| Sybil "Sybbie" Branson |
|Born||August or September 1920|
|Residence||Downton Abbey, Downton, Yorkshire, England|
|Title(s)|| Sybbie (by her father, her aunts Edith and Mary, and her maternal grandmother)|
Miss Sybil (by Edna Braithwaite)
Darling (by her father)
Bairn (by Mrs Hughes)
|Family|| Tom Branson (father) |
Sybil Branson nee Crawley (mother) †
|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Ava Mann (Series 4)|
She was born small for her age, which is a common complication in children born of mothers with preeclampsia.
A dispute erupted between Tom and Robert over her christening. Tom asserted that his daughter was Irish, and should be "Catholic, like her father." Robert insisted it would not help her to be baptised into a church other than the Church of England, though he was more motivated by his own traditions (as there had not been a Catholic Crawley since the Reformation) and a desire to have a greater influence over her upbringing. He also insisted the only chance Sybbie would have at achieving anything in life was due to her mother's blood, and that it was "ghoulish" to name her after her mother. Mary disagreed with him in all these claims, reminding him that Sybbie was a Branson, not a Crawley.
The dispute ended after Mary revealed that before her death, Sybil told her she had no objection to her child being Catholic. Robert still protested, but Cora silenced him. Even though he no longer fought it, he still remained opposed. He and his mother were uncomfortable when the photographer suggested they take a picture with Sybil and the priest that baptized her.
Tom had initially decided to move in with Kieran at Liverpool and work in his car repair business. They would live in an apartment above the garage. Kieran said there was a bit of a park nearby. It is this dinner which prompts Violet to suggest that Tom to be named the new estate manager (Downton's agent Jarvis had resigned earlier that same day). She insists to Robert that he cannot want his granddaughter to grow up in a garage with Kieran, whom she calls "that drunken gorilla."
When her father did replace Jarvis, she was to have moved with him and her nanny into the Agent's House. Cora expressed concern about this, thinking it would be lonely for her, because she felt "children are happier in families." But her father felt it was best for both of them. However, after seeing her surrounded by his in-laws at the cricket match, Tom decided he and she would live at Downton until she was older. When he told this to Cora, she felt it is what Sybbie's mother would want.In September 1921 she was seen in the arms of her father, watching and pointing while the staff packed up bags for the family's trip to Duneagle Castle in Scotland. Her father, who did not go with the rest of the family, continued to spend time with her. She was later comforted by Carson while crying as the rest of the staff had gone to the Thirsk fair. He then takes her back to bed, after Mrs Hughes admires him for comforting her. He and Mrs Hughes talk of Sybil's late mother. Carson remarks he was thinking of her when she was her daughter's present age, while Mrs Hughes remarks that they must care for her "bairn". Nanny West, who favors George and is fired after Lady Grantham overhears her insult Sybbie because of her parentage. Her nanny blames her for waking up baby George and calls her "a wicked little cross-breed". A new nanny later comes in.
After her father barely escapes the evil schemes of Edna Braithwaite, he starts to consider a new future for himself and her, even if it means moving away from Downton, perhaps to America. He feels it would not be good for her to grow up in constant reminder that she is the daughter of "an uppity chauffeur" and that she should instead have a clean slate. Robert, like Mary, does not wish for him to go, but it seems his primary motive is Sybbie (he says it would be too much for Sybil's daughter to go), as he still appears to want her to grow up at Downton and he can have a role in her upbringing, remarking she'd always have a home here and that George would be as good as her brother when they grow up.
Isobel comes up one evening with Mary and Tom into the nursery. She decides that Sybbie could refer to her as Aunt Isobel.
Sybil appears with her and George's new nanny to come visit the family in the drawing room before dinner. She is calm and quiet but her cousin George starts crying, making the Countess uncomfortable enough to leave and Mr Blake to comfort him
When the Downton bazaar is held, she is with her father again, and he introduces her to Sarah Bunting, a woman he met at a political rally.
Although Sybil is very young at this point in the series, she does have a few characteristics that have shown through out her appearances. In Series 3, Sybil seems to be a relatively calm baby, smiling and cooing when her Aunt Mary comes to see her and her father. She seems to enjoy the company of others, espicially when her aunt cradles her during the annual cricket match and when she immediately stops crying when Carson picks her up, when it was just the two of them. She also shows signs of curiousity when she points at the servants while they pack for Scotland.
Series 4 has Sybil at two-years old and seems relatively quiet (except in the presence of Nanny West without other adults around; then she won't stop crying), and a bit shy but we are assured that in Series 5 she may develop a bit more of a personality as she grows.
- So far, Sybbie is the only one of her generation in the Crawley family born inside Downton Abbey, George having been born in the village's local hospital and her female cousin in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Since Sybbie was named after her mother, it is possible she shares the same middle name as her mother (identified as Cora) but this has never been confirmed.
- Sybbie was born in August or September 1920; we can infer this from Robert's words of "Tennessee is going to ratify the 19th Amendment." in Episode 3.05. The ratification of the amendment happened on August 18th, 1920. This means that Episode 3.05 is set before August 18th when the Amendment was ratified. This also means, as the 2012 Christmas Special is set in September 1921, that Sybil must have been born after the 18th of August - as that is after the events of 3.05 and the ratification of the amendment - and on or before the 30th of September 1920 - which is a year before the events of the 2012 Christmas Special. As well as this, September is the end of the cricket season - which spans from May to September in the UK - and Cricket is played in Episode 3.08, thus it cannot be after 30th September, as that was the end of the cricket season in 1920.
As seen by this picture, Radio Times incorrectly reported that the child was a boy.
Sybil and Sibyl are variations of given names deriving from the Greek term "sibyls", the oracular seeresses of the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean. Sybil as a girl's name is pronounced SIH-bul. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Sybil is "prophetess, oracle. Sybil has 13 variant forms: Sybill, Sibyl, Sibylla, Sybel, Sybella, Sybelle, Sybilla, Sybille, Sibell, Sibilla, Cybele, Cybil, and Cybill. 
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 3||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5|
|Series 4||Episode 1|
|Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5|
|Episode 7||Episode 8||Christmas Special|
|Series 5||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5||Episode 6||Episode 7||Episode 8||Episode 9|
- ↑ Sybil was born in August or September 1920; we can infer this from Robert's words of "Tennessee is going to ratify the 19th Amendment." in Episode 3.04. The ratification of the ammendment happened on August 18th, 1920. This means that Episode 3.04 is set before August 18th when the Ammendment was ratified. This also means, as the 2012 Christmas Special is set in September 1921, that Sybil must have been born after the 18th of August - as that is after 3.04 and the ratification of the ammendment - and on or before the 30th of September 1920 - which is a year before the events of the 2012 Christmas Special. As well as this, September is the end of the cricket season - which spans from May to September in the UK - and Cricket is played in Episode 3.08, thus it cannot be after 30th September, as that was the end of the cricket season in 1920.
- ↑ U.S. National Library of Medicine Preeclampsia
- ↑ Note: The associated scene appears in season 4 part 4 on PBS, but does not appear in episode 4.05 as first broadcast on ITV.
- ↑ Sybil name meaning from thinkbabtnames.com