Yorkshire Chess History



Frank Hollins











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1871, Aston, Birmingham



28/07/1958, Inglewood, Taranaki, New Zealand


Inglewood Cemetery, Inglewood, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand


(from New Zealand Illustrated Magazine, 01/03/1903,

found on National Library of New Zealand “Past Papers” website https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/)


Non-Chess Life


The parents of Frank Hollins were electro-plating foreman Matthew Hollins (born 1836/37, Birmingham) and Jane Hollins (née Everitt, 1839/40, Birmingham) who married in 1862, in Birmingham, and had the following children:


Arthur Stanfield Hollins

born 1864, Handsworth, Staffs.

Alfred Edward Hollins

born 1865/66, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

Matthew Hollins (jun.)

born 1868, Harborne, Staffs.

Frank Hollins

born 1871, Aston, Birmingham

Kate Hollins

born 1876/77, Aston, Birmingham

Herbert Hollins

born 1879, Aston, Birmingham


The 1871 census found Matthew and Jane with their first three children living at Sandown House, Gerrard Road, Birmingham.  Father Matthew was a foreman in the electro-plating trade.  (Birmingham and Sheffield were at that time the main centres of the silverware, cutlery and similar trades.)


The 1881 census found the complete family, along with mother Jane’s mother Hester Everitt, living at 9 Clive Place, Aston, Birmingham.  Father Matthew was a silversmith’s foreman.  Frank was by now a scholar.


The 1891 census found the family all but Matthew junior, but with a boarder and a servant, living at 11 Frances Road, Handsworth, Staffs (now a district of Birmingham).  Father Matthew was still a silversmith’s foreman.  Frank was by now a brass-founder’s clerk.


The 1901 census found widowed silversmith worker Matthew, sons Frank and Herbert, daughter Kate, and a servant, living at 174 Heathfield Road, Handsworth.  Father Matthew was a silversmith, Frank a brass-founder, and Herbert an engraver.


Frank and Herbert around now hatched up an idea of breaking the Birmingham mould, and on 04/12/1901 (when it would be summer in the antipodes), 30-year-old Frank Hollins and 22-year-old brother Herbert, described in the passenger list as mechanics, set out on the steerage section of the ship Ruapehu, of the New Zealand Shipping Company, destined for Wellington, New Zealand.  Frank, and presumably Herbert as well, settled in Huarangi, in the Taranaki “county” (whatever the correct term is) of New Zealand’s South Island.  This was not so far from where Worcester chess-player the Rev. William Ernest Bolland had been born back in 1847.


On 05/10/1907, Frank Hollins got married to a locally resident Birmingham-born young lady, Eliza Jane Walkley (born 1875/76, Birmingham).  A notice in the Taranaki Herald of 12/10/1907 conveniently identifies the groom as this Frank Hollins:




HOLLINS—WALKLEY. – On October 5th, at the Congregational Church, Wellington Terrace, by the Rev. J. Reed Glasson, Frank, fourth son of Matthew Hollins, Handsworth, Birmingham, to Lizzie, youngest daughter of Alfred Walkley, Erdington, Birmingham, now Huirangi, Taranaki.


Wife Eliza Jane, was described as “Lizzie” in the above notice, as “Jane” in Frank’s grave inscription, and more formally as “Eliza Jane” in probate documents.


The couple had two children, both born in New Zealand, presumably in Taranaki:


Marjorie Brenda Hollins

born 09/09/1908; died 15/10/2003 (with surname Judson)

Eric Frank Hollins

born 28/09/1909; died 21/02/1987




Frank Hollins died 28/07/1958, in Inglewood, Taranaki, New Zealand, and was buried at Inglewood Cemetery, Inglewood, New Plymouth District, Taranaki, New Zealand.  An image of the grave can be seen at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/198843498/frank-hollins.  Wife Eliza Jane died in 1964.




His chess career when he joined St. George’s Chess Club, Birmingham, which was perhaps in 1889.


The Birmingham Mail of 30/06/1890 reported, “The junior competition [meant Class II, rather than junior in age] held in connection with the Counties Chess Association’s Tournament [23-28/06/1890], concluded at Cambridge on Saturday, was won by Mr. F. Hollins, a young member of the St. George’s Chess Club, Birmingham.  Mr. Hollins has made a reputation very rapidly, and, as a proof of his ability, it may be stated that he has never yet been defeated in a match game.”  Frank scored 11 out of 11.


He played for St. George’s Birmingham in inter-club matches, and for Warwickshire in county matches.


On 29/11/1890 he played on board 3 in the 1890 Sheffield Athenaeum v. St. George’s, Birmingham match, when he would be still only 19 years of age.


He played in both North of England v South matches, of 1893 and 1894.


He played in minor events at the 1895 Hastings Congress, in some MCCU and SCCA congresses.


He played a match with G. E. Bellingham of Dudley, starting on Monday 10/02/1896 and lasting to 06/07/1896, playing three evenings a week, in Birmingham and Dudley, alternately, at the rate of 18 moves per hour.  Messrs T A Collins and A J Mackenzie, and the Rev C E Ranken acted as referees, with the winner was to be the first to score 7 wins, draws not counting.  (Arrangements per Birmingham Daily Mail of 06/01/1896.)  Bellingham won +7, =10, -5.  (Results per British Chess Magazine of 1896, page 337.)


His last important match in England was probably the MCCU final match between Warwickshire and Worcestershire on 27/03/1901, when he drew with G E Bellingham.


There seems little if any evidence of him playing over-the-board chess in New Zealand, but he was recognised as a strong player, and accepted the role of adjudication games for the best game prize associated with the New Zealand Championship, not simply giving a result, but annotating games, as for instance S Crakenthorpe v Blake Mason, which won the second prize for Crakenthorpe in 1907.





Copyright © 2020 Stephen John Mann

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

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