Yorkshire Chess History
George Longbotham Miller
The birth of George Longbotham Miller to John Miller (born 1796/97, Whitby) and Dorothy Miller (born 1805/06, Whitby) was registered in the first quarter of 1844, at Whitby. John and Dorothy Miller had at least the following eight children, all Whitby-born:
The 1841 census found the family living at Green Lane, Whitby, on the east bank of the River Esk, somewhat removed from the modern centre of Whitby. Father John was described merely as a clerk. They appear to have had a servant.
The 1851 census recorded the family still at Green Lane. Father John was a clerk still, more specifically clerk to a sailcloth manufacturer, and eldest son James was a mariner.
The 1861 census found the family at Church Street, Whitby. Father John was now a master sail-maker, employing two men and five boys. James was not listed, perhaps being at sea. Dorothy was still at home. William was not listed. 17-year-old George was now a grocer’s apprentice. Thomas was a surgeon’s apprentice. Annie was a scholar. Also living in the forth household was 5-year-old Whitby-born Mary Pickernel Clarkson (a daughter of John and Dorothy’s second daughter, Eliza?). There were two servants. Eliza wasn’t listed in the household, perhaps having married a Mr. Pickernal.
In the next ten years, George was able to set up as a grocer on his own account.
The death of the father, John Miller, was recorded at Whitby in the first quarter of 1870.
On 28/03/1870, at Clifton, Gloucestershire, 26-year-old George Longbotham Miller, son of John Miller, married 24-year-old Whitby-born Hannah Jane Tose, daughter of William Tose. Was Whitby-born Hannah a childhood sweetheart who had entered domestic service in Gloucestershire, and then married George once he had established his prospects back in Whitby?
In time the couple had at least the following three children:
The 1871 census found the recently-wed George and Hannah at 6 Well Close Square (a short distance from where William Forth would take up residence about twenty years later, at no. 2). George was listed as a grocer, and must have been doing reasonably well, as he employed a domestic servant.
Kelly’s Whitby directory of 1879 listed George Longbotham Miller, grocer, with his business at 73 Church Street, Whitby, and his residence at a lodging house at 5 “Normant” (presumably Normanby) Terrace. Normanby Terrace was near to Well Close Square.
The 1881 census found the couple had moved again, to 4 Royal Crescent Avenue, Whitby (now simply “Crescent Avenue” on some maps, meeting Royal Crescent at its north end). George was now listed as a master grocer employing one boy. William and Hugh were scholars. Lillian had “ll” in the middle, but thereafter seems to have been given only one “l”, which is how her father spelt it in 1911, perhaps by analogy with “lily”. The ménage still included a servant.
Bulmer’s Whitby directory of 1890 listed Mr. Geo. L. Miller at 4 Royal Crescent Avenue.
The Millers, like other Whitby people, are elusive in the 1891 census as available electronically.
Kelly’s Whitby directory of 1893 listed George Longbotham Miller, grocer, at 73 Church Street, Whitby, with his residence at 4 Royal Crescent Avenue
The period 1881 to 1901 saw a number of changes in George’s life. Apart from moving home, he suffered the death of his wife, and changed his line of work.
The death of his wife Hannah J Miller, aged 54, was recorded in the third quarter of 1900, at Whitby.
The 1901 census thus found the George as a widower, living at 5 Belle Vue Terrace, Whitby, and holding the post of Whitby’s Inspector of Nuisances. Lilian (with only one “l”) was still living at home. Also living with George were daughter-in-law Mary A Miller, and grandsons Robert H Miller and George M Miller. Mary was presumably wife of William or Hugh. There was still one servant.
The 1911 census found George still at 5 Belle Vue Terrace, with unmarried 33-year-old Lilian, and one servant. George’s job was now Sanitary Inspector for Whitby Urban District Council, and Lilian (her father’s own spelling of the name) was described as housekeeper. They still retained a domestic servant.
George Longbotham Miller’s death was recorded in the third quarter of 1912.
The Whitby Gazette of Friday 18/10/1912, carried the following, under “Deaths”:
Probate records give his date of death as 16/10/1912. Probate was granted to his spinster daughter, Lilian Miller. He left £587 9s 9d.
G. L. Miller was vice-president of Whitby Chess Club in 1883 (and possibly before) and was re-elected in 1884 (and possibly after).
He played on board three for Whitby in their 1886 match against Grosmont, and on board four in the 1890 match against the same opponents.
With Walter Grimshaw, William Forth and Ramon (=Raymond) Peguero he seems to have been one of the leading Whitby chess-players in the 1880s and 1890s.
Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information