Downton Abbey Wiki
Downton Abbey Wiki

A timeline of events in Downton Abbey from the 1530s to 1928.

If listing any specific dates, please use a reference and make note of the episode or other canon source that the information comes from, including a short quote if possible.

Early events (1772-1912)[]

This section is for listing events that take place prior to the beginning of the series.

Series 1 (1912–1914)[]

Episode 1.01[]

It is April 1912, and news arrives of the sinking of the Titanic and the death of Downton's heir James and his son Patrick.[41]

The most likely date for the opening of the first episode is April 16, 1912. A full analysis can be found here. The memorial service for James and Patrick takes place three months after the sinking of the Titanic, in July 1912.[42] Dialogue regarding mourning clothes indicates that the Duke of Crowborough's visit at the end of the episode takes place in August 1912.[43]

Episode 1.02[]

Matthew and his mother Isobel arrive at Downton, but trouble lies ahead for them both. As Matthew and Isobel settle into a house on the estate, doctor's widow Isobel immediately finds her views at odds with Violet's over the village hospital.[46]

Set in September 1912[47] and ending in, at least, October.[48]

  • 1912, November 28 - Albania declares independence from the Ottoman Empire, precipitating the conference that brings Kemal Pamuk to England.

Episode 1.03[]

Mary is instantly attracted to handsome Turkish attaché Kemal Pamuk. Their romance is cut brutally short, sending ripples of unease through the house.[49]
  • 1912, December 16 - The session of the London Conference of 1912–1913 that Kemal Pamuk was intended to attend begins.[50]
  • 1913, January 23 - The aforementioned session of the London Conference of 1912-1913 ends when the Ottoman Empire withdraws due to the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état.
  • 1913, March 4 - Woodrow Wilson succeeds William Howard Taft as President of the United States.

Episode 1.04[]

Violet and Isobel are in conflict over a medical ailment affecting Molesley. Elsewhere, Carson fears there is a thief at Downton.[51]

The sign for the carnival states Thursday May 29th, which would have been in 1913.

  • 1913, June 4 - Emily Davison steps in front of King George V's horse Anmer, sustaining injuries that would result in her death four days later.[52] This event is mentioned at the beginning of episode six.
  • 1913, July 29 - Albania's independence was recognised by the London Conference of 1912-1913, without the participation of the Ottoman Empire, whose delegation had withdrawn in January. Kemal Pamuk's visit in episode three is for purposes of attending the talks regarding Albania's independence.[53]

Episode 1.05[]

Mary is introduced to a potential suitor, but she thinks he is too old and stuffy. Mrs. Patmore fears she may be going blind.[54]

During the walk to the flower show, Bates accepts a ride on a wagon full of hay - if it was haymaking season it is likely the flower show took place in late summer. The letter Lady Sybil receives inviting Gwen to an interview states that they will see her “at these premises on Friday, August 1st at 10 o’clock”, which according to Gwen is "tomorrow". On the same day, Molesley mentions to Mrs Crawley that the flower show is "next Saturday" (9th August). As the episode ends on the day of the flower show, we can confirm the events of Episode 1.05 occur between 31st July - 9th August 1913.

Episode 1.06[]

Sybil's interest in politics gets her in trouble. Matthew and Mary's relationship takes an unexpected turn. Bates makes a shocking revelation.[55]

Opens with the title card "May 1914." Sybil attends and is injured at the announcement of the Ripon by-election results.b

  • 1914, June - Sybil is presented to "Their Majesties"[56] with great success.[57]
  • 1914, June 28 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo, by Gavrilo Princip.[58]

Episode 1.07[]

The family is astonished when Lady Cora Crawley finds that she is pregnant. The announcement leaves Mary wondering how to answer Matthew's proposal, because his situation would change completely if the baby is a boy.[59]

Opens with the title card "July 1914." Ends on August 4th or 5th, as Britain declared war on Germany at 11:00 PM August 4, 1914.[60]

Series 1-2 Gap (1914-1916)[]

  • 1914 - 1916 Crawley dog Pharaoh dies and the Crawleys get a new dog named Isis.
  • 1914 - 1916 Matthew meets Lavinia Swire.
  • 1914 - 1916 Mary meets Sir Richard Carlisle.
  • 1915, April 25 - 1916, January 9 Gallipoli Campaign[61], Robert remarks that if Churchill "went to the front after the Gallipoli business...why shouldn't [he]?"[62]
  • 1916, March 2 The Military Service Act[63] goes into effect. It was the first time that legislation had been passed in British military history introducing conscription. The Act specified that men from 18 to 41 years old were liable to be called up for service in the army. Due to political considerations the Act did not extend to Ireland. In Series 2, William Mason, Joseph Molesley[64] and Tom Branson would all be called up, however the latter and the former would receive medical exemptions.
  • 1916, April 24 Ireland declares independence.[65]
  • 1916, May 31 - June 1 Battle of Jutland[66], Charles Blake and Anthony Foyle serve together on HMS Iron Duke.

Series 2 (1916–1919)[]

Episode 2.01[]

The Great War unsettles life at Downton and surprising news about Matthew rocks the family. New maid Ethel irritates O'Brien - and Bates returns with devastating news for Anna.[67]

Opens with the title card "The Somme, 1916". The script book indicates that it is supposed to be November 1916.[68]

Episode 2.02[]

Carson is finding it tough maintaining standards in the house, and the suicide of a young officer prompts Isobel to suggest converting Downton Abbey into a convalescent hospital.[69]

Opens with the title card "April 1917".

