- Robert: "Was it always this bad?"
- Hugh: "Not in the beginning. We weren't madly in love, but there was a job to be done, and we both believed in it. Then, the children came along and for years we hardly had time to think."
- Robert: "What went wrong?"
- Hugh: "First James left, and then Annabelle got married. We started to learn just how little we had in common."
- Robert: "Why is Susan so hard on Rose?"
- — Lord Grantham and Lord Flintshire discussing the latter's family.
Background and History
The family's title, Marquess of Flintshire, is Welsh. However, their courtesy title, Earl of Newtonmore, is Scottish, having been gained by the grandmother of Hugh MacClare (the present Marquess), who was Countess of Newtonmore in her own right.
The MacClares are related to the Crawley family through Susan, who's aunt is Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. They are also connected to the Aldridge family through Rose's marriage to Atticus Aldridge.
Hugh is the head of the family and works at the Foreign Office. He is unhappily married to Susan MacClare, first cousin to the present Earl of Grantham, Robert Crawley; their union was not a love match, but one of duty - as of 1924, the couple are divorcing.
Hugh has two elder sisters, Lady Agatha, who is alive and came to Duneagle in 1920 to look after her niece, and Lady Louisa, whose whereabouts and status are unknown; when they were children, they played a nursery game where they were sea creatures in which Louisa was a lobster, Agatha a shark, and Hugh a shrimp. Hugh henceforth went by the nickname Shrimpie.
Hugh and Susan have three children: James - the present Earl of Newtonmore who does not live at Duneagle - Annabelle - who is married - and the youngest, Rose - who resided at Downton Abbey with Robert and his family after September 1921 to 1924.
Hugh and Susan moved to India where he has been posted, then settled in London after their time abroad ended and their divorce could be finalized. Susan, furious with her cousin and his family taking Shrimpie in, wrote to her eldest daughter, Annabelle, over it.
Rose later married Atticus Aldridge in 1924, despite Susan's attempts to scupper the wedding.