Yorkshire Chess History



Patrick Crotty, senior, and Patrick Crotty, junior











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



(best guesses)





1891/92, Barnet









02/07/1964, Leeds









In the period after the Second World War, there were two Leeds chess players called “P. Crotty”, the younger typically being differentiated from the older by use of the affix “jun.” or “junior”.  They both appear playing in the same team in 1937-38, so there were definitely two of them.


The 1901 census found 34-year-old Irish-born print compositor Patrick Crotty living in Leeds with his family, which included a 9-year-old Barnet-born son who was also called Patrick Crotty.


The death of a Patrick Crotty of Leeds on 02/07/1964 was mentioned in probate records, where “Patrick Crotty, solicitor” was listed as one of the executors.  This would appear to relate to the death of Barnet-born Patrick Crotty.


Thus we appear to have three successive generations of a Leeds Crotty family with a Patrick in each.


In 1937-38 season, these three, if still alive, would have been about 71, 46 and early 20s respectively.  The two active as chess-players would seem most likely to be the younger two.


Thus “P. Crotty” (senior) would appear to be Patrick Crotty, born 1891/92, at Barnet, and “P. Crotty jun.” would appear to the son of the latter, Patrick Crotty the solicitor.


Non-Chess Life


The eldest of the three Patricks Crotty was born 1866/67, in Ireland, on the basis of the 1901 census.  There were at least two births possibly corresponding to this Patrick Crotty.  There was a Patrick Crotty born on 19/02/1867, at Dungarvan, Waterford, and there was a Patrick Crotty born on 26/06/1867, at Tipperary.  As it happens, there was a Patrick Crotty of Dungarvan, Waterford, who died on 18/04/1928, and who looks rather like the Patrick Crotty born at Dungarvan.  However, dying in 1928 rules him out as one of the Leeds chess-players active in 1937-38.  This makes the Patrick Crotty born 26/06/1867, at Tipperary, to Timothy Crotty and Bridget née Finnin, the most likely to be the father of chess-playing Patrick Crotty senior.


The eldest of the three Patricks Crotty got married in 1890/91, according to the 1911 census.  His wife was Lucy M. Crotty, born 1870/71, in Islington.  Lucy’s maiden name is not immediately evident, but a wild guess would be that it might be Chapman.


The couple had had four children by the time of the 1911 census, all then still living.  These four, all born at Barnet, appear to have been as follows:


Patrick Crotty

born 1891/92

Maurice Crotty

born 1893/94

Austin Crotty

born 1893/94

Francis A Cotty

born 1894/95


Maurice and Austin appear to have been born within 12 months of each other, the first around April/May/June 1893, and the second around February/March/April 1894.  Either that or they were one person, perhaps with two forenames.


The 1891 census found 26-year-old Irish-born printer’s compositor Patrick Crotty living at 73 Wood Street, Chipping Barnet, Hertfordshire, with his wife, Islington-born Lucy M. Crotty, but as yet with no children.  They happened at the time to have a 32-year-old Poplar-born visitor called Samuel Chapman, who might conceivably have been Lucy’s brother.


The 1901 census found the parents and three children, Patrick (9), Maurice (7) and Francis (6), living at 23 Ashton Terrace, Leeds.  Father Patrick was still a printer’s compositor.


The 1911 census found mother, Lucy Crotty, and three children, this time Patrick (19, a clerk), Austin (17, a clerk) and Francis (16, a newsagent), living at 14a, Harehills Road, Leeds.  Lucy was described as married rather than widowed, so her husband was presumably away from home at the time of the census.  She was described as a newsagent, so Francis presumably help her in that business.  They also had a boarder.


We have to assume that the Patrick Crotty who was born in 1891/92 went on to get married and have at least one child, another Patrick Crotty, who became a solicitor.  This father and son pair is assumed to have been the Leeds chess-players.


The older of the chess-players appears to have lived latterly at 151 Montague Avenue, Leeds.




Patrick Crotty, of 151 Montague Avenue, Leeds, died on 02/07/1964.  Probate was granted to Patrick Crotty, solicitor, and Amy Edith Hayden, legal executive.  He left effects of £1,543.




Distinguishing one Crotty from the other is not easy.  Clearly the occurrences of “jun.” or “junior” indicated the younger of the two, but it can’t be assumed that omission of such a qualification necessarily implied the older player, though in the examples below perhaps it did.


P. Crotty entered the 1933-34 Yorkshire Championship, and was knocked out by C G Wenyon.


P. Crotty of Leeds was a vice-president of the Yorkshire Chess Association in 1948-49.


P. Crotty played in the Leeds Woodhouse Cup team of 1933-34 and 1934-35, and presumably in seasons before and after (data not to hand).


P. Crotty played in the 1933-34 Yorkshire-Lancashire friendly match.


P. Crotty played in the 1934-35 Northumberland-Yorkshire match.


P. Crotty played in the 1934-35 Yorkshire-Lancashire friendly match.


Details of 1935-36 and 1936-37 were not to hand at the time of writing.


Both P. Crotty and P. Crotty junior played in the 1937-38 Yorkshire-Cheshire match, on boards 19 and 26 respectively.


P. Crotty (but not “junior”) played in the 1837-38 Lancashire-Yorkshire match.


P. Crotty junior (but not the other one) played in the Yorkshire correspondence teams in the County and District championships of 1937-38 and 1938-39, Yorkshire winning the championship on both occasions.


“P. Crotty” played in the post-war period, though one wonders whether by now this referred to the younger of the pair.


P. Crotty played in the 1945-46 Lancashire-Yorkshire match.


P. Crotty played in the 1946-47 Yorkshire-Cheshire and Lancashire-Yorkshire matches, but wasn’t in the Yorkshire correspondence team.


(Further data not to hand.)





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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