Jack: "Well, she's quite a character."
Mrs Hughes: "Lady Rose? That's one word for her."
Jack Ross and Elsie Hughes discuss Rose.[src]
Lady Rose MacClare[1] ( Autumn 1902[2]) is the youngest child of Hugh and Susan MacClare, the niece of Agatha and Louisa, the younger sister of James and Annabelle, the sister-in-law of Annabelle's husband and the great-niece of Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. In Autumn 1920, she visits Downton Abbey and stays with Violet in the Dower House. She returns a year later, in September 1921, when the Crawley family visits her home at Duneagle Castle, where it is agreed that Rose will go to stay with them when her parents go to India. She moves there around February 1922.


Series Three

Violet says that Rose is eighteen, meaning she was born in or before Autumn 1902; Violet was told that Rose "hates London" which is why she is coming to stay with her, until her father can finish with his work in London and they can go to their country estate in Scotland. However, when she arrives and learns that Lady Edith Crawley is planning a trip to London, she eagerly wishes to go too, much to Violet's surprise. Rose's explanation is that she is planning a secret surprise for her mother, but does not say what. She asks that no one else mention this.

Later, Matthew Crawley has to go to London. He agrees to stay with Lady Rosamund Painswick, at Eaton Square, as Rose and Edith are doing. Edith tells Matthew that she feels she will need help controlling Rose, out of "instinct."

When they arrive at Rosamund's house, she insists they all dine with her that night at eight o'clock. Immediately after they all go about, Rose makes a phone call, then later is seen getting into a taxi dressed in clothes one would not expect a well-born young lady to wear.

Rose does not show up for dinner, so they begin without her. During dinner, Rosamund's butler brings in the taxi driver who drove her from the house that day. He is returning a scarf that she left in the car. The butler sent him up as he could tell them where he had taken her. He explains Rose first met a gentleman friend and spent two hours with him in Warwick Square, then they went to a club, the Blue Dragon.

Rose macclare terrence margadale

Rose and Terence Margadale together at the Blue Dragon.

Matthew, Edith, and Rosamund go to the Blue Dragon, where they find Rose dancing wildly with and passionately kissing a former employee of her father's named Terence Margadale. Rosamund gets him to admit that he is a married man. Matthew then dances with Rose. She says that Terrance loves her and wants to marry her as soon as he can get a divorce from his horrid wife. Matthew says that men trying to seduced young women often describe their wives as horrid, and she should meet her and decide for herself. He persuades her to return to Rosamund's house, making a deal with her that they won't say anything about her seeing Margadale if she promises not to try to see him again as long as she is staying with them. However, Violet finds out about it anyway after overhearing Rose and Edith talking about keeping a secret. Violet then contacts Rosamund and gets her to tell everything by pretending that Edith had already told her. Rose is then told she is being sent to Scotland with a stodgy old aunt and will be escorted the entire way to keep her from running away to see Terence.

2012 Christmas Special

Violet rose

Violet and Rose at the Ghillies Ball at Duneagle Castle.

By September 1921, Rose is caught in the middle of a bitter "war of words" between her parents[3] during the Crawleys' stay at Duneagle Castle. It is revealed that Rose's motivation for acting in a notoriously rebellious manner is her unsteady relationship with her troubled and neurotic mother, who herself is distressed from a loveless relationship with Rose's father. Rose finds a friend in Anna Bates. Rose meets Anna and John Bates when she is outside crying woefully. They give her sympathy and a breath mint to hide the fact that she has been smoking. She has told Anna to come to her if she needs anything, and Anna does when she wants to learn how to reel. It is Rose who teaches her to dance for the Ghillies ball.

Rose is, with the permission of Susan and Hugh - and one thing they actually agree on - allowed to reside at Downton Abbey while Hugh and Susan are in India.

Series Four

Sometime after September 1921, Rose arrives at Downton and has evidently settled in by February 1922. Feeling guilty for her mother's stealing O'Brien away from Cora, she decides to place an advertisement for a new lady's maid at the local telegrpah office. When former maid Edna Braithwaite responds, Rose and Cora interview her in Thirsk. Rose persuades Cora to take her on, unaware of Edna's past at Downton and of her true, dark intentions for returning.

Feeling a little bored, Rose manages to convince Mary's lady's maid, Anna Bates, to accompany her into town where the two visit a dance hall. Rose's presence catches the attention of a young man named Sam Thawley who asks her for a dance. During the dance, Rose lies to him and tells him she is a servant at Downton Abbey.

Before the dance ended, another young man who also wishes to dance with Rose interrupts. He is a little drunk and he demands that Rose dance with him instead. She refuses, preferring to dance with Sam. He grabs her so Sam defends her and tries to push the other man away, causing a fight. In the meantime, Jimmy had also noticed them heading into the hall and he and Anna persuade Rose to run before the police appear to break up the fight.

