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Mary Crawley

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Mary Josephine Crawley
Downton-abbey-lady-mary 510x510-1-
Biographical information
Born 1891 (33)
Marital status Widow of Matthew Crawley
Residence Downton Abbey, Yorkshire, England
Title(s) Lady Mary
My lady
Her ladyship
My darling (by her mother and father)
Physical information
Gender Female
Height 5'8" (1,73 m)
Hair colour Dark brown/black
Eye colour Brown
Family information
Immediate Robert Crawley (father)
Cora Crawley (mother)
Edith Crawley (sister)
Sybil Branson (sister) †
Matthew Crawley (husband/fourth cousin), †
George Crawley (son)
Violet Crawley (paternal grandmother)
Paternal grandfather
Isidore Levinson (maternal grandfather) †
Martha Levinson (maternal grandmother)
Harold Levinson (maternal uncle)
Maternal great-aunt
Rosamund Painswick (paternal aunt)
Marmaduke Painswick (uncle) †
Isobel Crawley (mother-in-law)
Tom Branson (brother-in-law)
Sybbie Branson (niece/goddaughter)
Marigold Gregson (niece)
Roberta (paternal great-aunt)
Gordon (paternal great-uncle)
Susan MacClare (paternal first cousin-once-removed)
Hugh MacClare (paternal first cousin-once-removed-in-law)
Rose Aldridge (paternal second cousin)
Cousin Freddie (cousin; maternal or paternal)
Lord Merton (godfather)
Occupation Co-owner of the estate
Loyalty Matthew Crawley
Anna Bates
Charles Carson
Sybil Branson
Tom Branson
Sybbie Branson
George Crawley
Behind the scenes
Portrayed by Michelle Dockery
"You'll be my Mary always because mine is the true Mary."
—Matthew to Mary

Lady Mary Josephine Crawley (born 1891) is the eldest daughter of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. and his American heiress wife Cora Crawley (née Levinson), as well as the mother of the current heir of Grantham, George, whom she had with her late husband Matthew Crawley. Mary has two younger sisters, Lady Edith Crawley and Lady Sybil Branson, who later died in 1920 from complications following childbirth. A potential brother was miscarried in 1914. Through Sybil, she is the sister-in-law of Tom Branson and the aunt and godmother of Sybil "Sybbie" Branson. Although unaware of it as of the summer of 1923, she has another niece named Marigold Gregson through Edith. She is also the granddaughter of the late earl of Grantham and Violet Crawley (through whom she is linked to the MacClare Family) and of Isidore and Martha Levinson.


Her father's estate and title, along with her mother's fortune, must pass to a male heir. Lady Mary is quite bitter about this, especially after the previous heirs die on the Titanic and an unknown distant cousin (Matthew) becomes the new heir at Downton. She has a strong will and can be quite selfish, cruel, arrogant, and cold at times, but she cares greatly for her family and friends, of which Anna, the housemaid, and Mr Carson, the butler, are especially included. Mary is used to getting all the attention, especially from men, which is a point of contention with her sister Edith.

With the death of her husband in September 1921, Mary lost her chance to become Countess of Grantham. Her son will inherit the title upon her father's death.



The news of the deaths of her two cousins, James and Patrick, is a shock to her because it disrupts the family's strategy for dealing with the entail. The entail requires that the family's estate, incorporating her mother's large marriage settlement, along with the title, to pass to male heirs only. The family had arranged that Mary would marry Patrick, second in line to the title after James, but Mary did not have strong feelings for him and questions whether she must even wear black mourning clothes.

Mary's parents and grandmother focus on finding suitors for Mary, including the Duke of Crowborough, Evelyn Napier, and Anthony Strallan. She herself is seduced by a visitor to the house, Napier's friend Ottoman attaché Kemal Pamuk, who suddenly dies in her bed. Her infuriated mother and head housemaid Anna help her carry his body out of her room and back to his in the bachelor's corridor in order to try to prevent a public scandal that would ruin her marriage prospects.

Mary's relationship with the new heir, her distant cousin Matthew Crawley begins coldly as she overhears him complaining to his mother that he expects the family will "push" the daughters on him. She refuses to acknowledge him as the new heir, declaring that he was "not one of us" and could "barely hold a knife properly". Over time, however, the pair grow closer and a romance develops. In 1914, Matthew asks Mary to marry him, but she is cautious and says she won't give him an answer until the end of the London Season in August. However her mother becomes pregnant, and if the baby is a boy, he will inherit the title instead of Matthew, so Mary refuses to give Matthew an answer, on the advice of her aunt, Lady Rosamund. Another reason for her hesitancy was that she feels she would have to tell Matthew about the one-night "fling" with Pamuk. Heartbroken and angered by her supposed motive, Matthew withdraws his proposal and decides to leave Downton but war breaks out and he joins the British Army.


