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Elizabeth “Lizzie” Shelby (née Stark) is the second wife of Thomas Shelby, mother of Ruby Shelby, and stepmother of Thomas’ elder son, Charles Shelby.

Character History[]

Background[]

Lizzie was a former prostitute in Small Heath, Birmingham.

Series 1 · 1919[]

When Thomas Shelby finds out that Lizzie is to be married to his brother John Shelby, he confronts her, offering her eight pounds to see if she is still a working prostitute. When Lizzie takes the money, thereby failing Thomas' test, he informs John, who asks Lizzie and then her family if it is true. Lizzie tells him Thomas is a "dirty liar," but her family says otherwise, telling him she still continues her work, but only with regular clients. John comes to the conclusion that Thomas must have been a regular customer, which he later confirms, and then calls off the marriage. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Lizzie and John end up remaining friends.

Series 2 · 1922[]

Lizzie is having sex with Thomas in his office. She admires the typewriter, telling him she also has one and is doing a correspondence course, where she is learning to type with her eyes shut. He places the money on the table, which she takes, before she tells him, "I wish just once you wouldn't pay me. As if we were ordinary people."

Later, once again in Thomas' office, he asks her to close her eyes and guides her over to the seat at the desk. He covers her eyes with his hand and asks her to type on a typewriter, "If winter comes, then can spring be far behind?" He offers her a job as a secretary for his expanding Shelby family business, offering to pay her eight pounds and four shillings a month, telling her she can stop her prostitution work permanently. With "no exceptions." Lizzie accepts the job.

9

Lizzie at The Garrison Pub opening

Lizzie was present at the grand re-opening of the Garrison Pub. She is offered a light for her cigarette by Arthur Shelby who is high on cocaine. At the Epsom Races on Derby Day, Lizzie is escorted by Jeremiah Jesus to Thomas, who had told her he had a job for her to do. Lizzie finds out that the job involves playing the role of a prostitute and luring a soldier named Field Marshal Henry Russell to a quiet place when the races begin.

6

Lizzie at the Epsom races

Though she initially resists, she does the job for Thomas. Before Thomas leaves, he promises to save Lizzie before she is forced to sleep with Russell. Thomas is late to find Henry Russell, but eventually, Thomas succeeds in killing the man although not before Russell almost rapes Lizzie. Lizzie points Thomas' own gun at him in anger and shoves him backwards before leaving. She is later seen sat at a table, bruised and cut, and is joined by Arthur and John. John believes she acquired the injuries from doing her old work, and although she doesn’t tell him the truth about what happened, she tells him she does not see the same look in his eyes as she does in Thomas’ and that he should "get out."

Series 3 · 1924[]

Lizzie's relationship with Angel Changretta puts the Peaky Blinders in a predicament and Polly forces her to break up with him, solving the situation. John, however, does not believe that the threat from the Changretta's is over, and beats Angel and his men up, threatening them and telling them to stay away from Lizzie. The consequences of John's actions is the Changretta vendetta against the Shelby family.

After Grace's death, life for Thomas becomes difficult and Lizzie reveals to Polly that she has occasionally been sleeping with Thomas.

Series 4 • 1925[]

Lizzie and Thomas continue to grow closer following Grace's death. Thomas takes Lizzie to the canal, revealing that he used to wait there for Greta prior to France, and that he hasn't been back there since, but wanted to go back with Lizzie. With this, he kisses her, and the two have sex by the canal. Afterwards, he instructs Lizzie that the Shelby Company is to increase non-taxable donations to charities by 25% as of that moment and he is to build two new institutes for destitute children, with Lizzie in charge of the project. She questions the reason, with Thomas admitting that he promised someone he would change the world and wants to keep his promise.

Lizzie becomes jealous of Thomas' interactions with May Carleton and turns to alcohol. Eventually, she talks with Polly, who reveals that Lizzie is pregnant. Lizzie admits that the baby is Thomas'. Lizzie reveals this information to Thomas, and Thomas insists that she take paid leave to take care of herself and the baby.

Series 5 · 1929[]

Lizzie and Thomas are now married. Lizzie feels as though she is losing contact with Thomas, as he begins hallucinating Grace. Lizzie writes him a letter in fear of him losing control of his company, however he ignores the letter and the two grow further apart. Eventually, Linda visits Lizzie, admitting that she has looked for a solicitor to divorce Arthur, but cannot get anyone to do it. Lizzie admits that she will need to seek one from London as nobody in Birmingham would dare divorce a Shelby.

When tensions grow between Aberama and Thomas, she fires a gun into the air, insisting that Thomas leave the house and the children and not return, but is dismissed by Thomas who tells her to go back inside the house and call Aberama an ambulance. Knowing that Linda planned to divorce Arthur, Lizzie reveals that she too found a lawyer willing to divorce them, but decided to stay with Thomas as it is what they vowed when they married. Lizzie promises not to be with anyone else, with Thomas promising not to have other relations on the same day as Lizzie, while also proclaiming that she belongs to him.

Series 6 · 1934[]

Lizzie finally has enough and leaves Thomas. When Charles says he wants to go with her, she tells him that Thomas won't let her. Thomas surprises both of them by telling Charles that he can go with Lizzie.

