Whenever someone claims to be the reincarnation of a well-known historical personality, a healthy dose of scepticism is generally required. I have lost count of the number of people claiming to be the reincarnation of Jesus, for instance.
This case is absolutely not one of those.
There is a very strong likelihood that Jewelle St. James, a health-care worker from British Columbia, is the reincarnation of the nineteenth-century novelist Emily Brontë, author of Wuthering Heights.
Yet Jewelle herself, despite having written several books on her search to uncover her past lives, has been most reluctant of all to accept this, and even since coming to terms with it she has been highly resistant to disclosing anything about it. To this day, she has not made any public reference to it.
She has, however, given me permission to tell the story.
An inexplicable grief
Readers familiar with Jewelle’s books will know that her own awakening to past lives began on December 8th, 1980, with the murder of John Lennon.
On hearing of his death, something deep inside her was stirred up – even though she had never known or met Lennon, and had never really been a major Beatles fan. She felt — inexplicably — as though she had lost someone very dear and very close.
And that feeling refused to go away. In fact, she was beside herself with grief for the next three years, something which many of her family and friends found incomprehensible.
Jewelle has spent much of the last three decades getting to the bottom of this mystery. And through a mixture of psychic readings, personal experiences and dogged research, she has uncovered a number of fascinating past lives — including at least two that her soul happens to have shared with the soul that eventually became known as John Lennon.
This discovery practically forced itself upon Jewelle, despite the fact that she was, to begin with, unsure about reincarnation and highly embarrassed by the suggestion of having had a past life connected with someone famous. But her continued investigations led not only to one validation after another but also to personal insights and emotional healing.
John Baron and Katherine James
For years, different psychics have consistently given Jewelle information concerning two past lives involving John Lennon.
First, she learned that the soul of John Lennon had once lived in seventeenth-century England as a man by the name of John Baron — and that Jewelle had been John Baron’s beloved girlfriend. She was a Sussex girl known as Katherine who worked in a local infirmary tending to the sick and dying.
Amazingly, through her investigations in England, Jewelle was able to verify the actual recorded identity of this individual: she was a Ms. Katherine James from the small market town of Petworth in the county of Sussex. She was born in 1666 and died in her teens, in 1683.
Jewelle learned that Katherine had died while in love with John Baron. The relationship had ended in tragedy, and resonances from that life appeared to have haunted much of Jewelle’s present life — right up to the inexplicable grief over John Lennon’s death.
Branwell and Emily Brontë
Another thing Jewelle was repeatedly told by various psychics was that, two centuries later, John Lennon had been the lesser known brother of the famous Brontë sisters, a tragic fellow by the name of Branwell Brontë (1817-1848).
Following up this lead, it was Jewelle herself who first discovered the many remarkable similarities between Branwell Brontë and John Lennon. She then wrote about these developments in her book All You Need Is Love.
LEFT: Branwell Brontë. RIGHT: John Lennon
But also in that book, I noticed, the various psychics had given some clues about her own identity at the time of Branwell.
At least one appeared to suggest that she herself had been one of Branwell’s sisters. And another gave the letters “E.B.” as the initials of her name.
Putting two and two together, it was implied that Jewelle had been Emily Brontë. Yet Jewelle did not discuss this possibility at all in her book.
I contacted Jewelle in August 2009 to enquire about this. She confirmed that the same psychics who were picking up on the connection between John Lennon and Branwell Brontë were also explicitly telling her about her own past life as Emily Brontë.
“Usually a reading will go like this: I ask about John and Branwell, and they immediately forget about Branwell and say, ‘And you were Emily.’”
But Jewelle also explained that she had deliberately avoided opening this particular can of worms in her writing:
“For years, decades actually, while I investigated the past with John Lennon I was usually afraid to boldly announce my connection to him, so to state a Brontë life as well, it seemed to be pushing the envelope…”
Perhaps it should come as no surprise, but this very reticence is something she shares with Emily Brontë.
The reclusive writer
Emily Brontë (1818-1848) was the middle one of three sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Ann) who survived into adulthood, two others having died in childhood.
Left to right: Anne, Emily and Charlotte Brontë. Branwell has been painted over.
The Brontë girls and their brother lived with their parents in the Yorkshire village of Haworth, a place surrounded by desolate moorland.