While Matthew is away, Mary becomes engaged to Richard Carlisle, a wealthy newspaper magnate who, after Mary's confession and request for his assistance, promises to help keep the Pamuk affair under wraps. They plan to marry in July 1919, after the marriage of Matthew and his new fiancée Lavinia Swire, and to move to a neighboring, stately home that Sir Richard plans to buy. After Lavinia's death, it becomes clear that Matthew and Mary continue to have strong feelings for one other. Her relationship with Sir Richard deteriorates and her father, in particular, becomes concerned that she would not be happy with the marriage even if it meant wealth and status. In 1920, Mary breaks off the engagement with Sir Richard and initially agrees to visit her mother's family in America to wait out the Pamuk scandal (as Carlisle threatens to, but does not, publish in retaliation). Soon after, Matthew proposes to her again, on a bended knee, and the pair become happily engaged.

The couple, after a brief moment of doubt the night before the wedding, happily marry in 1920 and take their honeymoon in France. The doubt came after Mary learned from her father he had lost so much money he was going to lose Downton, and that Matthew might be the heir to Reggie Swire's huge fortune. Mary felt if he inherited then Downton could be saved, but Matthew insisted he could not inherit it because he still blamed himself for Lavinia's death. When it came to light Lavinia wrote to her father telling him the whole story and that Reggie respected him still, Matthew refused to believe it, so Mary questioned the servants and learned Lavinia had indeed written to her father (Daisy Mason had posted it). Matthew then accepted it, investing in Downton and saving it.

After Sybil and her husband, former chauffeur Tom Branson, were exiled from Ireland, Sybil went into labor. Mary visited her beforehand, where Sybil mentioned again Tom's wish for the baby to be Catholic like himself and how she realized the baby's christening would have to take place at Downton now instead of Dublin. Mary insisted to Sybil she did not have to accept this, as it was her baby too. But Sybil told her she did not mind, that she did not object to Catholic traditions, and that she loved Tom and wanted this for him. Mary then promised to fight their corner. Like the rest of the family, Mary was delighted at the birth of Sybil's daughter, then utterly heartbroken when her beloved sister died soon after. She gave her a final kiss and said "Goodbye my darling."

Keeping her promise to Sybil, Mary supported Tom against her father to baptize her niece and goddaughter, Sybbie, Catholic. She attended Sybbie's christening with the rest of the family. She also begins to support Matthew's plans for modernizing Downton, which her father initially opposes. While she and Matthew are intent on having children, it is hinted they may be having reproductive issues. Mary and Matthew meet by coincidence at a reproductive health clinic run by Dr Ryder, where Mary reveals she underwent a small and successful operation in order to strengthen their chances of conceiving. Despite previous tension between them, the series ends with them happily reaffirming their love for each other.

In September 1921, an eight-month pregnant Mary travels to Duneagle Castle in Scotland with the family. Branson stayed behind because he was not invited, something that doesn't concern him. After the ball, Mary regrets dancing and tells Matthew that she's returning to Downton the next day. Matthew volunteers to accompany her, but Mary insists that he stay and enjoy the last few days of their trip.

The next day, when Mary steps off the train, she tells Anna to take her to the hospital and notify her husband that she has begun labour. The Crawley family leaves Scotland at once, and Matthew visits Mary at the hospital as soon as he can make it. Mary has given birth to a son and heir. Matthew then says he "feels like I swallowed fireworks" and tells Mary that he loves her more  with each passing day and that she'll be an excellent mother. Matthew then drives back to Downton to tell the family they can now visit his son. As Matthew is driving at what appears to be a fast pace, he doesn't see another automobile driving around the corner. The car hits him, and Matthew and his car are pushed off the road onto the bottom of a small slope. The other driver comes out to help, but sees a dead Matthew, pale and bleeding from his injuries. The episode ends on Mary holding her son, smiling, blissfully unaware that her husband and father of her child is dead.

Six months after the death of Matthew, Mary is still struggling to come to terms with her loss, and she is very cold towards everyone. She doesn't appear to have a close relationship with her son George, who she prefers to leave in the care of the nannies, calling him a "poor little orphan". She refuses to wear anything other than black when Anna suggests a lilac outfit and when walking down the stairs, she stops when she sees and remembers the place where she and Matthew once kissed. She also has a rather awkward conversation with her sister Edith on the stairs when Mary realises it was Valentines Day and asks Edith what her plans are for the day, saying she hopes she has a good time. Although many of her family members, including the also widowed Tom Branson and Mr Carson, attempt to help Mary move on, she ignores and dismisses them. Tom feels that Mary needs to find something to fight for and that this should be, as George's guardian, the protection of his inheritance as the next heir to Downton Abbey estate. Her father, Lord Grantham refuses Tom's suggestion, claiming many times that they should not bother her with such troubles. He thinks that since Matthew appears to have left no will and assumes he is to take care of George's share in the estate, then Mary doesn't really have any say.

