Yorkshire Chess History



Sir Edwin Gaunt











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



07/07/1818, Wortley


09/08/1818, St. John the Evangelist, Wortley


21/08/1903, Leeds




Edwin Gaunt.jpg


Edwin Gaunt’s parents were John Gaunt, a clothier of Low Wortley, Leeds, and Sarah Gaunt, who appear to have had at least the following five children (listed in 1841 census records described below):


Edwin Gaunt

born c. 1818

Sarah Gaunt

born c. 1820/21

Frederick Gaunt

born c. 1827/28

Alfred Gaunt

born c. 1831/32

Martha Gaunt

born c. 1838/39


Edwin Gaunt was born 07/07/1818 at Wortley, Leeds, and baptised on 09/08/1818 at St. John the Evangelist, Wortley, by G. Rickards, perpetual curate.  The name of the church points to this being the Wortley 2 miles SW of Leeds city centre; the church at Wortley in South Yorkshire was St. Leonards.


Sarah Gaunt may have died at some time from 1838 to 1841, as the 1841 census found a John Gaunt as a widower living with the above five children at Wortley Lane, Tankersley.  Tankersley is east of Wortley, South Yorkshire, between Sheffield and Barnsley.  Thus the family seems to have moved from one Wortley to the vicinity of the other Wortley, or do we have two John-Edwin Father-son Gaunt families, or was there a Tankersley in Leeds?  John Gaunt of Tankersley was a woollen spinner, while Edwin was a woollen dresser, and Sarah and Frederick were similarly employed as woollen “burler”(?) and woollen brusher.  It’s not too clear whether this family is that of our man.


On 18/12/1843, Edwin Gaunt, cloth draper of Holbeck, son of John Gaunt, clothier, was married to Caroline Jowett of Holbeck, daughter of William Jowett, “slubber”(?), at St. Peter’s, Leeds.  The couple had at least the following three children, all girls, all born at Holbeck:


Apulina Gaunt

born 1843/44

Sarah Ann Gaunt

born 1845/46

Eliza Gaunt

born 1848/49


Edwin Gaunt was secretary of Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd from June 1850 to 1853.


The 1851 census found Edwin and Caroline living at Isle Lane, Holbeck, Leeds, with the above three children, and Caroline’s 70-year-old widowed mother, Grace Jowett.  30-year-old Wortley-born Edwin was described as an assistant in a shoe shop.


The 1861 census found the family of two parents and daughters Apulina and Sarah Ann, but no Eliza, at 54 Springfield Close, Leeds.  Edwin was now listed as a “cap manufacturer (master)” an occupation with which he was hereafter generally associated.  Grace Jowett was not listed, so had perhaps died.  The household now included a servant.


At some time from 1861 to 1867, the Gaunt family must have moved to Carlton Lodge.


On 02/12/1867, fellow chess-player John Craven, married Edwin Gaunt’s daughter, Apulina Gaunt of Carlton Lodge.


The 1871 census found Edwin Gaunt, cap manufacturer, and Caroline Gaunt, living with two servants at 9 Carlton Grove, Leeds.


The 1881 census found Edwin Gaunt, now described as an alderman as well as a merchant (which seems off the mark), living with two servants at Carlton Lodge, Leeds.  It rather looks as though “Carlton Lodge” was the same place as “9 Carlton Grove”.


In 1885, Alderman Edwin Gaunt followed his fellow chess-playing alderman, Edwin Woodhouse, as mayor of Leeds, and was elected for a second year of office in 1886.  Leeds art gallery possesses a portrait of Edwin Gaunt in his mayoral chain, painted by Marmaduke C. William Flower in 1892.


At some stage he had become a J.P.


In 1887, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year, Edwin Woodhouse was knighted, so becoming Sir Edwin Gaunt.  Leeds chess club gave a banquet to mark the occasion, chess clubs from around the county being represented there.


The 1891 census listed 72-year-old Edwin Gaunt, Kt., J.P., and 70-year-old Caroline living at 9 Carlton Grove (presumably the same as “Carlton Lodge”), Leeds, with two servants.  Edwin was described as a clothier and hat & cap manufacturer.


The National Telephone Company English Districts Telephone Directory 1891-92 listed Sir Edwin Gaunt JP at Grace Street Mills, Leeds.




Probate records show that Sir Edwin Gaunt of Carlton Lodge, Blackman Lane, Leeds, knight, died 21/08/1903.  Probate was granted to Edwin Gaunt Hudson, hat manufacturer, and Joseph Craven, mechanical engineer.  He left effects of £17,799 10s. 6d.




Edwin Gaunt attended the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association in 1872 & 1873, 1875 & 1876, 1878, 1882, 1884, 1886 and 1887.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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