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Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion : Foldout

The Brontë family

This Foldout collects some miscellaneous information to the people, places and the works of The Brontë family



Acton Bell
Pseudonym of Anne Brontë.

You can see the text of Charlotte's published notes on Acton Bell, Currer Bell, and Ellis Bell on several WWW sites, including:

Emily had two pet geese: Victoria and Adelaide. The bird was named after Adelaide [1792-1849] the queen of William IV. Aunt Branwell gave the geese away whilst Emily was at the Pensionnat Heger

Agnes Grey
Novel written by Anne Brontë under the name Acton Bell [1847]

Allée Défendue, L'
The street between the Athénée Royal and the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels. The boys and girls from the schools were not allowed to pass down the street

Amelia, Miss Celia
The children's nickname for William Weightman

And the weary are at rest
A novel in which Branwell based the relationship between the characters Maria Thurston and Alexander Percy on his own affair with Mrs Robinson. There are 57 pages in the manuscript.

It was published privately in 1924

Andrew, Dr Thomas
[1???-18??] Of Haworth. On his death, a monument by Joseph Leyland was erected in Haworth church

Andrews, Miss
[1797-18??] A teacher at Clergy Daughters' School.

She was the model for Miss Scatcherd in Jane Eyre

Arnold, Matthew
[1822-1888] Poet and critic.

He was an assistant master at Rugby School. He was later a school inspector.

He introduced the word philistine in an attack on the cultural values of the middle classes

Charlotte met him in 1850 when she visited Harriet Martineau

Athénée Royal
A boys' school which stood next to the Pensionnat Heger, across L' Allée Défendue. Constantin Heger was Principal – and teacher of French and Mathematics – here

Aunt Branwell
The children's name for their aunt Elizabeth Branwell

Aunt Branwell's teapot
It is believed that a teapot with the motto:
To me, to live is Christ, to die is Gain

Wm Grimshaw Haworth

belonged to Aunt Branwell

Aykroyd, George
[1763-1839] Husband of Tabitha Aykroyd. They and Susannah Wood are buried in the same grave just in front of the old gateway from the Parsonage into the churchyard

Aykroyd, Tabitha
[1771-1855] She worked at Haworth Parsonage as cook and housekeeper to the Brontë family

Aylott & Jones
8 Paternoster Row, London. Firm of stationers, booksellers, and publishers.

In 1846, the firm published Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell


Babbage, Benjamin Herschel
[1815-1878] Engineer and explorer. From 1842, he worked with Isambard Kingdom Brunel in Italy and England.

Between 1848 and 1851, he was an inspector with the Board of Health, and conducted surveys of the sanitary conditions – notably those in Haworth – see Haworth Sanitation.

In 1851, he moved to Australia where he died

Barraclough, Zerubbabel
[1799-1878] Haworth clockmaker, watchmaker, and ironmonger. His Masonic grandfather clock can be seen in what was William Hartley's shop. There was another clock at Haworth Parsonage, but it is said that Arthur Nicholls took it to Ireland with him

Bassompierre, Louise de
[182?-18??] Emily's Belgian music pupil whom she befriended at the Pensionnat Heger

Bell, Dr Alan
[1???-18??] Uncle of Rev Arthur Bell Nicholls. He brought Arthur up. He was headmaster of the Royal High School, Banagher. He lived at Cuba House, Banagher, County Offaly, Ireland

Bell Chapel, Thornton

Bell, Mary Anne
[1813-1915] Second cousin of Rev Arthur Bell Nicholls whom he married in 1864. As a child, she had a riding accident, and walked with a limp. She lived at Hill House, Banagher after her husband's death. She died at the age of 102

Bell Poems
See Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell

Belliard, Statue of General
This stands near the Rue d'Isabelle, Brussels. Belliard fought in the Napoleonic Wars.

The statue is mentioned in The Professor

The sisters' early works – notably the Bell Poems – were written under decidedly asexual pseudonyms: Charlotte wrote as Currer Bell, Emily as Ellis Bell, and Anne as Acton Bell. The names were devised in 1845.

It was the middle name of Rev Arthur Bell Nicholls which suggested the surname.

In 1848, the literary world – including their publisher – believed that the three Bells are in fact the same author. The sex of the writer(s) was also a source of puzzlement.

T. C. Newby confused the public by claims in his edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. See Harper Brothers

The publication of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1847, forced Charlotte and Anne to reveal their separate identities to George Smith. Though Emily refused to accompany her sisters to London, or to reveal the true identity of Ellis Bell. They travelled to London to confront the astonished George Smith in his Cornhill office. The sisters stayed at the Chapter Coffee House. During their visit, Smith took the sisters to see a performance of Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville at Covent Garden.

You can see the text of Charlotte's published notes on Acton Bell, Currer Bell, and Ellis Bell on several WWW sites, including:

Bewick, Thomas
[1753-1828] A wood engraver and naturalist. The engravings in his book A History of British Birds [1797-1804] greatly influenced the Brontë children

Binns, Anne
[1???-1???] Of Saltaire. Married sister of Martha Brown. In 1868 Martha Brown went to live with Anne and her family

Black Tom
Anne's black kitten/cat

Blackwood's Magazine
A Tory monthly periodical started as the Edinburgh Monthly Magazine by Edinburgh publisher, William Blackwood [1776-1834] in April 1817. The magazine ceased publication in 1980.

Branwell sent my letters to the magazine, imploring them to publish his stories

Blanche, Mlle
[1???-18??] A teacher at Pensionnat Heger alongside Charlotte. Charlotte wrote that she was a spy for Mme Heger

Blythe, Rev Ian
[1???-1???] Teacher of Latin, Greek and Philosophy at the Clergy Daughters' School

A noisy preacher or a loud speaker. The word means sons of thunder, a term used in the book of Mark in Bible for the Apostles, James and John, the sons of Zebedee

See Patrick Boanerges

Boanerges, Patrick
Charlotte's name for Branwell in a letter she wrote to Ellen Nussey on 29th September 1840.

The Greek for thunder is bronte, and boanerges means sons of thunder

Bonnell Room
at Haworth Parsonage.

A part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum which presents some of the material from the archives of the museum.

See Bonnell Room

The Bonnell Room [Room 12]
at Haworth Parsonage.

This part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum was opened in 1960, and presents some of the material from the archives of the museum.

It is named for the American bibliophile, Henry Houston Bonnell [18??-1926] of Philadelphia USA, who bequeathed part of his large collection of Brontë documents – first editions, letters, manuscripts – to the museum

Bradley, James Chesterton
[1???-18??] Curate at Oakworth from 1845-1847. He later went to work at All Saints' Church, Paddington, London.

He was a model for Rev David Sweeting in Shirley

Bradley, John
[1???-18??] Of Keighley. In 1829, he gave art lessons to the Brontë children

Branwell, Charlotte
[17??-18??] Second sister of Maria Branwell.

On 29th December 1812, she married a cousin, Joseph Branwell, at Madron church, Penzance on the same day that Maria Branwell and Rev Brontë married.

Charlotte Brontë is named after her

Branwell, Elizabeth
[1776-1842] Elder sister of Maria Brontë.

In 1821, she came to live at Haworth Parsonage to nurse her ailing sister, Maria, and to look after the children.

She was known as Aunt Branwell to the children.

See Aunt Branwell's teapot

Branwell, Joseph
[17??-18??] A cousin of Maria Charlotte Branwell. Charlotte married him at Madron church, Penzance on the same day that Maria Branwell and Rev Brontë married

Branwell, Maria
[1783-1821] Wife of Rev Brontë and mother of the Brontë children

Branwell's Studio [Room 10]
at Haworth Parsonage.

There is a collection of paintings by Branwell

Branwell, Thomas
[1746-1804] In 1768, he married Anne Carne. Their 11 children included: Elizabeth, Maria, Charlotte. He was a prosperous wine-merchant in Penzance. He was a member of Penzance Town Council. The family were Methodists. After his death, he left Maria a legacy of £50 per year

Briery Close
Lake Windermere. Home of Sir James Kay Shuttleworth. In 1850, Charlotte stayed there and met Mrs Gaskell

Brigg, Sir John
[18??-1???] Of Kildwick Hall. First President of the Brontë Society

The surname is originally spelled Prunty and Brunty.

After 1802, when Patrick Brontë entered Cambridge, he changed the spelling of his name to Branty, then Bronte, then to Bronté and Brontë in 1809

Rev Brontë's Bedroom [Room 9]
at Haworth Parsonage.

When his health began to deteriorate with drugs and alcohol, Branwell shared this room with his father.

The half-tester bed is a reproduction based upon one of Branwell's drawings

Brontë bridge
A clapper bridge on the way to Top Withens.

The present bridge is a reconstruction of that which would have been known by the Brontë family

Brontë, Elizabeth
[1814-1825] Second daughter of the Brontë family. She was born at Hartshead on 8th February 1815. She was named after her mother's sister.

In 1823, she and Maria were sent to school at Crofton Hall. In July 1824, she and Maria were sent to school at Cowan Bridge. In May 1825, she was diagnosed with consumption and returned home from school. In June 1825, she died at Haworth at the age of 10

Brontë falls

Brontë family
Family of writers and artists who lived and worked at Hartshead and Haworth in the early 19th century.

See the entries for:

Brontë Forum
An Internet discussion group of topics relevant to the Brontë family:


Brontë, Maria
[1814-1825] Eldest daughter of the Brontë family. She was born at Clough House, Hartshead on 23rd April 1814. She was named after her mother.

After the death of her mother in 1821, she took on the rôle of mother to her siblings.

In 1823, she and Elizabeth, were sent to school at Crofton Hall.

In July 1824, she and Elizabeth were sent to school at Cowan Bridge. In February 1825, she was diagnosed with consumption and returned home from school.

Mrs Gaskell implied that she was probably the model for Helen Burns in Jane Eyre.

She died in May 1825 at Haworth at the age of 11

Brontë Parsonage Museum

The Brontë school
In 1841, Charlotte, Emily and Anne discussed the idea of opening their own school

Brontë Society
Formed in 1893 by a group including Clement Shorter, T. J. Wise. The first president was Sir John Brigg and there were 103 members. The first Annual Meeting was held at Dewsbury Town Hall on 8th December 1894.

Haworth Parsonage was given to Society in 1928 and is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Rev Brontë's Study [Room 2]
at Haworth Parsonage.

Rev Brontë conducted his parish meetings and other business here. He also ate his meals here.

There is a copy of John Martin's Day of Judgement over the fireplace.