Always very shy, very private, and very reclusive, Emily had no friends to speak of and rarely ventured away from home except to stride around the moors with her dog. This is where she felt most at peace. It is said that she had an almost spiritual relationship to the moors, a sentiment that comes across in her outstanding novel, Wuthering Heights.
During my correspondences with Jewelle, I put together for her some comparisons of the faces of John Lennon and Branwell Brontë (these are now here on the website). I then also did the following comparisons using photos of Jewelle in her twenties and portraits of Emily Brontë at similar ages.
LEFT: Emily Brontë. RIGHT: Jewell St James.
LEFT: Emily Brontë . RIGHT: Jewell St James.
I feel that there is a strong resemblance between the faces of Emily Brontë and Jewelle St James, just as there is between the faces of Branwell Brontë and John Lennon.
Looking at Emily’s great novel in the context of reincarnation, Wuthering Heights shows a few interesting resonances with the lives of John Baron and Katherine James two centuries earlier. The story revolves around the intense but ultimately doomed love between a Yorkshire farm girl, Cathy, and her adopted brother, possibly of Gypsy origin, the notorious Heathcliff.
Far from being a nice, Jane Austen-style romance, this is a staggeringly dark and brutal tale of love, hate, abuse, revenge and death. The book has been described recently by film-maker Andrea Arnold as “gothic, feminist, socialist, sadomasochistic, Freudian, incestuous, violent and visceral.”
At first, the novel was dismissed outright by critics. It just seemed far too intense and amoral for the gentlefolk of Victorian England. Neglected and misunderstood, Emily died without hearing any acclaim for her work. Today, however, Wuthering Heights is regarded as one of the great works of English literature.
As with the lives of John Baron and Katherine James in seventeenth-century Sussex, in Wuthering Heights we have soul mates who feel that they belong together but are tragically unable to do so. It is interesting to note that Emily named her heroine Catherine, and that a psychic once described John Baron to Jewelle as a bit of a Heathcliff character. Perhaps that earlier life of doomed love was, subconsciously, an inspiration for Emily’s writing.
Another likely inspiration for the Heathcliff character is the reincarnation of John baron, Emily’s own brother Branwell – a gifted but tortured soul who had failed to live up to the expectations of his talented family. Although the unfortunate Branwell eventually ruined himself through excessive drinking, Emily (the reincarnation of Katherine James) never stopped caring for him. It is said that she waited up for him every night and carried him up to his room when he was too drunk to get there himself.
If John Baron and Branwell Brontë were indeed one and the same soul, then it would be strangely fitting on various levels if Branwell inspired some of the Heathcliff character conceived by Emily.
And then of course we have John Lennon — a rock star who was not only famously outspoken but also managed to turn his personal anger into public art, a rallying cry for the masses to change the world. My guess is that the Baron/Brontë/Lennon soul was carrying some kind of anger against society which, as John Lennon, finally became channelled into something creative and constructive rather than self-destructive.
So, we appear to have a sequence of shared lives involving these two souls:
(Sussex, England, 1666-1683)
(Sussex, England, 1656-1683)
Jewelle St James
I notice that there is quite a large gap between the lives of the seventeenth century and the nineteenth century. I would suspect that each of them undertook at least one other life in that time.
Interestingly, Emily Brontë died very shortly after Branwell Brontë just as Katherine James had died very shortly after John Baron — a pattern that did not repeat this time with the death of John Lennon.
Jewelle and John Lennon never met — their lives had no intersection this time around. Presumably that was planned for some reason — after all, we do not spend every lifetime relating to the same soul mates. But perhaps they will incarnate together again in some future lifetime…
- John Lennon – the reincarnation of Branwell Brontë?
- Cynthia Lennon – the original “Mrs. Robinson”?
- All You Need Is Love – book review
- New book explores ‘The Lennon-Brontë Connection’
Books by Jewelle St James:
Jewelle St James’ website:
 This portrait of Emily Brontë is strangely obscure. According to Getty Images, this portrait was photographed in 1846 and the result was published in 1847, a year before Emily’s death. A reprint appeared 46 years later in the July 1894 edition of a Victorian magazine called The Woman At Home, which included an article on “The Brontes in Brussels”.* The whereabouts of the original painting are a mystery. There is, however, a colour copy of it out there which apparently was made in the U.S. in the twentieth century for a film set.
* Macdonald, Frederika, “The Brontës at Brussels,” in: The Woman at Home (July 1894, Vol. II, No. 10) pp. 279-91, ill.