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Crawley family

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The Crawleys
Crawley Family

Members of the Crawley Family.

are an aristocratic and wealthy family, who live in and hold rights to the Downton Abbey estate; they have held the rights to Downton Abbey since at least 1772, when the 1st Earl of Grantham actually became an Earl. Their courtesy title is Viscount Downton.[1]

By 1912, Robert Crawley is the present Earl of Grantham.

Relations and HistoryEdit

The Crawleys are related to the Levinson family through Robert's marriage to Cora. They are also distantly related to the MacClare family, whose patriarch is Hugh MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire. His wife Susan is Violet's maternal niece and first cousin to Robert and Rosamund.

The family is staunchly Anglican, as Robert remarks that there has not been a Catholic Crawley since the Reformation. Tom Branson and his daughter Sybil, who are Catholic, are the exception as they are from the Branson family.

Present FamilyEdit

There are many known members of the family and equally as many unknown members of the family. Violet Crawley, widow of the previous Earl of Grantham, is the matriarch of the family and often clashes with Isobel Crawley, mother of the heir, Matthew Crawley.

Violet has two children, Rosamund - the rich widow of banker Marmaduke Painswick - and Robert, who married rich American heiress Cora Levinson in 1890[2]. Robert and Cora have had three daughters, Mary, Edith and Sybil.

Being girls, Robert's daughters could not inherit his title, fortune, or estate, and after the deaths of Robert's paternal cousin, James and his son, Patrick, on the Titanic in 1912, the title of 'heir' passed to Robert's third cousin-once-removed, Matthew Crawley. Matthew's great-great grandfather was the younger son of the third earl. He refers to the current Earl as Cousin Robert, and his widowed mother Isobel Crawley refers to the Dowager Countess as Cousin Violet.


In 1919, Sybil married the family's former chauffeur, Tom Branson, and by Christmas that year was pregnant.

Matthew proposed to Mary in 1920 (this was his second, as he had recanted his first before the Great War). She accepted and the two became betrothed and married that same year.

Next GenerationEdit

Sybil died in August 1920 right after giving birth to a daughter, whom her husband named Sybil after her.

Mary and Matthew have a son, George, who was born on the same day as Matthew's untimely death in a car crash, in September 1921. George is the current heir to the family estate, title, and fortune.

In 1922, Edith becomes pregnant by her lover Michael Gregson. Because Michael has disappeared and she is still unmarried, she considers first having an abortion then later having the child adopted. By Summer 1923, Gregson still has not been found, and she has given birth to a daughter, Marigold, whom she left in Genéva with a couple named Schroeder. But Edith decides to take Marigold back and have her grow up on a local farm under the guardianship of tenant farmer Timothy Drewe. The only family members who know at that time of the child's existence are Rosamund and Violet.

Family treeEdit

Levinson family
Crawley family
Isidore Levinson
Martha Levinson
Earl of Grantham
Violet Crawley
Dowager Countess of Grantham
Harold Levinson
Cora Crawley
(née Levinson)
Countess of Grantham

(b. 1868)
Robert Crawley
Earl of Grantham

Rosamund Painswick
(née Crawley)

(b. 1860 - 1874)
Marmaduke Painswick
(d. bf 1912)
Matthew Crawley
(b.1885 - d.1921)
Lady Mary Crawley
(b. 1891)
Lady Edith Crawley
(b. 1892)
Michael Gregson
Lady Sybil Branson
(née Crawley)

Tom Branson
George Crawley
(b. 9th - 30th September 1921)
Marigold Drewe (Gregson)
(b. December 1922/January 1923)
Sybil Branson
(b. 18th - 30th September 1920)

Off-Screen relativesEdit

There are several members of the Crawley family who have died or have not been seen. These people include:

  • Robert's father, Violet's husband who died between 1889 and 1912 and who saved Downton with his death.
  • A distant aunt from 1860 who, according to Edith, married a Gordon.a
  • The father of James Crawley who was the the brother-in-law of Violet Crawley, the uncle of Robert and Rosamund and the grandfather of Patrick.
  • The mother of James Crawley, who Violet disliked[3].
  • The sister of the First Earl of Grantham who lived in the Dower House when it was first built so that she could be close to her brother.
  • The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Earls of Grantham; the 3rd nearly went bankrupt.
  • Robert's Great-Grandmother who was the wife of the eldest son of the Third Earl; she owned Downton Place; the family inherited it from her on her marriage.
  • In 1914 Cora, Countess of Grantham, became pregnant with a son who, had he lived, would have become Viscount Downton on his birth and eventually followed Robert as the Earl of Grantham; it was not to be, however, as an act of spite by Sarah O'Brien jeopardized the Countess' life and led to the death of the unborn heir.
  • Cousin Freddie, a cousin that Sybil mentions in 1913, may be a member of the Crawley family through his possible mother, Rosamund; however, it is more likely that Freddie is a son of Harold Levinson and is only included here because it is possible, if not confirmed, that he is a cousin through Rosamund.

Notes Edit

  • a This woman may not actually be a Crawley and may be Violet's sister, Roberta, as the dates fit with the battle of Lucknow in 1857 and the rough ages of Roberta and Violet.
  • The first Earl, along with every member of the Crawley family - which includes every Earl of Grantham, their siblings, wives and descendants - excluding Tom Branson who is Catholic[4] and his daughter, Sybil[5] - are likely to be Protestant (Anglican, to be precise), most likely since the start of the English Reformation in 1532, but the there is no explicit mention of this.[6]

References Edit

  1. The Series 1 Press Pack confirms that Robert was known as "Viscount Downton" when he and Cora married.
  2. Episode 5.01 stated 34 years of marriage. 34 years prior to 1924 is 1890
  3. Violet claimed that "a nastier woman never drew breath".
  4. The actor confirms it here:
  5. Tom Branson explicitly states that "Sybil will be Catholic" - and it's not Travis, baptizing her, but a Catholic preist, so she's Catholic too.
  6. Julian Fellowes, the show's creator does say that there is an anti-Catholic leaning to the the Crawleys. The Telegraph, Downton Abbey's anti-Catholic plot by Tim Walker, 7:29AM BST 22 Oct 2012

Start a Discussion Discussions about Crawley family

  • Have we all been wrong?

    29 messages
    • The poster above you summed this up much more simply - it's just an element of the real house, which is used as a set.
    • Perhpas we should ask Lady Violet Crawley to contribute here. I'm certain she'll come up with an answer with the most typically humorous real...
  • The Crawley family

    6 messages
    • You are rich and have a title! Wow. Are you married?
    • wrote: To elaborate, there is no town of Downton in Yorkshire, no present or previous estate named Downton Abbey and no Grant...

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