Marigold (late December, 1922 or early January 1923) is the illegitimate daughter and only child of Edith Pelham and the late Michael Gregson. She is the third grandchild and second granddaughter of Robert and Cora Crawley, and therefore the third great-grandchild and second great-granddaughter of Violet Crawley and Martha Levinson. She has two maternal aunts, Mary Talbot and the late Sybil Branson, and three maternal uncles, Tom Branson, the late Matthew Crawley, and Henry Talbot. Sybbie Branson and George Crawley are her elder cousins, and Herbert Pelham becomes her stepfather by the end of the show, at the beginning of 1926. By 1927 during the feature film, she has a younger cousin named Caroline Talbot.
When Marigold was first born in Geneva, Switzerland, Edith planned to give her up for adoption with only Lady Rosamund Painswick knowing of her existence. However, Violet and later Cora eventually learned the truth, along with most of the family, and Cora arranged for Marigold to live at Downton as Edith's "ward". With Edith's marriage to Bertie, Marigold would move to her stepfather's estate of Brancaster Castle and probably live out her childhood there.
She was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and given up for adoption to Mr and Mrs Schroeder after her mother suckled her.
Before she was born, her mother had first considered having an abortion (because she feared becoming an outcast for having an illegitimate child, Michael having mysteriously vanished in Germany without a trace) but backed out at the last minute. She then considered giving her to a local farmer, Timothy Drewe, after she was born, so that she could be near her child without giving her away. But Edith's aunt Rosamund Painswick decided it best to take her abroad to keep Edith's reputation safe.
But after returning, Edith was troubled at having to give up her child. Rosamund insisted that the child was no longer hers, and Violet hurt Edith more by calling the child "it" instead of "she" and joking about Edith's "French" - the cover story of her travels being to improve her French. But Edith, fearing even more that she would never see Michael again, and knowing he gave her power of attorney, felt obliged to give at least half to her daughter should Michael indeed be proven dead.
Ultimately, Edith decided to go back to Switzerland and reclaim her daughter, and have her grow up on Drewe's farm. Tim Drewe himself discovered her secret, but sympathetic to Lady Edith, agreed to keep it for her and raise her daughter.
Edith repeatedly visited Yew Tree Farm to see her daughter, arousing the suspicions of Drewe's wife. Drewe revealed to Edith he knew her secret but would never reveal it, and approved of Edith wanting to love her child. He decided to name Edith as Marigold's godmother and benefactress so she could continue to see her daughter, despite the fact that Margie's sister was named her godmother at Marigold's christening.
Mrs Drewe (who views herself, her husband, and children as Marigold's family) becomes very protective of Marigold against Edith, feeling that Edith views Marigold like a doll, and later angrily tells her husband that Marigold is their child and that Edith cannot have her.
When Rosamund and Violet learn Edith brought Marigold back, they insist on having her taken out of England again, possibly to a boarding school in France. But when Edith receives confirmation that Michael has been long dead, she decides she cannot stay in Downton and be happy. She goes to Yew Tree Farm and explains to Mrs Drewe that she is Marigold's real mother. She shows her a copy of Marigold's birth certificate (she had signed it with her real name instead of a false one as her aunt had wished, because she knew she might need proof of guardianship one day). Although Mrs Drewe does not believe her at first, she does relent and lets Edith take her daughter and her teddy bear (Mrs Drewe says she won't sleep without it). Edith reclaims her daughter and leaves in the hope that she can begin a new life and finally find happiness with Marigold.
Back at Downton, Cora learns from Mrs Drewe that she has a third grandchild. She is furious with Rosamund and Violet for never telling her the truth, and blames them for Edith's running away because of their wish to send Marigold back abroad. When Rosamund and Cora find Edith at work, Marigold is still at the hotel, where according to Edith they can arrange for a babysitter when necessary. Cora asks to see her, but Edith refuses. Edith had considered taking Marigold to America, dropping her title and inventing a dead husband. But because she would like Marigold to grow up English and does not wish for the magazine business to crumble, she chose not to do that.
Though she considered passing Marigold off as her orphaned godchild, Cora tells Edith she wants her to bring Marigold home. She suggests the Drewes claim they cannot afford to keep her anymore and so have Edith adopt her. Rosamund objects, but Cora puts her plan into motion. They take Marigold back to Downton, where Mr Drewe meets them and briefly takes her so that the cover will work. Anna and Mary are there at the station. While Mary does not figure it out, Anna notices Mr Drewe with the child. She tells Mrs Hughes, but Mrs Hughes insists they should not speculate, noting all they should care about is that the child is "safe" and "loved".
