| Lady Sybil Cora Branson (née Crawley) |
|Born||Between August/September and December 1895|
|Died||August or September 1920, Downton Abbey, Yorkshire|
|Marital status||Married to Tom Branson|
|Residence|| Downton Abbey, Downton, Yorkshire |
(formerly, before marriage and before death)
Ireland, Branson Household (formerly, before death)
|Title(s)|| Lady Sybil |
|Hair colour||Dark Brown|
|Family|| Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (father) |
Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham (mother)
|Behind the scenes|
|Portrayed by||Jessica Brown-Findlay|
- "No one ever learned anything from a governess except for French, and how to curtsy."
- —-Lady Sybil on what her governess taught her.[src]
Lady Sybil Cora Branson (née Crawley; b. between August/September and December 1895 — August or September 1920) was the youngest daughter of Robert and Cora Crawley, the Earl and Countess of Grantham, sister of Lady Mary and Lady Edith and an unnamed brother, wife of Tom Branson, mother of her only child and daughter Miss Sybil Branson, and sister-in-law of Matthew Crawley.
Lady Sybil was the youngest child of the aristocratic and wealthy Crawley family. She was the family rebel - a very politically conscious woman who considered the lives and feelings of the underprivileged. Her aristocratic heritage was less important to her than finding love and a place in the world - as the youngest daughter she would have inherited very little, anyway. When her parents made her choose between her life of privilege and her marriage to the family chauffeur Tom Branson, Lady Sybil chose love. She was tutored in French by a governess, although she had little regard for it. As she said: 
Unlike the rest of her conservative family, Lady Sybil was politically liberal and believed in civil rights, especially votes for women. During the war, like a lot of other suffragettes, Lady Sybil stopped fighting for the vote, out of respect for the men off at war. Tom Branson thought this was wrong, saying that Sylvia Pankhurst was all for fighting for these rights.
Nurse Training Edit
After receiving notice of the death of Tom Bellasis, one of the young men she actually enjoyed conversation with and with whom she used to dance, Lady Sybil could no longer stand waiting around for the war to finish. After telling Mrs. Crawley that she wanted to do real work instead of meaningless tasks, Mrs. Crawley suggested Lady Sybil become a nurse. Before she left, Mrs. Crawley suggested that Lady Sybil should learn some basic skills, like cooking and how to make a bed.
Lady Sybil asked Mrs. Patmore and Daisy for help. This seemed like a big task, as Lady Sybil couldn't even properly fill up a kettle. She left for training shortly after and Cora realised that this was something she needed to do. By 1917 (Episode 2.02) Lady Sybil was fully trained and felt useful for the first time in her life, saying that she could never go back to her life before the war.
Lady Sybil was the third and youngest daughter of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham and Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, and the youngest sister of Lady Mary Crawley and Lady Edith Crawley. She was also the granddaughter of Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. She came from an aristocratic, wealthy family, but she didn't care about her family's money and was very unlikey to inherit. She was interested in politics, especially and she believed in equal civil rights for everyone, especially votes for women. No one in her conservative family shared her interest in politics. As the youngest daughter, finding Lady Sybil a suitable husband was not her parents' priority, until after her older sisters married. However, they were confident that Lady Sybil would eventually marry, unlike their feelings on the prospects of her older sister, Lady Edith. Early in series 1 Lady Sybil formed a strong relationship with the family chauffeur, Tom Branson, who was also very political. He subsequently fell in love with her. For the majority of series 2 she was undecided whether she loved him or not. Once the war was over, Lady Sybil finally let her heart have a say. Perhaps, too, she saw marriage to Tom Branson as her ticket out of her father's house and into the messy, exciting world that she admired. Lady Sybil decided to marry Tom Branson, despite her family's wishes. Lady Mary, Lady Edith and housemaid Anna track her down on her way to elope at Gretna Green and she returned to Downton with them. She and Tom Branson announced their relationship and plans to get married and move to Ireland, much to her family's shock and dismay. She swore to her family that she would not give Tom up. After threatening to disinherit her, Robert eventually gave them his blessing. Her grandmother and father planned to minimize the scandal of "the Lady and the Chauffeur" by giving Tom a made-up backstory. Lady Sybil and Tom moved to Dublin, Ireland, and later married. Only Lady Sybil's sisters attended the wedding, as her Mother was recovering from her illness, and her Father and Grandmother did not want to attend the wedding. Soon after their marriage, Lady Sybil wrote to her family that she was pregnant, much to Lady Grantham's delight and shock. In the letter, she asked her parents to keep the news a secret from her sisters. Lord Grantham then commented that he "wondered why she didn't ask to come for Christmas." After the Servant's Ball, Lady Grantham told Lord Grantham she had written back to Lady Sybil. Lady Grantham wanted the family to visit Lady Sybil and Tom in Ireland. She also wanted Lady Sybil and Tom to come to visit Downton, and she doesn't want to be separated from her first grandchild. Lady Grantham also admitted to Lord Grantham, that this wasn't the outcome that she wanted for Lady Sybil, but it is what has happened and the whole family must accept it. Lady Sybil returned to her family home with her husband. The family learned she had found her place in her married life, and she longed for Tom to be accepted by her family. Tom developed a close friendship with Lady Sybil's cousin and the family heir Matthew Crawley.
