Yorkshire Chess History
Henry Millard’s parents were Paul Millard and Martha Margaret Millard (daughter of Samuel Goddard), who had at least two children:
It seems likely there were more children. The baptisms of the above two boys are recorded in England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, quoting the above dates of birth, the two parents and maternal grandfather, but oddly without quoting dates of baptism. John was baptised at St. Ethelburgh within Bishopsgate, London. Venn confirms his date of birth. Henry was baptised at St. Helen’s, London.
John Hands Millard was educated at Cambridge University. He was admitted as a sizar at St. John’s on 07/06/1843, his father’s address at the time being given by Venn as Clapham Common, London. He matriculated at Michaelmas 1843, and went on to get his BA in 1847.
Henry Millard got an AB (=BA) from University College, Dublin, according to the 1851 census.
Both young men embarked on careers as schoolmasters.
The 1851 census found 27-year-old Henry Millard living in Leeds Road, Headingley, Leeds. He was described as a teacher of classics and mathematics, with an AB degree from University College, Dublin. It also found 38-year-old older brother, John Hands Millard, lodging at 9 Warwick Place, Leeds, described as a classical and mathematical tutor.
Around 1852, John Hands Millard took a wife called Catherine (born 1815/16, Rainham, Kent).
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford ..., 1854, seemingly listed no-one by the name of Millard in Leeds.
Brothers John and Henry evidently worked together part of the time, as White’s Directory of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield ..., 1858, listed John and Henry Millard, academy, Broomfield House, Headingley, Leeds.
The marriage of Henry Millard to Harriet Clay was registered in the second quarter of 1860, at Ripon. The couple had at least one child, Shirley Harriet Millard, born 1862/63, at Birstall.
The 1861 census found Henry and Harriet at Oakwell Hall, about a mile NW of the centre of Birstall. Henry was a schoolmaster running a boarding school with 12 resident pupils, and maybe some day pupils. There were two domestic servants. Brother John Hands Millard was still living in Leeds, in Bridal Lane, Headingley, Leeds, with his wife, three children (7-year-old Walter John Nash Millard, 5-year-old Catherine Millard junior, and 4-year-old Frederick Henry Millard) and two servants. John was also a schoolmaster. There were three resident pupils, one being 11-year-old London-born Edward Millard, who may have been a son of John and Catherine, though the census return didn’t say as much.
White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield ..., 1866, listed Henry Millard, school, Oakwell Hall, Birstal, and listed John Hands Millard, boarding school (perhaps the above Broomfield House), Headingley, Leeds. It also listed William Millard, watchmaker, 101 Meadow Lane, Leeds, though he may not have been related.
At some time from 1866 to 1870 the family moved to Askern, about 8 miles north on Doncaster.
White's Directory of Leeds & the West Riding, 1870, listed John Millard, boarding and day school, Headingley village, Leeds, but didn’t mention Henry, who had presumably by then moved to Askern. It also listed Francis Millard, clock and watchmaker, 55 East Street, Leeds, who was presumably John Hands Millard’s son.
The 1871 census found Henry had become proprietor of a boarding school in Askern. Besides Henry, kis wife and daughter, there were two assistant teachers, 5 domestic staff, and 23 resident pupils. Brother John had by now retired, and was living with his wife and two sons, 17-year-old Dover-born Walter J. N. Millard, and 14-year-old Headingley-born Frederick H. Millard, at 11 Clement Road, Preston, Brighton, Sussex.
At some time from 1871 to 1881 Henry Millard lost his sight. It was probably this which caused him to return to Leeds.
The 1881 census found 57-year-old Henry, 52-year-old wife Harriet and 18-year-old daughter Shirley living with one servant at 8 Spencer Terrace, Louis Street, Leeds. Henry was described as a private tutor, with a BA degree, but he was no longer running a boarding school. The right-most column of the census form, for recording disabilities, recorded Henry as blind.
Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed Henry Millard, 8 Spencer Terrace, Louis Street, New Leeds. (New Leeds was a term applied to the area beyond Sheepscar, along Chapeltown Road, northwards to Potternewton. Henry Millard was presumably not the “Millard” of Millard and Morton, paint manufacturers, Vincent Mill, Saynor Road, Leeds, but one wonders if there was a connection.
At some time from 1881 to 1888 Henry Millard moved to Ilkley. In 1885 he was still recorded as a member of Leeds Chess Club, suggesting the move to Ilkley was from 1885 to 1888.
