Maud, Dowager Baroness Bagshaw, (née Crawley) is a lady in waiting to Queen Mary. She and her maid, Lucy Smith, accompany the King and Queen when they visit Downton Abbey in 1927 during their tour of Yorkshire.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Maud is a first cousin of Robert's late father. Specifically, her father was Robert's great uncle and she apparently inherited the "Brampton Estate", once belonging to the Crawleys, from him. Her husband and father are deceased. Her husband, David, died in the Boer War in 1880 or 1881. He was--in her words--not a bad man, but not a clever one either.
After she was widowed, Maud had an affair with her husband's army servant, Jack Smith, with whom she fell passionately in love and had 10 happy years together. At age 39 she became pregnant, much to her surprise as she thought she had been barren. She couldn't tell her father, so she hid her pregnancy by traveling to America.
For the next six years, Jack and his mother raised his and Maud's child before his death in the Second Boer War. Maud, by then a widow, took Lucy in, posing as her godmother. When Lucy turned eighteen, Maud told her the truth: that she was her mother, not her godmother.
1927[edit | edit source]
She is estranged from the rest of the Crawley family, and when informed by the Queen they will be stopping at Downton on their tour of Yorkshire, Maud asks if she could go to Harewood House directly, skipping over Downton. The Queen however suggest to her that she try and mend things with her relations.
Maud has a past acquaintance with Violet Crawley, whom she meets upon her arrival. She sits next to Tom Branson at lunch, expressing concern over the comfort of her maid, telling Tom (who met Lucy upon her arrival) she thinks of Lucy as much more than a servant. She shows this to Violet and Edith after waving to Lucy and referring to her by her first name instead of her surname, saying Lucy's been with her "so long". Later she explains to various members of the family that she gave Lucy a home after her father died because she had no mother, and that Lucy has more than repaid her generosity.
Violet later visits Maud in her room, with Lucy present. When she enters, Maud and Lucy are chatting happily and holding hands--indicating their relationship is closer than that of a servant and employer. Violet inquires if Maud is comfortable, and inquires about having a chat later. Maud promises Violet to "have it out once and for all" before leaving to attend to the queen.
After dinner, Maud declares even though Robert is her closest relation on her father's side, she will not name him heir to her estate. Instead, she declares she will leave everything to Lucy, infuriating Violet. Maud insists Lucy has taken care of her for years and that she wishes to show Lucy her gratitude. Violet calls her insane, but Maud insists she knows what she is doing.
When Maud returns to her room, she finds Isobel waiting for her, wanting a word. Isobel has worked out that Lucy is in fact Maud's daughter, and asks if Lucy knows this. Maud says she told Lucy the truth when she turned eighteen, having previously hired her as a servant to protect her identity. Maud says she loved Lucy's father, Jack Smith, but regrets not marrying him out of "cowardice" and feels that by naming Lucy her heir she has taken the first step. Isobel insists Violet will oppose her wishes no longer if Maud tells her the truth.
Later, at Harewood, Isobel arranges a meeting where Maud tells Violet the truth. She says that when she goes home, she will hire a new maid so Lucy can be her "companion" (which Violet says is more "suitable"), and mentions that Lucy will be corresponding with Tom. She tells Violet she is amazing but that she hasn't won. Violet responds that she doesn't believe in defeat, but invites her and Lucy back to Downton after their tour of duty is over to sort things out, calling Lucy by her first name for the first time. Maud takes this as a sign that she is a member of the family once more. However, Violet remarks to Isobel afterward that she now aims to get Maud's estate for Tom, which is why they need Lucy back at Downton (presumably to encourage the pair's relationship so it leads to marriage).
Tom later gives Maud a handkerchief Lucy brought her as an excuse to see the dancing, before heading off to find Lucy himself. She subsequently smiles.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "What pifle you talk!"
- —to Violet Crawley[src]
- "I live my own life now, Violet. I'm not what I was. My father is gone. My husband is gone. I see no reason not to do what I want."
- —to Violet Crawley[src]
References[edit | edit source]
- Jack died in the Boer Wars when Lucy was "six". The Boer Wars took place between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902. Maud tells Isobel she was "thirty nine" when she got pregnant, meaning she was about forty when Lucy was born. Lucy was six somewhere between 1899 and 1902, meaning that Maud gave birth sometime between 1893 and 1896.
- BBC America - The ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie Will Be ‘Elevated’, Says Joanne Froggatt By Nick Levine, February 2019
- Downton Abbey Movie Clip: "Maud Bagshaw is coming to Downton?"
- She is announced to the Queen as "The Lady Bagshaw", which is how a Baroness is announced verbally. Since she later says her husband is dead, she likely uses the title "Dowager Baroness".
- Vanity Fair - Downton Abbey Movie: 6 Brand-New Details By Julie Miller July 22, 2019
“She is a cousin of the Dowager Countess’s late husband.”
- Downton Abbey Movie clip: "My father is gone, my husband is gone."
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News[edit | edit source]
- The Sun - Downton Abbey movie: Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess faces off against Imelda Staunton in savage clip by Daniel Sperling 29 Aug 2019, 13:00Updated: 29 Aug 2019, 16:38
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|Appearances and Mentions|
|The film||The film