Gwen’s dream is to become a secretary, she wants to come out of service and make a better life for herself. She’s breaking every rule - women didn’t want to have a profession and work in an office so she is part of the new wave of female independence coming through at that time. She is helped by Lady Sybil, who does all sorts of things that Robert would be appalled by to help Gwen get interviews and write letters. Sybil really compromises her position but they are a similar age and growing up in a time of great political change which has affected them both.
Gwen’s determination to leave Downton is not just a whim. She has saved her wages in order to buy a typewriter, which she keeps hidden above her wardrobe. The desire to work in an office is very new and exciting to her and something that her friends back home probably haven’t even thought of doing yet. It isn’t all plain sailing for Gwen though and Lady Sybil but eventually they manage it and Gwen is offered a job from a man whose mother was a housemaid.
Tom Branson arrives at Downton and immediately becomes curious about Lord Grantham’s youngest daughter, Lady Sybil, when he overhears her mother, Cora Crawley, talking about her needing a new dress and implying that she has an interest in rights for women. Branson is very political, and once he discovers that Sybil is too, he sets out to increase her interest..
Later, when Branson is driving Sybil to get the new dress fitted, he asks her if she will get her own way in its design, she seems taken aback by the familiarity of his address but engages in the conversation. He takes the opportunity to give her some pamphlets about the vote for women, that he thought might interest her. Sybil requests that he not tell her father or grandmother, as they disapprove of reform.
Sybil remarks that it "seems rather unlikely: a revolutionary chauffeur".
Branson: "I'm a socialist, not a revolutionary and I won’t always be a chauffeur".
After this conversation, Sybil chooses a pair of harem pants instead of a traditional post-Edwardian dress, obviously in an attempt to express her beliefs in equality. Lady Sybil is later shown to be trying on her latest purchase to wear to dinner with her family, who are all waiting impatiently for her. She makes her entrance and receives mixed reactions from her relatives. Branson appears at the window and watches Sybil as she shows off her new outfit and he smiles in admiration.
By May 1914 Sybil seems have become more involved with politics and since there are no politically enthusiastic members of her family with whom she could talk openly, she turns to Branson. Sybil watches the Liberal Party candidate at a political rally with excitement, managing to ignore the commotion around her. Branson forces his way through the crowd so as to protect her from the violence and Isobel Crawley convinces her to go before anything bad happens. Branson roughly pushes people out of her ladyship’s way and helps her into the car.
Lady Sybil: I hope you do go into politics; it’s a fine ambition.
Tom Branson: Ambition or dream?
Branson tells her that it is mainly the gap between the aristocracy and the poor that he would want to change if he did go into politics, realising that her father, Lord Grantham, is part of this ‘oppressive class’ and not wanting to offend her, he hastily makes amends by saying ‘he’s a good man and a decent employer’.
When John Bates accidentally informs his Lordship of Lady Sybil’s involvement in the political rally with Branson, Robert Crawley is furious and confronts Sybil at the dining table. During a conversation with Mr. Bates and Anna, Branson shows his admiration of Sybil by saying that Lord Grantham “ought to be glad he’s got a daughter who cares.”
