Yorkshire Chess History



Alfred Knoth











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1843, Saxony




05/01/1913, Lewisham




Non-Chess Life


Alfred Knoth was born in Saxony in 1843.  Ages given in censuses and at death all point to 1842/43 or 1843/44; 1843 matches all cases.


It is not clear when he came to England, but he was listed in the 1871 UK census as a 27-year-old Saxony-born cashier to a firm of shipping merchants, lodging at Station Villas, Barton Street, in the Beeston area of Nottingham.


Chess records place him in Nottingham in 1872 and 1873, and he seems to have been present in Nottingham in 1879.


He evidently move from Nottingham to Bradford in 1880, give or take a year, as he is found by chess records in Bradford from 1881 and then on to at least 1884.


However, he appears in electoral registers for the London area from 1889, if not before, and so must have left Bradford at some time from 1884 to 1889.


He is not evident in the relevant period in Nottingham or Bradford directories, suggesting he was always in lodgings rather being himself a householder.


The 1891 census found Alfred Knoth, now an export merchant, living in Hanover Square, London (possibly a block of flats at 10 Hanover Square).


In 1894/95 he married Annie (born 1849/50, Manchester), but documentation of the marriage is hard to find, perhaps due to his surname getting mangled.  The couple had no children.


The 1901 census found him living at Grove House, Dacres Road, Lewisham, at which point he worked on his own account as a leather cloth merchant – and was still a German subject (Saxony by then being part of a unified Germany), with wife Annie and two servants.


In 1904 he became a naturalised British citizen (as recorded in the 1911 census).


The 1911 census found now-retired Alfred and wife Annie still living at 31 Dacres Road, Forest Hill, SE London (probably the same as the previous “Grove House”), still with two servants.




Alfred Knoth died aged 70 on 05/01/1913, in Lewisham.  His will seems not to have been sorted out until after wife Annie had died aged 83 in Lewisham in 1929.




He was secretary of Nottingham Chess Club at least in the seasons 1872-73 and 1873-74, according to AGM reports.


He played in Blackburne’s December 1881 simultaneous display in Bradford.


As a Bradford player he attended the 1882 and 1883 meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association.


He played for Bradford in the 1882 Leeds v Bradford match and in the 1884 Bradford v Leeds match.


He played for Yorkshire in the 1883 Yorkshire v Lancashire match.


He was president of Bradford Chess Club at least in the season 1883-84.





Copyright © 2019 Stephen John Mann

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

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