Downton Abbey Wiki
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Not to be confused with Anna Bates, who was also could be addressed as "Mrs Bates".

Mrs Hughes: "You're as white as a sheet."
John Bates: "It's my wonderful complexion, inherited from my Irish mother."
Bates and Mrs Hughes in 1913[src]

Mrs Bates was the half-Irish/half-Scottish mother of John Bates. She lived in London.


Anna Smith, who worked alongside her son at Downton Abbey, visited her in 1914. Anna was in London with Beryl Patmore, who was seeing an eye doctor, but she was also trying to find out the truth about John and his criminal past. Mrs Bates, upon meeting Anna, told her the truth: the true criminal was her daughter-in-law, Vera Bates. She said her son felt guilty for her ways, but she felt Vera was bad from the start. Anna later told Robert Crawley what she learned. John later informed Anna that his mother "liked her".


Sometime after the outbreak of the Great War, but before November 1916, Mrs Bates died. She left her son money, "more than I (John) thought." John went to London for his mother's funeral then returned to Downton. Vera also learned of Anna's visit to Mrs Bates before her death.


In September 1921, when John and Anna (who was now John's wife) are going with the Crawley family to Duneagle Castle in Scotland, he reveals his mother's mother was Scottish, a Keith. In 1923 John remarked to Mrs Hughes that he had not been to London since he buried his mother (though she suspects he came earlier to take revenge on valet Green because he attacked Anna).

Appearances and Mentions
Series 1 Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3
Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7
Series 2 Episode 1
Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7 Episode 8 Christmas Special
Series 3 Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 Episode 7 Episode 8 Christmas Special


  1. Downton Abbey: Season 1 Scripts: Page 379: Julian Fellowes' notes read as "Anna is perched on a chair in her hat. Mrs Bates, a kindly woman of seventy, is facing her. A table holds tea things." The scene occurs in July 1914. Seventy years prior is 1844, thus the year Mrs Bates is born in.