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Cora: "It seems rather hard on poor old Travis when he's doing all the work but the Archbishop gets the glory."
Mary: "Papa was the one who wanted a Prince of the Church. I'd've settled for Travis."
— The Countess of Grantham and her daughter, Lady Mary Crawley, on the latter's wedding rehearsal.[src]

William Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of York (31 October, 1864 – 5 December, 1945) was the Archbishop of York from 1909 to 1928, the year when he became Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archbishop was the one who, in the Spring of 1920, presided over the wedding ceremony of Matthew Crawley, heir presumptive to the Earl of Grantham, and Lady Mary Crawley, the Earl's daughter.

He is first seen at the wedding rehearsal shouting orders to poor Reverend Travis, the local Anglican minister, who is trying to insure that things go smoothly. Mary feels sorry that Travis must do all the work, but the archbishop will get all the glory. Mary explains that it was her father, Lord Grantham, who wanted a "Prince of the Church" to conduct the ceremony, as she would have just had Travis do it.

Later, he is seen in his official robes as he stands at the altar before Matthew and Mary, as he prepares to marry them.

Isobel talks to Mary at the picnic about the wedding plans. She comments that it is unfair that Mary had an archbishop to marry her, while Edith only has poor, old Mr. Travis. Edith remarks that it was short notice and the archbishop was booked up. However, she prefers the man who christened her to marry her.

Some time later, still in 1920, the Archbishop was invited to a dinner party at Downton Abbey. Lord Grantham described him as toffy-nosed and told Carson to put him near the dowager countess, as she would know how to deal with him. The Earl revealed his anti-Catholic position to him, saying that there was something about them that made them seem like foreigners. The Archbishop apparently did not share these ideas and was not as against the Catholics. At dinner when they hear the knock on the door, which is Branson who has escaped arrest in Ireland, the archbishop uses it as an excuse to make a biblical quote.

Behind the scenes[]


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