Lord Grantham: I assume this was Branson’s scheme? I confess I was amused at the idea of an Irish radical for a chauffeur, but I see now I have been naïve.
Later in the episode Sybil tricks both Lord Grantham and Branson into thinking that she will be going to a meeting with the committee in Ripon, when she really intends to go to the counting of the vote. When Branson and Sybil arrive she admits that there is no meeting. Worried, he tries to convince her not to go, but she is determined and proceeds.
Political anarchists arrive in order to pick fights with Tories, but lucky for Branson who is finding it hard to get Sybil to leave, Matthew Crawley decides to investigate the riot, but while too telling Sybil to leave he is targeted and punched. In this fight, Sybil is thrown sideways and hits her head on a table, knocking her out. Matthew and Branson rush to her and find her head is bleeding, Branson lifts her up and carries her away through the crowd.
Branson drives them to Crawley House and rushes to fetch Mary Crawley. Mary and Matthew cannot understand why Branson would take Sybil to the counting of the vote and are certain he will lose his job as a result. Sybil tells them that Branson had no part in it, as he didn’t know where she was really going. Mary tells her that she will have to stick up for him because Lord Grantham will “skin him alive”.
“She’s not badly hurt is she?” Mary says that Sybil will be fine and Branson is noticeably relieved. He seems to blame himself and asks her to let him know how she gets on. When Lord Grantham blames Branson for Sybil’s misbehavior and threatens to fire him, she defends him. Saying that she will run away if Branson is missing in the morning, Lord Grantham backs down at this and Branson is allowed to stay.
In August 1914 Gwen finally receives a job offer to become a secretary. When the new telephone rings with the good news, no one dares to answer except Branson. He rushes out to find Lady Sybil, who is entertaining guests at a garden party. Their celebration with Gwen is interrupted by Mrs Hughes.
It is at this point that Branson and Sybil can be seen to be holding hands. Allen Leech, who portrays Branson, explains why this is so significant: “There was a slight gesture where they held hands, and that was huge for Branson. At that time, physical contact was not allowed between people upstairs and the staff. In fact, Mrs. Hughes warned him 'you’ll be left with no job and a broken heart.' But Branson is so headstrong, that’s not much of an issue for him.” Sortly after this encounter Lord Grantham receives news of Britain being at war with Germany.
It's November 1916 and Branson is still working at Downton. His love for Sybil is again confirmed when he attentively watches her baking with Mrs. Patmore and Daisy. Sybil wants to do more than just sit at home waiting for the war to finish so she decides to become a nurse; beginning her training at home with basic skills such as cooking. Branson admires such pursuits as evidence of her spirt and determination.
Branson decides his one chance to express his feelings for her is before she leaves to train as a nurse. He asks her to bet on him, determined that he will make something of himself. He knows that she is too far above him, but believes that the world is changing as a result of the war. He is determined that if her family does not disown her, they would come around. Until then he would devote every waking minute to her happiness.
Sybil hesitates and replies that she is flattered, averting her gaze away from his, knowing that this is not the reply he was hoping for. Branson tells her that 'flattered' is a word posh people use when they are about to say 'no'. Laughing, she says that that sounds more like something he would say. Lord Grantham would certainly fire Branson had he known about this inappropriate conversation, but Sybil promises not to say anything to her family. Although Branson is visibly discouraged by this rejection, he is touched that she would not reveal his admission of feelings for her to her family, granting it would be hard for her to forget about being a nurse and her family even if she reciprocated his feelings.
In April 1917, Sybil is a fully trained nurse and she feels useful for the first time in her life. The things she has seen makes her realise that she could never go back to the way she had lived before the war. When telling Branson this he gains hope that, despite her earlier rejection, she may be with him eventually as his love for her remains strong.
A few months later, Branson has been called up by the war office. Sybil rushes to see him, not wanting him to go. Branson does not intend to fight for the British Army, instead planning to be a conscientious objector. Sybil expresses concern that he will go to prison for speaking publicly against the war. He responds that he doesn't care if has a record for the rest of his life, for at least he will have a life.
