Yorkshire Chess History
Edward Cronhelm was born 24/08/1820, the fourth son of Frederick William Cronhelm.
The 1841 census saw him living with his parents at Crow Wood and working as a wool-stapler. It’s most probable that Henry Edwards was his employer.
He attended the second (1841) and fourth (1843) meetings of the original Yorkshire Chess Association. He may have attended more, but was not listed among those present. At the fourth meeting he scored +2 =1 -2 against Marmaduke Wyvill who beat Edward’s father 2-0. Thus Edward was presumably stronger at chess than his father by 1843, when he’d be 23 and his father 57.
On 20th October 1846 he married Hannah Thwaite in Halifax. The marriage certificate shows he had by then become an accountant, much as his father and grandfather. Edward and Hannah had four daughters, all born in Halifax, but no sons to carry on the chess-playing of Frederick and Edward.
From 18 July 1847 Edward played a match of five games with John Rhodes of Leeds, then considered Yorkshire Champion. Rhodes won 4 and lost 1, with no draws.
In late1849 or early 1850, Edward played a game with Daniel Harrwitz, receiving odds of pawn and move, and winning.
Round about 1850 Edward reportedly played a correspondence match with a fellow Halifax Chess Club member, I Thomas, one game being published in the Chess Player’s Chronicle.
He subscribed to the London Tournament of 1851 at the amount of £3 3s 0d.
When the Halifax St George’s Chess Club was formed, about January 1852, with both F. W. Cronhelm and son Edward as founder members, Edward played the following game with another club member.
White: Other, AN, Black: Cronhelm, Edward
1. e4 c5 2. f4 e6 3. c3 Nc6 4. Nf3 g6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Nb5 d5 8. exd5 exd5 9. Qxd5 Qe7+ 10. Kf2 Nf6 11. Qf3 Ng4+ 12. Kg3 Qe1+ 13. Kh3 Nf2+ 14. Kh4 Bf6+ 15. Kg3 Ne4+ double check and mate, 0-1
A letter written by him in the Chess Player’s Chronicle Vol. page XII, p.89, dated 18th February 1851 was addressed as from “Kerr Cottage, Halifax.” This was on Washer Lane, Pye Nest, on the estates of (Sir) Henry Edwards. Directory entries under “Skircoat” of about this time show him as living at “Kerr Cottage”. The 1851 census recorded him as working as a merchant’s clerk with Wooster Woollen Co.
During Löwenthal’s visit to Halifax in February 1852, Edward, receiving odds of pawn and move, won his game in the six-board simultaneous display given by the Hungarian.
In the Manchester Guardian of 17th May 1853, there was published an offer from “two of the best Manchester players” to play a match against any two amateurs of any provincial club. This was taken up by the Cronhelms. It turned out this offer had been inserted without permission, and was a mistake. Staunton suggested [1853 CPC New I, June cover pages] that a match between Kipping and Edward Cronhelm might result. This seems, however, not to have materialised, perhaps due to planes to move to Ireland.
Around 1855 Edward moved to Dublin in Ireland, where he set up as an accountant. Quite which members of his family went with him is unclear, but he had cousins already Ireland when he moved there. Successive addresses given for him in Dublin directories were as follows:
1855: 47 Dame Street and 4 Tower Terrace (131 Strand Rd).
1862: 1 Luneburg (113 Strand Rd.), 9 Eustace Street, and 4 Tower Terrace (131 Strand Rd).
1873: 1 Tower Terrace (125 Strand Rd.)
1880: 125 Strand Road and 4 Eustace St.
Confusingly, Luneburg and Tower Terrace were separately numbered terraces along Strand Road, which also had numbers for Strand Road (in parentheses above).
In 1865, the first Irish chess tournament took place in Dublin. There was a (International) Masters’ Tournament, which Edward entered, scoring a full set of duck-eggs:
S M B Co Cr Pts
1. W. Steinitz (Austria) × 1 1 1 1 4
2. G. A. MacDonnell 0 × 1 1 1 3
3. W. Bolt (England) 0 0 × 1 1 2
4. E. Cordner 0 0 0 × 1 1
5. E. Cronhelm 0 0 0 0 × 0
As an accountant, Edward will at least have appreciated the neatness of the result table. Draws had to be replayed to achieve a win. Steinitz and MacDonnell drew their first game, but Steinitz won the replay.
Alongside the above tournament was held the first Irish Championship. In this Edward shone:
1. J. A. P. Rynd 16 out of 17
2. E. Cronhelm
3. G. F. Barry
This was apparently a 17-player all-play-all open to all amateur players who were bona fide residents of Ireland for the 12 months prior to 1st September 1865. Edward was eminently eligible. Sadly the full list of opponents and results seems unavailable. Rynd won the title again and so he was probably a competent player, and Edward’s performance in coming second must be counted as a good result.
Edward’s win over E. Cordner was published in the Chess Player’s Magazine for 1865, on page 371.
Edward died on 24th January 1889, aged 68, at 125 Strand Road, Sandymount, as a result of "cardiac softening", asthma and bronchitis.
Whether Edward’s wife, Hannah, went with him to Ireland (posing the question of how daughter Frances Catherine came to die in Halifax), or whether she followed him later, or whether she never moved to Ireland, is unclear. The 1891 census shows her living with third daughter Edith Alice in the parish of St. Jude,which equates to Second Avenue. Hannah died in 1893, aged 67, (St. Catherine’s Index Vol. 9a p.336.) at which time her address was 15 Second Avenue, Skircoat, Halifax, a back-to-back property which was a little over a mile from Kerr Cottage where her married life presumably started out. She was buried on 17th March 1893.
Edith Alice appears as head of household in the 1901 census. She died 9th January 1924, at which time she was resident at 10 Second Avenue, Skircoat, Halifax.
Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information