Emily and Anne practised on the cottage piano here

The Brontës: Their Lives, Friendships & Correspondence
Aka Shakespeare Head Brontë. 4 volumes published by the Shakespeare Head Press [1932]. Edited by T. J. Wise & J. A. Symington

Broughton House
Broughton-in-Furness. Home of Robert Postlethwaite

Brown, John
[1???-1855] Stonemason and sexton at Haworth. He was a friend and confidant of Branwell who painted his portrait

Brown, Martha
[1828-1880] She was one of the six daughters of Mary & John Brown. In 1839, during Tabby's absence, Rev Brontë engaged her – at the age of 10 – as a washer-maid and servant at the Parsonage. She worked under Aunt Branwell's orders. The greater part of the skilled and the heavy work fell upon the Brontë girls, with Emily becoming Housekeeper

She looked after the dying Charlotte.

In 1861, she left Haworth and went to Northern Ireland with Arthur Bell Nicholls. In 1862, she returned to Haworth to live with her mother. In 1868, she went to Saltaire to live with her sister Anne Binns and her family In 1877, she returned to Haworth. In 1880, she died of stomach cancer at Haworth. She was buried in Haworth churchyard

Brown, Misses
Pseudonyms used by Charlotte and Emily when they visited London in 1848 to reveal the identities of the Bells to George Smith

Brown, William
[1???-18??] Brother of John Brown.

On 22nd September 1848, when Branwell collapsed in the street at Haworth, William helped the exhausted man home

Browne, Dr T. P.
[1???-18??] MD and phrenologist whom George Smith and Charlotte consulted at Richmond, Surrey, in June 1851. They used the names Mr & Miss Fraser. His report was entitled A phrenological estimate of the talents and dispositions of a lady

An alternative form of Brontë

Brunty, Hugh
[1733-1809] Father of Rev Brontë. In 1776, he married Eleanor McClory. She was probably Catholic, he was Protestant. The children were brought up as Protestants

Brunty, Hugh
[1781-1???] Third son of Hugh Brunty and brother of Rev Brontë

Brunty, James
[1???-18??] Brother of Rev Brontë

Brunty, Sarah
[1???-18??] Sister of Rev Brontë. She married Simon Collins. They had a daughter, Rose Anne

Brunty, William
[1???-18??] Brother of Rev Brontë. He had a son, William

Bryce, Rev David
[1???-1840] An Irish curate to Rev Hodgson. In August 1839, he came to Haworth to visit Rev Brontë. He later proposed to Charlotte, but she declined – possibly on account of his being Irish and beneath her. He died suddenly 6 months later

Buckworth, Rev John
[17??-1835] He was Vicar of All Saints, Dewsbury [1806-1835]. In 1809, Rev Brontë became his curate, until he appointed Rev Brontë minister at Hartshead in 1810

Burder, Mary Mildred Davy
[1789-1866] She came from a wealthy Congregationalist family. She lived with her widowed aunt at Finchingfield Park. Whilst he was curate at Wethersfield, Rev Brontë lodged with her aunt. He fell in love with her. He proposed to her and was accepted. He then withdrew his proposal. He moved to Wellington, and they never met again. In April 1823, after his wife died, he did write to her mother and then Mary herself, in the hope that they might marry, but she refused him. She later married Rev Peter Sibree

The name for Bridlington until the 19th century


Calvin, John
[1509-1564] Aka Jean Cauvin. Swiss Protestant church reformer born in France. He was the first systematic theologian of the Protestant movement. His theological system is known as Calvinism, and his church government as Presbyterianism. His doctrine stresses the impact of God's control on events on Earth according to a predetermined plan

Carne, Anne
[1744-1809] In 1768, she married Thomas Branwell

Carter, Rev Edward
[1???-1???] At Mirfield church. Anne met him whilst she was at Roe Head. He was succeeded by Rev Ralph Maude

Castle Tavern, London
High Holborn. Thomas Winter – aka Tom Spring – was landlord. Branwell drank here when he visited London in 1835

The cellar
The cellar at Haworth Parsonage

Chapel Royal
Place de Musée, Brussels. Protestant church. Rev Evan Jenkins preached here. Charlotte and Emily worshipped here when they were at the Pensionnat Heger

Chapone, Mrs Hester
[1727-1801] English essayist. From Northamptonshire. Her Letters on the improvement of the mind [1773] were used at Roe Head

Chapter Coffee House
Paternoster Row, London. Near St Paul's Cathedral on the north side of the churchyard. The place was popular with academics and the clergy. Thomas Chatterton, Oliver Goldsmith, and Dr Samuel Johnson frequented the place in the 18th century. Many of the Brontë family lodged here on their visits to London.

Rev Brontë had discovered the place in his student days. In 1835, Branwell stayed here. In 1842, Charlotte, Emily, and Rev Brontë – and Mary Taylor and her brother Joe – had stayed here on their way to Brussels. In July 1848, Charlotte and Anne stayed here on their trip to reveal the identities of the Bells.

The place was disused when Mrs Gaskell visited in 1856

Charlotte's Room [Room 7]
at Haworth Parsonage.

After Maria's death in this room, the room was used by Aunt Branwell. Her dislike of the cold meant that this room was over-heated whilst the rest of the rooms were cold. Aunt Branwell taught the children here

Charnock, Mr
[17??-18??] The second incumbent of Haworth Parsonage and predecessor of Rev Brontë

Château de Koekelberg
A fashionable young ladies' school – in a suburb of Brussels – which Martha Taylor and Mary attended in 1842, at the same time that Charlotte and Emily were at the Pensionnat Heger.

Martha died at the school

The Child's First Tales
A series of cautionary tales for young readers written by Rev William Carus Wilson. It contained grim pictures of children in coffins, and men being hanged and suspended in chains

Children's Friend
Magazine produced by Rev William Carus Wilson. The stories were bizarre and reveal his attitude to children and beliefs

Clergy Daughters' School
Cowan Bridge, near Kirkby Lonsdale. Founded by Rev Carus Wilson in 1824 for the daughters of impoverished clergymen.

William Wood's records show that Charlotte's coffin measured 4 ft 9 inches, and Emily's measured 5 ft 7 inches in length and 16 inches wide

Colburn, Henry
[1???-18??] London publisher to whom the sisters sent The Professor, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. on 4th July 1846. He turned them down

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
[1772-1834] English romantic poet.

His poems include The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, Kubla Khan. In 1794-95, he was involved with Southey in a plan to found a communist colony in the USA. In 1797, he met Wordsworth and they collaborate on Lyrical Ballads in 1798. He became addicted to opium.

He married Sara Fricker.

Children: (1) Sara; (2) Berkeley; (3) Derwent; (4) Hartley

Collins, Mrs
[1???-1???] Wife of a former – dissolute – curate of Keighley. The Rev Collins led a life of vice in England and in France, and abandoned his wife and 2 children to disease and destitution in Manchester. In 1847, she visited the family at Haworth. Her story may have inspired Anne to write The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Collins, Rose Anne
[1822-1915] Niece of Rev Brontë. Daughter of Simon Collins and Sarah Brunty. She married David Heslip. They had a daughter, Emily

Cook, E.
[1???-1???] One of Charlotte's pupils at Roe Head

The Cottage in the Wood
or The art of becoming rich and happy. A religious tale – about a peasant girl who converts a rake into a Christian marriage – by Patrick Brontë published by T. Inkersley of Bradford in 1815

Cottage piano
A small upright piano which was popular in the 19th century. There is one in Rev Brontë's Study at Haworth Parsonage

Cottage Poems
The first book of poetry by Patrick Brontë, published in Halifax by P. K. Holden in 1811. 136 pages. This and other works were concerned with educating and enlightening the poorer, working-class reader.

The book included

  • Epistle to the Rev J B
  • The Happy Cottagers
  • The Rainbow
  • Winter Night Meditations
  • Verses to a Lady on her Birthday
  • The Irish Cabin
  • To the Rev J Gilpin
  • The Cottage Maid
  • The Spider and the Fly
  • Epistle to a Young Clergyman
  • Epistle to the Labouring Poor
  • The Cottager's Hymn

Cottingley Old Hall
Charlotte was refused the post of governess here on account of her lack of a musical skills

Cowan Bridge
2 miles from Kirkby Lonsdale. The location of the Clergy Daughters' School. The River Leck ran near the school. Tunstall Church and Leck Church are nearby

Cowan Bridge controversy
Charlotte's experiences at the Clergy Daughters' School were to inspire much of Jane Eyre: she based Lowood School on Cowan Bridge, and the Rev Brocklehurst was based on Carus Wilson.

When Jane Eyre was published on 16th October 1847, readers recognised the place and the characters.

Charlotte defended herself and refused to withdraw the references – as she did against criticism of the curates in Shirley – by saying that it is true.

In 1857, following Mrs Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë, there was some correspondence in the Halifax Guardian between the ex-pupils of the school about the similarity between Lowood School and Cowan Bridge. Mr Nicholls defended his wife and Mrs Gaskell in the exchange of letters. Former pupils took both sides. Carus Wilson's son complained of slander on his father, and offered a great number of sympathetic letters supporting his father.

Miss Anne Evans gave evidence in defence of the school

A letter which Rev Brontë wrote to The Leeds Mercury in March 1844 about the dangers posed by children's flammable cotton and linen clothing. He said that, in his time at Haworth, he had buried almost 100 children whose clothes had caught fire

Crofton Hall, Wakefield
Fashionable girls`boarding school. Between 1808 and 1820, when Elizabeth Firth attended the school, it was run by Richmal Mangnall. Elizabeth Firth recommended it for Maria and Elizabeth. The 2 girls were sent here in 1823, at which time the school was run by Mrs Hollingsworth. The girls caught whooping-cough at that time. They only remained a short time – possibly because of the cost

Cuba House, Banagher
Arthur Bell Nicholls was brought up here by his uncle, Dr Alan Bell

Cuckoo stone
A rock near Top Withens. It is said to be the petrified head of a men-eating giant

An assistant to the rector or to the vicar. A perpetual curate is a vicar

Currer Bell
Pseudonym of Charlotte Brontë.

During her time as governess to the Sidgwick family at Stone Gappe, Lothersdale, she may have visited Kildwick Church and seen the memorials to the Currer family, thus inspiring the pen name.

In 1848, when Jane Eyre was published with a dedication to Thackeray, there was a rumour that the author, Currer Bell was the pen-name for Thackeray's mistress.

When she had finished Villette, Charlotte asked George Smith if she could publish the book under another pseudonym.

You can see the text of Charlotte's published notes on Acton Bell, Currer Bell, and Ellis Bell on several WWW sites, including:


De Renzi, Rev
[18??-18??] Curate to Rev Brontë during Rev Nicholls's absence

Dewsbury Moor
See Rev Richard Arthur Charles Brodribb, Heald's House, Rev Campbell Sleigh Richardson and Rev Hammond Roberson

Dewsbury Moor School
Rev Hammond Roberson ran a private school at Squirrel Hall, Liversedge / Dewsbury Moor [1783], which he transferred to Heald's Hall, Liversedge [1795]. This made him wealthy.

