kill Sharpe for them, she replies "They’ve had plenty of chances before and achieved nothing".[1] Later that evening Sharpe and Rossendale clash at the Duchess of Richmond's ball in Brussels, where Sharpe humiliates his rival.

At the battle of Quatre Bras the next day, Sharpe corners Rossendale, destroys his pistol and sword and extracts a note of hand for the stolen money. Ashamed of his dishonourable conduct, Rossendale determines to prove himself during the forthcoming battle at Waterloo.

On the afternoon of the battle, the British Heavy Brigade, Rossendale in its midst, charges to complete the rout of a French infantry attack by the Comte d'Erlon at La Haye Sainte. Rossendale fights well, but the charge ends in disaster when the enthusiasm of the British cavalrymen leads them to gallop unsupported towards the French guns. Caught by French light cavalry, the British take appalling casualties.

Rossendale is pursued by a group of French lancers and hussars, blinded, stabbed and left for dead. He lies helpless on the field until his throat is cut by a Belgian peasant woman looting the wounded in the aftermath of the Allied victory. His death renders the note of hand given to Sharpe worthless, as he dies bankrupt and his estate has no legal call on the money stolen by Jane.

In the Carlton UK TV adaptation, Rossendale was portrayed by Alexander Armstrong in Sharpe's Regiment and by Alexis Denisof in Sharpe's Revenge, Sharpe's Justice and Sharpe's Waterloo

Richard Sharpe[edit]

Sir Henry Simmerson[edit]

Henry Simmerson
Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Eagle
(1981)
Last appearance Sharpe's Peril
(2008)
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Portrayed by Michael Cochrane
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Officer
Title Major General
Nationality English

Major General Sir Henry Simmerson is a fictional British officer in the Sharpe novels and TV series by Bernard Cornwell.

He is a recurring villain, portrayed as a stereotypical snobbish, petty and tyrannical minor English aristocrat. He is narrow-minded, militarily inept and cowardly; while he is not presented as a clever man, he does display a certain cunning and deviousness.

In his first appearance in the novels, he is described as short, squat, and red-faced giving the impression of "a pig sitting on horseback."

Fictional biography[edit]

Simmerson first appears in Sharpe's Eagle, as commanding officer of the South Essex Regiment of the British Army, during the Talavera Campaign. Major Michael Hogan briefly sketches Simmerson's background as a Justice of the Peace, Member of Parliament for Paglesham, (a rotten borough), and a colonel in the Militia. He is also a distant cousin of General Sir Banastre Tarleton and thus has some influence at Horse Guards which serves to protect him, to a considerable extent, from the full consequences of his cowardice and mistakes on the battlefield. His considerable (inherited) wealth has allowed him to not only purchase his commission in the Army, but also raise the Regiment at his own expense.

Simmerson is thus portrayed as the archetype of the military dilettante allowed to hold rank and responsibility in the British Army, a type which is the constant bane of professional soldiers like Sharpe. Throughout the first novel, he consistently ignores the advice of the few professional soldiers among his officers, and blames the often disastrous consequences of his own blunders on them. He also displays blatant nepotism in favouring his nephew, Christian Gibbons, as his aide.

The South Essex is assigned the relatively easy mission of linking up with an allied Spanish regiment and escorting Hogan to a point on the River Tagus to destroy a bridge that the French could use. In a minor skirmish with a French cavalry patrol, however, Simmerson's appalling judgement leads to the loss of a substantial number of men, and the loss of one of his regiment's two colours (presented by the king and representing the regiment's honour).

At the end of the novel, when the South Essex is positioned on the British flank during the Battle of Talavera, Simmerson panics and starts to withdraw the regiment, before he is ignominiously relieved from his post by William Lawford.

He is mentioned in passing in the subsequent novels as having returned to England and resumed his political activities, in particular helping to implement the new income tax.

In 1813, (Sharpe's Regiment) Simmerson uses the second battalion of the South Essex in an illegal crimping operation, recruiting men for the South Essex then selling them to posts overseas. Sharpe exposes him and presumably this is the end of his military career (Simmerson was (legally) crimping long before this and the historical notes to Sharpe's Regiment reveal this is how he obtained his commission). Sharpe also snubs Simmerson by eloping with his niece, Jane Gibbons.

Television portrayal[edit]

In the first run of the television adaptations, Simmerson, played by Michael Cochrane, appears in Sharpe's Eagle (1993), Sharpe's Sword (1995) and Sharpe's Regiment (1996). His appearances in Eagle and Regiment remain faithful to the novel versions, while his appearance in Sword is a creation of the show's writers, since that story was largely re-vamped from the novel.

Simmerson proved to be a popular character with the viewers, and was brought back for several subsequent appearances.

In Sword he has renounced his military rank in favour of being a political commissar with the British Army in Spain (and reports that a court of inquiry found him innocent of losing the colour in Eagle). Simmerson takes a licentious interest in "Lass" (Emily Mortimer), a novice nun under Sharpe's protection, rendered mute by the trauma of watching her sisters tortured for information by a French spy. Simmerson tries, on two occasions, to rape Lass, but fails both times, due both to Lass's pluck, and the intervention of an Irish priest, who thrashes Simmerson in a sword fight. It is also implied that Simmerson betrayed a night attack attempted by the South Essex to the French, in the hopes that Sharpe would be killed.

In the revival series, Cochrane returns as Simmerson, now an officer in the army attached to the British East India Company, in the 2006 revival, Sharpe's Challenge and its 2008 sequel Sharpe's Peril.

In Peril, Simmerson is found naked, staked to the ground and is saved by Sharpe, and whether it is the severe sunstroke he has suffered or an offer of genuine friendship, becomes Sharpe's ally by bidding him a fond farewell at the end.

Jorge Vincente[edit]

Captain Jorge Vincente is a fictional character who features in the Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell.

Jorge Vincente
Richard Sharpe character
First appearance Sharpe's Havoc
Last appearance Sharpe's Escape
Created by Bernard Cornwell
Information
Occupation Portuguese Army Officer, Lawyer
Title Captain
Spouse(s) Kate Savage
Religion Catholic
Nationality Portuguese

Jorge Vincente first encounters Richard Sharpe in the aftermath of the first Battle of Oporto in March 1809, when both men are cut off from their respective armies - Sharpe and his riflemen from the British, Lieutenant Vincente with a handful of men from the Portuguese 18th (2nd Oporto) Line Infantry.

Vincente is a studious and idealistic young man, who prior to the French invasion of Portugal studied law at University of Coimbra. His passionate adherence to the rules of war bring him into frequent conflict with Sharpe, but the two men discover a mutual respect as they work and fight together in the weeks leading up to the second Battle of Oporto (Sharpe's Havoc).

This is fully vindicated the following year, when both men fight at the Battle of Bussaco, and are again cut off together behind enemy lines in Coimbra. Vincente, now Captain of a Portuguese caçadores regiment, modelled after Sharpe's own 95th Rifles has matured into an able soldier, without losing his innate optimism.

Vincente's admiration of Sharpe is expressed in his adoption of many of Sharpe's idiosyncrasies, including his possession of a 1796 Heavy Cavalry Sword and a Baker rifle (Sharpe's Escape).

Between the events of Sharpe's Havoc and Sharpe's Escape, Vincente marries Kate Savage, the daughter and heiress of an English port wine producer.

Jorge Vincente does not feature in any of the TV adaptations.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cornwell 2012, p. 472.

References[edit]

  • Cornwell, Bernard (2012), Sharpe’s Revenge, Sharpe’s Waterloo, Sharpe’s Devil, UK: HarperCollins, p. 472, ISBN 9780007454723