If you’re like me, and don’t watch “hot” shows like Game of Thrones, Riverdale, The Walking Dead, and Stranger Things, then you and I are already on a good note. If you watch historical shows, like Versailles, Outlander, Victoria, Vikings, and The Crown, then you and I can hang out and watch those shows all day long.
If you’ve any sense of moral decency, then I know you’ve watched a little show called Downton Abbey. Set in the 1910’s and ‘20s, it follows the Earl of Grantham and the Crawley family, as they navigate life during WW1 and the years beyond, and the beginning of the decline of the aristocracy.
With Julian Fellowes at its helm, and it being a historical show, the show has had tragedies. The viewers watched beloved characters die in front of their very eyes, with the deaths sometimes very violent and tragic.
There were a total of ten deaths of main characters. They either occurred on or off screen. Which included:
1. Kemal Pamuk: died of heart attack whilst in bed with Lady Mary Crawley
2. William Mason: died of internal injuries during World War 1
3. Lavinia Swire: died of the Spanish flu shortly before her wedding
4. Vera Bates: committed suicide by poisoning herself and tried to make it look like murder
5. Sybil Crawley: died of eclampsia shortly after childbirth
6. Matthew Crawley: died in a car crash after his son was born
7. Alex Green: died after being pushed into traffic shortly after raping Anna Bates
8. Michael Gregson: killed by Nazi thugs in Munich, Germany
9. Isis: pet dog that died of cancer
10. Charlie Rogers: died in a car crash whilst competing in a car race
And now I am going to explain some of them further in detail, because Downton Abbeyfails to explain the truth or go into much detail behind some of those deaths. The deaths of Lavinia Swire, Sybil Crawley, and Michael Gregson. And then Matthew Crawley, just to make everyone feel better.
1. Lady Sybil Crawley
Sybil Crawley died of eclampsia several hours after the birth of her child, Sybil Branson. Her death was the most violent of all the deaths of the characters, because it was fully drawn out. The whole episode was virtually dedicated to her death
Sybil was pregnant with her child, and when she had gone into labor, she’d begun showing signs of distress. Two doctors were there attending to her, the local doctor and one brought in that’d worked with royal births.
Her baby was small, her ankles were swollen, she was confused, and she had too much albumin (protein) in her urine. The local doctor had said at the beginning that she was toxemic with a danger of eclampsia. Toxemic meaning a presence of toxins in the blood. He had recommended giving her a Caesarean. The other doctor said it was too risky and it might kill both of them.
Both Sybil’s had survived the birth, and everyone but the local doctor thought she’d be alright. However, several hours later, she took a turn. She was unable to breathe, and she was having seizures. They’d given her morphine and atropine (a nervous system blocker), but it was failing towork. Because the seizures had started, they couldn’t do anything about it. And then she died.
Eclampsia follows pre-eclampsia. It is a very dangerous condition in pregnancy where high blood pressure results in seizures. It still affects women today, about 1 in 200. It is dangerous to both mother and child. Today, it can be monitored and treated.
In Sybil’s day, the 1920s, medicine was nowhere near as good as it is today. She was doomed from the beginning. Even if she’d had the Caesarean, she was still going to die. They couldn’t have saved her.
You can find more information about eclampsia and everything by going to
2. Lavinia SwireLavinia died of the Spanish flu, or influenza. She was one of 50-100 million people who died of the H1N1 influenza virus. The pandemic, which lasted from January 1918 - December 1920, is one of the deadliest natural disasters of human history.
She, along with the characters Charles Carson, Cora Crawley, and several unnamed estate workers, were all taken ill. She was the only one who actually died of the disease.
The first confirmed outbreak was at Fort Riley in Kansas. The soldiers stationed at the fort ended up carrying the disease over to Europe when they were moved there for combat in World War 1. And from there, it spread like wildfire. It’s a virus, meaning its airborne.
Spanish flu, instead of killing juvies, elderly, and already weak patients, it killed predominantly healthy young adults. Including Lavinia Swire, who was young and healthy and days away from getting married to Matthew Crawley.
Lavinia had seemed fine, with a believed minor case of the Spanish flu, was in reality, the most endangered. Because at the height of the illness was when the most danger could occur. Because she immediately took a bad turn for the worse, which ended up killing her.
Symptoms of Spanish flue were regular flu symptoms, nause, aching, and diarrhea. Pneumonia attacks could also happen. Dark spots would eventually appear on the patients cheeks, and they would turn blue. It was due to suffocating from a lack of oxygen as lungs would fill with a frothy, bloody substance.
Lavinia showed no signs until she started being unable to breathe. She had shallow breathing until she stopped breathing.
Do the same thing. If you want to know more about Spanish flu, go to the internet and look it up. I like
3. Michael Gregson
Michael Gregson was killed on either 8 or 9 November, 1923. He died of unknown causes in Munich, Germany, whilst attempting to get a divorce. He needed to be a German citizen in order to get the divorce and then go on to marry Edith Crawley.
Unfortunately for him, while he was Munich, it didn’t go so well for him. Because he got into a fight with a gang of toughs, for disagreeing with what they were saying. The toughs were apparently well known and wore brown shirts. And then he disappeared that night, never to be found again.
The gang of brown-shirt wearing toughs were actually Nazis. Headed by one Adolf Hitler. What Michael got caught up in is the Bierkeller Putsch, or Beer Hall Putsch.
Bierkeller Putsch was a failed coup attempt by the Nazi Party and its leaders to seize power in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. Hitler and his associates were planning on using the seizure of Munich and use the city as its base for a march against the German Weimar Republic government.
It was a complete failure, and Hitler was thrown in the Landsberg Prison, where he later wrote Mein Kampf.
And learn all about Bierkeller Putsch there.
4. Matthew Crawley
Matthew Crawley was killed in a head-on collision with another vehicle shortly after the birth of his son, George Crawley. If he’d been wearing a seatbelt, he would have survived.
But this is the mid-1920s, when no one had ever heard of a seatbelt. They didn’t even exist. So this is what happened.
He was in a car that was pretty much a convertible. The top was down and he didn’t have a seatbelt, and he was going at a high rate of speed. He wasn’t paying any attention to what the heck was going on it front of him, so he failed to see the truck in front of him.
Based on what the episode showed, he probably swerved to avoid hitting the truck. And he probably lost control of the vehicle, which sent him flying off the road. Because he had no seatbelt on, and the car’s top was down, he flew out of the seat, over the windshield, and into the woods.
The car had hit a tree, and Matthew probably did too. Because when the driver of the other vehicle ran over to look at him, he was out of the vehicle and on the ground. He was dead either upon vehicular impact or human impact. He wasn’t moving and blood leaked out of his head, showing that he was really dead.
Seatbelt laws weren’t enforced until January 1, 1968, which required all vehicles except school buses to have seat belts. Roughly forty-five years after Matthew’s death.
You can find seatbelt laws by just going to the internet search bar.
So those are the deaths of several of the characters of Downton Abbey explained further in detail.