Maria Branwell was the daughter of Thomas and Anne Branwell of Penzance. The family was prominent in the town and there are still many reminders today in the names of places, such as Branwell Lane and Branwell House (the local social security office!).
She left Cornwall in 1812 when she married the Rev Patrick Bronte. Among her children were the famous authors Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte. Her son, Branwell, took her family name. In 1820 the family moved to Haworth, on the West Yorkshire Moors, where, tragically, Maria died a year later.
The following year, Maria’s younger sister Elizabeth left her home in Penzance to travel to Yorkshire to care for the six Bronte children. The Branwell family home can still be seen on Chapel Street, Penzance where it is part of a row of brick town houses sometimes referred to as the 'Rotterdam buildings'.