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I'm the old broom, Mr. Crawley. You are the new. I wish you luck with your sweeping.
—Jarvis to Matthew, upon his resignation.[src]

Mr. Jarvis was Downton Abbey's manager for forty years, from 1880 to 1920.


He was hired by Robert's father, and as a result, according to Violet, he was always the old earl's man at heart. She believes that he always viewed Robert as the "young master", even after Robert became Earl of Grantham. He is described by Matthew as not liking change.

Season Three[]

As he is the estate manager of Downton, he is referred to only by his last name, Jarvis, as is traditional. After John Bates was released from prison, Robert was having Jarvis looking for a cottage for Anna and her husband, who as a married couple are being allowed to live outside the house.

In 1920, Matthew and Mary return from their honeymoon, and Matthew tells her that he will see Jarvis, as he wants to check out houses that can be rented in the area, so that he and Mary may live alone for awhile.

When Robert's son-in-law and heir presumptive, Matthew Crawley invests in the estate, he decides to change the way Downton is farmed, by compensating tenants, or changing the terms of their tenancy, or simply moving them to a free cottage, so that much of the land can be farmed directly in a big block. It would make it more business-like and make the estate self sufficient. Jarvis, much like Lord Grantham is against this, as he sees it, there is duty owed to the tenants to keep things the same, and he thinks the improvements and machinery needed are too expensive. Matthew says they have to do it now, while they have the money and expects to get the investment back in a few years. Jarvis gives what is probably the worst insult which he can give and still show deference, when he says to Matthew that he was new to "our way of life", which Robert agreed with. Matthew, with the support of George Murray, proposes new ways of running Downton, to reduce "waste." Jarvis takes this as a great personal insult, an accusation of malfeasance and corruption, though Matthew insisted that it was nothing of the sort. Nevertheless, Jarvis resigned on the spot. He asked Robert for a good reference. Matthew apologized for offending him, but Jarvis says that he is the old broom and Matthew is the new one and he excuses himself. Robert thinks this is a poor repayment for 40 years of loyal service.

Tom Branson, Robert's other son-in-law, was hired as Jarvis's successor. He planned to move into Jarvis' house, which is referred to by Mary as the Agent's House; it is likely the residence which comes with the job. Branson would have brought his daughter and her nanny with him. When Mary asked Tom how he was getting along there, he mentioned that Jarvis had taken all of his furniture with him, so he would need to start over. Mary then said they would look in the attics for some for him. Ultimately, Tom decides to continue living at the main house with Sybbie, at least until she is older.


Appearances and Mentions
Series 3 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