Bessy's human was a bulky middle-aged man from Lyra's world who had a brown-and-white dog-dæmon called Bessy. When sitting next to Lyra Silvertongue on a ferry to Flushing, Bessy sensed that Lyra didn't have a dæmon. In response, the man loudly told everyone what he had discovered and said she shouldn't be in a public place like that.
After making sure everyone in the forward saloon was aware of her state, he grabbed her and told her to go with him to put her in the charge of one of the staff, presumably. Before he could take Lyra away, two Welsh men, Gwyn and Dafydd, took Lyra outside.