On one occasion, she gets a little angry with Mr Carson because she didn't feel it was his place to tell her what she should do. It goes from bad to worst at the dinner table that night, when her mother, grandmother and Tom try to encourage Mary to be more involved in the running of Downton to which her father tries to again, protect Mary. She gets upset and upon breaking into tears, tells everyone to leave her alone. She leaves the dinner table and returns to her room. It isn't until her grandmother, Violet Crawley, has a talk with Mary that she starts to come to terms with Matthew's death. She tells her grandmother she feels she has become the cold person she used to be and that perhaps she was only kind in Matthew's imagination. She tells her grandmother she doesn't understand why she has come to talk to her, to which she replies that it because she is her grandmother and she loves her. She is told she must choose between life or death, to which Mary begins to understand that she must choose life. As she begins her attempt to move on, she pays a visit to Mr Carson to apologise for the way she spoke to him the day before. She breaks down in front of him, telling him she doesn't know how to move on. He comforts her, telling her she is a strong woman and she will find a way. 

Later on, Mary decides to wear a lilac dress rather than a black dress to attend a luncheon to discuss the running of Downton as she finally begins to move on. Shortly after, a box containing Matthew's last things from his office is sent to Downton. Mr Carson decided the box should best be sent to Robert first, in case it upsets Mary. Robert begins to look into the box, and finds within a book a letter that Matthew had wrote shortly before the trip to Scotland. The letter states what he would had wanted in the event of his death, which Matthew had thought was the best thing to do now that Mary was pregnant. Robert hesitates to give it Mary first but he is persuaded otherwise when Violet says it is wrong to keep it from her. Matthew says in the letter he wishes Mary to be his sole heiress. He also states that although it is not properly documented, he intended after this trip for his wishes to be properly written up. However, Robert was still determined that it was not a will and that he will have Murray look at the document. It is later determined that the letter is a will of sorts, and will stand as one. There were two witnesses to Matthew writing the will and it clearly states that Matthew was sure of Mary being his heiress.

It is clear at first that Robert was not too happy at the thought of sharing Downton with Mary. He kept telling Mary that it couldn't have been a proper will. At dinner, she innocently tells everyone she would like her opinions to be heard in the event that the letter is seen as a will. Robert finds himself slightly annoyed at the prospect and hastily informs Mary of the many things she will have to have an opinion on, which makes Mary remark he must have some sort of point and Cora remark that he trying to say a woman's place is in the home.

In light of this, Violet invites Mary and Tom to her home to have a word wih them. She tells them she would like Tom to be Mary's "instructor" and help her to understand how Downton is run, such as the crops on the farms. Tom and Mary happily accept this prospect. Tom later takes Mary out to discuss how Downton is run. They talk about the death duties and how much tax there will be to pay. Tom tells Mary that her father intends to sell part of the land to pay it off in one lump. They both determine that they disagree with Robert's idea. When Robert finally accepts Matthew's letter is a will, Mary tells Robert of her disagreement with his plan to sell part of the land, to his dismay.

Mary and Tom work together more on the estate, even working on a new venture into pig farming. She meets an old childhood friend, Tony Foyle, now Lord Gillingham, who pursues her. She turns him down as she has not yet moved on from Matthew. But he gets a kiss out of her, and later when she learns of his engagement she secretly feels regret.

She then reunites with her old suitor Evelyn Napier, but does not get along well with his boss Charles Blake. She believes he cares not for the landowners. But after some new pigs arrived in poor condition she and Blake both willingly get dirty in order to help them, after which she and Blake start to respect each other more (he originally believed she was unwilling to work for Downton), and he develops feelings for her himself.

Lord Gillingham returns, having broken off his engagement as he is still determined to win her over. Her family takes note of her numerous suitors.

Mary is the first to know Rose has entered a relationship with Jack Ross. After Rose reveals her plans to marry him, she goes to London to speak to Ross himself. He impresses her with his honesty and love for Rose, but also in his decision to spare Rose pain from society by calling it off. She later speaks to Rose at the bazaar. She is also the second person to learn from Mrs Hughes about what happened to Anna. Anna then reveals to Mary who the culprit was, and Mary feels she has to do something. So she meets with Lord Gillingham and insists that he fire his valet Green without telling him why. He later informs her of Green's death at the bazaar.

Mary receives a visit from Lord Gillingham who proposes they become lovers. She agrees to his offer and they arrange for a secret rendezvous in Liverpool. Mary tells her family she will instead be spending time with a friend, Annabelle Portsmouth. She tells Blake she is sorry if she has hurt him, but he insists he is happy for her. He asks only that she be certain she is making the right choice because he feels that she is far smarter than Lord Gillingham.

Anna is very nervous about Mary's decision, especially when Mary has her go to a pharmacy to purchase items for her to prevent pregnancy. After enjoying themselves, they are spotted by Spratt, Violet's butler. He informs Violet who immediately comes up with an excuse to explain their being in Liverpool. However Violet has Mary come to her house and confront her with what she knows. Mary insists she is being modern and that there is nothing wrong with it, but Violet insists that it is and that Mary has been seduced.

Mary immediately claims that they want to set a date but nothing has been settled. Violet urges her to make a decision. But Mary begins to regret what she has done and later confides to Tom she feels she has made the wrong choice, because she now thinks she and Gillingham have very little in common.

After Tom begins to voice his political opinions again, Mary remarks that she feels Tom is changing back into who he is, which she admits will be a bad thing for the family but not for Tom. She later tells Tom though she does not approve of his friendship with Sarah Bunting, who had helped begin to revive his political views, and that she still does not want him to leave Downton.

