Yorkshire Chess History



Henry Lewis Hunter











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1846, York




1911, York




Non-Chess Life


Henry Lewis Hunter appears to have been one of those people given the same name as a sibling by whom they were prematurely pre-deceased.  There was a Henry Lewis Hunter who was born and then soon died in York in 1842.  The chess-player Henry Lewis Hunter was born in late 1847, and looks rather like a sibling of the former.


The 1851 census found 4-year-old Henry with his family in York.


He is elusive in the 1861 census, which could mean he was at school away from home, and so difficult to identify.


He became a schoolteacher, which took him round the country.


He married Mary Locking (born 1840/41, Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire) in 1870, in Hexham, Northumberland, so perhaps he was a teacher in that area at the time.  The couple went on to have at least the following children:


Lewis Edward L. Hunter

born 1871, Bluntisham

Ada Mary Hunter

born 1872, York

Charles Henry Hunter

born 1873/74, Market Weighton

Alfred William Hunter

born 1875, Market Weighton


The 1871 census found Henry, a national schoolmaster, and Mary with their as yet unnamed first child, in the village of Bluntisham, Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire).


The places of birth of the second child may be explained by the mother being with Henry’s relatives in York for the birth.  The place of birth of the third and fourth children suggests the family may have been living in Market Weighton, roughly 20 miles from York, at the time.


By 1881, the family had moved to Doncaster, where White’s 1881 directory of West Yorkshire recorded Henry Lewis Hunter, with a rare statement of his middle name, as schoolmaster at the Great Northern Railway Company's School, in St. Sepulchregate without.  He clearly taught the older boys, while there was a mistress for the older girls, and a mistress for the mixed infants.  The school was probably in the now long-redeveloped open market area.


The 1881 census recorded the family, with a servant, at 85 Cemetery Road, Doncaster, which road seems no longer to exist. Henry was a certified teacher.


The 1891 census found the family had moved, still with a servant, to 106 Cemetery Road, Doncaster.  Henry was still a schoolmaster.


By 1896, on the basis of chess records, Henry Lewis Hunter had moved back to his native York.


The 1901 census found Henry to be headmaster of the Blue Coat Boys’ School housed in St. Anthony’s Hall, Peasholme Gree, York.  The school was a charity school founded in 1705 for 40 boys (expanded to about 70 by 1913).  Wife Mary was described as a matron at the school.  The Hunter children had all left home.




Henry Lewis Hunter died in early 1911, aged 64, in York.




He may have played recorded chess outside Yorkshire, but the bulk of his chess activity was probably played while he lived in Doncaster and then York.


The following provide examples of him playing for Doncaster:

1879: Doncaster v Rotherham, bd3

1882: Leeds v Doncaster, bd 4

1882: Barnsley v Doncaster, bd 3

1884: Dewsbury v Doncaster, bd 5.


The following provide examples of his chess activity while living in York, playing for Yorkshire or for York:

1896: Yorkshire v Cheshire, bd 23

1898: Lancashire v Yorkshire, bd 29

1899-00: Yorkshire v Lancashire friendly correspondence match, bd 26

1901-02: Woodhouse Cup.





Copyright © 2017 Stephen John Mann

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

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