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Patrick Bronte (1777-1861)

Patrick Bronte was born at Emnath, Drumballrooney, Ireland. He was educated at St John's College Cambridge where he was supported financially by the evangelicals William Wilberforce and Henry Thornton. Bronte was ordained in 1806 and served a curacy in Essex until 1809, after which he became a curate at Wellington in Shropshire for a short time. During his time in Wellington, Bronte made the acquaintance of the prominent lay Methodist Mary Fletcher.

In December 1809 he moved to West Yorkshire and occupied curacies in several parishes until 1820 when he was appointed Perpetual Curate of Haworth where he was to remain for the rest of his life. He maintained very friendly relations with Methodists and served for a time as examiner at Woodhouse Grove School near Leeds. During his visits to the school, Bronte met the Cornish Methodist Maria Branwell who he later married.

Bronte was a published poet in his own right but his chief claim to fame lies in his daughters, the famous Bronte sisters of Haworth.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995), The Story of Woodhouse Grove School by F. C. Pritchard (1978), 19-20 and the Fletcher-Tooth collection (MARC)

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