Yorkshire Chess History

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Narrative: 11) North Lincolnshire Chess Association











Made in Yorkshire



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Of importance to Yorkshire chess, and in due course the nation’s chess as a whole, were the chess activities of Arthur Bolland Skipworth who was a son of the Lord of the Manor of Laceby, just inland from Grimsby.  ABS was presumably aware of the activities of the original Yorkshire Chess Association, and on 9th October 1851 he held a similar chess meeting in Caistor.  At that stage he was not a clergyman, but through his father’s status he was in a position to muster an impressive assemblage of the chess-playing gentry of North Lincolnshire.


Skipworth’s style was to organise what might prove to be a one-off event, then when it proved a reasonable success he’d organise a second one in the name of some organisation, though one feels these organisations were no more than impersonalised brand names for activities undertaken by him largely off his own bat.  Another feature of Skipworth’s events was a strong presence of bonneted, parasolled ladies, redolent more of a high-class social event than a typical chess meeting of the time.


Earlier in 1851 Skipworth had been admitted to Oxford University which led to him becoming ordained.  Thus it was that as the Reverend A.B. Skipworth he organised a second chess meeting at Caistor, on 25th and 26th of October 1854, describing himself as secretary of the North Lincolnshire Chess Association, and describing the meeting as the Triennial Meeting of the North Lincolnshire Chess Association.


Both Caistor meetings attracted not only the great and good of North Lincolnshire, but also the chess-players of Hull, as well as notable chess-players from further afield.


The Reverend Skipworth’s day job re-located him to Bilsdale in the Cleveland Hills, in the North Riding of Yorkshire.  Here, in due course, the Reverend Arthur Bolland Skipworth renewed his chess-organising activities, this time in Yorkshire.


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Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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