Downton Abbey Revisited: What Mary Owns, and Baby George Crawley

[SPOILER ALERT: Details below from Downton Abbey Season 3 + Ep. 1, Season 4.] In a post last year, I explained The Entail, Primogeniture, and Why Matthew Inherits Downton Abbey. But the intricacies of noble (and royal) inheritance never end, and Downton Abbey’s fourth season has raised new questions. During Season 3, Matthew invested some money in Downton Abbey, and in exchange, Lord Robert gave him half ownership. Given the restrictions of the entail, what happens to Matthew’s half interest now that he’s dead? Continue reading “Downton Abbey Revisited: What Mary Owns, and Baby George Crawley”

The “Entail,” Primogeniture, and Why Matthew Inherits Downton Abbey

The Downton Abbey TV series begins with a predicament for the Earl of Grantham. Earl Robert has no sons, and an “entail” keeps any of his three daughters from inheriting his great estate and mansion: Downton Abbey. Robert’s heir is Matthew Crawley, a distant cousin. Matthew will someday inherit both the earl’s title and his real estate, thanks to the entail. What is this “entail”? (I’m a lawyer and amateur historian, so this question is just made for me.)

Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England: the Victorian mansion serving as TV’s Downton Abbey

Continue reading “The “Entail,” Primogeniture, and Why Matthew Inherits Downton Abbey”