Series Three: Episode Three
August 1920. The household is preparing for the wedding of Edith to Lord Strallen. At the same time the problem of what is going to happen to the estate is still on everyone's minds; Lord Grantham is considering having to move to some land he has in the North of England and sell Downton. Lord Grantham has a man-to-man talk to Lord Strallen about the forthcoming wedding, and tells him he now accepts his marriage to Edith.
Matthew and Mary continue to argue about Lavinia's father's bequest, especially when Matthew asks Mary to nominate a charity to receive the money. Lavinia's father's lawyer arrives with a letter for Matthew. He does not want to open it, thinking that it will be full of compliments which he does not deserve, but eventually Mary opens it and discovers that Lavinia had written to her father about Matthew's behaviour on her deathbed, and he still wanted Matthew to have his money. The last obstacle to Matthew using the money to save Downton has been removed and he offers it to Lord Grantham. Lord Grantham refuses to accept the money as a gift, but suggests that Matthew should regard it as an investment and that they should become co-owners of Downton. Matthew agrees to this.
Below stairs Thomas tricks Molesley into thinking that O'Brien is going to leave, so that he asks Cora if she would consider a friend of his for the position. Cora is hurt that O'Brien has not spoken to her, and remains so even after O'Brien assures her that it is just a rumour. Molesley gets in trouble with Carson for this behaviour.
Carson has found out about Mrs Hughes' condition, and Cora assures Mrs Hughes that whatever happens the family will look after her. By the end of the episode Mrs Hughes has discovered that the tumour is benign.
When the wedding takes place Lord Strallen abandons Edith at the altar, telling her that he can't let her throw away her life on him. Violet agrees with him and the wedding is called off. Edith is distraught, though by the next morning she has resigned herself to spinsterhood.
Anna goes to visit Mrs Bartlett who claims that Vera was always afraid of Bates and says she is convinced that Bates murdered her. Meanwhile Bates continues to have trouble with his cellmate, who plants contraband in Bates' bunk, but a tipoff from another prisoner enables him to get rid of it before the guards find it. He assaults his cellmate because of this.
Isobel discovers that Ethel has been working as a prostitute, and makes plans to visit her.