Cousin and Heir apparent. Husband of Lady Mary Crawley.
Played by Dan Stevens
Qualities: tenacious, deliberate, matriarchal, passionate, devoted
Proudly middle class and making his way as a lawyer, Matthew Crawley was unwittingly thrust into his cousins’ privileged world when he became the heir apparent to their sizeable estate. With their paths forever changed, Matthew and his mother Isobel uprooted themselves and attempted to assimilate into the Downton way of life. What they found was family, frustrating at times, endearing at others and always unpredictable.
Through the years, Matthew was a survivor of grave wartime injuries and tragic loss. Through it all, an early connection with Lady Mary Crawley, while antagonistic at first, remained constant, indelible and grounding. Even though guilt and circumstance pulled against it and tore them apart for a time, Matthew and Mary’s true love endured.
In Season 3, Matthew worked to create a simple existence with the love of his life and a family of his own, along with constructing a workable future for Downton but his plans often met with resistance. Nothing could prepare the family, however, for his sudden death only hours after the birth of his son, and in his absence, the estate he looked ready to revitalize and protect was left more vulnerable than ever. More than that, though, the Crawleys will be forced to carry on without a beloved husband and son.
MATTHEW: “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it’s time we all lived in a much simpler way.”