  • 1917, April 6 - American President Wilson asks Congress for "a war to end all wars" that would "make the world safe for democracy". Congress responds by declaring war on the German Empire.[70][71]
  • 1917, June 19 - The Representation of the People Act[72] was passed by a majority of 385 to 55 in the House of Commons and went on to be unopposed in the House of Lords. It was the first to include practically all men in the political system and began the inclusion of women.

Episode 2.03[]

After Downton is turned into a convalescent home for wounded officers, Matthew brings a general to visit, but Branson has a surprise in store. And is Lavinia hiding something?[73]

Set between July 2nd, 1917 and September 1917.

  • 1917, July 2 - Alexander Kerensky becomes the Prime Minister of the Russian Republic.
  • 1917, July 17 - King George V, by royal proclamation changes the name of the British Royal Family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (a branch of the House of Wettin) to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the British Empire.[74]
  • 1917, August - Tsar Nicholas II and his family are evacuated to Alexander Palace.
  • 1917, November 7 and 8 - Alexander Kerensky is deposed in the October Revolution. Vladimir Lenin seizes power.

Episode 2.04[]

Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora. Ethel's flirtation with Major Bryant lands her in hot water. There is worrying news about Matthew. Branson declares his feelings for Sybil.[75]

Opens with the title card "1918"; it is likely set early in the year and probably no later than March.[76]

  • 1918, February 6 - Representation of the People Act[77] goes into effect granting some women the vote.[78] Edith mentions this in episode 3.04 saying that she still does not have the vote because she is not yet 30 years old nor a landowner.
  • 1918, July 17 - Tsar Nicholas II and the rest of the Romanov royal family are executed by Bolsheviks.[79] In Episode 2.05, Tom Branson tells Sibyl that "They shot the Tsar and all of his family".c

Episode 2.05[]

Robert receives some shocking news from the front. Daisy's relationship with William moves faster than she would like. Vera threatens to expose old secrets.[80]

Opens with the title card "Amiens, 1918".[81]d

Episode 2.06[]

Carlisle threatens to ruin Mary if she jilts him. A major comes to stay - but is he really who he claims to be? Bates learns that Vera has succeeded in scuppering the divorce.[82]
  • 1918, October 24 - November 3 - Battle of Vittorio Veneto[83]. Major Charles Bryant, the father of Ethel's son was killed in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto.
  • 1918, October 27 - November 2 - 2200 deaths in London attributed to Spanish flu.[84] Cora Crawley, Charles Carson and Lavinia Swire would all contract Spanish flu the following April, Lavinia would not survive it.
  • 1918, November 11 - The episode ends on the day of the armistice (First Armistice at Compiègne)[85] later commemorated in Commonwealth countries as Remembrance Day and Poppy Day; the U.S., already having a holiday to commemorate the country's war dead (Decoration Day or Memorial Day, established following the American Civil War) eventually dedicates the day to its war survivors as Veterans' Day.[86]
  • 1918, December 14 - The first general election[87] under the Representation of the Peoples Act of 1918.

Episode 2.07[]

How long can Sybil and Branson keep their secret? Carlisle puts Anna in a difficult position, Bates is left reeling from the news about Vera, and Thomas embarks on a new scheme.[88]

The time stamp says 1919, most likely in February (see historical date below). The episode opens with the last of the medical equipment being removed from Downton Abbey. Ethel and Mrs. Hughes contrive to set up a meeting for her to introduce her son to Major Bryant's parents.[89]

  • 1919, February 15 - The military hospital that had been set up in Highclere Castle during the war is formally closed.[90]
  • 1919, March 7 - The Canadian Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad (GTPR) is nationalised after defaulting on loan payments. The GTPR was owned by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), headquartered in England, and in which Robert had invested a significant portion of Cora's fortune.[91] The financial impact would hit in the spring of 1920.

Episode 2.08[]

With the wedding approaching there is excitement in the air, but will Branson's plans rattle everyone? A decisive Anna forces Bates to think about their future.[92]

Set in April 1919.[93]

  • 1919, April 13 - Amritsar massacre, also know as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre occurs in the Punjab region of India. On the orders of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the British army fired on a crowd of people protesting the arrest of two of their leaders. They fired for ten minutes, directing their bullets largely towards the few open gates through which people were trying to run out. The figures released by the British government were 370 dead and 1200 wounded.[94] Isobel, Hugh MacClare and Lord Sinderby discuss the event in episode 5.08.
  • 1919, June 28 - The Treaty of Versailles[95] is signed, officially ending the state of war between Germany and the allied powers excepting the U.S. The U.S. negotiated separate treaties principally under the Knox–Porter Resolution.[96]

2011 Christmas Special[]

Christmas 1919. Downton Abbey is hosting a lavish party, yet despite it being the season of goodwill, tensions are rife and Bates's arrest has cast a shadow over the festivities.[97]e

Ends on 12th January, 1920 with the servants ball and Matthew's proposal to Mary.[98]

  • 1920, January 16 Prohibition begins in the U.S. Mentioned by Robert in Episode 4.08, where he says "down with prohibition" and that "Harold has his uses".

