Jarvis Lorry is one of the oldest employees of Tellson's Bank, and he frequently deals with the bank's offices in London and Paris. He is a confirmed bachelor and a man of business, describing himself as not much else than a speaking machine. He nevertheless shows an awkward sympathy towards Dr. Alexandre Manette and his daughter Lucie Manette. While serving in Tellson's Paris office, Lorry takes the infant Lucie to safety in London after her father is imprisoned in the Bastille.
When the novel begins, Lorry escorts the adult Lucie Manette to Paris to retrieve her recently freed father and is troubled by what they will find on their arrival. When Charles Darnay is arrested on his arrival in England, Mr. Lorry retains the lawyers Stryver and Sydney Carton to defend Darnay. Mr. Lorry becomes an intimate friend of the Manettes. Years later, when the French Revolution begins, Mr. Lorry goes to Paris to handle Tellson's bank business and at the same time tries to provide assistance to Lucie and her father during Darnay’s imprisonment. He softens to Carton and by the time Darnay is delivered back to the family, Lorry has undergone a transformation from a seemingly crusty curmudgeon, to a man who finally realizes the importance of people over all else.
Cinematic and Theatrical Portrayals
In the 1935 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film adaptation, Jarvis Lorry is portrayed by Claude Gillingwater. In the 2008 Broadway musical adaptation of 'A Tale of Two Cities,' Jarvis Lorry is played by Michael Hayward-Jones.