Yorkshire Chess History



John Henry Brierley











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



07/01/1824, Halifax


02/03/1824, St. John the Baptist, Halifax


23/07/1899, Margate


25/07/1899, Norwood Cemetery, Lambeth


Non-Chess Life


John Henry Brierley’s baptismal record happens to show his date of birth as well.  He was born on 07/01/1824 to Alfred Brierley, trunk-maker, and Mary Brierley, of Halifax, and was baptised on 02/03/1824, at St. John the Baptist, Halifax, by J Knight.


On 28/03/1842, a 19-year-old John Brierley, son of Thomas Brierley, married 22-year-old Hannah Naylor, daughter of Joseph Naylor, the two both being resident at Northowram, about two miles NE of Halifax.  The occupations of the three men named are difficult to decipher, but Jospeh Naylor may have been a “delver”.  The ages don’t quite work for our man and his wife.  Nevertheless, by 1845, John Henry Brierley had married a Hannah who had been born about 1825, at Halifax.


The couple had at least the following seven children, all born in Halifax:


Mary Isabella Brierley

born 1845/46

Charles Edwin Brierley

born 1848/49

Walter Henry Brierley

born April/May 1850

Fanny Ellen Brierley

born 1852/53

Kate Brierley

born 1855/56

Julia Brierley

born 1858/59

Edith A. Brierley

born 1863/64


The 1851 census found 27-year-old Halifax-born John H. Brierley and his 26(28?)-year-old wife Hannah Brierley living with the first three of the above children and one servant, as one of two households resident at Stannery House, Halifax.  The location of Stannery House is unclear.  John was a brace (?) stuffer and stock manufacturer employing 80 hands.  Mary Isabella Brierley was a scholar.


The 1861 census found 35(38?)-year-old Hannah with Charles, Walter, Fanny, Kate and Julia living in the St. James area of Halifax.  Mary Isabella Brierley was at a school run by George Elliott Kent and his wife Lavinia, at 1 Over Hall, Mirfield.  John himself was less evident in the census.


At some time from 1861 to 1871 the family moved to Lewisham. This (impending) move might explain John’s absence from home in the 1861 census.


The 1871 census found John and Hannah, both said to be 48 years old, with the youngest five children and five servants, living at Springfield House, Lewisham.  John was a manufacturer, seemingly of belts and beads.


The 1881 census found John and Hannah, aged 57 and 58 respectively, living with the youngest four children, at Springfield, [something] Old Park, Lewisham, perhaps the same address as before.  Their 10-year-old granddaughter, Amy G. Thomas was also listed with them.  They were now down to two servants.  John was now listed as a manufacturer of items including umbrellas, braces, belts, and elastic, and employing 194 people.


The 1891 census found John and Hannah, aged 67 and 68 respectively, living with only Fanny Ellen of their own children, but with three Halifax-born grandchildren Mary Amy T Thomas (20), Charles Percival Thomas (14, clerk), and Harry Beverley Thomas (21, midshipman), at “Copley Dene”, Farley Road, Lewisham.  John was now and insurance and general agent.




Probate records show John Henry Brierley of Derry Mount, St. Mary, Cray, Kent, died on 23/07/1899, at “Rosedene”, Price’s Avenue, Margate.


Burial records show John Henry Brierley of “Derrydowns”, St. Mary, Cray, Kent, aged 76, was buried by Wm.Lewis of St. Mary, Cray, on 25/07/1899, at Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Road, Lambeth, his body having been removed from “Rosedene”, Price Avenue, Margate.  (Some slight inconsistencies exist in the details form the two sources.)


Probate was granted on 25/06/1900 to Fanny Ellen Brierley, spinster.  He reportedly left effects of £40 5s. 4d, which seems a ludicrously small amount for such a person.




He attended the 1843 and 1848 meetings of the original Yorkshire Chess Association, and the 1857 and 1860 meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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