Their fears are premature, however, because Branson is rejected by the army because of a heart murmur. Sybil is initially worried for him, but he assures her that it is only dangerous if you want to humiliate the British Army. She is glad that he isn't going to be killed or to go to prison, but wonders why he has to be angry all the time. She admits that Britain was not at its best in Ireland during the Easter Rising in 1916. This is the first time Branson has been seen to be moved negatively by something Sybil has said. He tells her that during the Easter Rising one of his cousins was walking up North King Street in Dublin and an English officer shot him dead on the assumption that he was "probably a rebel". She says she didn't know and he drives away upset.
Branson thinks of another way to get back at the army by offering to be a footman serving at a dinner party at which an important army general is a guest. Branson writes Sybil a note asking her to forgive him for what he did to the general and puts it in some of her washing to be taken to her room. Anna finds this note and runs to tell Mrs Hughes, believing Branson to be about to poison the general. Together they find Mr. Carson and stop Branson before he has the chance to serve the soup. Branson contemplates making a scene anyway, but looks over his shoulder to Sybil and decides to leave quietly with Mr Carson. As it turns out, Branson was not planning to kill the general, but to pour a mixture of oil, cow pat and sour milk over his head. Carson decides not to get the police involved and lets Branson off with the promise that he will not do anything like it again.
It is 1918 and Sybil is talking to Branson outside the garage, questioning why he promised Mr. Carson not to take part in any more political protests when he wouldn't promise her. She doesn't understand how he can be contented with tinkering with a car all day. He tells her that she is the reason he won't leave Downton and states that she feels the same way towards him but is too scared to admit it, but Sybil tells him to not be ridiculous. Unaware of Mary Crawley's presence he continues to try and convince her to run away with him. Luckily they are out of earshot, but Mary has been made aware by Violet Crawley that Sybil may have a inappropriate beau she has had to keep secret. Seeing the two of them conversing alerts Mary to what is going on. Mary questions Sybil about what she was talking to the chauffeur about if not requesting him to drive her somewhere. Sybil becomes defensive, abruptly stating that he is a person and can talk about other things, but according to Mary, he can't with someone of Sybil's status.
At dinner, Sybil is given advice by Violet about how to handle inappropriate relations formed during war time, unaware of the validity of her words. Sybil believes Mary has told her about Branson, but is later corrected. Sybil tells Mary everything, that Branson loves her and wants to run away with her. Mary is horrified but she promises not to tell anyone or get Branson fired, as long as Sybil doesn't do anything stupid. Sybil convinces Mary not to tell their father by saying that she does not think she returns Branson's feelings and by promising to do what Mary asks.
Sybil finds Branson in order to tell him that Mary knows about them. At first he is worried that he will be made to leave without a reference, but is cheered by Sybil's address of the two of them as 'us'. Branson tries to convince her that she loves him, otherwise she would have told her family about his feelings and intentions years ago. In turn, Sybil challenges his assumption that she must love him just because she has not given him away. This meeting turns into an argument, Sybil has thought about the the consequences of running away with him, asking if she will be accepted by his people and how she could ever leave her family, she hopes that she is a free spirit like he says, but he is asking her to leave behind everything she has ever known. A moment of despair results in Branson belittling Sybil's work serving tea to a bunch of randy officers. According to Allen Leech Branson later apologises to Sybil but the scene was cut. Branson finally tells her that nothing else matters but the two of them: "Look, it comes down to whether or not you love me. That’s all. That’s it. The rest is detail."
Sybil wants to be with Mary Crawley at the hospital when they bring in the injured Matthew Crawley, Branson asked her if Mary was still in love with Matthew, to which Sybil says she doesn't want to talk about it as Mary is her sister. Branson believes it is because he is the chauffeur, therefore not someone a Lady may talk openly with, but is corrected. Still frustrated with not yet having a direct answer from Sybil to whether or not she loves him, Branson uses the opportunity to provoke her about how the people of her class are very good at hiding their feelings, much better that the people of his are, she tells him not to make the mistake of thinking that they don't have feelings, because they do.
