Yorkshire Chess History
James Elliott was a son of George Elliot and Anne Elliot. Their surname had only one “t”, but in adult live James frequently had his surname spelt with double “tt”. The couple seem to have had at least the following children:
The Cumberland village of Holme-Cultram was also known as Abbey Holme, and is now known as Holme Abbey or Abbeytown. The village built up around the Cistercian abbey of Holmecultram.
How and when he James Elliot came to live in Wakefield is unclear.
From the age of his eldest daughter in 1851, we can infer that James Elliot had married by 1834. His wife, Martha, was born in 1808 (best guess based on inconsistent data), at Coity, near Bridge End, South Wales, i.e. the modern Bridgend, Mid-Glamorgan. The couple had at least the following children:
Of the above children, Mary Ann Louders was described in the 1851 census as James Elliot’s step-daughter, and may have been a daughter of Martha from a previous marriage to a Mr. Louders (if that is the correct reading of the name). Of the other four children, only Thomas survived his father, and none survived their mother.
The place of birth of Ann Isabel Elliot points to James Elliot having reached the Wakefield area by 1844. Sandal and Sandal Magna are roughly 2 miles to the SSW of the centre of Wakefield, and lend the shared element of their names to “Sandal and Agbrigg” railway station, the first station southwards from Wakefield Westgate station.
Our James Elliot is elusive in the 1841 census, but was presumably living in the Sandal Magna area. There is an a record of an apparently unmarried schoolmaster called James Elliott living at the School House in Sandal; his age matches that of our man, but the absence of a reference to Martha, and the fact that he was a schoolmaster rather than an accountant, makes this look like a different person.
White’s Directory of Leeds & the Clothing Districts, 1847, listed a Mrs. Elizabeth Elliott at Church Yard (off Northgate), Wakefield, who is not obviously any relation; seemingly it didn’t list James.
The 1851 census found 47-year-old James Elliot (only one “t”), born at Abbey Holme, Cumberland, and 38-year-old wife, Martha, born Bridge End, South Wales, living with the oldest four children at Borough Corner, Alverthorpe-with-Thornes township, near Wakefield. Our man was described as an accountant. Martha’s age looks understated when compared with her age stated in the 1871 and 1881 censuses and her stated age at death.
Alverthorpe is about 2 miles ENE of the centre of Wakefield; Thornes is about a mile south of the centre of Wakefield, on the NW side of the River Calder. The location of “Borough Corner” isn’t too clear.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford &c, 1854, listed James Elliott, at 57 Westgate, Wakefield, under “Accountants & Agents”, and under “Sharebrokers”. He wasn’t listed at Alverthorpe, so he perhaps both lived and worked at 57 Westgate.
On 01/11/1855, Ann Isabel Elliot died, aged 11 years, and was buried at St. James, Thornes. On 05/11/1857, George Elliott died, aged 5 years, and was buried at St. James, Thornes.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield &c, 1858, listed William Elliott, gent, Northgate, Wakefield, and James Elliott at Stamp Office Yard (turning off Westgate between 30 and 32), Wakefield. Under the list of borough officials it listed James Elliott as Wakefield’s borough accountant.
The 1861 found 57-year-old James and 49-year-old Martha now living at Stocks Yard, Wakefield. The only one of the surviving children living with them was Margaret Martha Elliott. It’s likely Mary Ann Louders had become married. Thomas was perhaps at school. Again, Martha’s age seems understated.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield &c, 1866, listed James Elliott, accountant, Stamp Office Yard, Wakefield. (The borough accountant was now James Oakes.)
Margaret Martha Elliot died 08/02/1867, aged 21 years, and was buried at St. James, Thornes. That left only Thomas left of James Elliot’s children.
White's Directory of Leeds & the West Riding, 1870, listed James Elliott, accountant and sharebroker, Stamp Office Place, Westgate. (“Stamp Office Place” was beginning to supplant “Stamp Office Yard” in the directories. Fourteen residents were listed there by White in 1887.)
The 1871 census found 57-year-old James and 62-year-old Martha Elliot, back to the single “t”, living at Stamp Office Yard, Wakefield. None of their children were listed as living with them, but an 11-year-old Bowness-born niece of Martha, Sarah Ann Lawson (Sawson??), was living with them as a scholar. Martha’s quoted age is 3 years greater than would be consistent with that quoted in earlier censuses, but is consistent with that in the 1881 census and her quoted age at death. The enumerator records Martha’s place of birth more precisely than the usual Bridge End, giving it as the village of Coity, which is 2 miles NE of Bridgend, but he then says Coity is in “Glamorganshire, Scotland”!
James Elliott of Wakefield died aged 72 and was buried on 05/02/1876 at St. James, Thornes, by Rev. Wyndham Monson Madden B.A., vicar of Holy Trinity, George Street, Wakefield. The inscription on the gravestone readsas follows:
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF
OF WAKEFIELD, WHO DIED FEBRUARY 2ND, 1876
AGED 72 YEARS.
ALSO OF MARTHA, RELICT OF THE ABOVE,
WHO DIED JUNE 5TH, 1890, AGED 82 YEARS.
In death, as at birth, he had but one “t” to his name.
Adjacent to the above gravestone is one dating from 21 years earlier, that of the Elliot children, inscribed as follows:
In Memory of Ann Isabel
Elliot, of Wakefield who
died on the 1st of Novr 1855
Aged 11 Years.
Also of George Elliot who
died on the 5th of Novr 1857
Aged 5 Years.
Also of Margaret Martha Elliot
who died Febr 8th 1867
Aged 21 Years.
Also of Thomas
the last surviving son of
James and Martha Elliot
who died in Australia
and was interred in Melbourne
cemetery on the 5th of November
1885, Aged 37.
The 1881 census found 72-year-old widowed Martha Elliott as an annuitant, still living at Stamp Office Yard, Wakefield, with unmarried niece 21-year-old Sarah Ann Lawson.
Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed Mrs. Elliott at Stamp Office Place, Westgate.
On 01/11/1885, Thomas Elliot died in Australia, aged 37, and was buried in Melbourne cemetery on 5th November 1885
White's Directory of Bradford, Halifax &c, 1887, listed Mrs. Elliott at Stamp Office Place, Westgate.
Martha Elliott of Stamp Office Yard, Wakefield, died aged 82, and was buried on 07/06/1890, at St. James, Thornes, by Rev. Arthur G. Whaley, vicar of St. Andrews, East Moor.
“Elliott” attended the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association in 1857, 1861 to 1864, and 1866 to 1875. He seems to have first been specifically identified as “James Elliott”, rather than just “Elliott”, in 1864.
Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann
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