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You're a very naughty boy.
—to James Kent[src]

The Dowager Baroness Anstruther[1] is the widow of Lord Anstruther and former employer of footman James Kent.


Between 1920 and 1922 she was living in France, which led to James leaving her employment. James also said to Charles Carson during his application that Lady Anstruther "begged" him to remain part of her staff while she holidayed in France.

James also mentions she flirts with him. She also referred to him by his nickname (Jimmy), rather than as James (like Carson refers to him).

James sends Lady Anstruther Valentine's Day cards in 1922, 1923, and 1924, although he professes it was only for a joke. Mistaking these gestures as returned love, Lady Anstruther sends James a series of love letters (which he ignores). On the 16th of February 1924, Lady Anstruther visits Downton Abbey with the purpose of reconciling with and seducing James.

At an attempt to satisfy Lady Anstruther's reckless lust, James sleeps with her. She and James are caught in bed together in her room after Lord Grantham bursts in to warn her of a fire raging in Lady Edith Crawley's bedroom. After the fire is put out she tells Lord Grantham she will be leaving before breakfast. She is last seen talking to James, who Robert chooses to dismiss from his job.

Robert refers to her as "half Jock's age, good looking, and rather silly."


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


  1. Episode 4 of Series 6 reveals that Lady Anstruther must be a Dowager Baroness. An Earl would be announced as "the Earl of [title]" (Carson announces an Earl in this manner in Series 5 Episode 6), a Duke or a Marquess would be announced in a similar fashion, and a Viscount would be announced as "The Viscount [title]"; their widows would be Dowager Countess, Dowager Duchess, Dowager Marchioness and Dowager Viscountess when verbally announced (Violet, for example, is always announced as "The Dowager Countess" unless informally amongst family). Baron is the only degree of the Peerage that is always referred to, both verbally and in correspondence, as "Lord [title]" and that is how Lady Anstruther is announced and spoken about - "The Dowager Lady Anstruther", which is how a Baron's widow is verbally addressed.