Downton Abbey Wiki

Prudence, Dowager Baroness Shackleton[2], is an old friend of Violet Crawley and the aunt of Mary's suitor and eventual second husband, Henry Talbot.


Lady Shackleton met Violet Crawley during her school days. She married a man called Hubert with whom she had at least two children[3] of whom one was a son called Philip who married a woman that Lady Shackleton was not particularly fond of. She even tells Violet she would gladly trade her own daughter-in-law for Violet's daughter-in-law.

She knows Lord Merton and has seen him at a number of dinner parties, and they meet again in 1924 when Violet invites them both to lunch, and she mentions she last saw him at "dear Lady Merton's funeral".

Through her sister, she has a nephew, Henry Talbot. Through her nephew's marriage to Lady Mary Crawley, Lady Shackleton is now connected to the Crawley Family.



Violet invites her to Downton in 1922 and they have luncheon at the Dower House along with Edith Crawley. Violet also invited Joseph Molesley to help serve at their luncheon, under the pretence he might be hired by Lady Shackleton as her butler (since he himself had been out of a job following the death of Matthew Crawley, and had been unsuccessful in finding another), her previous butler having recently retired.

Unfortunately, Violet's own butler Spratt thought Molesley was trying to take his own job, and his attempts to sabotage Molesley's attempts left Lady Shackleton unimpressed, believing Molesley had not been properly trained.


After Isobel expresses uninterest in the attentions of Lord Merton, Violet invites her old friend to a luncheon along with Isobel and Dr Clarkson (in the hope to turn Merton's interests away from Isobel).


Lady Shackleton was invited to Downton Abbey by Violet. She asked to bring her nephew to Downton as he was up in Yorkshire as well. Lady Shackleton's nephew is revealed to be Henry Talbot, whom Mary acquainted with at Brancaster Castle in Northumberland in the previous autumn. In the fight against the hospital takeover, Violet demanded Lady Shackelton to tell "them" (Isobel, Cora, Rosamund) that Violet has the correct argument and that they should prevent the hospital takeover. Lady Shackleton is clueless about how to respond.

She later attended her nephew's marriage to Mary Crawley.


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


  1. Downton Abbey Series 6 Spoilers: Michelle Dockery warns of “dark turn” for Lady Mary (INTERVIEW) at Unreality TV
  2. Episode 4 of Series 6 reveals that Lady Shackleton must be a Dowager Baroness. An Earl would be announced as "the Earl of [title]" (Carson announces an Earl in this manner in Series 5 Episode 6), a Duke or a Marquess would be announced in a similar fashion, and a Viscount would be announced as "The Viscount [title]"; their widows would be Dowager Countess, Dowager Duchess, Dowager Marchioness and Dowager Viscountess when verbally announced (Violet, for example, is always announced as "The Dowager Countess" unless informally amongst family). Baron is the only degree of the Peerage that is always referred to, both verbally and in correspondence, as "Lord [title]" and that is how Thomas announces her - "The Dowager Lady Shackleton", which is how a Baron's widow is verbally addressed.
  3. She tells Lord Merton that "The children are in the house now" in Episode 5.01