Series 3 (1920–1921)[]

Episode 3.01[]

Cora's mother arrives for Matthew and Mary's wedding, but with the couple's relationship under strain will they even make it to the altar? Robert has some shocking news.[99]

Spring 1920[100]; March[101]

Episode 3.02[]

In the hope of financial rescue from her American grandmother, Mary conspires with Violet to make sure Downton puts on a bigger show than ever before.[102]

Episode 3.03[]

Edith's big day finally arrives, but will the family be convinced that Strallan's age does not matter? Mary takes matters into her own hands - but the price could be high.[103]

Set in May 1920[104]

Episode 3.04[]

Branson's political views land him in hot water and Sybil's loyalty is tested to the limit. Ethel is torn between head and heart as she makes a decision about her son's future.[105]

Set in late May 1920.[106]

Episode 3.05[]

An exciting offer for Edith divides opinion. Isobel throws Ethel a lifeline. New maid Ivy is attracting attention below stairs, and Alfred's interest is resented by Daisy.[107]

Set in late May 1920[108] Lady Sibyl gives birth to Sybbie Branson, then dies of eclampsia.

Episode 3.06[]

Tempers fray as Isobel's kind gesture backfires. Branson's decisions are put under scrutiny. As Bates's chance of freedom slips away, he goes to extreme lengths.[109]

Episode 3.07[]

Anna's patience is finally rewarded. Edith has an unexpected admirer. Matthew refuses to back down over his concerns. Branson's plans for the christening cause consternation.[110]

Likely set in late June or early July 1920, as Catholic infant baptisms are supposed to be performed within the first few weeks of the infant's life.

Episode 3.08[]

The annual cricket match brings out Robert's competitive side. As Violet's great niece Rose arrives, a trip to London reveals there is more to her than meets the eye.[111]

Opens prior to August 11th, 1920 and ends on, or before, 30th September, 1920.[112]

  • Downton Abbey's annual cricket match with the village takes place and the house team win.
  • Rose MacClare visits Downton.
  • Edith, Rose and Matthew visit London, and stay at Rosamund Painswick's house.
  • Rose meets with Terence Margadale at the Blue Dragon club.
  • Mary and Matthew separately visit Dr. Ryder in London about their reproductive health.
  • Edith visits Michael Gregson and finds out that he has a wife, who he tells her is in an insane asylum.
  • John and Anna move into a cottage on the Downton estate.
  • Robert Crawley promotes Thomas Barrow to under butler and Jimmy Kent to first footman.
  • Ethel Parks leaves Isobel Crawley's employment to go work for a Mrs. Watson, who lives near the Bryants and her son, Charlie Parks.
  • Tom and baby Sybil are to live in Downton Abbey with the family until Sybil is older.
  • 1920, August 11 - Charles Ponzi's "scheme" comes crashing down. He is arrested the next day.
  • 1920, August 18 - The US ratifies the 19th amendment to the Constitution,[113] granting suffrage to women, mentioned by Robert in episode 3.04.
  • 1920, September 3 - The film Way Down East, mentioned in episode 3.07, is released in the US.f
  • 1921, March 4 - Warren G. Harding succeeds Woodrow Wilson as President of the United States. While never mentioned by name, it is his administration that is scandalised by Teapot Dome, and involving Cora's brother Harold.
  • 1921, April 1 - Early female aviation pioneer, Adrienne Bolland, flies over the Andes Mountains from Mendoza, Argentina to Santiago, Chile.[114] Mentioned by Edith in episode 6.03.

2012 Christmas Special[]

The family receive a warm welcome at Duneagle Castle, visiting Rose and her parents in the Highlands. But there is no disguising the tensions between their hosts.[115]

Set in September,[116] 1921.[117]

Series 3-4 Gap (1921-1922)[]

Series 4 (1922—1923)[]

This series picks up six months after the end of the 2012 Christmas Special, and covers February 1922 into the summer of 1923.[118][119]

Episode 4.01[]

Following Matthew's death, Mary is struggling to come to terms with her loss.[120]

Set in February 1922, six months after the death of Matthew Crawley.

Episode 4.02[]

Mary is beginning to emerge from her grief, Molesley's fortunes worsen and Lady Rose is out for some fun.[122]

Opens in or after April 1922, as Jimmy says Phyllis Dare will be appearing in York after appearing in "The Lady of the Rose" in London. She appeared in this musical between February 21 and April of 1922.

  • 1922, Between February and April - Gwen Dawson gets married to John Harding.
  • 1922, April 15 - U.S Senator John B. Kendrick introduced a resolution calling for an investigation of the Teapot Dome (Wyoming) land deal, opening the scandal involving Cora's brother Harold Levinson and the need for Robert to go to America in episode 4.07.[123]

Episode 4.03[]

An extravagant house party at the Abbey gives the Crawleys a chance to reconnect with old friends.[124]
No events that indicate a specific time period.

Episode 4.04[]

Amid the fallout from the eventful house party, Mary faces a pressing question about her future.[125]
No events that indicate a specific time period.

Episode 4.05[]

There is tension between Ivy and Daisy, and Isobel appeals to Violet's charitable nature.[126]
No events that indicate a specific time period.

Episode 4.06[]

A birthday party is planned for Robert, but Rose's surprise contribution to the event ruffles feathers.[127]
  • July 1922 - Downton Abbey, A New Era has Robert state that he was born in "July 1865". Since it is his birthday, it is July.

Episode 4.07[]

Cora's brother is in trouble and Robert goes to America to bail him out. There are romantic tensions below stairs.[128]
  • July 1922 - Robert Crawley heads to America when his brother-in-law, Harold Levinson, gets in trouble for his role in the Teapot Dome Scandal.

