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  • There are three suspicious entries in the Timeline I would like to check. Under Early Events are the entries:

    • 1870 – Charles Carson, aged 14, starts working at Thrushcross Grange, near Ripon, as a Junior Hall Boy, under butler Alfred Beet.
    • 1879 - 1875: Charles Carson progresses from "Hall Boy" to "Nursery Footman" to "Fourth Footman".
    • 1875 – Charles Carson, aged 19, leaves Thrushcross Grange to work at Downton Abbey, taking the position of Second Footman.

    What caught my eye is that Thrushcross Grange is a fictitious residence from the novel Wuthering Heights. However looking at edits going back to the beginning of the year, I see almost exclusively established editors and checked the ones that were not. The reference, Downton Abbey - Rules for Household Staff would not seem to cover this detail based on the book description.

    Can anyone source these entries or have other objection to me deleting them?

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    • I just looked up the book Downton Abbey - Rules for Household Staff on Amazon and if you "Look Inside" and then look at the Kindle Book you can read the forword to the book written by Carson in which he gives these details.

      Maybe a reference that quotes the info would be a good idea?

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Downton-Abbey-Rules-Household-Staff/dp/1472220544#reader_1472220544

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    • I see the foreword is copyright by Julian Fellowes, does that make it a canonical source? It would seem to conflict with Carson's time with "The Two Charlies"?

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    • Hmm, I'd say any source that comes from the show is canon, but where this doesn't contradict the show it could be referred to. Or I suppose we could just put it in a "notes" section.

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    • In 6x03, when Edith is talking about Carson's wedding, she says "He joined us as a junior footman in my grandfather's day." Which would seem to confirm the book but contradict the 'Two Charlies' story, unless he resigned to go on the stage and then came back?

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    • Yeah, the only thing that would still make sense - if we say both sources are canon - is that he left for a while to join the The Cheerful Charlies and then came back.

      (Or you know, Downton Abbey needs a better fact checker! xD)

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    • Or he was on the stage in the evenings or on his days off.

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    • I don't think he'd be able to get to London and back in one evening and perform on stage. His days off could work but it'd still be unlikely.

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    • Was it ever said to be in London? Presumably that wasn't the only "on the stage" location.

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    • I think they mentioned London. And even if it were somewhere closer (Leeds or York perhaps) it'd still not be realistic for him to be able to perform there and get back after his days work. It's not as if they would have finished work at five or had access to a quick mode of travel!

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    • HandbillS1E2

      Victoria Theatre Handbill

      It looks to me like it says "York Nightly" at the top of the handbill.
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    • I see it as "on" then a couple of missing letters and then "York Nightly". This, this would imply it was York and he used the train.

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    • In 1897, a 25 mile trip by train to York would likely take at least an hour, not to mention how long it takes to get to and from the respective stations on foot. Easily a four hour round trip. Further, Carson's time on stage comes as a complete surprise to Robert. If Carson did this while in the employ of the Crawley's, you would think Robert would know about it.

      Granted, Robert could be living somewhere else at this time, if his father were still alive. Violet says something about running Downton for 30 years. If she took over Downton as early as age 20, she would still be running Downton until at least 1892.

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    • Obviously I misremembered then! I think it says London on the page for the Cheerful Charlies too.

      But yeah, I agree with Ehj666. It can't have been whilst he was employed at Downton. Carson was ashamed of his time on stage and did everything he could to hide it. If he'd been doing that whilst working at Downton I don't think he could have managed to hide it. And that's not even taking into account that it wouldn't have been feasable in the time he had available. I also bet they would have had a curfew - or a time after which the door would be locked and he wouldn't be able to get back into the house. I doubt they'd be happy with him coming back to Downton really late at night.

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    • Ehj666 wrote:

      Granted, Robert could be living somewhere else at this time, if his father were still alive. Violet says something about running Downton for 30 years. If she took over Downton as early as age 20, she would still be running Downton until at least 1892.


      I take that part back, Carson says he has known Mary since she was a little girl and relates the story of her wanting to run away at about the age of five, thus placing him at Downton in about 1896. Thus requiring him to leave about a year later, then come back by the early 1900s. Robert was away during the Boer War, which may have rendered some positions redundant, but that was not until the period of 1899-1902.

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    • I don't think it says York, it says "One House Nightly", i.e. one performance every evening. Although it does mention Bridlington, which is in the East Riding.

      It's a bit of a moot point anyway. As Amateur Obsessive says, Carson was ashamed of it and there's no way he could have hidden it while he was working at Downton. DA does have a fair number of minor inconsistencies like this, so it's not really surprising.

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    • Well, as it says 1897, Robert would be 31 then and would have just been probably preparing for the boar war. Also -- we do not know if Carson was definitely BUTLER in 1897; if he was still "fourth footman" he'd be fine -- especially if the family didn't have guests as you only have the first and second footman and the butler in the dining room.

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    • You cannot prepare for a war you do not see coming. While tensions between the British and the Afrikaans had existed for almost a century by that time, including one smaller previous war (the first Boer war), it was not until the breakdown in negotiations in mid 1899 that war would have been perceived as imminent. It was the South African Republic that declared war on Britain, not the other way around.

      Further, regardless of position, it would seem unlikely that Carson could have snuck off to appear in the Cheerful Charlies without the Crawleys knowing about it.

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    • Well, maybe Robert's father DID know and, if Violet did, she wouldn't talk about it; maybe it was just the children that didn't. If his father allowed Carson to be away, why would Robert question it?

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    • Even if that was so, it doesn't explain how it would be possible time wise. Unless we're going to have a crossover with Doctor Who or Harry Potter and he gets a trip in the Tardis or a timeturner.

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    • Carson never said he was CONTINUALLY on the stage? Some shows are once a week? Maybe it was on his day off and he left late at night after the family had retired?

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    • Well underneath the date of performance given on the playbill it says "and during the week", so that theory doesn't work.

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    • Then Carson was often away from Downton -- or, they weren't on the stage for long - e.g. a week or two -- before Grigg started stealing.

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    • My take on it is that it happened when Carson was a young man who was tired of being in service. Remember, for the most part, service was not a permanent career for people so it would not have been a huge shock for him to leave.

      My guess is that he was gone for several years,  Then, when he was taken back, he was so grateful he decided he owed all his loyalty to the family.

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    • Except, according to the handbill, dated 1897, Carson was already about 41 years old by this time. We also know that he was in the employ of the Crawley's up to 1895 or 1896, because in season 2 he relates a story about 4-5 year old Mary. Mary was born in 1891. If he went away for in year or two around 1897, you would think they would have asked where he had been before hiring him back.

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    • He was certainly around in 1896; he mentions, when holding a few months old baby Sybbie, that he remembers her mother, Lady Sybil at that age; Lady Sybil was born in May... making his earliest departure date as Christmas of 1895.

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    • Ah sigh, if only the details of time did not interfere with the resolutions of a drama.

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    • A FANDOM user
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