I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

maandag 11 maart 2013

Crofton Hall at Wakefield

The Wakefield Express informs of the unveiling of a new blue plaque by the Wakefield Civic Society with Brontë connections:
Brontë fans could soon be making a detour from Haworth to visit Crofton after a blue plaque was unveiled this week in honour of a lady who links the village to the famous family.
The plaque was unveiled at the Young People’s Centre on High Street, which sits on the site where part of Crofton Hall School once stood – the school where Elizabeth and Maria Brontë were once pupils.

Richmal Mangnall was the school’s headteacher in 1802, and author of one of the country’s best-selling books of the time, called Historical and Miscellaneous Questions for the Use of Young People. Charlotte Brontë’s copy is on display at the Brontë parsonage in Haworth.

Description hardback; brown leather covers and spine; gilt tooling to spine; 442 pages; incomplete; fair; 180mm l x 105mm w x 32mm d
Production place London
Production dating 1813 - 1813
Material leather, paper, gilt
  • whole 180 mm
  • whole 105 mm
  • whole 32 mm
  • bronte.adlibsoft.  
     Miss Mangnall was born in Manchester in 1769, but came to Crofton in 1780 to attend Crofton Hall School for young ladies. She stayed on as a teacher when she finished her education, before becoming its owner and headteacher.
    Her book was used by teachers, tutors, governesses and parents to educate and inspire children.
    Maria and Elizabeth attended the school in 1823bronteblog

    In summer 1824, Patrick sent Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily to Crofton Hall in Crofton, West Yorkshire  wiki/Anne_Bronte

    In 1823 Elizabeth and her older sister Maria were sent to the fashionable girls' boarding school Elizabeth Firth had attended, Crofton Hall at Wakefield. Fees were high, and it is believed Elizabeth Firth may have helped pay them. Mr Brontë had three other daughters, though, and could not afford to educate them all at Crofton Hall on his small stipend. bronte.org.uk

    Richmal Mangnall (1769–1820) was an English schoolmistress and writer of a famous schoolbook.

    Richmal Mangnall
    by John Downman
    watercolour, 1814

    Richmal was born on 7 March 1769, probably in London. She was one of seven children of James Mangnall of Hollinhurst, Lancashire, and London, and Richmal, daughter of John Kay of Manchester to survive infancy. One brother, James, became a London solicitor, another, Kay, died in the East Indies in 1801. Her parents died about 1781, when she was adopted by an uncle, also John Kay, a Manchester solicitor.[1] 

    Richmal Mangnall began to attend a successful school of about 70 pupils, at Crofton Hall, a Georgian mansion near Wakefield, Yorkshire, built in about 1750.[2] There it was found possible for a teacher or senior pupil to teach big classes using a system of question and answer. She herself graduated from being a pupil to being a teacher there. The first edition of her Historical and Miscellaneous Questions for the Use of Young People (1798) was printed privately and anonymously for use in the school. It was then taken up by the London publishing firm Longman, whose still anonymous 1800 edition was dedicated to John Kay.[3]
    The book became generally known as Mangnall's Questions and was "the stand-by of generations of governesses and other teachers." It had appeared in 84 editions by 1857. Its "level, plain, humane" judgements have been associated with the Age of Enlightenment, and became more open to criticism in the Victorian age, although the catechism type of textbook remained dominant. The British Constitution met with her approval, as did her country's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, but Wellington was rebuked for vanity and egotism, and Rabelais for lacking "that delicacy without which genius may sparkle for a moment, but can never shine with pure, undiminished lustre."[4]
    Miss Mangnall took over at Crofton about 1808 and supported two unmarried sisters from her highly successful school and publishing earnings. She continued to head it until her death there on 1 May 1820 "after a severe illness, which was borne with the utmost Christian resignation."[5] She was buried in Crofton churchyard.[6]
    Details of life at Crofton House school appear in an unpublished childhood diary of Elizabeth Firth (born 1797 at Thornton, near Bradford). It was her recommendation that persuaded Patrick Brontë to send his daughters Elizabeth, Mary, Charlotte, and Anne there for a short while in 1823.[7] A later account of English social history recalls it as "one of the best known girls' schools" and states, "Here the girls learnt some literature, which consisted of Scott's longer poems and The Vicar of Wakefield, read aloud by Miss Mangnall herself, geography, spelling, the catechism, and a little pencil drawing. For bad spelling the young ladies were invariably sent to bed."[8] 

