Yorkshire Chess History



The Kitchins: Clifford, Darcy Butterworth, Charles Stuart and Ernest Hugh











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


Clifford Kitchin


Darcy Butterworth Kitchin


Charles Stuart Kitchin


Ernest Hugh Kitchin







Hallow, Worcs.




Hallow, Worcs












Hallow, Worcs










Canford Cliffs








Canford Cliffs












There were at least three chess-playing brothers by the name of Kitchin, who lived in Yorkshire over a period of roughly forty years, mainly in Harrogate and Scarborough.  Another brother died aged 34, and is commemorated by the Yorkshire Chess Association’s competition for the C. S. Kitchin Memorial Prize.  Whether he had been a chess player himself is unclear.


Family Background


The brothers’ paternal grandfather was named in their father’s marriage register entry as Matthew Kitchin, inn keeper of Briggate, Leeds.  Parsons’ General & Commercial Directory of Leeds, 1826, listed Matthew Kitchin, victualler, Turk’s Head, court 51, Briggate, Leeds.  The location of The Turk's Head had been the site of a pub since 1715.  Some say the name was “The Turk’s Head” from the start, other say that name was adopted in 1784.  It became known as Whitelock’s around 1880, when a certain Percy Whitelock purchased it and soon set about rebuilding it.  It is now known as Whitelock’s Ale Bar, is a listed building, and bears a Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque.  It gave its name to the modern Turk’s Head Yard, off Briggate.


The brothers’ father was John Kitchin, who was born on 11/11/1822, in Leeds, to the above Matthew Kitchin and Mary Kitchin (née Lunn), and was baptised on 01/01/1823, at St. Peter’s, Leeds.  He became a hop (and seed) merchant.


The 1841 census found Matthew and Mary Kitchin, both aged 45 years in round 5s, living at Smithfields Street, Leeds, with the following four children:


Edward Kitchin

born c. 1820/21

John Kitchin

born 11/11/1822

Anne Kitchin

born c. 1823/24

Matthew Kitchin

born c. 1826/27


Matthew was described as a publican.  Edward was a currier.  John, the chess-players’ father, was a hop merchant.  Matthew was a clerk.  Also living with then were a “hostler”, three female servants, and two fish salesmen (who were presumably lodgers).


Matthew Kitchin died in Leeds around 1845/46


The relevant page of the 1851 census has been damaged, so that the lines relating to the Kitchins are partially lost.  With widowed mother Martha Kitchin, at 70 Camp Road, Leeds, lived son John, a hop [merchant], 24-year-old Matthew a commercial [traveller?], 22-year-old Martha (who wasn’t listed in 1841), and one servant.


John Kitchin, 29-year-old hop merchant of Call Lane, Leeds, son of Matthew Kitchin, gentleman, was married on 19/08/1852, at St. Peter’s, Leeds, by G. W. Willmott (?), curate, to 20-year-old Margaret Jane Hindle (born 1831/32, Leeds) of Woodhouse, daughter of John Hindle, gentleman.  The couple went on to have at least the following twelve children:


Ashworth Kitchin

born 1853, Worcester area

Margaret Jane Kitchin

born 1855/56

Beatrice Kitchin

born 1857/58, Worcester

Clifford Kitchin

born 01/10/1859, Manchester

Laura Kitchin

born 1862, Hallow, Worcs.

Darcy Butterworth Kitchin

born 1863, Hallow, Worcs.

Maude Kitchin

born 1864/65, Hallow, Worcs.

Charles Stuart Kitchin

born 1866, Hallow, Worcs.

Hubert Kitchin

born 1867/68, Hallow, Worcs.

Percy Kitchin

born 1870/71, Scarborough

Arnold Kitchin

born 1871/72, Scarborough

Ernest Hugh Kitchin

born 15/08/1874, Scarborough


The Kitchin parental home moved around a bit, as the family expanded.  Parents John and Margaret presumably started their married life in Leeds.  It would appear the family lived in or around Worcester from 1852 or 1853, to at least 1858.


The place of birth of Clifford suggests they moved to the Manchester area by 1859.  The 1861 census found the family at Broughton, near Salford, Manchester.  Their household included the parents, John and Margaret, first four children, mother Margaret’s unmarried sister, Julia Ann Hindle (born 1833/34, Leeds), and four servants.


By 1862 the family had moved to Hallow, Worcestershire, 3 miles NW of Worcester.  Five of the children were born in Hallow.


