Yorkshire Chess History



John William Broadbent











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



Jan 1885, Sheffield




1970, Nottingham




Identity of the Chess-Player


That the Sheffield chess-player “J. W. Broadbent” and the Nottinghamshire chess-player of the same name are identical is established by an article by Bill Batley in the Yorkshire Telegraph & Star of 03/06/1933.


Non-Chess Life


John William Broadbent’s parents were William Broadbent (born 1858/59, Thurgoland) and Elizabeth Broadbent (1858/59, Llanidloes, Wales) who married in 1882/83 and had the following three children, all born in the Heeley district of Sheffield:


Elizabeth Ann Broadbent

born 1883

John William Broadbent

born January 1885

Constance Evelyn Broadbent

born 1895


The 1891 census found the Broadbents living at 171 Shirebrook Road (off Albert Road), Heeley, Sheffield.  Father William was a wire-drawer, but was to move in tie to a white-collar occupation.  Children Elizabeth and John were both scholars.


The 1901 census found the family, now with three children, had moved a very short distance to 63-65 Albert Road, which presumably incorporated shop premises.  Father William was now a newsagent and stationer working on his own account from home.  Daughter Elizabeth was employed as a dressmaker, and son John was employed as a solicitor’s clerk.


The 1911 census found no change except that William’s wife Elizabeth and daughter Elizabeth Ann were both helping in the family business.  John was described as a law clerk.


In 1912, John William Broadbent moved to Nottingham, where, from 1916 to 1925 at least, he resided at 65 Carlyle Road, in the West Bridgford district of Nottingham, and was still a clerk.


By 1941, possibly before, he had moved to 30 Selby Road, still in West Bridgford.




John William Broadbent died in 1970, seemingly in West Bridgford or thereabouts.




The debut of “J. W. Broadbent” in Sheffield’s Woodhouse Cup team seems to have been on 05/11/1904, when he lost on board 10 to A Thomas of Bradford.  He progressively improved on this to the point where, on 27/01/1912, he defeated Bradford’s John Edmund Hall on board 1 (Sheffield were missing some players) in the Woodhouse Cup.  Thereafter he usually played on board 3.


In the Sheffield league he plated latterly for Sharrow in the Davy Trophy (division1).


He seems never to have won the Sheffield or Yorkshire championships, but after moving to Nottingham he made a name for himself in Nottinghamshire.


He was one of those involved in the formation in 1922 of the Nottinghamshire Chess Association, and became that association’s first secretary, holding the post for some years.


He won the Nottinghamshire County Championship in 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1932 (possibly later as well).


By 1937 (probably before) he had become a vice-president of the Nottinghamshire Chess Association.





Copyright © 2015 Stephen John Mann

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

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