Yorkshire Chess History
Samuel Day was a son of William Mitchell Day (born 08/07/1810, Wakefield), a wine and spirit merchant of Wakefield, and wife Mary Ann Day (née Leadman/Leachman(?), born 1812, Barnsley), a milliner of Wakefield.
Father William Mitchell Day’s entry into this world seems to have been in sad circumstances, as his baptism register entry, recording his baptism on 30/07/1810 at All Saints, Wakefield, shows his parentage as Jane Day, widow, implying his father had died in the nine months before the birth.
Samuel and Mary were married on 26/02/1833 at St. John the Baptist, Wakefield, by Thomas Kilby, with a C.L. Day as one of the witnesses. The couple had at least the following five children, all baptised at All Saints, Wakefield:
Samuel Day was thus born 29/05/1838, at Wakefield, and was baptised a month later, on 29/06/1838, at All Saints, Wakefield, by William Sharp. The baptism register describes his father, William Mitchell Day, as a wine merchant, though doesn’t mention the millinery activities of his mother, Mary Ann Day.
The 1841 census found the family of father, mother and two of the sons living at Kirkgate, Wakefield, describing 30-year-old father as a wine merchant and 39-year-old mother as a milliner. Sons Samuel and Edward were recorded as 3 and 1 year old respectively. 2-year-old William Henry Day wasn’t listed with his immediate family, and was presumably temporarily with relatives or friends.
White’s Directory of Leeds & the Clothing District, of 1842 and of 1847, listed William Mitchell Day as a wine merchant at Kirkgate, Wakefield.
The 1851 census painted much the same picture except that William and Edward were away at school, 5-year-old Mary Ellen Day was now on the scene, and the household now included two servants. The family still lived at Kirkgate. Father was now described as a wine and spirit merchant; mother, however, was no longer describe as a milliner as perhaps fitted the family’s apparent improved economic situation. Elizabeth Amey Day wasn’t listed with the family; she’d have been nearly eleven years old.
Censuses offer us no information regarding Samuel’s education, but they tell us William and Edward were sent away to school. For Edward Day’s life from 1851 onwards see the separate article on Edward Day.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford &c, 1854, seems not to mention William Mitchell Day in the Wakefield section. White’s Directory of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield &c of 1858 listed William Mitchell Day as a grocer and tea-dealer at Northgate, and W M Day as an agent for Clerical, Medical and General (insurance) at Northgate. This suggests a (temporary) move away from the wine and spirit business.
The family’s mother, Mary Ann Day, died in 1860, aged 48, and was buried on 07/08/1860 in the grounds of West Parade Wesleyan Chapel, Wakefield (section B, no. 80), by Calvert Spensley (?).
Samuel Day was “Saml Day” in the 1861 census. The 50-year-old widowed father, William Mitchell Day, was now living at Albion Terrace, Wakefield, with 22-year-old Samuel Day and 15-year-old Mary Ellen Day. Albion (or “Albian” as the census enumerator seemed to spell it) Terrace was possibly on Albion Street, on the south side of the grammar school, or possibly on Albion Place which was off York Street (now Upper York Street and Lower York Street). Brother William was now a medical student residing with a doctor to whom he was an assistant.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield &c, 1866, listed William Mitchell Day, wine, spirit, and ale and porter merchant, at Cross Square, Wakefield.
Father William Michael Day took a second wife, Eliza, born 1815/16 at Epworth, Lincolnshire.
White's Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax, Wakefield &c, 1870, listed William Mitchell Day as an ale and porter merchant at Market Place, Wakefield, with his home in College Grove. It also listed William Henry Day, surgeon, LRCP, public vaccinator for Sandal, at 107 Northgate, Wakefield. The marriage of Samuel’s brother Dr. William Henry Day to Matilda Emma Langston was registered at Ross, Herefordshire, in the third quarter of 1868, and the couple went on to have at least seven children. By 1871 Dr. Day had become a general practitioner in the London area.
