Yorkshire Chess History



Harry Herman Holroyd











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1865, Sheffield



March 1940, Chesterfield



Non-Chess Life


Harry Herman Holroyd’s grandparents were William Holroyd (born 1784/85, Dulestan(?), Yorks.) and “Wilemena” (born 1793/94, Sheffield).  This couple had at least the following five children, all born in Sheffield:


Henry Holroyd

born 1825/26

Elizabeth Holroyd

born 1826/27

John Holroyd

born 1830

William Holroyd

born 1832/33

Reuben George Holroyd

born 1834/35


The 1841 census found the couple lived in Doncaster Street, Sheffield, with the above five children.  Father William was a razor scale presser by trade.  Reuben George Holroyd was the future father of Harry Herman Holroyd.


White’s General Directory of Sheffield, 1849, listed William Holroyd, razor scale presser, at 39 Jericho Street.


The 1851 census found the parents and four sons living at 39 Jericho Street, Sheffield.  Daughter Elizabeth had presumably let home.  Father William and the four sons were all razor scale pressers by trade.


White’s Gazetteer & General Directory of Sheffield, 1852, listed William Holroyd, razor scale presser, at 39 Wellmeadow Street, without being clear as to whether this was William senior or William junior, but it was presumably “senior”.  The address was presumably a business address.


It would appear John left home in 1851 or 1852, as White’s Gazetteer & General Directory of Sheffield, 1852, listed John Holroyd John, razor scale presser, in business at 116 Rockingham Street, with home at 154 Granville Street.  William Holroyd was similarly listed as razor scale presser, 39 Wellmeadow Street; this perhaps meant his business was at Wellmeadow Street, in which case he may still have been living at 39 Jericho Street.


White’s General Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham ..., 1856, still listed John Holroyd, razor scale presser, at 116 Rockingham Street.  It also listed William Holroyd, razor scale presser and musician, 103 Meadow Street; this was presumably William junior.


Reuben married Selina (born 1835, in Sheffield) at some time from 1851 to 1856.  The couple had at least the following six children:


Mary A Holroyd

born 1856/57

Sara Ann Holroyd

born 1859

Lucy Holroyd

born 1861/62

Harry Herman Holroyd

born April to June, 1865

Willemina L (or S) Holroyd

born 1868/69.

Florence A. Holroyd

born 1871/72


In 1861, Reuben George Holroyd was living with his father and/or mother-in-law.


The 1871 census found Reuben, still a razor scale presser, living with wife Selina and first five children at 5 Netherthorpe Street, Sheffield.  The relative poverty of the family is suggested by the fact that while Sara, Lucy and Harry were scholars, Mary on the other hand, though only 14, was a warehouse women.


The father, Reuben, died in Sheffield during the first quarter of 1877, aged 41, when Harry was not yet 12 years old.


White's Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham ..., 1879, listed John Holroyd, scale presser, at 118 Rockingham Street, with home at 23 William Street.


On 4th August 1879, Harry’s sister Sara married Thomas Robinson at St Phillip’s, Sheffield.


The 1881 census found the widow Selina Holroyd was living at 9 Ellison Street, Sheffield, with her three youngest children, Harry Herman Holroyd, a fitter, heater, and smith, Minnie (i.e. Willemina), a scholar, and Florence A. Holroyd.  The older children had presumably left home by now.  Census records don’t name employers, but H. H. Holroyd may at the early age of 15 have been working at Hutton’s, which is suggested by “smith”, which at Hutton’s could mean silversmith, though many firms often had their own blacksmiths.


The 1891 census found the widow Selina was still living at 9 Ellison Street, but now 25-year-old Harry Herman Holroyd was the only one of her children still living with her.  He was still working as a fitter.


The widow Selina Holroyd died during Jan-Mar 1896, in Sheffield, aged 60.


During the period Oct-Dec 1895, Harry Herman Holroyd married Florence, and by 1901, Harry and Florence were living at 69 Wicker, where Luther Heaton Drabble practised as a dental surgeon, and Harry had transferred his manual skills to the business of a dental mechanic, working from home.


In 1911, Harry and Florence were still living at (back of) 69 Wicker, Sheffield, behind the premises of Luther Holroyd Heaton Drabble, dental surgeon, and Harry was still a dental mechanic, working from home.


By the time of his death he was resident at 44 Brackenfield Grove, Frecheville, Sheffield.




Harry Herman Holroyd died, aged 74, in March 1940.  His death was recorded Chesterfield for some reason.  (His home was barely three-quarters of a mile from the Derbyshire border, so may have died in Derbyshire.)


He was buried in Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield, on 12/03/1940.  Unfortunately the headstone lies face-down on the ground, meaning that if his exact date of birth is given then it is hidden from view.




Harry joined Hutton’s Chess Club in 1896, and later became secretary and captain of the club.  At this time he was working as a dental mechanic, and was not an employee of Hutton’s, though perhaps he had worked there in his days as a fitter.  Louis Stringer, William Stringer and Harry Holroyd decided to present a trophy for the Hutton’s club championship, a trophy in whose manufacture Louis stringer had a hand.


He played for Sheffield in the Woodhouse Cup around the turn of the century, certainly in 1901-02 and 1902-03.


When Hutton’s Chess Club folded, around 1911, due largely to the Stringers emigrating to America, it was agreed that Harry, as the first and last winner, should retain the club championship trophy.  Harry and others then formed Walkley Reform Chess Club.


He was one of Capablanca’s opponents during the 1919 Capablanca visit to Sheffield.


In due course Harry presented the trophy to the Sheffield & District Chess Association for competition in Class B of the Sheffield individual championship.  Thereafter it was known as the Holroyd Trophy.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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