The news has been received, the Tsar and his family have all been shot dead, Branson is saddened by it, admitting that he didn't think they would. He reassures himself by saying that maybe the future needs terrible sacrifices. This leads to a conversation about Sybil's politics, during the war the suffragette movement was put on hold out of respect for England and for the men off fighting. Much to Sybil's annoyance Branson suggests that she has given up on her cause and should have stuck it out. Sybil tries to leave but he stops her by the waist, she stops abruptly, resulting in a moment of stunned silence. Knowing that this was not the done thing, he removes his hand hastily away. Not meaning their politics anymore he says her future is up to her. She hesitates for a moment, looking between his eyes and lips and leaning in as if to kiss him, but abruptly pulls back and turns to leave. Branson is left standing alone, watching her go.
Sybil enters the garage and light-heartedly tells Branson that she wishes she knew how an engine works. He smiles and tells her that he is willing to teach her, but she shyly smiles and shrugs before saying that Edith is more cut out for such lessons. His smile fading, Branson turns away from her and says that he thought she had been avoiding him. She quickly moves to where he is now standing and firmly denies that she has been avoiding him. Nevertheless, she affirms his suspicion that she has yet to decide whether to run away with him. Taking a deep breath, she tells him that she knows he wants to get involved in the fight for Ireland's independence, but that she cannot give his proposition adequate consideration until the war is truly over, knowing that that is quite soon.
Sybil: "It won't be long now. So will you wait?"
Branson: "I'd wait forever."
Sybil: "I'm not asking for forever. Just a few more weeks."
It is 1919 and Sybil is very bored. Bored of her life now that she is back in the same old routine that she was stuck in before the war. The war has changed her irrevocably and she knows it, she cannot and will not return to her mundane existence of waiting around for a suitable bachelor, who her parents approve of, to stumble her way. But she still doesn’t have an answer for Branson, which disappoints him, but her affections for him are increasing showing as she reaches up to touch his cheek.
She wants to escape from that house and from that life and knows that there is only one way, she tells Edith that she has a plan but when asked if it is drastic she cannot deny that she will be able to turn back once she has done it, but she doesn’t seem to care. When Matthew and Lavinia announce that their engagement is back on and that they are going to get married at Downton, Sybil realises that the war is well and truly over and it is time for her to move on. Branson has waited so long for her to say those words that he cannot believe he is finally hearing them, she tells him he can kiss her, but that is all until everything is settled, that doesn’t matter to him as it is enough that he could kiss her.
Sybil is apparently ill and therefore will not be dining with the rest of her family; little do they know that she and Branson are on their way to Gretna Green to get married. Mary grows suspicious when Sybil does not answer from inside her locked bedroom door. Upon entering she finds a letter addressed ‘To My Family’, which explains everything. Getting Edith to drive, Mary and Anna set off in search of them, with the idea that they won’t be too far away, possibly staying in a local inn. Anna spots their car and they charge into a room where Sybil is lying in the bed and Branson is in the chair. To Mary’s relief nothing has happened, Sybil doesn’t understand exactly what she means by this, but tells her that she is going to marry Tom regardless of what they say. Edith and Mary appeal to Sybil’s dislike of deceit by saying that their parents don’t deserve this kind of treatment, Tom tells her to go with them, if she thinks they will make her happier than he will. She decides to try to gain her parent’s forgiveness instead of sneaking away like a thief in the night. Before departing, she tells him that she will stay true to him and then kisses him, after which he closes the door behind them.
Still trying to convince Sybil to see sense, Mary and Edith are horrified to hear that she has invited Tom over in order to tell the rest of the family that evening about their plans. Tom is now a journalist, which will hopefully sound better than chauffeur to Violet, but nevertheless they are all stunned. Robert orders them to break it off, but neither of them waver in their love and determination. Later, Sybil's father and her grandmother are both trying to talk her out of leaving the aristocratic world and of her plans to marry Branson, but Sybil explains that she doesn't care less what the aristocratic world will think of her, and she vows to her father and her grandmother, that ''She will not give Tom up.'' Robert then warns her that there will be no more money, her life will be very different if she stays with Tom, but this is exactly what Sybil is trying to get away from. Tom is staying at the Grantham Arms until Matthew and Lavinia are married and Sybil is ready to leave for Dublin. Robert tries to bribe him into leaving Downton without Sybil, but is swiftly rejected.