Episode 4.08[]

Rosamund comes up with a plan to help Edith deal with her problem, but Violet may be about to see right through it.[129]
  • 1922, October 22 David Lloyd George is succeeded as Prime minister by Andrew Bonar Law.
  • 1922, November 4 Howard Carter[130] opens the tomb of Tutankhamun[131] in the Valley of the Kings[132], Egypt. While never mentioned in the series, this expedition was financed by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon[133], owner of Highclere Castle used as the filming location for Downton Abbey. The Crawley dogs Isis and Pharaoh allude to this connection. The 5th Earl of Carnarvon would die on April 5, 1923 of erysipelas[134] and blood poisoning contracted from an infected mosquito bite. The same condition Isobel Crawley misdiagnoses for Mr. Molesley in season one.
  • 1922, December 6 - Ireland's independence is officially recognized.[135]
  • 1923, January 1 - The North Eastern Railway (NER)[136] merges with the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER)[137], the line which serves Downton Railway Station.
  • 1923, April 26 - Prince Albert, Duke of York marries Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey.[138]
  • 1923, May 22 - Andrew Bonar Law is succeeded as Prime Minister by Stanley Baldwin.

2013 Christmas Special[]

Set between April and July 1923[139]; most likely May.

  • The Crawleys attend the London summer season, staying at Grantham House
  • Rose MacClare is presented at Buckingham Palace
  • Harold and Martha Levinson visit the United Kingdom.
  • Edith Crawley has returned from Switzerland with Rosamund Painswick, having spent eight months there and given birth to a girl.
  • Phyllis Baxter, Joseph Molesley, Elsie Hughes, Charles Carson, Beryl Patmore, Daisy Robinson, Ivy Stuart, Anna Smith, John Bates, Thomas Barrow and Grantham House servants go to the beach.

Series 4-5 Gap (1923-1924)[]

  • 1923, August 2 - Calvin Coolidge[140] becomes President of the United States following the death of Warren Harding.
  • 1923, November 8 - Adolf Hitler and the SA storm a public meeting in the Bürgerbräukeller, a large beer hall in Munich. The next day they march on the Bavarian War Ministry. Four police officers and sixteen NSDAP[141] members were killed in the confrontation. Hitler was arrested two days later. It was known as the "Beer Hall Putsch".[142]
  • 1923, November 16 - Hyperinflation peaks in Germany with the U.S. Dollar trading at 4,210,500,000,000 German marks. A new currency, the Rentenmark, replaces the worthless Reichsbank marks.[143]
  • 1924, January 21 - Vladimir Lenin dies following a series of strokes that had largely incapacitated him since 1922. Joseph Stalin[144] consolidates power following his death.
  • 1924, January 22 - Ramsey MacDonald succeeds Stanley Baldwin as Prime Minister.
  • 1924, February 1 - The UK recognises the Soviet Union.[145]

Series 5 (1924)[]

Episode 5.01[]

Set between 15th and 17th February 1924.[146]

Episode 5.02[]

Set in April, 1924, in the days leading up to and after the British Empire Exhibition.[147]

  • 1924, February 26 to April 1 - Trial of Adolf Hitler. Robert references the "Brownshirts" and the recent trial of its leader in a conversation with Edith about Michael Gregson in episode 5.04. Cora states in episode 5.06 that Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison. The sentencing occured on April 1, 1924.
  • 1924, April 23 King George V gives the first radio broadcast by a sitting British monarch, opening the British Empire Exhibition[148] at Wembley, Middlesex.

Episode 5.03[]

No events that indicate a specific time period.

Episode 5.04[]

No events that indicate a specific time period.

Episode 5.05[]

Set after 22 September, 1924.[149]

  • 1924, September 22 - Bernard Fitzalan-Howard inherits the title of Baron Howard of Glossop, following the death of his father, Francis Edward Fitzalan-Howard.
  • 1924 - The first nudist colony is established at Wickford, Essex.[150] Rose mentions this in Episode 5.05.

Episode 5.06[]

No events that indicate a specific time period, but takes place on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday

Episode 5.07[]

  • 1924, Between September 22 and October 17[151] - Takes place during the week immediately following Episode 5.06, Sunday-Friday. The Crawley's dog Isis dies.

Episode 5.08[]

Set in the two weeks leading up to and including October 25, 1924.[152]

2014 Christmas Special[]

Series 5-6 Gap (early 1925)[]

  • 1925, Between January and April - Atticus and Rose Aldridge leave for New York.
  • 1925, January - Tom Branson and his daughter leave England for Boston.
  • 1925, April 9 - Administration of Estates Act[156] abolishes the legal rule of primogeniture[157] in England and Wales.

Series 6 (1925)[]

Episode 6.01[]

It is now 1925, when secrets and rifts threaten the unity of the family, while those below stairs are faced with social changes.[158]

Likely opening in March or April of 1925, as fox hunting[159] season generally ends in March or April.

Episode 6.02[]

Lady Mary's meddling gets Mr Carson into trouble with Mrs Hughes. Cora and Violet lock horns over the hospital takeover plans. Robert has a tough decision to make.[160]
No events that indicate a specific time period.

Episode 6.03[]

Preparations for the wedding of Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes are under way. Edith meets up with an old acquaintance. Spratt has something to hide.[161]

Set between May 9th, 1925 and May 30th, 1925.

Episode 6.04[]

As Tom and Sybbie settle back into life at Downton, the family and servants are surprised by the return of another old friend in unexpected circumstances.[165]
  • 1925, May 18 (approx.)[166]

Episode 6.05[]

Violet invites the minister of health to dine as part of her scheme to quash plans for the takeover of the hospital. The evening proves distressing for everyone.[167]
No events that indicate a specific time period.

Episode 6.06[]

Opinions are divided when Tom and Mary open Downton to the public for a day. Carson has an axe to grind with Thomas.[168]
  • 1925, June 6gDownton Abbey opens its doors to the people, with proceeds in favour of the Downton Hospital Trust[169].