By 1870, the family had moved to Scarborough, where 14-year-old Margaret Jane Kitchin junior died in 1869/70, and where the last three children were born.


The 1871 census found the two parents living at 2 The Crescent, Scarborough, with Darcy, Maude, Charles, Hubert and Percy, who were all scholars, also the children’s aunt, Julia Ann Hindle, and finally four servants.  Father John was a retired hop and seed merchant.  Charles and Hubert were away as boarders at St. Peter’s School, York.


The 1881 census found the family still living at 2 The Crescent, Scarborough.  At the time, father John was at Ilkley Wells House, Ilkley, as a visitor.   Back in Scarborough were his wife, Margaret, her sister, Julia Ann Hindle, Beatrice, Clifford, Laura, Darcy, Percy, Arnold, Ernest, and four servants.


Around this stage in the proceedings, father John Kitchin became a JP.


At some time from 1881 to 1891, the family moved from Scarborough to Harrogate.  The move was probably before 26/02/1884, as no Kitchins appeared in the Scarborough team which played away to Leeds on that day.


The 1891 census found parents John (living on his own means) and Margaret living at 21 Park Parade, Harrogate, with Clifford (a barrister at law), Hubert (a worsted coating manufacturer), Percy (a student of medicine), Beatrice, Laura, Maude, and Margaret’s unmarried sister, Julia Ann Hindle, who also was living on her own means, and three servants.  Charles was a farmer at Womersley.  Ernest was at school in Southwick, Sussex.  Darcy happened at the time of the census to be visiting younger brother Ernest, in Southwick.


Armstrong’s Harrogate directory dated1889-90 seems not to mention the Kitchin family, but the directory dated 1891-92 listed John Kitchin J.P., gentleman, at Park House, Park Parade, Harrogate.  The directory of 1893 added the house number 21.  Thus the move to Harrogate was presumably in 1890, give or take a year.


Armstrong’s Harrogate directory dated 1894-95 listed John Kitchin J.P. now at 27 York Place, Harrogate, where he was still listed in the 1895-96 directory.


Amstrong’s Harrogate directories dated 1897-98 and 1899-1900 no longer listed father John Kitchin J.P., suggesting he’d left Harrogate in about 1895/96, though he may have moved to somewhere nearby, as his wife appears to have died in the Harrogate area.


Armstrong’s Harrogate directories date 1897-98 and 1899-1900 listed Clifford Kitchin, barrister-at-law, living at 11 Granby Road, Harrogate.


In time the family dispersed or died.  Charles Stuart Kitchin was first to leave home, and died aged 34, in 1900.


In 1900, give or take a year, Clifford moved to Bude, Cornwall.  The 1901 census found him, his wife, two children and 3 servants, living at 9 Crooklets (?), Bude, Cornwall.  Parents John and Margaret happened to be visiting at the time of the census.  Ernest was now in lodgings in London.  Margaret’s sister, Julia Ann Hindle, now lived at Rosehurst, Pannal, adjacent to Harrogate, with niece Laura, and three servants.


The mother, Margaret Jane Kitchin, died in 1904, in the general Harrogate area.


Ashworth died on 02/02/1910, when he was resident at Chartham Lodge, 1 Chartham Terrace, Ramsgate, Kent.


By 1911, father and widower John Kitchin had moved back to Scarborough.  The 1911 census found him living at 1 Esplanade Road, Scarborough, with Laura, Darcy, Arnold, sister-in-law Julia Ann Hindle, and four servants.


Darcy Butterworth Kitchin, with brother Arnold, moved to the Poole area of Dorset, at some time from 1911 to 1918, and was joined there by Ernest Hugh Kitchin at some time from 1918 to 1921.



Non-Chess Life of Clifford Kitchin


Clifford Kitchin was born on 01/10/1859, in Manchester.  He was educated at St. Peter’s, York, and in due course was admitted as a pensioner to Trinity Hall Cambridge on 12/03/1878, and matriculated in Michaelmas, 1878 [1].  He was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn on 08/11/1880, and got his BA and LL.B in 1882 [1].  He was an Inns of Court prizeman in 1880 and 1881, and went on to get an international and constitutional law scholarship in 1883 [1].  He was called to the Bar 17/11/1884.  He practised on the North Eastern circuit [1].


He continued to live with his parents and a selection of siblings, at least to 1891, by which time the family was resident in Harrogate.  By 1894 was resident at 27 York Place, Harrogate, which was at the time his father’s home.


