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A timeline of events in Downton Abbey from 1912 to 1924

If listing any specific dates, please use a reference and make note of the episode or other canon source that the information comes from, including a short quote if possible.

Early events Edit

This section is for listing events that take place prior to the beginning of the series.

  • 1772George III creates the title of Earl of Grantham.[1]
  • 1840s - Roberta is born[2].
  • 1842 – Violet Crawley is born to a Baronet.[3]
  • 1849Grantham House is renovated to its current appearance.[4]
  • 1852 to 1862 – Isobel Crawley is born.[5]
  • 1857, May 30 - The Siege of Lucknow begins. Roberta "loads the guns"[6].
  • 1860, circa September – Violet and her husband marry.[7]
  • 1866 – Robert is born[8].
  • 1860s to 1874 – Rosamund is born[9].
  • 1868, July 18 – Cora Levinson, later Crawley, is born.
  • 1869 to 1870s – Harold Levinson is born.[10]
  • Late 1860s - Violet is, despite being married, pursued by Lord Hepworth's father.
  • 1874, January 23 - Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha[11] marries Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia[12] at the winter palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Violet attends the wedding and meets Prince Igor Kuragin. Prince Kuragin asks her to run away with him and Violet only chooses not to - despite receiving a fan from the Prince - when her husband presents her with a frame of their two children.
  • 1878, 20 March - Wedding of Hannah Rothschild and Lord Roseberry, at the Board Room of Guardians in Mount Street. Lady Violet attends.[13]
  • Late 1870s or Late 1880s – Rosamund and Marmaduke Painswick marry[14] and purchase a house, 35 Eaton Square, after their marriage[15].
  • 1885, January to September – Matthew Crawley is born.
  • 1888 – Cora is brought to England by her mother, Martha Levinson, for the London season and to find her a husband.[16]
  • 16 February[17] 1890[18] – Cora and Robert marry and Cora signs her fortune over to the estate[19]. The money is "tied up tight" with the Crawley Family having, in Isidore's eyes, "quite enough" and the rest is left for Martha to live on and Harold to inherit.[20] The wedding takes place in England.[21]
  • 1890 to 1912 – both Cora's father, Isidore, and Robert's father die.
  • 1891 – Mary Crawley is born.
  • 1891 - Lord Sinderby's family flee Russia and change their family surname to "Aldridge".[22]
  • 1892 – Edith Crawley is born.
  • August/September - December 1895 – Sybil Crawley, later Branson is born.[23]
    • At some point in the same year, Lavinia Swire was born to Reginald and Anne Swire.
  • Before 1899 - John Bates and Joseph Molesley serve together as footmen in a house near Stafford.[24]
  • 1899 to 1902 – Robert and John Bates serve together in the Second Anglo-Boer War[25] for at least 18 months up to its conclusion in 1902. Dr. Richard Clarkson similarly serves in the war at about the same time.[26]
    • At some point during the same years, Isobel trains to be a Nurse[27]
  • Approx 1900: James MacClare, Earl of Newtonmore, is born.
  • Approx 1901: Annabelle MacClare is born.
  • 1902Rose MacClare is born.
  • 1906 - John Bates leaves the army.[28]
  • Between 1902 and 1913 - Cora meets Rose MacClare for the first time[29].
  • Some time before 1912 - Reginald trains to be a doctor under Sir John Turnbull, father of his wife, Isobel, and her brother, Sir Edward Turnbull, who also trains to be a doctor.[30]
  • 1908, April 5 - Herbert Henry (H.H.) Asquith succeeds Henry Campbell-Bannerman as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • 1909-1912 - Reginald Crawley studies dropsy and publishes works on it[31] before dying.
  • 1910, May 6 - George V[32] succeeds Edward VII[33] as King of the United Kingdom, the British Dominions and Emperor of India. Rose is presented to the King in the 2013 Christmas Special.
  • Before 1913 – Susan Flintshire visits Downton Abbey[34].
  • 1912, March - The Countess of Rothes joins the Crawleys for dinner at Downton. The Countess expresses her excitement of boarding the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage to New York the following month.
  • 1912, April 15 - Titanic sinks, taking not only Patrick and James Crawley, but also Charles Hays, which will have consequences in series 3.

