Daisy Mason (née Robinson) is an assistant cook (formerly kitchen maid) at Downton Abbey and the widow of William Mason. She lives under the strict but caring eye of Mrs Patmore, the cook. Daisy was usually seen in a light pink dress while being a kitchen maid. She later wore grey when she was promoted to kitchen assistant.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Daisy's birthdate is unknown but she is most likely very young in 1912.She had a tough childhood and is from the very lowest, "dysfunctional", end of the working classes. However, Daisy received free compulsory schooling up to the age of ten and can read and write and do simple sums.
Daisy was the scullery maid who assisted Mrs. Patmore in the kitchen. Part of her job was to be up before everyone else and wake the other servants. She was in charge of lighting the fires and cleaning the fireplaces every day, but was expected to keep out of sight of the family.To begin with Daisy was very taken with Thomas, but after he reacted nastily about Cora's miscarriage, her affections shifted toward William, who had been attracted to her for a long time.
William still cares greatly for Daisy. He is angered that his father will not let him go to war. Daisy reassures him that his father is only doing that because he loves William so much. Daisy tells him she hates to see him so down, and in order to cheer him up kisses him lightly on the lips. William is overjoyed and says, "Does this mean you'll be my girl?" which startles her. Daisy does not truly love William at the time and feels that their relationship is going too fast, and is hesitant when he proposes to her before going off to war. Mrs Patmore notices Daisy's hesitation and is worried she'll say no to William and tells Daisy that "[she] can't send him off to war with a broken heart". Daisy accepts unromantically, thinking she can break it off when the war is over. He asks her to have her picture taken so he can have one when he goes to war, to which she obliges. He announces that they are engaged to the staff. Daisy says they'll wait to marry after the war, and he expresses that he'd rather not wait that long. He leaves for war shortly thereafter, and is to serve under Matthew Crawley.
When he goes missing, Daisy is very worried, but when she goes to Lady Edith Crawley to ask her to look into William's case (as Matthew Crawley, the heir to Downton, is missing as well) and Edith asks if she is his beau. Daisy says no, but that all the servants like him.
When he comes back, he tries to talk to her romantically, but she doesn't quite treat him as a lover. He goes back to war, and he is injured severely - so severely that doctors are certain he will die from his wounds. William's father believes that he will get better, and at first does not understand his son's fate. He is brought back to Downton Abbey. William asks Daisy to marry him now, before he dies, so that she can get a pension and he will have been married before he dies. Daisy tries to protest, but Mr Mason and Mrs Patmore both convince her to marry him on his deathbed. The servants and the Dowager Countess attend his wedding. Daisy stays with him until he dies, about six to seven hours later. She feels a great deal of guilt about letting him think she loved him, and tries to tell Mr Mason, but Mrs Patmore tells her that it wouldn't be right. The Dowager Countess helps her to realize that she did love William, she just didn't know it. She grows close to Mr Mason, who confides in her that William had brothers and sisters who all died before they were grown, and his wife, William's mother, has died as well. He and Daisy agree to support one another as father and daughter.
Lady Rosamund's maid, Miss Shore, visits Downton for Christmas and starts putting ideas into Daisy's head. She remarks on all the work Daisy does in the kitchen, saying she could be a sous chef in London, or a cook. Unfortunately Miss Shore's advice and attitude lead Daisy to complain about her situation (on the same day John Bates is convicted of his wife's murder), which gets her in trouble with Mrs Patmore.However, after talking with her father-in-law Mr Mason, Daisy asks for a promotion (admitting that she took the wrong advice before) from Mrs Patmore, which she eventually gets, and (Ivy takes her place).
1920[edit | edit source]
Daisy at first does not get her promotion (in part due to the estate's financial problems) and becomes angry. Thomas convinces her to go on strike, but Mrs Patmore ignores her. Daisy gets over it and goes back to work.
When Mary finds out that Lavinia had written to her father before she died, Mary tries to find out who posted the letter. Daisy reveals she did it, and that Lavinia had given it to her one day when she came in to make up the fire.
When she does get promoted, she is jealous of the new kitchen maid Ivy Stuart. She also falls head-over-heels for the new footman, Alfred Nugent, who is pursuing Ivy. Daisy also pays another visit to her father-in-law, Mr Mason. She learns he wants to name her as his heir, and asks her to move in with him so he can teach her how to run the family farm. She does not give him an answer yet, though she has admitted she never imagined she would be leaving service.Thirsk fair and they have a good time together.
1922[edit | edit source]
In February 1922, Ivy and Daisy both receive Valentine's Day cards and are unsure who they are from. Jimmy hints that Ivy's is from him and asks her to go out to the pub with him. Because of this Daisy thinks that her card was from Alfred, who she has a crush on, and that Ivy's card was from Jimmy. Mrs Patmore asks Alfred to tell Daisy the truth, that he was the one who sent the card to Ivy. After he does so, Mrs Patmore tells Daisy that it was she who sent Daisy the card. Mrs Patmore had an idea that Alfred would send Ivy one, and didn't want Daisy to feel left out. Daisy is clearly upset, but tells Mrs Patmore that she may not have a follower, but at least she has a friend.
