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Margaret Wooler was both headmistress, and joint owner of the school at Roe Head (Roe Head being a hamlet situated at the north-western tip of Mirfield - about 18 miles south-east of Haworth). The first Brontë encounter with Roe Head School was when Charlotte attended as a pupil in 1831. It was here, amongst her fellow pupils, that she met the two girls who were to become her life long friends; Mary Taylor (pictured left), and Ellen Nussey (pictured right). Indeed, a life-long friendship also formed between Miss Wooler and Charlotte after Charlotte returned to the school in 1835 as a teacher, bringing with her Emily as a pupil. Emily soon became very ill with home-sickness and was replaced by Anne, who spent the next few years (October 1835 - December 1837) at the school. At the end of Anne's first year, she attained a prize for good conduct. The prize bore the inscription: 'Prize for good conduct presented to Miss A. Brontë with Miss Wooler's kind love, Roe Head. Dec.14th. 1836.' 54n
Anne spent a longer period as a pupil at this school than either Charlotte, Emily, Ellen Nussey or Mary Taylor.
Miss Wooler also owned a house at Scarborough's very reserved North Bay, and when she heard of Anne's planned visit to the resort in 1849 in the hope of effecting a recovery from consumption, she offered the Brontë/Nussey party accommodation in that house. The offer was respectfully refused as Anne wanted to be in the area of Scarborough she knew and loved - the South Bay. As it transpired, Miss Wooler was also at Scarborough that week, and in addition to Charlotte and Ellen Nussey, she was the only other mourner at Anne's funeral. Five years later, in June 1854, she gave Charlotte away at her wedding; when Charlotte married her father's assistant curate, the Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls. Miss Wooler lived a long life, making it to 93 before she died in 1885. Mary Taylor died at the age of 76 in 1893, and Ellen Nussey followed in November 1897 aged 80.
|© Митрофанова Екатерина Борисовна, 2009 ||