Clifford Kitchin, full aged barrister at law, of 27 York Place, Harrogate, son of John Kitchin, gentleman, was married on 08/08/1894, at Christ Church, Harrogate, by the vicar of All Saints, Bradford (named Rawdon ??? Briggs ??? - illegible), to Sarah Ellen Benn, of Willaston, High Harrogate, daughter of Joseph Benn, gentleman.  Sarah had been born at Clayton, Bradford, in 1864/65.


The couple seems to have had only two children, both born in Harrogate:


Clifford Henry Benn Kitchin

born 17/10/1895

John Fredrick Raymond Kitchin

born 1898/99


In the latter part of 1899 [1], Clifford and family moved to 9 Crooklets (?), Bude, Cornwall.


By 1911, this family of four had moved to Cabot House, Clifton Down Road, Clifton, Bristol, where Clifford remained resident for the rest of his life.  The 1911 census found them there, with three servants, Clifford being described as a barrister.  The census recorded that they’d had only the two children.


Death of Clifford Kitchin


Clifford Kitchin of Cabot House, Clifton Down Road, Clifton, Bristol, died 28/01/1913, aged 53.  Probate was granted to William Henry Benn, Esq., JP, (brother-in-law?) and Darcy Butterworth Kitchin, gentleman.  (The probate index put “Kitchin”.)  He left effects of £13,029 1s 10d.



Non-Chess Life of Darcy Butterworth Kitchin


Darcy Butterworth Kitchin was born in 1863, at Hallow, the birth being registered in the third quarter of 1863, at Martley, Worcs.  He was educated at Harrow. and in due course was admitted as a pensioner to Trinity Hall Cambridge on 10/10/1881, and matriculated in Michaelmas, 1881 (so joining brother Clifford) [1].  He got his BA in 1884.  He was an assistant master at Dover College.  He got an MA in 1890.


The 1891 census happened to catch him paying a visit to younger brother Ernest, who was away at school, at Merton House, Southwick, Sussex.  Darcy was then described as a book publisher.


His application by 21-year-old Darcy Butterworth Kitchin, to St. Peter’s, Eaton Square, for a licence to marry 21-year-old Mary Ethel Wilmot Ware, of Knightsbridge, was dated 16/12/1899, so their marriage occurred, presumably, in December 1899, or early 1900.


Darcy and his wife are elusive in the 1901 census.  His wife seems not to feature henceforward in any of the usual sources.


Despite being married, Darcy seems still to have been residing at the parental home at Scarborough, in 1911.  The 1911 census listed him there and showed him as married, yet did not list his wife.


By 1918 he had moved to the Dorset coast. In 1918 and 1919 was listed in the Dorset Poll Books as resident at Holmdale, Osborn Road, Poole, Dorset.  The corresponding lists for 1920 and 1921 listed him at “Haldon”, Spencer Road, Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset, which remained his home to his death.  Canford Cliffs is along the coast in the SW part of Poole, and is not directly connected to the rural Canford Magna etc to the NW of Poole.


He founded the Public Schools Year Book, in 1889, and was its editor for 14 years.  He was editor of Episodes from the Comte de Monte Cristo, and L’Evasion du Duc de Beaufort, from the works of Alexander Dumas.  He translated Monk’s Geschichte der Griechischen Literatur.  As an author, he produced the more-practical sounding Solent Chart Book, the less-practical sounding Bergson for Beginners, and the tedious-sounding Days of My Youth, amongst other works. [1]


Death of Darcy Butterworth Kitchin


Darcy Butterworth Kitchin, of Haldon, Spencer Road,Canford Cliffs, Dorset, died on 09/04/1939.  Probate was granted to Clifford Henry Benn Kitchin (nephew), of no occupation, Geoffrey Hargrove Simpson, member of Lloyds.  He left effects of £69,136 8s 7d.


Non-Chess Life of Charles Stuart Kitchin


Charles Stuart Kitchin was born in 1866, at Hallow, the birth being registered in the second quarter of 1866.  He was educated at the Royal Grammar School of St. Peter, York.  The 1881 census found both Charles and brother Hubert living as boarders at the school.  He seems not to have gone to university (certainly not to Cambridge, on the basis of Venn).  He became a farmer.  The 1891 census found him as a 24-year-old farmer lodging at Spring Lodge Farm, Womersley.  He appears to have been lodging with some of his employees.  He was perhaps waiting for Spring Lodge itself to be done out and made ready for him to move in.  He appears not to have married.


