Patrick Brontë: The Family Patriarch
Rev. Patrick Brontë (1777-1861) was born and raised in Ireland. As an adult, he moved to England where he attended Cambridge and changed his name from Brunty to Brontë. In 1820, he moved to Haworth where he served as curate until his death. In additon to being a reverend, Patrick Brontë was a poet who loved to tell stories to his children. He never remarried after the death of his wife, Maria, and outlived all six of his children. He died at age eighty-four.
Maria Branwell Brontë: The Family Matriarch
Maria Branwell Brontë (1783-1821) was born in Cornwall, England. She married Patrick Brontë in 1812 and gave birth to six children. She died of cancer when her youngest child, Anne, was one. It is said that her last words before dying were, "Oh God, my poor children!"
Maria Brontë (1814-1825): the eldest Brontë sibling.
Maria died at age eleven after contracting tuberculosis at the Clergy Daughters' School in Cowan Bridge. She was adored by her younger siblings whom she nurtured after the death of their mother. Charlotte Brontë's character Helen Burns in Jane Eyre is based on Maria.
Elizabeth Brontë (1815-1825): the second eldest sibling.
Like Maria, Elizabeth contracted tuberculosis at the Clergy Daughters' School in Cowan Bridge. She died at age ten.
Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855): author of Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, and The Professor.
Charlotte outlived all her siblings and was the most prolific of all the Brontës. She was also the only sibling to marry (Arthur Bell Nicholls in 1854). She died at thirty-nine while pregnant with her first child.
Patrick Branwell Brontë (1817-1848): Artist & Poet
Branwell was the only male sibling in the Brontë clan. Branwell was a poet and artist who showed much promise as a child but never attained the success of his sisters. He led a troubled life and became addicted to alcohol and laudanum as an adult. He died of tuberculosis at age thirty-one.
Emily Jane Brontë (1818-1848). A talented poet and the author of Wuthering Heights, Emily is known for her love of animals and the moors. She died at age thirty from tuberculosis.
Anne Brontë (1820-1849), the youngest Brontë sibling, was a poet and the author of two novels: Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Anne died at age twenty-nine from tuberculosis. Unlike the rest of her family, who are buried in Haworth, Anne is buried in Scarborough.