Joe Burns is a farmer. Prior to starting work at Downton Abbey, Elsie Hughes had been courted by Burns. Feeling that she was advancing in service career, she rejected Joe Burns. He later marries another woman named Ivy and has a son, Peter.
Peter, despite his father's offer for part of the farm, joins the army. Ivy dies and a year later he comes to Downton to see Mrs Hughes. After going to the village fair and having a meal together, Joe Burns asks Mrs Hughes to marry him. Although she is still very fond of him and thinks he is a good man, she decides against it thinking that she has changed too much.
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