Lady Grantham’s Miscarriage Was the Beginning of a Curse, According to Downton Abbey

Lady Grantham’s pregnancy was a last-ditch attempt to produce a male successor, but the baby’s death seemed to set off a chain of pregnancy-related misfortunes.

One of the most important narrative points in Downton Abbey’s six-season run was Lord Grantham’s lack of a male heir. This gave him the chance to present various potential replacements, including cousin Matthew Crawley, and there was even a flicker of hope that Lady Grantham would supply him with a son for a time.

Lady Grantham’s unexpected, elderly pregnancy appeared both a blessing and a curse now that Matthew was free to resume his normal life. Sarah O’Brien, Cora’s lady’s maid, was concerned about the potential of being replaced after Lady Grantham drafted an ad for a new lady’s maid for the Dowager Countess. Lady Grantham miscarried as a result of her actions. O’Brien’s blunder seemed to set off a string of miscarriages, leaving fans wondering if the Crawleys were cursed.

The Untimely Death of Lady Sybil

Lady Sybil’s connection surprised the Crawley family, but by the time they learnt she and Tom Branson were expecting a child, even Lord Grantham had warmed up to her. Before she gave birth, there was a lot of speculation that Sybil had preeclampsia. Despite Dr. Clarkson’s misgivings, Lord Grantham’s specialist swore she was OK, but he was mistaken. Sybil began experiencing convulsions in the middle of the night after giving birth to a healthy baby girl and died with her entire family gathered around her bed in fear.

The Ethel Parks Tragedy

While Major Charles Bryant was being treated for war injuries at Downton, maid Ethel Parks had an affair with him in the hopes of boosting her rank. Mrs. Hughes immediately fired her after learning of the affair, but Ethel returned three months later seeking assistance because she was pregnant. Major Bryant refused to acknowledge her pregnancy, and it was later determined that he perished in war. Ethel had turned to prostitution to live by the time the major’s family became involved. Finally, she had no alternative but to give her young son, Charlie, to the Bryants in order for him to enjoy a better life.

Matthew Crawley’s Mistake

Lady Mary Crawley and Matthew Crawley took a long time to give vent to their feelings. Having a child would be difficult for them even after they were married. The couple was overjoyed when Lady Mary eventually became pregnant. Matthew admitted to falling deeper in love with her every day in the hospital after delivering baby George. Unfortunately, Matthew left in his automobile seconds later, and as he daydreamed his way through the English countryside, he was struck and killed by an incoming truck, leaving Lady Mary a widow.

Michael Gregson’s Death and Disappearance

Lady Edith Crawley seemed to suffer more than anybody else to find love, but she was resolved not to wait until she met Michael Gregson. Gregson was already married, and despite her hospitalisation for insanity, he was unable to divorce his wife. Because of their socially inappropriate nature, Matthew advised Gregson to end their connection, but Edith refused. Gregson packs up and flies to Germany after learning he can divorce his wife if he becomes a German citizen, but not before spending the night with Edith.

After Gregson vanished, Edith found she was pregnant and devised a scheme with her aunt, Rosamund, to travel abroad and place the baby for adoption. Edith couldn’t live without Marigold after she returned, so she created a fresh plot with Timothy Drewe, a local farmer, to give him and his wife custody and be involved in Marigold’s life, especially after knowing that Gregson was dead. Edith’s activities generated such a stir in her family and among the Drewes that her secret, illegitimate child nearly cost her love when she met Herbert Pelham, the seventh Marquess of Hexham.

There’s no questioning the Crawley family’s poor luck, whether Lady Grantham’s loss was the impetus for the lengthy line of pregnancy-related disasters that followed or merely chance. The true question is whether O’Brien initiated the curse and whether it was her intention for it to affect the entire family.


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