Yorkshire Chess History



Marriotts of Nottingham











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


Edwin Marriot


Rev. John Towle Marriott


Thomas Walter Marriott


Arthur Towle Marriott


1845, Radford



1851, Radford



1856, Nottingham



1859, Nottingham













18/11/1917, Nott’ham



22/11/1890, Liverpool



23/09/1930, Nott’ham



21/11/1884, Basford













Identities of the Chess-Players


The evidence showing the identities of these players is given below.


Non-Chess Life


The parents of the above four brothers were lace-maker Thomas Marriott (born 1816/17, Bulwell) and Sarah Marriott (born 1820/21, Basford).  These two look to be the Thomas Marriott and Sarah Green who married in Radford in 1844.  An obituary of the Rev. J. T Marriott said he had been brought up “among the Baptists”, so perhaps the family was of that religious persuasion.  They had at least the following children:


Edwin Marriott

born 1845, Radford

Thomas Marriott

born 1847/48, Radford; died 1855, Radford

Henry Marriott

born 1849/50, Radford; died 1915, Basford

John Towle Marriott

born 1851, Radford

Sarah Towle Marriott

born 1853, Radford

Thomas Walter Marriott

born 1856, Nottingham

Frederick Marriott

born 1857/58, Nottingham

Arthur Towle Marriott

born 1859, Nottingham


Bulwell, Basford and Radford are all now suburbs of Nottingham, to the NE of the centre, Bulwell being the furthest out and Radford being nearest the centre.  Towle is a surname centred in the Nottingham area, and perhaps was the maiden name of one the grandmothers of the children.


The place of birth of Edwin was later given as Hyson Green, a smaller area within the general Radford area of Nottingham.


The 1851 census found lace-maker and tea-dealer Thomas, wife Sarah, children Edwin (a scholar), Thomas and Henry, and a servant living at Greek Square, Radford.


The first son called Thomas died in 1855.


The family is elusive in the 1861 census.


Wrights 1862 directory for Nottinghamshire listed Marriott Thomas, medical botanist, Lenton street, George Street, Nottingham, so had father Thomas moved from tea-dealing to being a herbalist, or was this another Thomas?  . Also listed, under lace-makers, was W. Marriott and Co., St. Mary's Gate, so maybe father Thomas was involved with that company.  Be that as it may, Thomas was essentially a lace-maker.


The 1871 census found lace-maker Thomas, wife Sarah, and children Henry (a clerk in a coal office), Sarah, Thomas (an office boy), Frederick (a scholar) and Arthur (a scholar) living at 100 Woodborough Road, Nottingham.


In 1875, in Nottingham, Sarah Towle Marriott married John Henry Burton, with whom she had at least two children before he died some time before 1891.


The 1881 census found lace-maker father Thomas, his wife Sarah, children Frederick and Arthur, and a servant, living at 5 Goldswong [yes, that is correct] Terrace, Nottingham.


At some stage from 1881 to 1891, the mother, Sarah senior, died, seemingly in 1884.


The 1891 census found widowed retired lace manufacturer Thomas living with widowed daughter Sarah T Burton, her two children Florence  Burton and Harry M Burton, and a servant at 22 Tennyson Street, Nottingham.


The 1901 census found father Thomas living with a Francis Marriott and his wife, and a servant, in South Wilford, Nottingham.  This Francis, who was presumably a relative, was described as caretaker to Thomas Marriot and working at home, so it seems he was carer to Thomas who later entered an asylum of some sort.


Prior to his death in 1906 he had reportedly been living in Portland Road (possibly the address in South Wilford), but at the time of his death had been at the Coppice (Lunatic) Asylum, Coppice Road, Nottingham.


He died on 08/09/1906, aged 89, having outlived three of his eight children.  In his will he left property in Nottingham to various of his children:

to Sarah, houses in Haughton Place and Russell Place; to Thomas, houses in Lincoln Place and Cottage Place; and to Frederick, various other blocks of house property upon trust for his several children.  The residue of his property he left to his children except Edwin and Henry – who perhaps had already had Thomas’s lace-making business passed to them.  The gross value of his estate was given as £6,336 9s 5d.


