Notes and Sources - Scarborough 1
N.B: The notes/sources below can be accessed individually by clicking on the small, superscripted numbers found with the relevant text throughout this web-site. The 'return' link at the end of each individual note/source will take you back whence you came. Some of the superscripted numbers are followed by a small letter 'n'; this denotes a 'note' as opposed to a mere 'source'. (Internet Explorer users beware: you may not always be 'taken to' or 'returned to' precisely the designated location on the page: for accurate results every time - use Netscape.)

Giving sources relating to Elizabeth Gaskell's 'The Life of Charlotte Brontë' presents a problem: there are so many different editions of this book, it is pointless giving page numbers. In this case I have tried to indicate where the information is located by giving the approximate distance through the relevant chapter (i.e. a quarter way through CH.5). In some cases I have stated the information's proximity to a dated letter - as all letters in the book are presented in date order, and are easy to locate.

BPM = Brontë Parsonage Museum (library).


1) Edward Chitham has estimated their time of arrival to have been around 2.00 p.m. - Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.184. (return)

2) Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.110. (return)

3) Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.111. (return)

4) Harrison and Stanford, 'Anne Brontë - Her Life and Work', p.152/153. (return)

5) The picture is not dated, but must have been taken between 1898 and 1907 as the 'Warwick Revolving Tower', which only existed throughout this period, can be seen at the rear-end of the castle. (return)

6) Such displays are common around the 'Spa Complex Buildings' area at the South Bay, and would have been just the same in the 1840s, when Henry Wyatt's Gothic Saloon stood on this site. (return)

7) Edward Chitham has estimated their time of arrival to have been around 2.00 p.m. - see Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.184. (return)

8) In her notes section, Winifred Gerin states: 'The Baths: doubtless Harland's Baths, situated at the corner of Falconer's Road and Vernon Place, the nearest to the Cliff lodgings of any of the Baths in town . . .' (Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.350 - note 315): however, they were not the nearest to the lodgings - Champley's Baths - directly opposite Harland's were slightly closer (both were around 350 yards from Wood's), possibly being accessed via a back street leading directly to the top of St. Nicholas Cliff; but Travis' Baths were even closer, being little over a hundred yards from Anne's residence (situated just at the 'entrance' to St. Nicholas Cliff - see Scarborough Map 1845, here; and full original map at Scarborough Library) - see also 'Travis' Baths', accessible from map (this web-site) - with associated note 10. (return)

9) The suggestion that Anne may have visited these, and/or the other 'indoor baths' near St. Nicholas Cliff while at Scarborough with the Robinsons, is based, firstly, on the fact that Mr. Robinson's 'cash accounts' actually contain entries for "Sea Baths", proving that the Robinsons certainly visited these premises (see Gerin, 'Branwell Brontë - A Biography', p.232); and secondly, on the morning after her arrival - on her dying visit in 1849, Anne insisted on attending one of these baths, and being allowed to bathe there alone, which seems to indicate that it was an activity in which she had engaged before. (return)

10) On the morning after her arrival - on her dying visit in 1849, Anne insisted on attending one of the local baths, and being allowed to bathe there alone. She subsequently made her own way back to the lodgings, and collapsed of exhaustion at the gateway. Considering her extreme physical weakness (she had been escorted around in a wheel-chair much of the time throughout this York/Scarborough venture), the baths she attended must have been close to the lodgings - and these were by far the closest (approx. 100-150 yards) - see also 'Harland's Baths', accessible from map - with associated note 8. (return)

11)  At the time of writing, the site of these baths is occupied by a (sort of) courtyard which sinks a little below road level. On the sides of this courtyard abutting the road can be seen the remains of an old brick wall - which I believe are the foundations of the old baths.

