Yorkshire Chess History
William Wilks Hunter
William Wilks Hunter was born 05/01/1827 to George and Elizabeth Hunter. His place of birth was given in the 1861 and 1871 censuses as the quaintly named Patrick Brompton, a hamlet roughly one-and-two-thirds miles NW of Bedale, in modern North Yorkshire, then in the North Riding. He was baptised at Bedale on 08/02/1828.
14-year-old William is not easily identifiable in the 1841 census, but he presumably had yet to move to Wakefield.
The 1851 census found 24-year-old William Hunter, born “Brompton, Bedale”, as a banker’s clerk at Queen’s Street, Wakefield.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford &c, 1854, seemingly didn’t list him in Wakefield.
His marriage to Hannah Broadley Holbrey was announced by the Doncaster, Nottingham, and Lincoln Gazette of Friday 5th June,1857, as follows:
On the 4th inst. at Fishlake, by Rev. G. Ornsby, vicar, Mr. William Wilks Hunter, of Wakefield, to Hannah Broadley, youngest daughter to the late Rev. W. Holbrey, of Fishlake.
Hannah Broadley Holbrey had been born 1832/33, at Fishlake
Fishlake, in modern South Yorkshire, is about a mile and a half NNE of Stainforth. The Rev. William Holbrey had been perpetual curate of Sykehouse, about 4 miles to the NW of Fishlake. He appears to have died around the second quarter of 1839, when the death of a William Holbrey was registered at Thorne.
William and Hannah had at least the following seven children:
These children were not always listed in censuses at their parents’ home when one might expect them to be.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield &c 1858, listed William Wilks Hunter as a clerk at Bond Street, Wakefield.
The 1861 census found William and Hannah at Bond Street, Wakefield, with one servant. George and Ella weren’t listed there. William was still a banker’s clerk.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield &c, 1866, listed W. W Hunter as a bank cashier at Westgate Common, a suburb of Wakefield about a mile to the NW of the town centre, in the parish of Alverthorpe-with-Thornes.
White's Directory of Leeds & the West Riding, 1870, listed William Hunter, bank cashier, at Alverthorpe, no longer specifying Westgate Common, suggesting the change of address evident in the census.
The 1871 census found William and Hannah, with 13-year-old George and 8-year-old Frank, with two servants, at Rose Villa Alverthorpe, apparently near Alverthorpe Hall. This time Ella, Edward, Marian and Ernest weren’t mentioned.
Hannah Broadley Hunter died 18/07/1880, and was buried at St. Cuthbert’s, Fishlake.
Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed W. W. Hunter at Bank House, Ossett, Wakefield.
The 1881 census found the 53-year-old widower William Wilks Hunter living at the Wakefield & Barnsley Bank, Bank Street, Ossett, where he was bank manager. Living with him were 21-year-old Ella Hunter, 18-year-old Frank William Hunter, his sister-in-law Mary Langhorne Holbrey, and two servants.
Someone of a similar name as our man arried Eliza Lucy Wicksteed, on 31/10/1882, at Halkyn, Flintshire, Wales, but this was presumably another man.
At some stage he appears to have retired to “Thorne Lea, Stainforth”. Whether “Thorne Lea” was a house or an area isn’t very clear, but clearly he had moved to the vicinity of members his late wife’s family who were based at nearby Fishlake.
The Doncaster, Nottingham, and Lincoln Gazette of Friday 4th April, 1890, recorded the death of daughter Ella as follows:
HUNTER.- On March 31st, at Fishlake, Ella, daughter of W. W. Hunter, Stainforth. Friends please accept this intimation.
The Doncaster, Nottingham, and Lincoln Gazette of Friday 21st November, 1890, carried the following death notice:
HUNTER.- On Thursday, November 13, at Stainforth, William Wilks Hunter, late of Wakefield Union Bank, Ossett, aged 63 years.
The probate record more precisely stated his place of death as Thorn Lea, Stainforth, near Doncaster. He was buried St. Cuthbert’s, Fishlake, though not in the same grave as his wife. The inscription of the headstone reads as follows:
Also buried at Fishlake are Ann Holbrey (mother-in-law), James Holbrey (brother-in-law), Hannah Broadley Hunter (wife), Ella Hunter (daughter), George Holbrey Hunter (son), Charlotte Ann Elwick Hunter (daughter-in-law), Dorothy Bladworth Butler (granddaughter), Ella Beatrice Hunter (granddaughter). (Click here for images of his grave and those of relatives.
The will of William Wilks Hunter, formerly of Ossett near Wakefield, bank manager, late of Thorn Lea, Stainforth, near Doncaster, gentleman, was proved by Richard Ernest Langhorne of Wakefield and Edward Arthur Lipton of Bradford. His personal estate amounted to £3,288 10d 3d.
He represented Wakefield on the match against Huddersfield in 1856.
William Wilks Hunter attended the meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association of 1860 to 1862, 1866 & 1867, 1869 to 1872, 1874, 1876 to 1879, and 1882.
Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information