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Raquel Cassidy as Phyllis Baxter, the third (and most honest) of Cora Crawley's lady's maids.

Phyllis Baxter is a character on the series, Downton Abbey. She was played by actress Raquel Cassidy.


The most honorable of Cora's lady's maids

Phyllis Baxter, known as Miss Baxter below stairs, and simply Baxter above stairs, is the third in a line of Lady's maids for The Countess of Grantham. She would succeed Sarah O'Brien, who had left Downton for India, and her direct predecessor, the scheming an deceitful Edna Braithwaite.

We first meet her in the middle part of series four, after the departure of Miss Braithwaite by Elsie Hughes, after the former tried to blackmail Tom Branson into marriage with a fake pregnancy. She was stopped by the latter and by Mr. Branson.

She was a friend of Thomas Barrow's sister and she had been recommended as a lady's maid on his say so. What Thomas failed to reveal was that Phyllis had a criminal record.

She had taken jewels from her former employer, at the command of another employee named Peter Coyle. Thomas had attempted to use her criminal background as leverage to get information from her about the family; but that scheme was stopped by Cora, once Phyllis had told her the entire story.

As a result of that, Cora threatened Thomas' own job, but she relented when Thomas bravely saved her daughter, Lady Edith from certain death in a fire in her bedroom.

At first, Cora wasn't sure of Phyllis' fate, but later on, she realized that Phyllis had done excellent work and since she was a fair-minded person, she didn't want to sack someone with no cause. After telling her the rest of her story, a compassionate Cora let her stay, and she thrived as a lady's maid.

One of her most notable and clearly personal touches as lady's maid is that she would make sure her mistress had fresh-squeezed Orange Juice with her breakfast, due to the fact that Cora was born an American. This always touched Cora and helped her remind herself of her early days.

Phyllis and Thomas were on the outs for a time, especially after Thomas' attempt to use her background against her failed miserably. She would get settled in and began a friendship with Joseph Molesley, one of Downton's footmen.

Showing her versatility, Baxter also served as a temporary lady's maid to Lady Mary; Lady Edith and (however, temporarily) their grandmother, Violet. The latter happened when her usual lady's maid, Gladys Denker, was drunk (after causing trouble) and was sent to bed.

In the end, Baxter retained her position, had a firm friendship with Molesley (whom she liked and would continue seeing even after he left service and became a teacher), and was considered a part of the family, something neither one of her more deceitful predecessors could ever consider having. She meet the high standards of the Crawleys, and she succeeded wonderfully.

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