Branson attended Lavinia's funeral in order to pay his respects and to see Sybil, after realising that there is nothing he can do to stop them, Robert agrees to part as friends giving them his permission and says that he will give them some money. Giving Tom a friendly warning of the consequences of mistreating his daughter he shakes his hand and they then walk away, hand-in-hand. Violet rejoins Robert asking him if he has finally given in. Like many aristocratic generations before them, they plan to minimise the scandal of the Lady and the Chauffeur by giving Tom a made up backstory.
Sybil is mentioned as being married - something which happened between April and December 1919 - and living in Ireland; only Mary and Edith attended her wedding as Cora was unable to attend due to still being affected by the Spanish flu and Robert and Violet chose not to, though Violet later lied and said she and Robert were "ill". Robert later gives Cora a letter from Sybil, to which Cora gasps in shock and delight for it reveals Sybil is pregnant. She doesn't want anyone to know, not even her sisters, although the reason is unknown for this; presumably she wishes to surprise them. Robert then comments that he "wondered why she didn't ask to come for Christmas." Edith remarks at the Christmas feast that Sybil's "favourite" part of it is plum pudding. Mary later tells Matthew "Sybil's the strong one" because "She really doesn't care what people think" (referring to her marriage to a former servant) unlike Mary herself, who worries what people will think of her in regards to her scandal involving Pamuk, which she just revealed to Matthew. After the servants ball, a few days later, Cora tells Robert she will not be kept away from her first grandchild. She wants Sybil, Branson and the baby to come to Downton and visit the family, and she wants to go visit them in Ireland. She also admitted it wasn't the life-style that she wanted for her daughter, none of it is, but it is what as happened and they all must accept it.
PregnancyEditSybil and Branson returned to Downton Abbey in 1920 before Sybil's grandmother Martha, so they met her, and it is known this was before Sybil had given birth; however, it is unknown as to whether Martha approved of their marriage. Sybil planned to resume her nursing career once the baby was born. She had seemingly found her place in her married life with no regrets of marrying Tom, but back at Downton she felt a sense of safety, and longed for Tom to be accepted by the world she had always known. She confided in her sister, Lady Mary, all of this. Sybil and Tom both went to Eryholme for a picnic before Edith's wedding. Sybil encouraged her sister Edith before her wedding and tried to comfort her when Sir Anthony jilted her at the last minute. Edith shrugged off the comfort of Sybil and Mary, "Look at them!" She said to her mother, Cora. "Look at them. Sybil pregnant, Mary probably pregnant. Go away. I mean it, GO!" Tom Branson had been involved in the destruction of private property (a home like Downton Abbey was burned by Irish rebels) and had gone to meetings where they planned this. Because of his involvement, the police were looking for him and he had to flee Ireland to go to Downton Abbey. He left Sybil behind to close up their flat, but he took the last ferry so she could not come to Downton before the next morning. Robert was enraged at this, because he had left Sybil, a pregnant woman, alone in a land that was not her own. Tom felt a great deal of guilt over this. When she arrived safely the next morning, Tom was incredibly relieved and they passionately kissed in the Great Hall of Downton Abbey. Sybil found out that he went to those meetings and was hurt that he had kept it from her. Her father, Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, was able to save him from going to prison but on the condition he could never go back to Ireland. Sybil was not entirely disappointed at this; she had missed her childhood home and knew it could offer them peace and safety until the baby was born. Before she was due to give birth, Mary went to see her, where they discussed the issue that her and Tom's child will be christened as a Catholic, and that the christening will have to take place at Downton. Mary told Sybil that she doesn't need to let the baby be baptized as Catholic as it is her child, too, though Sybil stated that she doesn't mind because she loves Tom so very much. Before leaving so she could rest, Mary replied that she will help her to fight over the christening when the time comes. This was the final significant conversation anyone had with Sybil.
Lady Sybil Gives BirthEdit
Lady Sybil entered labour and began to show early symptoms of eclampsia, which was correctly diagnosed by Dr Clarkson but ignored by Lord Grantham and Sir Philip Tapsell who believed that taking her to a public hospital would be far too much of a risk to Sybil and the baby.Lady Sybil gave birth to a baby girl. Everybody was relieved and delighted at this outcome except Dr Clarkson who saw what was coming. Tom told Sybil how much he loved her and left together with the rest of the family to let her get some rest. Only Cora stayed back and Sybil made her promise to help take care of Tom and the baby because she suspected that Lord Grantham may want them out of the family. Cora reassured her that she would take on this responsibility and went to bed. Exhaused, Sybil tries to go to sleep in the knowledge that she has paved the way for her husband and baby to be accepted in the family with the backing of Mary and Cora.
