Mary Lennox – Born in India to Enlish parents, Mary grows up there a neglected, sickly and thoroughly unpleasant child. When Mary is nine, her parents die of cholera (a dangerous disease caught from dirty food or water) and she is sent to live with her uncle in Yorkshire, England.
Mr and Mrs Lennox – Mary’s parents, who die in the first chapter. When alive, neither paid much attention to Mary. Mrs Lennox is often called the Memsahib by her Indian servants.
Saidie (Mary’s Alah) – Mary’s Indian nurse, whom Mary bullies unmercifully, and who also dies of cholera.
Colonel McGrew and Barney – Two Bristish army officers who rescue Mary after her parents and Ayah have died.
The Crawfords – An English family Mary stays with for a few days before leaving for England. Their son Basil gives Mary the nickname Mistress Mary Quite Contrary.
Archibald Craven – The reclusive owner of Misselthwaite Manor, and Mary’s uncle. Ten years after his wife’s death, he is still grieving for her.
Colin Craven – Archibald Craven’s ten-year-old son. His mother died giving birth to him, and since then his father has barely been able to look at Colin. When Mary arrives at Misselthwaite Manor, Colin is a spoiled, bedridden and unloved child, who believes himself to be an invalid doomed to die before he grows up.
Lilias Craven - Colin’s dead mother.
Dr Craven – Cousin of Archibald Craven and doctor to Colin.
Martha Phoebe Sowerby – Young, down-to-earth Yorkshire housemaid who befriends Mary and introduces her to the rest of the Sowerbys.
Ben Weatherstaff – Old, outwardly grumpy gardener with a heart of gold.
Mrs Medlock, Mr Pitcher, Mr Roach, Betty Butterworth and Martin – Other servants at Misselthwaite Manor.
Dickon Sowerby – Martha’s twelve-year-old brother, Dickon. He loves and can charm wil creatures, and guides Mary and Colin in bringing the secret garden to life.
Susan Sowerby – Martha and Dickon’s mother, a brave, kindly and generous woman who takes Mary and Colin under her wing.
Phil, Jane, Susan, Ann, Elizabeth, Ellen and six more Sowerbys – The rest of Martha and Dickon’s many brothers and sisters.
Jem Fettleworth, Bess Fettleworth and Bob Haworth – Local villagers.