Family Relationships Edit

As a woman, Lady Mary cannot inherit her father's earldom in her own right (that is, inherit the title after his death). As the eldest child of the family, she might have been able to inherit Downton Abbey and the money associated with it, but the estate was entailed to the title by her grandfather at the time of Robert's marriage to the American heiress Cora Levinson, Mary's mother. As a result, the next male heir in the line gets the title, the estate, and Cora's money, which cannot be separated one from another by law. First in line to inherit was Mr James Crawley (Robert Crawley's cousin), followed by his son Patrick (Robert's first cousin once removed). In order for Mary to retain the family's wealth and eventually become mistress of Downton, she had been prepared to marry Patrick and the families had secretly considered an engagement between the two, but in April 1912 both heirs drowned on the R.M.S. Titanic. It is obvious that Mary, who has a pronounced independent streak, did not love Patrick in a romantic way. She tells Sybil that what makes her truly sad is that she is not sad enough about Patrick's death, and bemoans the fact she has to wear black in mourning for him.

"I wish Matthew was here. It's funny. it's like I'm an half of myself without him."
—Mary to Isobel about Matthew
Mary and Matthew are fourth cousins. When they first meet, he is enamored by her but she mocks him and instantly dislikes him. While she ridiculed him whenever possible, he appears quite smitten with her, despite her often harsh words. As time passed, the more time they spent together the fonder she grew of him. Mary, despite originally intending to hate him for 'usurping' her inheritance, was soon drawn to his mild manners and sharp wit. Matthew proposes in 1914, and Mary tells him she'll think about it. The matter is further complicated by the fact that Cora is pregnant, and if the baby is a boy Matthew would no longer be the heir, so she takes advice from her aunt, Lady Rosamund Painswick. That she should wait and see, and she delays giving Matthew her answer.

Mary also feels guilty about the Pamuk affair, and feels that she needs to tell Matthew about this before accepting him. This hesitation leads to Matthew withdrawing his proposal as he wrongly believes she only wants to marry him for his future inheritance of Downton, the title, and the money that accompanies this inheritance. Although Matthew cries, he tells Mary, who also is crying, that he does not want to remain at Downton, and that the "experiment is over." Matthew has plans to return to Manchester where he was a city solicitor. Mary asks, "if I had accepted you, would you have stayed." Matthew answers, "of course." Mary is devastated. Matthew's plans to return to Manchester are immediately interrupted as Mary's father announces that England is at war with Germany. Matthew leaves for the war, and they do not speak for two years as he is at the front. While on leave in London, he mends his broken heart with a new young lady named Lavinina Swire. He proposes marriage to her, even though he barely knows her. Matthew returns to Downton with Lavinina in 1916 to introduce her to the Crawleys. Days before Lavinina is due to marry Matthew at Downton in 1919, Lavinina becomes ill with Spanish Flu as does Carson and Mary's mother Cora. While she is resting in bed, Mary finds Matthew and the two of them dance to a phonograph record. Matthew tells Mary that he is "so sorry" for breaking up with her four years prior, and now wishes that he could break up with Lavinina and marry her instead. Lavinia, now standing on the stairs, overhears what Matthew has told Mary and also catches them kissing. Lavinina returns to bed and informs Matthew what she saw and heard, and that she does not want to go on with their wedding. Lavinia believes Matthew belongs with Mary and has been having doubts for quite some time. Matthew feels guilty, and only hours later, Lavinina suddenly dies of Spanish Flu. Matthew tells Mary at Lavinia's grave that they broke Lavinina's heart, she lost the will to live, and that "they are cursed." Mary then walks back to Downton with her fiance Sir Richard.

During the Christmas and New Year celebrations of 1919 and 1920, Mary and Matthew become closer, but Mary's fiance Sir Richard Carlisle, looms as a threat. Mary is very unhappy with Sir Richard and grows to dislike him. Matthew presses her for an explanation for her continued engagement in light of this distaste. When she breaks off the engagement with the permission and support of her father Lord Grantham, she decides to weather the storm of scandal caused by her one-night stand with Kemal Pamuk and go to America to visit her maternal Grandmother to wait it out. Mary finally tells Matthew one night that she is not "pure" and that Kemal died in her bed. Although Matthew is shocked and stunned, he tells Mary that he never would, and never could, despise her. At the Servant's Ball soon thereafter, Mary stands alone in the falling snow at night, contemplating her trip to America. Matthew comes outside and asks her to stay. He tells Mary that the Kemal scandal will never come between them, he now believes that Lavinina would want him to be happy, and that they have both lived their lives, and it is time to live them together. Matthew proposes to her and she happily accepts.

