Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

July 29, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 5:04 pm

Rose Ann’s Grave

Grave of first cousin to the Brontes found in Yorkshire.

The umlauts will not work today.

Richard Wilcocks recently shared some very interesting news about a relative of the Brontes that I have not heard very much about at all: Rose Ann Heslip. Mr. Wilcocks’s post can be found here: although you will not be able to view it without a membership at the yahoo group, I believe. He posted some material which will eventually be on the front page of the Bronte Gazette for September. Here are some excerpts:

Rose Ann’s mother was Sarah Bronte who was the only sister of Rev Patrick Bronte to marry. Sarah married a Simon Collins and had ten children. Rose Annwas the only one to marry and carry on the line. Rose Ann was the niece ofPatrick Bronte and his children’s cousin, yet they never met. CharlotteBronte once mentioned an ‘Aunt Collins’ to Ellen Nussey of whom she said ‘sheknew little to her regret’. That was long before Rose Ann came to live in theSpen Valley, West Yorkshire.


The story of how Rose Ann was found by the literary world is one worthy of theBrontes. A Dr William Wright wrote an article entitled The Brontës in Irelandin McClures Magazine, extracts from which were published in the Bradford DailyTelegraph. Rose Ann read them and was very displeased, thinking that certainparts were deeply insulting to her family, so she sent her son-in-law down toLondon to seek out the author. This led to a newspaper interview with Rose Annwho until then was quite unknown. Dr Wright visited her at home, where she toldhim what she thought of his writings about her family in no uncertain terms. Hethen changed what he had written in the second edition of his book.

Rose Ann visited Haworth for the first time on the fourth of November 1893through the kindness of Dr Wright. Haworth church was open for the party tolook around. The church warden commented to the family on the likeness of RoseAnn to Charlotte Bronte, her cousin. She was taken to the Black Bull wherelike so many visitors she sat in the chair in which her cousin Branwell Bronte used to sit. There was no evidence that she visited the Parsonage.

I hope I will be able to read the full article when it comes out in the Gazette! I don’t how to get a copy of it, but I would like to know more about the relatives of Patrick Bronte.

Above: Rose Ann’s Grave Churchwarden Joan Pinder with grave of Patrick Brontë’s niece Rose Ann Heslip in Cleckheaton


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