Yorkshire Chess History
Carl Johan Laurentz Leffler
Carl Johan Laurentz Leffler, often listed merely as C. J. Leffler was a Swedish-born “Swedish iron and steel agent”, which presumably means the iron and steel were Swedish.
Quite when he came to England isn’t clear. He appears to have joined the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club for one year in 1852, though that was perhaps some other person called Leffler, possibly our man’s father.
He is seemingly not mentioned in the 1861 England census.
There has been advertised for sale a book “Constructing Armour for Ships and Fortifications. being Patent Number: 3381 published: 17 December 1862”, by Carl Johan Laurentz Leffler, published by London Eyre and Spottiswood published at the Great Seal Patent Office. This suggests he was in England in 1962.
He seems to have been residing in London in 1865, as The London Gazette of 18/04/1865, p. 2103, mentioned him, in connection with a patent petition, as a gentleman residing in London.
In 1867, he married Eliza Elstoff Wilson (born 1868, Ramsey, Huntingdonshire but now Cambridgeshire, about 10 miles NNE of Huntingdon), the marriage being registered during the first quarter, at Lambeth.
The couple seem to have had only two children:
Rudolf Laurentz Leffler, son of merchant Carl Johan Laurentz Leffler of 27 Manor Road, Newington, Southwark, and of Eliza Elstoff Leffler, was baptised on 16/10/1867 at St. Mary, Newington, Southwark, by Alfred Cay. The baptism register entry (no. 2512) records the date of birth as 01/06/1867, which was barely six months after the wedding!
The family must have moved the Sheffield at some time from 1868 to 1871.
The 1871 census found the family of four living with one servant in Kenwood Bank, Sheffield, with Carl described as an iron agent and merchant.
1871 saw two more patent being obtained by Carl Johan Laurentz Leffler, iron merchant of Sheffield:
Patent No 598, dated 06/03/1871, and Patent No 2317, dated 02/09/1871, both re “Improvement in manufacture of Speigel Eisen” .
The 1881 census found the family had moved to 21 Havelock Street, off Broomspring Lane, nearer the centre of Sheffield. Carl was described as an iron manufacturer’s agent. The family was recorded as still at that address in the censuses of 1891 and 1901, which respectively described Carl as a Swedish iron and steel agent and a Swedish iron agent.
Son Rudolph was still at his parental home in 1891, when he was described as a metallurgical chemist, but was not listed with his parents in 1901, though sister Eliza was then still at home.
White’s Sheffield directory for 1901 listed father Carl, as a Swedish iron agent, still at 21 Havelock Street, but Rudolph, as a chemist, at 197 Albert Road.
It would appear that at some time from 1901 to 1908 Carl moved to 48 Marlborough Road, Sheffield.
Carl Johan Laurentz of 48 Marlborough Road, Sheffield, is recorded in probate records as having died on 02/01/1908. His will was proved by Rudolf Laurentz Leffler, metallurgical chemist, and Eliza Dorothy Leffler, spinster. He was aged 82 at death according to the death registration index. He left £190 5s.
There is a single early reference to “Leffler” paying a subscription to Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club, in 1852, but not again thereafter up to 1874 when records fail, though clearly Carl was a member of the Athenaeum club by 1883.
Specifically named as “C. J. Leffler”, he attended the annual meeting of the West Yorkshire Chess Association when it was held in Sheffield in 1880.
He represented the Athenaeum Club in the match Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club v. Rest of the Sheffield & District Chess Association, on Tuesday 17/04 1883.
He played in the 1885 Zukertort simultaneous display in Sheffield.
Copyright © 2013, 2014 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information