Mary Taylor, joined later by her cousin Ellen Taylor, though well educated for her day, had no inclination to follow any academic calling in the New World and opened a shop, a small general store, on the site of what is now Selfridge's stores, Cuba Street. She appears to have had good business ability, enjoyed the companionship of her cousin, whose early death she deeply deplored, wrote articles occasionally to English papers, and was engaged in desultory fashion in writing a novel, "Miss Miles or a Tale of Yorkshire Life Sixty Years Ago." This was not published, however, until 1890, when it created but little interest. It is apparent from her letters that in New Zealand she missed the literary associations of her friends, and felt isolated, mentally and physically, especially when the mails brought from her beloved Charlotte such "incredible" achievements as "Jane Eyre" and "Shirley," with news of their repercussions. There is no doubt that each gained from the other's friendship. Had Mary Taylor not been staying at Brussels in her youth, the Bronte sisters might never have gone there, and the world would have been the poorer by the powerful novel "Villette" and its interesting Professor. About 1859 or 1860 she returned to England and spent the remainder of her days in seclusion in a home she had built for herself in Yorkshire. She died in 1893.
Mary Taylor's little shop has long since melted away into the dim forgotten past, but she has left a more permanent memorial in a busy little city thoroughfare whose entrance is almost hidden between lofty buildings in Ghuznee Street east. This is Leeds Street, constructed across sec. 181, a stone's throw from her shop in Cuba Street. In 1852 this section was granted to the Hon. Algernon Tollemache (1805-1897), a picturesque figure of early Wellington, who, with 'a deep purse, a lengthy family-tree (7) and good mixing capacity, enjoyed pioneering life for some years in a cottage at the corner of Abel Smith Street and Willis Street. He appeared to have done nothing with the section and in 1859 sold it to Mary Taylor, who cut it up and sold portions, leaving the street as a reminder of her Yorkshire memories. She herself was the daughter of a Yorkshire merchant.
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This site gives VERY INTERESTING information about Mary Taylor!!!!!!http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t21/1
Soon after she reached New Zealand Charlotte Brontë sent her £10, having heard that her circumstances were worse than they in fact were. She bought a cow with the money.
The arrival of her cousin not only encouraged Mary Taylor to open this shop, but also provided her with a closer companionship than she had previously known in New Zealand. In 1850 she wrote to Charlotte Brontë that she had wished for 15 years to earn her own living and that keeping a shop appeared healthier than schoolteaching. She hoped to make a profit of £300 or £400 per year. Once the shop was established, she was delighted with it and thoroughly enjoyed the manual labour involved.
Ellen Taylor died of tuberculosis in December 1851. Mary Taylor, who had nursed her cousin in her illness, was deeply grieved but continued alone with the shop. Since the building had been put up with Ellen's money, Mary bought it from Ellen's brother. The shop continued to be successful: Mary extended the premises and took on an assistant; relatives and friends continued to supply her with goods from England; and she appears to have been the first to import a sewing machine to Wellington. By 1853 the Wellington Almanack listed her shop as one of the principal stores.
Several years after Ellen's death, however, Mary found her shop was becoming less profitable and by June 1858 she had stopped ordering any more goods from England. She had decided to leave New Zealand by the following year.
Before she left, Mary Taylor sold her shop to her assistant and invested £400 of her capital in buying two blocks of land in Te Aro. She left Wellington for Wanganui in May 1859 and by the following year had returned to Yorkshire where she lived for the rest of her life.
Read more on the site http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t21/1