Series 1 (1912–1914)Edit

Episode 1.01Edit

Set in April 1912, when news arrives of the sinking of the Titanic and the death of Downton's heir James and his son Patrick.[35] The most likely date for the opening of the first episode is April 16, 1912. A full analysis can be found here. The memorial service for James and Patrick takes place three months after the sinking of the Titanic, meaning the episode ends sometime after July 1912[36].

  • 1912, August - Matthew and Robert meet[38].

Episode 1.02Edit

Set in September 1912[39] and ending in, at least, October[40].

Episode 1.03Edit

Mary is instantly attracted to handsome Turkish attaché Kemal Pamuk. Their romance is cut brutally short, sending ripples of unease through the house.[41]

  • 1913, March 4 - Woodrow Wilson succeeds William Howard Taft as President of the United States.

Probably set in April to May of 1913 given the clues that it is set during fox hunting season which traditionally runs from November through April[42], and that the sun is up prior to 6:00 AM[43]. In Yorkshire the sun does not rise before 6:00 AM until after the vernal equinox[44]. It is known from episode one that Daisy knocks up the other maids at 6:00 AM, so it is clearly before 6:00 AM when she observes Mary, Cora and Anna carrying the body of Mr. Pemuk at a time when the sun has clearly risen.

Episode 1.04Edit

Carnival sign states Thursday May 29th, which would have been in 1913. Violet and Isobel are in conflict over a medical ailment affecting Molesley. Elsewhere, Carson fears there is a thief at Downton.[45]

  • 1913, June 4 - Emily Davison steps in front of King George V's horse Anmer, sustaining injuries that would result in her death four days later [46]. This event is mentioned at the beginning of episode six.
  • 1913, July 29 - Albania's independence was recognised by the Conference of London. Kemal Pamuk's visit in episode three is for purposes of attending the talks regarding Albania's independence.[47]

Episode 1.05Edit

Mary is introduced to a potential suitor, but she thinks he is too old and stuffy. Mrs Patmore fears she may be going blind.[48]

During the walk to the flower show, Bates accepts a ride on a wagon full of hay - if it was haymaking season it is likely the flower show took place in late summer.

Episode 1.06Edit

Opens with the title card "May 1914."

  • 1914, June - Sybil is presented to "Their Majesties"[49] with great success[50].

Episode 1.07Edit

Opens with the title card "July 1914." Ends on August 4th or 5th, as Britain declared war on Germany at 11:00 PM August 4, 1914.[52]

Series 1-2 Gap (1914-1916)Edit

  • 1914 - 1916 Crawley dog Pharaoh dies and the Crawleys get a new dog named Isis.
  • 1915, April 25 - 1916, January 9 Gallipoli Campaign[53], Robert remarks that if Churchill could go back to the front after the gilly business, why shouldn't he.
  • 1916, March 2 The Military Service Act[54] goes into effect. It was the first time that legislation had been passed in British military history introducing conscription. The Act specified that men from 18 to 41 years old were liable to be called up for service in the army. Due to political considerations the Act did not extend to Ireland. In Series 2, William Mason, Joseph Molesley[55] and Tom Branson would all be called up, however the latter two would receive medical exemptions.

Series 2 (1916–1919)Edit

Episode 2.01Edit

Opens with the title card "The Somme, 1916." Though the episode gives no specific date, the Battle of the Somme raged from July 1st to November 18th, 1916.

  • 1916, December 7 David Lloyd George succeeds H.H. Asquith as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Episode 2.02Edit

Opens with the title card "April 1917". Carson is finding it tough maintaining standards in the house, and the suicide of a young officer prompts Isobel to suggest converting Downton Abbey into a convalescent hospital.[58]

  • 1917, April 6 - American President Wilson asks Congress for "a war to end all wars" that would "make the world safe for democracy". Congress responds by declaring war on the German Empire.[59][60]

Episode 2.03Edit

After Downton is turned into a convalescent home for wounded officers, Matthew brings a general to visit, but Branson has a surprise in store. And is Lavinia hiding something?[61]

Tom Branson mentions that Kerensky has been made prime minister. This occurred on July 2, 1917 and he was deposed in the October Revolution on November 7 of the same year.[62] Tom goes on to say that the Tsar was "imprisoned in the Alexander Palace with all his family". The Romanovs were moved to Tobolsk in the Urals in August, thus dating this episode between July and early September of 1917, allowing time for the news to get out.[63]

Episode 2.04Edit

Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora. Ethel's flirtation with Major Bryant lands her in hot water. There is worrying news about Matthew. Branson declares his feelings for Sybil.[64]

  • 1918, February 6 - Representation of the People Act[65] goes into effect granting some women the vote[66]. Edith mentions this in episode 3.04 saying that she still does not have the vote because she is not yet 30 years old nor a landowner.

