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Susan MacClare

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Susan MacClare
Marchioness of Flintshire
SusanFlintshire
Biographical information
Marital status Married
Title(s) Susan Flintshire (By Violet)
Lady Flintshire (By Cora)
Physical information
Gender Female
Family information
Family Rose MacClare (daughter)
James MacClare (son)
Lady Annabelle (daughter)
Annabelle's Husband (son-in-law)
Hugh MacClare (husband)
Roberta (mother or aunt)
Violet Crawley (aunt and godmother)
Violet's husband (uncle)†
Robert Crawley (first cousin)
Cora Crawley (first cousin-in-law)
Rosamund Painswick (first cousin)
Lady Agatha (sister-in-law)
Lady Louisa (sister-in-law)
Affiliation
Loyalty Violet Crawley
Behind the scenes
Portrayed by Phoebe Nicholls
Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshirea is Robert Crawley's first cousin, the maternal niece and goddaughter of Violet Crawley, mother of three children: James, Annabelle, and Rose, and mother-in-law to Annabelle's husband. She is married to Hugh MacClare, who is nicknamed Shrimpie within the family and works as a minister at the Foreign Office.

Background Edit

Susan is born to the sister of Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, who stood as godmother to her. At sometime before 1913, Susan visited Downton Abbey.[1]

BiographyEdit

Season OneEdit

Violet mentions that Susan has not been to Downton in some time since she forgot the layout of the house when Susan writes to Violet about gossip circulating in London about Mary carrying Kemal Pamuk's corpse the length of Downton Abbey by herself.

Season TwoEdit

In 1916, Vera Bates used John Bates's name to get a job with Susan. Vera tricked Susan's lady's maid into telling her about Kemal Pamuk dying in Mary Crawley's bed whilst having sex and Anna Bates helped Mary cover it up. Vera later goes to Downton Abbey after her mother-in-law's death and uses this information to blackmail her estranged husband to come back to London to live with her in his mother's home.

In 1917, Violet inquired as to the health of her niece when she rang Hugh in order to get William moved from the infirmary in Leeds to Downton Abbey.

Season ThreeEdit

In Episode 3.08, Violet states that Susan is her godchild and that she and Hugh could not travel to Scotland - as they intended to - until July 1921 because Hugh's work "keeps him nailed to his desk." So Susan asked Violet to let Rose stay with her for a while. She says it is because Rose hates London, but it is later revealed that Rose has taken up with a married man. When Violet later contacts Susan to tell her that Rose had gotten back to London to see him, she makes arrangements for Rosé to go to the Scotland early with a stodgy aunt.

By September 1921, the relationship between Hugh and Susan has become frosty due to them "living together too long" and "becoming bored", and the two of them are in a bitter "war of words". Her relationship with Rose has grown extremely bitter, and she continously puts Rose down and criticizes her ways.

She later confides in Cora that she is finding Rose "an education" for her. She tells Cora that Hugh wants Rose to stay at Downton while they are in India. She asks Cora to speak to Rose of her well from time to time, and as for her and Hugh she remarks "We'll soldier on" even if she wished it.

Series FourEdit

Not only has Susan gone to India, but Sarah O'Brien has gone with her. Cora is upset that Susan would steal her lady's maid from her.

Rose later maliciously states that she wants to see her mother's face "crumble" at the news Rose was married to a black man. Mary later tells Jack Ross that Rose greatly dislikes her mother and feels that she is motivated to marry him primarily to get back at her. The Prince of Wales was later hosted by her and Shrimpie after they arrived in India, which he mentions when Rose is presented before him and his father King George V in 1923.

PersonalityEdit

Susan is neurotic and pugnacious, especially with her daughter. Her husband finds himself unable to like these aspects of her personality and they have a very frosty relationship partly due to this. However, she understands duty and married her husband for that reason. She does at one point show a caring and sympathetic side when talking to Cora about her marriage and Rose.

Relationships Edit

Hugh MacClareEdit

Susan and Hugh married out of a sense of duty rather than love when they were young, and then after their older children got married the two realized how little they had in common. Their relationship grew frosty and sharp; they argue a lot, especially about their youngest daughter, Rose.

Rose MacClareEdit

Susan worries constantly about Rose, telling Cora that sometimes she is thinking about her before she opens her eyes in a morning. Her relationship with Rose has become very strained, with Susan's worry showing itself in almost constant criticism of Rose and how she acts, dresses and talks.

Sarah O'BrienEdit

Frustrated with her own lady's maid Wilkins, Susan requests help from O'Brien in shaping her hair to be like Cora's. She immediately begins lavishing O'Brien with attention and praise. They discuss traveling, and in the end, O'Brien leaves Downton and Lady Grantham in the middle of the night without a word beforehand, to be Susan's maid.

Quotes Edit

  • "Aunt Violet we feel so privileged to have lured you this far north"- Susan to Violet as the family arrives at Duneagle.
  • "Stand up straight you're slouching like a field hand"- Susan to Rose in the drawing room during supper.
  • "Rose you are not wearing that dress and that is final. She looks like a slut." - Susan to Rose and Violet respectively at the Ghillies Ball.
  • "We weren't expecting male company."-Susan to Hugh at the ladies luncheon.
  • "But you are my mother's sister.  You should jolly well be on my side" - Susan to Violet on a walk.
  • "Sometimes I find myself worrying about Rose before I open my eyes" - Susan to Cora after the Ball.
  • "Wilkins pay close attention."- Susan to her maid Miss Wilkins about how to sculpt her hair
  • "We're not quite there yet." - To Miss O'Brien about her hair at the Ball.
  • "Rose, who are you talking to? Get inside. Everyone's in the drawing room." - To Rose.
  • "Alright Shrimpie the point has been made" - To Hugh during the bagpipes at dinner.

AppearancesEdit

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

Notes Edit

  • a A note regarding the character of Rosamund Painswick in the Season 3 Press Pack confirms that Rose is the daughter of Susan, the Lady Flintshire, and by implication indicates Susan's surname as MacClare as well.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Series 1 Episode 6: Violet mentions that Susan must have "forgotten the layout of the house." Susan would not know of the layout of the House unless she had visited at some point before 1913.
  2. SpoilerTV, Downton Abbey - Season 3 - Press Pack, page 4, Posted by b3rt4 at Monday, September 03, 2012; excerpt: "The arrival on the scene of Lady Rose MacClare, the daughter of her cousin, Lady Flintshire, will give her more opportunities to interfere."
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