Yorkshire Chess History



Robert James Parkinson Iles











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1836, Barnoldby le Beck




01/07/1912, Hove




Non-Chess Life


Robert James Parkinson Iles was born in 1836, in the village of Barnoldby le Beck, about seven miles as the crow flies SW of Grimsby.  If his ages as quoted in various sources as correct, then he was born on the 4th or 5th of April 1836.


His parents were farmer Francis Iles (born 1794/95, Hull) and Mary Iles (born 1799/00, Bonby, Lincs.), who had at least the following three children:


Francis Iles

1829/30, Lincolnshire

John Iles

1831/32, Lincolnshire

Robert James Parkinson Iles

1836, Barnoldby le Beck, Lincs


The 1841 census found the family, two parents and three children, living at the Manor House, Barnoldby le Beck, where father Francis was a farmer.


The 1851 census found all three children were absent from their parents’ household, which now included four servants.  Francis Iles farmed 1626 acres.  As son Robert would now be about 15 years old, and his father seemed reasonably affluent, it seems likely he was away at school somewhere.


The 1861 census found Robert James Parkinson Iles once again living with his parents at the Manor House, Barnoldby le Beck, where the household now included one boarder, who was a farmer’s pupil, and five servants.  Father Francis now farmed only 575 acres, making it look as though 500 acres a-piece, or so, had been allocated to the two eldest sons, with youngest son Robert destined to take over his father’s remaining portion.


On 16/04/1868, Robert James Parkinson Iles (described at the time as of Wold Newton, 4 to 5 miles south of Barnoldby le Beck) married Caroline Lennox Parratt (daughter of Edward Parratt, clerk of the journals at the House of Lords; not obviously connected to Walter Parratt), at the church of St John the Evangelist, in Wembley, London.  (“Edward Meredith Parratt” signed the marriage register as a witness.)  The couple


The 1871 census found Robert and Caroline living with three servants at “Farm House”, Ravendale, Lincolnshire, about 2 miles north of Wold Newton.  At the time they had a visitor who appears to have been a relative of he who officiated at their wedding. Robert was a farmer.


The 1881 census found Robert now living at Swinhope, two to three miles SSW of Ravendale.  Wife Caroline was evidently away from home at the time.  Only two servants were listed, though Caroline may have been accompanied by a servant.


The 1891 census found Robert and Caroline, without servants, now living at Gospelgate, Louth, Lincolnshire, a town 14 miles south of Grimsby.  Robert had given up farming, being now a land agent and journalist, and had moved to a less rural, more urban environment.


The 1901 census found Robert and Caroline living at 36a Westgate, Louth, with a boarder and two servants.  64-year-old Robert was now an estate agent.


At some time from 1901 to 1911, Robert retired and the couple removed to Hove, on the Sussex coast, where they lived, with two servants, at 3 Yisbury Road, Hove, where Robert resided up to his death.




Robert James Parkinson Iles died at Hove on 01/07/1912.  He was survived by his wife, who died in 1925.




An number of the wider Iles family of Lincolnshire were evident at the 1851 Caistor and 1854 Caistor chess meetings.  These were presumably related as uncles or cousins etc to our man.


Grimsby and District Chess Club was formed in 1875 [see Chess Player’s Chronicle, 1882, p. 508], and Robert James Parkinson Iles was a member in the first season, possibly being a member from the very start.  He played for Grimsby in1875, probably in the 1875 Hull Church Institute v Grimsby match, and certainly in the return 1875 Grimsby v Hull Church Institute match.  In the latter match he was apparently regarded as the strongest club member present, playing on board three, below guests Johann Jacob Lowenthal and the Rev Arthur Bolland Skipworth.


Matches between Grimsby and Hull clubs became regular events.  Another example of such a match in which Robert James Parkinson Iles played was the 1877 Grimsby v Hull Chess Club match.


He played in the combined Class II and Class III tournament at the 1877 Louth meeting at which a Lincolnshire Chess Association was formed.


Further research would doubtless uncover more chess activity on the part of R. J. P. Iles.





Copyright © 2014 Stephen John Mann

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

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