Episode 6.07[]

Henry Talbot invites the Crawleys to watch him motor racing at Brooklands, but events leave Mary reeling. Violet's plan surprises the family and delights Denker.[170]
  • 1925, July 20 Henry Talbot, Charlie Rogers, and a few others participate in a motor race at the Brooklands Race Track. The race results in the death of Charlie Rogers.

Episode 6.08[]

A change of circumstance puts Bertie Pelham in the limelight, and Edith must decide whether to conceal her past at all costs or confront the truth and risk losing everything.[171]

2015 Christmas Special[]

Romance abounds in the final episode, but for some the year's end is bittersweet. Mary endeavours to build bridges but Edith's secret continues to pose a threat.[174]

Set between September 1 and December 31st, 1925.

Downton Abbey: The Movie (1927)[]

Set in July 1927.

Downton Abbey: A New Era (1928)[]

Set in April 1928, nine months after the first film. The final scene is probably set in the first weeks of 1929.

Downton Abbey: Untitled (1929?)[]


  • a The date on the Cheerful Charlies handbill would seem to contradict the details of Carson's employment history given in the Rules for Household Staff (see 1875 entry above), as well as the general characterization of Carson being present for all of Mary's childhood.
  • b As a historical note, in real life there was no Ripon by-election in 1914.
  • c In historical fact, only the execution of the Tsar had been officially announced at that point. The Soviet government did not confirm the fate of the rest of the family until 1926.
  • d In Episode 2.05, there is a continuity error. The date of death given on William's marker at his grave reads "26/07/18"; that is, 26 July 1918. The Battle of Ameins was fought from 8–12 August 1918. Since both of these pieces of information cannot be right, it may be that William's death date should really be 26 August 1918.
  • e Jessica Brown Findlay and Allen Leech did not appear as Lady Sybil Branson and Tom Branson respectively, though it is revealed that they are now married and Sybil is pregnant.
  • f This presents a problem for the timeline because episode 3.08 must occur prior to the Ponzi scheme's collapse on August 11, while episode 3.07 must occur after the release of Way Down East on September 3.
  • g There is a continuity error in Episode 6.06, as words from Cora about Bertie coming to Downton imply that the open house occurs on the 13th... when it actually occurs on the 6th.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Episode 6.06
  2. Series 1 Press Pack: "Downton is the home of the Crawleys, who have been the Earls of Grantham since 1772"
  3. Storming of The Bastille
  4. Episode 5.02
  5. Lady Violet mentions in Episode 6.05, set in 1925, that the current system at the Hospital has worked for the last hundred years.
  6. Roberta fought in the siege of Lucknow where she "loaded the guns". She had to be of age - at least 17 - to fight legally.
  7. The main façade of Downton Abbey bears the inscription "AD MDCCCXLII", above the door.
  8. In Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season Two, page 495, Julian Fellowes' notes read as "At the start of the show, set in 1912, we needed Violet to be about 70. This means she was born in 1842 and she would have come out in 1860, to enjoy a few flirtations before marriage claimed her". Thus, by these notes, we can place Violet's date of birth as 1842.
  9. The main façade of Grantham House bears the inscription "RESTITVTA ANNO DOMINI MDCCCXLIX". (2013 Christmas Special). "Restituta" means "restored"; Bridgewater House (whose exterior serves as "Grantham House" in the show, was originally built c. 1626, but was renovated by Charles Barry in the 1849s. Barry was also the architect who built Highclere Castle (which serves as "Downton Abbey") at around the same time.
  10. Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season One, page 71, states that Isobel is an "attractive woman in her fifties" meaning that she was born between 1853 and 1862; being born in 1853 would make her 59 and being born in 1862 would make her 50.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Downton Abbey - Rules for Household Staff - Foreword
  12. Violet says that she was "recently married" in 1860 to Rose in an attempt to cheer her up in the 2012 Christmas Special. As well as this, she specifies that she attended her first Gillies Ball after being married in 1860. The Gillies Ball takes place in September.
  13. Rosamund's age is unspecified in the show, but she is either older or younger than Robert, putting her birthdate in the 1860s or 1870s. She is also stated to be alive by 1874, when her parents travelled to Russia.
  14. The press pack released for series one confirms she is 50 in 1912, meaning she was born in 1862: Press Pack 4
  15. In Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season Two, page 7, Robert is described as "someone of fifty" indicating, as the first episode is set in 1916, that he was born in 1866.
  16. Harold's age is unspecified, but he is either older than Cora, making him born before 1868, or younger, making him born in 1869 or later.
  17. Episode 5.08
  18. A woman has her season, typically, at 17 and, depending on whether she was born in the 1860s or 1870s, Rosamund would have been presented sometime in the late 1870s or late 1880s and married Marmaduke at some point after her first season. These dates also take into account the fact that Rosamund could, like Rose, have had a late season and been in her 20s.
  19. Rosamund informs Lavinia in Series 2 that she and Marmaduke "bought the house when we were married."
  20. Anne Chamberlain
  21. Lady Violet mentions this in Episode 6.05.
  22. Downton Abbey Season 1 Press Pack, page 7
  23. On Episode 5.01, Robert and Cora's wedding anniversary is said to be on "the 16th" and Ramsay MacDonald is implied to be recently put in office; Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister - for the first time - on 22nd January 1924. The episode cannot be set in January as their anniversary is "the 16th" and MacDonald was not in office until the 22nd, making February the earliest that the episode - and in turn Robert and Cora's anniversary - can be set. Furthermore, Mrs Hughes says that the wedding anniversary falls on a Saturday, and 16 February was indeed a Saturday in 1924. The only other Saturday was August, but as Episode 5.02 shows King George Speaking from the British Empire Exhibition (which he did on 23rd April, 1924) the episode cannot be set in August.
