Yorkshire Chess History



William Ernest Melrose











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



24/07/1871, York


11/08/1871, St. Helen’s, York


1946, Leeds


Non-Chess Life


William Ernest Melrose’s parents were James Melrose (born 1828/29, York) and Elizabeth Melrose (née Stephenson 1830/31, Beverley) who had married at Beverley in 1858, and went on to have at least the following children:


Charles James Melrose

born 1860/61, York

Jessie Melrose

born 1863, Beverley

Arthur Melrose

born 1865, Beverley

Walter Melrose

born 1866, Beverley

John Melrose

born 1870, York

William Ernest Melrose

born 24/07/1871, York

Henry Roper Melrose

born 1873, York


There were other Melrose births in York over the same period, some clearly belonging to a different family, but some may have belonged here with the children dying at birth or in early infancy.


Father James Melrose was a brewer, a JP, and freeman of York.  An 1851 directory reference, “Melrose James, land surveyor, 4, Judges' court; h. 39, Walmgate” may refer to him in an earlier trade.


William Ernest Melrose was born on 24/07/1871, in York.  Has baptised on 11/08/1871, at St. Helen’s, York, by the vicar, William Hey.  At this time the family lived in Sampson Square (formerly “Thursday Market”) at the top of Parliament Street.


The 1881 census found the family now at Clifton Croft, Clifton, York. Father James was an alderman and JP, Charles was a wine merchant.  Jessie was as yet unmarried, Arthur, William and Henry were scholars.  Walter and John were elsewhere, perhaps at boarding school.  There were three servants.


In 1887, Jessie got married and left home.


The 1891 census found the family at the same address as in 1881, with father James a retired brewer, Charles a wine and spirit merchant, Walter a banker’s clerk, John a student of law, and William a cloth manufacturer’s apprentice.  Arthur appears to have left home.


On 22/06/1900, at Lythe parish church, William Ernest Melrose was married to Heloise Sylvia Pritchard (born 16/02/1876, Hull), daughter of CA Pritchard (then deceased) of the Royal Navy, by H Lowther Clarke, vicar of Dewsbury.  The bride was resident at the time at Lythe, about 4 miles WNW of Whitby.


In time the couple had at least two children:


Mary Evelyn Melrose

born 1905, Dewsbury

Edythe Cynthia Melrose

born 03/12/1913, Dewsbury


It appears that around 25/07/1892, William may have been granted the freedom of York, as his brother Charles signed a City of York Birth right certification to the effect that this would be legitimate.  (Somewhat odd.)


In 1900 or 1901, William and his wife removed to Reservoir Street, Dewsbury, where the 1911 census found them. They had two servants.  William was a woollen cloth manufacturer, employing an unspecified number of employees.


During the First World War, William served as a private in the Gordon Highlanders and then in the Scottish Rifles.


In 1929, father James Melrose died in York at the age of 100.  Under the terms of his will, his Great Western Railway shares passed to Walter, John and William.  The latter was living at Batley Carr Hills, Dewsbury at the time.


At some time from 1929 to 1939, William moved home to Leeds.


The 1939 Register found parents, Edythe and two servants living at 24 Speed Lane, Leeds.  William was still a woollen manufacturer.


In 1949, in Leeds, daughter Edythe married John R N Holdsworth.




W E Melrose played in the Woodhouse Cup for Dewsbury at least over the period 1905 to 1908, on average around board 7.




William Ernest Melrose died in 1946, in Leeds.






Copyright © 2018 Stephen John Mann

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

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