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The following article contains the fictional portrayal of one or more historical figures. Details in this article may differ from real world facts. For more information on the historical figure(s), consult the links provided within or at the bottom of the article.

Tilly on the cover of the second edition of Bloody Tower

All of the characters that appear in Valerie Wilding's Bloody Tower.

Main characters[]

Tilly Middleton[]

Main article: Matilda Middleton

Matilda[1] "Tilly" Middleton (born 7 September 1540)[2] was the daughter of Master and Mistress Middleton. Her father was a physician at the Tower of London, where the entire family also lived. She had an elder brother, William, and five younger siblings, Jack, Harry, Mary, Susannah, and Edward. Tilly spent much of time looking after her younger siblings. When she was younger, she usually just wanted to explore though she gladly took on more responsibilities as she got older. In 1553, her father gave her a diary, which contained a letter from Anne Boleyn to her daughter, Princess Elizabeth. Tilly waited patiently for several years during Queen Mary's reign for a chance to give the letter to Elizabeth.

Supporting characters[]


Main article: Elizabeth I

Elizabeth (7 September 1533[3] – 1603)[4] was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She was also the half-sister Mary I and Edward VI. After her brother's death in 1553, Mary became queen. The following year, Mary suspected that Elizabeth was involved in Wyatt's Rebellion and imprisoned her in the Tower of London by Mary. She was later put on house arrest at Woodstock, before Mary allowed her to return to her home in Hertfordshire in October 1555. Upon Mary's death in 1558, Elizabeth became Queen of England. Her coronation was held in January 1559. Her loyal subject, Tilly Middleton, delivered a letter from her mother Anne Boleyn while Elizabeth was staying in the Tower.

Frances Lea[]

Frances Lea (born c. 1540)[5] was the niece of Master Lea who worked at the Royal Mint in the Tower of London. She moved to London from Chelsea, which she considered the countryside, to live with her uncle and aunt. In February 1544, Frances became good friends with Tilly, whose parents liked her despite her causing trouble frequently. Tilly described her as "forward," and also stated that Frances enjoyed playing pranks and telling jokes. She was also quite persistent in getting what she wanted, which would cause friction between her and Tilly. They remained friends over the years, despite Tilly becoming busier with her younger siblings. By 1558, Frances appeared to have developed a crush on Tilly's older brother, William

Mary I[]

Main article: Mary I

Mary (1516 – 17 November 1558)[4] was the Queen of England from 1553 to 1558. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Her brother, King Edward, attempted to bar Mary from the throne by naming their cousin Lady Jane Grey as his successor. Nevertheless, Mary gained support and was crowned queen. She was inclined to pardon Jane, but had her executed in early 1554 after Wyatt's Rebellion. Mary married a Catholic prince, Philip of Spain, in July 1554. She attempted to return England back to the Catholic ways and proceeded to burn many Protestants at the stake for heresy. Despite her efforts, Mary never produced an heir and left the throne to her half-sister Elizabeth upon her death.

Master Middleton[]

Master Middleton ("Father") was the father of William, Tilly, Jack, Harry, Susannah, Mary, and Edward. He worked as a physician at the Tower of London. He disliked speaking about his work or patients at home and would sometimes become irritable if Tilly asked him questions, though he sometimes offered information freely. Years earlier, he received a diary from Anne Boleyn whom asked him to give it to "a lady." Misunderstanding her, Master Middleton would end up giving it to his daughter Tilly in 1553. By that year, his eldest son, William, had begun working with him as his apprentice. After treating Princess Elizabeth at the Tower, Master Middleton became quite fond of her.

Mistress Middleton[]

Mistress Middleton ("Mother") was the mother of William, Tilly, Jack, and Harry. She had another son, Edward, whom died as a toddler. In 1553, she gave birth to a daughter, named Susannah, whom did not live for long. Mistress Middleton gave birth to twins, Mary and Susannah "Susy", in 1554, and Edward in 1556. She was often busy with her children, leading her to be short-tempered with Tilly. Mistress Middleton also disliked Tilly's friend, Tom. Once Tilly was older, she found her mother "much easier to get on with" though her mother said that Tilly had simply "grown up." Mistress Middleton was also very tolerant about religion, believing people should worship whatever way that they wish.


