Downton Abbey — A Who’s Who

The Household Staff

Charles Carson (Jim Carter)
Charles Carson, Butler – Jim Carter
Carson is the head of the male staff at Downton, and holds one of the most prestigious serving positions. He is an absolute professional, although he does seem to harbor a soft spot for Mary, and insists heatedly to Mrs. Hughes when she questions his wording (“our family”) that “well, they are all the family I’ve got.”
Elsie Hughes (Phyllis Logan)
Mrs. Elsie Hughes, Housekeeper – Phyllis Logan
Mrs. Hughes is in charge of the female staff at Downton, overseeing the housekeeping and the kitchen. She is a no-nonsense sort of woman, but fair and even-tempered. She expresses on a few occasions that she often wonders what her life would have been like if only she’d taken a different path.
John Bates (Brendan Coyle)
John Bates, Lord Grantham’s Valet – Brendan Coyle
Injured in the war where he served aside Robert, Bates uses a cane nowadays to help himself get around. Fiercely grateful for the opportunity to serve as Robert’s valet, considering work was hard for him to come by due to his injury, he faces an uphill battle with most of the other staff. Thomas and O’Brien in particular are nasty to him, hatching a plot to get him dismissed from his duties. They are unsuccessful, though, and Bates continues to persevere. A blind man could tell he’s a bit sweet on Anna, as well.
Sarah O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran)
Sarah O’Brien, Lady Grantham’s Lady’s Maid – Siobhan Finneran
O’Brien is a vengeful, bitter woman, whose sharp eye for the goings-on around Downton make it hard to get anything past her. She meddles where she shouldn’t and enjoys a familiarity with Cora that is close to crossing the line (and remarked upon by Robert frequently).
Thomas, First Footman (Rob James-Collier)
Thomas, First Footman – Rob James-Collier
Thomas is out for himself, first and foremost. Annoyed when he has to go back down to footman status after Bates’ arrival, he unsuccessfully attempts to get Bates fired. He had a rather scandalous affair with the Duke of Crowborough, and there are subtle remarks made throughout the series indicating that he is homosexual.
William Mason (Thomas Howes)
William Mason, Second Footman – Thomas Howes
A younger member of staff, eager to please and mellow. It is remarked that William comes from a happy home, and that he takes pride in the fact that his mother was very happy to see him off working in a household as prestigious as Downton. He seems to have feelings gor Daisy.
Anna Smith (Joanne Froggatt)
Anna Smith, Head Housemaid – Joanne Froggatt
Quiet and kind, Anna has a strength inside of her that becomes easy to see when she has a few run-ins with Thomas and O’Brien regarding their unfair disdain for Bates. Her feelings for Bates grow over the course of the series.
Gwen Dawson (Rose Leslie)
Gwen Dawson, Housemaid – Rose Leslie
Gwen is not content with being a servant for the rest of her life. She has a fiery spirit and makes some moves to try to become a secretary and move up in the world. Sybil takes a special interest in Gwen’s plight and tries to help her as best she can.
Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nichol)
Mrs. Patmore, Cook – Lesley Nichol
Mrs. Patmore is the cook at Downton, plump and frazzled and loud when ordering Daisy around. It becomes obvious very early on that she has trouble with her eyesight, a fact which scares her into denial.
Daisy (Sophie McShera)
Daisy, Kitchen Maid – Sophie McShera
Daisy is the lowest on the totem pole at Downton. A sweet but timid girl, she has her eye on Thomas and is blind to his personality, while William looks on from afar.
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