Episode 2.05Edit

Opens with the title card "Amiens, 1918"a. Major battle occurred between the dates of August 8 and 12, 1918.

Tom Branson mentions that "They shot the Tsar and all of his family". The killing of the Romanov family occurred on July 17, 1918[67], however it is reasonable to assume Tom was referring to an event that occurred sometime earlier.

Episode 2.06Edit

Carlisle threatens to ruin Mary if she jilts him. A major comes to stay - but is he really who he claims to be? Bates learns that Vera has succeeded in scuppering the divorce.[68]

  • 1918, November 11 - The episode ends on the day of the armstice (First Armistice at Compiègne)[70] later commemorated in Commonwealth countries as Remembrance Day and Poppy Day, and in the U.S. as Veterans Day[71].

Episode 2.07Edit

The time stamp says 1919.

How long can Sybil and Branson keep their secret? Carlisle puts Anna in a difficult position, Bates is left reeling from the news about Vera, and Thomas embarks on a new scheme.[72]

  • 1919, March 7 - The Canadian Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad (GTPR) is nationalised after defaulting on loan payments. The GTPR was owned by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), headquartered in England, and in which Robert had invested a significant portion of Cora's fortune.[73] The financial impact would hit in the spring of 1920.

Episode 2.08Edit

Set in April 1919.[74]

With the wedding approaching there is excitement in the air, but will Branson's plans rattle everyone? A decisive Anna forces Bates to think about their future.[75]

  • 1919, April 13 - Amritsar massacre, also know as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurs in the Punjab region of India. On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the British army fired on a crowd of people protesting the arrest of two of their leaders. They fired for ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to run out. The figures released by the British government were 370 dead and 1200 wounded.[76] Isobel, Hugh MacClare and Lord Sinderby discuss the event in episode 5.08.
  • 1919, June 28 - The Treaty of Versailles[77] is signed, officially ending the state of war between Germany and the allied powers excepting the U.S. The U.S. negotiated separate treaties principally under the Knox–Porter Resolution[78].

2011 Christmas SpecialEdit

Christmas 1919. Downton Abbey is hosting a lavish party, yet despite it being the season of goodwill, tensions are rife and Bates's arrest has cast a shadow over the festivities.[79] b

Ends on 12th January, 1920 with the servants ball and Matthew's proposal to Mary[80].

  • 1920, January 16 Prohibition begins in the U.S. Mentioned by Robert in Episode 4.08, where he says "down with prohibition" and that "Harold has his uses".

Series 3 (1920–1921)Edit

Episode 3.01Edit

Spring 1920;[81] Cora's mother arrives for Matthew and Mary's wedding, but with the couple's relationship under strain will they even make it to the altar? Robert has some shocking news.[82]..

Episode 3.02Edit

In the hope of financial rescue from her American grandmother, Mary conspires with Violet to make sure Downton puts on a bigger show than ever before.[83]

Episode 3.03Edit

Edith's big day finally arrives, but will the family be convinced that Strallan's age does not matter? Mary takes matters into her own hands - but the price could be high.[84]

Episode 3.04Edit

Branson's political views land him in hot water and Sybil's loyalty is tested to the limit. Ethel is torn between head and heart as she makes a decision about her son's future.[85]

Set before 18th August, 1920c and most definitely set before 11th of August.[86]

Episode 3.05Edit

An exciting offer for Edith divides opinion. Isobel throws Ethel a lifeline. New maid Ivy is attracting attention below stairs, and Alfred's interest is resented by Daisy.[87]

Also notable, the death of Lady Sybil in this episode.