In the 'Scarborough Millennium' attraction - situated on Sandside (close to the harbour and piers), is a coloured drawing of part of the interior of these baths (though it doesn't show a deal!). (return)

12) No sketches of any local baths exist in the 1840 Theakston's Guide, however, they are presented in many other editions throughout the 1840s; and, as the picture shows Wood's Lodgings before the 1842 large central block was erected, the sketches must have been produced around 1841. Theakston's Guides can be accessed in Scarborough Library (local studies section). (return)

13) The couple absconded to Gretna Green, Scotland (see Chitham, 'A Life of Anne Brontë', p.130 & p.149. Also Barker, 'The Brontës', p.460). English law requires that persons aged between 16 and 18 (previously it was up to the age of 21) who wish to marry, must obtain parental permission; however, this is not required under Scottish law. Over the last few hundred years, many couples who have found themselves in this age group while wishing to marry, and could not obtain their parents permission, have eloped to Scotland so that their marriage ceremony could go ahead. The first settlement over the Scottish border is Gretna Green, and this village is now world-famous for such marriages. (return)

14) The Robinsons' interest in music is further shown in Mr. Robinson's 'cash accounts' where there are entries for, 5 shillings [25p] at a time for the "Scarbro' Band", and the hire of a piano for four weeks. - see Gerin, 'Branwell Brontë - A Biography', p.232. (return)

15) These 'Marine Houses' were demolished between 1842 and 1845 - they are clearly indicated on the 1842 Scarborough map, but do not exist on the 1845 version. See maps - Scarborough Library. (return)

16) The suggestion that Anne may have visited these, and/or the other 'indoor baths' near St. Nicholas Cliff while at Scarborough with the Robinsons, is based, firstly, on the fact that Mr. Robinson's 'cash accounts' actually contain entries for "Sea Baths", proving that the Robinsons certainly visited these premises (see Gerin, 'Branwell Brontë - A Biography', p.232); and secondly, on the morning after her arrival - on her dying visit in 1849, Anne insisted on attending one of these baths, and being allowed to bathe there alone, which seems to indicate that it was an activity in which she had engaged before. (return)

17) The 'Rotunda Museum', shown in the picture, did not exist prior to 1829; and by 1842, Wood's Lodgings, seen on the Cliff, had had the larger 'central block' building added - hence, this picture must have been produced between these dates. (return)

18) Several contemporary paintings confirm that holidaymakers did take walks along the pathways that weave along the uneven slopes of the South Cliff, just as they do today (see 'Anne Brontë Was Here' - 'Gallery 2' - accessible from 'Main Page'): considering Anne's love for walking, and the time she spent at the resort, there can be little doubt that she also, would have taken walks along these pathways. A note in Ellen Nussey's diary for 1 June (Fri) 1849 - two days after Anne had been interred - states 'At the South Cliff 1849.' - indicating that she and Charlotte had spent some time in this area of the resort - probably on Anne's recommendation: the previous day they had visited the castle. (return)

19) The 'Rotunda Museum', shown in the picture, did not exist prior to 1829; and by 1842, Wood's Lodgings, seen on the Cliff, had had the larger 'central block' building added - hence, this picture must have been produced between these dates. (return)

20) The steep section of road leading from Anne's grave up to, and into the castle grounds, was once known as 'Castle Hill' (see various Scarborough maps - c.1870, c.1899 & c.1905 - Scarborough Reference Library). It was almost certainly the approach shown in this photograph (along Castle Road), that Anne had in mind when writing this section of Agnes Grey. Another approach was from the 'old town' (off to the right in this picture) travelling up Church Steps Street, then climbing the long incline of steps to arrive at the south-side of the church (right-hand side as seen in this picture); however, Anne's description does not seem to fit this latter approach quite as accurately.

