June 6

Published in On this Day listing

  • Above: Patrick Bronte—tragically outlived all his children.

    1861 Patrick Bronte (84), clergyman, poet and social campaigner, died. By the time he reached his mid-70s, Bronte was a lonely widower in failing health, who had lost most of his family—first his wife, Maria, followed four years later by his daughters Maria (11) and Elizabeth (10), and then, over just an eight-month period, his son Branwell (31) and his daughters Emily (30) and Anne (29). Nevertheless, there was some consolation. He still had Charlotte and the satisfaction of seeing her achieve literary fame after the publication of Jane Eyre (1847) and Villette (1853), and, indeed, the posthumous recognition of both Emily and Anne. His delight was short-lived, however. In December 1852 Charlotte announced her wish to marry his curate, Arthur Nicholls. Little wonder that he strongly objected. Apart from any other considerations, he feared that she would not have the strength for childbirth, but he relented and his fears were confirmed. She died within a year of her marriage, along with her unborn child, from an acute form of morning sickness at the age of 38. Thereafter, until his death, his parish duties fell mainly to Nicholls, though he continued to visit the poor and the sick, and successfully concluded a campaign to get a clean water supply for the village. As for Arthur Nicholls, he hoped to succeed Bronte as rector of Haworth but was turned down by the parish guardians, probably because he had no independent means. He returned to Banagher, Co. Offaly, where he had been reared by an uncle, married his cousin and lived out his years in genteel poverty as a small farmer. He made no attempt to secure another clerical appointment and died, aged 87, in 1906.

  • 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy. By the close of the day, the Allies had managed to land c. 156,000 troops, including c. 66,000 Irishmen. Over a 48-hour period some 3,000 Allied troops were killed, as were a similar number of French civilians.
  • 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy. Some 120,000 Irishmen—c. 70,000 from ‘neutral’ Ireland—served in the British army during the Second World War.

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