Yorkshire Chess History



William Fieldsend and Thomas Fieldsend











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site







1829, Hull



1832, Hull






Q2 1877, York area



Q1 1906, Bradford






William and Thomas Fielding were sons of William Fieldsend (born 1800/01, apparently outside Yorkshire) and Mary Fieldsend (born 1803/04, at Goole).  This couple had at least the following eight children:


Mary Fieldsend

born 1825, Bradford

William Fieldsend

born 1829, Hull

Elizabeth Fieldsend

born 1830

Thomas Fieldsend

born 1832, Hull

John Fieldsend

born 1833/34, Bradford

Henry Fieldsend

born 1836/37, Bradford

Ann F. Fieldsend

born 1837/38

Frederick G Fieldsend

born 1842/43, Bradford


From the places of birth of the children it would appear that William and Mary (senior) had started their married life in Bradford, then spent three years or more in Hull, before settling back in Bradford.  It was during the family’s time in Hull that the chess-playing brothers William and Thomas were born.


The 1841 census found the family living at Fawcett Row (which White tells us was off Nelson Street), Bradford.  The father, 40-year-old William Fieldsend, was described as a butcher, recorded as born outside Yorkshire. 


White’s Directory of Leeds & the Clothing District, 1842, listed William Fieldsend as a butcher with his shop on Nelson Street, and home in Fawcett Row.  All the first seven of the above children were listed there with their parents, except 11-year-old William.


The death of father, William Fieldsend, was registered at Bradford in the first quarter of 1844.


The 1851 census found the family living at West End Building, headed by the widowed mother, Mary (senior), who was described as a provision dealer.  25-year-old Mary (junior) was an assistant in the home.  22-year-ols William was a railway clerk at a goods station.  21-year-old Elizabeth was absent, but she reappeared in 1861.  18-year-old Thomas was a woolsorter.  17-year-old John was a mechanic.  14-year-old John had no recorded occupation.  Ann was missing.  8-year-old Frederick was a scholar at home.


The 1861 census found the family living at 9 Northfield Place, Bradford.  Mary (junior), Elizabeth and Ann were still unmarried and at home,as were William, a clerk at a stuff merchant, Thomas, a salesman with a woolstapler, and Frederick, a railway clerk.  John and Henry appear to have left home.


At some time from 1861 to 1867, William married an Elizabeth, who was born 1843/44, at Stockport, Cheshire (nee Hattingby?).  William and Elizabeth had a daughter, Emily Hattingby Fieldsend, born 1867/68 at Tyersal, Bradford.


Around 1870, Thomas got married to an Elizabeth (born 1836/37, Ambleside, Westmoreland).  The couple had at least three children:


Francis W Fieldsend

born 1871/72, Bradford

Frances M. Fieldsend

born 1873/74, Bradford

Thomas A. Fieldsend

born 1874/75, Bradford


The 1871 census found married 39-year-old Thomas as a wool and worsted waste dealer on his own at Tong Street, Tong.  Wife Elizabeth was not listed with him.


The 1871 census found William and Elizabeth Fieldsend, and 3 year-old daughter Emily, living at 25 Greaves Street, Bradford.


The relatively premature death of William Fieldsend, at age 47, was registered in the second quarter of 1877, at York.  His wife and daughter were taken in, it seems, by brother Thomas.


The 1881 census found Thomas, now a woolsalesman, and Elizabeth, now living at 2 Albert Place, Bradford, with Francis, Frances and Thomas, all three scholars, and 36-year-old widowed sister-in-law Elizabeth Fieldsend, and 13-year-old niece Emily, also a scholar.


The 1891 census found the Fieldsends had moved to 15 Albert Place, Bradford.  Thomas was now described as a traveller.  The three children were still at home, but Thomas’s brother William’s sister and daughter had now moved out.  Francis was a bookstall clerk, and Thomas (junior) was a wool warehouseman.


Thomas Fieldsend’s death, aged 73, was registered in the first quarter of 1906, at Bradford.




Thomas Fieldsend was the more noticeable chess-player.  He attended the annual West Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1866 to 1874, and again in 1883.  He also attended Skipworth’s North Yorkshire and Durham Chess Association meetings of 1866 and 1867, and his “Yorkshire Chess Association” meeting of 1868.


He attended the opening meeting of 1868 season of Huddersfield Chess Club, on 03/10/1868, recorded as a visitor from Bradford as opposed to a member of the Huddersfield club.


William Fieldsend accompanied his brother Thomas to the West Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1866, 1869, 1870 and 1871.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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