Biography[edit | edit source]
One night in 1922, Mary Crawley, Rose MacClare, Rosamund Painswick, Tom Branson, Lord Gillingham, and John Bullock visit the Lotus. After a drunken Bullock leaves Rose on the dance floor to go vomit, Jack immediately leaves the stage and starts dancing with her, saving her from humiliation.
Upon seeing Jack and Rose dancing, her relatives, notably Rosamund, are not happy about this because he is an entertainer and that he is black. Not even Tom shakes Jack's hand. But Rose does not mind at all, and smiles at Jack when she leaves the club.
When Jack later comes to Downton Abbey to perform there with his fellow band members (as part of a surprise Rose plans for Robert's birthday), Jack enters through the servants' quarters, where Rose greets him. Carson is immediately uneasy at seeing Ross, and inquires if he had ever considered visiting Africa. Ross replies he is no more African than Mr Carson. Ross remarks to Mrs Hughes that Rose is quite a character. She later remarks she thought Mr Ross was rather nice. Carson, to his surprise, agrees with her.
Lord Grantham and the rest of the family meet Ross and his band members in the hall when Rose presents them. He, Edith, and other members of the family are uneasy about seeing a black man in Downton. Later, Jack is spotted by Mary Crawley kissing Rose. She pretends not to see it, and Jack thanks Mary for their hospitality.
Jack later spends a row-boat outing with Rose, where they kiss again. They also meet one another in Thirsk, where Tom spots them. In both instances Jack is worried about her being with him, and what her family will think. She urges him not to worry. Rose defends Jack when Mary confronts her and announces she plans to marry Jack, no matter what her parents or anyone in her family think.
But Jack has already realized that a relationship between them will not work, despite that he loves her. So he calls their engagement off, admitting he probably should have done so earlier. As he explains to Mary when she confronts him about the engagement and her concerns regarding Rose's motivations, he does love her, but does not want her to be frowned upon by society. He also mentions his mother (whom he thinks Mary is a lot like) also believed Rose was wanting to make a point. However, he does remark that if they lived in a better world, he would not be doing what he has chosen to do. Mary tells him if it was a better world she wouldn't want him to either.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 4||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4
|Episode 5||Episode 6
Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]
- Jack Ross is likely based to some extent on Leslie Arthur "Hutch" Hutchinson, a famous and notoriously scandalous black jazz singer who had a white female lover.
- In all the songs he was singing when he and Rose first met, all mentioned flowers in relation to romance, particularly roses. In Episode 4, the last line we hear him sing is "so, what's in a name?" This could be foreshadowing for his relationship to Rose, regardless of class or name
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Jack was described in the casting call as being between the ages of 25 and 30, very handsome, with charm and charisma.
References[edit | edit source]
- First black character appears in Downton Abbey, Gordon Smart, The Sun, 26th February, 2013.
- The scandalous truth about Downton Abbey’s royal gigolo 'Jack Ross', Christopher Wilson, The Telegraph, 14th October, 2013.