Emily Prescott was the daughter of a gentleman of Hampshire origins, and a citizen of Everton, whence she was married, with Ellen as bridesmaid. The latter’s first impressions were favorable: “She is very pious but very agreeably so and quite free from all affectation” (EN to Mary Gorham, 6 Aug 1845). These impressions proved false. “I could not live with one so cold and narrow,” Charlotte was soon writing, though she adds, unflatteringly for Ellen’s brother, “still I think she is just the person for Henry – she will obtain influence over him and keep it” (to EN, 8 Sep 1845).
Ellen Nussey was at Hathersage to prepare a home for her brother, Henry Nussey, who had been appointed Vicar of Hathersage, and had married Emily Prescott. His sister stayed at the Vicarage whilst he was on his honeymoon; she even had to select some of the furniture, and engage the servants, and have everything in readiness for the return of the bride and bridegroom. So anxious was she to persuade Charlotte Bronte to be with her at this time that she got her brother to write to Charlotte whilst he was on his honeymoon, " for which you deserve smothering," wrote Charlotte to Ellen Nussey in reply.
In Jane Eyre we can read a discription about this happening :
The three days were, as she had foretold, busy enough. I had thought all the rooms at Thornfield beautifully clean and well arranged; but it appears I was mistaken. Three women were got to help; and such scrubbing, such brushing, such washing of paint and beating of carpets, such taking down and putting up of pictures, such polishing of mirrors and lustres, such lighting of fires in bedrooms, such airing of sheets and feather-beds on hearths, I never beheld, either before or since. Mrs. Fairfax had pressed me into her service, and I was all day in the storeroom, helping (or hindering) her and the cook; learning to make custards and cheese-cakes and French pastry, to truss game and garnish desert-dishes.
Emily Prescott seems to have tried to make Ellen pay for her own washing while she remained with them at Hathersage after their return from their honeymoon, suggesting she was the sort of rich person who is bent on holding on to what she has. She and Henry did not remain long at Hathersage. He seems to have got on the wrong side of people in his new parish, including the Duke of Devonshire. Henry ceased to be a practicing clergyman (like many others in the Brontë story), and he and his wife lived for a time in the South of France. She died in Nice in 1907. The notion that they were unhappy in their marriage and separated seems to be untrue. ... blackwellreference
Charlotte Bronte visited Hathersage in 1845 and used it as the 'Norton' of the story 'Jane Eyre' - taking the heroine's surname from the local family. She also used North Lees Hall, an Elizabethan manor house 2km north of Hathersage as the house where Mrs Rochester jumped from the roof to her death. North Lees is one seven halls built by Robert Eyre of Highlow (there were many local Robert Eyres) for his seven sons and is one of the finest Elizabethan buildings in the region - a tall square tower with a long wing adjoining.