Yorkshire Chess History



Arthur Oswald Boardman











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1871, Sheffield



1917, Sheffield



Non-Chess Life


Arthur Oswald Boardman was born into a Sheffield family of silversmiths.  His paternal grandparents were silversmith George Boardman (born 1826/27, Sheffield) and Emma Boardman (born 1827/28, Sheffield).  This couple had at least the following eight children, all Sheffield-born (Lydia was more specifically born in Heeley):


John Middleton Boardman

born 1845/46

Emma Boardman (junior)

born 1847/48

James E Boardman

born 1849/50

Mary J Boardman

born 1851/52

William Boardman

born 1853/54

Ann Boardman

born 1857/58

George Boardman (junior)

born 1859/60

Lydia Boardman

born Feb/Mar 1861


Of the above children, it was John Middleton Boardman who was the father of the chess-player.  His birth had been registered in the first quarter of 1846.  (Was there another child born 1855/56 who died early?)


The 1861 census found the parents and above eight children living at Great Oak Street, Nether Hallam (which included Heeley), Sheffield.  This was presumably Lydia’s place of birth.  Great Oak Street seems not now to exist, and wasn’t in the street list of the 1862 directory.


F. White’s Directory & Topography of Sheffield, 1862, listed Charles Boardman, manufacturer of silver and electroplated goods at 54 Pond Street, Sheffield.  George was not listed separately, so was perhaps an employee of Charles Boardman (his father?).


In 1869, John Middleton Boardman married Mary Sprowell (born 1846/47, Walesby, Notts., who in 1861 had been servant to a widow and her daughter in Worksop.  This couple, our man’s parents, had at least the following three children, all Sheffield-born (Arthur more specifically Heeley):


George W Boardman

born 1869/70

Arthur Oswald Boardman

born 1871/72

John H Boardman

born 1873/74



The 1871 census found the parents and 1-year-old George living at 181 Rockingham Street, Sheffield.  The father was a silversmith and the mother a dressmaker.


At some stage the mother Mary Boardman died.  The death of a Mary Boardman was recorded in the third quarter of 1877, at Barton-in-Irwell, Lancs.  The date fits, but not the place, so that death may be not that of our man’s mother.


The 1881 census listed father John as married, not a widower as such, with the three children, still at 181 Rockingham Street.  There was no mention of the mother.  Father John was now a silversmith, more specifically a maker of dessert knife handles.  The three children were scholars.


John Middleton Boardman remarried.  The marriage was registered in the third quarter of 1883, at Sheffield.  His bride seems to have been either Mary Ann Moseley or Mary Ann Wainwright.  (More research needed to determine which.)  This couple had at least a further four children to add to three born by the their father’s first wife:


Ernest E Boardman

born 1885/86

Walter E Boardman

born 1886/87

Ellen Boardman

born 1887/88

Annie Boardman

born 1889/90


Our man thus acquired four step-siblings.


The 1891 census found father John and second wife Mary Ann living at 36 Myrtle Road, Sheffield, with all seven children.  Our man, Arthur, was now an engraver, while younger brother John was a silver chaser.  They were thus both working in the traditional family trade, and possibly in a family business.  (White's Directory of Sheffield & Rotherham, 1901, listed Boardman, Glossop & Co. Ltd, silver and electroplate manufacturers, 171 Pond Street, Sheffield, and 16 Ely Place, London EC.; also George William Boardman, silversmith, resident at 6 Derbyshire Lane, Sheffield, and John Middleton Boardman as a journeyman silversmith at 36 Myrtle Road, Sheffield.)  The four youngest children were scholars.


The 1901 census found our man, now 28, had left home and was boarding with the Tristram family of 3 Pendeen Road, Sheffield, off Nether Green Road.  He was by occupation an engraver of silver and electroplate.


The 1911 census found him living at Forge Houses, Whiteley Wood, Sheffield.  He was a general engraver, doing outwork.


The marriage of Arthur Oswald Boardman to Annie G. Britland, was registered in the third quarter of 1913, at Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield.




The death of Arthur Oswald Boardman, aged 45, was recorded in the third quarter of 1917, at Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield.




He was a regular player in Sheffield’s Woodhouse Cup team and in Yorkshire county matches in the first decade of the 1900s.




Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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