In early 1838, the Misses Wooler moved their school from Roe Head to Heald's House.

Later, Margaret Wooler offered her Dewsbury Moor School to Charlotte who accepted and then abandoned the project

Emily's pet bird

Diary paper
A set of documents which Emily and Anne exchanged and used to record their activities, their thoughts, and their expectations for the years ahead.

In each case, the paper was to be opened and read some time – typically 4 years – later.

  1. 24th November 1834 Both sisters wrote the first paper

  2. 26th June 1837 Emily wrote a paper which was to be opened on 17th January 1841, Anne's 21st birthday.

    This included a drawing of Anne and Emily sitting at work at the dining room table

  3. 31st July 1841 Anne wrote a paper (but dated it 30th) which was to be opened on 17th January 1845, her 25th birthday

  4. 30th July 1841 Emily wrote a paper which was to be opened on 30th July 1843, her 25th birthday

  5. 31st July 1845 Emily wrote the final paper which was to be opened on 30th July 1848, Emily's 30th birthday

The Dining Room [Room 3]
at Haworth Parsonage.

This was the family sitting-room. This is where Charlotte wrote most of her work. Emily died on the sofa here.

Charlotte enlarged the room, moving the wall out into the Entrance Hall.

A copy of the portrait of Charlotte by George Richmond hangs over the fireplace. A plaster cameo of Branwell by J. B. Leyland hangs on the wall

Dixon family
Cousins of Mary and Martha Taylor. They were studying in Brussels at the same time as their cousins and Charlotte and Emily

Emdale (or Imdel), County Down, Northern Ireland. Patrick Brontë was born here. He taught at the parish church school here between 1789 and 1802. The family later moved to the neighbouring Lisnacreevy

See Drumballyroney-cum-Drumgooland

The Duke
The Duke of Wellington. The name which Charlotte gave to one of Branwell's toy soldiers. The Duke of Wellington and his 2 sons – Charles Wellesley and Arthur Wellesley – fascinated Charlotte.

She met the Duke of Wellington on her visit to London in 1850

Dury, Caroline
[1???-1???] Sister of the Rev Dury, Rector of Keighley. William Weightman was interested in her

Dury, Isabella
[1???-18??] Sister of the Rev Dury, Rector of Keighley. Rev Brontë proposed to her in 1822. She rejected him, saying that she was not so stupid as to marry a man with 6 children

Dury, Rev
[1???-18???] Rector of Keighley. Isabella and Caroline were his sisters


Earthquake on the Moors
Pamphlet by Patrick Brontë published by T. Inkersley of Bradford in 1824. It was intended to be a Sunday School prize. Subtitled The Phenomenon or An Account in Verse of the Extraordinary Disruption of a Bog which took place in the moors of Haworth on the 12th day of September 1824, this describes the marsh at Crow Hill which exploded causing a landslide of mud, water and boulders down Haworth moor

East Yorkshire. Charlotte visited the town with Ellen Nussey

Elder, Alexander
[17??-18??] He began publishing in 1819. Partner in Smith, Elder & Company

Supported by charity, or giving charity. Charlotte uses the term in Shirley

Ellis Bell
Pseudonym of Emily Brontë. It is possible that the Christian name of Eleanor McClory was the origin of the name Ellis

You can see the text of Charlotte's published notes on Acton Bell, Currer Bell, and Ellis Bell on several WWW sites, including:

or Imdel. Hamlet in County Down, Northern Ireland. The hamlet was 30 miles south of Belfast and 70 miles from Dublin

Novel by Charlotte Brontë. The work was not completed. It was published posthumously in 1860.

The Entrance Hall [Room 1]
at Haworth Parsonage.

Because of Rev Brontë's fear of fire, the stairs, hall and corridors were uncarpeted. As a consequence of Charlotte's extending the Dining Room, the hall is narrower than originally. The wall on left-hand side of the main doorway is also narrower than that on the right

The texts of the epitaphs for some members and friends of the Brontë family are recorded at:

Epps, Dr
[1???-1???] A London physician to whom William Smith Williams suggested that Charlotte write – on 9th December 1848 – for a second opinion on Emily's condition

Evans, Miss Anne
[1792-1857] Born on 22nd July 1792. Superintendent at Cowan Bridge until 1826. In 1826, she left the school and married Rev James Connor of Melton Mowbray on 6th July 1826. She died on 31st January 1857.

See Cowan Bridge controversy

She was a model for Miss Temple in Jane Eyre

Evans, William
[1???-1???] Whig politician of Allestree, Derbyshire. He married Mary, the older sister of Lydia Gisborne

Exhibition Room [Room 11]
at Haworth Parsonage.

This part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum looks at the life and works of the Brontë family

Eyre family
Of North Lees. When Charlotte and Ellen Nussey stayed at Hathersage in 1845, they visited North Lees.

The family have been important in the district since the 15th century.

A family legend tells of the first mistress who went insane and was confined in a padded room on the second floor of North Lees. She subsequently died in a fire. This probably inspired some of Jane Eyre


Fantasy world
From 1825 – following the deaths of their sisters Maria and Elizabeth – the remaining Brontë children invented and wrote about their fantasy worlds. Originally, the stories were oral, but the children moved on to Scribblemania and wrote them down

Feather, Samuel
[18??-18??] Haworth postmaster from 1862, succeeding William Hartley. He had a shop in Main Street

Felix, Elisa
[1820-1858] Swiss-born French actress who worked under the stage-name Rachel.

On a visit London on 7th June 1851, Charlotte saw her as Adrienne in Scribe's Adrienne Lecouvreur, and on 21st June, as Camille in Corneille's Les Trois Horaces at the Theáatre Français.

She was a model for the character of Vashti in Villette

Fennell, Jane Branwell
[1791-1827] Daughter of John Fennell and Jane Branwell. William and Jane, and Patrick and Maria Brontë were married at a double wedding in 1812. John Fennell gave both brides away. John and Jane were Emily's god-parents

Figgs, Mr Sudbury
The children's nickname for their music teacher Abraham Sunderland

Finch, Miss
[1???-1???] Teacher of Singing and Scourgemistress at the Clergy Daughters' School

Finchingfield Park
Essex. Home of Mary Burder. She lived here with her widowed aunt – Mildred Davy – her brother, and her uncle – her guardian

The First Duty of Women
A collection of essays written by Mary Taylor and published in 1870 when she returned to England. The book was
designed to inculcate the duty of earning money on every woman in order to protect herself from the danger of being forced to marry

A black and white King Charles spaniel given to Anne in 1843 by the Robinson girls. Charlotte did a painting of the dog. The dog died shortly before Charlotte.

The name is spelled Flossy and Flossie. Flossie is the name used in the Parsonage Museum

Franks, Mrs
See Elizabeth Firth

Fraser, Mr Alexander & Miss
Brother and sister. The names which George Smith and Charlotte used when they visited T. P. Browne for a phrenological consultation in June 1851

French language
Charlotte learned French when she was at Roe Head and corresponded with Ellen Nussey in the language.

In 1842, Charlotte and Emily decided to go to Brussels to improve their languages – see Pensionnat Heger.

Rev Brontë compiled his own French phrasebook for use on his journey to accompany his daughters.

Charlotte frequently used French in her novels, when the speakers or the situation were appropriate. She rarely included translations – she did criticise the use of quotations from foreign literature by other authors.

See Languages


The Garden [Room 13]
at Haworth Parsonage.

There was a gateway from the garden into the churchyard

Garrs, Nancy
[1803-1859] In 1816, she joined her sister Sarah as nursemaid to the Brontë children when they lived at Thornton. Both sisters moved to Haworth with the family

Garrs, Sarah
[1806-1899] In 1816, she became nursemaid to the Brontë children at Thornton and then at Haworth. Both sisters were close to the children and their stories often tested Mrs Gaskell's accounts.

Both she and her sister, Nancy, disliked Aunt Branwell. With her sister, Nancy, she was dismissed by Aunt Branwell in 1824 – when the older girls went to school – and they were replaced by Tabitha Aykroyd. In 1824, she married William Newsome. In 1843, they emigrated to America

Gaskell, Mrs
[1810-1865] Elizabeth Cleghorn née Stevenson.

In 1832, she married William Gaskell. They had 4 children: Meta, Flossy, Marianne, Julia.

In 1850, she met Charlotte at Briery Close, the home of Sir James & Lady Shuttleworth.

In September 1853, she visited Haworth and stayed at the Parsonage. She disliked Rev Brontë

In 1855, Rev Brontë – at Ellen Nussey's suggestion – asked Mrs Gaskell to write her Life of Charlotte Brontë. In the spring and summer of 1856, she and her husband spent 2 weeks in Haworth. She stayed at the Black Bull.

She joined Smith, Elder & Company because of Charlotte's involvement with the firm.

In 1857, her The Life of Charlotte Brontë was published by Smith, Elder & Company

Gaskell, William
[18??-18??] A Unitarian minister. In 1832, he married Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson, Mrs Gaskell

Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley
Built in 1600 by the Shuttleworth family of lawyers. It was the home of Sir James & Lady Kay Shuttleworth.

During the period that Charlotte visited the Hall, it was restored by architect Sir Charles Barry [1795-1860].

In 1854, during a visit to Gawthorpe Hall after her marriage, Charlotte caught a cold.

See Brontë Ways

German language
Emily and Anne – with some of the Robinson children – learned the language. Charlotte and Emily learned the language at the Pensionnat Heger.

See Languages

Gisborne, Lydia
[1799-18??] Born in Staffordshire. Her parents were Mary and Rev Thomas Gisborne. Her siblings included: Mary, Thomas, John, William, James, Matthew, Walter Joseph. Her sister, Mary married William Evans. She married Edmund Robinson

Gleneden, R.
An alias used by Emily when she wrote a poem entitled From our evening fireside now in April 1839

Grant, Rev Joseph Brett
[1???-1???] Curate to Rev Brontë from 1844-1845.

He was Vicar of Oxenhope from 1845. He is said to have worne out 14 pairs of shoes in his treks around the district to raise funds for the constrction of the church of St Mary the Virgin at Oxenhope. The church was completed in 1849.

In January 1854, after his moving to Kirk Smeaton, Rev Nicholls stayed with Mr Grant for 10 days.

See Michael Heaton.