Episode 3.06Edit

Tempers fray as Isobel's kind gesture backfires. Branson's decisions are put under scrutiny. As Bates's chance of freedom slips away, he goes to extreme lengths.[88]

Episode 3.07Edit

Anna's patience is finally rewarded. Edith has an unexpected admirer. Matthew refuses to back down over his concerns. Branson's plans for the christening cause consternation.[89]

Episode 3.08Edit

Opens prior to August 11th, 1920 and ends on, or before, 30th September, 1920[90]

The annual cricket match brings out Robert's competitive side.d As Violet's great niece Rose arrives, a trip to London reveals there is more to her than meets the eye.[91]

  • Downton Abbey's annual cricket match with the village takes place and the house team win.
  • Rose MacClare visits Downton.
  • Edith, Rose and Matthew visit London, and stay at Rosamund Painswick's house.
  • Rose meets with Terence Margadale at the Blue Dragon club.
  • Mary and Matthew separately visit Dr. Ryder in London about their reproductive health.
  • Edith visits Michael Gregson and finds out that he has a wife, who he tells her is in an insane asylum.
  • John and Anna move into a cottage on the Downton estate.
  • Robert Crawley promotes Thomas Barrow to under butler and Jimmy Kent to first footman.
  • Ethel Parks leaves Isobel Crawley's employment to go work for a Mrs. Watson, who lives near the Bryants and her son, Charlie Parks.
  • Tom and baby Sybil are to live in Downton Abbey with the family until Sybil is older.


  • 1920, August 18 - The US ratifies the 19th amendment to the Constitution granting universal suffrage to women[92], mentioned by Robert in episode 3.04.

2012 Christmas SpecialEdit

Opens with the title card: one year later.

Set in September,[93] 1921.[94]

  • 1921, March 4 - Warren G. Harding[95] succeeds Woodrow Wilson as President of the United States. While never mentioned by name, it is his administration that is scandalised by Teapot Dome, and involving Cora's brother Harold.

The family receive a warm welcome at Duneagle Castle, visiting Rose and her parents in the Highlands. But there is no disguising the tensions between their hosts.[96]

Series 3-4 Gap (1921-1922)Edit

Series 4 (1922—1923)Edit

This series picks up six months after the end of the 2012 Christmas Special, and covers February 1922 into the summer of 1923.[97][98]

Episode 4.01Edit

Set in February 1922, six months after the death of Matthew Crawley.

Episode 4.02Edit

Opens in or after April 1922, as Jimmy says Phyllis Dare will be appearing in York after appearing in "The Lady of the Rose" in London. She appeared in this musical between February 21 and April of 1922.

  • 1922, April 15 U.S Senator John B. Kendrick introduced a resolution calling for an investigation of the Teapot Dome (Wyoming) land deal, opening the scandal involving Cora's brother Harold Levinson and the need for Robert to go to America in episode 4.07.[99]

Episode 4.03Edit

Episode 4.04Edit

Episode 4.05Edit

Episode 4.06Edit

Episode 4.07Edit

  • July 1922 - Robert Crawley heads to America when his brother-in-law, Harold Levinson, gets in trouble for his role in the Teapot Dome Scandal.

Episode 4.08Edit

  • 1922, October 22 David Lloyd George is succeeded as Prime minister by Andrew Bonar Law.
  • 1922, November 4 Howard Carter[100] opens the tomb of Tutankhamun[101] in the Valley of the Kings[102], Egypt. While never mentioned in the series, this expedition was financed by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon[103], owner of Highclere Castle used as the filming location for Downton Abbey. The Crawley dogs Isis and Pharaoh allude to this connection. The 5th Earl of Carnarvon would die on April 5, 1923 of erysipelas[104] and blood poisoning contracted from an infected mosquito bite. The same condition Isobel Crawley misdiagnoses for Mr. Molesley in season one.
  • 1922, December 6 - Ireland's independence is officially recognized.[105]
  • 1923, January 1 - The North Eastern Railway (NER)[106] merges with the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER)[107], the line which serves Downton Railway Station.
  • 1923, May 22 - Andrew Bonar Law is succeeded as Prime Minister by Stanley Baldwin.

2013 Christmas SpecialEdit

Set between April and August 1923[108]; most likely May.