Baby crawley family

Mary and Matthew with their newborn son

In Spring 1920, Matthew and Mary are ready to get married, but have arguments over an enormous inheritance that Matthew might receive from Lavinia's deceased father. Mary's father has squandered Cora's money in a bad investment with a rail road. The family will be forced to move to smaller quarters and will have to sell Downton unless Matthew helps them out, which he at first refuses to do, as he feels guilty about letting Lavinia down. Mary thinks about calling off their wedding, but Tom and Matthew talk her into going through with it because "as long as they both walk the earth, they couldn't be with anyone else." Mary and Matthew finally wed, six years after his first proposal. Matthew is very anxious to start a family, but wrongly believes Mary is hesitant. As the months go on, Matthew believes he cannot father a child due to the severe bruising on his back during the war. At one time, Matthew was paralized from the waist down and was impotent as a result. Both Mary and Matthew secretly go to the same fertility doctor in London, where they run into each other in the waiting area. Mary has a small (undisclosed) operation and soon gets pregnant in January 1921. The Christmas Special episode, set in September 1921, sees an 8-months pregnant Mary going to Scotland with her family by train. Going on a very bumpy ride to a picnic and dancing later on, causes Mary to feel uneasy, and she wants to leave the next morning with Anna to return to Downton via train. After returning early from Scotland without Matthew or her family, Mary goes into labour after getting off the train, and Anna and the luggage porter immediately bring her to hospital. Mary tells Matthew's mother that she "only feels half herself without Matthew." Matthew rushes to the hospital several hours later as a "hot and dusty traveler" to find Mary holding their son and heir. Matthew then tells Mary that he falls more in love with her everyday and the two share a sweet moment with their unnamed son. Matthew then drives to Downton to tell the family in person about their son. Matthew's mother Isobel, waiting at Downton, has already told the Crawley family that the baby is a boy, but she has not seen the baby or Matthew. Matthew, extremely happy about the birth of his son, drives quickly to Downton while looking at the trees on the right side of the narrow dirt road. Matthew is not paying attention to the road, instead thinking about Mary and his son while looking at trees and speeding, and is forced to make a sharp turn to the left at the last second, avoiding an oncoming delivery truck coming up a small hill. Matthew's car rolls down the embankment and lands on top of him. It appears that Matthew has broken his neck and has died instantly. Later it is shown that Matthew has apparently suffered a skull fracture as well, as blood slowly pours down his face. The episode ends with Mary holding their son, smiling, unaware of the fatal accident of her beloved husband.

Six months after his death, Mary still struggles to come to terms with the loss of her husband. As a result, she doesn't have a close bond with their son who she called George, thinking him to be a "poor little orphan". Mary refuses to wear any outfit except black, which is traditionally worn in time of mourning. She breaks down during a dinner with her family, saying she doesn't understand how, having survived the war he had to die in "a stupid car crash" and later on she tells Carson she doesn't know how to move on. Eventually, she attempts after a heart to heart conversation with Violet to finally come to terms with her loss.

To prove to her family and Matthew that she has moved on, Mary encourages the advances of a very wealthy tabloid owner. When Mary is sufficiently convinced that Matthew is no longer in love with her, she makes the decision to marry Sir Richard Carlisle. Mary tells Sir Richard everything about her brief relationship with Kemal Pamuk in order to protect herself and her family because Mr Bates's first wife, Vera Bates, has threatened to go to the newspapers with the story. Sir Richard buys the legal rights to Vera Bates's story to keep it from publication, and Mary believes she will forever be in his debt.

However, Lord Grantham notices Lady Mary's unhappiness with Sir Richard and asks his wife, Cora, whether there is something he ought to know about the situation. Cora tells him about Mr. Pamuk. Lord Grantham approaches Mary and gives her his full support and permission to break off the engagement and weather the potential scandalous storm that may follow.

Mary breaks the news to Carlisle, who threatens her with ruin and insults Matthew. Matthew and Sir Richard come to blows and Sir Richard decides to leave the next day. Mary tells him that she feels partly responsible and apologizes for using him. Sir Richard tells her that he loved her more than she knows, but he still won't feel obligated to hold back the scandal from the papers.

After her grandmother thinks Sybil might have a secret love, Mary sees Tom talking to her and is suspicious. Later she insisted Tom could not talk with Sybil about other things than his job and was shocked to learn of his love for Sybil and desire to run away with her, saying to Sybil, "You and the chauffeur?!" She only promised not to give Tom away as long as Sybil did not do anything rash. After learning Sybil decided to marry Tom and persuading her not to just run off, she told Tom she was confident she could persuade her to end her engagement and offered Tom money for the room they were in.  He said he would pay and return the car.

When Sybil does marry Tom however, she supports Sybil's efforts to help bring him closer to the family, promising as much to Sybil that they would "know him and value him." When Larry Grey drugs Tom during one dinner, making him appear rude and loud, she tells the entire dinner immediately after finding out, and supports Matthew's wish to make him best man. After Tom is suspected of being involved in a terrorist attack in Ireland, she attacks him verbally, accusing him of dancing around an estate that was burned.

Downton Abbey series 4 images revealed in official calendar-1-

Mary and Tom with their respective children.

