Yorkshire Chess History



Edward Francis











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1833, Liverpool


31/10/1833, St. Martin in the Fields, Liverpool


08/04/1905, St. Anne’s-on-Sea, Lancashire



Non-Chess Life


Entry 536 of the baptism register of St. Martin in the Fields, Liverpool, records the baptism there on 31/10/1833 of Edward Francis, son of joiner John Francis and his wife Mary Francis, of back Portland Street, Liverpool.  Census sources imply he was born in 1833/1834 and no sooner than 08/04/1833, so we can infer that his birth occurred at some point from 08/04/1833 to 31/10/1833.


7 or 8-year-old Edward Francis is elusive in the 1841 census.  The 1851 census contains a reference of an allegedly 18-year-old unmarried Liverpool-born Edward Francis being a schoolmaster in Lancaster workhouse.  The age of 18 seems overstated for our man, and our man did not end up as a schoolmaster, nevertheless this could be he.


Edward Francis married Sarah Harriet Beddoe at Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, on 10/05/1858.  Sarah was born at the said Cleobury Mortimer, which is 10 miles E of Ludlow, in 1833.


The couple had at least the following three children:


Mary J Francis

born 1858/59, Liverpool

Catherine Ann Francis

born Nov/Dec 1860, Halifax

Albert Edward Francis

born 1863/64, Halifax


The places and dates of birth of the children suggest the family moved from Liverpool to Halifax in 1859/60, give or take a year.


The 1861 census found Edward and Sarah living with 2-year-old Mary and 4-month-old Catherine at 3 (?) St. George’s Street, Halifax.  Edward’s occupation was given as post office clerk.


In time Edward Francis became postmaster of Halifax.  White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield &c, 1866, listed John Carew as postmaster at George Street, Halifax.  White's Directory of Leeds & the West Riding, 1870, listed Edward Francis as postmaster of Halifax, with his home in North Parade, Halifax.


The 1871 census found the parents, three children and one servant living at 26 North Parade, Halifax.  Edward had secured promotion in the last ten years as he was now postmaster of Halifax, which position he held for the rest of his working life.


The 1881 census found the family of five and one servant living at 24 Elmfield Terrace, Skircoat, Halifax.  Young Albert was now a solicitor’s articled clerk.  Elmfield Terrace ran along part of the north side of the road called Savile Park.


Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed Edward Francis at 24 Elmfield Terrace, Savile Park, Halifax.


The 1891 census found Edward and Sarah as visitors at 24 Saunders Street, St. Meols, Lancashire, which was the residence of John and Sabrina Boocock who ran a hydropathic establishment.  It’s not clear whether Edward and Sarah were availing themselves of the hydropathic facilities rather than visiting the Boocock’s socially.  Edward was still listed as postmaster of Halifax.


Edward retired from the post office at some time from 1891 to 1901, as evidenced by the 1901 census, which found retired postmaster Edward Francis and his wife Sarah H. Francis as boarders at The Hawthorns hotel in Bournemouth.  It appears they were in Bournemouth only temporarily, and that there residence at the time, or soon after, was The Poplars, St. Anne’s-on-Sea, on Lancashire’s Fylde coast.




The death of Edward Francis, aged 71, was registered in the second quarter of 1905, at Fylde, Lancashire.  Probate records state that Edward Francis of “Poplars” St. Annes-on-Sea died 08/04/1905.  Probate was granted to Albert Edward Francis Francis [sic – probably the extra “Francis” was an error] and Richard Watson Evans, solicitors.  The deceased effects totalled £3,938 2s 6d.




Edward Francis attended the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association of 1869, 1870, 1871, 1873, 1876 and 1877.


He was president of Halifax Chess Club in 1876 and probably held that or similar posts at other times as well.


He played in the 1883 Yorkshire-Lancashire match on board 6, drawing with S. Wellington of Liverpool.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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