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  • Gitte Daphne Lætgaard Tinning

    White House Petition to Force Dan Stevens Back on Downton Abbey. Portrait, photo

  • Linda Welker

    Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley. Stevens has something to say about DOWNTON ABBEY Spoiler alert: be aware that he talks about the storyline of season three.

  • Mallory Shea

    Seriously side-eyeing Dan Stevens right now... Great finale, yet a very disappointing ending. #DowntonAbbey

  • Abbi Freeman

    DOWNTON ABBEY •Matthew Reginald Crawley (played by Dan Stevens) (1885) is the son of the late Dr Reginald Crawley, a physician, and Mrs Isobel Crawley, a trained nurse. He is Lord Grantham's third cousin once removed, and works as a qualified solicitor in Manchester. After the immediate heirs perish on the Titanic, the family lawyer discovers that Matthew is the next closest relative and Lord Grantham invites him to move to Downton Abbey and become part of the local community. Matthew eventually agrees, on the condition that he continue to work. His arrival is initially met with skepticism from the rest of the family and servants, especially Violet, as he was a "middle class lawyer". As the new heir presumptive he finds it difficult at first to adjust to the change in lifestyle. He refuses to adopt their traditionalist views, but is eventually accepted into the family and becomes something of a surrogate son to Lord Grantham. After a lukewarm introduction to each other, he and Mary begin to fall in love. It is thought the two will marry, though when Cora becomes pregnant and there is a chance that Matthew will not inherit the earldom after all, Mary is advised by her Aunt Rosamund to refuse his proposal. Unfortunately, Cora miscarries when she slips in the bathroom and so there is no longer any doubt about Matthew being the heir to the earldom. Matthew withdraws his proposal from Mary after she hesitates to accept him as he is unsure of her motives. He later becomes engaged to Miss Lavinia Swire, daughter of a London businessman. Following the outbreak of the First World War, he volunteers to join the British Army and is commissioned as a lieutenant, later promoted to captain. He is injured whilst serving alongside the family's footman William Mason in France but saved from death by William, who shielded him from an explosion but later succumbs to his own injuries. Matthew is paralysed from the waist down, and despite being told that he will never walk again and can no longer have children, Lavinia continues to care for him and does not call off the engagement. Following a miraculous and happy recovery, he and Mary realise that they are still in love, but he informs her that Lavinia's efforts to recuperate him even when it was thought that he could not have children mean that he cannot break up their relationship, for he is indebted to her. When Lavinia dies of Spanish influenza at Downton, he is plunged into grief and vows that neither he nor Mary deserve the happiness they want by being together, because it would be an insult to Lavinia's memory. He tells Mary, "You and I are cursed." He is later persuaded to think differently and proposes to Mary in January 1920. This time, she accepts. Matthew finally marries Lady Mary in the spring of 1920. It is discovered that at some point prior, his father-in-law, Lord Grantham, made a disastrous financial investment in a Canadian Railroad and has been mismanaging the running of the estate for many years, leaving it on the verge of bankruptcy. Matthew, with the help of brother-in-law Tom Branson, tries very hard to make Downton financially secure for Mary and their assumptive future children. Matthew brings his background in law and the private sector to bear in managing Downton, along with taking on Branson to direct the estate due to his pragmatism and having some knowledge of farming from his grandfather. Lord Grantham, who has agreed to make Matthew joint owner of Downton, is very slow to accept that Matthew and Branson make a brilliant team. Although Mary and Matthew sometimes disagree on various issues, they have a very happy marriage. Mary tells Matthew in bed, "we must never take us for granted; we don't know what's coming." Matthew ominously responds, "I will love you forever until the last breath leaves my body." Although only a few months have passed since their marriage, Mary is still not pregnant and both secretly think that they have fertility problems. A year later, Mary finally gives birth in September 1921. Lord Grantham finally admits in the final episode of series three that Matthew has saved Downton, and he trusts his business and legal instincts. He seems to finally accept Matthew as the son he never had. While Lord Grantham is telling his family how thankful he is for Matthew and the new baby, Matthew is driving home to tell the waiting family about the baby. Matthew is gloriously happy (telling Mary after meeting his newborn son, "I feel like I've just swallowed a box of firecrackers"). While still awash in the glow of his love for Mary and his baby son, he looks at the surrounding trees as his open top car speeds up the narrow road to Downton Abbey. Not paying attention to the road, he swerves to avoid another vehicle and tumbles down an embankment (not shown, except for tire tracks in the soil). The car flips over on top of Matthew, crushing his body, and killing him almost instantly.

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