Yorkshire Chess History



Dr. John Latimer Parke











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1825/26, Thorpe Latimer, Lincs.



21/03/1907, Tideswell, Derbys.



John Latimer Parke was born in rural Lincolnshire, and spent most of his working life in the village of Tideswell, in Derbyshire, but for a relatively short while he lived in Huddersfield, which is when most of his recorded chess activity occurred.


Non-Chess Life


John Latimer was born in 1825/26, at Thorpe Latimer, a hamlet about a mile SSW of the village of Helpringham, 6 miles SE of Sleaford, Lincolnshire.  Censuses variously regarded his place of birth as Thorpe Latimer or Helpringham.


As early as the 1841 census, 15-year-old Lincolnshire-born Joseph Parke was one of eight pupils boarding at a school on Gospel Gate (now Gospelgate), Louth, Lincolnshire.


During the following ten years, John Latimer Parke obtained medical qualifications, seemingly at St. Bartholomew’s in London, and went into general practice.


The 1851 census found John L. Parke, MRCPS (Lond?), LAC, general practitioner, living at an unspecified location in the small Derbyshire town of Tideswell, which is best known, perhaps, for its annual well-dressing, and is about 6 miles ENE of Buxton.


The marriage of John Latimer Parke to Jane Longden (born 1829/30, Wormhill, a village about two-and-a-half miles WSW of Tideswell) was registered in the third quarter of 1854, at Chapel-en-le-Frith, about 6 miles WNW of Tideswell.  The couple had at least the following six children, all born at Tideswell:


John Latimer Parke (junior)

born 1855/56

Thomas Henry Parke

born 1856/57

Sarah J Parke

born 1858/59

Margaret Parke

born Feb/Mar 1861

Alice Parke

born 1864/65

Annie Longden Parke

born 1867/68


The Post Office Directory of Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire, 1855, listed John L. Parke, surgeon, Tideswell.


The 1861 census found the parents and the first four children living at Foxlow House, Tideswell, with three servants.  John senior was described as a general practitioner, with an unclear reference to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.  John junior and Thomas were scholars.


Harrod & Co.'s Directory of Derbys, Leics &c, 1870, listed John Latimer Parke Esq., MRCSE, LSA, surgeon, Foxlow House, Tideswell


The 1871 census found the boys away from home, presumably at boarding school, leaving the parents and four girls, with two servants, at Foxlow House, Tideswell.  John senior was described now not merely as a general practitioner but also as a landowner.


The two sons, John junior and Thomas, were following their father into medicine.


The 1881 census found the parents, Thomas, Margaret, Annie and two servants living at Foxlow House, Tideswell.  John senior was still a general practitioner, with the letters MRCSE appended to his name.  Thomas was also listed as a general practitioner, with “MRCSE, LAC(?), RCP Ed.” after his name.


The 1891 census listed the parents and Thomas, with two servants, still at Foxlow House.  John senior was stll a general practitioner.  Thomas was described differently, as a physician and surgeon.  The census listed Foxlow House after the congregational chapel and school, and there was also a Foxlow Cottage.  Enigmatically, there is now a “Parke Road” in the centre of Tideswell, near which is a place of worship.  Was this road named after this Parke family?


Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, 1895, listed John Latimer Parke, LKQCP [sic], Irel., Certifying Factory Surgeon & Medical Officer & Public Vaccinator, Tideswell District, Bakewell Union, and listed Thomas Henry Parke, LRCP Edin., MRSC, surgeon.


At some time from 1895 to 1897, Dr. John Latimer Parke, senior, moved from Tideswell, where son Thomas may well have continued in medical practice, to Huddersfield, and to the chess-playing opportunities on offer there.


It would appear that daughter Alice had married Manchester-born surgeon Louis Demetriudi, and by 1901 was living with her husband in Huddersfield.  The 1901 census found 75-year-old surgeon John Latimer Parke living in the home of Louis and Alice, at 144 New Hey Road, Huddersfield, near to the modern Huddersfield Royal Hospital.


It may be that by 1907, John Latimer Parke, junior, had moved back to Tideswell, as his probate records treated him as resident there.




John Latimer Parke of Foxlow House, Tideswell, Derbyshire, died 21/03/1907, aged 81.  Probate was granted to Thomas Henry Parke, surgeon, Annie Longden Parke, spinster, and Frederick Wynne Gribble, retired civil servant.  He left effects of £8,291.




Dr. John Latimer Parke must have joined Huddersfield Chess Club almost as soon as he arrived in the town.  In those days, a common event in clubs was an annual handicap tournament in which stronger players gave odds to weaker opponents, thereby giving the supposedly weaker players a chance to win.  In this connection, in 1897, Dr. John Latimer Parke and Stanley Chrispin donated a trophy in the form of a king chess-piece, for competition in such a club handicap tournament.


“Dr. Parke” played fairly regularly for Huddersfield in the Woodhouse Cup in the seasons 1899-00 (and probably before) to 1904-05, but in 1905-06 seems to have managed only one match, on 10/03/1906.


He played also in some ad hoc inter-club matches, such as the 1903 Huddersfield v N. Manchester match, and the 1904 Huddersfield v N. Manchester match.


He seems not to have bothered with over-the-board inter-county matches, though he played in the 1899-00 correspondence match Yorkshire v Kent.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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