Yorkshire Chess History



James Heaton Bennett











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1821/22, Almondbury


14/04/1822, All Hallows, Almondbury


24/02/1889, Maltby near Thornaby‑on‑Tees



Non-Chess Life


James Heaton Bennett was born to James Bennett, surgeon of Almondbury, and his wife Elizabeth née Heaton.  He was baptised on 14/04/1822 at All Hallows, Almondbury, by Lewis Jones, curate.


He obtained his medical training at the University of Edinburgh, eventually accumulating the qualifications Medicinae Doctor, Edinburgh, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and Licentiate of the Apothecaries’ Company (M.D. Edin., M.R.C.S.L., L.A.C.).


He went into medical practice in Bradford.  For a while he and Richard Caton were in partnership surgeons, apothecaries and accoucheurs in Bradford, but that partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 14/06/1849, as advertised in the London Gazette.  Accordingly, Ibbetson's Directory of Bradford, 1850, listed James Heaton Bennett (late Caton), surgeon, at Manningham Lane, Bradford.


In 1849 or before he married Ellen Marie Wade(?) who was born 1822/23 in Hull.  The couple had at least the following eight children:


James Wade Bennett

born May/June 1850, Bradford

May Ellen Bennett

born 1852/53, Bradford

Annie E Bennett

born 1854/55, Bradford

Margaret Louisa Bennett

born 1856/57, Haxey

Mary Bennett

born 1858/59, Haxey

Emily Charlotte Bennett

born Jul/Aug 1860, Haxey

Lillian Bennett

born 1862/63, Haxey

Hugh Percy Bennett’

born 1863/64, Redcar


The 1851 census found the parents and 9-month-old James Wade Bennett, a general practitioner, living at 37 North Parade, Bradford, with two servants.


Directory entries make if evident that at some time from 1851 to 1856, and probably by 1854, the family had moved to Haxby, Lincolnshire.  Accordingly, White’s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire, 1856, James Heaton Bennett was listed as a surgeon at Haxby.


The 1861 census found the parents with Annie E. Bennett, Margaret Bennett, Margaret Bennett, and 8-month-old Emily living at Main Street Haxby, Lincolnshire, with three servants.  James Heaton Bennett was a general practitioner.


In 1863, give or take a year, the family moved to Redcar on the coastline North Riding of Yorkshire, 8 miles NE of Middlesbrough.


The 1871 census found the parents and eight children living at 16 High Street, Redcar, with two servants.  Our man was still in general practice.


Ellen Marie Bennett must have died at some time from 1871 to 1881.


The 1881 census found the family at the same address as in 1871, but of the children only May Ellen, Mary, Lillian and Hugh Percy remained at home.  Since our man was now a widower, May Ellen was acting as housekeeper.  Hugh Percy Bennett was at this stage apprenticed to a land agent, though his father’s probate records indicate he followed his father into medicine.




Probate records state that James Heaton Bennett of Maltby near Thornaby-on-Tees, M.D. dies on 24/02/1889 at Maltby.  Administration was granted to Hugh Percy Bennett, surgeon.  He left effects of £5, allegedly.




Dr. Bennett was a founder member of Bradford Chess Club, though he isn’t recorded as attending any meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association while living in Bradford.


Dr. James Heaton Bennett of Redcar was one of the players in the 9-player all-play-all tournament among North Riding and Co. Durham players at the Redcar chess meeting of 1865.  He drew with Walter Grimshaw of Whitby, but lost the other games he played.


He was joint honorary secretary for the Redcar meeting of 1866, at which he played in the second class tournament.


He seems not to have been involved in Skipworth’s chess meetings in York in 1867, 1868 and 1869.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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