Personality[]

Lizzie is always going through something difficult and just can't seem to catch a break. She is treated horribly by the Shelby family, and yet continues to remain loyal to them. Thomas makes her his secretary, but not only does he expect her to play the whore for him when his plans require it, the family refuses to allow her any say in who she dates or what does in her off-hours. Lizzie is very good with children. Part of the reason John wanted to marry her was because he was hoping for a mother figure to rein in his many kids. Lizzie is doting not only to her own child, Ruby, but to Charles as well, treating him like her own son. Lizzie can also be quite snarky. Even Thomas is impressed with her response to Oswald Mosley trying to humiliate her. She grows quite bitter and moody, which is understandable given how Thomas and the Shelbys treat her.

Relationships[]

Thomas Shelby[]

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Thomas and Lizzie in Series 1

At first, Lizzie resents Thomas for ruining her potential marriage with John and for manipulating her into telling him about her prostitution work. In the second series, Thomas asks Lizzie to be a secretary for him, under the condition that she no longer continues her prostitution work. At the Epsom Races, Thomas asks Lizzie to seduce a military officer as a distraction. Though Lizzie is clearly uncomfortable with the notion of reverting to her prostitution work, she does so anyway, but not before Thomas promises her he will return before it goes too far. The officer is seen forcing himself upon Lizzie to her dismay before Thomas can reach them, but upon doing so, he kills the officer. Lizzie is in love with Thomas, and while he definitely cares for her, her love is unrequited. In the final episode of Series 2, Lizzie attempts to explain her feelings to him, but gives up trying when it becomes evident that he's not even listening.

After Grace's death, Lizzie becomes Thomas' emotional crutch. Thomas even admits that Lizzie is part of the reason why he didn't go completely over the edge from grief. Throughout the fourth series, Lizzie and Thomas continue to have a sexual relationship. She loves Thomas despite the fact that he often treats her badly. Lizzie becomes pregnant and gives birth to their daughter Ruby.

In Series 5, Lizzie and Thomas are married. Lizzie is raising Ruby and Charles, but her marriage with Thomas is strained as he is still hallucinating Grace’s ghost. Lizzie is tired of Thomas always being too busy with business for their family and debates divorcing him when she finds a lawyer in London who will represent her. She ultimately decides to stay with Thomas on the condition that he does not "fuck another woman in their house" or a day after holding the hand of their children. Eventually, Lizzie has had enough, with him sleeping with Diana Mitford being the last straw. She informs Thomas that she is leaving him. He surprises her by letting Charles go with her.

John Shelby[]

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John comforting Lizzie at the Epsom Races

In Series 1, Lizzie is engaged to become John's wife and helps look after his children. When his brother Thomas finds out and confronts her, Lizzie tells him that John is "a good man" and that she loves him. However, this still isn't enough to stop Thomas, who had been one of Lizzie's customers, from telling John about Lizzie's continued prostitution work.

Despite the fact that she didn't end up marrying John, Lizzie continues to be good friends with him. When she is emotional after her bad experience at the Epsom Derby, John comforts her but mistakenly assumes she was still working as a prostitute and had a bad experience with a client. Lizzie doesn't correct his mistake, instead reminding him of how much better of a man he is than Thomas, and that she thinks he should leave the Peaky Blinders gang before it potentially ruins him too. These honest words from Lizzie leave John speechless for a moment. It is presumed Lizzie was upset after hearing the news of John's death, as her reaction was never shown.

Appearances[]

Series 1 Appearances
Episode 1.1 Episode 1.2 Episode 1.3 Episode 1.4 Episode 1.5 Episode 1.6
Series 2 Appearances
Episode 2.1 Episode 2.2 Episode 2.3 Episode 2.4 Episode 2.5 Episode 2.6
Series 3 Appearances
Episode 3.1 Episode 3.2 Episode 3.3 Episode 3.4 Episode 3.5 Episode 3.6
Series 4 Appearances
The Noose Heathens Blackbird Dangerous The Duel The Company
Series 5 Appearances
Black Tuesday Black Cats Strategy The Loop The Shock Mr Jones
Series 6 Appearances
Black Day Black Shirt Gold Sapphire The Road to Hell Lock and Key

Quotes[]

Lizzie Stark: "Your brother is ten times the man you are."
Thomas Shelby: "Of that, I have no doubt."

Lizzie Stark: "No exceptions, there's been no hardship. You know why?"
Thomas Shelby: "Hmm?"
Lizzie Stark: "Doesn't matter."

Lizzie Stark: "John, I don't see the same thing in your eyes that I see in Tommy's. You should get out."

Thomas Shelby: "Want a drink Lizzie?"
Lizzie Stark: "I don't drink whisky or gin anymore Tom."
Thomas Shelby: "Why not?"
Lizzie Stark: "Because they say it harms the baby. And yes it can only be yours, the day by the canal when you were fucking somebody else in your head. Except it wasn't her who got pregnant."

Thomas Shelby: "The deal is... you belong to me. My property. No one touches my property."
Lizzie Shelby: "I touch myself but it's still you anyway, so that's why I put the phone down."

Gallery[]

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