Chains

by

Laurie Halse Anderson

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Master Elihu Lockton Character Analysis

Madam Lockton’s husband, Master Lockton, is a wealthy merchant. He’s tall, overweight, and is a devout Loyalist—he believes the King should maintain control of the Colonies, as that’s how Lockton will continue to amass his fortune and how he’ll remain influential among the British ruling class. He has an even wealthier aunt, Lady Seymour, whom he respects—though he and Madam also hope to inherit her wealth and property when she dies. Lockton is extremely self-centered and wants to succeed at all costs. For this reason, he demands total deference from Madam—and when she resists, he gets physically violent with her. His wealth and prestige is so important to him that when threatened with arrest, he forces Madam to stay in their city home against her will—if she leaves, he reasons, the Patriots will loot their house. Lockton is a key player in Loyalist circles when the Patriots hold New York, smuggling money into the city to bribe Patriot farmers and later helping to plot the assassination of General Washington. Despite his self-centeredness and his violent tendencies, though, Lockton reads as somewhat ambivalent about slavery. He’s seldom outright cruel to Isabel, and when it’s revealed that Ruth suffers from epilepsy, he refuses to let Madam sell Ruth—he insists that because the girls are children and sisters, it’d be inhumane to separate them. Lockton also insists on treating Lady Seymour kindly and generously by sending Isabel to work for her when Lady Seymour needs household help more than the Locktons do, and then by giving the lady the Locktons’ bedroom when she becomes gravely ill. Ultimately, though, Lockton leaves New York for London—and Madam’s cruelty to both Isabel and Lady Seymour goes unchecked without him around.

Master Elihu Lockton Quotes in Chains

The Chains quotes below are all either spoken by Master Elihu Lockton or refer to Master Elihu Lockton. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Atheneum Books for Young Readers edition of Chains published in 2010.
Chapter 6 Quotes

“You feel beholden to Lockton?”

“Pardon?”

“He’s going to feed you and your sister, give you a place to sleep. He can order you sold, beat, or hung, if the mood takes him. That could make a person feel a kind of loyalty.”

I stopped, considering this. “Someday I’ll find that lawyer and Miss Mary’s will and that’ll free us. Until then, we need to eat, work, and stay together. So yes, I guess I’m loyal to Lockton.”

The words tasted bitter. Being loyal to the one who owned me gave me prickly thoughts, like burrs trapped in my shift, pressing into my skin with every step.

Related Characters: Curzon (speaker), Isabel (speaker), Master Elihu Lockton, Ruth, Miss Mary Finch
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

“They won’t say anything in front of me.”

“You are a small black girl, Country,” he said bitterly. “You are a slave, not a person. They’ll say things in front of you they won’t say in front of the white servants. ’Cause you don’t count to them. It happens all the time to me.”

Related Characters: Isabel (speaker), Curzon (speaker), Master Elihu Lockton, Master Bellingham
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“Listen to me good. Them that feeds us”—she pointed upstairs—“they’re Loyalists, Tories. That means we’re Tories too, understand?”

“Yes, ma’am.” I nodded. “But…” I hesitated, not sure if I was allowed to ask questions. “Master Lockton claimed he was a Patriot on the docks.”

[…] “He was faking to protect his skin. Some folks switch back and forth. One day they’re for the king, the next, it’s all ‘liberty and freedom, huzzah!’ A tribe of Mr. Facing-Both-Ways, that’s what you’ll find in New York.”

Related Characters: Becky Barry (speaker), Isabel (speaker), Master Elihu Lockton
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“The child’s curse will poison us all. I want her sold, Elihu, sold today.”

[…]

“They are sisters, Anne. One must remember that.”

“Please, Madam,” I said. “She’s too little. She’ll be hurt.”

