Downton Abbey concluded its stately run with the family and their servants ringing in 1926. But what happened after that?
As he grew older, Lord Grantham became increasingly withdrawn, due to his disgust with the modern world. For the final ten years of his life — he died in 1942 — he would say only “Quite” and “Bates, I’m ready for my wanking.”
As Lord Grantham became more bitter and enfeebled, his wife Cora became more and more a woman of the world, traveling frequently to Spain and Italy on humanitarian missions. On a trip to Florence in 1937, she was surprised by an orgasm. She never returned to Downton.
Lady Mary and her second husband had two children — Sybil and Robert — before her penis put a damper on their romance. After Dunkirk, Lady Mary announced that, if the Germans invaded, she would peremptorily refuse all of their dinner invitations. For this she was decorated by the King. She died grudgingly in 1962. Her body refused to decompose.
Despite a loving husband, six bright, healthy children and a life of privilege and ease, Lady Edith just couldn’t — in her words — “get my happy freak on.” In 1952 her exasperated family finally had her committed to the St. Alban’s Home for the Terminally Mopey. Her sister, Lady Mary, never visited her, though Mary did send a card to Edith every year to mark Marigold’s birthday. The card always said the same thing: “Happy Bastard’s Day, Slut.”
When Tom Branson’s car company failed during the Great Depression, he returned to the United States, where he became a beloved character actor, often appearing on The Love Boat and Barney Miller. He is perhaps best remembered for creating the role of Louie DePalma in the Broadway version of Taxi.
Isobel Crawley married Lord Merton and they shared her clothing for many happy years. In her nineties she became a regular on the British version of Hollywood Squares.
Palsy forced Carson the butler to retire from service, but he continued to appear daily at the Abbey, where he kept a stern eye on the conduct of the staff. In the end, they were forced to drive him away by pelting him with an assortment of scones and puddings. He died from a severe attack of probity in 1930.
Mrs. Hughes/Mrs. Carson left Downton following the death of her husband. She moved to London, where she sat in Hyde Park all day, feeding the pigeons and soliciting sailors, because, as she put it, she “was entitled to have a little fun after being stuck with that ham-faced fussbudget butler for the best part of my damn life.”
Thomas Barrow succeeded Carson as butler and served with distinction until Lady Mary caught him singing Broadway show tunes with her son George. In 1962 Barrow discovered that what he had thought were “homosexual longings” was in fact just “that old English silliness”; sadly, by then it was too late.
Mrs. Patmore did eventually marry Mr. Mason and they became Downton’s official “Cutest Couple”, often pinching each other’s bottoms and stealing a quick kiss. This lasted until 1935, when Mrs. Patmore got fed up with Mason’s “handsyness” and brained him with a saucepan. She spent the rest if her life cooking in Dartmoor Prison.
Bates continued to serve as Lord Grantham’s valet until His Lordship passed away. After that, he spent most of his time devising the death of any man who made eyes at his wife, Anna, which, he admitted, was “a more interesting hobby than gardening.”
Anna remained Lady Mary’s maid and confidante, which eventually allowed her to blackmail that cold-hearted bitch for many thousands of pounds. Anna used the money to establish a chain of highly-successful assertiveness clinics.
Daisy married Andy the footman and they had three sons. During the Second World War, Andy and his pigs became involved in a top secret British project involving rocket-powered swine. Tragically, Andy was killed when one of the pigs exploded upon take-off. Overcome with grief, Daisy took her children to Liverpool, where she saw to it that they received a first-class education. Later, one of her sons became the first person to sell drugs to John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Molesly became a highly-respected schoolmaster in Downton. In his later years, he wrote a three-volume history of Downton Abbey, which became the basis for an enormously popular TV series on PBS, from which he earned not one stinking farthing.
Baxter refused Mr. Molesly’s offer of marriage, saying that he “wasn’t enough of a bad boy for my liking.” She took to drink and was dismissed after being found in a compromising position with a suit of armor.
The Dowager Countess out-lived them all, finally passing away in 1987 at the age of 108. Of her family and their servants, she often mused, “They were all twits, you know, the whole bloody lot of them.”