Series 4-5 Gap (1923-1924)Edit

  • 1923, August 2 - Calvin Coolidge[109] becomes President of the United States following the death of Warren Harding.
  • 1923, November 8 - Adolf Hitler and the SA storm a public meeting in the Bürgerbräukeller, a large beer hall in Munich. The next day they march on the Bavarian War Ministry. Four police officers and sixteen NSDAP[110] members were killed in the confrontation. Hitler was arrested two days later. It was known as the "Beer Hall Putsch"[111].
  • 1923, November 16 - Hyperinflation peaks in Germany with the U.S. Dollar trading at 4,210,500,000,000 German marks. A new currency, the Rentenmark, replaces the worthless Reichsbank marks.[112]
  • 1924, January 21 - Vladimir Lenin dies following a series of strokes that had largely incapacitated him since 1922. Joseph Stalin[113] consolidates power following his death.
  • 1924, January 22 - Ramsey MacDonald succeeds Stanley Baldwin as Prime Minister.
  • 1924, February 1 - The UK recognises the Soviet Union[114].

Series 5 (1924- )Edit

Episode 5.01Edit

Set between 15th and 17th February 1924[115].

Episode 5.02Edit

Set in April, 1924, in the days leading up to and after the British Empire Exhibition[116].

  • 1924, February 26 to April 1 - Trial of Adolf Hitler. Robert references the "Brownshirts" and the recent trial of its leader in a conversation with Edith about Michael Gregson in episode 5.04. Cora states in episode 5.06 that Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison. The sentencing occured on April 1, 1924.
  • 1924, April 23 King George V gives the first radio broadcast by a sitting British monarch, opening the British Empire Exhibition[117] at Wembley, Middlesex.

Episode 5.03Edit

Episode 5.04Edit

Episode 5.05Edit

Set after 22 September, 1924.[118]

  • 1924, September 22 - Bernard Fitzalan-Howard inherits the title of Baron Howard of Glossop, following the death of his father, Francis Edward Fitzalan-Howard.

Episode 5.06Edit

Episode 5.07Edit

  • 1924, Between September 22 and October 17[119] - The Crawley's dog Isis dies.

Episode 5.08Edit

Set in the two weeks leading up to and including October 25, 1924.[120]