Related Characters: Madam Lockton (speaker), Master Elihu Lockton (speaker), Isabel (speaker), Ruth, Becky Barry
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
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Master Elihu Lockton Character Timeline in Chains

The timeline below shows where the character Master Elihu Lockton appears in Chains. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...rebellion. When Mr. Robert says he supports the king, the man introduces himself as Elihu Lockton and his wife as Anne. Mr. Robert offers to buy them a meal and discuss... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Mr. Lockton is tall and overweight. He’s a merchant, and he gripes about how much the uprising... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...twice Mr. Robert’s asking price. Jenny can’t top it, so she hurries for the kitchen. Lockton deems her behavior disturbing; this is why they need the King’s soldiers to step in.... (full context)
Chapter 5
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...the morning, a sailor brings down some wormy biscuits for Isabel and Ruth, and Madam Lockton shouts for someone to bring the girls to her. A sailor beckons to Ruth and... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...stops the men and informs Madam that they must inspect all cargo—even personal belongings. Master Lockton assures his wife everything will be okay as a round man he calls Charles bustles... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Bellingham greets Lockton as Lockton hisses to his companions to act like “happy rebels.” The enslaved boy sets... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Bellingham tells the soldiers to search the cargo and agrees that Lockton and Madam Lockton can go home. But rather than follow her husband, Madam Lockton asks... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
Instead, Isabel takes Ruth’s hand and follows Master Lockton and Madam Lockton to the carriage. Madam tells the men to put Ruth up with... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...sister, and if that’s why Isabel took the hit meant for Ruth. He says that Lockton is a “dirty Loyalist,” but Isabel says she doesn’t care. Curzon then asks if Isabel... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Becky leads Isabel through the house, pointing out Master Lockton’s library. She leads Isabel into the parlor, where Isabel opens windows and they wipe them... (full context)
Chapter 8
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...doesn’t do much but write letters and play a spinet. One night, Madam and Master Lockton argue loudly—and Lockton calls Madam rude names and storms out. Isabel feels lost. She doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 9
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...and Ruth can walk home on the exposed sand. Ruth is upstairs with Madam; Master Lockton is in his library. Becky is watching General Washington and his soldiers parade down the... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...Isabel, though, can’t stop thinking about the tears in Ruth’s eyes. Becky insists that Master Lockton won’t care about Isabel being barefoot as she leads Isabel to the library. Inside, two... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...titles. She wants to read, or to tell the men to take her home. But Lockton sends Isabel to fetch more bread and apricot jam. (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...locate a crock of jam. But just as she returns to the library, she hears Lockton say that “There’s enough money here to bribe half of the rebel army.” Through a... (full context)
Chapter 11
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...downstairs, enraged, as Bellingham’s men start to remove the windows with metal bars. As Master Lockton appears, Bellingham explains that everyone must make sacrifices: the patriots need the lead to make... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Isabel follows everyone upstairs to the Locktons’ bedchamber, where Madam is again sitting on the walnut chest and refusing to let the... (full context)
Chapter 12
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...and a cookie, and asks Isabel to tell her what happened. Lady Seymour isn’t surprised Lockton was arrested and says that Madam should under no circumstances leave for Charleston, which is... (full context)
Chapter 13
Freedom Theme Icon
...Isabel is coming down the stairs with Madam’s full chamber pot the next morning, Master Lockton comes in the front door. He clearly doesn’t suspect Isabel of spying and heads upstairs... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
In the following weeks, Isabel regularly serves Lockton and his friends. Nobody says anything interesting, though Isabel discovers that Lockton suspects one of... (full context)
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
Isabel comes to love her trips to the Tea Water Pump. A week after Lockton returns home, Isabel stands in line with Curzon and gives her buckets to the old... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...and Curzon are a few blocks from the pump, Isabel asks why nobody has arrested Lockton. Curzon says the patriots need solid proof, like letters or maps. Isabel jokes about procuring... (full context)
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...night, when Isabel is restless, she sneaks out of bed after midnight and sneaks into Lockton’s study. She pulls Robinson Crusoe off a shelf and reads by the fire until she... (full context)
Chapter 14
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...day, Isabel carries home a basket of eels. She loves eel pie, and apparently, Master Lockton does too. But when Isabel gets into the kitchen, Madam comes in, sweaty and impatient.... (full context)