Death of Charles Stuart Kitchin


Charles Stuart Kitchin, of Spring Lodge, Womersley, Yorkshire, died on 29/11/1900, at 22 Mount Preston, Leeds.  He was only 34 years of age.  Probate was granted to Hubert Kitchin, merchant, James Simpson, barrister at law, and Lawrence James, land agent.  He left effects of £12,282 5s. 0d.


Non-Chess Life of Ernest Hugh Kitchin


Ernest Hugh Kitchin was born on 15/08/1874, at Scarborough.  He was educated at Haileybury School and Giggleswick School [1].  The 1891 census found him as a boarder at a private school, at Merton House, Southwick, Sussex.


He was admitted as a pensioner at Downing College on 30/09/1895, matriculating in Michaelmas 1895.  He got his BA in 1898.  He studied at Guy’s Hospital, becoming an M.R.C.S and L.R.C.P in 1901.  The 1901 census found him boarding at 5 Trinity Square Newington, London, when he was described as a student of medicine. [1]


He got his MB, BC and MA in 1903. [1]


Dr. Ernest Hugh Kitchin practised medicine in Skipton for about ten years before retiring due to ill health  [1].  The 1911 census found 36-year-old unmarried Ernest Hugh Kitchin living at 31 Newmarket Street, Skipton, with two servants.  He was described as a physician and surgeon.


Around 1920 he went to live with his brothers Darcy and Arnold in Poole, adjacent to Bournemouth.  The three lived together at Haldon, Spencer Road, Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset.


Ernest was interested in Palaeolithic research [1], for which he was admirably placed, living in Poole, on the Dorsetshire coast.  This interest led to him writing Nodule Implements in the Bournemouth District.


Death of Ernest Hugh Kitchin


Ernest Hugh Kitchin, of Haldon, Spencer Road, Canford Cliffs, Dorset, died on 28/06/1935.  Probate was granted to Clifford Henry Benn Kitchin (nephew), stock exchange member, and Geoffrey Hargrave [Hargrove?] Simpson, member of Lloyds.  He left effects of £93,698 9s 11d.




It was while the family was in Harrogate that most of their recorded chess-playing seems to have taken place.


The three brothers Darcy Butterworth Kitchin, Clifford Kitchin and Ernest Hugh Kitchin were chess-players.  They are all conveniently seen playing for Harrogate against Ebor Chess Club (of York) in 1894.


Clifford Kitchin played in Lasker’s 1895 simultaneous display at Ilkley, but his game wasn’t finished as he had to leave early to catch his train home.


Clifford was secretary and treasurer of Harrogate, at least in 1895-96 and 1896-97.


Darcy Butterworth Kitchin finished third in the 1895-96 Harrogate Chess Club tournament, on 19 points out of 26.  (The joint winners, on 22 points, had been J. Suttcliffe and Seth Ward (senior).


Clifford was Yorkshire Chess Association treasurer at the time he moved to Bude.  A YCA Executive Meeting on 30/12/1899, whose immediate purpose was to select 30 players and 6 reserves for the imminent match versus Lancashire, appointed S. Chrispin, of Huddersfield, to succeed him.  (The same meeting elected to affiliate to the newly-formed Northern Counties Chess Union.) [1]


Clifford was still playing chess when living at Bude, as he finished 5th to 7th out of the seven players, on 2 points out of 6, in the First class section of the Cornwall and Devon Tournament played at Plymouth from 6th to 11th of January, 1902.  (Another player on 2 points was Henry Bremridge who was Devon’s equivalent of Yorkshire’s Edwin Woodhouse, in that he was the donor of the trophy for his county’s top inter-club team competition.)


Whether Charles Stuart Kitchin was a chess-player is unclear, but, when he died, the C. S. Kitchin Memorial Prize for an individual correspondence competition was instituted by his brothers.


It seems some at least of the brothers gave up chess around 1901, as the Western Morning News of 09/12/1931 reported, “Dorset's team was strengthened by the inclusion of the brothers Dr. E. H. and Mr. D. B. Kitchin, who returned to active chess after a 30 years' rest!  They are members of the Bournemouth C.C., but resident on the Dorset side of the boundary.”


At his death in 1913, Clifford Kitchin had been president of Bristol and Clifton Chess Club, and he left the club a legacy in his will.


The Western Morning News of 12/04/1933 reported a match featuring Dr. E. H. Kitchin, Dr. P. Kitchin and D. B. Kitchin all playing in the same match.  “Dr. P. Kitchin” was presumably brother Percy.



1 Venn

2 Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 01/01/1900





Copyright © 2013, 2019 Stephen John Mann

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

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