Character: John Bates
(played by Brendan Coyle)
John Bates is the Earl of Grantham’s valet, gaining the post due to having been the Earl’s batman in the army. He walks with a cane and is initially disliked by the staff because they think he will make more work for them. He is plagued by his wife Vera, who has a hold over him through knowing of the scandal involving Lady Mary. When Vera commits suicide he is convicted of her murder, being arrested the day after he marries fellow servant Anna, and he is in prison when the series two ends. He is eventually cleared near the end of series three and returns to his former position.