British Painter, Writer, and Poet. He was the brother of the three Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte, who all became renowned authors. Born Patrick Branwell Bronte in Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, he was the fourth of six children of Patrick and Marie Bronte. His father was the Thornton chapel curate and an amateur poet. When he was five years old, his father was appointed to the perpetual curacy in the nearby town of Haworth and the family moved into the 5-room Haworth Parsonage where they would spend the rest of their lives. In 1821 his mother died and his aunt (her mother's sister) moved in the home to help raise the children. He was educated at home by his father who geared it to where he could potentially get accepted at Oxford or Cambridge Universities in England. An avid reader in his youth, he took a leadership role with his older sister Charlotte, in a series of imaginary role-playing games with his younger sisters Emily and Anne, where they would write plays about the characters in their literary fictional and imaginary worlds and acting them out. In January 1829 at the age of 11, he began writing and producing his own magazine, "Branwell's Blackwood's Magazine." He also was trained as a painter by portrait artist William Robinson and in 1834 he painted a portrait of himself with his three sisters but painted out his image because he was dissatisfied with it. He worked as a portrait painter at Bradford at Bradford, in West Yorkshire, England from 1838 to 1839. Between 1835 and 1842 he wrote to Blackwood's Magazine on several occasions, sending his poems for publication and offering his services. In January 1840 he began working as a tutor with the family of Robert Postlethwaite at Broughton-in-Furness but was terminated five months later. He then secured a position as a clerk with the Manchester and Leeds Railway at their Sowerby Bridge station and later at the Luddendenfoot station but was dismissed when the company's books came up short. In January 1843, with the help of his sister Anne, he obtained a position at Thorp Green as a tutor to the Reverend Edmund Robinson's youngest child Edmund, but soon became involved in a secret romantic tryst with Reverend Robinson's wife Lydia, and he was dismissed in July 1845 after Reverend Robinson became aware of the relationship. He returned to his father's home in Haworth where, after hearing about the death of Reverend Robinson and his widow's intentions of not marrying him, he became deeply depressed, falling into debt and resorting to heavy drinking and drug use. His behavior soon became irrational and dangerous due to the development of delirium tremens (or the "shakes"). The combination of his addictions masked the onset of tuberculosis, for which he was not diagnosed until he collapsed outside his home and a physician examined him and determined he was in the disease's final stages. He died at the Haworth parsonage at the age of 31. While his death certificate lists "chronic bronchitis-marasmus" as the cause, he most likely died of tuberculosis aggravated by delirium tremens. His death was followed within a year by the deaths of his younger sisters Emily and Anne, also from tuberculosis.
Bio by: William Bjornstad
Records on Ancestry