Series One: Episode Six
May 1914. Sybil continues to take an interest in politics, which the Earl disapproves of. Sybil is becoming quite radical, and especially is interested in the Suffragette (votes for women) movement.Against the Earl’s express command, she persuades Branson to take her to the election night meeting in Ripon to hear the results of the local by-election read out. There is a disturbance and Sybil is injured, but Matthew happens to be passing on his way home from work and rescues her. The Earl is furious with Branson, but Sybil stands up for him, saying that she tricked him into taking her.
The rumors about Mary and Pamuk have spread further, helped (we suspect) by Edith’s letter from the previous episode. The rumors reach high and low, with both Carson and Violet hearing them. Violet insists Cora tells her the truth, which she does. She is disgusted at Mary’s behavior but also with Cora for her part in the coverup. Meanwhile, Sir Anthony Strallan is starting to take an interest in Edith.
Below stairs O’Brien and Thomas continue in their plot against Bates. They try and frame him for stealing the wine that has, in fact, been stolen by Thomas. Thomas manages to persuade Daisy to give evidence against Bates, but her conscience wins out, and she withdraws her testimony. As a result of the accusations, Bate confesses to Carson, Mrs. Hughes and Anna that he used to have a drinking problem and has done time in prison for stealing. Despite this Carson wants to keep him on.
When Matthew brings Sybil home from the election night he and Mary talk and admit their feelings for each other. Matthew asks Mary to marry him. Her parents and Violet are delighted, the Earl because of his regard for Matthew, Cora as it means Mary can overcome the disgrace of the rumors about her and Violet as it means Downton will be staying in the family. However, Mary tells Cora that she cannot accept the proposal unless she first tells Matthew the truth about Pamuk. Cora and Violet are in despair at this, and Violet, seeing how headstrong Mary is, apologizes to Cora for attacking her behavior earlier. They agree that if they can’t get Mary married to Matthew the only solution will be to marry her off to a foreigner.