Yorkshire Chess History



Charles Augustus Muller











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1822/23, Germany



1907, Bradford



Strictly, if spelt as in the original German, the “u” of “Muller” should have an umlaut over it, making the spelling “Müller”.  Sometimes the umlaut was used in printed matter, but it was not often used in censuses or chess reports, and the device of using “ue” instead of “ü” seems not to have been adopted at all.


Identity of the Chess-Player


Some chess references are to “C. Muller” or merely “Muller”, neither of which pins down the identity of the player.  Reports of West Yorkshire Chess Association, however, refer to “Chas. Muller” and “C. A. Muller” which together adequately identify the chess-playing Muller.


Non-Chess Life


Charles Augustus Muller, his wife and his sons were all born in Germany, so presumably the family moved to England more or less together, but when is unclear, but it appears they settled in Bradford in 1882, give or take a year.  Charles A. Muller seems not to be mentioned in the England 1881 census.  He wasn’t listed in Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, and his future home address wasn’t listed, as the numbers in Apsley Crescent ran from 1 to 22, with no 23.


Charles Augustus Muller was born in 1822/23 and his wife Augusta was born in 1831/32.  They appear to have had least two children:


[Karl] Oscar Muller

born 1857/58

Carl [Ernst] Muller, aka Charles Ernest Muller

born 1851


There is also a suggestion of another brother, Ernst Wilhelm Alphonse Muller, born 1853/54.


Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1883, listed Chas. A. Muller, commission agent, at 23 Aplsey Crescent, Bradford.


White's Directory of Bradford, Halifax &c, 1887, listed Chas. A. Muller, commission agent, at 23 Aplsey Crescent, Bradford.


The 1891 census listed 68-year-old Charles A. Muller and 33-year-old Oscar Muller living at 6 Mornington Villas, Bradford.  Augusta Muller wasn’t mentioned, but 40-year-old Carl Muller was listed as a visitor.  Charles and scar were commission agents.  Carl was an electrical engineer.


Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1891, listed Chas. A. Muller, electrical agent, at 6 Mornington Villas, Bradford.


The 1901 census listed 78-year-old Charles, 69-year-old Augusta, 49-year-old Carl, and 43-year-old Oscar living at 6 Mornington Villas, Bradford.  Charles was a retired electrical agent, Carl was an electrical engineer, and Oscar was described simply as an agent.  The four were said to have been born in Germany and to be German subjects.


Kelly’s Bradford Directory, 1901, listed in the street section both Charles August Müller, with no specified occupation, and Charles Ernest Müller, consulting engineer, both with umlauts, at 6 Mornington Villas, Bradford; it listed in the alphabetical section only Charles Ernest Muller (without umlaut).




The death of Charles Augustus Miller, at age 84, was registered in the second quarter of 1907, at Bradford.


After Death


It would appear that Oscar and Carl had been working in partnership, after their father’s death, under the name of Charles A. Muller.  The London Gazette of 13/08/1908 carried a notice to the effect that the partnership existing between “Karl Oscar Müller” and “Carl Müller” had been dissolved, by mutual consent, from 31/03/1908, and that the business was being carried on by Carl Müller on his own.


Then came the First World War, and in 1916, a “Trading with the Enemy Act” was passed.  The London Gazette came to carry notices of orders being made by the board of trade to wind up business under the terms of the act.  The London Gazette of 28/07/1916 listed the business “Charles A. Muller”, 10 Arcade, Westgate, Bradford, electrical accessories merchant, as such a firm ordered by the Board of Trade to be wound up.  This was of course no adverse reflection on Charles Augustus Muller who had been dead for nine years.




Charles A. Muller of Bradford attended the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association in 1884 (“Chas. Muller”), 1885 (“C. A. Müller”), 1886 (“C. A. Müller”) and 1888.


“C Muller” played for Yorkshire in the 1884 Lancashire-Yorkshire match.


“C Muller” participated in the 1st annual meeting of the Yorkshire County Chess Club, at Bradford, in 1886.


“Muller” played in the Third-Class Players’ Tournament (Yorkshire) at the 1888 British Chess Association congress held in Bradford.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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