2014 Christmas SpecialEdit

NotesEdit

  • a In Episode 2.05, there is a continuity error. The date of death given on William's marker at his grave reads "26/07/18"; that is, 26 July 1918. The Battle of Ameins was fought from 8–12 August 1918. Since both of these pieces of information cannot be right, it may be that William's death date should really be 26 August 1918.
  • b Jessica Brown Findlay and Allen Leech did not appear as Lady Sybil Branson and Tom Branson respectively, though it is revealed that they are now married and Sybil is pregnant.
  • c In this episode Robert says that "Tennessee is going to ratify the 19th Amendment". The ratification of the amendment happened on 18th August, 1920.[122]
  • dCricket is a sport played outdoors in the warmer months of the year generally from mid-April to September, and given that the weather in this episode looks sunny with people wearing summer clothes we can probably place this episode in the summer of 1920.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Series 1 Press Pack: "Downton is the home of the Crawleys, who have been the Earls of Grantham since 1772"
  2. Roberta fought in the siege of Lucknow where she "loaded the guns". She had to be of age - at least 17 - to fight legally.
  3. In Downton Abbey: Series 2 Scripts (Official): Page 495 Julian Fellowes' notes read as "At the start of the show, set in 1912, we needed Violet to be about 70. This means she was born in 1842 and she would have come out in 1860, to enjoy a few flirtations before marriage claimed her". Thus, by these notes, we can place Violet's date of birth as 1842.
  4. The main façade of Grantham House bears the inscription "RESTITVTA ANNO DOMINI MDCCCXLIX". (2013 Christmas Special). "Restituta" means "restored"; Bridgewater House (whose exterior serves as "Grantham House" in the show, was originally built c. 1626, but was renovated by Charles Barry in the 1849s. Barry was also the architect who built Highclere Castle (which serves as "Downton Abbey") at around the same time.
  5. The Downton Abbey: Series 1 Scripts (Official) : page 71 states that Isobel is an "attractive woman in her fifties" meaning that she was born between 1853 and 1862; being born in 1853 would make her 59 and being born in 1862 would make her 50.
  6. Siege of Lucknow
  7. Violet says that she was "recently married" in 1860 to Rose in an attempt to cheer her up in the 2012 Christmas Special. As well as this, she specifies that she attended her first Gillies Ball after being married in 1860. The Gillies Ball takes place in September.
  8. In Downton Abbey: Series 2 Scripts (Official): Page 7 Robert is described as "someone of fifty" indicating, as the first episode is set in 1916, that he was born in 1866.
  9. Rosamund's age is unspecified in the show, but she is either older or younger than Robert, putting her birthdate in the 1860s or 1870s. She is also stated to be alive by 1874, when her parents travelled to Russia.
  10. Harold's age is unspecified, but he is either older than Cora, making him born before 1868, or younger, making him born in 1869 or later.
  11. Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  12. Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia
  13. Episode 5.08
  14. A woman has her season, typically, at 17 and, depending on whether she was born in the 1860s or 1870s, Rosamund would have been presented sometime in the late 1870s or late 1880s and married Marmaduke at some point after her season. These dates also take into account the fact that Rosamund could, like Rose, have had a late season and been in her 20s.
  15. Rosamund informs Lavinia in Series 2 that she and Marmaduke "bought the house when we were married."
  16. Downton Abbey Season 1 Press Pack: Page 7
  17. On Episode 5.01, Robert and Cora's wedding anniversary is said to be on "the 16th" and Ramsay MacDonald is implied to be recently put in office; Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister - for the first time - on 22nd January 1924. The episode cannot be set in January as their anniversary is "the 16th" and MacDonald was not in office until the 22nd, making February the earliest that the episode - and in turn Robert and Cora's anniversary - can be set. Furthermore, Mrs Hughes says that the wedding anniversary falls on a Saturday, and 16 February was indeed a Saturday in 1924. The only other Saturday was August, but as Episode 5.02 shows King George Speaking from the British Empire Exhibition (which he did on 23rd April, 1924) the episode cannot be set in August.
  18. While the Downton Abbey Season 1 Press Pack says that Robert and Cora married in 1889, Episode 5.01 shows the couple celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary in 1924.
  19. Downton Abbey Season 1 Press Pack: Page 7
  20. Episode 3.01 and 2013 Christmas Special
  21. 2013 Christmas Special: Martha confirms that Harold has not been to England since "[Cora's] wedding".
  22. Episode 5.05 and 5.07.
  23. In Episode 3.04 Robert says that "Tennessee is going to ratify the 19th Amendment". The ratification of the amendment happened on 18th August, 1920 - as seen by 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right to Vote, National Archives, retrieved 31st August, 2013 - and cricket is played in Episode 3.08. The cricket season for 1920 ended on 30th September. Baby Sybbie is born between the two dates and for Sybil to be "24" (with the episode set in 1920 and her birthdate being 1895) she cannot have yet celebrated her 25th birthday.
  24. The following conversation occurs in the Series 1 Script Book.
