- Born: 26 Feb 1817, Gomersal, West Yorkshire, England
- Died: 1 Mar 1893, Gomersal, West Yorkshire, England at age 76
Known as Pag or Polly. she was at Roe Head School when Charlotte Bronte arrived, and - with Ellen Nussey - became one of her closest friends.
Charlotte confided in Mary the secrets of the family's fantasy worlds
In 1842, she enrolled at the Château de Koekelberg in Brussels, joining her sister Martha.
After the death of her sister, Martha, Mary went to study in Germany.
In February 1845, Charlotte Bronte said goodbye to Mary at Hunsworth Mill. On 21st March 1845, she emigrated - following her brother Waring. She sailed on the vessel "Louisa Campbell" to Wellington, New Zealand, a country which had only recently joined the British Empire. Mary planned to start a new business in Wellington. Mary and Waring established a drapery store - named after herself - in 1849. In 1853, it was one of the major stores of Wellington.
Mary and Charlotte Bronte continued to correspond. Mary destroyed the correspondence.
In 1859, she sold the business to her assistant, James Smith - who renamed it after himself.
In 1860, she returned to England and went to live at Gomersal. She built a house, Highroyd and lived there for the rest of her life.
She wrote The First Duty of Women , Swiss Notes and a novel entitled Miss Miles
She was one of the informants for Mrs Gaskell. She is buried at St Mary's Church, Gomersal.
The Yorke Sisters were based upon her (as Rose Yorke) and her sister Martha
Mary Taylor Place and Date of Birth Gomersal, West Yorkshire, 26/02/1817 Mary Taylor was a Gomersal wool merchant's daughter. A close friend of Charlotte Bronte, Mary was an extraordinary woman of her era. She refused to be bound by traditionally accepted roles for 19th Century middle class women, e.g she emigrated to New Zealand and set up in business. Main Works Miss Miles - A Tale of Yorkshire Life, The First Duty of Women