After delivering the child, Sybil began to experience a series of severe fits and spasms due to the eclampsia, and was unable to breathe. Her mother and father, sisters Mary and Edith, and brother-in-law were present at her bedside while her husband held her as she died.
Legacy and RemembranceEdit
The entire household was shocked and upset when they received the news of Sybil's death, especially Thomas, who is not usually a sympathetic person. Mrs Hughes said, "The sweetest spirit under this roof is gone--and I'm weeping myself." The family and servants all showed considerable emotion in mourning. Cora sat alone to speak to Sybil's body, promising her that the family will look after Tom and her daughter. For some time she blamed her husband for Sybil's death because he chose to ignore the doctor who had known Sybil for her entire life. Tom chose to honour and painfully remember his wife by naming their daughter Sybil. A year later, Cora was still missing her daughter whilst saying that she could relate to Susan's problems with Rose, and Violet said that the whole family still missed her. Tom openly broke down in front of Mrs Hughes over his wife's death. Sybbie was healthy and one year old at the time.
- "We can just lie back and look at the stars." - to her husband.
- "Argh, my head!" - Sybil 's last words.
- "I can't just stand by while they give their lives." -to Isobel, expressing her need to do something.
- "It's doing nothing that's the enemy." -to her sister, Edith
- "We need peace, and safety. Downton can offer us both." -to her husband Tom Branson on why they should stay at Downton Abbey.
Behind the scenes Edit
- Jessica Brown-Findlay, actor Allen Leech (who plays Tom Branson), and Downton Abbey writer and creator Julian Fellowes talk about Branson and Lady Sybil's relationship on the Downton Abbey Series 2 DVD special feature "Romance In A Time Of Warfare."
- Brown-Findlay: The connection she has with Branson is beautiful. In the first series, I never saw it. I never saw it sort of being romantic or anything like that. I never read it as that. She's just so happy for there to be someone she could talk to, and understand her. Their relationship's really interesting because he tells her everything. How he feels about her really, and then he understands that then that freaks her out. At a point, I think when Sybil is leaving home, she's gonna be living away for two months, just sort thinking "You're doing this now? You've had two years!"
- Leech: The war changes so much of how people view the aristocracy. And... and, so everything is there to play for then. So he just keeps trying to push her to kind of see if she'll come round to his way of thinking. Obviously, if you've see Jessica Brown-Findlay, it's not hard to play opposite her, in fairness, you know? Looking like you want to kiss her is kind of like, "Well, granted, that's not hard, it's you!"
- Jessica Brown-Findlay who plays Lady Sybil Branson made the decision not to renew her three-season contract with Downton Abbey, thus giving Julian Fellowes no other choice but to write Jessica's character out of the show.
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 1||Episode 1|
|Series 2||Episode 1|
|Series 3||Episode 1|
- ↑ This image - File:Grave.jpg - obtained from here (slide 10/10) - confirms Sybil's middle name is Cora.
- ↑ This image of Sybil's grave - File:Grave.jpg - obtained from here (slide 6/10) confirms she is born in 1895; as her grave confirms she was born in 1895, and she died in August/September, she cannot be born any earlier - as that would make her too old - but cannot be born after December 1895 as that would make the year wrong.
- ↑ Sybbie was born - and Lady Sybil died - 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 Sybbie 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.
- ↑ "No one ever learned anything from a governess except for French, and how to curtsey."
- ↑ The wedding of Matthew and Lavinia is stated as being in April; Episode #2.8 starts in April 1919 as shown with the opening credits. It is 3 day before the wedding of Matthew and Lavinia as mention by Lady Mary in the opening scene. Shortly after Lavinia falls victim to the Spanish Flu and dies. This indicates that Lavinia died in April of 1919. This means that Sybil and Branson were married between April and December 1919
- ↑ This link http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/78611/Downton-Abbey-Star-Praises-Amazing-Shirley-MacLaine shows that Allen Leech, who plays Branson, has at least one scene with Martha, confirming that Martha will meet Sybil and Branson