He was a model for Rev Joseph Donne in Shirley

Emily's pet dog in August 1833. When the dog died, he was replaced by Keeper

The name which Emily gave to one of Branwell's toy soldiers – on account of his grave expression. The name was later changed to Parry

Greek language
Rev Brontë was a Classicist.

Branwell learned the language from his father. It was said that he could simultaneously write Latin with one hand and Greek with other

The Green Dwarf
A juvenilia story written by Charlotte under the pseudonym Lord Charles Albert Florian Wellesley [1833].

It is said to show the influence of Sir Walter Scott

It was transcribed and published in 2003

Greenhow, Rev Edward
[17??-18??] Vicar of Great Ouseburn from 1811.

See family

Greenhow family
Of Great Ouseburn. In 1845, Anne may have taught the children of Rev Edward GreenhowEliza [1833-1???], Eleanor [1836-1???], Sophia [1838-1???], – whilst she was with the Robinson family at nearby Thorp Green Hall.

At the same time, Branwell may have taught the son, William [18??-1???]

Greenwood, John
[1???-1???] Haworth stationer. The Brontëfamily bought their writing paper here. He kept a diary recording the activities of the Brontë family

Greenwood, Sarah Hannah
[1???-1???] Of Oxenhope. Daughter of a Keighley manufacturer. She married John Benson Sidgwick

Gun group portrait
An oil painting which Branwell made of himself and his 3 sisters around 1833. Branwell is shown carrying a gun.

It is said that Arthur Nicholls thought it a poor likeness and cut out the profile of Emily – the profile portrait – and destroyed the rest. There is a photograph and an engraving of the complete original painting.

See Pillar portrait


Halley's Comet
A pamphlet written by Patrick Brontë on the periodic appearance of the comet in 1834

Hane, Mellany
[18??-1???] A friend of Charlotte when she attended Cowan Bridge School. She was of West Indian origin and her fees were paid by her brother

Hardacre, Joseph
[1790-1???] Haworth poet. Around 1828, he opened the first druggist's shop in Haworth.

See Old Staff

Harper Brothers
US publishers of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

T. C. Newby tried to sell the book to Harpers as the work of Currer Bell

Harshaw, Rev Andrew
[1???-1???] Vicar in Northern Ireland. He supported Patrick Brunty

Hartley, William
[1???-1???] Haworth postmaster. His shop stood in Main Street. A clock by Zerubbabel Barraclough can be seen there

Derbyshire town about 11 miles from Sheffield. In 1845, Rev Henry Nussey became vicar. Charlotte and Ellen visited him there in June-July 1845, and helped him move in.

The Eyre family of North Lees was prominent in the district.

Moscar Cross is nearby.

Nussey lived at Moorseats which may have been the inspiration for Moor House in Jane Eyre. Hathersage may be a model for Morton and the scenery of the district was used for that around the home of the Rivers family in Jane Eyre

Haworth Parsonage
Millstone grit house built in 1778. The Brontë family moved here in 1820. The Parsonage came with the living.

See Haworth Parsonage

Haworth Sanitation
The churchyard and its graves were at the top of the Main Street.

The well and the privy for the Parsonage were in the churchyard. Much of the water which fed the village flowed from wells near the churchyard, and the main street was an open sewer. There was an open privy by the Black Bull.

These conditions affected the mortality and life span of the population.

Between 1848 and 1851, and at Rev Brontë's invitation, Benjamin Herschel Babbage an inspector with the Board of Health, conducted surveys of the sanitary conditions in Haworth.

Babbage recorded that

  • there had been 1344 burial in 10 years
  • a death rate of 30%
  • 22% of children died before they were 6 months old
  • 41.6% of children died before they were 6 years old

He recommended that the churchyard be closed, but this was not done until several years later

Heald's House
Dewsbury Moor.

Rev Hammond Roberson ran a private school at Dewsbury Moor and later at Healds Hall, Liversedge, which made him wealthy.

The Misses Wooler moved their school from Roe Head to Heald's House in early 1838. This was to be nearer to their aging mother, Mrs Wooler.

Charlotte returned in 1838, by which time the school had moved to Heald's House.

In 1841, Margaret Wooler offered the School – and all equipment and furniture – to Charlotte she accepted then abandoned the proposal, preferring to study abroad.

The school closed in 1841

Heald, Canon William Margetson
[1803-1875] Vicar of Birstall [1837]. A friend of Ellen Nussey

He – and his father – were the model for the character Cyril Hall in Shirley

Heaton, Elizabeth
[1795-1816] Sister of Robert Heaton and Michael Heaton.

She married a delivery boy, John Bake, and they had one daughter. The marriage failed, and she returned to live at Ponden Hall. She died there and the child died shortly afterwards

Heaton, Michael
[1790-1860] Brother of Robert Heaton and Elizabeth Heaton. Lived at Royd House, Oxenhope. He was father of Robert Heaton.

When he died, Rev Brontë refused to bury him in Haworth churchyard, and forbade Rev Nicholls from performing the ceremony, despite on order from the Secretary of State. Rev Brontë argued that the churchyard was full. He was eventually buried by Rev Grant of Oxenhope

Heaton, Robert
[1787-1846] Brother of Michael Heaton and Elizabeth Heaton. Owner of Ponden House.

He had 5 sons

Heaton, Robert
[1819-18??] Son of Michael Heaton. In 1842, he married Mary Ann Bailey and they had a child – probably conceived out of wedlock – shortly afterwards

Heger, Claire Zoë
[1805-1890] Née Parent. Second wife of Constantin Heger. They married in 1836 and had several children: Maria, Louise, Claire, Prospère, and the baby Victorine who was born whilst Charlotte was at her school.

She ran the Pensionnat Heger which she had inherited the school from her aunt, an ex-nun known as La Tante de Charleville.

She was a model for Zoraïde Reuter in The Professor

Heger, Constantin Georges Romain
[1809-1896] Son of a jeweller. His father lost his fortune.

In 1830, Constantin married Marie-Joseph Noyer and they had one daughter. His wife is a model for Justine-Marie in Villette.

Both mother and child died in a cholera epidemic in September 1833.

In 1836, he married Zoë Parent.

He was Principal – and teacher of French and Mathematics – at the Athénée Royal in Brussels [1853-1855]. He was also Master of Literature at the Pensionnat Heger run by his second wife, Zoë.

He recognised Charlotte's writing abilities.

Charlotte fell in love with him and wrote him many letters. In 1843, Mme Heger became suspicious.

After she left the school in 1844, she wrote to him every 2 weeks. He suggested that she confine her letters to impersonal matters. Mme Heger said that the letters should be restricted to one every 6 months. He tore Charlotte's letters up and threw them into the waste-paper basket. His wife found the fragments of 3 of the letters and pasted or stitched them back together again and kept them in her jewellery box. His letters became fewer, and he ceased writing to her in 1845. Heger's letters to Charlotte were not preserved. Her last letter was dated 18th November 1845.

In 1913, the son and daughter of the Hegers gave Charlotte's 4 surviving letters to the British Museum.

In The Brontës and their world, Phyllis Bentley, who consulted the Heger's grand-daughter, says that the name should be written without an accent

Heslip, Emily
[1???-1???] Grand-niece of Rev Brontë. Daughter of Rose Anne Collins and David Heslip. She married Hugh Bingham. They lived at Odsal

Higher Withens
Aka Top Withens

Highroyd, Gomersal
House built by Mary Taylor when she returned to England.

It is now the Gomersal Park Hotel

Hodgson, Rev
[17??-18??] A former curate of Rev Brontë. Vicar of Colne, Lancashire. His curate was Rev David Bryce

Hodgson, Richard H.
[1???-1???] A Keighley solicitor. He was a popular local figure.

He may be a model for Dr John in Shirley

Hollingsworth, Mrs
[17??-18??] Headmistress at Crofton Hall, Wakefield

Charlotte's name for Haworth when she was a child

Hunsworth Mill, Cleckheaton
Joshua Taylor's woollen mill.

For a time, Mary Taylor and her brother John and Joe lived in a cottage at the back of the mill


Or Emdale. Hamlet in County Down, Northern Ireland. The hamlet was 30 miles south of Belfast and 70 miles from Dublin

The Influence of circumstances
Title of a lecture which Rev Brontë gave at the Keighley Mechanics Institute

Ingham family
Methodist family of Blake Hall, near Mirfield. In 1839, Anne became a governess to the children of Joshua Ingham and his wife, Mary: Cunliffe [aged 7] and Mary [aged 5].

In December 1839, she was dismissed by the family on account of her difficulty in controlling the unruly children. She is said to have tied the children to a table leg whilst she got on with her writing

Agnes Grey was based upon her own experiences as a governess with the Ingham family.

Cunliffe Ingham was a model for the character Tom, and Mary Ingham was a model for the character Mary Ann

Ingham, Joshua
[1???-1???] Of Blake Hall, near Mirfield. A Puritan. He was a magistrate and a business man. He married Miss Lister, sister of Miss E. Lister. Head of the Ingham family

Inkersley, T.
[17??-18??] Bradford publisher of Rev Brontë's The Cottage in the Wood and Earthquake on the Moors


Jane Eyre
Novel written by Charlotte Brontë under the name Currer Bell [1847]

Emily's pet pheasant

Jenkins, Rev Evan
[1???-18??] The Chaplain at the British Embassy in Brussels. He preached at the Protestant Chapel Royal. His wife found places for Charlotte and Emily at the Pensionnat Heger, and they entertained the girls during their time at the school. They had two sons: John and Edward

John Henry
A novel about social unrest in the north of England which Charlotte was planning to write around 1846. It was essentially a reworking of The Professor. She abandoned it after 3 chapters

Judson, Martha
[1???-18??] Née Feather. She was married to James Judson. In July 1840, she had a daughter, Mary Ann, who had red-hair and was rumoured to be Branwell's child


Emily's dog. It was a bull-mastiff.

Mrs Gaskell tells us that Emily beat the dog because it slept on a bed.

It is said to have followed Emily's coffin to the graveside, and howled at her bedroom door at night. In 1851, the dog died, depriving Charlotte of a link with her sister.

He was a model for Tartar in Shirley

Kingston, Elizabeth Jane
[18??-1???] Niece of Aunt Branwell – the daughter of a Branwell sister. Together with the 4 remaining Brontë children, she was a beneficiary of Aunt Branwell's will. The girls each received about £350

Kipping House, Thornton
Lower Kipping Lane. Home of Elizabeth Firth

Kirby Hall
House which stood near Thorp Green Hall, Little Ouseburn. Henry Stephen Thompson and his family lived here. The house had a large lake which had been made by damming the River Ouse.

