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

zaterdag 26 november 2011

Luddenden Foot and Branwell Bronte

Is situated on the Calder river, it is protected from the northerly winds by Midgley Moor Luddenden Foot was developed faster than Luddenden with the arrival of the Rochdale canal (1794-1802) from Sowerby Bridge to Manchester and later  extended in 1828 to Halifax. The earliest church register of  Midgley names given for the township of Midgley were Anthony, Richard and William 10. The earliest marriage given here is between John and Isabella Midgley  4th February 1541. Common first names for males were John, Thomas, William, Robert and Richard and for females, Agnes, Isabella, Elizabeth, Anne, Marion, Margaret and Alicia.
At Luddenden Foot, a canal runs from Littleborough to Todmorden which passes through Sowerby, Luddenden Foot and Hebden Bridge. This canal was used to help construct the railway at Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. The canal had a "basin" at Luddenden Foot where the bargees ("boaties") tied up.They would stay overnight at one of the three taverns here, The Woodman, The Weavers Arms and The Anchor and Shuttle.
There was also a corn mill by the canal in the 1800's owned by George and William Thompson with mills on the hilltop at Midgley which were owned by Ely Titherington who was a wealthy worsted spinner. Ely and his son James also owned a house called Old Ridings overlooking the Luddenden Valley. Luddenden Foot is probably best known for its association with Branwell Bronte the unfortunate brother and artist of the Bronte sisters of Haworth.

In the 1800's Branwell Bronte who was working as a station master at Luddenden Foot railway station,  frequented the Lord Nelson Inn with the Luddenden Reading Society.

Some of the members were9:
Timothy Wormald,  the landlord of the Lord Nelson and clerk to the church across the way. John Whitworth a mill  owner at Longbottom on the canal, who owned a fine residence called Peel House beyond Luddenden.
John Garnett, a manufacturer of Holm House.
Francis Grundy, a railway engineer (Richard Grundy drove the first train from Manchester to the Calder Valley.)
William Heaton a handloom weaver of Luddenden.
Francis Leyland a printer.
William Wolven, a ticket collector
G. Thompson, a corn merchant.
John Murgatroyd, a wealthy woollen manufacturer of Oats Royd, Luddenden. He employed the Liverpool Irish in his mills. Many Irish worked the mills and canals (Cols, Colls, Killiners and McColls).
George Richardson the wharfinger of Sowerby Bridge (controlled the warehouses and Wharfs)

Branwell Bronte lodged at  Turn Lea cottages ("up t' hill"). His bedroom window overlooked the Ewood Estates at Midgley, once owned by John Grimshaw who inherited Ewood when he was twelve from his grandfather.  Later it was inherited by John Crossley of Caitcliffe Hall. Branwell also lodged at Brearley Hall. By the end of March 1842 Branwell Bronte had been dismissed from his post as station master at Luddenden Foot. (The railway had arrived in 18

Branwell Bronte (Frequented by)
Branwell Bronte frequented this pub when he was working as a clerk on the Leeds and Manchester Railway in charge of Luddenden Foot Station. Having abandoned art as a career Branwell turned to something more practical. Charlotte sarcastically announced: 'A distant relation of mine, one Patrick Boanerges, has set off to seek his fortune in the wild, wandering, adventurous, romantic, knight-errant-like capacity of clerk on the Leeds and Manchester Railroad.

Unfortunately he was soon dismissed. The notebook in which he was supposed to keep the station records became his personal journal and comprises a miscellany of rough sketches, draughts of poems and the occasional note on railway affairs. He also missed the fact that his under-clerk was stealing railway funds. During this period he was writing some of his best poetry and mixing with an important circle of Halifax writers, artists and poets who encouraged him to publish some of his poems in The Halifax Guardian.

The 1634 datestone over the door of the pub recalls its origin as a private house. It did not become an alehouse until the middle of the 18th century when it was called the White Swan. In 1776 one of the district's first libraries was set up in the pub which was an added attraction to local literary regulars including poet William Dearden and the knight-errant Branwell.

The Lord Nelson today is an excellent, comfortable village local. With lots of small individual rooms. The front bar has exposed stone walls and stone mullioned windows. Hanging in the bar is a floodlit photograph of the pub with a caption which reads: "I would rather give my right hand than undergo again the malignant yet cold debauchery which too often marked my conduct there". Branwell Bronte. A stylised statue of Branwell stands nearby in Old Station Road.


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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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