Yorkshire Chess History



William Guy, Thomas Arnaud Guy & John Anthony Guy











Made in Yorkshire



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William Guy

Thomas Arnaud Guy

John Anthony Guy


1827/28, Horton‑in‑Ribblesdale

1854, Bradford

1856, Bradford





1890, Bradford

28/05/1905, Burley‑in‑Wharfedale

19/05/1931, Eccleshill, Bradford





Identities of the Chess-Players


The “T. A. Guy” and “J. A. Guy” who played for Bradford are easily identifiable from their initials, there being no other people of those names in relevant censuses or directories of the time.  A mention of “Guy” attending the West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting of 1861 cannot refer to either of these, so it referred perhaps to their father, William, who traded as “Guy, Bradford” and so would need no more-detailed description.


Records of Bradford Chess Club show C. H. Guy as competing in a club tournament in 1892, and as elected one of two club secretaries in 1892.  This was presumably Charles Herbert Guy, brother of Thomas Arnaud Guy and John Anthony Guy,.  C. H. Guy is not otherwise very prominent.


Non-Chess Life


Thomas Arnaud Guy and John Anthony Guy were sons of William Guy (born 1827/28, Horton-in-Ribblesdale) and Charlotte Guy (born c. 1826, Bradford).  This couple had at least the following four children, all born in Bradford:


Grace Isabella Guy

born 1852/53

Thomas Arnaud Guy

born 1854

John Anthony Guy

born 1856

Charles Herbert Guy

born 1858/59


The birth of Thomas Arnaud Guy was registered in the fourth quarter of 1854, and that of John Anthony Guy’s in the fourth quarter of 1856, both at Bradford.


The 1861 census found parents, their four children, 17-year-old nephew Thomas Ellershaw (born Bentham, Lancs), and a servant living at 24 Marlborough Road, Manningham, Bradford.  Father William, by occupation, was a wool merchant; he was also a town councillor.  The eldest three children were scholars.


The 1871 census found the family had moved to 4 Ann Place, Horton, Bradford.  Grace seems to have left home.  William’s widowed mother, 83-year-old Isabella Guy (born 1787/88, Dentdale[?]), had joined the household.  There was one servant.  Father William was a wool stapler, meaning he supplied (was a merchant in) raw, unmanufactured wool, as opposed to yarn or cloth.  Thomas was a clerk in a wool warehouse, presumably his father’s.  John was still a scholar.  Charles was also a scholar.


The 1881 census found the family had moved again, to 97 Horton Lane, Horton, Bradford.  Only Thomas and Charles were listed with their parents.  There were now two servants.  Father William was a wool merchant, as before, and Thomas was a wool buyer, presumably working in his father’s firm.  Charles was a banker’s cashier.


The quarterly index to marriage returns for the second quarter of 1888 records the registration, at Bradford, of the marriage of “Jane Anthony Guy” to Eleanor Watson (born 1862/63, Bradford).  This would appear to refer to John Anthony Guy.  The couple appear to have had no children.


The death of father William Guy, aged 62, was registered in the second quarter of 1890, at Bradford.  The death meany Thomas and John took over control of their father’s business.


The 1891 census found wool merchant John Anthony Guy and his wife Eleanor, with one servant but no children, living at 7 Grove Terrace, Horton, Bradford.  Meanwhile wool merchant Thomas Arnaud Guy was still living with his mother Charlotte, and one servant, at 23 Ashgrove, Horton, Bradford.  Charlotte was living on her own means.


Kelly’s 1891 Bradford Directory listed the following:

T. A. Guy, of Wm. Guy & Sons, resident at 23 Ashgrove, Bradford;

J. A. Guy, of Wm. Guy & Sons, resident at 7 Grove Terrace, Bradford;

Mrs Charlotte Guy, 23 Ashgrove, Bradford;

and the firm of Wm. Guy and Sons, wool, noil and yarn dealers at 24 Nelson Street, Bradford, telephone number 4.

(“Noil” here refers to short, loose fibres of wool, resulting from the carding of wool and other processes.)