Anne uses some features of the house for Horton Lodge in Agnes Grey

Kirby, Isaac
[1???-18??] A porter and ale merchant. Mr and Mrs Kirby were Branwell's landlord at 3 Fountain Street, Bradford, when he went to the city in 1837 – see Rev William Morgan. When he attempted to become a professional artist, Mr & Mrs Kirby were some of Branwell's first subjects. He painted Mrs Kirby's portrait in lieu of rent

The Kitchen [Room 4]
at Haworth Parsonage.

The window of the original kitchen was blocked when the Rev Wade added a west wing in 1881. The fireplace was removed and the room became a passage way to the new wing. The present kitchen is a reconstruction

The Knoll
Ambleside home of Harriet Martineau In December 1850, Charlotte stayed here. She met Dr Matthew Arnold, headmaster of Rugby school


The members of the family acquired several foreign languages.

See French language, German language, Greek language, Latin language

Lascelles, Rev Edward
[1809-18??] Vicar of Little Ouseburn Church from 1837. He was unpopular in the parish.

He was a model for Edward Hatfield in Agnes Grey

Latin language
Rev Brontë was a Classicist.

Branwell learned the language from his father. It was said that he could simultaneously write Greek with one hand and Latin with other

A pet name that Charlotte used when writing to Emily

Law Hill Poems
A set of poems which Emily wrote whilst she was at Law Hill School. Many of these were concerned with he fantasy world Gondal

Law Hill School
A school for young ladies opened at Law Hill House, Southowram, in 1825 by Misses Elizabeth & Maria Patchett. The school was in the separate building on the left of the gate to the house.

From September 1838, Emily worked there as a teacher replacing Maria Patchett, who had married. Her salary was about £20 per year. At that time, about 40 pupils attended the school.

Of the school, Charlotte wrote in October 1838 of Emily's duties:

Hard labour from 6 in the morning until near 11 at night, with only one half-hour of exercise in between – this is slavery. I fear she will never stand it
In March 1839, after 6 months at the school – the exact dates are uncertain – Emily resigned and returned to Haworth, telling her pupils that she preferred the dog to any of them. She returned to Haworth.

High Sunderland and Shibden Hall stood near Law Hill House, down the hillside of Shibden Valley and, together with the stories about Jack Sharp, may have inspired Emily when she wrote Wuthering Heights

Leck Church
The village of Leck, Lancashire is very near Cowan Bridge.

Some of the children who died at the Clergy Daughters' School are buried in St Peter's Church here

Lever, Sir Tresham
[1900-1975] Gave money for the construction of the Brontë Memorial Chapel

Lewes, George Henry
[1817-1878] Writer, critic, and essayist with whom Charlotte corresponded. From 1854, he was the common-law husband of Mary Ann Evans [George Eliot]. Charlotte was hurt by his criticism of Shirley

A part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

This is open to researchers by appointment. It is not accessible to the general public

The Life of Charlotte Brontë

County Down, Ireland. Around 1781, Hugh Brunty and his family moved here from Drumballyroney. The family later moved to the neighbouring town of Ballynaskeagh

Lister, Miss E.
[1???-18??] One of Charlotte's pupils at Roe Head. Charlotte recorded that Miss Lister bored her. She was the sister of Mrs Joshua Ingham

Little Miss Boisterous
Nickname given to Martha Taylor when she was at Roe Head

Little Ouseburn Church
The local church when Anne worked at Thorp Green Hall. Rev Edward Lascelles was vicar here

Lockhart, John Gibson
[1794-1854] Biographer and poet. He married the eldest daughter of Sir Walter Scott

London visits: Charlotte
Charlotte made several visits to London. On some of these, she stayed at the Chapter Coffee House

Lousy Thorn Farm
Aka Thornbush Farm

Lower Withens

See Top Withens

The title of an early draft of The Professor


The Maid Of Killarney
or Albion and Flora: A modern tale in which are interwoven some cursory remarks on religion and politics, by Patrick Brontë published anonymously in London in 1818. This is the tale of an Englishman in Ireland who meets and marries an irish girl. It addresses several current and political issues

The Major
A nickname given to Emily – by William Weightman – on account of her watchfulness over her sisters

Mangnall, Richmal
[17??-1820] Headmistress of Crofton Hall, Wakefield [1808-1820]. In 1798, she wrote poetry, a geography book, and a book entitled Historical & Miscellaneous Questions

Marriott, Miss
[1???-1???] Daughter of Mrs Marriott. One of Charlotte's pupils at Roe Head

Marriott, Mrs
[1???-1???] She owned a coal business at Mirfield. Roe Head was on her land, and her daughter went to the school

Marshall, Ann
[18??-1847] Maid to Mrs Lydia Robinson at Thorp Green Hall. She died of consumption on 6th April 1847

Martin, John
[1789-1854] Artist whose dramatic landscapes influenced the Brontë children's images of Glasstown and their fantasy worlds

Martineau, Harriet
[1802-1876] Journalist, economist, and novelist. She was deaf – and used an ear-trumpet – and turned to writing, rather than teaching. She wrote children's books. Charlotte met her in London. Charlotte knew her Deerbrook [1839]. In 1850, Charlotte stayed with her at her home, The Knoll, in Ambleside. She met Matthew Arnold at this time.

In 1853, a harsh review which she wrote for Charlotte's Villette led to the end of their friendship

As an educational device, Rev Brontë gave the children a mask which they wore in turn as he asked them questions, suspecting that the child would be more expressive if he/she could not be seen

The Master
The title of an early draft of The Professor

Maude, Rev Ralph
[1???-1???] At Mirfield church. He succeeded Rev Edward Carter

McClory, Eleanor / Elinor
[17??-1???] Known as Alice. In 1776, she married Hugh Brunty.

She was probably Catholic, her husband Protestant.


  1. Patrick
  2. child
  3. child
  4. child
  5. child
  6. child
  7. child
  8. child
  9. child
  10. child
  11. child
  12. child

It is possible that her Christian name was the origin of that of Ellis Bell

McTurk, Dr
[1???-1???] A Bradford doctor who attended Charlotte in March 1855, and diagnosed that her illness was not fatal

Middle Withens
This was an inn. Demolished.

See Top Withens

Miss Miles
or A tale of Yorkshire life sixty years ago. A novel by Mary Taylor. It was published in 1890

Miller, Maria
[18??-18??] An English pupil at the Pensionnat Heger

The name which Branwell gave to a dark female shade which he said haunted him when he went to Liverpool and Wales with John Brown in 1845

Modern Domestic Medicine
A book much-used – and annotated – by Rev Brontë in concerns about his and the family's health.

The annotations show Rev Brontë's major worries – insanity, indigestion, cataracts

Monk's House
Little Ouseburn. Branwell lodged here when he was a tutor with the Robinson family at nearby Thorp Green Hall in 1843

Rev Nussey's house at Hathersage.

It may have been the inspiration for Moor House in Jane Eyre

Morgan, Rev William
[1782-1858] A Welshman. He was a curate with Rev Brontë at Wellington. He became curate at Bierly, near Bradford. He became engaged to Jane Fennell. William and Jane, and Patrick and Maria Brontë were married at a double wedding in 1812. John Fennell gave both brides away.

Branwell painted his portrait. He found accommodation for Branwell with Mrs Kirby in Bradford

Mr Morgan christened Emily. He conducted Mrs Brontë's funeral.

He may be a model for Rev Boultby in Shirley

See Emily Jane Brontë

Murray, Elizabeth
[1???-1???] She was the daughter of a glass manufacturer. She married George Smith, and was the mother of George Murray Smith.

Mrs Bretton in Villette has some of her characteristics


Emily's pet merlin hawk. She had found the bird injured on the moors, and took it home to nurse it back to health. On 27th October 1841, she painted a picture of a bird which may be Nero. Aunt Branwell gave the bird away whilst Emily was at the Pensionnat Heger.

The name of the bird is sometimes recorded as Hero

Newby, Thomas Cautley
[1???-18??] Of 72 Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, London. A fairly unscrupulous publisher. In 1848, when presented with the sisters' 3 novels, he rejected Charlotte's The Professor, but would publish Emily's Wuthering Heights and Anne's Agnes Grey on condition that they paid him – a total of £50 for 300 copies. When 250 copies had been sold, the £50 would be refunded. The books were poorly printed and full of mistakes.

He announced that Acton Bell was the author of Jane Eyre, and that Currer Bell was the author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. See Harper Brothers

His action stimulated the sisters to reveal the identities of the Bells

Newsome, William
[1???-18??] Married Sarah Garrs in 1824

Rev Nicholls's Study [Room 5]
at Haworth Parsonage.

Until his marriage to Charlotte, Rev Nicholls lodged with John Brown. When they were about to be married, Charlotte rebuilt this former store room – adding a fireplace and a window – to make a study for her husband

A set of ninepins was given to Charlotte by her father in June 1826

North Lees Hall
The home of the Eyre family at Hathersage.

It may have been a model for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre

Pen-name used by Patrick Branwell Brontë when he wrote in a commonplace book kept by Mary Walton

The following are the major published novels of the Brontë family:

The Nursery [Room 8]
at Haworth Parsonage.

The children slept and played here. It later became Emily's bedroom. The room was made smaller when it was altered in the 1850s

Nussey, Ellen
[1817-1897] She was the youngest of 12 children of John Nussey. She joined Roe Head School slightly after Charlotte, and – with Mary Taylor – became one of her closest friends. From May 1831, the two corresponded throughout Charlotte's life. She kept all Charlotte's letters.

In September 1832, Charlotte and Branwell visited the Nussey family home at the Rydings, Birstall.

In August 1833, she paid her first visit to the Parsonage.

In 1839, she and Charlotte spent a holiday in Bridlington.

After Charlotte's marriage, Arthur Nicholls disapproved of his wife's writing to Ellen. He threatened to ban all future correspondence until Ellen promised to burn all his wife's letters. Her answer satisfied Nicholls, though she burned very few. The rest of the letters form the spine of the Brontë legend.

She new nothing of the family's published works until after the deaths of Branwell and Emily.

She was buried at Birstall.

She may have been a model for Caroline Helstone in Shirley.

See George Nussey, Rev Henry Nussey, Mary Taylor, Edmund Morison Wimperis

Nussey, George
[18??-18??] Brother of Ellen Nussey. He was engaged to Amelia Ringrose, but the engagement was broken off when he was diagnosed insane

Nussey, Rev Henry
[1812-1867] Brother of Ellen Nussey. In March 1839 – when he was Curate of Donnington, Sussex – he proposed to Charlotte Brontë. He needed someone to help with a school which he proposed to establish. Charlotte found him dull and refused his proposal. He had already proposed to – and been rejected by – 2 other ladies, including Mary Lutwidge, the daughter of his former Vicar.

