Downton Abbey Season 1 Episode 4

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Set in May 1913…

Tom Branson and Lady Sybil

Tom Branson talks politics with Lady Sybil




A spirited new chauffeur arrives at Downton Abbey and reveals his interest in politics to a mildly alarmed Lord Grantham. Socialist chauffeur Tom Branson drives Sybil to the dressmaker and she is most intrigued by his thoughts on women’s rights and agrees to read some of his pamphlets. Perhaps their little chat is what inspires Sybil to get such a radical new ‘dress’. Regardless, Branson seems to be only one who approves at the unveiling of Sybil’s new outfit as he peeks into the window of the drawing room.

Tom Branson

Socialist Tom admires Sybil's radical new pants

The fair comes to town and most of the staff attend. William wants to ask Daisy to go with him, but evil Thomas beats him to the punch, just to spite mild mannered William. Bates calls Thomas a bastard in the servants’ dining room. At the fair, William warns Daisy that Thomas isn’t what she thinks he is, i.e. kind, interested or heterosexual.

Mrs Hughes

Mrs Hughes receives a decent proposal from her fancy man

Mrs Hughes also attends the fair, with an old flame – a widowed farmer who asks for her hand in marriage. Mrs Hughes mulls it over but decides she is better suited for a life of quiet servitude after a talk with Carson. She’s not that farm girl from Argyle anymore and downstairs affairs at Downton are more important to her than affairs of the heart.

Lady Mary and Matthew also have a heart to heart at the fair (see below in Episode 4 quotes).

Gwen and Sybil continue to plot over Gwen’s future employment. A disappointed Gwen reveals that her first interview for a secretarial position was cancelled because the employer found someone more suitable. Sybil tells Gwen nobody hits the bulls eye the first time and Gwen’s spirits are buoyed.

Cora and Violet mull over Mary’s situation with the unbreakable entail. Lady Grantham visits Matthew Crawley to discuss the entail. She nearly falls off the swivel chair, blaming the chair’s unruliness on its American inventor. She asks Matthew to look into the details of the entail but he can’t find any holes in it. Matthew becomes enthusiastic about taking over Downton, much to Mary’s dismay. Mary is convinced her father has cast Mary aside for a new ‘son’.

Isobel diagnoses Molesley the butler with a difficult to treat, multi-syllabic skin disease and uses her position as Chairman of the Board to bust into the hospital dispensary for meds. Much to Isobel’s embarrassment, Countess Violet later diagnoses old Molesley with a grass allergy. Score another point for Violet.

Mr Bates

Fifty Shades of Mister Bates

Mister Bates brings a poorly Anna some dinner. Longing glances are exchange.







Downton Abbey Quotes from Episode 4, Season 1:

Lady Mary Grantham

Lady Mary ponders her future at Downton Abbey

Lady Mary: “Haven’t you heard? I don’t have a heart. Everyone knows that.”

Lord Grantham: “What are your interests?”
Tom Branson: “History and politics mainly.”
Lord Grantham: “Heavens.”

Lord Grantham: “He seems a bright spark after poor old Taylor. And to think Taylor’s gone off to run a tea shop. I cannot feel it will make for a very restful retirement, can you?”
Carson: “I would rather be put to death my lord.”
Lord Grantham: “Quite so.”

Lady Cora: “I might send her over to visit my aunt. She could get to know New York.”
Violet Grantham: “I don’t think things are quite that desperate. Poor Mary, she’s been very down in the mouth lately.”
Lady Cora: “She was very upset by the death of poor Mr. Pamuk.”
Violet Grantham: “Why? She didn’t know him. One can’t go to pieces at the death of every foreigner. We’d all be in a state of collapse whenever we opened a newspaper.”

Molesley: “I couldn’t wait a table in gloves. I’d look like a footman.”

Countess Violet

Countess Violet goes for a spin in the swivel chair

Violet Grantham: “Good heavens, what am I sitting on?”
Matthew Crawley: “A swivel chair.”
Violet Grantham: “Another modern brainwave?”
Matthew Crawley: “Not very modern. They were invented by Thomas Jefferson.”
Violet Grantham: “Why does every day involve a fight with an American”
Matthew Crawley: “I’ll fetch a different one”
Violet Grantham: “No no no, I’m a good sailor”

Lady Cora: “So women’s rights begin at home. I see. Well I’m all for that.”

Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley

Lady Mary and Matthew get real at the fair

Matthew Crawley: “I’m know my work seems very trivial to you.”
Lady Mary: “Not necessarily. Sometimes I rather envy you. Having somewhere to go every morning.”
Matthew Crawley: “I thought that made me very middle class.”
Lady Mary: “You should learn to forget what I say. I know I do.”
Matthew Crawley: “How about you? Is your life proving satisfactory, apart from the ‘great matter’ of course?”
Lady Mary: “Woman like me don’t have a life. We choose clothes, and pay calls and work for charity and do the season. But really we are stuck in a waiting room until we marry.”
Matthew Crawley: “I’ve made you angry”
Lady Mary: “My life makes me angry, not you. ”

Lady Sybil pants

Lady Sybil wears the pants in the Grantham family

Violet Grantham: “Sybil darling, why would you want to go to a real school? You’re not a doctor’s daughter. ”
Sybil: “But nobody learns anything from a governess, apart from French and how to curtsy.”
Violet Grantham: “What else do you need? Were you thinking of a career in banking?”


Lady Cora: “Things are different in America.”
Violet Grantham: “I know, they live in wigwams. ”

Thomas: “Mrs Hughes has got a fancy man. ”

O’Brien: “If she’s got a boyfriend, I’m a giraffe.”

Mr Bates and Thomas the footman

Mr Bates shows his murdery side to Thomas

Mr. Bates (to Thomas): “Listen you filthy little rat. If you don’t lay off I will punch your shining teeth through the back of your skull.”






Sybil: “Please don’t mention this to my father or my grandmother. One whiff of reform and she hears the rattle of the guillotine. It seems rather unlikely, a revolutionary chauffeur.”
Branson: “Maybe, but I’m a socialist, not a revolutionary. And I won’t always be a chauffeur.”

Doctor: “Mrs Crawley tells me she’s recommended nitrite of silver and tincture of steel.”
Violet Grantham: “Why, is she making a suit of armour?”

Violet Grantham: “Please don’t think we’re ungrateful for your enthusiasm Mrs Crawley but there comes a time when things are best left to the professionals.”

Mrs Patmore: “Perhaps Thomas has done and seen more than is good for him. He’s not a lady’s man.”
Daisy: “Well isn’t it a blessed relief.”

Mrs. Hughes: “Leaving? When would I ever find the time?”