Yorkshire Chess History



William Collett Myers











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



07/11/1812, Leeds


15/11/1812, Bramley, Leeds


25/01/1896, Walesby, Notts.


St. John’s, Roundhay, Leeds


William Collett Myers was born on 07/11/1812, at Bramley, near Leeds, son of Jesse Myers.


White’s Directory of Leeds & the Clothing District, 1842, listed:

Myers and Collett, wine merchants at 5 East Cheap, Leeds;

Thomas Myers, spirit merchant, with home at St James’ Place,

William Collett Myers, wine & spirit merchant, victualler, Buck, 125 Briggate.


It seems likely Thomas Myers was related to William (brother, cousin  or uncle), but their businesses were not directly related, it seems.


On 28/09/1843, at St. Peter’s, Leeds, William Collett Myers, spirit merchant of Woodhouse Square, Leeds, son of Jesse Myers, spirit merchant, married Emma Dobson daughter of Joseph Dobson, gentleman, of Springfield place, Leeds.  Emma Dobson had been born 1816/17, at Woodlesford, to the south-east of Leeds.  The witnesses signing the marriage register were Joseph Booth, Celenia Elizabeth Dobson (sister of the bride), and Jesse Batley(?) Myers (father or brother of the groom?).


The couple had at least three children:

Emma Sarah Elizabeth Myers


Celenia Dobson Myers,

born 1847/48 ? at Leeds;

Henrietta Frances Myers,

born 1849/50 ? at Woodlesford.


Celenia seems to have been named after a sister of her mother, Celenia E Dobson, taking her mother’s maiden name as her middle name.


White’s Directory of Leeds & the Clothing Districts, 1847, listed William Collett Myers, wine & spirit merchant, victualler, Buck, 125 Briggate; home Hanover Street.


White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford &c, 1854, listed William Collett Myers, victualler, wine & spirit merchant, Buck, 125 Briggate; home 14 Hanover Street;

and a number of others by the name Myers.


White’s Directory of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield &c, 1858, listed William Collett Myers, wine & spirit merchant, 126 [sic] Briggate; home 14 Hanover Street.


At some time from 1858 to 1861 the family moved to 1 Gordon Villas, which White tells us were on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds.


The 1861 census found William and Emma living at 1 Gordon Villas, Leeds, with both daughters and two servants.  William was a wine and spirit merchant,and British wine manufacturer, employing four clerks and eleven warehousemen.  Celenia was a scholar.


White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield &c, 1866, listed William Collett Myers, wine & spirit merchant, 24 Duncan Street, and victualler at the Buck, 125 Briggate; home 1 Grove Villas.


The 1871 census found the family now at Grove House, Roundhay, to the north of Leeds.  In addition to the two parents and two daughters, the household included a granddaughter, Emma C Royle, born 1866/67, at Chester.  A male relative of Emma, Coleman E Dobson, born 1833/34 at Woodlesford, was a visitor at the time.  There were still two servants.  (The daughters’ ages are inconsistently stated in the various censuses.)


At some time, probably from 1877 to 1881, Henrietta Frances Myers married the Rev. Frederick Francis Field, born 01/04/1843 at Mansfield Notts.  He moved from North Yorkshire to become curate of St. Mary’s, Leeds, in 1877, later moving to Watford in 1880 [Venn].


On 19th January 1875, Emma Myers died, aged 58, and was buried at St John’s, Roundhay, Leeds.  The 1881 census found William Collett Myers as a widower, living at Chapel Lane, Leeds, with the still-unmarried Celenia, and three servants.  William was still a wine merchant.


At some time from 1881 to 1891, Celenia Dobson Myers married Charles Reynolds Gorton, vicar of Walesby, Notts.  He had been born in 1852/53, at Holcombe, Lancashire, in the modern Greater Manchester, adjoining Ramsbottom.  He became vicar of Walesby in 188 holding the post to his death on 22/02/1915 [Venn].


The 1891 census found William Collett Myers living at Grove House, Roundhay, with son-in-law Charles Reynolds Gorton, married daughter Celenia D Gorton, 85-year-old unmarried sister-in-law Celenia Elizabeth Dobson (born 09/02/1806), and grand-daughter Sarah M Royle.  There were now four servants.  William was now described as a retired wine merchant.


On 18th April 1891, Celenia Elizabeth Dobson, sister-in-law to William Collett Myers, born 19th February,1806, died and was buried at St. John's, Roundhay, in the same grave as her sister.




William Collett Myers died on 25th January 1896, at Walesby, Nottinghamshire, where he appears to have been temporarily staying.  Probate records describe him as “of Grove House, Roundhay, Leeds”.  Probate was granted to Emma Sarah Royle, widow, Celenia Dobson Gorton (wife of Rev. Charles Reynolds Gorton), and Henrietta Frances Field (wife of Rev. Frederick Francis Field).


He was buried in his wife’s grave at St. John’s, Roundhay.  The grave is in the overgrown, untended part of the graveyard to the south of the church.  The stepped base is of polished pink marble.  The upper part, presumably a cross, has disappeared, but the memorial inscriptions remain.

(Click here for images of grave.)


The inscriptions on the front read:


In loving Memory of

Emma Wife of William Collett Myers,

 of Roundhay,

who died January 19th 1875

Aged 58 Years.


William Collett Myers,

Born November 7th 1812,

Died January 25th 1896.


The inscription on the left reads:


Also of

Celenia Elizabeth Dobson

Born February 9th 1806,

Died April 18th 1891.




He was active in Yorkshire Chess over a period of twenty-nine years.  Here attended the 1850 meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association.  He attended the meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association in 1856, 1858 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1878.  He attended the North Yorkshire and Durham meeting of 1866.  He was a subscriber to Skipworth’s “Yorkshire Chess Association” meeting of 1868.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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