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William "Bill" Molesley is Joseph Molesley's father and a prolific gardener who lives in Downton village. In 1913, he has recently become a widower.


Series 1[]

Bill Molesley recurrently participated in the annual Downton Village Flower Show, for the Grantham Cup for Best Bloom in the Village, although he was beaten by the Dowager Countess of Grantham who won every year as a matter of tradition. In the 1913 or 1914 edition, however, the Countess was confronted by Isobel Crawley who questioned the fairness of this. The Dowager insisted that the contest was fairly judged, but at the presentation, she reconsidered, and she gave her award to a bewildered Molesley for his Comtesse Cabarrús Rose.

While working in his father's garden, Molesley developed a rue allergic reaction which the Dowager Countess of Grantham correctly diagnosed, to the chagrin of Isobel, who incorrectly thought it was erysipelas.

Series 3[]

In 1920, he and his son were discussing the upcoming cricket match. He asks his son how the house team is coming, remarking that in the village they were taking it very seriously. His son told him no one took it more seriously than Lord Grantham, "whatever he likes to pretend." At the match itself, after his son does poorly, he tells Mrs. Patmore and Dr. Clarkson his son could talk a good game, just not play it.

Series 4[]


Bill Molesley with the Dowager Countess.

He meets the Dowager Countess at the local cemetary in 1922. They look over the grave of Matthew Crawley, which had recently arrived. When Violet asks him about his son and his search for a new job (he had been living with his father), he remarks that his son has not found one yet but that he always tries to make himself useful. The Dowager later mentions to him that her friend Lady Shackleton has a butler who is retiring and hasn't decided on whether or not to replace him. She offers for Mr Molelsey's son to come help out when her friend visits on the pretense that he might be hired. Mr Molesley asks about the Dowager's own butler Spratt, whether or not he will mind. Violet tells him it is not Spratt's business.


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

Behind the scenes[]

  • The rose competition story line is a homage to the movie "Mrs. Miniver".