Thomas[6] "Tom" (born c. 1539)[7] was the son of John the Carter and a friend of Tilly. He worked at the Royal Menagerie near the Tower of London. His dream was to become the keeper of the menagerie one day. Tilly enjoyed Tom's company and disliked him spending time with her family's housemaid, Sal. Tilly's parents and her friend, Frances Lea, disapproved of Tom. She, nevertheless, continued being his friend as she found him interesting and he listened to her. In 1554, Tilly began seeing less of Tom after the twins were born. They had grown apart as friends by 1558 and Tilly rarely saw him anymore.

William Middleton[]

William Middleton was Tilly's older brother. When they were younger, William was very nice to Tilly and enjoyed talking with her. However, after he became his father's apprentice, he began acting very smug. He pretended to know more than he actually did and often teased Tilly, which left her constantly irritated with him. By 1555, Tilly noticed that William had been acting a lot nicer to her. He even complimented her, saying that she would "one day become a good housewife." William later began spending a lot of time with Tilly and her friend Frances Lea. Tilly guessed that he had developed a crush on her, but could not fathom why Frances would like him.

Minor characters[]

  • Anne Boleyn was the mother of Elizabeth. Shortly before her execution, she entrusted a book, which contained a letter for Elizabeth, to Master Middleton.
  • The Chief Yeoman Warder was Tilly's uncle whom also lived and worked at the Tower of London.
  • Edward VI (1537 – 6 July 1553)[4] was the King of England. Before passing away, he declared his heir to be his cousin, Lady Jane Grey. He was the son of the previous King, Henry VIII.
  • Doctor Feckenham was Queen Mary's confessor. He was sent to Lady Jane Grey by Mary to "save her soul." He tried converting her for several days, but Jane remained loyal to her religion.
  • Gardiner, a former prisoner of the Tower. He was freed and appointed Lord Chancellor by Mary.
  • Guilford Dudley (died 12 February 1554)[8] was the husband of Lady Jane Grey and son of the Duke of Northumberland. He and his wife were executed after the failed attempt to make Jane queen.
  • Edward, (born 1556) Harry, (born c. 1552) and Jack Middleton (born c. 1550),[6] Tilly's younger siblings, whom she often looked after. The youngest was named after his deceased brother.
  • Edward Middleton (died 1540s),[6] Tilly's brother whom was born before her and died before reaching age two.
  • Lady Jane Grey (1537 – 12 February 1554)[4][8] was the cousin of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth. She inherited the throne from Edward, but ruled for only nine days. Mary subsequently became Queen and had Jane executed, though many had thought she would be pardoned.
  • John Bridges was the Lieutenant of the Tower of London.
  • John the Carter was the father of Tom.
  • Bishops Latimer and Ridley, two loyal Protestants tried for heresy and burned at the stake.
  • Master Lea was Frances Lea's uncle. He worked at the Royal Mint in the Tower of London.
  • Mary and Susannah "Susy" Middleton (born August 1554)[9] were the younger twin sisters of Tilly. Susannah was named after a sister whom died the previous year.
  • Duke of Northumberland (died 22 August 1553)[10] was the father of Guilford Dudley. He unsuccessfully supported his daughter-in-law, Jane Grey, to be Queen. The Duke attempted to garner sympathy from Mary by converting to Catholicism, but was executed anyway.
  • Master Partridge was the Gentleman Gaoler of the Tower of London. Jane Grey was moved to his lodgings from the White Tower.
  • Mistress Partridge was Master Partridge's wife. Master Middleton was often called to treat her illnesses.
  • Philip II was a Prince of Spain and the son of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Shortly before marrying Mary, his father gave him the kingdoms of Naples and Jerusalem. Charles left for months at a time as Mary failed to produce an heir.
  • Sal was the maidservant of the Middleton family. She competed with Tilly for Tom's attention, though Tilly eventually gave up.
  • Duke of Suffolk (died 23 February 1554)[11] was the father of Jane Grey. The Duke was imprisoned after his daughter's short reign. Mary pardoned him, but he was arrested again after participating in Wyatt's Rebellion. He was later executed.
  • Susannah Middleton (born and died June 1553)[12] was the younger sister of Tilly. She died shortly after being baptized. Her sibling, Susy, was named after her.
  • Thomas Cranmer, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. He was imprisoned at the Tower of London. Cranmer was later burned at the stake for heresy.
  • Thomas Wyatt (died April 1554)[13] was the leader of an uprising against Queen Mary's marriage to Philip of Spain. He surrendered and was imprisoned at the Tower until his execution in April 1554.
  • Master Worsley was the Keeper of the Royal Menagerie. He was often in a bad temper, particularly with Tom.


