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

vrijdag 1 juni 2012

Haworth to Heptonstall and Hebden bridge

Interesting website:

Haworth to Heptonstall and Hebden bridge. This would have been a well traveled route,  Heptonstall had a Piece Hall  long before Halifax. A cloth hall was built at Heptonstall in 1545-1548 by the Waterhouse family of Shibden Hall and called Blackwell Hall after the London market of that name.  bbc.co.uk  calderdale.gov.uk  
At Marsh, Oxenhope, along Lee Lane, Bodkin Lane, Thurrish Lane, turn right onto Waste Lane, Dick Dean Lane, Baby House Hill Lane, at the staggered crossed roads where there are signs of past life, the ruin on the right looks like it was once a fine building, an 1894 map tells us it was called Nook and also known as Higher Sunny Bank, In 1853 John Greenwood (b. 1790ish Wadsworth) tenant of Savile Estate in 1853 lived here with his family. To the right we have Coppy Lane which will take you to Walshaw, or the track to the left Sunny Bank Road, taking you to Old Lane, again looking at the map we see some buildings marked called Sunny Bank, these were on the right going down Sunny Bank Road, there is a photo of what remains of Sunny Bank on Flicker, or continue straight on and drop down to Hardcastle Crags, and then on to Hebden Bridge. 

History of Cowling Hill Farm

Local legend has it that The Weavers Cottages at Cowling Hill Farm were once won in a game of cards by Patrick Branwell Bronte. It is thought that around the  time  Patrick Branwell Bronte returned from the Robinson family, won the Weavers Cottages in a game of cards.
Bancrofts from Yorkshire/hand-loom-weaving-in-yorkshire


Emily Brontë had a more terrific creative power than any woman we know of in literature. She was a poet, and even greater than a poet if that be possible; she was a seer of the most tremendous insight, and it was the very light of her spirit that it should be kept secret, that there could not be that free and easy relation to life which we lesser people enjoy... Rev. F. A. Bullock.

dinsdag 29 mei 2012

After a long struggle, justice had been done

One of the most famous incidents during Patrick's curacy at Dewsbury concerned a young man called
William Nowell of Dawgreen, Dewsbury; who had been arrested and wrongly imprisoned as a deserter of the army. Britain was at the time in the middle of the Napoleonic wars and in order to maintain a supply of soldiers, recruiting officers were sent to local fairs to offer a 'recruiting shilling' to any likely candidates.  In September 1810, a soldier named James Thackray, stated that Nowell had accepted the King's Shilling at the horse fair held at  Lee Fair, near Wakefield and had therefore been formally enlisted to the 30th Regiment.
On 25 September 1810, soldiers appeared at William Nowell's home to arrest him for failing to report at the Regimental headquarters.  Nowell pleaded that he had not attended Lee Fair and had several witnesses who could testify that he had been in Dewsbury that day.  The magistrate refused to accept the testimonies of these witnesses and committed Nowell to Wakefield Prison. The case caused an immediate outcry in Dewsbury and Patrick was one of four men who went to meet with the magistrate in Wakefield to plead for the case to be re-heard.  They were accompanied by two new witnesses who swore that they had been with the soldier James Thackray at the Lee Fair, and he had not enlisted any new recruits that day. The magistrate refused to examine the new witnesses and William Nowell remained in prison. Determined not to be beaten and to see justice being done, Patrick, together with the churchwardens and principal inhabitants of Dewsbury, wrote to the Leeds Mercury and the War Office to demand a retrial. Eventually, a hearing was arranged for 2 November 1810.  Patrick  and eminent Dewsbury men attended the hearing along with fifteen witnesses who could testify that Nowell had not been at Lee Fair on the day in question.  Following the hearing, the evidence was sent to London and five days later William Nowell was released from prison after spending ten weeks in custody. After the hearing, Patrick Brontë received the following letter from the Secretary of War,

Lord Palmerston:
WAR Office, 5th December, 1810.
Referring to the correspondence relative to William Nowell, I am to aquaint you that I feel so strongly the injury that is likely to arise to the Service from an unfair mode of recruiting, that if by the indictment that the lad's friends are about to prefer against James Thackray they shall establish the fact of his having been guilty of perjury, I shall be ready to indemnify them for the reasonable and proper expenses which they shall bear on the occasion.                           
I am, sir, Yours, & C.,
To the Rev. P. Brontë, Dewsbury, near Leeds.

On 7 December 1811, the soldier James Thackray was found guilty of perjury at York Assizes and
sentenced to seven years transportation.  After a long struggle, justice had been done

Read on: kirklees.gov.uk/visitors/documents/patrickbronte A lot of information and pictures. 

maandag 28 mei 2012

On this day in 1849

Anne Bronte died at 2 o'clock in the afternoon aged 29 at Scarborough.
A NEW plaque has been installed at Anne Bronte’s grave in Scarborough to ensure that visitors will be able to read the inscription for years to come.

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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