By 1912, Robert Crawley is the present Earl of Grantham.
There are many known members of the family and equally as many unknown members of the family. Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, 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 heiress Cora Levinson in 1889. Robert and Cora 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.
In August 1920, Sybil died after giving birth to a daughter, Sybil Branson.
In September 1921, Mary and Matthew have a son, George, who was born on the same day as Matthew's untimely death in a car crash. George is the current heir to the family estate, title, and fortune.
The Crawleys are also related to the MacClare family, whose patriarch is Hugh MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire. His wife [[Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshire}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 Protestant Reformation. Tom and his daughter, who are Catholic, are the exception as they are from the Branson family.
There are several members of the Crawley family who have died or have not been seen. These people include:
- 4th Earl of Grantham, 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.
- 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 Second Earl of Grantham
- 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 6th 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.
- ↑ 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 and his daughter, Sybil - are likely to be Protestant (Anglican, to be precise), most likely since 1648 but the there is no explicit mention of this.
- ↑ The Series 1 Press Pack confirms that Robert was known as "Viscount Downton" when he and Cora married.
- ↑ Violet claimed that "a nastier woman never drew breath".
- ↑ The actor confirms it here:http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/02/downton-abbeys-allen-leech-on-season-3-his-nickname-for-maggie-smith-and-more.html
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ The Protestant Reformation in England finished in 1648, so the Crawley's have been Protestant since this date, as Robert says "There hasn't been a Catholic Crawley since the Reformation."
- ↑ 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