He was curate at Dewsbury. In 18??, he was curate at Burton Agnes in East Yorkshire.

He became Vicar of Hathersage in Derbyshire

He may be a model for St John Rivers in Jane Eyre

Nussey, John
[17??-18??] A cloth-merchant from Birstall. Conservative. He and his wife Ellen had 13 children, including Ellen, George, Henry, Joseph. Mr Nussey was dead by the time Ellen met Charlotte at Roe Head. The family lived at the Rydings, Birstall, and then moved to Brookroyd in 1837

Nussey, Joseph
[18??-1846] Brother of Ellen Nussey. He died of alcoholism and tuberculosis


Old Staff
A nickname for Rev Brontë on account of his carrying a shillelagh with him.

Joseph Hardacre wrote:

The neat shillelagh strong and stout
That scorns to break or bend to ought
but lately from Hibernia brought

On Peaceful Death and Painful Life
A sonnet written by Branwell on 14th May 1842. It was published in the Halifax Guardian

On the Advantages of Poverty in Religious Concerns
An essay written by Maria Branwell around 1811. It was never published

Outhwaite, Fanny
[1???-1???] Anne's godmother. A legacy from Fanny made Anne's final trip to Scarborough possible


Nickname which Mary Taylor used when signing letters to Charlotte

The name which Emily gave the toy soldier which she originally called Gravey.

The name came from that of Arctic explorer, Admiral Sir William Edward Parry who led expeditions to find the North-West Passage, [1819-1820], [1821-1823], and [1824-1825], and attempted to reach the North Pole from Spitsbergen by travelling over the ice [1827]

Passages in the Life of an Individual
An early title for Agnes Grey.

Anne was working on the book at the time she was with the Robinson family

Nickname of Martha Taylor

Pillar portrait
Oil painting. In 1834 – when William Robinson was teaching the children – Branwell painted the famous pillar portrait of his sisters – in which he painted out his own image, leaving a pale pillar in the centre of the group. At that time, Charlotte was aged 18, Emily was 16, and Anne was 14.

The portrait had been kept by Arthur Nicholls and was kept folded on top of a cupboard. The creases are clearly visible

See Gun group portrait, Profile portrait

Rev Brontë's dog. Rev Nicholls took the dog to Ireland after Rev Brontë's death

Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell
The Bell Poems was a collection of the sisters' poetry entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell

Rev Brontë and Branwell were Tories

Nickname for Mary Taylor

Postlethwaite, Robert
[17??-18??] JP of Broughton House, Broughton-in-Furness. In 1839, Branwell took up a post as a tutor to John and William, the Postlethwaite sons. In June 1840, he was dismissed for imbibing too freely and not being a good influence on the boys

The Prayer of Leyland the Sculptor
Written by Branwell for Joseph Leyland

A toilet or earth closet in the garden and away from the house.

The two-seater privy was outside the house in the churchyard

The well for the Parsonage was also in the churchyard.

See Sanitation

The Professor
Novel by Charlotte Brontë. Published posthumously in 1857

Profile portrait
An oil painting which Branwell made of Emily. It is the only remaining fragment of the Gun group portrait.

See Pillar portrait

Proposals of marriage: Rev Brontë
After the death of his wife, Maria, Rev Brontë made several proposals of marriage.

- but they were all rejected and he never remarried

Proposals of marriage: Charlotte
Charlotte received several proposals of marriage.

Prunty, Patrick
Aka Patrick Brunty. Likely birth-name for Patrick Brontë.

See Bronté


The children's name for themselves when they played at the Meeting of the Waters

Queen Esther
A water-colour painted by Branwell in 1830. It is a copy of Esther's Feast by John Martin


Stage-name of actress Elisa Felix

Radcliffe, Mrs Ann
[1764-1823] Née Ward. An English writer of Gothic novels, romances of terror. She was one of the first novelists to include descriptions of landscape and weather. In 1797, she wrote The Italian or The Confessional of the Black Penitents

Railway investment
With money left to the children by Aunt Branwell, Emily decided to invest by buying shares in the railway. This was on Ellen Nussey's advice

Emily's pet bird

Red House, Gomersal
Oxford Road, Gomersal, Cleckheaton. A yeoman clothier's house built in 1660. The red-brick – hence the name – home of Joshua Taylor and his family.

It is now The Red House Museum.

See Brontë Way

This was a model for Briarmains in Shirley.

See Brontë Ways

Redhead, Rev
[1???-18??] Rev Brontë's predecessor at St Michael & All Angels, Haworth. He was not popular

Redman, Joseph
[1???-1862] Parish clerk at Haworth. Secretary of the Three Graces Lodge of Freemasons

Richardson, Mr
[17??-1???] The first incumbent of the newly-built Haworth Parsonage in 1778

Richmond, George
[1809-1896] Portrait painter. On her visit to London in June 1850, Charlotte went to his studio in York Street, and he drew her portrait as Currer Bell. Arthur Nicholls took it back to Ireland with him. It is now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. A copy hangs in the Dining Room at the Parsonage.

In 1851, he drew the portrait of Mrs Gaskell. Both drawings were in chalk

Ringrose, Amelia
[18??-18??] Daughter of a Hull merchant. She was engaged to George Nussey but the engagement was broken off when he went insane. In 1850, she married Joe Taylor

Roberts, Sir James
[1848-19??] Son of a Haworth farmer. He knew Rev Nicholls and Martha Brown, and recalls hearing Rev Brontë preach.

In 1927, he bought Haworth Parsonage and gave the property to the Brontë Society, leading the way to the Brontë Parsonage Museum

Robinson, Edmund
[1832-1869] Son of Edmund Robinson. He was Branwell's pupil at Thorp Green Hall. In 1866, he sold Thorp Green Hall estate to Henry Stephen Thompson of nearby Kirby Hall. He drowned in a boating accident when a ferryboat carrying members of the York and Ainsty Hunt overturned in the River Ure

Robinson, Edmund
[1800-1846] Head of the Robinson family of Thorp Green Hall. He inherited his father's estate when he was 3 months old, and this was managed by his maiden aunt, Jane. He was trained in holy orders.

In 1824, he became engaged to Lydia Gisborne.

Children: (1) Lydia; (2) Elizabeth; (3) Mary; (4) Edmund.

On 26th May 1846, he died of dyspepsia and phthisis. He was buried at St Mary's Church, Little Ouseburn

Robinson family
Of Thorp Green Hall.

In May 1840, Anne went to work as a governess to the children of the Rev Edmund and Mrs Lydia Robinson: Lydia, Elizabeth aka Bessy [1827-1???], Mary, and Edmund. There was also a baby, Georgiana who died in March 1841.

In 1841, she spent 5 weeks at Scarborough with the family, and in 1842, they spent 6 weeks there. The family rented property there.

In 1842, Anne asked to leave her post with the family in order to stay at Haworth as Charlotte and Emily left to study at the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels, though the family beg her to return.

In January 1843, Branwell obtained a post as a tutor to Edmund, son of the family. In June 1843, the Robinson girls gave Anne a spaniel, Flossy.

In June 1845, Anne resigned from her position with the family. In 1845, Branwell was dismissed from his post with the family for having an affair with Mrs Lydia Robinson – the event was described as proceedings bad beyond expression.

When Mr Robinson died in 1846, Branwell was convinced he would now be able to marry Lydia. However, she did not intend to marry a penniless man who was 17 years her junior, and she created a fiction that Mr Robinson's will required her to stay away from Branwell, and never marry him. She sent him money from time to time, which he spent on drink and drugs in an attempt to alleviate his depression

Robinson, Lydia
[1825-1???] Daughter of Edmund Robinson. On 20th October 1845, she eloped with an actor, Henry Roxby, and got married at Gretna Green. They had 2 sons. She was not mentioned in her father's will, but her brother Edmund left money for her and her sons

Robinson, Mrs Lydia
[1799-1859] Née Lydia Gisborne. Wife of Edmund Robinson.

Ann Marshall was her maid.

On account of hi relationship with Mrs Robinson, Branwell was dismissed from his post as tutor to the family.

After her husband's death, she was unable to manage the estate successfully. The family left Thorp Green Hall on 16th November 1846 and went to live with her brother-in-law, William Evans and her sister Mary at Allestree. Later, she moved to Great Barr to live with Sir Edward Dolman Scott and his wife, Catherine, who was Lydia's cousin.

After the death of his first wife in August 1848, she married Sir Edward in November 1848, and became Lady Scott

Robinson, Mary
[1828-1???] Daughter of the Robinson family. She married Mr Pocock

Robinson, William
[1799-1838] Portrait-painter of Little Woodhouse, Leeds.

In 1834, he was taken on as drawing-master for the Brontë children, at a rate of £2 per lesson.

At this time, Branwell painted The Pillar portrait

Roe Head Journal
Charlotte kept a journal during her time as a teacher at Roe Head school. It records some of her private outbursts

Rogers, Samuel
[1763-1855] Poet. Charlotte met him on a visit to London. In 1850, he was offered, but declined, the position of Poet Laureate

Royd House, Oxenhope
Michael Heaton lived here

Rue d'Isabelle, Brussels
The Pensionnat Heger stood on this street.

The street is mentioned in The Professor.

See Statue of General Belliard

The Rural Minstrel
or A Miscellany of Descriptive Poems. A book of poetry by Patrick Brontë, published in Halifax by P. K. Holden in 1813.

The book included

  • The Sabbath Bells

  • Kirkstall Abbey

  • Extempore Verses

  • Lines to a Lady on her Birthday

  • An Elegy

  • Reflections by Moonlight

  • Winter

  • Rural Happiness

  • The Distress and Relief

  • The Christian's Farewell

  • The Harper of Erin


Saint James's Church, Thornton
See Bell Chapel, Thornton

Saint Mary's Church, Scarborough
Castle Road, Scarborough. The church stands near the castle.

Anne was buried at the church.

When the funeral took place, St Mary's Church was being rebuilt, and the funeral service was held at Christ Church which was near to the lodgings at The Cliff. The cortège passed through the streets of Scarborough to St Mary's churchyard for the interment.

In June 1852, Charlotte visited the grave and realised there were 5 mistakes on the tombstone – including Anne's age which is still shown as 28 (and not the correct 29). She gave instructions to correct these. See Anne's epitaph

Saint Mary Magdalene, Wethersfield
Wethersfield parish church. Rev Patrick Brontë was curate to the vicar, Rev Joseph Jowett here in 1807

Saint Michel & Sainte Gudule, Cathedral of
Roman Catholic cathedral near to the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels.

In 1843, whilst she was alone at the school during the summer vacation, Charlotte took confession here

Saint Oswald's Parish Church, Guiseley
Rev Brontë and Maria married here on 29th December 1812 at a double wedding with William Morgan and Jane Fennell

Scott, Lady Lydia
Formerly Mrs Lydia Robinson.

