Yorkshire Chess History



Thomas Wilfred Hepton











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



29/04/1850, Leeds


05/04/1859, St. Peter’s, Leeds


29/01/1907, Scarbororough



Non-Chess Life


Entry 349 in the baptism register of St. Peter’s, Leeds, recorded the baptism on 05/04/1859 of Thomas Wilfred Hepton, son of Wilfred Fox Hepton, plumber of Knostrop Road, Leeds, and Elizabeth Hepton.  The date of birth was given as 29/04/1850.  Wilfred and Elizabeth appear not to have had any other children.


The 1851 census found Wilfred Fox Hepton (born 1823/24, Leeds), Elizabeth Hepton (née Ellison, 1824/25, Brayton, 2 miles SW of Selby), 11-month-old Thomas W. Hepton, and one servant, living at Knowsthorpe Lane, Leeds.  Wilfred was described as a master plumber, employing 2 men and 2 boys.


Knostrop was an area to the SE of the Cross Green area of Leeds.  Knostrop and Knowsthorpe appear to be variants of the same name.  The sewage works in the vicinity is known as Knostrop Sewage Works.  The “Knostrop Road” in the baptism register thus seems the same as “Knowesthorpe Road” which still exists by that name.


Thomas Wilfred Hepton died at some time from 1851 to 1861, while Thomas Wilfred Hepton was less than 10 years of age.


The 1861 census found widowed Elizabeth Hepton, 10-year-old Thomas Wilfred Hepton, Elizabeth’s unmarried sister, 21-year-old Brayton-born Margaret M. Ellison, Elizabeth’s 3-year-old Leeds-born niece, Kathrine Ellison (presumably Margaret’s daughter), one servant and three lodgers, living at 113 Cross Green Lane, Leeds.  Elizabeth was a dressmaker; Thomas was a scholar, and Margaret was a music teacher.


Within ten years, Thomas Wilfred Hepton had become a jeweller.


The 1871 census found 20-year-old Leeds-born Thomas Wilfred Hepton boarding at 21 Abbey Place, Marylebone, London, and described a “working jeweller”, meaning perhaps that he made jewellery rather than selling it.


In time, Thomas moved to Halfax.  Whether this was before or after he got married in 1873 is unclear.


The marriage of Thomas Wilfred Hepton to Phillis Ann Pollard (born 1855/56, Wortley) was registered in the second quarter of 1873, at Halifax.  The couple went on to have at least the following nine children:


Amy Ethel Hepton

born 1874/75, Halifax

Phillis Emma Hepton

born 1876/77, Halifax

Thomas Wilfred Hepton (jun.)

born 1877/78, Scarborough

Elizabeth Hepton

born 1879/80, Scarborough

William Hepton

born Jan/Feb 1881, Scarborough

May Hepton

born 1884/85/86, Scarborough

Roland P Hepton

born 1886/87, Scarborough

Ida M Hepton

born 1887/88/89, Scarborough

Florence N Hepton

born 1898/99, Scarborough


It is evident from the children’s places of birth that Thomas and Phyllis settled at first in Halifax, moving thence to Scarborough around 1877, give or take a year.


The 1881 census found the parents, the first five of the above children, one lodger and one servant living at 12 King Street, Scarborough.  Thomas Wilfred Hepton was a working jeweller, employing 1 man (the lodger, presumably).  The lodger was a working jeweller’s assistant.  Amy and Phyllis were scholars.


The 1891 census found the family had moved down the road a short distance; parents and first eight children were living with two boarders and a servant at 5 King Street, Scarborough.  Thomas had become a white electroplater, a business not wholly unrelated to jewellery manufacture.  Amy was a pupil teacher.  The next six children were scholars.  The boarders were an accountant and milliner respectively, and seemingly not involved in Thomas’s business.


The 1901 census found parents Thomas and Phyllis, all nine children, and Phyllis’s 77-year-old Pontefract-born mother, described as married (rather than widowed) and living on her own means, living at an unspecified number in King Street, Scarborough, seemingly two doors away from the Star Hotel.  It seems this was still no. 5 King Street.  Thomas was once more a “working jeweller”, employing an unspecified number of employees.  Amy was an assistant school teacher.  Thomas (junior) now employed as a working jeweller, presumably by his father.  Elizabeth was draper’s assistant.  William was a joiner’s apprentice.




Thomas Wilfred Hepton of 5 King Street, Scarborough, working jeweller, died on 29/01/1907.  The death index gave his age as 57, but 56 years and 9 months would seem more accurate.  Probate was granted to Phyllis Ann Hepton, widow.  He left £2,098 0s 3d.




“T. W. Hipton” was recorded as playing in the 1893 Scarborough v Whitby match; this was clearly “T.W. Hepton”.


“T. W. Hepton” played for Scarborough in the 1894 Scarborough v Whitby match.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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