Yorkshire Chess History



Percy Woodroffe Paver











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1829/30, Sheffield


30/09/1832, St. Maurice, York




Non-Chess Life


Percy Woodroffe Paver’s parents were William Paver (born 1802, York) and Jane Paver (born 1804/05, York).  Father, William Paver achieved fame, and even infamy, as a genealogist, sufficient to get his own entry in the Dictionary of National Biography, which records that his methods were questioned by other genealogists, and that he was even accused of inventing evidence.  One thing he did was transcribe marriage licences dating from 1567 onwards which were held in York, and are valuable now as the originals have been lost.


William and Jane Paver had at least two children:


Percy Woodroffe Paver

born 1829/30, Sheffield

Jane Paver

born 1826/27


Percy Woodroffe Paver was baptised at St. Maurice’s, York, on 30/09/1832.


The 1841 census found the family of two parents and two children living with a lodger at St. Martin’s Court, in the Micklegate area of York.  St. Martin’s Court had now gone, but was presumably near the present pedestrianised St. Martin’s Lane.


The 1851 census found the 21-year-old Sheffield-born Percy W. Paver living away from home, lodging at 4 Northumberland Street, Alnwick, Northumberland.  Percy was working as an attorney’s clerk.


In time, Percy got a job back in his parents’ native York, and the 1861 census found him living with his parents at 4 Rougier Street, York, a part of central York which has since been redeveloped.  Father William was described as “A.M., genealogist, registrar of births and deaths”, while Percy was now a clerk in H. M. district court of probate at Wakefield.  Quite how living in York squared up with working in Wakefield isn’t clear.


Entry 409 in the marriage register of St. John’s, Wakefield, records the marriage on 18/11/1869, by E. Bell, of Percy Woodroffe Paver, bachelor of full age, a clerk in a probate court, resident at Rishworth Street, Wakefield, son of William Paver, M.A., gentleman, to Emma Elizabeth Jackson, spinster of full age, resident at Albion Street, Wakefield, daughter of Thomas Ellis Jackson, butcher.  The couple do not seem to have had any children.  The bride had been born in 1841/42, in Wakefield.


The 1871 census found the couple living with Emma’s 18-year-old Wakefield-born unmarried sister, Helena Jackson, at Albion Street, Wakefield.  Percy was still a probate clerk.


Percy’s father, William Paver, died on 01/06/1871, at Rishworth Street, Wakefield, aged 69.


The 1881 census found Percy had moved to his native Sheffield, and had changed his line of work.  50-year-old Percy, 38-year-old wife Emma, and 71-year-old widowed mother Jane were living at 2 Carlisle Street East, in Sheffield’s steel-making east end.  Percy was described as a timekeeper in a steel works.  This does not sound as impressive as “probate clerk”, though maybe the pay was similar.


Thereafter, William Paver seems to have been swallowed up by a black hole.  He seems not to be listed in later censuses, and he seems not to be listed in the index of deaths.




Unusually, there seems no immediately obvious reference to the death of Percy Woodroffe Paver.




He attended to annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association 1861, 1862, 1864, 1866 and 1867.


He played in the 1872 Wakefield-Bradford match, though not in the 1874 Wakefield-Leeds match.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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