Yorkshire Chess History



Whitby Chess Club











Made in Yorkshire



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The Yorkshire Herald and York Herald of 03/04/1884 said of Walter Grimshaw that “He is the president of the Whitby Chess Club, and has been for over twenty-five years.”  That sets the start of the club at 1859 or before.


Other leading players were William Forth, Ramon Peguero, Edwin Collier, and George Longbotham Miller.


Newspapers carry references to annual meetings, initial meetings of the season, and matches.


The Yorkshire Gazette of 28/09/1867, under “WHITBY” carried an article as follows:

Chess Club.  The annual meeting of the members of this club was held at the Commercial Hotel, Baxtergate, on Tuesday evening last (Mr. W. Grimshaw in the chair.)  The accounts showed a small balance in favour of the club.  ........


The Yorkshire Herald and York Herald, 26/09/1884 reported as follows:

Whitby Chess Club.— The annual meeting of this club was held on Wednesday evening.  Messrs. Walter Grimshaw and G. L. Miller were unanimously re-elected as president and vice-president respectively.  Mr. William Forth, having read the report . . .


The Whitby Gazette of Saturday, 27/09/1884 reported as follows:

CHESS CLUB. – The annual meeting of this club was held on Wednesday evening at Mr. Davies’ schoolroom.  Messrs. W. Grimshaw and G. L. Miller were unanimously re-elected president and vice-president respectively.  Mr. W. Forth, having read the report and balance sheet, wished to resign his office as secretary, and Mr. B. Ambler was appointed to succeed him.  The officers elected were constituted a committee to select a suitable room for the season now opening.  – As it is desirable, for the sake of younger players, to have a room not connected with any hotel &c., a commodious and comfortable room has been chosen at No. 31 Flowergate (Mrs. Smith’s) opposite the top of Brunswick Street, where meetings will be held (subject to alteration) every Monday and Thursday, commencing Monday next, at 7 o’clock.  Every chess player and all who may be anxious to learn the noble game are invited to join.  Chess and draughts only are allowed.

(Click here for image of 31 Flowergate as it appears now.)


The Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough of 26/09/1884 carried an abbreviated version of the Whitby Gazette’s report.


The Yorkshire Gazette of 26/091884 reported as follows, under “WHITBY”:

The Chess Club will resume operations on Monday.  Commodious and comfortable apartments have been selected in Flowergate.  The games of chess and draughts only should [be] allowed.


The president and vice-president re-elected at the 1884 annual meeting were Walter Grimshaw, and George Longbotham Miller.  William Forth appears to have been secretary at the time.  It would appear that on the occasion of the 1884 annual meeting a prize was presented by (or possibly to) Walter Grimshaw, as a catalogue of items for sale by Kevin O’Connell listed

Miles (John Augustus) Poems and Chess Problems, Whitby Chess Club 1884 prize inscription by Walter Grimshaw on front free endpaper, Grimshaw chess problem pasted to verso of frontispiece, original blind-stamped cloth, spine worn, 8vo, Fakenham, privately printed, 1882.


The Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough of 01/10/1885 reported as follows:

Whitby Chess Club. — Mr Walter Grimshaw has been .elected president of this Club, Mr G. L. Miller vice-president, and Mr Ambler hon. secretary.  A suitable room has been engaged at the Baths, Pier, and the meetings of the members will be held twice . . . .


Reported matches include the following:


The matches played against Grosmont in 1886 and 1890.  The scores were 15½-6½ and 14-8 respectively in favour of Grosmont.  This is somewhat surprising given the relative sizes of Whitby and Grosmont, though the latter village may have drawn players from villages up, down and around the Esk valley.


The Whitby players in seven matches - there will have been various other matches whose details are not to hand - were as follows:








1894 (M-W)

1894 (W-S)

1894 (S-W)

Full(er) Name

1 W Grimshaw

1W Grimshaw

1 W Grimshaw







Walter Grimshaw

2 W Collier

5W Collier




William G Collier

4 W Forth

2 W Forth

2 W Forth

1 W Forth

1 W Forth

3 W Forth

3 W Forth

3 W Forth

3 W Forth

William Forth

6 R Peguero

4 R Peguero

4 R Peguero

2 R Peguero

2 R Peguero

1 R Peguero

1 R Peguero

1 R Peguero

2 W [sic] Peguero

Ramon Peguero

3 E Collier

6 E Collier

5 E Collier

3 E Collier

3 E Collier

2 E Collier

2 E Collier

2 E Collier

1 E Collier

Edwin Collier


3 G L Miller

3 G Miller


4 G L Miller

4 G Miller


4 G Miller

4 G L Miller

George Longbotham Miller




5 R S Sadler [sic]

5 R Sadler

7 R Sadler

7 R Sadler

6 R Sadler

Robert Sadler



6 W V Stephenson












6 J Raynor









4 T Craythorne

5 T Cawthorn

5 B Ambler

7 B Ambler




Benjamin Ambler

8 T Kingston


7 T Kingston







Thomas Kingston




9 V Collier

7 V Collier





Vincent Collier





5 W Bird

6 W Bird

(of Grosmont’s team?)

7 John Maston





John Maston



8 W Sawdon







William Sawdon




6 T C Alder

8 T C Alder





Thomas Clavering Alder

6 Rev R Bee






8 G Schofield

(of Grosmont’s team?)





9 J W Nicholson

7 J W Nichols [sic]


10 J W Nicholson

7 G W Nicholson

John Watson Nicholson

5 E Raw





8 A Calvert


6 A Calvert

8 A Calvert

9 A Calvert

5 A H Calvert

Arthur Horne Calvert

9 R Bennison

(of Grosmont’s team?)




10 A Oliver [?]





(A. Calvert?)




10 J Anderson


11 J Anderson

John Anderson


8 F Matson

4 F Matson









10 M Matson






9 J E Clegg




Thomas Edwards Clegg ?


10 W Grimshaw jun




Walter Edwin Grimshaw

7 M Feran







11 V E Newbould





Victor Emmanuel Newbould



11 E H Kirby












12 H B Corner

8 H B Corner


12 H B Corner


Henry Brougham Corner


11 - Nicholson

12 H Nicholson







Henry W Nicholson?

8 - Maw



Nawton Maw, George Maw ?


12S Langley




Samuel Langley


13 E Noble




Edward Noble ?


14 W L McNaughton







8 McNaughton

William Lee McNaughton




10 - Love






Joseph Christopher Love ?


One can’t help but suspect that maybe “V. Collier” was a misprint for “W. Collier”, but board order suggest they were not the same person.  “Nichols” in 1893 clearly means “Nicholson”.  The surnames “Maston” and “Matson” both occurred in Whitby, so there are no grounds for assuming confusion there.


There were many Nobles in Whitby, but Edward Noble (b. 1835/36, Whitby), jet worker, of 156 Church Street, Whitby (in 1891), seems a likely candidate for “E. Noble”.


There were a few Langleys in the 1891 Whitby and Ruswarp censuses. Only Samuel Langley (born 1855/56, Whitby), greengrocer, of 6 Normanby Terrace, Whitby (in 1891), seems a likely candidate for “S. Langley”.





Copyright © 2012, 2013 Stephen John Mann

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