The 1871 census found 60-year-old father William M. Day with his second wife, 55-year-old Eliza, living with the still-unmarried 32-year-old Samuel Day at 8 College Grove (near to chess-player John William Young, at no.5). Mary Ellen Day wasn’t mentioned in the household, though she reappears in 1881. Father William was still a wine and spirit merchant, Samuel was now described as secretary to a gas company. The household now included a servant. In view of the information in the 1891 census, the gas company mentioned here may have been the Mirfield Gas Light Company Limited, which was incorporated under the Joint Stock Companies Act, 1856.
Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed William Mitchell Day at Westfield Grove, Wakefield. (Dr. William Henry Day wasn’t listed in the Court section.)
The 1881 census found father William, step-mother Eliza, Samuel and Mary Ellen Day living now at Westfeld Grove, a continuation northward of College Grove where they lived before. Presumably this was number 4 Westfield Grove, as in the 1891 census. They had a teacher, James J. Morgan, boarding with them. 70-year-old father William was described as a wine merchant. Still-unmarried 42-year-old Samuel was described now as a sharebroker, possibly having left the gas works, though he reappears as a gas-works secretary.
William Mitchell Day died 01/12/1883, aged 73, and was buried on 05/12/1883 at West Parade Wesleyan Chapel, in the same grave as his first wife, by William Sharp. His will was proved by Samuel Day of West[field] Grove, Wakefield, sharebroker, and Edward Day of Sandal Magna near Wakefield, accountant, being the sons and two of the executors.
White's Directory of Bradford, Halifax, Wakefield &c, 1887, listed Samuel Day in his own right at 4 Westfield Grove, now that his father was no longer head of the household. Samuel was listed as a sharebroker.
The 1891 census found him living on his own, except for a servant, at 4 Westfield Grove. He is described as a widower, which implied he’d got married, but also implies his wife had died. He was now described as secretary of Mirfield Gas Company, though whether this was the same gas company as that for which he previously worked isn’t evident. He had seemingly ended his foray into sharebroking, though the 1901 census shows he hadn’t yet given up stockbroking for good. Maybe it was an on-going background activity.
He married again. His new wife was Catherine, who had been born 1841/42, at Farnley, Leeds. Since the 1911 census said they’d been married 19 complete years, it follows they married around 1891/92. Samuel would be about 53 at the time, while Catharine would be about 50.
Samuel’s step-mother, Eliza Day, died aged 80, and was buried 28/01/1896 at West Parade Wesleyan Chapel with her husband and his first wife, by Albert Woolley.
The 1901 census found married couple Samuel and Catherine living with Samuel’s spinster sister, Mary Ellen Day, at Leeds Road, Harrogate. They had one servant living with them. 62-year-old Samuel was still secretary to Mirfield Gas Company, though was once again also down also as a stockbroker. (His nephew, Alfred Rhodes Day, son of Edward Day, appears to have worked for the same gas company.)
The move to Harrogate proved not to be his final one, as the 1911 census found Samuel and Catherine, now without Mary Ellen Day but still with one servant, at Lansdowne Avenue, Bridlington. Samuel, described as the retired secretary of Mirfield Gas Company, was now 72, and Catherine was 69.
Chess-playing brother, Edward Day, died 05/03/1905, at Wakefield. The death of other brother William Henry Day seems to have been one registered at Islington in the first quarter of 1921.
The death of Samuel Day, at age 74, was registered at Bridlington in the first quarter of 1913.
Samuel Day was a fairly regular supporter of the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association, attending the meetings of 1861 & 1862, 1864, 1866 & 1867, 1869 to 1871, 1873 to 1875, 1879, 1882, and 1885. (He played in the Wakefield team which played Huddersfield over five boards at the 1869 meeting in Huddersfield.)
In March 1872 he played three games with John Watkinson, receiving odds of a pawn and two moves, winning one and losing two.
According to the Huddersfield College Magazine it was Edward Day (not Samuel) who played for Wakefield in a six-board match against Leeds at the 1874 WYCA meeting at Huddersfield.
Copyright © 2012 & 2013 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information