Yorkshire Chess History
Charles George Bennett
Charles George Bennett was a son of William Bennett (born 1820/21, at Nether Stowey, Somerset).
The 1851 census found the unmarried William Bennett living with his unmarried sister Mary Bennett (born at Thelbridge, Devon) at Hose/Hoce/Fore Street, Nether Stowey. William’s occupation at this time is indecipherable. In time, Mary married clergyman Samuel H. Cooper (born 1825/26, Torpoint, Cornwall), but she features again later.
Around 1852, William married Charlotte M. [Some-Surname]. The couple had at least nine children:
The 1861 census found the parents with William H, Caroline M, Frederick P and Philip A Bennett. Charles George Bennett must have been elsewhere. Additionally the household included an apprentice, a servant, and a certain 43-year-old William Harris. William Bennett was described as a general shopkeeper. William Harris was described as something to do with a court of bankruptcy, and “on duty”. Had the Bennett’s business gone bankrupt?
In 1861/62 the family moved to the London area, and the 1871 census found William and Charlotte at 44 Grant Road, Battersea. All the children were listed with them in Battersea, except 16-year-old Caroline and 13-year-old Frederick (who ten years later were living with their aunty Mary, in Drax vicarage). William was now a clerk at some sort of library, though what sort of library is hard to decipher from the census document. 14-year-old George was a junior clerk, seemingly with a map publisher.
Residence in Yorkshire
On the basis of chess activity, Charles George Bennett must have moved to Leeds at some time from 1871 to 1875. He may well at this stage have embarked on a career in banking. He seems elusive in the 1881 census. Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, and Kelly's Directory of Leeds, 1888, don’t seem to list him. His entry in the marriage register is more informative.
On 11/02/1885, at Headingley, Leeds, 28-year-old Charles George Bennett, bank clerk of Leeds, son of William Bennett, photographer (!), married 27-year-old Alice Mary Thackeray of Headingley, daughter of John Thackeray, schoolteacher. Census evidence implies the bride was born 1857/58 at Headingley.
The couple had at least two children:
Fairly soon, Charles George Bennett seems to have started a sequence of moves from one banking job to another, at a speed too great to be tracked by the decennial censuses.
Stanley Bennett’s place of birth places the family in Rawdon around 1888/89. Rawdon is near Yeadon, and a mile or so NW of Horsforth near enough Leeds Chess Club to still be a member.
The family moved on to Selby in 1888 or 1889, bringing about the end of our man’s active membership of Leeds Chess Club. (“Bennett” was referred to in the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement of 16/03/1889 was hailing from Selby.)
The 1891 census found Charles and Alice, with 2-year-old Stanley, at 5 Westbourne Grove, Selby, with two domestic servants. Charles was a bank cashier.
Later in 1891 the family moved to the vicinity of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where “C. G. Bennett” became a prominent member of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Chess club. For specifically, the family seems to have been living in 1894 at Low Fell, 2 miles south of the centre of Gateshead, as that is where the 1901 census recorded Charles Thackeray Bennett as being born.
At some stage from 1894 to 1896, the family moved to Doncaster.
By 1901 the family had moved to Pateley Bridge, in fact “C. G. Bennett” was playing for Yorkshire as a Harrogate player in 1899, suggesting the move was in 1898 give or take a year.
The 1901 census found the parents and both children at High Street, Pateley Bridge, about eleven miles NW of Harrogate, not far from where Walter Gledhill lived. 45-year-old Charles G. Bennett was described as a bank manager, rather than merely a cashier. They had one servant. They also had a visitor at the time of the census, 46-year-old Lavinia M. Peters, schoolmistress.
His address was quoted in November 1906 as “Jesmond House, Pateley Bridge, Leeds”. Whether this was the previously mentioned address on High Street is unclear.
The 1911 census found the parents and both children at Jesmond House, Pateley Bridge. 55-year-old Charles was bank manager at the London City and Midland Bank. Stanley was following his father into banking, being a bank clerk with the same banking company, presumably at his father’s branch, though he seems later to have become a teacher. The other son, Charles Thackeray Bennett was an apprentice gardener.
Charles George Bennett seems to have moved south, ending up at Gravesend, in Kent. This may have been before 1915, as that would explain how it came about that in the first quarter of 1915, Stanley Bennett, by then in his mid-twenties, married Maud E. Schofield, the marriage being registered at Leyton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.
Charles George Bennett died on 27/09/1925, at which time probate records record him as resident at 1 Woodville Terrace, Gravesend Kent. Administration of his estate was granted to Stanley Bennett, whom the probate records describe as a teacher. He left effects of £1,070 10s 4d.
He was a fairly regular attender of the West Yorkshire Chess Association Meetings, being present in 1875, 1876, 1877 1878, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1888 and 1889.
He represented Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup, once that competition had came into existence.
He represented Yorkshire in a number of county matches (colours not implied):
At the British Chess Association congress at Bradford in 1888, he scored 7½ out of 12 in the British Amateur Championship.
He played for Yorkshire’s in the 1890 correspondence match against Sussex, at which time he was listed as being in Selby.
In the early 1890s he was a prominent member of Newcastle(-upon-Tyne) Chess Club. An early sighting of him in Newcastle was He played for Newcastle on board 2 in a 13-board match against Glasgow played on 26/11/1892, at the Douglas Hotel, Newcastle, and played board 4 in an 8-board match against Edinburgh on 18/02/1893, at the Douglas Hotel.
The British Chess Magazine of 1896 reported that “Mr. C. G. Bennett, late of the Newcastle and Leeds Clubs”, had been instrumental in reviving a chess club in Doncaster, becoming its secretary and treasurer.
The Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement’s chess column of Saturday 31/07/1897 listed “C. G. Bennett” as secretary of Doncaster Chess Club.
Charles George Bennett was thus a strong “club” player and an organiser when the need arose.
Copyright © 2012, 2013 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information