Mary and Robert object to Edith's announcement at adopting Marigold, but Robert agrees after Cora insists they offer Marigold a home in the Downton nursery. Robert later notes Edith's obsession with the girl. He admits to Cora he agrees with her that she is a "dear little thing" but feels there is something about her, a "sense of deja vu" that he cannot quite understand. When he realizes after the unveiling of the village war memorial that Marigold reminds him of Michael Gregson, he guesses the truth and confirms it with Cora. He agrees to keep the secret at her request, even from Edith, and believes he will love his new granddaughter.
Later that year, as the family is leaving for the grouse season at Brancaster Castle, Marigold and her cousins are brought outside to bid farewell. As Mary tells George to "come to Mommy" Edith almost says the same to Marigold, but cuts short and says "me" instead. Later, Robert does reveal to Edith he knows who Marigold is, and feels that they must do the best for her, for both Edith's and Michael's sake, but of course to keep Marigold's true identity within the family. Edith is deeply moved, and later Tom reveals he knows the truth as well, saying where he grew up "there were quite a few Marigolds" - his cousin Nuala had had a daughter out of wedlock who was brought up as her sister, and though the family never talked about it, they all knew the truth.
Edith, Tom, and Mary each bring up stockings for the children that Christmas while they are with their grandmother downstairs. When Robert asks what Marigold should call him, Sybbie says "Donk!" to which he agrees, and states that whenever Marigold calls him Donk, she would remind him of Sybbie (who was leaving with her father for Boston the following month).
Marigold along with George watch Mrs Patmore prepare a cake, and they ask if they can lick the batter, later getting piggy back rides with Barrow.
Then Mary unwisely takes Marigold along with her son George and Cora to the Drewe's farm to view the pigs for the Moulton show where Mrs Drewe suddenly appears and has an emotional reunion with Marigold, whom she has clearly not got over even though its been months since the little girl left Yew Tree Farm. Cora then casts a worried look to Mr Drewe who then tugs Marigold out of his wife's grasp and then they return back to the house for luncheon.
Then at the Moulton show, everyone comes including the Drewes. All goes well until Marigold goes missing. Mr Drewe suspects that his wife took Marigold back to their home at Yew Tree Farm when he realizes she's missing also and has taken their truck. He then along with Edith, Robert and Cora drive to Yew Tree Farm where he catches his wife hugging Marigold. Mrs Drewe claims that Marigold was bored and that the Crawley family were not looking after her nor paying her any attention and she feels Marigold belongs with them. However Mr Drewe calmly persuades his wife to hand Marigold to him and he hands Marigold back to Edith while his wife watches sadly from the window. He then tells Robert that he and his family are leaving Yew Tree for good so as to prevent any further problems involving Marigold.
Marigold along with her cousins, Sybbie and George, along with their parents, watch a small puppet show performed by Bertie and Tom. Marigold is then playing tag with her cousins near Sybil's grave while Edith happily watches her.
Marigold and Sybbie were flower girls at Edith's wedding to Bertie Pelham. Marigold is then seen playing with her new step-grandmother, Mirada Pelham. Cora reveals Marigold will have moved to her stepfather's estate of Brancaster Castle in Northumberland by the end of Edith and Bertie's honeymoon. Downstairs, Mrs Hughes questions if Marigold will ever be told of her true identity. Anna speculates that she will, when she is ready.
- "Edith: I'm not even sure which frightens me most: what may have happened to Michael or the baby."
- —Edith to her aunt Rosamund [src]
- "I am killing the wanted child of a man I'm in love and you've asked me if I thought about it!?"
- —Edith to Rosamund in Episode 4.07
Series 5 (1924)
- "I gave up ten months of my life to make sure she came safely into the world."
- —Rosamund wanting see her great-niece
- "I believe we should offer little Marigold a home here."
- —Cora accepts Marigold as the family's "ward"
Cora: She's a dear little thing. Robert: Yes. But as a matter of fact, there is something about her. Cora: About Marigold? What? Robert: I don't know. Some kind of deja vu. Can't put my finger on it."
- —Robert and Cora about their second and youngest granddaughter
- Cora: "And you'll love her? Your new granddaughter?"
- Robert: "As a matter of fact, and perhaps to my surprise, I rather think I will."
- — Episode 8
- "Edith wanted to say 'Come to Mummy', but she stopped herself."
