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Episode 1.04 is the fourth episode of the first season of Downton Abbey, and the fourth episode overall.

Lady Sybil Crawley begins to rally for the women's vote, after being inspired by Branson, which greatly displeases Robert Crawley. Lady Rosamund gives strange advice to Mary Crawley. Thomas and O'Brien try to get Daisy to help them bring down John Bates. The episode starts on May 28th, 1913[1].


The fair has come to Downton Village. Bates encourages William to ask Daisy to go with him but before he gets a chance, Thomas jumps in and a delighted Daisy accepts his offer. It is left to Mrs Patmore who tries and fails to explain to Daisy why Thomas is not right for her. Thomas’s bullying increases towards William. Bates notices and tempers flare. But Thomas takes it all in his stride.

Sybil has awoken politically. She instantly connects with the new Irish chauffeur, Branson, who shares her affinity for politics. Robert is, at first, amused by his new chauffeur’s radicalism but he comes to regret his choice. Meanwhile, Sybil is determined to help Gwen get a new job and despite Gwen’s first interview falling through, Sybil assures her there will be a next time.

Anxious to get the entail broken and to advance Mary as heiress, Violet shocks Matthew by visiting his office to see if he will look into the matter. Later, an awkward Matthew visits Robert to discuss Violet’s request. The two have grown close and Matthew takes his role as heir very seriously, he later runs into Mary, whom he appears to have a crush on. Mary for her part is still mourning Pamuk.

Matthew informs a delighted Robert that he does see Downton as his future. But Mary feels that in Matthew, Robert has found his ‘son’ and will no longer bother trying to fight the entail.

Robert makes it clear to Violet that he is not movable on his position regarding the entail. A later conversation with Cora reaffirms his decision. Cora does not fight him because, although she still loves Mary, she realizes that following the incident with Pamuk, Mary is damaged goods and that ironically, Matthew is the more suitable heir.

Violet is also in conflict with Isobel over a medical ailment affecting Molesley. However, this time Isobel’s treatment fails to work and Violet’s does.

The servants gossip about Mrs Hughes who takes a very rare evening off to meet a former sweetheart, Joe Burns. The evening makes Mrs Hughes question her position as housekeeper at Downton and it is left to Carson to reassure her that she made the right decision all those years ago.

Elsewhere, Carson has a problem, the wine book suggests they are missing at least two dozen of a special vintage. Anna, in bed with a cold, is touched by Bates bringing a tray of food up to her room, which she is glad of. It is apparent that they have romantic feelings for one another but have yet to realise or express them.

Cast list[]


  1. A sign for the Thirsk fair says that it begins on May 29th, 1913. Bates says the fair would be "tomorrow." Therefore the episode started one day before May 29th, 1913, which would be May 28th, 1913.

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