  24. While the Downton Abbey Season 1 Press Pack says that Robert and Cora married in 1889, Episode 5.01 shows the couple celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary in 1924.
  25. Downton Abbey Season 1 Press Pack: Page 7
  26. Episode 3.01 and 2013 Christmas Special
  27. 2013 Christmas Special: Martha confirms that Harold has not been to England since "[Cora's] wedding".
  28. Episodes 5.05 and 5.07.
  29. Sybil's 18th birthday, given that she is being presented to their Majesties in "June" (as confirmed by Violet; "presented to Their Majesties in June after being arrested at a riot in May"), seems to be very early June. We can infer this from two sources; Mary and Matthew's honeymoon in "Spring 1920" is a month long and Edith and Anthony's aborted wedding is, in Edith's words "ready in a month". Knowing that Sybil's birthdate is Early June, if we count back two months we get to Mary and Matthew's return from their wedding in April of 1920, making their marriage in March, right at the start of "Spring".
  30. In Episode 6.03, Thomas mentions that Mrs Hughes has been at Downton for thirty years; the episode is set in 1925.
  31. The following deleted conversation appears in Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season One, page 88:
    Anna: I wonder what that Mr Molesley makes of them.
    William: Mr Bates, you know Mr Molesley, don't you?
    Bates: I do. We were footmen together. In a house near Stafford. Before the South African War.
  32. All based on medals worn on the day of the WWI memorial presentation in episode 5.08.
  33. Isobel, in Episode 1.02, says that she "trained to be a nurse" during the Boer War. Though she doesn't mention the war by name, it is very likely to be this war she is referring to.
  34. "John Bates. He must have left the army about eight years ago." --Anna inquiring about him to an NCO, episode 1.07
  35. Bates confirms, in the 2012 Christmas Special, that the family travelled to Duneagle "every year" except for 1914 - 1918 because of the war and 1920 due to Sybil's death.
  36. This event, though happening in an undisclosed year, has to have happened at some point in the years before 1912 as Doctor Clarkson knows of Reginald's works.
  37. Doctor Clarkson says he is "familiar" with Reginald's work on Dropsy and that it is a "new procedure" in 1912, meaning the notes were published comparatively recently.
  38. George V
  39. Edward VII
  40. In Series 1 Episode 6 Violet says that Susan must have "forgotten the layout of the house" implying that it has been - at least - several years since Susan came to Downton.
  41. Downton Abbey: Episode 1, itv Player ( description.
  42. Episode 1.01, scene 37 (Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season One, page 28-29); the following discussion between Murray and Robert occurs:
    Murray: "It was right to bury Mr Crawley in Canada. In fact I hear the Canadians are making quite a thing of the Titanic cemetery."
    Robert: "It seems strange to have buried James without Patrick."
    Murray: "They may still find some trace of him."
    Robert: "After three months? I doubt it. No, I'm afraid Patrick was food for the fishes long ago."
  43. After the July memorial service in Downton, Sibyl says, "Mama says we can go into half-mourning next month, and back to colours for September." When Crowborough requests a visit (presumably to seek Mary's hand), Violet tells Cora to "give him a date for when Mary's out of mourning. No one wants to kiss a girl in black." During Crowborough's visit, all of the women are wearing white and purples, a traditional display of half-mourning.
  44. Marconi scandal
  45. Isobel mentions, when they arrive at Crawley House, that Matthew liked Robert when he "met him a month ago." As the episode begins in September, the meeting took place in August.
  46. Downton Abbey: Episode 2, itv Player ( description.
  47. In Episode 1 Sybil says they can be "back to colours for September"; as they're wearing non-mourning colors in Episode 2, it places the episode firmly in September 1912
  48. Mary says, in Episode 1.02: "I’m afraid Papa wants to teach Granny a lesson. Poor Granny, a month ago these people were strangers - now she must share power with the mother and I must marry the son." meaning that it has been at least a month between Matthew and Isobel's arrival and the scene of Sybil and Mary discussing mourning.
  49. Downton Abbey: Episode 3, itv Player ( description.
  50. Pamuk is said to be in England "for the Albanian create an independent Albania" and that Evelyn Napier is "keeping him happy until the conference begins." (Episode 1.03, scene 10). Since that session of the conference began on 16 December 1912, the episode must take place in early December 1912.
  51. Downton Abbey: Episode 4, itv Player ( description.
  52. Emily Davison
  53. Albanian Independence
  54. Downton Abbey: Episode 5, itv Player ( description.
  55. Downton Abbey: Episode 6, itv Player ( description.
  56. Violet to Sybil: "Well, I doubt I'd expect to curtsey to Their Majesties in June, when I'd been arrested at a riot in May. But them I'm old. Things may be different now." --Episode 1.06
  57. Cora to Sybil: "You were a great success in London, darling. Well done." --Episode 1.07
  58. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
  59. Downton Abbey: Episode 7, itv Player ( description.
  60. World War I, July Crisis
  61. Gallipoli Campaign
  62. Episode 2.01, scene 6 (Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season Two, page 9.)
  63. Military Service Act
  64. This would imply that Molesley was 41 or younger in 1916, however series 5 establishes that he was 43 at the time. The age was extended to 51 in 1918.
  65. Ireland - Steps to independence
  66. Battle of Jutland
  67. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 1, itv Player ( description.
  68. Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season Two, page 2.
  69. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 2, itv Player ( description.
  70. United States declaration of war on Germany
  71. American entry into World War I
  72. Representation of the People Act
  73. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 3, itv Player ( description.
  74. House of Windsor
  75. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 4, itv Player ( description.
  76. Since Ethel's baby has been born by Episode 2.05, which takes place in August, and because prior to modern pregnancy tests women might not be sure they were actually pregnant until the fourth or fifth month, it is unlikely this episode takes place later than March 1918.