- —Robert, to Cora, watching Edith
- "I can't give her up."
- —Edith to Robert, upon discovering that he discovered the truth about Marigold's parentage
Series 6 (1925)
- Barrow: "I've had Miss Marigold on my back since luncheon."
- Molesley: "How lucky is that child? What was she? A farmer's adopted daughter until she caught the eye of Lady Edith. Now she'll live to grow up in a great house."
- — Episode 6.01
- "She was bored. They were paying no attention, none at all."
- —Mrs Drewe[src]
- "If you mean Marigold, that's settled. You know I am sorry."
- —Violet to Cora[src]
- "Would you let me bring Marigold with me? The truth is I'm much fonder of her than everyone else and I'd hate to leave her behind."
- —Edith to Bertie after his proposal.[src]
- "Do you think he will marry Edith...if he learns about Marigold?"
- —Rosamund to Robert about Bertie
- "There's still Marigold. She hasn't told him and she must if they are to have any chance of happiness."
- —Uncertain, about Edith telling Bertie the truth
- "Have you told him about Marigold?"
- —Rosamund to Edith[src]
- "Marigold is my daughter."
- —A reluctant Edith to Bertie[src]
- It is unknown if her name was chosen by Edith, the Schroeders', or the Drewes. Her middle name is also unknown.
- She was mentioned in the eighth and ninth episodes of Series 4; though not by name.
- Of the three Crawley grandchildren, Marigold spoke least in the series; as her cousins, Sybbie and George, spoke frequently in the fifth and sixth seasons.
- Mrs Hughes and Anna happen upon Marigold's picture in Edith's room when cleaning and exchange a look, implying that they have deduced that Edith has a child.
- Marigold is the only member of her generation in the Crawley family not born in England.
- Marigold is the second child on the show born out of wedlock whose father was killed; the first being Charlie Parks.
- The 2013 Christmas Special (early summer 1923) opens with Ivy saying that Edith just came back from 8 months away in Switzerland. She nursed her for a few months so that puts her birth around January/February 1923, or perhaps December 1922. This implies that she is — or close to — three years of age in the 2015 Christmas Special.
- However, Rosamund says - in Episode 5.05 - that she spent "10 months" of her life making sure the baby came safely. Possibly, Rosamund may have been counting the weeks or so that she knew that Edith was pregnant and then the many months in Geneva with Edith during her pregnancy. Or, more likely, Edith and Rosamund may have spent a month or two in Switzerland after Marigold was born as Edith is already two months pregnant (having been told mid-June and trip announcement in August) when they announce that they would to leave to go abroad to Switzerland to improve their French.
- Legally, Marigold's surname is Crawley, judging by the fact that Edith was able to use the birth certificate to prove she was Marigold's birth mother. However, due to Marigold's status as an illegitimate child, her surname to everyone else while she was living at Yew Tree Farm would be whatever the surname of the fake father (made up by Mr Drewe) was, or possible Drewe itself as hinted when Mrs Drewe mentioned they had Christened her.
- It is also possible that Marigold's surname was changed back to Crawley when she moved into Downton to help strengthen the story of Edith's officially adopting her, or even to Pelham when Edith married Bertie as Marigold would now be his "ward" as well as hers. However, this remains unconfirmed.
- If Marigold is officially adopted by Bertie Pelham, as an adopted child she would not be entitled to the sobriquet "Lady" usually accorded to the daughters of a marquess, but would instead remain "Miss Marigold [Pelham]". Meanwhile, any future daughters Edith may have would be "Lady [First name] Pelham." Even if Marigold was a legitimate child, she cannot be called "Lady" because her biological father was not titled.
- The only people who know the truth behind Marigold's parentage are Edith Pelham, Rosamund Painswick, Violet Crawley, Timothy Drewe, Margie Drewe, Cora Crawley, Robert Crawley, Tom Branson, Mary Talbot, Herbert Pelham, Mirada Pelham, Elsie Carson, Anna Bates, Beryl Patmore, and possibly Laura Edmunds, Isobel Grey and Henry Talbot.
- Mrs Hughes and Anna speculating on whether Marigold will be told her true identity implies that while she grows up, the family, specifically Edith and Bertie, will continue to pass her off as their orphaned ward.
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 4||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5||Episode 6||Episode 7||Episode 8|
|Series 5||Episode 1|
|Series 6||Episode 1|
|Episode 4||Episode 5|
|The film||The film|
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