Ellen Nussey recorded in her diary, for Thursday May 31 1849 - the day following Anne's funeral: 'Visited Scarbro castle with C.B.'. This would very likely have been on Anne's recommendation, which is another indication, if any were needed, that Anne had visited the castle grounds. It certainly eradicates any doubt that the public were allowed to enter the grounds at that time. (return)

21) Several people have remarked that, as Scarborough is on the east coast, it is not possible to observe a 'sunset over the sea' - anyone looking out to sea could only witness a 'sunrise' - the sun actually setting behind them, over the land; which is, of course, true. However, I believe Anne's reference could well be to the 'red-sky-at-night' syndrome, where certain cloud formations at sunset produce an orange-yellow-red luminous glow spanning well across the sky. I have witnessed this effect several times at Scarborough, and it certainly does give a spectacular display as one looks out to sea. It may also have been such a sunset that Ellen Nussey noted in her reminiscences of Anne's last night - when Anne sat in her easy-chair watching 'the most glorious sunset ever witnessed' through her lodgings room window. (return)

22) Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.321. The Scarborough Gazette report also indicated that No. 2 the Cliff contained "Mrs. Jefferson's" rooms. Each suite at Wood's Lodgings had it's own 'housekeeper', and Mrs. Jefferson was responsible for 'No. 2'. - see Wood's Lodgings advert on this web-site - from 'Main Page': follow link to 'Notes and Sources', then link to 'Notes and Sources (Wood's Lodgings)'. (return)

23) Barker, 'The Brontës', p.594. (return)

24) Anne's age is also given as 28 on her death certificate (currently at the Brontë Parsonage Museum), and in the 'Christ Church' death register. Winifred Gerin attributes these mistakes to Ellen Nussey (Gerin, 'Anne Brontë - A Biography', p.321) whom she claims registered the death; however, it seems to me unlikely that Ellen would be the one to dictate the wording for Anne's gravestone. Also, Emily's funeral card and death certificate state that she died aged 29; when, in fact, she was 30; Branwell's funeral card and death certificate indicate that he was 30 when he died, though he was actually 31. In conclusion, I suspect Charlotte was responsible for the errors. It also seems very curious that, even when Charlotte returned to Anne's grave three years later, and had the stone re-faced in order to correct the 'five errors' she discovered on it, this 'mistake' was not rectified! No one seems able to offer any explanation for this strange scenario. (return)

25) The exact date that the grave surround was added has not been determined, but I suspect it was sometime early this century (possibly in the 1920s) - it certainly wasn't there in 1897. See - Percy Cross Standing, 'At The Grave of Anne Brontë: 1849-1897', (p.525). BPM. (return)

26) The interview took place in February 1897, and was conducted by one Percy Cross Standing. The resultant article appeared in the 'English Illustrated Magazine' in August of that year. See - Percy Cross Standing, 'At The Grave of Anne Brontë: 1849-1897', (P.A.1) (p.525). BPM. (return)

27) Several people have remarked that, as Scarborough is on the east coast, it is not possible to observe a 'sunset over the sea' - anyone looking out to sea could only witness a 'sunrise' - the sun actually setting behind them, over the land; which is, of course, true. However, I believe Anne's reference could well be to the 'red-sky-at-night' syndrome, where certain cloud formations at sunset produce an orange-yellow-red luminous glow spanning well across the sky. I have witnessed this effect several times at Scarborough, and it certainly does give a spectacular display as one looks out to sea. It may also have been such a sunset that Ellen Nussey noted in her reminiscences of Anne's last night - when Anne sat in her easy-chair watching 'the most glorious sunset ever witnessed' through her lodgings room window. (return)

28) This poem is often cited as the 'proof' that Anne's first visit to Scarborough occurred in 1840 (there is other, definite, proof for subsequent years). The locale description in the poem certainly makes it easy to locate the setting at Scarborough. Contemporary maps indicate that the several approach roads to and up 'Oliver's Mount' (from the north and east sides) would be in a rural setting; and anyone walking along these would certainly have the 'lofty hill' rising in front of them, with the sea behind. The 'mount' is situated a little under a mile south of the Grand Hotel, and about half a mile from the sea-front placing it within easy walking distance of Anne's lodgings. See poem 'The Bluebell' in 'The Poems of Anne Brontë' - accessed from 'Main Page'; also see 'Before me rose a lofty hill, Behind me lay the sea' section - from 'Main Page'. (return)


(Continued on Notes and Sources - Scarborough 2)


BPM = Brontë Parsonage Museum (library).


Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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