Following Sybil's death however, she immediately grows much closer to Tom, defending his decisions to baptise his daughter Catholic (since Sybil told her prior she didn't mind and Mary promised to fight their corner) and name her Sybil. Tom named Mary Sybbie's godmother. She also asks his opinion on Matthew's plans for Downton, as well as continuing to insist that the family (specifically her father and grandmother) call him by his first name instead of his last. She grows considerably closer to Tom following Matthew's death, and spends much more time with him.

She confides in Tom after rejecting Lord Gillingham, that she may regret it for a long time, without divulging what actually happened between her and him. She also encourages him to talk to someone when she sees something is wrong (when Edna Braithwaite had sexually abused and was trying to trick him into marrying her). His telling her she would despise him only makes her sympathize with him more, saying she once said the same thing to someone, but talking about it made her feel better (to Matthew about Pamuk). But when he still does not tell her, she tells him to find someone he can tell, because it would make him feel much better. He does, going to Mrs Hughes, and he later tells Mary (after Edna left) that he feels much better. Later, when her father suggests someone was rude to him, she immediately wanted to know what happened. But even then he says nothing.

Tom and Mary continue their work with the estate. When Tom tells the family he is considering moving to America and taking Sybbie with her, though others (such as Cora) are worried about this, Mary alone speaks out against it, insisting he has made a new start at Downton and that they do not want to lose him.

Other Relationships Edit

Believing Mary will inherit the estate after James and Patrick's deaths, he organises a visit to Downton in order to court her. She is at first bewildered and then intrigued when he convinces her to explore the servant quarters, an area of the house in which the family would have rarely ventured. They enter footman Thomas's room, where the Duke rummages through the drawers. Mary is uncomfortable about this and is apologetic when they are caught by Bates. The reason for this visit to Thomas' room was that the Duke had had an affair with him once in London and was looking for the love letters he had written so that Thomas could not blackmail him now that he knows Mary is not to inherit Downton.

Evelyn Napier, a family friend, visits Downton accompanied by a Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk, a young man so strikingly handsome that even the Earl remarks upon it. Pamuk immediately lusts after Mary, a feeling she reciprocates. Later he blackmails Thomas Barrow, who has mistakingly made an advance, into showing him where her room is so that he will know where to go that night. Even though Mary resists his early advances, she is nonetheless coerced by him when he enters her bedchambers. He assures her she will remain ostensibly a virgin for her husband, and she submits-- fearing what would happen if she does not. Later that night, Mary wakes up head housemaid Anna Smith to report that Pamuk suffered a heart attack and died in her arms. Together, with the help of her mother Cora Crawley, they carry him to his own room, in the distant bachelor's corridor, so that he may be discovered the next day dead in his own bed and not in Mary's. This scandal will haunt Mary for the rest of her life, should it ever be revealed to the public. However John Bates' first wife, Vera Bates, is aware of Lady Mary and Kemal Pamuk's story and has threatened that she will go to the newspapers with the story. Lady Mary informs newspaper editor, and future fiance, Sir Richard Carlisle, of her indiscretion, Vera Bates and Vera's threat to make the story public. Sir Richard buys the legal rights to the story from Vera Bates and keeps the story out of the newspapers. After Lady Mary's father notices that his daughter is unhappy, Cora tells him everything about Kemal. Lord Grantham tells his daughter to call off her engagement with Sir Richard, and he will support her if and when the story is made public. After her engagement is called off, Sir Richard tells Lady Mary he will feel no regret when he exposes the scandal which may bring ruin upon Lady Mary and her family.

DACastInd Carson

Mary has a closer relationship than you would expect a member of the family to have with a servant and their mutual fondness is obvious. When Mary was considering marrying Sir Richard Carlisle she asked Mr Carson to come be their butler and as much as he would have hated to leave Downton, he initially accepted to help Mary. When Mary married Matthew she asked his opinion of her dress, and he stood with her father, watching her walk down the stairs almost with the eyes of a father. After Matthew's death he comforted Mary, holding her as she cried.

Six months after Matthew's death, there is a party "to help lift Mary's spirit", which Lord Gillingham, an old childhood acquaintance of Mary, attends. They grow closer day by day. The second time they meet, they go to a trip in London where they dance together. Eventualy, he proposed to Mary. Mary is flattered but hesitant, saying that she isn't "free of Matthew", and cannot accept. Gillingham then asks her to kiss him, and she does. Lord Gillingham then becomes engaged to Mabel Lane Fox.

The next time they meet is when Charles Blake, an old friend of Tony's with whom he served in the military, and Mary's old suitor Evelyn Naipier arrive at Downton. At this time, Tony's engagement to Mable Lane Fox is public. When Mary learns it was Gillingham's valet Green who raped Anna, she asks Tony to sack Green, although she won't tell him why. Gillingham says he would fire him because he loves her, and at one point, he tells Mary that he has broken off his engagement because he is determined to win her nonetheless. At the church bazaar, Tony tells Mary that Green mysteriously died in some kind of accident, and is mystified at the coincidence of her request and Green's death. Later, at Rose's ball, Tony is the first to take Mary to the dance floor. They leave together for some privacy, where Tony nobly discloses Charles wealthy status and the estate Charles will inherit. Blake is clearly jealous, but dances until dawn with Mary. In the early morning light, Mary questions Charles about his reticence of his noble connections, and he states that he wanted to win her on his own. For the first time, Charles appears as a suitor equal to Tony in the quest for Mary's hand. She declares, "Let battle commence" as the scene concludes. In Series 5, Tony says that he wants him and Mary to become lovers, Mary agrees as long as it is kept secret and therefore visits Tony at Liverpool's grand hotel for her tryst with him. She feels that she needs to get to know Tony well before accepting him as she wants to be as happy with her second husband as she was with her first.