After Edmund Robinson's death in 1846, she moved to Great Barr to live with Sir Edward Dolman Scott and his wife, Catherine, who was Lydia's cousin.

After the death of his first wife in August 1848, she married Sir Edward in November 1848, and became Lady Scott. Sir Edward died in 1850

In 1825, after the deaths of Maria and Elizabeth, the children embarked on what they called Scribblemania.

In June 1826, Rev Brontë – returning from a church conference in Leeds – gave the children gifts: a set of ninepins for Charlotte, a box of 12 wooden soldiers for Branwell. a toy village for Emily, a dancing doll for Anne. These sparked the children's imaginations and influenced their story-writing. The children began to write plays, poems and stories about their heroes and heroines in tiny hand-made books

Over the next 10 years, the children wrote stories about the fantasy worlds of Angria, Glasstown, Gondal. From about 1831, Charlotte and Branwell wrote the stories about Angria, whilst Anne and Emily went their own way and wrote about Gondal.

Emily worked in the fantasy world for the rest of her life.

Between 1830-32, Branwell wrote a collection of 6 books entitled Letters from an Englishman, the story of a banker in the African colony of Glasstown.

Most of the stories were written on small sheets of folded paper, typically measuring 2 inches in height by 1½ inches in width. Some of the paper was from sugar-bags and re-used wrapping paper.

In 1845, Branwell suggested to his sisters that novel writing was a more profitable business than writing poetry

See Scribblemania

The Servants' Room [Room 6]
at Haworth Parsonage.

The room was originally entered by stairs from the yard. The original window was blocked and a new south window created

Sewell, Thomas
[1???-1???] He and his wife managed the running of Thorp Green Hall

Shakespeare Head Brontë
4 volumes entitled The Brontës Their Lives, Friendships & Correspondence and published by the Shakespeare Head Press [1932].

Edited by T. J. Wise & J. A. Symington

Novel written by Charlotte Brontë under the name Currer Bell [1849]

Shorter, Clement
[1???-19??] One of the founders of The Brontë Society.

After Charlotte's death, he and Thomas Wise obtained her letters from Rev Nicholls, saying that they would be given to the museum at South Kensington and to the nation. Once in possession of the letters, they sold them to anyone who was interested. Many of the papers were split up and sold to buyers around the world.

He edited The Brontës: Life & Letters [1908].

See The Brontës Their Lives, Friendships & Correspondence

Shuttleworth, Sir James Kay
[1804-1877] Of Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley. Doctor of medicine and educationalist. He worked in Manchester during the cholera epidemic of 1830-1832. This inspired his endeavours to campaign for improved conditions for the poor. He supported the idea of free libraries. He was a former secretary to the Committee of the Council on Education. In 1839, he established the first Teacher Training College, at Battersea, London.

In March 1850, Charlotte stayed with Sir James & Lady Janet Shuttleworth at their home Briery Close, on Lake Windermere, and met Mrs Gaskell In March 1850, he and his wife visited Charlotte at Haworth

He was something of a Brontë groupie.

He built a church at Padiham and offered Rev Nicholls the incumbency there. Charlotte and Rev Nicholls preferred to stay at Haworth with the ailing Rev Brontë

Sidgwick family
of Stone Gappe, Lothersdale.

In May 1839, Charlotte started work as governess with the children: John Benson Junior [aged 4], and Mathilda [aged 6½]. At that time they visited a relative who rented Norton Conyers. She left the post in July 1839, unhappy with Mrs Sidgwick and the children:

more riotous, perverse, unmanageable cubs never grew

Sidgwick, John Benson
[1800-1873] Head of the Sidgwick family of Stone Gappe, Lothersdale. In 1827, he married Sarah Hannah Greenwood [1805-1887]. They had 2 children: John Benson Junior [1835-1927] and Mathilda [1832-1???]. He was instrumental in building a new church for the local community

The Signs of the Times
A pamphlet published by Patrick Brontë in 1835, which looked at the achievements of the early 19th century

Smith, Elder & Company
Publishing house. Founded by George Smith, father of George Smith, and Alexander Elder in 18??. They published some of the sisters' works. They established many well-known publications: the Cornhill Magazine, the Pall Mall Gazette, and the Dictionary of National Biography [1903].

Their Indian branch was Smith, Taylor & Company, Bombay

On 6th December 1853, shortly after George Smith's engagement, Charlotte wrote to W. S. Williams indicating that she wished to end her relationship with the firm

See James Taylor, William Smith Williams

Smith, George
[1???-1846] He started a bookselling and stationery business in 1816. He married Elizabeth Murray.

He became a partner in Smith, Elder & Company. He was ill in 1844, and handed the business over to his son George Murray Smith

Smith, George Murray
[1824-1901] Head of Smith, Elder & Company from 1844, when his father – who was partner in the business – retired.

In 1848, Charlotte and Anne visited him, his mother Mrs Elizabeth Smith, and family at their home at Westbourne Place, Bayswater. The family later moved to 76 Gloucester Terrace.

In June 1850, Charlotte visited London and stayed with him and his family in Bayswater.

On 4th and 5th July 1850, Charlotte went to Edinburgh to meet him.

In January 1851, he invited Charlotte to go with him on a journey down the Rhine. She declined the offer

In 1853, he became engaged to Elizabeth Blakeway, the daughter of a London wine-merchant. They married on 11th February 1854

Smith, James William
[1???-18??] Curate to Rev Brontë [1842-1844]. He was curate at Keighley in 1846

He was a model for Mr Malone in Shirley

Smith, John Stores
[1828-1892] Manufacturer from Manchester. He lived in Halifax. In 1868, he visited Charlotte Brontë at Haworth, and gave her copies of his books Mirabeau [1848] and Social Aspects [1850]. He was manager of mines in Derbyshire

Smith, Taylor & Company
Bombay. Indian branch of Smith, Elder & Company opened by James Taylor

Emily's pet bird

Spring, Tom
Name used by boxer and prize-fighter Thomas Winter

The stairs
Because of Rev Brontë's fear of fire, the stone stairs, the hall and corridors were uncarpeted, and buckets of water were kept on the landing

Stevenson, Elizabeth Cleghorn
Maiden name of Mrs Gaskell

Stone Gappe, Lothersdale
A house near Skipton. It was the home of J. B. Sidgwick and the Sidgwick family. The house was built around 1790 by William Sidgwick [1765-1827], a cotton manufacturer owner from Skipton, the father of J. B. Sidgwick. Charlotte worked here as governess in 1839. During that time, she may have visited Kildwick Church and seen the memorials to the Currer family, inspiring her pseudonym Currer Bell.

The house was the model for Gateshead Hall in Jane Eyre

Sugden, William
[1???-1???] Innkeeper of the Black Bull, Haworth.

Branwell commandeered his 3-cornered chair for his own use. The original is in the Brontë museum and a replica stands in the Inn

Sunderland, Abraham
[1???-18??] The organist of Keighley parish church. In 1834, he gave music lessons and piano lessons to Anne, Emily, and flute and organ lessons to Branwell.

The children gave him the nickname Mr Sudbury Figgs

Symington, J. A.
[1???-19??] See The Brontës Their Lives, Friendships & Correspondence


A Tale of Yorkshire life sixty years ago
Subtitle of Mary Taylor's novel, Miss Miles

Tante de Charleville, La
Aunt of Claire Zoë Heger and founder of the Pensionnat Heger. She was French but fled to Belgium during the French Revolution

Taylor, Ellen
[18??-1852] Companion and cousin of Mary Taylor. She died in New Zealand

Taylor, James
[1817-1874] A Scotsman. He was a reader for Smith, Elder & Company.

In April 1851, as he was about to leave to open a branch of the company in Bombay – Smith, Taylor & Company – he proposed to Charlotte Brontë when he came to Haworth, with the intention of their marrying when he returned in 5 years' time. She declined. Rev Brontë approved of Taylor as a prospective son-in-law. Taylor left England on 20th May 1851.

He came back to England – by which time Charlotte was dead – but returned to Bombay in 1863, and died there

Taylor, John
[1???-1???] Brother of Mary Taylor

Taylor, Joseph
[18??-1857] Aka Joe. Brother of Mary Taylor. He travelled to Brussels with Charlotte, Emily, and his sisters. In 1850, he married Amelia Ringrose. They had one daughter. He was a witness to the marriage settlement between Charlotte and Rev Nicholls

Taylor, Joshua
[1???-1841] A banker, and woollen cloth manufacturer and merchant from Gomersal. The cloth was made at his mill, Hunsworth Mill, Cleckheaton.

He was associated with E. C. Taylor & Company, dyers and colliery proprietors, which was acquired by J. & J. Longbottom.

He was a dissenter and a Radical. He spoke French and Italian, although he kept his Yorkshire accent.

He married Anne

Children: (1) Martha; (2) Mary; (3) Waring; (4) John; (5) Joseph.

The family lived at the Red House, Gomersal.

He was a model for Hiram Yorke – in Shirley – and Yorke Hunsden – in Shirley – and the family for the Yorke family

Taylor, Martha
[1819-1842] Younger sister of Mary and friend of Charlotte whom she met at Roe Head. A tomboy, she was known as Little Miss Boisterous, and had the nickname Patty. She enrolled at the Château de Koekelberg in Brussels in February 1842, at the same time that Charlotte and Emily went to the Pensionnat Heger. On 13th October 1842, she died of cholera at the school. She was buried in the Protestant cemetery in Brussels.

The Yorke Sisters in Shirley were based upon her and her sister Mary, and the two Cathys in Wuthering Heights are similar to Martha

See Dixon family

Taylor, Mary
[1817-1893] Known as Pag or Polly. She was the daughter of Joshua Taylor. She was at Roe Head School when Charlotte arrived, and – with Ellen Nussey – became one of her closest friends.

Charlotte confided in Mary the secrets of the family's fantasy worlds.

In 1842, she enrolled at the Château de Koekelberg in Brussels, joining her sister Martha.

After the death of her sister, Martha, Mary went to study in Germany.

In February 1845, Charlotte said goodbye to Mary at Hunsworth Mill. On 21st March 1845, she emigrated – following her brother Waring. She sailed to Wellington, New Zealand, a country which had only recently joined the British Empire. Mary planned to start a new business in Wellington. Mary and Waring established a drapery store – named after herself – in 1849. In 1853, it was one of the major stores of Wellington.

Mary and Charlotte continued to correspond. Mary destroyed the correspondence.

In 1859, she sold the business to her assistant, James Smith – who renamed it after himself.

