Oliver Twist Son of Edwin Leeford and Agnes Fleming, he is thought to be an orphan. A dear, grateful, gentle child, who "instead of possessing too little feeling, possessed rather too much." He had not learned "that self-preservation is the first law of nature."
Sally Thingummy An old pauper woman who is an inmate of the workhouse and later dies there. She attends at Oliver's birth, "rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer."
Agnes Fleming Oliver's mother; the daughter of a retired naval officer. "She was found dying in the street . . . but where she came from, or where she was going to, nobody knows."
Mrs. Mann An elderly woman who conducts an infant farm (the then equivalent of a foster home). "A woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children," so of the funds provided for their sustenance "she appropriated the greater part . . . to her own use."
Mr. Bumble The parish beadle (a minor church official); "a fat man, and a choleric (cranky show-off) [with] a great idea of his oratorical powers and his importance." "He had a decided propensity for bullying: derived no inconsiderable pleasure from the exercise of petty cruelty; and, consequently, was (it is needless to say) a coward."
Mr. Limbkins Head of the parish board; "a particularly fat gentleman with a very round, red face."
The Workhouse Master "A fat, healthy man."
Gamfield A chimney sweep, "whose villainous countenance was a regular stamped receipt for cruelty."
Mr. Sowerberry An undertaker; "a tall, gaunt, large-jointed man," in matrimonial disputes denominated "a brute, an unnatural husband, an insulting creature, a base imitation of a man."
Mrs. Sowerberry "A short, thin, squeezed-up woman, with a vixenish [literally, fox-like] countenance, [having] a good deal of taste in the undertaking way."
Charlotte The Sowerberry's maidservant; a somewhat sloppy girl, she is "of a robust and hardy make."
Noah Claypole Charity boy employed by Sowerberry, he later joins Fagin's gang under the name of Morris Bolter. "A large-headed, small-eyed youth of lumbering make and heavy countenance."
Little Dick Oliver's companion on the infant farm, with whom he "had been beaten, and starved, and shut up."
John (Jack) Dawkins The Artful Dodger; Fagin's most esteemed pupil. A pickpocket and thief, he is a dirty "snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy . . . short of his age; with rather bowlegs, and little, sharp, ugly eyes."
Fagin The master criminal; "a very old shriveled Jew, whose villainous-looking and repulsive face was obscured by a quantity of matted red hair."
Charles Bates One of Fagin's gang; "a very sprightly" young boy given to uproarious laughter.
Betsy Member of the Fagin gang. "Not exactly pretty, perhaps; but . . . looked quite stout and hearty."
Nancy Trusted and resourceful member of Fagin's gang. Untidy and free in manner, but "there was something of the woman's original nature left in her still."
Mr. Brownlow "A very respectable-looking personage" with a heart "large enough for any six ordinary old gentlemen of humane disposition."
Mr. Fang A notorious magistrate; a "lean, long-backed, stiff-necked, middle-sized man, with no great quantity of hair."
The Bookseller "An elderly man of decent but poor appearance."
Mrs. Bedwin Brownlow's housekeeper; "a motherly old lady, very neatly and precisely dressed."
Bill Sikes A ruthless felon associated with Fagin; he is violent, and abusive, his anger likely to erupt at any moment.
Bull's-eye Sikes's dog; "a white-coated, red-eyed dog . . . having faults of temper in common with his owner." Bull's-eye eventually betrays his abusive master.
Mr. Grimwig A retired lawyer and old friend of Brownlow's. "A stout old gentleman, rather lame in one leg," he has "a strong appetite for contradiction, [although] not by any means a bad-hearted man."
Barney Waiter at the Little Saffron Hill dive. "Another Jew; younger than Fagin, but nearly as vile and repulsive in appearance.
Tom Chitling One of Fagin's creatures; a simpleton of about eighteen, with "small twinkling eyes, and a pock-marked face."
"Flash" Toby Crackit Associate of Fagin's and Sikes'; a rather flamboyant type, with "no great quantity of hair [and] a trifle above the middle size."
Mrs. Corney Matron of the workhouse where Oliver was born; she later marries Bumble.
Monks Edward Leeford, Oliver Twist's half-brother; son of Edwin Leeford and his legal wife. A tall, dark man, subject to fits of cowardice and epilepsy, he is interested in ruining Oliver's reputation.
Mr. Giles Mrs. Maylie's butler and steward. "One who labored under a very agreeable sense of his own merits and importance."
Brittles Man-of-all-work for Mrs. Maylie; "treated as a promising young boy still, though he was something past thirty."
Rose Maylie Rose Fleming; Agnes Fleming's younger sister, thus Oliver's aunt. Accepted as Mrs. Maylie's niece; later becomes her daughter-in-law.
Mrs. Maylie Rose's adoptive aunt; a stately lady, "well advanced in years."
Mr. Losberne A surgeon of Chertsey who "had grown fat, more from good-humor than from good living."
Harry Maylie Mrs. Maylie's son. "He seemed about five-and-twenty years of age, and was of middle height; his countenance was frank and handsome; and his demeanor easy and prepossessing."
Kags A career criminal, "a robber of fifty years, whose nose had been almost beaten in."