See also[]

My Story characters
Main characters

Nebka | Hatshepsut "Asha" | Claudia | Bran | Tor Scaldbane | Jenkin Lloyd | Eva De Puebla
Elinor Valjean | Lady Jane Grey | Matilda "Tilly" Middleton | Catherine "Kitty" Lumsden | Thomas Hobbs
Remember "Mem" Whipple | Thomas Adamson | Alice Paynton | Susannah Makepeace | Ignatius Sancho
Euphemia Grant | Mary Wade | Elizabeth "Lizzie" Harvey | Isabelle | James Grant | Mary Prince | Bob Jenkins
Dick Maybury | Eliza Helsted | Phyllis McCormack | Lily Hicks | Michael Pope | Hanuman Singh | Clotee Henley
Will Reed | Edith Lorrimer | Jabulani | Sophia Duleep Singh | Florence Finch | Flora Bonnington | Dollie Baxter
Margaret Anne Brady | Jack Fairfax | Daphne "Daffy" Rowntree | Billy Stevens | Noor Inayat Khan
Eleanor Rhys Davies | Rebecca "Becky" Mortkowicz | Harry Woods | Princess Margaret | Sophie Ridel
Peter Rogers | Kitty Langley | Edith "Edie" Benson | Tim Jackson | Andrew "Andy" Pope | Paul Lelaud
Violet Debuchy

Supporting characters

Henry VII | Henry VIII | Catherine of Aragon | Anne Boleyn | Jane Seymour | Anne of Cleves
Catherine Howard | Catherine Parr | Edward VI | Mary I | Elizabeth II

Lists of characters by book

Pyramid of Secrets | Princess of Egypt | Pompeii | Roman Invasion | Viking Blood | Agincourt | My Tudor Queen
Anne Boleyn and Me | Lady Jane Grey | Bloody Tower | The Queen's Spies | Armada | Mayflower | Civil War
The Great Plague | Highway Girl | Ignatius Sancho | The '45 Rising | No Way Back | Transported
The Fall of the Blade | Trafalgar | Mary Prince | Waterloo | Dodger! | Mill Girl | The Hunger | The Crystal Palace
Crimea | Indian Mutiny | Slave Girl | The Sweep's Boy | Victorian Workhouse | Zulu War | Princess Sophia Duleep Singh
Factory Girl | Twentieth-Century Girl | Suffragette | Titanic | The Trenches | Flying Ace | Road to War
Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan | Berlin Olympics | Nowhere to Run | The Storm to Come | Battle of Britain
Wartime Princess | Sophie's Secret War | U-Boat Hunter | War Nurse | Blitz | Desert Danger | D-Day
Spy Smuggler | Codename Céline | London Stories

My Royal Story characters

Cleopatra VII | Beatrice Townhill | Elizabeth I | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

Lists of My Royal Story characters by book

Cleopatra | Henry VIII's Wives | Elizabeth | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

My True Story characters

Dora Thewlis | John "Jack" Cornwell | Joe Read | Susan | Vera

Lists of My True Story characters by book

Give Us the Vote! | Standing Alone | Hero at Dunkirk | What If They Find Us?

Further reading[]