Edwin Marriott


Edwin Marriott married Emily Brown (born 1842/43, Sneinton) in 1869, in Nottingham.  They had at ten children of whom 2 had died by the time of the 1911 census, presumably at or shortly after birth.  The surviving children, all born in Nottingham, were:


Arthur James Marriott

born 1871

Edwin Marriott

born 1873

Charles Henry Marriott

born 1876

Katherine Marriott

born 1878/79

Gertrude Marriott

born May/June 1880

Thomas Frederick Marriott

born 1881

Emily Florence Marriott

born 1885

Frank Marriott

born 1886


The 1871 census found 26-year-old lace-maker Edwin and his wife Emily living at 30 Alfred Street Central.


The 1881 census found lace-manufacturer Edwin, wife Emily and first five children living at 100 Woodborough Road, Nottingham.


Edwin is elusive in the 1891 census, but Kelly’s 1891 Nottinghamshire directory listed Edwin Marriott, 27 Waldeck Road, in the Carrington district of Nottingham.  (This was probably where Emily and Frank were born, as their births were registered in the Basford district, whereas the earlier registrations had been in Nottingham district, suggesting the move from Woodborough Road to Waldbeck Road was at a time from 1881 to 1885.)


The 1901 census found Edwin to be a lace-maker living his wife and youngest six children at 57 Bentinck Road, Hyson Green.  Edwin was listed as an employer, but is seems to have been a largely family business as Charles was a lace warper, Katherine was a lace mender, and Thomas was a lace draughtsman.  Of the older children, only Gertrude was not involved in the lace business, being “employed” in house work.


Kelly’s 1904 directory of Nottinghamshire listed Edwin Marriott & Son, machine holders, Simpson's factory, High Church Street.  It also listed Edwin Marriott, of E. Marriott & Son, living at 44 Forest Road West, Nottingham, and Arthur Marriott, of E Marriott & Son, living at 79 Foxhall Road, Nottingham.  The “Arthur” will have been Edwin’s son Arthur James Marriott.


It seems that in the next seven years Edwin moved to 57 Basford Road, Nottingham.


The 1911 census found Edwin, wife Emily and daughter Gertrude living at 2 Victoria Terrace, Sutton-on-Sea, on the Lincolnshire coast.  This may have been a holiday residence, as Edwin, when he filled in the census return, put his address as 57 Basford Road, Nottingham.  Another hand, presumably that of the enumerator, had crosses this out and put the Sutton-on-Sea address instead.


John Towle Marriott


Prior to leaving home for his education, he was a member of the congregation of the Baptist Church on Milton Street, Nottingham, where the minister was Dr. Samuel Cox.  John evidently was seeking to take up ministry in the church – or was being steered that way – and that meant getting an education.


John was at some stage sent to Rawdon College, Yorkshire, but from there went to Regent’s Park College, Oxford, as that was felt to be more likely to get him into university.  To be a minister in the Church of England required a degree in theology, which originally was available only from Oxford or Cambridge, though in time special theological colleges, such as that at St Bees, were set up for the purpose.


The 1871 census found 19-year-old “John Towle Marriott”, a theology student, at Regent’s Park College, Oxford (not part of the university).  However, he was one of four theology students there who decided they wanted to enter the Unitarian Church, and so withdrew from Regent’s Park College to take up positions as Unitarian ministers directly, no formal qualifications being needed for ministers in such non-conformist sects.  Thus John Towle Marriott went to King’s Lynn.


After two years at King’s Lynn, around early 1875, he moved to a post in Strangeways (the locality, not the prison), Manchester (to succeed the Rev. Brooke Herford).