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
There are two men with Lockton in the library, one whom Isabel calls Goldbuttons and one who she figures is the... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...that she’s like a bookcase as the mayor says that they must kill General Washington. Lockton insists they can’t kill a gentleman like Washington, but the mayor says he’s committed treason—and... (full context)
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Lockton pulls a key out of his snuff jar, unlocks a desk drawer, and pulls out... (full context)
Chapter 15
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...that Ruth is just sick and throws herself over her sister, taking the blows. Finally, Lockton appears, shouts, “Enough!” and takes a chair out of Madam’s hands. Ruth stops shaking as... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Lockton sends Becky back to the library with wine and then asks how often Ruth experiences... (full context)
Chapter 16
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...linen chest debacle; she’ll have to go straight to the army. When she can hear Lockton’s snores, Isabel sneaks into the library, pulls the key out of the snuffbox, and finds... (full context)
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...intelligence he’s been getting all day. He tells Isabel to put the list back in Lockton’s desk and come to him with any new information. In the future, there’s a code... (full context)
Chapter 17
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...asleep in church the next morning. Things seem normal for the next two days; Master Lockton is busy visiting the mayor, and Madam stays upstairs. Madam insists that only Becky can... (full context)
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...the kitchen door. It’s Goldbuttons, dressed in a cloak. He runs right upstairs to the Locktons’ bedroom—and moments later, Lockton bellows in anger. The plot to kill General Washington has been... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
When Isabel and Madam return, Lockton is pacing. He says he’s sent for a cart, and they must burn all his... (full context)
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...that a man named Hickey, who served with Washington, revealed the plot. She insists that Lockton is safe. (full context)
Chapter 18
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...Hickey’s hanging. Madam will be fine without the girls’ help, since she’s stayed drunk since Lockton left. Isabel hopes she can get Colonel Regan to escort her to the wharf afterwards,... (full context)
Chapter 25
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...of things look different after the branding). Curzon asks if Madam has gotten letters from Lockton, and Isabel snaps. She says that the rebels don’t want to free enslaved people, just... (full context)
Chapter 29
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
...difficult for her to see as the men come ashore—and one of them is Master Lockton. He calls to Isabel. She pulls out Madam’s list and says she’s headed for the... (full context)
Chapter 30
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Three mornings later, Isabel carries a note to the Locktons. It’s from Lady Seymour—she needs Isabel’s help, since her Dutch servants left and she has... (full context)
Chapter 32
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...think about the doll. The left side of Lady Seymour’s body no longer works, so Lockton insists she recover in the Locktons’ bedroom. One day, Lady Seymour calls Isabel to her... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
Three days after the fire, 11 British soldiers from Kent move in with the Locktons. The Locktons start sleeping in the front parlor, and Lockton gives his study to Colonel... (full context)
Chapter 34
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...trays of turtle soup, Isabel peeks into the drawing room at the dinner party. Master Lockton is well-dressed, but it’s obvious he’s overworked. Madam’s tall hairdo looks ready to fall at... (full context)
Chapter 37
Freedom Theme Icon
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
A few nights later, Lockton and Madam fight. Lockton plans to get the next ship to London, and Madam wants... (full context)
Chapter 38
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...off. Lady Seymour glares at Madam, but Madam ignores it. Then, once Lady Seymour and Lockton excuse themselves, Madam says she knows Isabel has been going to the Bridewell Prison. (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...do whatever she wants to punish Isabel. Madam continues that she can’t do anything until Lockton is gone and Lady Seymour is dead—but Isabel should live in fear of that day. (full context)
Chapter 40
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
Identity, Memory, and Family Theme Icon
...boiled peas and butter. It’s still bitterly cold, though, and the prisoners can’t have fires. Lockton’s trip is moved up so he can tell Parliament the bad news. Isabel continues to... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Personal and the Political Theme Icon
As soon as Lockton leaves, Madam goes to play cards with a friend. In her absence, Sarah gives birth... (full context)
Slavery and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...but Madam wouldn’t sell Isabel. Lady Seymour says she should’ve demanded to take Isabel once Lockton returned from exile. Isabel would’ve “suited [her] household.” Isabel knows Lady Seymour expects a thank-you,... (full context)