  77. Representation of the People Act
  78. Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom
  79. Killing of the Romanov family
  80. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 5, itv Player ( description.
  81. Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season Two, page 248-249, based on the location given (Amiens, France) and a deleted line of Matthew's about the imminent battle being "General Ludendorff's last throw of the dice," confirming that the battle is near the end of the war, specifically the Battle of Amiens and the start of the Hundred Days Offensive.
  82. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 6, itv Player ( description.
  83. Battle of Vittorio Veneto
  84. 1918 flu pandemic
  85. First Armistice at Compiègne
  86. Armistice Day
  87. United Kingdom general election, 1918
  88. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 7, itv Player ( description.
  89. Ethel says baby Charlie is "almost a year old". However, Ethel only figures out that she is pregnant in Episode 2.04, which is set about a year earlier in early 1918, and since he had been born by Episode 2.05, set in August 1918, he was probably born in mid- to late-summer 1918.
  90. Carnarvon, Fiona. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, New York: Broadway Paperbacks, 2011; p. 224
  91. Grand Trunk Railway - Bankruptcy and nationalisation
  92. Downton Abbey: (Series 2) Episode 8, itv Player ( description.
  93. In Episode 2.07 Lavinia says that She and Matthew are marrying in "April"; so Episode 2.08, when their wedding was supposed to take place, is set in April. As it is after the armistice of November 1918, this means it is 1919; as well as this, Mary says that there are "Three full days" left until the wedding, thus backing up Lavinia's words.
  94. Amritsar massacre
  95. Treaty of Versailles
  96. Knox–Porter Resolution
  97. Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2011, itv Player ( description.
  98. Downton Abbey: The Complete Scripts, Season Two, page 532; A deleted conversation between Carson and Mrs Hughes takes place:
    Mrs Hughes: I think I'll say goodnight. I've got a long day tomorrow.
    Carson: I don't envy you.
    Mrs Hughes: I can't bear to think about it. What can they want from me?
    Carson: Just do your best, and you'll be home before you know it.
    Mrs Hughes: And what news will I bring with me? That reminds me. What should we do about the Servants' Ball? It's only five days away. Can we delay it?
    Carson: But the Servants' Ball is always held on the twelfth of January, the birthday of the first Countess.
    Mrs Hughes: I don't care if it's the birthday of Chu Chin Chow. This year, should we hold it back?
    Carson: The verdict will guide us to the appropriate response.
    As the Servants' Ball is not moved back and takes place - Thomas even expresses doubt that they can get it ready in so little time - we can be sure it takes place on the twelfth of January.
  99. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 1, itv Player ( description.
  100. The title of "Spring 1920" appears on the screen, setting this in 1920
  101. Grand Trunk Railway: Bankruptcy and nationalization
  102. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 2, itv Player ( description.
  103. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 3, itv Player ( description.
  104. We can infer this from two sources; Mary and Matthew's honeymoon in "Spring 1920" is a month long and Edith and Anthony's aborted wedding is, in Edith's words "ready in a month". Knowing that Sybil's birthdate is Early June, if we count back two months we get to Mary and Matthew's return from their honeymoon in April of 1920, making their marriage in March, right at the start of "Spring" and places Edith's wedding in May. It cannot be any later as Robert expressly states that Sybil is "twenty four years old" when she died; she would be twenty five if the episode was set any later.
  105. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 4, itv Player ( description.
  106. Robert mentions that "Tennessee is going to ratify the 19th Amendment", which did not actually occur until 18 August 1920. However, by June 1920, it was clear that Tennessee would be the next state to vote on it after it had been ratified in 35 of the required 36 states.
  107. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 5, itv Player ( description.
  108. Sybil's 18th birthday, given that she is being presented to their Majesties in "June" (as confirmed by Violet; "presented to Their Majesties in June after being arrested at a riot in May"), seems to be very early June. We can infer this from two sources; Mary and Matthew's honeymoon in "Spring 1920" is a month long and Edith and Anthony's aborted wedding is, in Edith's words "ready in a month". Knowing that Sybil's birthdate is Early June, if we count back two months we get to Mary and Matthew's return from their honeymoon in April of 1920, making their marriage in March, right at the start of "Spring". This means that Sybil died not long after the failed marriage of Edith in May. It cannot be any later as Robert expressly states that Sybil is "twenty four years old"; she would be twenty five if the episode was set any later.
  109. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 6, itv Player ( description.
  110. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 7, itv Player ( description.
  111. Downton Abbey: (Series 3) Episode 8, itv Player ( description.
  112. Robert mentions Charles Ponzi. The scheme that now bears his name came crashing down on August 11 and he was arrested the following day. As well as this, the cricket season for 1920 ends on 30th September 1920 and cricket is played in the episode, meaning that the episode is set sometime between the 10th of August (which is the latest date BEFORE the collapse) and the 30th of September.
  113. The ratification of the amendment happened on 18th August, 1920 - as seen by 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right to Vote, National Archives, retrieved 31st August, 2013.
  114. Adrienne Bolland | Aviation carrer
  115. Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2012, itv Player ( description.
  116. 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, Nicole Lampert,, 22:31, 21st December, 2012.
  117. The title screen for Episode 3.01 says that that episode is set in Spring 1920; the 2012 Christmas Special is, by the previous reference, confirmed to be set in September, and as this is a year after 1920, it must be 1921.