In 1860, she returned to England and went to live at Gomersal. She built a house, Highroyd, and lived there for the rest of her life.

She wrote The First Duty of Women, Swiss Notes, and a novel entitled Miss Miles.

She was one of the informants for Mrs Gaskell. She is buried at St Mary's Church, Gomersal.

The Yorke Sisters in Shirley were based upon her (as Rose Yorke) and her sister Martha

See Dixon family, Ellen Taylor

Taylor, William Waring
[1???-1???] Brother of Mary Taylor. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1841

Teale, Dr
[1???-18??] A medical specialist from Leeds. He was one of the founders of the Leeds School of Medicine. In January 1849, he diagnosed Anne with consumption and congestion of the lungs, and indicated that she might recover

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Novel written by Anne Brontë under the name Acton Bell [1848]

There Once was a Little Girl & Her Name was Ane
The earliest surviving story written by Charlotte Brontë [1834]

Thompson, Henry Stephen
[17??-18??] Of Kirby Hall. In 1866, Edmund Robinson sold Thorp Green Hall estate to Thompson

Thompson, Miss Jane
[1???-1???] Teacher of English, Reading and Poetry at the Clergy Daughters' School

Thompson, John Hunter
[1???-1???] Painter. He was a friend of Branwell

Thoughts suggested to the Superintendent & Ladies
An exposition of educational methods which Rev William Carus Wilson produced to guide his staff at the Clergy Daughters' School

Three Graces Lodge
Haworth Lodge of Freemasons. John Brown was Workshipful Master of the Lodge from 1832 to 1846. Joseph Redman was Secretary of the lodge. On 29th February 1836, Branwell was initiated into the Lodge, and from June to December 1837, he was Secretary

Thunder, Charles
An alias used by Charlotte.

The Greek for thunder is bronte

Emily's pet cat. The animal was subsequently lost

Tighe, Rev Thomas
[17??-18??] Rector of Drumgooland, Northern Ireland. He invited Patrick Brunty to become tutor to his 2 young sons. He was a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and suggested that Rev Brontë go there in 1802. He was a friend of John Wesley. Wesley stayed with Rev Tighe

Tillotson, John
[1831-1???] Of Kildwick. Apprentice to John Brown. He had the task of collecting the Bell family mail from Keighley railway station

Trobe, Rev James La
[1802-1897] He was minister at the Wellhouse Moravian Church, Mirfield. In 1837, he visited Anne at Roe Head School when she fell ill. In 1863, he became Bishop

Tunstall Church
In Tunstall village. Rev William Carus Wilson was vicar of the church.

On Sundays, the children had to walk a distance of more than 2 miles from the Clergy Daughters' School to the church where they spent the whole day. The girls took their cold meal with them and ate it between services in an unheated room over the entrance.

This was a model for Brocklebridge Church in Jane Eyre

Tunstall, Lancashire
A village near Cowan Bridge.

See Tunstall Church

The Twelves
The children's name for the set of Branwell's wooden soldiers


Upperwood House, Rawdon
Home of John White. Charlotte worked as governess in 1841


Emily had two pet geese: Victoria and Adelaide. The bird was named after Queen Victoria. Aunt Branwell gave the geese away whilst Emily was at the Pensionnat Heger

Novel written by Charlotte Brontë under the name Currer Bell [1853]


Wade, Rev John
[18??-1???] He succeeded Rev Brontë at Haworth.

He extended the Parsonage and rebuilt Haworth Church in 1879.

He was given the nickname The Envious Wade because of his attitude to those who called at the house in pursuit of Brontë history

The name which Anne gave to one of Branwell's toy soldiers. The name was later changed to Ross

Walker, Amelia
[18??-18??] of Lascelles Hall. Sister of Jane. A friend of Charlotte from Roe Head

Walker, Frances
[1793-1881] Of Lascelles Hall. Sister of Joseph Walker. She married Rev Thomas Atkinson

Walker, Jane
[18??-18??] Of Lascelles Hall. Sister of Amelia. A friend of Charlotte from Roe Head

Walker, Joseph
[1???-1???] Of Lascelles Hall. Magistrate. Brother of Frances Walker. Father of William, Amelia and Jane

Walker, William
[18??-18??] Son of Joseph Walker of Lascelles Hall

Walton, Agnes
[1???-1???] A woman from Appleby. William Weightman said that he was engaged to her. After Weightman's death, she married a prosperous farmer

Water closet
A privy or lavatory in which the waste was removed by flushing with water. These replaced earth closets as Corporation sewerage facilities were introduced at the beginning of the 20th century

Wath Church, North Yorkshire
Church near Norton Conyers.

In Jane Eyre, Hay Church may be based on the church

Weightman, William
[1814-1842] Curate to Rev Brontë.

He may have been the model for the character Edward Weston in Agnes Grey

The well
Water for the house was drawn from a well which was outside the house in the churchyard

The well and privy for the Parsonage were in the churchyard.

See Sanitation

Wellesley, Lord Charles Albert Florian
Pseudonym used by Charlotte when she wrote The Green Dwarf

Essex. Rev Patrick Brontë was curate to the vicar, Rev Joseph Jowett, at St Mary Magdalene, the parish church here in 1807. Whilst there, he met Mary Burder

What you please
Drawing by Anne on 25th July 1840

Wheelhouse, Dr
[17??-18??] The doctor who tended Branwell in his latter weeks of addiction to opium and gin. He is mentioned in one of Branwell's poems

Wheelwright, Laetitia
[18??-1???] Daughter of Dr Thomas Wheelwright. She disliked Emily, who taught her music, but she became a friend of Charlotte and the two corresponded afterwards

Wheelwright, Dr Thomas
[17??-18??] An English doctor who was living in Europe. His 5 daughters – Laetitia, Frances, Sarah, ??, and Julia – were pupils at the Pensionnat Heger. Emily taught music to the younger girls

White, John
[1791-1860] A merchant of Upperwood House, Rawdon near Bradford.

In March 1841, Charlotte started work as governess to his 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. Her salary was £20 per year – less £4 for laundry. She resigned in December 1841 and left on Christmas Eve.

There is a monument to him at Calverley Church

Wilkinson, Abraham
[1???-18??] Innkeeper of The Black Bull, Haworth

Williams, Eliza Branwell
[1???-1???] Cornish relative. She visited Haworth in 1840

Williams, William Smith
[1800-1875] He began with publishers Taylor & Hessey. He later became a reader for Smith, Elder & Company. He was impressed by The Professor, and said that he would like to see more of Currer Bell's work, but the company did not accept it at first. He first recognised Charlotte's talent when he read Jane Eyre. He later became a book-keeper with lithographers Hullmandel & Walter

Wilson, Rev Edward
[1???-1???] Teacher of Elocution and Ventriloquy at the Clergy Daughters' School

Wilson, Rev R.
[1???-1???] MA. Teacher of Housekeeping and Domestic Economy at the Clergy Daughters' School

Wilson, Mrs W.
[1???-1???] Teacher of Arithmetic and Dressmaking at the Clergy Daughters' School. She was also Head Manager

Wilson, Rev William Carus
[1???-18??] Vicar of Tunstall [18th April 1816].

He was a wealthy landowner, living at Casterton Hall, and he was devoutly religious.

Founder and headmaster of the Clergy Daughters' School.

He wrote The Child's First Tales, Youthful Memoirs, and produced the Children's Friend magazine.

His Thoughts suggested to the Superintendent & Ladies was written for the school staff.

His Calvinist methods would now be considered harsh, regimented, and sadistic.

He was the model for Mr Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre, and Rev Jabes Branderham in Wuthering Heights had some of Wilson's characteristics

Wilson, Dr William James
[1???-1???] MRCS. From Leeds. He was honorary surgeon at the Manchester Infirmary. He performed Rev Brontë's cataract operation

Wimperis, Edmund Morison
[1835-1900] He was a water-colour artist.

In 1872, Smith, Elder & Company, commissioned him to produce the illustrations for an edition of the Brontë's novels. He consulted Ellen Nussey

Winkworth, Catherine
[1792-1885] Author and translator. She was a friend of Charlotte, Mrs Gaskell, and Harriet Martineau

Winter Evening Thoughts
Published by Patrick Brontë in 1810

Winter, Thomas
[1795-1851] Boxer and prize-fighter known as Tom Spring.

He was much admired by Branwell Brontë.

In 1821, on the retirement of the champion fighter Tom Cribb [1781-1848], Winter claimed the championship of England.

After his retirement, he was landlord of the Castle Tavern, Holborn from 1828 until his death

Wise, Thomas J.
[1???-19??] One of the founders of The Brontë Society. See The Brontës Their Lives, Friendships & Correspondence, Clement Shorter

Wood, Susannah
[1758-1847] Sister of Tabitha Aykroyd. Both sisters are buried with Tabitha's husband, George Aykroyd, in the same grave just in front of the old gateway from the Parsonage into the churchyard

Wood, William
[1844-1929] Carpenter and coffin-maker in Haworth.

See Coffins

Wooden soldiers
A set of toy soldiers was given to Branwell by his father in June 1826.

See Scribblemania

The Wool is Rising
A story – with a Cain & Abel theme – which Branwell wrote in 1834.

See The Professor

Wooler, Catherine
[1797-18??] A sister of Margaret Wooler.

In 1851, she may have been an assistant at Hemingway's School, Halifax at Horton Street, Halifax.

See Louisa Hemingway

Wooler, Eliza
[1???-18??] A sister of Margaret Wooler

Wooler, Marianne
[1???-18??] A sister of Margaret Wooler

A Word to the Calvinists
An anti-Calvinist poem written by Anne as Acton Bell on 28th May 1843.

Dr David Thom, a minister at Bold Street Chapel, Liverpool, wrote to Anne about the poem

It later appeared as A word to the Elect.

Helen Huntingdon in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall expresses some of the views that Anne expresses in this poem

The World below
The children's name for their fantasy world

Worth Valley railway
See Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

Wuthering Heights
Novel written by Emily Brontë under the name Ellis Bell.

It was written between December 1845 and July 1846, and was published in July 1847.

The novel uses several local themes and inspirations including High Sunderland, Halifax, Robert Parker, Jack Sharp and Shibden Hall, Halifax

Wuthering Heights
A holed stone at Ponden Kirk. It is said that lovers used to visit the stone and attempt to pass through the hole

Wuthering Heights Walk
A 6-mile walk to Top Withens


The Young Men
The children's name for Branwell's set of wooden soldiers

Youthful Memoirs
A series of cautionary tales written by Rev William Carus Wilson, instructing children how to face death

© Malcolm Bull 2017 / [email protected]
Revised 18:28 on 23rd November 2017 / mmb4000 / 196