I couldn't let today end without remembering it as Charlotte Bronte's birthday. She was born, as I'm sure you already know, on April 21st 1816, in Thornton; the third daughter of Maria and Patrick Bronte. Charlotte was named after Maria's youngest sister. Maria's first child, also named Maria, had been born in 1814; a year later, she gave birth to her second daughter, on February 8th 1815, who was named after an elder sister, Elizabeth.
Thus by the time of Charlotte's birth, Maria Bronte had three daughters under the age of three.
Branwell was born the following year (June 26 1817); Emily on 30 July 1818; and Anne on 17 January 1820. Six children in six years... Poor Maria. Patrick moved his family to the parsonage in Haworth in April 1820. By the beginning of the following year, it became clear that Maria was mortally ill. She had cancer (probably of the uterus), and died on 15th September 1821. In the days before she died, she cried out, over and over again, 'Oh God, my poor children.'