Daisy starts to use an electric mixer, which Mrs. Patmore does not trust, saying new technology eventually will take away their jobs. Later, when she knows Ivy and Jimmy are together in the boot room, she tells Alfred where to find Ivy without telling him Jimmy is there. When Alfred begins to consider leaving Downton to pursue his dream of becoming a chef, Mrs Patmore tells Daisy it might be for the best, since Alfred never returned Daisy's feelings.
Despite not wanting Alfred to leave Downton, Daisy helps him to improve his cooking before he goes to The Ritz for his course. However, Alfred does not receive a job offer and Daisy is relieved he was not leaving afterwards. But then, Alfred is offered to replace a candidate who dropped out, and Daisy is hurt again. She lashses out at Ivy, especially after the latter speaks of Alfred's goodness after Jimmy made an advance on her, since Ivy wanted Jimmy instead of Alfred.
Alfred later visits and at one point proposes to Ivy, who rejects him. Daisy is more furious than ever, and takes another trip to her father-in-law's (at Mrs Patmore's suggestion) to avoid seeing Alfred for the last time. Mr Mason, however, advises her to go back and part friends with Alfred. He also restates his hope that one day she will come to his farm permanently one day.
Daisy returns with a basket present for Alfred, which Mr Mason made. She admits to Alfred she loved him but that has gone and it is time for both to go their separate ways. Alfred apologizes to Daisy and regretfully admits he was a fool who could not see her love and truth as he was blinded by his infatuation for Ivy. They agree to be friends forever. Mrs Patmore later tells Daisy that she has never been prouder of her.Ethan Slade, valet to Lady Grantham's brother Harold Levinson. Apparently Harold is fond of Daisy's cooking, and the offer is made for her to go back to America and work for him as a cook. Ethan is also primarily motivated by an attraction to Daisy. Daisy however declines. Ivy then becomes interested in the offer. However, as she later reveals to Mrs Patmore, Daisy was happy that a man was interested in her and that the excitment would probably last a year.
1924[edit | edit source]Daisy wants to better herself and tells Mrs Patmore that she wants to be grown up, responsible and an adult, and orders arithmetic books to educate herself (feeling that if she is indeed going to take over her father-in-law's farm someday, that she must be able to manage accounts), but she is struggling. Mrs Patmore and Mrs Hughes support her, whereas Mr Carson does not. Sarah Bunting is requested by Mrs Patmore to tutor Daisy in her studies; this helps Daisy and Mrs Patmore make sure that Daisy's studies do not clash with her job schedule. Daisy immediately begins to improve, Bunting remarking that she will do very well with arithmetic.
1925[edit | edit source]
Daisy is visited by her father-in-law, Mr Mason, who tells her that he has lost his farm when the estate that he is working on is being sold. Daisy accompanies Mr Mason, along with the family, to Mallerton Hall, where the old owners are selling literally everything in their house, even a wedding present given to the owners by the tenants. After this, Daisy decides to confront the owners, and when she does so, she vehemently scolds the owners and the new owners right in front of all the guests, including Robert, Cora, Mary and Edith. However, the new owner tells Daisy that he is not "amused" by her behavior, and that Mr Mason's tenancy will not be renewed. Daisy bitterly regrets this, and tries to help Mr Mason search for a new farm.
A few weeks later, the Drewe family leaves Yew Tree Farm, which leaves Mr Mason with a possible new tenancy. Daisy is convinced that this was Lady Grantham's plan all along — that the Drewe's decided to leave so Mr Mason would take over Yew Tree Farm. Many people downstairs, including Baxter, Molesley and Mrs Patmore, try to convince Daisy that this is not the case, but she refuses to believe it.
When Daisy has lost her patience in waiting for Mr Mason to be given Yew Tree Farm, she decides that Cora has gone back on her "promise". Thus, Daisy decides to go into the drawing room and confront Cora. Everyone downstairs tries to convince Daisy not to do this, as she will lose her job and leave without a reference, but Daisy ignores them. Baxter decides to accompany Daisy.Robert and Cora come out of the drawing room, and they tell Daisy that Mr Mason is been given Yew Tree Farm and is able to move in. At this, Daisy is speechless and is filled with mixed emotions.
Personality[edit | edit source]
While Daisy is kind and naive but she also thinks very highly of herself and is, at times, prone to temper tantrums and angry outbursts. Despite often being told off by Mrs Patmore and bearing the scoldings well - even when she is being admonished for something not her fault - Mrs Patmore does truly care for Daisy. Daisy tends to be petulant and immature despite her age, especially when she thinks she's helping people she loves, sometimes damaging more than helping.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Daisy is one of eleven children, as her mother was a "true Victorian" and had many offspring.
- Daisy has hardly any family at all. It is implied that her parents either mistreated or abused her, as she had told her father-in-law that she hasn't "got any parents; not like that."
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Actor Jim Carter, who plays Mr Carson, points out that the character of Daisy has worn the same dress for 3 years, and Sophie McShera says that if she could give one thing to Daisy as a Christmas present it would be shampoo. 
References[edit | edit source]
- The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era, by Jessica Fellowes & Matthew Sturgis, pages 196 & 202.
- Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season One, Julian Fellowes, page 3.
- Downton Abbey love triangle to shake-up life downstairs at The Telegraph
- Series 1 Press pack, ITV.com, page 11.
- PBS and Masterpiece Theatre live streamed Q & A panel with Downton Abbey cast and producer [here]
- Downton Abbey - Making - Extended Interviews []