Downton Abbey Wiki

Carson: "I have received a letter, my lady. From a friend of mine. He's valet to the Marquess of Flintshire."
Cora: "I don't envy him."
Carson telling Cora about gossip about Mary[src]

Hugh MacClare[3]a, Marquess of Flintshire, Earl of Newtonmore,b Laird of Duneagle[4] is a minister with the Foreign Office, who has some dealings with the Turkish Embassy. His ex-wife, Susan MacClare, is a niece of Violet, Dowager Countess and a first cousin of Robert's. He and his ex-wife have three children; James, Earl of Newtonmore, their son and heir, a married daughter called Annabelle, and Rose.


Hugh is known to his family and close friends by the nickname Shrimpie, which was from a childhood nursery game, where the children pretended to be sea creatures.[1][2].


Series 2

After William is fatally injured in 1917, saving Matthew's life in the Battle of Amiens, Violet telephones Hugh in order to have him arrange for William to be moved from the infirmary in Leeds to Downton Abbey.

Series 3

He attends the wedding of Lady Mary Crawley and Matthew Crawley. In 1920, Violet states that Hugh and Susan intended to travel to Scotland, but could not, because Hugh's work "keeps him nailed to his desk"; ultimately, they intend to travel in July 1921.

By September 1921, the relationship between Hugh and Susan has become frosty due to them "living together too long" and "becoming bored". They had never been in love, and had been apart for much of their marriage. With their children grown up, the time they spend together has only pointed out to them the little they have in common personality-wise.[5] Hugh reveals this much to Robert during the Gillies Ball, while hiding in the billiard room, in Robert's words "licking his wounds". Unlike Susan, Hugh does seem to care for Rose, thinking she reminded Susan of him as he used to be.

Hugh reveals to Robert that he did not modernize his estate of Duneagle Castle as Robert had Downton Abbey, and that subsequently he had slowly watched the money drain away. Duneagle will have to be sold now that his fortune is all gone. He blames himself for this, but accepts it for what it is. Soon, he and Susan are going to leave for India and, upon their return, reside in London. He predicts that they will stay married as people in their society must, but that with the House of Lords and his club, he will seldom see his wife.

Hugh asks Cora to take good care of Rose, who will stay at Downton while he and Susan are in India, commenting on his own marriage that if love is not fully understood in youth, it is hard to find much later.

Series 4

Sometime after his arrival in India, he and Susan play host to the Prince of Wales - on the orders of the King - and the Prince later reminds his father of it when Rose is presented before them in 1923; he fondly refers to Hugh as "Shrimpie Flintshire".

Series 5

Hugh visits Downton Abbey in 1924, his post in India having officially closed. He reveals that he and Susan are divorcing, which Robert notes would mean the end of his career. Hugh however sees no other option, as he has been terribly unhappy in his marriage. He asks Rose to stay at Downton a while longer.

When Rose becomes engaged to Atticus Aldridge, unlike Susan he treats Atticus and his family with respect, and likes Atticus very much. When Susan attempts to sabotage the match by setting up Atticus, he discovers that it was she and threatens to tell Rose if she further attempts to prevent the marriage from taking place.

Series 6

Hugh returns to Downton Abbey for Edith's marriage to Bertie Pelham. He was hoping to be there for dinner the same evening Rose and Atticus arrive from New York, but he telephoned to let them know he'd be a little late. As a result, he had dinner on the train. Nevertheless he was very glad to see Rose again.

Hugh gives a speech after Edith and Bertie are wed, reading a telegram from Martha Levinson and leading a toast for the newlyweds. He later celebrates the New Year with his daughter, son-in-law, and the rest of the Crawley family.


  • "Love is like riding or speaking French. If you don't learn it young, it's hard to get the trick of it later." - to Cora.
  • "Get down, you cat!!!" - to Susan after he discovered that she tried to set up Atticus by paying a prostitute and she tried to grab the cheque book


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


  • a A note regarding the character of Rosamund Painswick in the Season 3 Press Pack confirms that Rose is the daughter of Susan, the Lady Flintshire, and by implication indicates Susan's surname as MacClare as well; as Susan is Hugh's wife, that makes his surname MacClare too.[6]
  • Although Marquess ends in what is usually a female suffix of -ess, "Marquess"[7] is a male title with the female title or wife being a "Marchioness".
  • bHis son uses Hugh's second title, The Earl of Newtonmore, as what is called a 'courtesy title'. The incumbent holder, in the case here of Hugh himself, still actually holds the title, but the eldest son is permitted to use it in society. This is common in the British aristocracy when families have accumulated more than one title over time.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Downton Abbey Script Book Season 2 (Paperback), pg. 260
  2. 2.0 2.1 Downton Abbey Script Book Season 3 (Paperback), pg. 480
  3., KILTED PEER OF DOWNTON ABBEY, Sunday December 9,2012, By Lianne La Borde; excerpt: "The Ever Decreasing Circles actor, 66, appears as kilt-clad Hugh “Shrimpie” MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire."
  4. PBS Masterpiece Character Hub: Hugh "Shrimpy" MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire
  5., A racy new maid, another shock for Lady Edith and simmering tension between Matthew and Lady Mary. Hold on to your hats as Downton decamps to Scotland By Nicole Lampert, PUBLISHED: 17:31 EST, 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:59 EST, 21 December 2012; excerpt: "...Lady Rose, who was last seen in a clinch with a married man in a jazz club and is another modernising force, is at the centre of a bitter war of words between her antagonistic parents."
  6. SpoilerTV, Downton Abbey - Season 3 - Press Pack, page 4, Posted by b3rt4 at Monday, September 03, 2012; excerpt: "The arrival on the scene of Lady Rose MacClare, the daughter of her cousin, Lady Flintshire, will give her more opportunities to interfere."
  7. Marquess