|Birth: ||1813, England|
|Death: ||May 6, 1825, England|
First of the six children born to the Rev. Patrick Bronte and his wife, the former Maria Branwell, 12-year-old Maria Bronte was the model for the character Helen Burns in "Jane Eyre", the classic novel written by her celebrated younger sister Charlotte. Born in Hartshead, Yorkshire in 1813, Maria was a toddler when her parents moved their growing family to the town of Thornton, where her more famous siblings--Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne--were born in quick succession. The young Brontes enjoyed a loving and creatively stimulating childhood, although in 1821, when Maria was seven years old, they suffered the loss of their mother to cancer. By this time the family had come to the parsonage at Haworth, on the Yorkshire moors, and Maria and three of her sisters had lived there happily until 1824, when they were sent away to Cowan Bridge School, a semi-charitable institution for the daughters of clegymen. Life at the school, which provided the model for "Lowood" in "Jane Eyre", proved miserable for the Bronte girls, and ultimately lethal for the two eldest, Maria and Elizabeth. Underfed and undernourished, exposed to extreme cold and disease, and continually subjected to fire-and-brimstone harangues by the staff and bullying by older girls, they became consumptive. Patrick Bronte withdrew all four by the year's end, but Maria's and Elizabeth's health had been irreparably damaged. They both died of tuberculosis--the disease which would eventually claim the lives of all six Bronte siblings--in the spring of 1825, Maria predeceasing Elizabeth by six weeks.
Patrick Bronte (1777 - 1861)
Maria Branwell Bronte (1783 - 1821)
St Michael and All Angels Churchyard
West Yorkshire, England
Created by: Nikita Barlow
Record added: Feb 19, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17994336
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