Emily Brontë

Emily Jane Brontë (1818 - 1848)

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Emily Jane Brontë
Born in Thornton, Bradford, West Yorkshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Haworth, West Yorkshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Jul 2013
This page has been accessed 3,840 times.

Categories: This Day In History July 30 | This Day In History December 19 | Authors | English Authors | Famous Authors of the 19th Century | Nominated Profiles | Haworth, Yorkshire | Thornton, Yorkshire | Cowan Bridge School | Mirfield, Yorkshire | Halifax, Yorkshire | St Michael and All Angels, Haworth | Brussels, Belgium | Notables.

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Emily Brontë is Notable.
Emily Brontë has Irish ancestors.

Emily was born July 30, 1818 and christened on 20 August 1818 at Thornton by Bradford.[1] She was the fifth of six children born to Rev. Patrick Brontë and his wife, Maria Branwell, and was the middle of the three Brontë sisters who became famous authors. Emily was about two years old when her father obtained the living at Haworth in 1820 [2] and just three when her mother died the following year. The children's aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, who had been nursing their mother then took over the management of the family and remained at Haworth for the rest of her life.

In August 1824 Rev. Brontë sent his four eldest daughters to the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire. Maria and Elizabeth were enrolled in July, Charlotte on 10 August and Emily on 25 November.[3]In 1825 an outbreak of typhoid at the school resulted a number of girls becoming ill including Maria and Elizabeth. Maria was taken home in February 1825 and died at home on 6 May. [4] Elizabeth, Charlotte and Emily were brought home on 1 June and Elizabeth died on 15 June.[4] Emily, her sisters and brother were then schooled at home by their father and their aunt Elizabeth Branwell.[5]

At seventeen, Emily attended Miss Wooler's Girls' School at Roe Head in Mirfield, where her older sister, Charlotte, was a teacher, but stayed only three months. Emily became a teacher at Law Hill School in Halifax beginning in September 1838, but returned home in April 1839, this being her only experience of paid employment. She spent the next three years at Haworth [6] and, besides writing, Emily filled her time with household duties, piano playing and with her pet dog, cat, hawk and geese.[5]

In 1842 Emily embarked on her fourth and final sojourn away from Haworth. With her sister Charlotte she travelled to Pensionnat Heger, a large boarding school in Brussels to gain an education in languages in preparation for establishing their own school. Their aunt, Elizabeth Branwell, financed some of costs of their trip, with Charlotte teaching English and Emily music in return for their board and tuition.[7] Nine months later Elizabeth died [8] and the girls were summoned home to Haworth. Charlotte returned to Brussels the following year but Emily was to remain at Haworth for the remainder of her life.[5]

In May 1846 Charlotte, Emily, and Anne published a joint collection of their poems under their assumed names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. The pseudonyms veiled the sisters' gender while preserving their initials. The sisters did most of their writing at the dining table in the parsonage. Emily Brontë's only novel, Wuthering Heights, was first published in London by Thomas Cautley Newby in December 1847 under her pseudonym, Ellis Bell. [9] The novel, which has become a classic of English literature, was not well received though acknowledged to be powerful. Having no moral purpose and peopled by coarse and passionate characters with no redeeming features the novel failed.

Emily died of tuberculosis one year later on 19 December 1848.[10]. She was buried in the family crypt in the Church of St Michael and All Angels at Haworth, on 22 December 1848. [11]

On May 22, 1850, Charlotte wrote of her deceased sister Emily,

"For my part I am free to walk on the moors - but when I go out there alone - everything reminds me of the times when others were with me and then the moors seem a wilderness, featureless, solitary, saddening - My sister Emily had a particular love for them, and there is not a knoll of heather, not a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf, not a fluttering lark or linnet but reminds me of her."[12]


  1. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J3V1-HBZ : 11 February 2018, Emily Jane Bronte, 20 Aug 1818); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 990,544.
  2. Venn Cambridge Alumni: Patrick Bronte
  3. Thormählen, Marianne, ed. The Brontës in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, p.xxi.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Chitham, Edward. A Life of Emily Brontë. Rev. ed. Stroud: Amberley, 2010. Google Books preview
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Barker, Juliet. 2004 "Brontë, Emily Jane [pseud. Ellis Bell] (1818–1848), novelist and poet." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  6. 1841 Census of England
    Parsonage House, Haworth, Bradford, Yorkshire, England
    First NameLast NameRelationshipMarital StatusGenderAgeOccupationBirth Place
    PatrickBronte--Male60 ClergymanIreland
    Emily JaneBronte--Female20-Yorkshire
  7. “Constantin Héger.” Wikipedia, December 21, 2017. Constantin Héger
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Branwell
  9. Wikipedia: Wuthering Heights
  10. "England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2J9Q-DFT : 31 December 2014), Emily Jane Bronte, 1848; from "England & Wales Deaths, 1837-2006," database, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : 2012); citing Death, Keighley, Yorkshire, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
  11. St Michael and All Angels, Haworth (22 December 1848 Emily Jane Bronte 29 years)
  12. Haworth Village Charlotte Brontë

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No known carriers of Emily's ancestors' mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 7
Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights

Emily and Anne Brontë
Emily and Anne Brontë

Brontë Family vault memorial marker
Brontë Family vault memorial marker

The Moors in Yorkshire, England
The Moors in Yorkshire, England

Portrait of Brontë Sisters
Portrait of Brontë Sisters

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On 25 Jul 2018 at 23:31 GMT Marsha (Cramer) Baker wrote:

RE: Isabelle Rassinot wrote:

Thanks for this profile! Just one little detail, I thought she died in Haworth?

(See above, these words.)

Charlotte returned to Brussels the following year but Emily was to remain at Haworth for the remainder of her life.[5]

On 3 Jun 2018 at 19:45 GMT Isabelle Rassinot wrote:

Thanks for this profile! Just one little detail, I thought she died in Haworth?

On 9 Nov 2014 at 14:53 GMT Maggie N. wrote:

Thanks for working on this profile ! Great stuff.

Emily is 30 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 28 degrees from Burl Ives and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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