The play presents three plots centered around the marriage of Moll Yellowhammer, the titular maid, who is daughter to a wealthy Cheapside goldsmith. Moll loves Touchwood Junior, a poor gallant; her father, however, has betrothed her to Sir Walter Whorehound, a philandering knight eager for Moll's dowry. As a kind of side-bargain, he has promised Moll's brother Tim a "landed niece" from Wales. Tim, a fatuous scholar, returns to London from Cambridge University with his Latin tutor. This "landed niece" is in reality one of Walter's mistress. He is also having an affair with the wife of Allwit, a knowing cuckold who lives on the money Walter gives his wife.