leyYorkshire Chess History



Arthur Linley











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1819, Sheffield



13/01/1883, Bournemouth



Identity of the Chess-Player


“Arthur Linley” of Sheffield is recorded as attending the 1847 annual meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association.  Similarly, “Linley” of Sheffield attended both the meetings in 1841.  The identity of Arthur Lindley is straight forward enough.  It’s possible that the “Linley” at the 1841 meetings was Arthur Linley, though that would need a more explicit write-up of the 1841 meetings to confirm that.


Non-Chess Life


Arthur Linley’s parents were Thomas Linley (born roughly 1786), and Harriet Linley (born roughly 1791), who has at least the following five children, all born in Yorkshire, presumably Sheffield:


Sarah Linley

born 1817/18

Arthur Linley

born 1819, Sheffield

Emily Linley

born 1825/26

Gertrude Linley

born 1826/27

Fanny Linley

born 1833/34


Censuses imply Arthur was born in 1819 or 1820, but his age at death implies he was born in 1818 or 1819; thus he was presumably born in 1819.


White’s History & Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham &c, 1833, listed Thomas Linley, wine & spirit merchant, 1 West Bar, Sheffield (a property long since demolished).  Another thirteen Linleys were listed in Sheffield.


Pigot’s Directory of Yorkshire, Leicestershire &c, 1841, listed Thomas Linley, as spirit merchant, at 30 Change Alley, Sheffield, and as a beer retailer at Orchard Lane, Sheffield.  (Two people with the same name?)


The 1841 census found the parents and five children living in Norfolk Street, Sheffield.  Father Thomas was spirit merchant, presumably with his business premises at Change Alley, and possibly Orchard Lane.


The marriage of Arthur Linley to Sarah (born 1813/14, Norton) seemingly née Linley (a cousin?), was registered in the fourth quarter of 1847, at Sheffield.  The couple had at least the following three children, all born at Norton, Derbyshire:


Fanny Linley

born Sep/Oct 1850

Alice Anne Linley

born 1851/52

Arthur Vickers Linley

born 1853/54


Norton is now a suburb of Sheffield, but then was still in Derbyshire.


At some stage Arthur Linley entered partnership with George Bennett Parker, trading as Parker & Linley.  The London Gazette reported the dissolution of the partnership, by mutual consent, from 30/06/1849, saying that Arthur Linley was continuing the business under the name Arthur Linley and Company.  (Was this George Bennett Parker the brother of fellow chess-player Joseph Gilbert Parker?)


White’s General Directory of Sheffield, 1849, listed Arthur Linley, merchant &c., in the firm Parker & Linley, at 21 Union Street, with his home at Norton.  On page 5, White notes, by way of a corrigendum, that the former Parker & Linley had become Arthur Parker [sic] & Co., but this appears to be an error, as the new name of the company was, as already stated, Arthur Linley & Co.  Father Thomas seemed no longer to get a mention.


The 1851 census found Arthur and Sarah living with 10-month-old Fanny, and three servants, at Jordanthorpe, then part of Norton.  Arthur’s occupation is difficult to decipher.


White’s Gazetteer & General Directory of Sheffield, 1852, listed Arthur Linley of Arthur Linley & Co (thus apparently having split from Parker), merchants, tableknife manufacturers, at 21 Union Street, Sheffield, with his home at Norton.


At some time from 1852 to 1861, the Linley family moved to Warwick.


The 1861 census found 43-year-old Sheffield-born hardware merchant Arthur Linley, his wife Sarah, son Arthur, and three servants living at North Gate, Warwick.  A certain 51-year-old Norton-born unmarried Ann Linley was visiting at the time, a sister of Sarah, perhaps.


The next ten years saw a move to the London area.  Also, daughter Fanny married Charles C. Barker (born 1840/41, Elvington, North Yorkshire).


The 1871 census found Arthur, Sarah, Alice, Arthur, Fanny, Fanny’s husband Charles, and two servants, living at Rockingham House, 16 Rockingham Road, Hillingdon, Middlesex.  Arthur was now a “Spanish merchant” (i.e. he imported and sold goods from Spain).  Son Arthur was a merchant’s clerk, possibly working for his father.  Son-in-law Charles was a “railway secretary”.


Arthur Linley and Company in time came to operate both at 31 Great St Helens, London, and at 132 Lionel Street, Birmingham, as a manufacturer of railway lamps and merchant, but the form seems to have hit bad times, as the London Gazette reported the liquidation, instituted by Arthur Linley, of the firm.  A notice issued by the trustee of the liquidation issued a notice dated 06/07/1879.


The 1881 census found Arthur, Sarah, Alice and one servant living in Penge, Surrey.  “64”-year-old (really 62-year-old) Sheffield-born Arthur was a hardware merchant.  It seems Arthur was still in some form of business, but he was probably still paying money to creditors under the terms of the liquidation of Arthur Linley and Company.




The death of Arthur Linley, aged 64, was registered in the first quarter of 1883, at Christchurch, Hampshire.


Probate records tell us that Arthur Linley, of 139 Gresham House, London, and Lionel Street, Birmingham, died on 13/01/1883, at Bournemouth, that his will was proved by his son Arthur Vickers Linley, of 139 Gresham House, London, merchant, and daughter Alice Anne Linley, of Castle Hill Ealing.  He left £4,925 19s 4d.


It appears the liquidation of Arthur Linley and Co. was still in progress, as the London Gazette carried a notice, from the trustee, of a meeting of creditors to audit the Trustee’s accounts, fix the remuneration of the trustee, release the trustee, and close the liquidation.  This notice was dated 26/01/1883, and so will have been precipitated by Arthur’s death.




“Arthur Linley” of Sheffield attended the 1847 annual meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association.


“Linley” (with no initials given), of Sheffield, attended the meetings in January 1841 and December 1841.  This was very probably the same Linley.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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