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    The Parlour

    The Parlour



    Charlotte Bronte

    Presently the door opened, and in came a superannuated mastiff, followed by an old gentleman very like Miss Bronte, who shook hands with us, and then went to call his daughter. A long interval, during which we coaxed the old dog, and looked at a picture of Miss Bronte, by Richmond, the solitary ornament of the room, looking strangely out of place on the bare walls, and at the books on the little shelves, most of them evidently the gift of the authors since Miss Bronte's celebrity. Presently she came in, and welcomed us very kindly, and took me upstairs to take off my bonnet, and herself brought me water and towels. The uncarpeted stone stairs and floors, the old drawers propped on wood, were all scrupulously clean and neat. When we went into the parlour again, we began talking very comfortably, when the door opened and Mr. Bronte looked in; seeing his daughter there, I suppose he thought it was all right, and he retreated to his study on the opposite side of the passage; presently emerging again to bring W---- a country newspaper. This was his last appearance till we went. Miss Bronte spoke with the greatest warmth of Miss Martineau, and of the good she had gained from her. Well! we talked about various things; the character of the people, - about her solitude, etc., till she left the room to help about dinner, I suppose, for she did not return for an age. The old dog had vanished; a fat curly-haired dog honoured us with his company for some time, but finally manifested a wish to get out, so we were left alone. At last she returned, followed by the maid and dinner, which made us all more comfortable; and we had some very pleasant conversation, in the midst of which time passed quicker than we supposed, for at last W---- found that it was half-past three, and we had fourteen or fifteen miles before us. So we hurried off, having obtained from her a promise to pay us a visit in the spring... ------------------- "She cannot see well, and does little beside knitting. The way she weakened her eyesight was this: When she was sixteen or seventeen, she wanted much to draw; and she copied nimini-pimini copper-plate engravings out of annuals, ('stippling,' don't the artists call it?) every little point put in, till at the end of six months she had produced an exquisitely faithful copy of the engraving. She wanted to learn to express her ideas by drawing. After she had tried to draw stories, and not succeeded, she took the better mode of writing; but in so small a hand, that it is almost impossible to decipher what she wrote at this time.

    I asked her whether she had ever taken opium, as the description given of its effects in Villette was so exactly like what I had experienced, - vivid and exaggerated presence of objects, of which the outlines were indistinct, or lost in golden mist, etc. She replied, that she had never, to her knowledge, taken a grain of it in any shape, but that she had followed the process she always adopted when she had to describe anything which had not fallen within her own experience; she had thought intently on it for many and many a night before falling to sleep, - wondering what it was like, or how it would be, - till at length, sometimes after the progress of her story had been arrested at this one point for weeks, she wakened up in the morning with all clear before her, as if she had in reality gone through the experience, and then could describe it, word for word, as it had happened. I cannot account for this psychologically; I only am sure that it was so, because she said it. ----------------------She thought much of her duty, and had loftier and clearer notions of it than most people, and held fast to them with more success. It was done, it seems to me, with much more difficulty than people have of stronger nerves, and better fortunes. All her life was but labour and pain; and she never threw down the burden for the sake of present pleasure. I don't know what use you can make of all I have said. I have written it with the strong desire to obtain appreciation for her. Yet, what does it matter? She herself appealed to the world's judgement for her use of some of the faculties she had, - not the best, - but still the only ones she could turn to strangers' benefit. They heartily, greedily enjoyed the fruits of her labours, and then found out she was much to be blamed for possessing such faculties. Why ask for a judgement on her from such a world?" elizabeth gaskell/charlotte bronte

    Poem: No coward soul is mine

    No coward soul is mine,
    No trembler in the worlds storm-troubled sphere:
    I see Heavens glories shine,
    And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

    O God within my breast.
    Almighty, ever-present Deity!
    Life -- that in me has rest,
    As I -- Undying Life -- have power in Thee!

    Vain are the thousand creeds
    That move mens hearts: unutterably vain;
    Worthless as withered weeds,
    Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

    To waken doubt in one
    Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
    So surely anchored on
    The steadfast Rock of immortality.

    With wide-embracing love
    Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
    Pervades and broods above,
    Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

    Though earth and man were gone,
    And suns and universes ceased to be,
    And Thou wert left alone,
    Every existence would exist in Thee.

    There is not room for Death,
    Nor atom that his might could render void:
    Thou -- Thou art Being and Breath,
    And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

    Emily Bronte

    Family tree

    The Bronte Family

    Grandparents - paternal
    Hugh Brunty was born 1755 and died circa 1808. He married Eleanor McClory, known as Alice in 1776.

    Grandparents - maternal
    Thomas Branwell (born 1746 died 5th April 1808) was married in 1768 to Anne Carne (baptised 27th April 1744 and died 19th December 1809).

    Father was Patrick Bronte, the eldest of 10 children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor (Alice) McClory. He was born 17th March 1777 and died on 7th June 1861. Mother was Maria Branwell, who was born on 15th April 1783 and died on 15th September 1821.

    Maria had a sister, Elizabeth who was known as Aunt Branwell. She was born in 1776 and died on 29th October 1842.

    Patrick Bronte married Maria Branwell on 29th December 1812.

    The Bronte Children
    Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children.
    The first child was Maria, who was born in 1814 and died on 6th June 1825.
    The second daughter, Elizabeth was born on 8th February 1815 and died shortly after Maria on 15th June 1825. Charlotte was the third daughter, born on 21st April 1816.

    Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls (born 1818) on 29th June 1854. Charlotte died on 31st March 1855. Arthur lived until 2nd December 1906.

    The first and only son born to Patrick and Maria was Patrick Branwell, who was born on 26th June 1817 and died on 24th September 1848.

    Emily Jane, the fourth daughter was born on 30th July 1818 and died on 19th December 1848.

    The sixth and last child was Anne, born on 17th January 1820 who died on 28th May 1849.

    Top Withens in the snow.

    Top Withens in the snow.



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