Daisy Mason

Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason, the assistant cook at Downton Abbey, using an electric mixer to create something new and delicious for the family.

Daisy Mason (nee Robinson) is a character on the series, Downton Abbey. She was played for all six seasons by actress Sophie McShera.

From Kitchen Maid to assistant cook

We first meet Daisy Robinson in 1912. At that time, she was merely the kitchen maid, and as such, she was at the lowest end of the totem pole for the servants, which was common for many households of that time. She was similar to Emily and Ruby from the series, Upstairs, Downstairs.

In fact, when Sophie McShera was cast as Daisy, and the cast were initially lined up, she was the smallest in the lineup, and it fit precisely where her character was.

She was known for doing the lowest jobs (making the fires in the fireplaces; blackening the stove; and waking the other servants) of the household. Jobs which nobody else on the household staff would want to do.

Highly sensitive, she would be caught crying by two members of the family Lady Edith, when she was in knowledge of what happened in Lady Mary Crawley's bedroom with the dead Turkish envoy, Kemal Pamuk, encouraged by a comforting Edith to reveal what happened, which she would later against her spiteful sister; and Violet Crawley, when she was mourning her husband, William Mason, after he died; and the Dowager Countess comforted her in her time of grief.

At first, she was always seemed to be on the receiving end of the harsh tongue of Mrs. Patmore, her immediate superior. No matter what she did, or how good she did it, it was never enough for Mrs. Patmore, and she would scold her harshly.  However, that was not unusual, as the kitchen/scullery maid was the lowest of the household hierarchy and that always meant that she was the often go-to scapegoat when anything went wrong. 

She was also known for falling in love with the wrong people. She had a raging crush on Thomas Barrow, the first footman, but she finally saw him for what he really was when he insulted William, the second footman, after the death of his mother.

During that argument which caused Thomas to be scolded by the entire staff, Daisy included, William furiously beat up Thomas, for the insult towards his mother.

She would later marry William during the war, while he was on his deathbed from his war wounds. Not more than six hours after they married, he would die, leaving her a very young widow. She would bond deeply with her father in-law, Albert Mason, who would take her in as his daughter, since her own parents were dead.

In the second season, she would mail a letter that Lavinia Swire, a woman engaged to Matthew Crawley, in between his engagements to Lady Mary, wrote, which stated that she wanted Matthew to use the inheritance he got from her father.

From third season onward, Daisy would gain status and rank (and a new more professional uniform) as the new assistant cook, which would help Mrs. Patmore immensely in shouldering the heavy burden of running the kitchen.

Daisy, learning from her superior, would become valued in her help to Mrs. Patmore. She would have a rivalry with new kitchen maid, Ivy Stuart, over another footman.

When Ivy left (as a peace offering from Daisy); she and Mrs. Patmore would be ruling the kitchen again (the kitchen/scullery Maid duties would be taken by a village girl named Gertie), and Daisy would worry about losing both her father in-law and Mrs. Patmore to one another. However, they would reassure her that she would never have to worry about that, because they did love her very much.

A sweet-natured, but very naïve young woman, Daisy's main crimes were usually based out of loyalty to those she loves. She would stand up for her beloved Mrs. Patmore, who was away from the house getting her eyes fixed, when she sabotaged substitute cook Mrs. Bird's cooking; and she would stand up for her father in-law, when she let her anger flow against the owner of the estate that he was farming.

At first, she felt that she had lost him his farm, but with her aid, she convinced the Crawleys to let him have Yew Tree Farm, a farm on Downton's estate, for the rest of his life. He would be taken care of by the Crawleys, because of his connections with Daisy.

Daisy would nearly be hired away from Downton by Cora Crawley's brother, Harold Levinson, when he fell in love with her cooking, and would be recommended by his valet, Ethan Slade, to be hired as their cook.

Daisy, highly flattered that her cooking would be considered excellent enough to be reason for her to be hired into a new household (and to be hired by an American who did not much like eating British food, no less), would nevertheless turn down the post because she did not want to leave her "family" (Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason).

She would however, to make peace with Ivy over the fighting she had had with her over Alfred, recommend that the kitchen maid become Harold's new cook, saying that since she knew the dishes and more, she would be the British cook he was hiring, and nobody would be the wiser.

She was also well known for her excellent chicken broth. She offered, out of kindness, to help Gladys Denker, who couldn't cook broth to save her own life, to make a batch of broth to pass off as her own. However, Septimus Spratt, the butler, discovered it was Daisy's broth and dumped it down the sink! This forced Denker to make it herself. Violet would later taste it, and despite how horrid it was, would lie that Denker made good broth.

In the final episode, she found love again with Andy Parker, a footman who later would also work with Mr. Mason at his farm. At first, he laughed at her when she tried to look good for him (which earned him a well-deserved scolding from Mrs. Patmore), but he would later keep a lock of her cut hair as a keepsake. She would also leave the abbey; moving to the farm with Mr. Mason.

She would still work at the Abbey as the assistant cook, and would have her "family", Mrs. Patmore and her father in law (she had dropped her objections to them being together) the rest of her days.

It was presumed that when Mr. Mason died, she would take over his tenancy at Yew Tree Farm (he named her as his heiress for the tenancy and all he had), and she would perhaps be married to Andy.

When Mrs. Patmore retired to run her B&B in Haughton-le-Skerne (near Darlington), she would perhaps become the new head cook at Downton, complete with a new kitchen maid, who she would train, much like Mrs. Patmore had done with Daisy herself.

She would perhaps be called Mrs. Parker, as she was married to Andy, although because she was known as William's widow, she would possibly be better known as Mrs. Mason.