If would appear Wm. Guy & Sons may have been one of the first to have the electric telephone installed, judging by the number.


Mother Charlotte Guy died at Bradford on 10/05/1898, aged 72.  Probate was granted to Thomas Arnaud Guy and John Anthony Guy.  Her effects totalled £1,474 9s 7d.


The Guys are elusive in the 1901 census, but it would appear from Kelly’s that both brothers had moved, by 1901, into Ellenthorpe, Moorside Road, Eccleshill, Bradford.


Kelly’s 1901 Bradford Directory listed the following:

Thomas Arnaude [sic] Guy, wool merchant, of Wm. Guy & Sons, resident at Ellenthorpe, Eccleshill, Bradford

John A. Guy, wool merchant, of Wm. Guy & Sons, resident at Ellenthorpe, Eccleshill, Bradford

Wm Guy & Sons, wool, noil and yarn merchants, 24 Nelson Street, Bradford; telephone number 4.


The location of Thomas’s death in 1905, Scalebor-park-asylum, Burley-in-Wharfedale, suggests he had been taken ill one way of another.  How long he was at that asylum is unclear.  After the death of Thomas in 1905, John was left to continue the family business.


Again, Thomas is elusive in the 1911 census.


Kelly’s 1917 Bradford directory listed John A. Guy, wool merchant, residing at Ellenthorpe, Moorside Road, Eccleshill.  The business was still known as Wm. Guy & Sons, although the eponymous William and one of the sons were dead.




The death of father William Guy, aged 62, was registered in the second quarter of 1890, at Bradford.


Thomas Arnaud Guy of Ellenthorpe, Eccleshill, Bradford, died on 28/05/1905 at “Scalebor-park-asylum”, Burley-in-Wharfedale.  Probate was granted to John Anthony Guy, wool merchant, and Charles Herbert Guy, bank manager.  His effects totalled £3,705 6s 2d.


John Anthony Guy of Ellenthorpe, Eccleshill, Bradford, died 19/05/1931.  Probate was granted to Eleanor Guy, widow, and Alfred Gibson, wool merchant.  His effects totalled £648 14s 6d.




“Guy” of Bradford is recorded as attending the 1861 annual meeting of the West Yorkshire Chess Association.  This could not have been Thomas or John, as they’d be too young, so in all probability, as stated at the beginning, this was their father William Guy, though there is no evident corroboration of this.


There is always danger of a transcription error resulting in the activities of “J. A.” being represented as those of “T. A.”, and vice versa.  Sometimes, of course, both are mentioned.


Thomas and John both attended the 1888 meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association, and John at least thereafter attended in 1889.


John entered the Class C tournament of at first annual meeting of the Yorkshire County Chess Club, in 1886.


The Woodhouse Cup career of “J. A. Guy”, playing for Bradford, started in 1886.  Thomas seemingly didn’t play in Woodhouse matches.


“T.A.” was on the management committee for the 1887 Gunsberg-Blackburne Match promoted in Bradford by Antonio Fattorini.


It is reported that “T. A. Guy” entered the Amateur Championship of Yorkshire conducted at the British Chess Association meeting held in 1888 at Bradford, losing in round one.


It was “T. A.”, apparently, played for West Yorkshire against Tyneside & Teesside in 1888.


Thomas was at a West Yorkshire Chess Association committee meeting held at Leeds on 30th October 1889, to consider the possibility of second teams of Woodhouse clubs being allowed to compete in the Woodhouse.  “Mr. T. A. Guy” proposed admittance of such second teams specifically to allow Bradford II to enter.  The proposal was defeated by eight votes against, with five votes for.


Both brothers played in the match played by Bradford,away to Liverpool, on Saturday 04/01/1890.  Thomas was on board two and John on board seven.


“T. A.” is represented as playing in the 1895 Yorkshire Champiopnship.


It appears to have been “J. A.” who was treasurer of Bradford Chess Club in 1896.


From 1896 it seems to have been only John who played in Yorkshire county matches.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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