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I was up at Oxford. But I only ever planned to farm. Farm and shoot... and hunt and fish. And everything I'll never do again.
—Edward answering Thomas's question about what he did before the war[src]

Edward Courtenay was a lieutenant who became blind from mustard gas. He was sent from the battlefield to the hospital in the Yorkshire village of Downton. While recovering, he befriended Nurse Sybil Crawley and Corporal Thomas Barrow. He formed a strong attachment to them and Thomas became romantically attracted to him.

Dr Clarkson informed him that he must be moved from Downton to a convalescent home at Farley Hall despite both Thomas and Sybil warning that Edward was depressed. On the eve of his transfer to the convalescent home, Edward committed suicide in his hospital bed by slitting his wrists. His death pushes Sybil and Isobel Crawley to ask Sybil's mother, Cora Crawley, to convert Downton Abbey into a convalescent home.


Edward told Thomas that he studied at Oxford even though he ultimately wanted to farm. He had one younger brother named Jack, whom Edward did not have a very good relationship with; he told Thomas that Jack means to "replace [Edward]" and "It's what [Jack's] always wanted."


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


  1. A title card at the beginning of Episode 2.02 gives this date.