Yorkshire Chess History



Charles Croft











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1850, Beamsley, North Yorkshire


14/04/1850, Bolton Abbey


03/02/1914, Burley-in-Wharfedale


06/02/1914, St. Mary’s, Burley‑in‑Wharfedale


Non-Chess Life


Charles Croft was one of at least two children born to Abraham Croft (born 1821, Beamsley) and Rosamond Croft (1819/20, Bolton Abbey):


Margaret Croft

born 1847/48, Bolton Abbey

Charles Croft

born 1850, Beamsley


Available ages at various dates limit Charles Croft’s date of birth to the period 04/02/1850 to 30/03/1850.  His precise place of birth is less narrowly identifiable, being variously given as Beamsley, Summerscales, and Hazlewood.  He himself gave it as Hazlewood in the 1911 census.  It seems likely he was born in a relatively isolated farm property in the general area indicated.


Beamsley, is a rural Hamlet in the valley of the River Wharfe, about 4 miles NW of Ilkley; Summerscales is about 2m ENE of Beamsley, on the modern A59; Hazelwood is about half way between Beamsley and Summerscales.  Bolton Abbey is about 1 mile NW of Beamsley.


The 1851 census found the family of four, including 1-year-old Charles, living at an unidentified property in Pace Gate, a locality further along the A59 from Summerscales.  Father Abraham was a farm labourer.


In time Abraham left the land and became a gas manager, presumably, perhaps managing a gasworks.


Father Abraham died in 1868, in Otley, of its vicinity.


In 1874, Charles’s sister, Margaret Croft, married Joshua Bentley.


The 1881 census found Charles Croft living with his brother-in-law and sister, and their 5-month-old daughter Annie E. Bentley, at “8 [somewhere], Burley-in-Wharfedale.  Joshua Bentley was a Cordwainer.  Charles Croft was a wool-sorter.


In 1882, in Burley-in-Wharfedale, Charles Croft married Mary Lister (born 1847/48, Weston, about 2 miles NW of Otley).


The 1891 census found Charles and Mary living at 12 Spring Gardens, Burley-in-Wharfedale.  Charles was now a wool-sorter and librarian, the latter activity suggesting a more intellectual person than wool-sorter on its own would suggest.


The 1901 census found Charles and Mary still at 12 Spring Gardens, but now with a 12-year-old Bradford-born boarder, Cecil Nicholson Carr.  Charles was now a mohair-sorter and librarian.


Mary Croft died, aged 59, in 1907, in Burley-in-Wharfdale.


On 25/11/1908, at St. Mary’s, Burley-in-Wharfedale, 58-year-old Charles Croft, son of Abraham Croft (deceased), gas manager, married 39-year-old Anne Dunwell (born 1869, Kirkby Overblow, about 4 miles south of Harrogate), of Mill House, Pannal, daughter of the late John Dunwell, farmer.


The 1911 census found Charles and second wife Anne living at Rookwood, Grange Road, Burley-in-Wharfedale.  Charles was a retired mohair sorter.




Charles Croft, of Grange Road, Burley-in-Wharfedale, died on 03/02/1914, aged 63, and was buried at St. Mary’s, Burley-in-Wharfedale, on 06/02/1914.




“C. Croft” of Burley-in-Wharfedale played in the 1886 Yorkshire County Chess Club Class D tournament.


“C Croft” played in the Second Class tournament for Yorkshire players at the 1888 British Chess Association congress in Bradford.


Charles Croft of Burley-in-Wharfedale attended the West Yorkshire chess Association meetings of 1888 and 1889.


“C. Croft” of Burley-in-Wharfedale played in the 1895 Yorkshire County Chess Club Class A tournament.


“C. Croft” of Burley-in-Wharfedale represented Yorkshire in the 1896 Cheshire v Yorkshire match, the 1899 Yorkshire v Lancashire and the 1899-1900 Yorkshire v Cheshire correspondence match.


At the local level he played for Burley-in-Wharfdale, for instance in the 1894 (6th Jan) Ilkley v Burley match.


“C. Croft” represented Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup in 1903-04 and 1904-05, but apparently not thereafter.





Copyright © 2015 Stephen John Mann

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

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