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Richard "Dickie" Grey[2], the Baron[1] Merton, is the father of Tim and Larry Grey, the second husband of Isobel Crawley as well the stepfather of the late Matthew Crawley, the step-granfather of George Crawley, the step-father-in-law and godfather of Mary Crawley and the father-in-law of Amelia Grey.

Background

Little is known of his background, but he mentions having been unhappily married to his wife Ada. He clearly is known and trusted by the Crawley family to have been named Mary's godfather. He also once wished to have studied medicine, but his father did not think it suitable for someone of his stature.

He has two sons. His elder son and heir, Larry, works in banking. His younger son, Tim, is a diplomat. Merton remarks that both his sons take after their mother "in every possible way."

Biography

1920

He was invited to Downton Abbey with his son Larry in 1920 for Mary's wedding. After Larry is revealed to have drugged Tom Branson to make him appear rude and drunk, Lord Merton gives his son one last chance to deny it, asking him if it was true.

When Larry unremorsefully insults Tom, Lord Merton stands angrily along with Robert and Matthew, furiously saying to Larry, "Be silent this instant, sir!". He apologizes directly to Tom for what his son did, and expresses hope that he will recover in time for the wedding.

1922

Isobel-and-mr-merton-1-

Lord Merton and Isobel

He attends lunch at Violet's house where he grows closer to Isobel Crawley, taking a walk with her. He mentions to her what both of his sons do for a living, then asks her about Matthew, only to realize he forgot who she was and that her son is dead.

He later sends her flowers, hoping to apologize for his behavior which he felt was rude (they were discussing their children and their occupations, and when he brought up Matthew, Isobel revealed her son had died; he had momentarily forgotten who she was). Isobel told Violet that he had not been rude at all.

2013 Christmas Special

He reappears in London in 1923, and is admiring Isobel even more. When he turns up at Grantham House for a ball, she is very anxious about his presence, especially when he asks her to dance. Violet notes Merton's keen interest.

1924

Lord Merton is still in pursuit of Isobel and invites Violet and Isobel to his estate and tries to discuss with Isobel the science of quarantine, which he has read about in a book. He reveals his wife has died and that he would need a new lady in the house. He proposes to Isobel, explaining that he had fallen in love with her, and she told him she would need to think about it.

Eventually, she accepts his proposal, announcing it at dinner one night and saying of Merton, "He wooed me into it. And I'm very pleased he did." Later a dinner party is planned for Isobel to meet Merton's sons. He is pleased when she says she is looking forward to it and does not wish to mention Larry's previous visit when he drugged Tom Branson in order to humiliate him. Merton remarks he is very lucky in her.

Unfortunately the dinner does not go according to plan. Both of Merton's sons, in particular Larry, treat her with disrespect. Merton is furious with Larry at being rude once more at Downton and asks him to leave, which does not sway his behavior. Merton begs Isobel not to change her mind, but she has become disheartened by his sons' treatment.

2014 Christmas Special

Isobel chooses to call off the engagement, telling Dickie that she does not wish to alienate him from his sons. When she assures him she would marry him if his sons accepted her, he does try, but Larry (and Tim presumably too) does not change his mind. Dickie is upset when she finds Larry wrote her a letter telling her so, and that she did not show him for a while. He is further angered by Larry's treatment of her (he remarks things will never be good between them again). He professes his love for her again, but she remains steadfast and does not desire to go through with the marriage.

1925

Lord Merton and Isobel remain friends despite their broken engagement. He attends a meeting on the future of the Downton hospital, presumably invited by Isobel. He sides with Isobel when she is arguing with Violet and Dr. Clarkson on the future of the hospital. Later, Clarkson asks if Lord Merton is pressuring her to which Isobel almost storms out of his office.


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