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When Blake first appears at Downton with Evelyn Napier, Mary and he do not get off well. She sees him as an enemy, while he feels she is conceited and thinks herself superior. However, when both dirty themselves in mud in order to help some new pigs that have arrived, they start laughing and eat together in the servant's dining hall. From that point on, Blake is smitten with Mary.

Mary, though she enjoys Blake's company, still feels by 1923 that a relationship between them could not work because he opposes everything she stands for. But then her opinion on that matter changes after she learns he is heir to a title, estate, and fortune in Ulster. However in Series 5 Blake, accompanied by his friend Simon Bricker, came to Downton to view the paintings. Blake just wanted an excuse to see Mary and concedes that she prefers Tony Gillingham more than him and tries to wish her luck.


  • "Oh dear, if I answer truthfully you'll think me rather forward." - to the Duke of Crowborough when he asks if she likes being alone with him (Episode 1)
  • "I don't believe a woman can be forced to give away all her money to a distant cousin of her husband's. Not in the 20th century. It's too ludicrous for words."  - to her mother, Cora, referring to her cousin Matthew, who will inherit her father's estate (Episode 2)
  • "You and my parents have something in common." - to Kemal Pamuk, attempting to get him to leave her bedroom as he advances and begins to kiss her, "You believe I'm much more of a rebel than I am." (Episode 3)
  • "Everything seems so golden one minute, then turns to ashes the next. Can I ask you a question, Carson? Have you ever felt your life was somehow...slipping away? And there was nothing you could do to stop it?" - to Carson after the death of Kemal Pamuk, "The odd thing is, I feel...for the first time, really, I understand what it is to be happy. It's just that I know that I won't be." (Episode 3)
  • "You should learn to forget what I say. I know I do." - to Matthew at the fair, referring to previous critical remarks she made to him about the middle class (Episode 4)
  • "Women like me don't have a life. We choose clothes and pay calls and work for charity and do the season. But really we are stuck in a waiting room until we marry." - to Matthew, discussing his work and her life at the fair (Episode 4)
  • "Haven't you heard? I don't have a heart. Everyone knows that." - to Anna in a conversation about how she is recovering from the Kemal Pamuk affair (Episode 4)
  • "So I'm just to find a husband and get out of the way?" - to her father, Robert, about Matthew inheriting the estate. He responds, "You could stay here if you married Matthew." She replies, "You know my character, Father. I'd never marry any man that I was told to. I'm stubborn. I wish I wasn't, but I am." (Episode 4)
  • "I wish you'd just admit it! I'm a lost soul to you! I took a lover with no thought of marriage! A Turk! Think of that!" - to her mother, Cora, about Cora giving up the fight to break the entail (Episode 4)
  • "All alone with plenty of money and a house in Eton Square? I can't imagine anything better." - to Sybil, referring to their Aunt Rosamund's situation (Episode 5)
  • "How many times am I to be ordered to marry the man sitting next to me at dinner?" - to her mother, Cora, before dinner with Sir Anthony Strallan (Episode 5)
  • "I'll admit that if I ever wanted to attract a man, I'd stay clear of those clothes and that hat." - to Edith when Edith teases her about Matthew (Episode 5)
  • "When you laugh with me or flirt with me, is that a duty? Are you conforming to the fitness of things?" - to Matthew after he rescues Sybil from a riot and refers to it as his "duty" (Episode 6)
  • "You can't be sure I was going to refuse you, even if it had been a boy. Because I'm not." - to Matthew when he withdraws his proposal after Cora miscarries. A son would have displaced Matthew as heir. (Episode 7)
  • "Would you have stayed if I'd accepted you?" - to Matthew, after he withdraws his proposal and tells her that he's leaving Downton. He replies, "Of course." She answers,"So I've ruined everything." (Episode 7