    • Anna: I wonder what that Mr Molesley makes of them.
    • William: Mr Bates, you know Mr Molesley, don't you?
    • Bates: I do. We were footmen together. In a house near Stafford. Before the South African War.
  25. Boer War
  26. All based on medals worn on the day of the WWI memorial presentation in episode 5.08.
  27. Isobel, in Episode 1.02, says that she "trained to be a nurse" during the Boer War. Though she doesn't mention the war by name, it is very likely to be this war she is referring to.
  28. "John Bates. He must have left the army about eight years ago." --Anna inquiring about him to an NCO, episode 1.07
  29. Bates confirms, in the 2012 Christmas Special, that the family travelled to Duneagle "every year" except for 1914 - 1918 because of the war and 1920 due to Sybil's death.
  30. This event, though happening in an undisclosed year, has to have happened at some point in the years before 1912 as Doctor Clarkson knows of Reginald's works.
  31. Doctor Clarkson says he is "familiar" with Reginald's work on Dropsy and that it is a "new procedure" in 1912, meaning the notes were published comparatively recently.
  32. George V
  33. Edward VII
  34. In Series 1 Episode 6 Violet says that Susan must have "forgotten the layout of the house" implying that it has been - at least - several years since Susan came to Downton.
  35. Downton Abbey: Episode 1 , itv Player, itv.com.
  36. Downton Abbey Series 1 Official Script: Page 29. A discussion between Murray and Robert occurs.
    • Murray: "It was right to bury Mr Crawley in Canada. In fact I hear the Canadians are making quite a thing of the Titanic cemetery."
    • Robert: "It seems strange to have buried James without Patrick."
    • Murray: "They may still find some trace of him."
    • Robert: "After three months? I doubt it. No, I'm afraid Patrick was food for the fishes long ago."
  37. Marconi scandal
  38. Isobel mentions, when they arrive at Crawley House, that Matthew liked Robert when he "met him a month ago." As the episode begins in September, the meeting took place in August.
  39. In Episode 1 Sybil says they can be "out of full mourning by September"; as they're in half mourning in Episode 2 it places the episode firmly in Spetember 1912
  40. Mary says, in Episode 1.02: "I’m afraid Papa wants to teach Granny a lesson. Poor Granny, a month ago these people were strangers - now she must share power with the mother and I must marry the son." meaning that it has been at least a month between Matthew and Isobel's arrival and the scene of Sybil and Mary discussing mourning.
  41. Downton Abbey: Episode 3 , itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  42. Fox Hunting Season
  43. Rising and setting times for the Sun in York
  44. Vernal Equinix
  45. Downton Abbey: Episode 4, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  46. Emily Davison
  47. Albanian Independence
  48. Downton Abbey: Episode 5 , itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  49. Violet to Sybil: "Well, I doubt I'd expect to curtsey to Their Majesties in June, when I'd been arrested at a riot in May. But them I'm old. Things may be different now." --Episode 1.06
  50. Cora to Sybil:"You were a great success in London, darling. Well done." --Episode 1.07
  51. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
  52. World War I, July Crisis
  53. Gallipoli Campaign
  54. Military Service Act
  55. This would imply that Molesley was 41 or younger in 1916, however series 5 establishes that he was 43 at the time. The age was extended to 51 in 1918.
  56. Ireland - Steps to independence
  57. Battle of Jutland
  58. Downton Abbey: Episode 2, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  59. United States declaration of war on Germany
  60. American entry into World War I
  61. Downton Abbey: Episode 3, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  62. Russian Revolution
  63. Nicholas II - Final months and execution
  64. Downton Abbey: Episode 4, itv Player, exact quote.
  65. Representation of the People Act
  66. Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom
  67. Killing of the Romanov family
  68. Downton Abbey: Episode 6, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  69. 1918 flu pandemic
  70. First Armistice at Compiègne
  71. Armistice Day
  72. Downton Abbey: Episode 7, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  73. Grand Trunk Railway - Bankruptcy and nationalisation
  74. In Episode 2.07 Lavinia says that She and Matthew are marrying in "April"; so Episode 2.08, when their wedding was supposed to take place, is set in April. As it is after the armistice of November 1918, this means it is 1919; as well as this, Mary says that there are "Three full days" left until the wedding, thus backing up Lavinia's words.
  75. Downton Abbey: Episode 8, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  76. Amritsar massacre
  77. Treaty of Versailles
  78. Knox–Porter Resolution
  79. Downton Abbey: Episode 1: Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2011, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  80. Downton Abbey Scripts (Official): Page 532. A conversation between Carson and Mrs Hughes takes place:
    • Mrs Hughes: I think I'll say goodnight. I've got a long day tomorrow.
    • Carson: I don't envy you.
    • Mrs Hughes: I can't bear to think about it. What can they want from me?
    • Carson: Just do your best, and you'll be home before you know it.
    • Mrs Hughes: And what news will I bring with me? That reminds me. What should we do about the Servants' Ball? It's only five days away. Can we delay it?