Rose and Sam

Rose and Sam kiss.

Later on that evening, Sam turned up at the door for the servants quarters. Anna opened the door and rushed to tell Rose the problem, since he still thinks she is a servant. She decides with Anna's help to dress up as a servant to greet him. She kisses him at first but then she tells him their relationship must end, pretending it is because she is to marry a farmer.

Rose accompanies Mary, Tom, Rosamund to the Lotus jazz club in London with Lord Gillingham, a love interest of Mary, and Sir John Bullock, who had caught Rose's eye at a Downton house party. Unfortunately, Bullock gets too drunk, but Rose does not sit down with the rest of her relatives and continues dancing. But Bullock quickly leaves her on the dance floor when he gets sick.


Rose dances with Jack Ross.

Instead of facing humiliation, Rose is saved when the lead singer at the club, American Jack Ross, immediately steps in and dances with her. Rose's relatives, Rosamund in particular, are not pleased, because Jack is both an entertainer and black. But Rose does not mind at all.

Upon learning of plans for a birthday party for Robert, Rose decides to invite Ross and his band members to Downton to entertain, but keeps it a surprise. She greets Ross when he arrives in the servants' quarters.

Mary later spots Rose and Jack kissing each other. Rose once again goes to London to see Jack, and they kiss again. Rose decides to marry Jack, caring not what others will think of her. Mary later confronts Jack, asking him if he's sure she loves him because she primarily wants to upset her mother. Jack admits he loves her but does not wish for her to be looked down upon by others, so he has already decided not to marry her. Afterwards, Rose is angry with Mary, accusing her of being like her mom.

Christmas Special 2013

Rose's coming out ball is held in the summer of 1923 in London.

She is accompanied by Cora when presented to King George V, Queen Mary, and the Prince of Wales, who later dances with her at Grantham House.


Terence Margadale

By the time she dances with Terrence in the Blue Dragon, they evidently have spent some time together. Rose believed what Terence told her about being in love with her and wanting to marry after he divorced his "absolutely horrid" wife. However, after being discovered by Rose's family one night in a club called the Blue Dragon, their relationship status is left unknown, most likely having ended by 1921.

Her Parents

Rose's relationship with her mother is evidently strained whilst her father is more understanding. Susan does not approve of Rose's choices in fashion and behavior, always responding coldly to Rose's remarks. Her father on the other hand she does appear to love, not wanting him to know about her affair with Margadale and asking him to stick up for her when Susan disapproves of Rose's dress for a ball, which he does. When Rose decides to marry Jack Ross, she remarks to Mary how she wants to see her mother's face crumble when she announces the news, thus reaffirming the hatred she has of Susan.

Sam Thawley

Rose is immediately attracted to Sam as he is to her when they meet in York. Sam is attracted to her as well, asking after her at Downton following a fight between himself and another man over dancing with her. Rose however sends him away with a kiss.

Jack Ross

In London, Rose meets Jack and dances with him. She immediately takes a liking to him despite the reservations of her relatives. After bringing him and his band members over to perform at Downton, she shares a kiss with him. Rose later went to London and met Jack where in a boat share a passionate kiss in public. Rose decides to marry him inspite of his status and skin color, not caring what others would think of her. Mary questions Rose's real motives when she expreses her wish to upset her mother. Jack, who is deeply in love with Rose, later breaks the engagement himself. Nevertheless he still loves her, having enjoyed her dreams, and telling Mary he feels Rose is "more than you allow."


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
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

Notes and references

  1. SpoilerTV, Downton Abbey - Season 3 - Press Pack, page 4, Posted by b3rt4 at Monday, September 03, 2012; excerpt: "The arrival on the scene of Lady Rose MacClare, the daughter of her cousin, Lady Flintshire, will give her more opportunities to interfere."
  2. Violet says that Rose is "eighteen now." and Episode 3.08 is set in Autumn 1920, meaning that Rose was born in or before Autumn 1902
  3., A racy new maid, another shock for Lady Edith and simmering tension between Matthew and Lady Mary. Hold on to your hats as Downton decamps to Scotland By Nicole Lampert, PUBLISHED: 17:31 EST, 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:59 EST, 21 December 2012; excerpt: "But it's not all caviar and pearls – Lady Rose, who was last seen in a clinch with a married man in a jazz club and is another modernising force, is at the centre of a bitter war of words between her antagonistic parents."
  4. 2012 Christmas Special: Hugh and Susan want Rose to reside at Downton and Rose says that she'll "see you soon" to Robert, most likely meaning she will appear in at least one episode of Series 4.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.