In 1880, he married Annie Harland (born 1853, Chorlton-on-Medlock), daughter of Lancashire historian and antiquarian John Harland.  The couple had four children:


Katherine Marriott

born 1883/84

Dorothy Marriott

born 1886/87

Ethel Marriott

born 1888/89

John Harland Marriott

born 1889/90


The 1881 census found John T. Marriott, Unitarian minister of Strangeways, living with his wife, widowed mother-in-law Eliza Harland (living on her own means), and a servant at 24 Bowker Street, Salford.  (His wife’s forename was given as Eliza, the same as her mother’s, but that was incorrect.)


Slater’s 1886 directory of Manchester and Salford listed Rev. John Towle Marriott, Unitarian Chapel, New Bridge Street, with residence at 24 Bowker Street, Higher Broughton – which is in the district known as Strangeways.


He held the post at Strangeways for a bit over 14 years, then retired from it in September 1889.


He moved to Liverpool, to an address in Walton Street, seemingly to take up a post at the Hamilton Road Unitarian Church, Manchester, but had only officiated twice there before his death.


The 1891 census found widowed Annie and the four children living with her widowed mother Eliza as head of the household, and a servant, at 277 Great Clowes Street, Salford.


(Drawing on obituary in The Manchester Weekly Times of 28/11/1890.)


Thomas Walter Marriott


Thomas Walter Marriott became an accountant.  He never got married, and seems never to have owned his own home, but rather lived in boarding houses and the like.


He is elusive in the 1881 census, but appears in the 1891 census as an accountant living as a boarder at 41 St. Ann’s Road, Nottingham.


The 1901 census found him as an incorporated accountant living as a boarder at the Portland Hotel (apparently just a boarding house), 93 Carrington Street, Nottingham.


Up to the 1901 census inclusive he was listed as a “worker”, i. e. he worked for somebody else, but it seems he eventually set up in business on his own account at some time from 1901 to 1904, as by 1904, he was getting his own business entry in the directories, and in the 1911 census was listed as an employer.


Kelly’s 1904 Nottingham directory listed Thomas Marriott, accountant & auditor, (offices at) 20 Fetcher Gate, Nottingham.


In 1906, as executor to his father’s will, he has described as “Mr. Thomas Walter Marriott, incorporated accountant, of Oriel Chambers, Greyhound Street, Nottingham.”


The 1911 census found him as an accountant (who employed people) living as a boarder at 28 Loughborough Road, Nottingham.


Arthur Towle Marriott


He was about 6 feet 3 inches tall.  He was dogged by ill-health from the age of about 21, and probably never lived away from the parental home.




Edwin Marriott died on Sunday 18/11/1917, in Nottingham, aged 72.  (Date per probate records).


John Towle Marriott died on Saturday 22/11/1890, at his home in Walton Street, Liverpool, aged 39.  It had been thought he was recovering from typhoid fever, but on that Saturday suddenly took a rapid turn for the worse, and died.  (Per The Manchester Weekly Times of 28/11/1890)


Thomas Walter Marriott died on 23/09/1930, in Nottingham, aged 74.  (Date per probate records).


Arthur Towle Marriott died on 21/11/1884, in Nottingham, aged 25.  He had been ill for about 4 years, and though battling on relatively light heartedly, finally yielded to what was called consumption.  An obituary said he died around midnight of 21/11/1884, but it is probable that the death certificate said 22/11/1884, as that would be when the doctor was sure he was dead.  However, if he died on 22/11/1884, it was probably the first thing he did that day.




Edwin was Nottinghamshire champion in about 1874, jointly with Sigismund Hamel.  He represented Nottingham Chess Club in matches against other towns.  He played in one of the lower sections of the 1886 Counties Chess Association congress in Nottingham.  He played in both North v South matches, in 1893 and 1894.


In a match Manchester Chess Club v Nottingham Chess Club, played on 27/02/1886, Edwin and Thomas were the top two boards for Nottingham, both winning their games, Edwin beating von Zabern. (Supplement to the Nottinghamshire Guardian, 05/03/1886)


John T was not very noticeable, but when the Counties Chess Association congress came to his native Nottingham in 1886, he entered Class III.  He was not of the same calibre as the other three chess-playing brothers.


