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I would find it hard to respect any woman who wished to marry me.
—Harold to Madeleine Allsopp[src]

Harold Levinson (b. 1860s or 1870s[1]) is Cora's brother who lives in the United States.  He is the son of Martha and the late Isidore Levinson. Harold is described as "free spirited" and a playboy.



Harold has only met the Crawleys (or, at the very least, the Dowager Countess) upon his sister's wedding to Lord Grantham in 1889.[2] As Violet tells Isobel, once was enough.

Series Three[]

In 1920, Martha informed Violet, Mary, and Cora, that Harold was doing "something with yachts". He was making them bigger or faster, she was not sure which, and that he far was "too busy" to find out whether he was happy or not. Violet remarks that the Crawley family "never see him" which, according to Martha, is because he "hates to leave America."

When Mary discusses with her grandmother Violet the possibility of asking Martha Levinson for the money to save Downton, she describes Harold as not needing the money, as he is "rich as Croesus." Cora learns that Mary is planning to ask her for the money and disapproves. She not only thinks it undignified, but she believes that their financial problems are their own. She says that they are not her mother's or Harold's fault, and they should not have to pay for them.

As it turns out, Martha later tells them that her husband tied up the money so that Martha gets an allowance, but the capital is held for Harold, as her husband believed that Downton had gotten enough of his money.

Series Four[]

Harold writes to Robert, informing him that he is experiencing legal troubles because of some ill-fated oil investments that are revealed to be part of the Teapot Dome scandal. Robert is later asked to come to America to support Harold, which he eventually does.[3] Following his return to Downton, he tells his mother that both Harold and Martha intend to come to visit them again around the time of Rose's debutante ball.

Violet mentions to Isobel having seen Harold once, at Robert and Cora's wedding, and that once was enough.

2013 Christmas Special[]

Harold later visits London with his mother in 1923, reuniting with his sister and his brother-in-law.[4][5] They stay in London with the Crawley family for Rose's ball. He does not feel comfortable being outside of America, but is cordial with his in-laws.

He spends time with Madeleine Allsopp, the daughter of Lord Aysgarth, who is interested in Harold and his mother for their money. Although he admits to being a playboy, he finds himself drawn to Madeleine, whom he professes to have liked more than any other girl he has known. Madeleine in turn grows to like him for who he is, and resolves because of Harold to never be a pawn in her father's schemes again.

Robert hosts a poker game at Grantham House which includes Harold, Lord Aysgarth, Tom Branson, Anthony Foyle, and Terence Sampson. Robert is hosting this to distract Sampson (while others search Sampson's flat to retrieve a letter he stole that could ruin the reputation of the Prince of Wales). Robert invited Harold on the pretense that the greedy Sampson could not resist playing because of Harold's fortune.

Harold and his mother plan to go on a European tour, which according to his valet Ethan Slade includes Spain and Italy.


About Harold[]

Cora: "So, what's Harold doing now?"
Martha: "His idée fixe is yachts. Bigger yachts, faster yachts. Something with yachts."
Cora: "Is he happy?"
Martha: "He's much too busy to find out."
Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham and her mother, Martha Levinson, in 1920.[src]


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


  1. Harold is either older than Cora, meaning he was born in the 1860s or younger than her, making him born in 1869 or later.
  2. Episode 4.08
  3. Episode 4.08.
  4. Shirley MacLaine to return to Downton Abbey in series four, Alice Vincent, Telegraph, 4th March 2013, 11:15AM GMT.
  5. Downton Abbey Exclusive: Paul Giamatti Joins Season 4 Cast as Cora's Brother, Michael Ausiello, TV Line, 24th June, 2013.