- A young man of seventeen years of age. David was born and raised in the Lowlands of Scotland, David's father has just died at the beginning of the story, leaving him an orphan.
in-depth analysis of David Balfour.
Alan Breck Stewart
- A flamboyant but skilled warrior from the Scottish Highlands. Alan is a Jacobite rebel, and he is fiercely loyal to his clan and countrymen. He is an excellent swordsman and marksman, but he is also a braggart.
in-depth analysis of Alan Breck Stewart.
- The scheming, miserly uncle of David Balfour. Ebenezer plots to have David killed or taken away so that he can have complete control of the Balfour fortunes.
in-depth analysis of Ebenezer Balfour.
- The captain of the ship Covenant.
Hoseason abducts David onto his ship on the orders of David's uncle Ebenezer, and later tries to kill David and Alan Breck Stewart. He is shipwrecked after the Covenant
founders on the Torran Rocks.
- The kindly Protestant preacher who takes care of David after the death of his father.
- David Balfour's lawyer. Mr. Rankeillor helps David against his scheming uncle Ebenezer near the end of the novel.
Colin Campbell of Glenure
- The King's Factor, or agent, in the Highlands. Unlike most of the Highland clans, the Campbells are not Jacobites, and are loyal to England. Colin Campbell is plotting to evict all the Jacobite Stewarts from their homes when he is murdered.
James of the Glens
- The leader of the Stewart clan (the clan of Alan Breck). Like most Highland chieftains, James has been stripped of his powers by the English government. When Colin Campbell is murdered, James is quickly accused of having been involved.
- Like James of the Glens, Cluny is a former chieftain stripped of his powers by the English government. Marked for death by the English after leading Jacobite troops against the English army, Cluny now hides in a treehouse near the mountain of Ben Alder.
- An old catechist (religious instructor) who befriends David as he walks through the Highlands.
- David's father. Once, Alexander and his brother Ebenezer had a fight over a woman (David's future mother). Alexander was the elder brother, but he made a deal: he married David's mother, and Ebenezer kept the House of Shaws, their estate. Alexander has died by the beginning of Kidnapped.
- A son of the famous Scottish nationalist Rob Roy Macgregor. Robin is also a foe of Alan Breck, since Rob Roy was a Campbell.
- The second officer of the Covenant.
He is kinder to David than the other soldiers, and helps Alan escape after the ship wrecks on the Torran Rocks.
- The cabin boy of the Covenant.
Ransome is younger than David Balfour, but has led a tough life at sea. He considers himself a tough sailor, but Mr. Shuan often beats him.
- The first officer of the Covenant.
Shuan is monstrous when drinking, and actually kills the cabin boy, Ransome, in a drunken rage. He is later himself killed by Alan Breck Stewart in the battle of the Round-House.