My article in Bronte Studies

My article in Bronte Studies
My article

Tuesday 23 January 2018

William and Australia

Ellen and Margaret Williams, with thanks to Cheryl Pivac
In the early 1850s William's eldest son, William Frank (known as Frank), emigrated to New South Wales with some guidance from Elizabeth Gaskell then a friend of Charlotte Bronte. He married in Sydney in 1855 and he and his wife Ellen had a son and a daughter. There is reason to believe that Frank died before his father (1875).

Norman Penty, who did so much research into William's family tree, traced Frank's progeny to Mark Wasson and Stephen and Kent Warner who live in Sydney. If anyone knows them, I would love to make contact.

The only other Australian connection I have come across is that William read Catherine Spence's Clara Morison but declined it with a letter similar to that he sent to Charlotte Bronte on reading The Professor.


Thank you so much, Australian cousins, for getting in touch. The picture in filling in a fascinating way.

Sunday 14 January 2018

William and Kentish Town

William moved from Paddington to Harmood Road in Kentish Town at about the time of the Great Reform Act of 1832.

They lived first at 25 and then at 31. I visited there on Saturday, only to find that those numbers now attached to modern town houses. I had hoped to see number 31 a step up in the world for the Williams family. Happily over the road the original late Georgian houses remain and are wonderful.
I mentioned the Great Reform Act because it extended the franchise to included those owning houses worth more than £10 per annum. Did the Harmood Road properties cross the qualification threshold? I haven't yet traced William to the electoral register, but I will keep looking.

He would have been very much in favour of the Act and would have been looking forward to further reforms in the coming decade.

He was at the time working for the pioneering lithographer, Charles Hulmandell, but also in touch with influential periodicals such as the Examiner, Athenaeum and Spectator. In due course he would become a contributor of articles on art, theatre and literature.