Kelly's Directory of Leeds, 1888, listed Henry Millard, 2 Crossbeck Terrace, Ilkley. It also listed Henry’s nephew, Frederick Henry Millard, tailor & hatter (of Legg & Millard), resident at 35 St Michael’s Road, Headingley, Leeds. Others of the name Millard to be listed were:
Edward Nathaniel Millard, 39 Well Close Terrace, Blackman Lane, Leeds.
George Millard, police constable, 11 Cambridge Terrace, Leeds;
John Millard, tailor, 20 Ebberston Terrace, Headingley, Leeds;
Walter Arthur Millard, joiner, 5 Howarth Terrace, Leeds;
Whether any of these were related to Henry Millard, and if so, how, is unclear.
The 1891 census found Henry and wife Harriet living in Riddings Road, Ilkley. 67-year-old Henry was described as a tutor, and was still recorded as blind.
Probate records tell us Henry Millard, formerly of Oakwell Hall, Birstall, schoolmaster, but late of 6 Riddings Road, Ilkley, gentleman, died on 21/05/1891 at 6 Riddings Road, and that his will was proved by Harriet Millard of 6 Riddings Road, widow, relict, and “executrix according to the Tenor.” He left effects of £1,606 15s 9d.
Records of Henry Millard’s chess activity date mainly from his different periods of time in Leeds. Latterly, after his loss of sight, we find records of him playing games, sans voir, against sighted players having sight of the board. He may also have played more correspondence chess than before.
“H. Millard” of Leeds attended the 1850 meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association. At that event he played a match in consultation with Robert Cadman against one of the prominent guests, Daniel Harrwitz:
The Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1853, page 208, gave a game played at the opening of Leeds Chess Club for the 1853-54 season. Millard gave his weaker opponent the odds of Queen’s knight. Millard had Black and moved first, as was often confusingly the case in those days. In the following score of the game Millard is treated as though moving first with White. His opponent resigned on move 18.
It appears that in 1853, Howard Staunton spent some time in Belgium. Games given in the Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1853, page 353 et seq., under the heading “Chess in Belgium”, included a casual game between “Mr. Millard of Leeds” and “M. de Rives”. This seems to suggest Henry Millard was travelling with Staunton?!
At the end of the score of the above game, Staunton commented as follows:
In a round-up of Yorkshire chess clubs in the Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1854, on page 59, Staunton mentions Henry Millard in terms suggesting that, setting aside John Rhodes who was perhaps past his prime, he was second only to Robert Cadman at Leeds Chess Club.
The Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1854, on page 338, a game between Henry Millard and W. G. Wilkinson of Oxford University, who spent some time at Leeds Chess Club, in effect coaching the stronger players there (including Robert Cadman and Henry Millard).
He was at some time secretary of Leeds Chess Club. He was specifically listed as such in a list of chess clubs in the end papers of the Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1854.
He attended the first meeting of the West Yorkshire Chess Association, on 21/06/1856, at Leeds Chess Club, Greek Street, Leeds. He played for Leeds in the Leeds-Huddersfield match played at that meeting.
His chess-playing activity may have been reduced after he left Leeds, around 1866 to 1870. Around the time when he returned to the Leeds chess scene, he’d become blind, but continued playing chess.
He attended the 1878 meeting of the West Yorkshire Chess Association as a member of Leeds Chess Club.
It appears the now-blind Henry Millard played some correspondence chess. The following such game was played by 55-year-old blind Henry Millard against Harry Jackson, a boy of about 15 years of age, from Dewsbury, who attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1877, 1878. 1879 and 1880. In publishing the game in the first appearance of his new chess column in the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement, on Saturday 27/09/1879, James White described Master Jackson as having acquired the epithet “The Yorkshire Morphy” on account of his early rapid development as a chess-player.
Position in which Henry Millard, as White, to move, announced mate in eleven.
(At first sight, Black’s pressure on c2 makes it easy to believe the position is won for Black!)
White invited readers to submit their solutions to what was in effect a problem: “White to move and mate in 11.”
The latter game provides an example of Henry Millard playing what these days is usually known as the Dunst Opening, but has also reportedly been dubbed by one writer as Millard’s Opening, on the basis of Henry Millard using it, and drawing, in a simultaneous display given by Joseph Blackburne in Leeds on 14/11/1882 (q.v).
The Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement of 07/03/1885 gave two games between Henry Millard (sans voir), and a fellow Leeds Chess Club member, Alfred Bilborough, with sight of the board.
Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann
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