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Rev. Edmund Robinson and Mrs. Lydia Robinson
(nee Gisborne)
Mrs. Lydia Robinson
Between 1840 and 1845, Anne worked as governess to the Robinson children at Thorp Green Hall - situated near York. In 1843 she obtained a post for her brother, Branwell: he was to become tutor to the young Edmund Robinson (jnr.) who had grown out of Anne's care. However, shortly after his arrival there, Mrs. Robinson enticed him into a secret relationship. The affair went on for two and a half years before it was discovered by her husband, Edmund Robinson (snr.) (Anne and Branwell's employer), and Branwell was summarily dismissed from his post. The portrait is of the said 'Mrs. Robinson', who was later referred to by Charlotte's friend and biographer, Elizabeth Gaskell, as 'that bad woman who corrupted Branwell Brontë'. Edmund Robinson (snr.) died in 1846 at the age of 46: Lydia went on to re-marry, this time to a man 27 years her senior - and became 'Lady Scott': she died on 19 June 1859 aged 59.
Thorp Green Hall
Ann Marshall was Mrs. Robinson's personal maid and confidant. She worked at Thorp Green Hall throughout the time Anne and Branwell were there. Branwell later told his friend, John Brown (the Haworth sexton), that she had seen him 'do enough [with Mrs. Robinson] to hang him.'
Some sort of friendship must have developed between Anne and Ann, as the former gave the latter one of the paintings she had produced at Thorp Green - and this still remains with a descendant of Ann's family (see 'The Art of Anne Brontë' - from 'Main Page'). Ann Marshall died unmarried on 16 April 1847 at the age of 38.

Ann Marshall
In June 1843 Anne's charges at Thorp Green - the Robinson girls - gave her this spaniel dog as a gift. Anne named it 'Flossy', and brought it home to the Parsonage where it spent the rest of its life. The following summer Flossy had a pup, and this was given to Ellen Nussey as a gift: Ellen decided to name it 'Flossy' after its parent. This water-colour painting was produced in 1843 - soon after Flossy's arrival in the Brontë household: for many years it was attributed to Charlotte, but recent study into many aspects of the painting leave little doubt that it was actually by Emily. The dog outlived Anne by many years, dying in 1854 - 'without a pang . . . no dog ever had a happier life or an easier death' - reported Charlotte many years later.

'Flossy' - Anne's dog (by Emily Brontë)
© Митрофанова Екатерина Борисовна, 2009 |