Henry Talbot is the nephew of Lady Shackleton, a longtime friend of Violet Crawley. During a visit to Brancaster Castle, Henry catches the eye of Violet's eldest granddaughter, Lady Mary Crawley, and eventually marries her in late summer 1925, and becomes stepfather to Mary's four-year-old son, George Crawley.
His father, Mr Talbot, is a member of a junior branch of the Talbot family that is headed by the Earl of Shrewsbury; before Henry's father are thirty-eight other men to inherit.
Henry's father had been a member of Parliament, and his uncle is a bishop.
When asked by her whether he knows of Yorkshire, he mentions that an aunt of his lives there.
Lady Mary stands by him for the grouse shooting, where she mockingly berates him for stealing Atticus Aldridge's place. But he feels guilty at this and asks why no one said there was no more room. Mary eventually tells him to forget what she said. He says that he does shoot, but never on "this level". They are having an awkward discussion about Matthew Crawley when the grouse are released.
He dances with Mary in at an evening party at Brancaster Castle, where he quizzes her over the mysterious Diana Clark. She says that she won't answer any of his questions, but she congratulates him for asking them.
When leaving the following morning, Mary apologizes for making him feel unwelcome and hopes they might see each other again, perhaps shooting. Henry reveals that his real sport is not shooting, but cars.
Mary is rather taken with his car, which she mistakes for Charlie Rogers'. Henry corrects her and thanks her for the compliment. Then he and Rogers drive away rather fast.
When Henry's aunt visits Downton Abbey, he is an unexpected guest. His appearance genuinely surprises Mary, and they make small talk over dinner and in the drawing room. When Henry leaves, he gives Mary his card. Mary also expresses her distaste of cars, while Henry is obsessed with cars and practically makes a living working with cars. A little while later, he and Mary have dinner in London together.
Henry invites Mary and Tom Branson to watch a motor testing that he is doing with Charlie. After that, they have a drink in a pub where Mary increases her friendship with Henry.
In London, Henry has dinner with Mary, Tom, Evelyn Napier, and Lady Anne Acland and a few others. Henry accompanies Mary back to Rosamund's house, where Mary reveals the reason of her distaste of cars is because her husband, Matthew, died in a car crash. Suddenly, there is a rain storm, and Mary and Henry race into an alley to have shelter from the rain. In the alley, Henry admits his feelings for Mary, and then they share their first kiss.
On July 20th, Henry, along with Charlie and a few others, race at the Brooklands Race Track, and they invite the Crawley's to watch the race. Unfortunately the race tragically ended with the death of Charlie, whose car caught ablaze and swerved to the side. Henry was tremendously upset by Charlie's death. He later telephoned Mary at night, but got his heart broken when Mary declared that they cannot be together and that they're not right for each other.
Henry reaches out to Tom, who invites Henry over while the Crawley family is in York. Mary is angry at Tom's interference, and tries to discourage Henry from pursuing her. Henry still stays behind for dinner, at the request of Mary's mother, Cora. After dinner, he finds Mary and Tom arguing about him, and tries to stop them. He accuses Mary of turning him down because he doesn't have enough money. Mary is outraged at being labeled a "gold-digger" and tells him to leave. Henry is gone the next morning before Mary wakes up. Mary takes her hurt out on her sister, Edith, by ruining her chances to marry Bertie Pelham. Tom reaches out to Violet, who comes over to talk to Mary. Mary finally admits that she's afraid Henry will die in a car crash like Matthew.
After talking to Violet, Mary calls Henry and asks him to come back. He returns to Downton, where Mary apologizes and professes her love for him. They get engaged, and marry in August 1925.
Henry moves in with Mary at Downton, and settles in well. However, he realizes that he's no longer able to race cars after Charlie's death, and is lacking direction in his life. Mary becomes worried, not wanting Henry to be unhappy. Mary helps Edith and Bertie reconcile, and they set their wedding for New Years' Eve at Downton. Right before the wedding, Henry and Tom reveal to Mary that they're going into business together, opening a car shop. Henry will get to keep his passion for cars, but not have to race. Mary is thrilled for him, and lets Henry know that she's pregnant. Henry is overjoyed, but Mary tells him to keep it a secret until Edith's wedding is over.
Mary and Henry attend Edith and Bertie's wedding, and Henry looks after George at the reception while Mary and her father look after Carson, their butler who resigns because he can no longer perform tasks due to an illness. Mary and Robert are able to find a solution to have a former footman, Thomas Barrow, take over while Carson oversees. When Anna goes into labor in Mary's room, Henry brings her husband, Bates, to the room in time for the birth of their son. Henry later celebrates the New Year with Mary and the Downton family.
- "He's nice. He likes cars, and he's mad about you. I rest my case"
- —Tom Branson to Lady Mary about Henry Talbot
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 5||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5||Episode 6||Episode 7||Episode 8||Christmas Special|
|Series 6||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4|
|The film||The film|