Living… in Downton Abbey with his wife, Cora, and his three daughters: Mary, Edith, and Sybil. Oh, and the staff of course. Downton Abbey is a huge estate. Its upkeep requires a small army of cooks, maids, footmen, and valets.
Profession… the Earl of Grantham, the Viscount Downton, Lord Grantham. Robert Crawley is a man with many impressive titles and one impressive job. He is the owner and operator of Downton Abbey, a grand manor located in the outskirts of the Yorkshire village. Robert puts everything he has into maintaining the ancestral home: “You see a million bricks that may crumble, a thousand gutters and pipes that may block and leak, and stone that will crack in the frost. I see my life’s work.”
Relationship Status… married. Robert courted American heiress Cora Levinson in the late 1880s to save Downton Abbey. At the time, the Crawley family had little money and the future of the estate was uncertain. Marrying Cora would guarantee a substantial dowry that could be used to save the manor. While Robert did truly fall in love with his wife after a year of marriage, he still feels guilty about his motives for pursuing her.
Challenge… finding an heir. Passing on the legacy of Downton is especially difficult for Lord Grantham as none of his children are male. With the untimely death of his intended heir, Patrick Crawley, on the Titanic, Robert has to find another candidate to take his place. He decides on Matthew Crawley, his third cousin once removed. A young, middle-class solicitor from Manchester isn’t exactly ideal, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Personality… moral, traditional, and respectable. Robert Crawley is incredibly proud of Downton and will do anything to preserve its prestige, no matter difficult: “I know all about hard decisions when it comes to the honor of Downton.” Yet he is not unbending, and shows compassion when others make mistakes.
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