Yorkshire Chess History



Dr. Matthew Ross Deas and Dr. Peter Maury Deas











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


Matthew Ross Deas


Peter Maury Deas


1807/08, Edinburgh



1841/42, Edinburgh






29/10/1887, Exeter



15/12/1928, Budleigh Salterton, Devon








Matthew Ross Deas was born 1807/08 in Edinburgh.  He qualified as a doctor of medicine, presumably at Edinburgh, and became a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.  By the end of 1839 he had married his wife Jane, who was born 1808/09 in Edinburgh.


The couple had at least two children:

Jane Lindsay Deas

born 1840/41, Edinburgh

Peter Maury Deas

born 1841/42, Edinburgh


The 1841 census found the parents and 10-month-old daughter living at Alva Street, Edinburgh, with one servant.


Peter Maury Deas was born some time from 16/12/1841 to 03/04/1842 in Edinburgh.


Within the next ten years Dr. Matthew Ross Deas had taken up a post in the village of Kirkleatham, two miles south of Redcar.  Accordingly, the 1851 census found the family of two parents and two children living at Kirkleatham Hospital, so our man appears therefore to have worked at the hospital.


Non-Chess Life: Dr. Matthew Ross Deas


By the time of the 1861 census, son Peter Maury Deas had started medical studies at Edinburgh, so there were only the two parents and daughter Jane living at the hospital, now with three servants.


In the next ten years, the mother, Jane Deas, had died, and daughter Jane Lindsay Deas had married a Mr. Churchill, as the 1871 census found Matthew Ross Deas as a 63-year-old widower living with his daughter Jane Lindsay Deas and two grandchildren, Arthur L. Churchill (5) and George R. Churchill (9 months).  Niece Mary Hutton also lived with them, as did two servants.


After being in Kirkleatham for very roughly thirty years, our man moved to Exeter to be near son, Peter Maury Deas, who by then was medical superintendent at Wonford House Hospital for the Insane, Exeter.


Non-Chess Life: Dr. Peter Maury Deas


Peter Maury Deas left home to be educated at Edinbugh.  He matriculated there in 1859-61.  He became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh in 1863, Bachelor of Medicine, London (M.B.Lond.), in 1865, and Master of Surgery, London(M.S.Lond.), in 1866.  He was President of Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh 1862-1863.


That he played in the Redcar tournament in 1865 suggests he was at the time between getting his qualifications and embarking on his career in earnest.  It may be that he was helping his father at Kirkleatham hospital for a while, but it was in the area of mental illness that his future career lay.


He was assistant physician at the Royal Edinburgh Asylum for a while, and later was Medical Superintendent at the Cheshire County Asylum.  Morris & Co.'s Directory & Gazetteer of Cheshire, 1874, listed Peter Maury Deas M.B., medical superintendent, County Lunatic Asylum, Parkside, Chester Road, Macclesfield.  His son Percival Druce Deas was born 11/11/1875 at Parkside House, Macclesfield, Cheshire.


Finally, he became medical superintendent at Wonford House Hospital for the Insane, in the Heavitree district of Exeter, just to the south side of today’s Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.  He was still as the Cheshire asylum in 1881, but had moved to Exeter by 1886.  Kelly's Directory of Devon, 1889, listed Peter Maury Deas M.B., Wonford House, South Wonford, Exeter; and Exeter Hospital for Insane Private Patients (Peter Maury Deas M.B.Lond., medical superintendent [&c]); and Wanforn house Hospital for the Insane (Peter Maury Deas M.B., M.S., medical superintendent [&c]).


On 17/07/1886 he was appointed Acting Surgeon to the 1st Devonshire Artillery, Volunteer Corps.


Hid obituary in the British Medical Journal of 05/01/1829, p.49-50, referred to his non-work interests, saying he was for several years director of the Exeter Theatre Royal and a member of the Exeter Dramatic Society, as well as being popular at private musical events as a tenor singer.  It also mentioned his involvement in freemasonry.  There was no mention of chess.


Death: Dr. Matthew Ross Deas


Probate records inform us that widower Dr. Matthew Ross Deas, late of Bouverie Place, St. Leonard [Exeter], died on 29/10/1887 at Bouverie Place [seemingly no longer in existence].  Administration of the estate was granted to his son, Peter Maury Deas.


Death: Dr. Peter Maury Deas


Dr. Peter Maury Deas died on 15/12/1928 at his home, Trevana, Budleigh Salterton, Devon.  Administration of his estate was granted to Margaret MacPherson Deas.  He left £17,798 7s. 9d.  An obituary was given in the British Medical Journal of 05/01/1829, p.49-50.


Chess: Dr. Matthew Ross Deas


He may well have been involved in the running of the Redcar chess meeting of 1865.  One of the competitors was his son Peter Maury Deas.


He was listed as one of the 23 members of the General Committee in connection with the running of the Redcar chess meeting of 1866.


Chess: Dr. Peter Maury Deas


Dr. Peter Maury Deas was a competitor in the 9-player all-play-all tournament at the Redcar chess meeting of 1866.  The other competitors were all amateurs from the North Riding of Yorkshire or from County Durham.  He was presumably visiting his parents at Kirkleatham at the time, so arguably was an inappropriate outsider!  Or was he temporarily living with his parents between the Cheshire and Exeter jobs?





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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