Dewsbury is an industrial town in the Kirklees area of West Yorkshire.

Patrick Bronte held his first appointments in what was then the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1809 as curate to Dewsbury Church and then in 1811 as minister at St Peter's Church in nearby Hartshead.

Since those days Dewsbury has been absorbed into the main part of the West Yorkshire conurbation (which includes the cities of Bradford and Leeds as well as the towns of Huddersfield and Wakefield).

Despite all these changes several buildings associated with the Bronte family in the area still remain, including Clough House in Hightown (where Patrick and Maria Branwell Bronte lived prior to their move to Thornton), Roe Head School (near Mirfield (where Charlotte, Emily and Anne were pupils, and where Charlotte also became a teacher).

At the turn of the 19th century the area was associated with the Luddites and their campaign against increasing mechanisation in the mills. Their plight and the political climate at the time provided inspiration for Charlotte Bronte's novel "Shirley".

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