    • Carson: But the Servants' Ball is always held on the twelfth of January, the birthday of the first Countess.
    • Mrs Hughes: I don't care if it's the birthday of Chu Chin Chow. This year, should we hold it back?
    • Carson: The verdict will guide us to the appropriate response.
    As the Servants' Ball is not moved back and takes place - Thomas even expresses doubt that they can get it ready in so little time - we can be sure it takes place on the twelfth of January.
  81. The title of "Spring 1920" appears on the screen, setting this in 1920
  82. Downton Abbey: Episode 1, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  83. Downton Abbey: Episode 2, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  84. Downton Abbey: Episode 3, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  85. Downton Abbey: Episode 4, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  86. Robert mentions Charles Ponzi in 3.08 with his scheme having not yet collapsed.
  87. Downton Abbey: Episode 5, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  88. Downton Abbey: Episode 6, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  89. Downton Abbey: Episode 7, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  90. Robert mentions Charles Ponzi. The scheme that now bears his name came crashing down on August 11 and he was arrested the following day. As well as this, the cricket season for 1920 ends on 30th September 1920 and cricket is played in the episode, meaning that the episode is set sometime between the 10th of August (which is the latest date BEFORE the collapse) and the 30th of September.
  91. Downton Abbey: Episode 8, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  92. Universal suffrage
  93. A racy new maid, another shock for Lady Edith and simmering tension between Matthew and Lady Mary. Hold on to your hats as Downton decamps to Scotland, Nicole Lampert, dailymail.co.uk, 22:31, 21st December, 2012.
  94. The title screen for Episode 3.01 says that that episode is set in Spring 1920; the 2012 Christmas Special is, by the previous reference, confirmed to be set in September, and as this is a year after 1920, it must be 1921.
  95. Warren G. Harding
  96. Downton Abbey, itv Player, itv.com, exact quote.
  97. 'Downton Abbey' Season 4: Does Thomas tell Lady Cora about the soap incident?, Andrea Reiher, Zap 2 it, 6th August, 2013.
  98. Downton Abbey Season 4 preview gets rave reviews, ITV.com/news, 14th August, 2013. Quote: "The show will return to ITV 1 in the Autumn with the first episode set in 1922, six months after the death of Matthew Crawley in a car accident, which was revealed in last year's Christmas episode."
  99. Teapot Dome investigation
  100. Howard Carter
  101. Tutankhamun
  102. Valley of the Kings
  103. George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon
  104. Erysipelas
  105. Ireland independence
  106. North Eastern Railway
  107. London and North Eastern Railway
  108. Official Debrett's season dates
  109. Calvin Coolidge
  110. NSDAP (Nazi Party)
  111. Beer Hall Putsch
  112. Hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic
  113. Joseph Stalin
  114. Soviet Union
  115. Robert and Cora's anniversary is said to be on "The 16th" and Ramsay MacDonald is implied to be recently in office; Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister - for the first time - on 22nd January 1924. The Episode cannot be set in January as their anniversary is "the 16th" and MacDonald was not in office until the 22nd, making February the earliest that the episode - and in turn Robert and Cora's anniversary - can be set. As well as this, Jimmy says that he sent Lady Anstruther another Valentines card that year, making the episode after the 14th. The Fire of Edith's bedroom is set on the night after the anniversary, meaning that it is the morning of the 17th. As well as this, Robert and Cora's anniversary party falls on Saturday the 16th. In 1924, the 16th only fell on a Saturday in the months of February and August. As King George V is heard on the wireless and spoke in April, 1924, Episode 5.01 takes place in February.
  116. King George V spoke from the British Empire Exhibition on 23rd April, 1924 and the events of the Episode take place before, during and after the speech, placing the Episode firmly in April.
  117. British Empire Exhibition
  118. Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop makes an appearance at Lord Grantham's cocktail party, and is already introduced as "The Lord Howard of Glossop". His father, Francis Edward Fitzalan-Howard, from which he inherited the title, died on 22 September, 1924 (see here), and Lady Grantham makes a passing reference to his death.
  119. Some time after the death of Francis Edward Fitzalan-Howard and at least seven days before the wedding of Rose MacClare.
  120. Mrs. Hughes tells Inspector Vyner that the family will be in London all the next week, early on in episode 5.08.
  121. Given:
    • The WWI presentation is on the 25th of the month and they will have just been back from the wedding.
    • The wedding occurred on a Friday immediately before.
    • Episodes 5-8 occurred after the death of Baron Howard on Sept. 22, 1924.
    • And before Christmas of the same year.
    The only date meeting all these criteria is Friday, October 24, 1924.
  122. 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right to Vote, National Archives, retrieved 31st August, 2013.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Timeline

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