Septimus Spratt is a character on the series, Downton Abbey. He was played by actor Jeremy Swift.
Often undermined butler
Septimus Spratt is the butler for Violet Crawley, the dowager countess of Grantham. As such he is supposedly the head of the household there.
Sadly, though, his authority is often undermined by the lady's maid (and Spratt's arch-enemy) Gladys Denker. Besides Spratt and Denker, the Dowager Countess' household staff included Betty, the house maid and Mrs. Potter, the cook.
We first meet the distant Spratt in the first episode of season four as he was scrapping with Joseph Molesley over helping serve a luncheon. Spratt did everything possible to undermine him. This he succeeded in doing, although he did not realize that he was not going to lose his job, but Molesley was looking to become the butler for Violet's friend, Prudence, Lady Shackleton.
Molesley had just lost his master, Matthew Crawley in an automobile accident and as such lost his job as his valet. He would later become footman at the Abbey.
Another time Spratt had caused trouble, due to his snobbery was when he refused to serve Dr. Clarkson, the head of Downton Cottage Hospital. For this, he was reprimanded by Violet for being too much of a snob.
He also happened to be at the Grand Hotel in Liverpool to see Lady Mary Crawley with Anthony Foyle, Lord Gillingham, who was keen on her, although he was engaged to be married to a woman named Mable Lane Fox. This caused him to spill the story to Violet, who berated Mary for it. However, Mary came up with an engagement story which blunted Violet's anger.
However, his most persistent enemy was Denker, Violet's lady's maid. She would always undermine his authority, and she was always ungrateful for whatever help she would get from him.
He helped his fugitive nephew (his sister's son), which could have gotten him sacked and jailed. Denker used that information to blackmail him into helping her retain her job, as she was slated to be sacked for talking down to Doctor Clarkson, who had written Violet a letter telling her what Denker had done. Against his better judgment, he saved her job, but the ingrate would continue to treat him shabbily.
Spratt has his hobbies outside of being a butler. He collects stamps and is often working on his stamp collection, where there is time. (Of course, Denker finds any of his hobbies stupid!)
However, besides being a butler, he is also a journalist, working for Violet's granddaughter, Lady Edith Pelham, for her magazine, The Sketch. His writing was so well received that Edith increased his column to a full-page. He was quite knowledgeable about what he wrote.
Once again, the jealous and nasty Denker tries to demolish something Spratt enjoys, by blabbing that he was moonlighting to Violet. However, Violet looked at the column and found it jolly amusing.
She would not only retain him as her butler, she also encouraged him in his new profession, to Denker's horror.
Thrilled with Violet's praise, Spratt gloated to the vanquished Denker that in her haste to be rid of him, she failed to realize that Violet was never predictable!