Thomas Walter represented Nottingham Chess Club in matches against other towns. He played in one of the lower sections of the 1886 Counties Chess Association congress in Nottingham.  He played in the North v South match of 1893.


Arthur T learnt chess at the age of 15 from brother Edwin.  In 1877 he won his first prize in chess competitions, that being at the Nottingham Mechanics’s Institute.


He won the second class section at the 1878 Lincolnshire CA meeting at Grantham, otherwise his activities concentrated on inter-club matches.  He had to withdraw from the 1883 Counties Chess Association Congress in Birmingham because of health problems.


In his short career he not only played in matches, but also gave simultaneous displays, some of them blindfold, and apparently composed some chess problems though he seems not famous in that area.  He won the Preston Guardian Correspondence tournament which ran from 1881 to 1883 and involved 32 players.  He was secretary of Nottingham Chess Club for some years.  Prior to his death, he had edited the chess column of the Nottingham Evening Post.


He probably had the potential to be a very strong player.


Identifying Members of The Chess-Playing Marriott Family of Nottingham


In the late 1800s, a number of players with the surname “Marriott” were reported as playing competitive chess and a number of these were members of the same Nottingham-based family.


The Irish Sportsman carried a series of biographical sketches of contemporary players, and on 03/05/1884 published one such about Arthur Marriott of Nottingham, who, though they did not know it, was to die just over six months later.  This piece was reproduced in chess column in the Supplement to the Nottinghamshire Guardian of 30/05/1884.


Besides giving his date of birth, is mentioned he came from a family where six brothers all had a degree of interest in chess.  Besides naming “Arthur Marriott” himself, without giving him a middle name or initial, it mentioned brother “T. W. Marriott”, without saying what the initials stood for, and brother “Edwin” who was stated to be the eldest brother.


A notice in the Manchester Weekly Post of 29/11/1884, quoted in the British Chess Magazine of 1884, mentioned that two brothers of A. T. Marriott, “the Rev. J. T. Marriott” of Manchester and “T. W. Marriott” attended the funeral.


After Arthur’s death, an appreciation by “Mars” in the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of 13/12/1884 gave his name more fully as “Arthur T. Marriott”, and mentioned that the father and six brothers had an interest in chess.


In coverage of a match between Manchester Chess Club and Nottingham Chess Club played on 27/02/1886, the Supplement to the Nottinghamshire Guardian of 05/03/1886 congratulated “Messrs. Edwin and Thomas Marriott” on their wins on the top two boards.


That left uncertainty as to whether “Thomas” was a “Thomas William”, of whom there were a number in the Nottingham district at the time, or the “Thomas Walter” who existed also.


The latter point is clarified by a report of the terms of the will of a certain “Thomas Marriott”, appearing in the Nottingham Evening Post of 29/11/1906.  Here, “Thomas Walter Marriott”, incorporated accountant, was named as son and executor of the said Thomas, who it transpires was the father of the chess-players already noted.  Significantly, all the other surviving children of the deceased were mentioned as such, albeit by their first names only: Sarah, Thomas, Frederick, Edwin and Henry.  The Arthur and John mentioned above had both died by this time.


Thus we have seems to have a family consisting of a father Thomas Marriott, and his children Edwin, Henry, John T, Sarah, Thomas Walter , Frederick, and Arthur T.


Recourse to census returns throws up a Thomas Marriott living in 1851 with his wife Sarah and three children, Edwin, Thomas (who died in 1855) and Henry.  The family is elusive in the 1861 census, but the same Thomas and Sarah appear in the 1871 census living with children Sarah, Thomas, Frederick and Arthur.  (In 1871 the other son, John, appears away from home at boarding school.)


Census data supply the places and, by the ages given, approximate dates of birth, which in turn lead to birth registrations supplying full forenames, and, with any luck, matching death registrations, which can be tied up to births if age at death is given.








Copyright © 2020 Stephen John Mann

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

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