Yorkshire Chess History



William Alfred Butler











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1879, Salford




04/07/1938, Workington




Non-Chess Life


William Alfred Butler’s parents were Henry W Butler (born Frome, Somerset, 1849, and Ann(ie) Butler (born 1852/53, Liverpool).  These two appear to be the Henry Walker Butler and Annie Hadfield who married in Chesterfield in 1878, but this is not clearly the case.


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


Henry Thomas N Butler

born 1877

Stanley Hunter Butler

born 1878

William Alfred Butler

born 1879

Bernard Hugh Butler

born 1881


The 1881 census found the parents and above four children in Church Road, Salford.


The whereabouts of our man in 1891 is not clear, but the 1901 census found that William Alfred Butler had moved to Workington in Cumberland, where he was a secretary in a cycle works, and living as a lodger.  Chess records place him in Workington at least from 1900 (or before) to 1906 (or after).


On 30/03/1907, William Alfred Butler married Sarah Scott Martin, in Camerton, a village 3 miles NE of Workington.  The couple had at least the following three children:


Henry Tom Butler

born 1909, Chorlton district, probably Ardwick

Phyllis Grace Butler

born 1915, Workington

William M Butler

born 1917, Workington


Though born in the Chorlton registration district, Henry Tom Butler was baptised on 12/09/1909 at Seaton, Cumberland, which was given as the place of residence at the time.  However, chess records place “W. Butler” in Manchester in 1907, 1908, and 1909, so the inference is that although young Henry was baptised in Seaton, the family was normally resident in Manchester (i.e. Ardwick) from 1907, through to 1912 give or take a year.


The 1911 census found William, Sarah and son Henry living in Ardwick.  William Alfred Butler was now assistant superintendent of agents in an insurance company.


Chess records place our man in Workington, Cumberland, from 1914 to 1923, and it is probable he lived there through to his death.


Wife Sarah Scott Butler died in 1934, in Workington.




William Alfred Butler died on 04/07/1938, in Workington.  Probate being granted to daughter Phyllis Grace Butler.




While in Cumberland, William Alfred Butler won the Cumberland championship in the seasons: 1900/01 and 1905/06 (from the publication mentioned below), and played in the 1902 Cumberland v Yorkshire match, the 1903 NCCU v Scotland match, and the 1905 NCCU v Scotland match.


While in Manchester he played in 1907 Yorkshire v Lancashire match, the 1908 Lancashire v Yorkshire match, the 1909 Yorkshire Lancashire match, and the 1909 NCCU v Scotland match.


Back in Cumberland, he won the Cumberland championship in the seasons 1914/15, and 1915/16.  He was Cumberland CA, secretary in the period 1914 to 1923, and was at some time or other vice president.  (Gleaned from “Cumberland Chess Association 1884 to 1984 Cumbria Chess Association” by M J Armstrong, which, though described as “A Short History”, is packed with valuable material.  In each reference our man was said to be from Workington.)


He also played as an individual in one or more of the Northern Counties Chess Union congresses, at least that of 1910.





Copyright © 2019 Stephen John Mann

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

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