  118. 'Downton Abbey' Season 4: Does Thomas tell Lady Cora about the soap incident?, Andrea Reiher, Zap 2 it, 6th August, 2013.
  119. Downton Abbey Season 4 preview gets rave reviews,, 14th August, 2013. Quote: "The show will return to ITV 1 in the Autumn with the first episode set in 1922, six months after the death of Matthew Crawley in a car accident, which was revealed in last year's Christmas episode."
  120. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 1, itv Player ( description.
  121. Insulin
  122. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 2, itv Player ( description.
  123. Teapot Dome investigation
  124. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 3, itv Player ( description.
  125. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 4, itv Player ( description.
  126. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 5, itv Player ( description.
  127. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 6, itv Player ( description.
  128. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 7, itv Player ( description.
  129. Downton Abbey: (Series 4) Episode 8, itv Player ( description.
  130. Howard Carter
  131. Tutankhamun
  132. Valley of the Kings
  133. George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon
  134. Erysipelas
  135. Ireland independence
  136. North Eastern Railway
  137. London and North Eastern Railway
  138. Wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
  139. "'Tis the Season", Debrett's. Posted 21 Jul 2021.
  140. Calvin Coolidge
  141. NSDAP (Nazi Party)
  142. Beer Hall Putsch
  143. Hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic
  144. Joseph Stalin
  145. Soviet Union
  146. Robert and Cora's anniversary is said to be on "The 16th" and Ramsay MacDonald is implied to be recently in office; Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister - for the first time - on 22nd January 1924. The Episode cannot be set in January as their anniversary is "the 16th" and MacDonald was not in office until the 22nd, making February the earliest that the episode - and in turn Robert and Cora's anniversary - can be set. As well as this, Jimmy says that he sent Lady Anstruther another Valentines card that year, making the episode after the 14th. The Fire of Edith's bedroom is set on the night after the anniversary, meaning that it is the morning of the 17th. As well as this, Robert and Cora's anniversary party falls on Saturday the 16th. In 1924, the 16th only fell on a Saturday in the months of February and August. As King George V is heard on the wireless and spoke in April, 1924, Episode 5.01 takes place in February.
  147. King George V spoke from the British Empire Exhibition on 23rd April, 1924 and the events of the Episode take place before, during and after the speech, placing the Episode firmly in April.
  148. British Empire Exhibition
  149. Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Glossop makes an appearance at Lord Grantham's cocktail party, and is already introduced as "The Lord Howard of Glossop". His father, Francis Edward Fitzalan-Howard, from which he inherited the title, died on 22 September, 1924 (see here), and Lady Grantham makes a passing reference to his death.
  150. 1924 in the United Kingdom
  151. Some time after the death of Francis Edward Fitzalan-Howard and at least seven days before the wedding of Rose MacClare.
  152. Mrs. Hughes tells Inspector Vyner that the family will be in London all the next week, early on in episode 5.08.
  153. Given:
    • The WWI presentation is on the 25th of the month and they will have just been back from the wedding.
    • The wedding occurred on a Friday immediately before.
    • Episodes 5-8 occurred after the death of Baron Howard on Sept. 22, 1924.
    • And before Christmas of the same year.
    The only date meeting all these criteria is Friday, October 24, 1924.
  154. This took place after the unveiling of the World War memorial at Downton, and certainly before the tenth of December, which is the end of the grouse season, as stipulated by Game Act 1831.
  155. Mabel says the marriage is "in December".
  156. Administration of Estates Act 1925
  157. Primogeniture
  158. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 1, itv Player ( description.
  159. Fox hunting season
  160. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 2, itv Player ( description.
  161. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 3, itv Player ( description.
  162. Gold standard
  163. Spratt, earlier in the episode, is seeing examining a stamp that was issued by the British Empire Exhibition on the 9th of May 1925. Spratt also says that the stamp "has just been issued." Around a day or two later, Edith states that the wedding will take place "on Saturday." Therefore, we can assume that the wedding takes place on the 16th of May 1925.
  164. At the end of Episode 6.03, Tom reveals that he is staying at Downton, and not moving back to Boston.
  165. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 4, itv Player ( description.
  166. Mary mentions that Sybbie and Tom have "settled in", implying a day or two has passed.
  167. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 5, itv Player ( description.
  168. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 6, itv Player ( description.
  169. Episode 6.06.
  170. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 7, itv Player ( description.
  171. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 8, itv Player ( description.
  172. Amelia is still referred to as Miss Cruikshank, and her wedding is on August 29, so the episode is set between those two dates. Mary also says her wedding will take place "on Saturday" making the earliest possible date of her wedding as July 25, as the car race in the previous episode took place on July 20, 1925. As well as this, Henry states that he has not seen Mary since "yesterday lunch" placing his reunion (for the second time) with Mary as half a day earlier - on the 24th. As well as this, there is at least one night (from the 23rd to the 24th) before hand as Cora states that she let Henry stay because he was in North Yorkshire and it was "half past five". There is at least another day as Henry leaves and Mary ruins Edith's relationship with Bertie while Henry is gone. This, combined with Henry's statement means the episode starts at least three days before Saturday 25th.
  173. Image Amelia
  174. Downton Abbey: (Series 6) Episode 9, itv Player ( description.