Mother of the Bronte Sisters. Maria Branwell was born into a prosperous merchant family. She was the eighth of eleven children of Thomas Branwell and Anne Carne. After four deaths in the family she got a job assistng her aunt as a housekeeper of a school in Yorkshire. While she was there she met Rev Patrick Bronte and they married in 1812. She wrote The Advantages of Poverty, In Religious Concerns" but it was never published. Within a year of moving to Haworth she developed cancer, possibly of the uterus, and after a painful seven months she died.