The first person narrator/hero of the novel, David is a lowland Scotsman from a conservative Presbyterian/Whig background who sets forth on a rite of passage after his parents have both died. He is led to his father's childhood home where his resentful Uncle Ebenezer first tries to kill him and then has him kidnapped. David's involuntary adventures place him on a ship headed for America until he helps Alan Stewart rebel against the ship's crew. He and Alan spend the rest of the book trying to return David to his home without getting caught and held responsible for a murder which they observed but did not commit. Their friendship grows as the journey progresses. David finally returns home where he alerts his uncle's lawyer to the wrongdoing he has faced at Ebenezer's hands. David is restored to his rightful property and helps Alan escape Scotland safely.
Alan Breck Stewart
The second hero of the novel, he befriends David aboard the Covenant after David alerts him that the Captain is planning to attack him. The two battle against the entire crew and manage to take over the ship. They are separated when the ship goes down but Alan leaves David hints and they are reunited on the Isle of Mull. The two travel back to Queensferry together, Alan leading the escape as the Campbells and Redcoats chase them thinking they are involved in Red Fox's murder. Alan is an impulsive and romantic Highlander who switched sides in the Rebellion of 1746 to join the Jacobites. He aids his clan in Appin by bringing their old chief money and recruiting soldiers for the King of France.
Otherwise known as James of the Glens, James, a relative to Alan, is a leader of the Appin Stewarts. He knows that after Colin Campbell is murdered, he will likely be blamed as a scapegoat and begins to hide weapons and documents. Alan and David run to him after the murder. His household is in chaos but he helps Alan and David prepare for the rest of their journey. He makes up wanted posters for Alan and David to divert attention. He is later imprisoned.
A clan chief of Vourich, he had been a leader in the 1746 Rebellion. With a price on his life following the rebellion, he hid out in a cage-like dwelling in the mountains where he was brought the news and still held authority over the clan. Living alone in seclusion, he had become peculiar and does not take nicely to David, who is against gambling, when Alan and David visit. They are led to his Cage after being ambushed. David falls into a fever for three days, during which Cluny wins from Alan both his and David's money. Hesitantly, he agrees to give it back to David.
Ebenezer's lawyer at the beginning of the novel, he is a respected man in Queensferry. David sees him as his gate to the Shaws and goes straight to him once returning to the Lowlands. After a few tests, Rankeillor trusts David and listens to his whole story. He had since broken ties with Ebenezer because of news that David had been kidnapped. He helps David trick Ebenezer into admitting to the kidnapping so he can get his rightful share of the Shaws. He also gives David letters so he can try to help Alan get home and James get a fair trial.
David's mean and crotchety uncle, he lives alone on the family property, the Shaws, after a bargain that he and his brother made where Alexander would get to marry the woman they both loved and Ebenezer would get all of the land and money. When David arrives, Ebenezer first tries to kill him by sending him up an unfinished tower and then arranges to have him kidnapped by pirates and sold in America as a slave. He is finally made to give up his wealth to David when he is tricked into admitting that he planned the kidnapping.
A woman whom David asks for directions to the Shaws. She hates Ebenezer to the point where she spits on the ground.
Rankeillor's clerk, he accompanies Rankeillor, David, and Alan to Ebenezer's house as a witness to Ebenezer's admission of guilt.
The Captain of a pirate ship, Hoseason is paid by Ebenezer to kidnap David and sell him in America as a slave. Ironically, the Captain is a very religious Presbyterian. However, he shows little concern when David is dying in the bottom of the ship or when Ransome is killed. After planning to attack Alan, he is beaten by Alan and David but makes it back to Queensferry to tell people that David drown.
The young boy who brings Ebenezer a letter from Hoseason, Ransome is later killed violently on the Covenant by Mr. Shuan. Ransome had lived so long in the company of ships men that he did not believe one could have a normal life on land.
The man who helps David leave Essendean after the death of his father, Mr. Campbell goes to Rankeillor in search of David, which helps support David's story once David has returned.
Also known as Red Fox, Campbell is a leader of his clan which is an archrival of the Stewarts. He is given James Stewart's property and taxes the area for King George after the Rebellion. He is killed while talking to David in the woods by one who is affiliated with Alan's clan, likely a Cameron from Mamore. For this crime, Alan and David have to escape the law and James is later imprisoned.
The wife of James of the Glens, she graciously thanks David for risking his life to help her husband. She later sends money and news to David and Alan.
the pretty lass
The girl who is working at a small change-house in Limekilns where David and Alan eat bread and cheese after choosing not to cross the Sterling Bridge. Alan realizes they may be able to sweet talk her into helping them get a boat and so he pretends that David is very sick and they need to cross the sea. Finally, she is persuaded that David is respectable and she rows Alan and David across herself.
Duncan Dhu Maclaren
The host that David and Alan visit when they must stop in Balquidder because of David's illness. He is very hospitable toward David. He resolves a near duel between Alan and Robin Oig by challenging them to pipe.
The son of Rob Roy, he is a wanted criminal for taking and then marrying a young woman by force. He visits David while David is resting at the Maclaren's because he had known a good surgeon with the last name, Balfour, and wanted to know if they were related. Alan stops by and they nearly duel, before the anger is diffused by a challenge to pipe.
John Breck Maccoll
A bouman of Appin, he follows Alan's hints to find David and Alan at Corrynakeigh. With Alan's instructions, he travels to the home of James of the Glens and brings back money and an update on the situation. He tries to steal Alan's silver button but Alan stops him.
A secondary officer on the Covenant, Riach is the doctor. He helps David out of the underbelly of the ship after he is kidnapped. He is a nice man when drinking, which is most of the time, and he tells David he will help him contact Rankeillor and Minister Campbell. Still, he conspires to attack Alan with the Captain. After the ship sinks, he defends Alan, allowing him to escape.
The Lowlander catechist David meets when he is looking for Alan, Henderland is helpful to David because he tells him the history of the Highland clans, specifically about Alan. He allows David to stay at his house, gives him someone to speak to in his own language, and finds David a ride across the Linnhe Loch. He is addicted to snuff.
Neil Roy Macrob
The skipper of the ferry to Kinlochaline, Neil is a member of one of Alan's brother clans. David offers him money to learn about Alan's whereabouts which highly offends Neil. When David shows him the silver button, he directs David to Alan's path.
A blind swindler/highway robber who offers to guide David to Torosay. Soon, he tries to knock him over except that David can see what he is planning and avoids his moves. Angered, the man finally wanders away. David later learns how dangerous the man was.
Hoseason's other secondary officer on the Covenant, Shaun is a very cruel man when drinking, which is often. In a fit of rage, he ends up killing Ransome but was so drunk that he barely remembered. He is the first man killed when Alan and David rebel on board the ship.
Kidnapped Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Kidnapped is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Davie is unhappy at the prospect of leaving Essendean because according to Davie it "has been a good place indeed and I have been very happy there." He has never been anywhere else, and he is a bit frightened by the fact that he doesn't know where...
The Captain and Riach display an inordinate amount of courage when they decide to continue sailing along the coast at night and vigilantly observe the rocks as they sail. Davie admires their determination.