Patrick Brontë – the patriarch
In the beginning
Patrick Brontë, born Brunty, was the oldest of ten children born to Hugh Brunty, a farm labourer, and Alice McClory. He grew up in the small village of Drumballyroney in Country Down, Northern Ireland. At the age of twelve, Patrick was apprenticed to a blacksmith, and the to a linen draper and a weaver until he became a teacher in 1798. In 1802, he was given an opportunity to study theology at St John’s College, Cambridge, from where he received his degree in 1806. He was appointed curate at Wethersfield in Essex, where he was ordained a deacon of the Church of England in 1806 and into the priesthood in 1807.
Patrick Brontë met his wife, Maria Branwell, during his time as a school examiner at Wesleyan Academy, Woodhouse Grove School near Guiseley. The couple married on 29 December 1812 following which they moved into a house on Halifax Road, Liversedge where their first two daughters, Maria and Elizabeth, were born. In 1815, he moved on to become the perpetual curate of Thornton and his four other children, Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, Emily and Anne were all born there. The Brontë family moved to Haworth in April 1820 after Patrick was offered the perpetual curacy of St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Haworth.
Interesting information about Patrick Brontë
Patrick Brontë was a published poet. In 1810, his 256-line poem Winter Evening Thoughts, appeared in a local newspaper and in 1811 he published a collection of moral verses called Collage Poems.
He was a remarkable clergyman and was most concerned about the welfare of his parishioners. He founded a Sunday School in Haworth and campaigned for the improvement of sanitation in the village. In addition, he did not support the strict Calvinist doctrine of only the “elect” reaching Heaven and his attitude tended towards the message of forgiveness and hope.
He slept with a loaded gun next to his bed at night, having lived through periods of Luddite and Chartist violence which effected clergyman. Every morning, he discharged the bullet by firing it from his bedroom window across the adjacent graveyard.
Before his son, Branwell’s, death in 1848, he shared his room with his son in order to watch out for his safety. Branwell was addicted to alcohol and opium which made him a danger to himself.
His eyesight deteriorated with age until he was almost blind. When he was 69 years old, he travelled to Manchester with Charlotte for a cataract operation which he undertook without anesthetic. It improved his eyesight and although he continued to wear glasses, he was able to read with the help of a magnifying glass. It was during their time in Manchester, that Charlotte started writing her book, Jane Eyre.
To find out more about the Brontë family, click HERE to read a review by Olga Nunez Miret of The Mother of the Brontës: When Maria Met Patrick by Sharon Wright (@penswordbooks) Highly recommended to Brontës fans and to early XIX century historians.
“They were from different lands, different classes, different worlds almost.
The chances of Cornish gentlewoman Maria Branwell even meeting the poor Irish curate Patrick Brontë in Regency England, let alone falling passionately in love, were remote.
Yet Maria and Patrick did meet, making a life together as devoted lovers and doting parents in the heartland of the industrial revolution.”
About the author
Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton).
All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.
Find and follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Books by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Through the Nethergate
Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
It is available from Lulu.com here: Lulu.com
It is also available from TSL Publications as a soft copy book here: TSL Publications
While the Bombs Fell
What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.
Robbie also writes as Robbie Cheadle
The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery
… a perfect recipe for sharing with children. Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.
You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:
or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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