Yorkshire Chess History



Charles Fenton Bolland











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



03/10/1868, Hunslet, Leeds


31/10/1868, St. Peter’s, Leeds


09/04/1937, Hastings, Sussex




Non-Chess Life


Charles Fenton Bolland’s parents were William Thomas Bolland (born 1826/27, Leeds, son of William Thomas Fenton, senior, iron manufacturer and proprietor of the Leeds Intelligencer) and Mary Bolland (née Bower, 1841/42, Hunslet) who had at least the following 7 children, all born in Hunslet, Leeds:


Hannah Bolland

born 08/08/1861

Joshua Bower Bolland

born 04/01/1863

William Thomas Bolland, junior

born 18/02/1864

Mary Bolland

born 13/12/1865

Arthur Middleton Bolland

born 16/09/1867

Charles Fenton Bolland

born 03/10/1868

Alice Bower Bolland

born 20/02/1872


Charles Fenton Bolland was baptised on 31/10/1868, at St. Peter’s, Leeds, by his uncle, Arthur Bolland, the incumbent of S. Thomas’s, Leeds.  At the time, his father was an iron manufacturer, and resided at Spring Grove, Hunslet, 1861 census recorded that he had then been also a farmer while resident at Gledhow.


The 1871 census found parents William and Mary still living at Spring Grove, Hunslet, with Mary’s sister Alice Bower, the 5 eldest children, 11-year-old niece Sarah E Brook, and four servants.  Father Thomas was an iron manufacturer employing 195 men and 28 boys.  “Spring Grove” may have been Spring Grove Terrace, later known merely as 128 to 140 Low Road, a continuation south-eastwards of Hunslet Road.


For some reason, 2-year-old Charles Fenton Bolland was at this time with his widowed maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Bower, two of her sons (Joshua Bower and Robert W Bower, Charles’s uncles), a niece, and three servants, at Hopewell House, Hunslet Road, Hunslet.  Youngest children seem often to have been lodged with grandparents when the mother was expecting the next child.  It’s possible that another Bolland child, not in the above list, was imminent, but if so then it did not survive ten years.


Mother Mary Bolland died aged only 30 years, in 1872, at the birth of Alice, or within 6 weeks thereof.


The 1881 census found the now-widowed father, William, living still with Mary Bolland’s sister, Alice Bower, and Thomas’s above-mentioned niece Sarah E Brook, but now also with Alice’s above-mentioned brother Joshua, and his seven children, including our man.  Father William had by now retired from iron manufacturing.


All the sons, except William Thomas Bolland junior, went to Cambridge University and became ordained.  Joshua Bower Bolland was admitted to Clare College on 07/10/1881, and Arthur Middleton Bolland was admitted to Clare College on 27/03/1886.  William Thomas Bolland junior became a solicitor.


By 1886, the Bolland family had moved to Scarborough, now that father William was retired.


Charles Fenton Bolland was admitted to Clare College also on 27/03/1886, according to Venn, matriculating in Michaelmas 1886.


In 1886, Mary Bolland married John A Brook.


The Rev. Arthur Bolland, the uncle who officiated at the baptism of Charles Fenton Bolland, died on 06/03/1889, at Scarborough.  He was by then retired.


Meanwhile, Charles Fenton Bolland got his BA in 1889, but he was still studying to become ordained.


The 1891 census found the Bolland household living at Oriel House, Oriel Crescent, Scarborough, and consisting of retired father Thomas William Bolland, unmarried sister-in-law Alice Bowen, Hannah Bolland, Willam Bolland, Mary Brook (née Bolland) and her husband John A Brook, Charles Fenton Bolland, Mary Bolland and three servants.  Charles Fenton Bolland was described as a theology student.


On 28/08/1891, at St Nicholas, Plumstead, London, 22-year-old Charles Fenton Bolland married 19-year-old Amy Catherine Liddle, daughter of John Liddle, of 59 Park oad, Plumstead.  The couple had at least three children (possibly more, after 1911) of whom two were twins.


Hannah Fenton Bolland

born 1892, Wallsend

Joshua Fenton Bolland

born 1899/1900, Killingworth

Thomas William Fenton Bolland

born 1899/1900, Killingworth


Charles Fenton Bolland ordained as a deacon at Hereford in 1891, and become a priest at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1893.  He got an MA in 1898.


Posts he held in the church were as follows:


Curate of Pembridge, Herefordshire


Curate of Wallsend, Northumberland


Curate of Killingworth, Northumberland


Vicar of Holy Trinity, Bridgewater, Somerset


Rector of Brington with Bythorn and Old Weston, Huntingdonshire


“Perm.” [Venn] to office of Diocese of Chichester



The family’s father, William Thomas Bolland moved, at some time around 1892, to Harrogate.  He was not listed in Armstrong’s directories of Harrogate dated 1889-90 and 1891-92, but was listed in the directories dated 1893, 1894-95 and 1895-96 as a solicitor living at Oak Lea, 12 Queen Parade, Harrogate.  He died in Harrogate on 05/07/1897.


Armstrongs’s Harrogate directory dated 1895-96 also listed W. T. Bolland [junior], solicitor, at 9 James Street, Harrogate, and the directory dated 1899-1900 listed him as a solicitor at Yorkshire Bank Chambers, 8 Cambridge Crescent, Harrogate.


The 1901 census found Charles, Amy, Amy’s nephew John Liddle, the three children and two servants living at Westmoor House, Longbenton, Northumberland.


Longbenton, Killingworth and Wallsend are all in the NE periphery of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, so our man wasn’t moving much from 1892 to 1901, but later in 1901 the family moved to Bridgewater, Somrset, when Charles took up his first post as a fully-fledged vicar.


The 1911 census found the two parents and three children living with one servant at Holy Trinity Vicarage, Bridgewater, Somerset.  Interestingly, our man signed his name as “C. Fenton Bolland”, so either he was known as Fenton rather than as Charles, or else he’d decided to adopt “Fenton Bolland” as a double-barrelled surname.


In 1917, our man’s son, Joshua Fenton Bolland, who was only five feet two-and three-quarter inches tall, joined the army, giving his father’s address as Brington Rectory, Huntingdon.


In 1925 the Rev C. F. Bolland retired from work as a parish priest, moving, then or later, to Sussex.


In 1929 he took up a post in the office of Chichester Diocese, at which time he resided at Eastbourne, which is in the diocese of Chichester.


Latterly our man moved to live at Brington House, Amherst Gardens, Hastings.  He’d evidently named his house after the location of his last incumbency.




Charles Fenton Bolland died in Hastings on 09/04/1937.




The Rev. C. F. Bolland appears not to have played organised chess during the time he lived in Leeds and Scarborough, though one imagines he may have put in an appearance at Scarborough Chess Club.  Nevertheless, he was later visibly active elsewhere in the country.


He played chess while in Bridgewater, playing board 4 for Somerset against Devon on 26/03/1904, at Taunton, , and got mentioned in chess results in the Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser around that time.


He played in the second section at Hastings, in 1913, by which time he’d be living at Brington, Hunts.  He finished 9th-10th= out of 11.  Sir George Thomas won.


During the war seems to have played correspondence chess.


He played at Cheltenham in 1928, finishing 6th out of 8 in the Major Open, which won by Vera Menchik (who’d become the first Women’s World Chess Champion in 1927).


In 1929, by which time he was resident at Eastbourne, he played in the top section at Scarborough, finishing only 7th out of 8, but managing a win over Lancashire’s Victor Lionel Wahltuch.









Copyright © 2015 Stephen John Mann

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

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