William Allsopp's title, as he explains to Mrs Levinson, is a "lowly" barony in the English peerage (barons are the lowest of the five grades of peers, following viscounts in rank), but apparently the title, while "only" a barony, is an old one as well, suggesting his family has been noble for centuries. Indeed, "baron" is the oldest of the English peerage titles, and there are baronies (such as the Baron de Ros, or the Baron Mowbray) that go back to the 13th Century, while the oldest earldom (namely the Earl of Shrewsbury) only dates from the 15th Century.
Aysgarth is in North Yorkshire, and if the Allsopp family resides in the vicinity, then it is likely that the family of the Earls of Grantham (who are also from Yorkshire) would have socialised with them at home.
Lord Aysgarth's wife died before 1923 (because otherwise Madeleine would have been presented at court by her mother, rather than her aunt), and Madeleine is his only known child.
Martha Levinson and her son Harold make quite an impression on him. Having a title but no fortune, he sets his sights on Martha's fortune, and encourages his daughter Madeleine to spend time with Harold. They join the Levinsons, Isobel Crawley and Violet Crawley for a picnic.
He attends a card game at Grantham House hosted by Lord Grantham. Rose suggested he bring Terence Sampson as a guest (the secret purpose of the card game was to distract Sampson while other Crawleys search his flat to retrieve a love letter he stole from Freda Dudley Ward which came to her from the Prince of Wales). He expresses to Harold a desire to have seen Martha that night, to which Harold replies he was sure he would.
Martha turns him down because she is a modern woman with no interest in a title or living in England. But she does propose that he come visit her in Newport and she could introduce him to some rich widows who are more interested in titles than she is.
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 4||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5||Episode 6||Episode 7||Episode 8||Christmas Special|
- ↑ The sister who presents Madeleine at Court is referred to as Aysgarth's "eldest sister" implying he has, at least, one other older sister and a younger sister to his eldest sister.
- ↑ Paul Giamatti in the Downton Abbey Christmas Special, interview at The Telegraph