  • "I wanted to give you this. It's my lucky charm. I've had it always, so you must promise to bring it back without a scratch." - to Matthew as he departs for the war (Episode 1)
  • "'Goodbye then. And such good luck!" - to Matthew as he departs for the war (Episode 1)
  • "Dear Lord, I don't pretend to have much credit with you. I'm not even sure that you're there. But if you are, and if I've ever done anything good, I beg you to keep him safe." - Mary praying for Matthew at the battlefront (Episode 1)
  • '"Well there you are then. One day you'll meet someone else and you'll marry. Perhaps it'll be second best, but it doesn't mean you can't have a life." - to Anna, asking for her advice about marrying Sir Richard, and referring to Anna's true love, Mr. Bates, who left Downton with his wife (Episode 2).
  • "The truth is we're very much alike, so naturally I think she's perfect." - to Matthew when he asks for her opinion of Lavinia (Episode 3)
  • "You sound as if you were going to gobble her up." - to Violet when she mentions inviting Lavinia to tea (Episode 3)
  • "No names, no pack drill." - to Matthew about the private battle between Isobel and Cora over the running of the hospital at Downton (Episode 3)
  • "Why must she be so savage? It's my broken heart and it was her advice that wrecked it in the first place." - to Violet about Rosamund, who plots to break up Lavinia and Matthew (Episode 3)
  • "Poor Matthew. What must he do to persuade you that he's in love with Lavinia? Open his chest and carve her name on his heart?" - to Lord Grantham when he offers Matthew as an alternative to marrying Sir Richard (Episode 4)
  • "Oh, darling, darling, don't be such a baby. This isn't fairyland. What did you think? You'd marry the chauffeur and we'd all come to tea?"- to Sybil about her relationship with Branson (Episode 4)
  • "Matthew, are you feeling a little less groggy?" - to Matthew when he wakes in hospital (Episode 5)
  • "I don't think we can say 'should' about things that happen in war. It just happens. And we should live with it."- to Matthew when he says that William should be alive too (Episode 6)
  • "Your lot buys it, my lot inherits it." - to Sir Richard about finding furnishings for Hacksby Park (Episode 6)
  • "With you at the helm, there's much more chance of a smooth crossing." - to Carson about coming with her to run the new household when she is married (Episode 6)
  • "Well, I suppose one has to live somewhere." - to Sir Richard about Hacksby Park (Episode 6)
  • "Of course not. Would I ever admit to loving a man who preferred someone else over me?" - to Sir Richard when he asks if she is still in love with Matthew (Episode 7)
  • "Of course it's the end. How could it not be?" - to Matthew after Lavinia's funeral when he tells her that they can have no future together because they are the reason Lavinia died (Episode 7)
  • "It was lust, Matthew! Or a need for excitement, or something in him that I...Oh, God, what difference does it make? I'm Tess of the d'Urbervilles to your Angel Clarie. I have fallen. I am impure." - to Matthew when she tells him about her affair with Kemal Pamuk (Christmas Special)
  • "Oh, Matthew, you don't mean that. You know yourself we carry more luggage than the porters at King's Cross." - to Matthew when he asks her if she would stay at Downton if he asked her to (Christmas Special)
  • "You must say it properly. I won't answer unless you kneel down and everything." - to Matthew as he proposes (Christmas Special)

  • "Now stop talking and kiss me before I get cross." - to Matthew Crawley, her husband.
  • "I'm glad to hear it. I should hate to be predictable." - to her fiancée Matthew Crawley at the altar before they are going to marry. He said he wasn't completely sure she would come as they had had an argument the night before.
  • "Oh, do pick him, Carson, and cheer us all up a bit. Alfred is nice, but he does look like a puppy that has been rescued from a puddle." - to Mr. Carson on why he should hire Jimmy the handsome candidate as footman.
  • "I'm never against you. But you've lost on this one." - to her father, Robert Crawley, on why he should give up the fight and to let baby Sybil be christened Catholic.
  • "...And in my book, the Countess of Grantham lives at Downton Abbey. Simple." - to her mother Cora on why she cannot live at Downton Place.

  • "We must speculate to accumulate." - to Tom
  • "We must rise to life's challenges." - to Edith in response to Edith's comments about Mary becoming a fledgling businesswoman.
  • "I expect many people must regret things they got up to in London." - in 1923.
  • "It's no good, Tony. I can't, I'm not free of him." - to Lord Gillingham after she turns down his proposal, as she is not yet moved on from Matthew.
  • "Yesterday you said I fill your brain. Matthew fills mine, and I don't want to be without him, not yet." - to Lord Gillingham
  • "Do you think she is having a good childhood?" - to Tom about Sybbie.


Appearances and Mentions
Series 1 Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Series 2 Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Christmas Special
Series 3 Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Christmas Special
Series 4 Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Christmas Special
Series 5 Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Christmas Special



  • In "The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era" by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis, Julian Fellowes relates that the character of Mary Crawley is based on both his wife (who resembles her in appearance) and his "indomitable" mother. He says that Mary and the character of Emma, have "the quality of shaping their own destiny, rather than abiding by the rules of others".
  • Mary is often shown to be noticing other characters when they are acting in a unusual manner due to underlying issues.

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References Edit

Start a Discussion Discussions about Mary Crawley

  • Mary and Edith's relationship

    36 messages
    • I think people hoping for some kind of friendship between Mary and Edith are dreaming.  It was stated in one convo, I forget when, that they ...
    • Well, we already know Edith has inherited the magazine company from Gregson, so I'm still certain by the end of the series she and Marigold w...
  • Mary and Tom

    10 messages
    • Dockery and Leech both confirmed long ago that their characters' relationship is that of brother and sister - Mary and Tom are not going to ...
    • wrote:was it not still illegal to marry your sister/brother in law 1920s? That I cannot say, but certainly historically there h...

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