Yorkshire Chess History



Ramon Peguero











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1855/56, Aragon, Spain



02/07/1900, Ventas‑de‑Canizan, Spain



Non-Chess Life


His ages in the 1891 census and death restrict his date of birth from 07/07/1855 to 05/04/1856.


His family had mining interests, in Spain, which included jet mining activity.  It was for the purpose of importing rough jet from Spain to England that he settled in Whitby, famous as a centre of jet manufacturing, in around 1877, when he’d be roughly 21 years old.  Although he was apparently a “patriotic Spaniard” he nevertheless became a naturalised British citizen.


Kelly’s Whitby directory of 1872 didn’t list the name Peguero, but the 1879 edition listed “Raymond” Peguero as a rough jet merchant, Brewster Lane, Whitby.  He was sometimes named “Raymond”, an English equivalent of the Spanish name Ramon.  Brewster Lane was (and still is) a turning of Church Lane, running down the side of the shop of his chess-playing friend Walter Grimshaw.


The 1881 census found unmarried 25-year-old Spanish-born “Raymond” Peguero working as a jet merchant, and lodging with George and Mary Hunter at 9 Grove Street, Whitby.


The marriage of Ramo Peguero to Catharine Collier (born 1856/57, Whitby), sister of fellow chess-player Edwin Collier, was registered at Whitby in the third quarter of 1882.  In time the couple had the following four sons:

Andres Peguero

born 1884 (reg. Q2), Whitby

William Ramon Peguero

born 1886, Whitby

Bernard Peguero

born 1890 (reg. Q2), Whitby

Philip Peguero

born 1894 (reg. Q3), Whitby


His obituary aid he was survived by his wife and four sons.  The fourth son was presumably born at some time in 1891 or shortly after.


Whitby Conservative club was formed of 19/12/1885 (per Whitby Gazette of 02/01/1885), and Ramon was its treasurer at the time of his death.


At some stage Ramon purchased the premises of “Mr. Kirby” (the chess-player E. H. Kirby ??) “at the top of Church Street”.


Bulmer’s Whitby directory of 1890 listed Raymond Peguero as trading from Church Street, and residing at 12 Esk Terrace,which may well have been his residence since getting married.


The 1891 census confirmed the Peguero residence as 12 Esk Terrace, describing 35-year-old Ramon as a rough jet merchant born at “Arragon”, Spain, and as a naturalised British subject.  His 34-year-old Whitby-born wife, Catherine, was named “Kate”.  With them Ramon and Kate had three sons, Andres, William and Bernard, and a servant.


Kelly’s Whitby directory of 1893 listed Raymond Peguero, rough jet merchant, as having his business premises at Monksman’s Buildings, and his residence still at 12 Esk Terrace.




Ramon Peguero died on a business trip back to the home of his mother and sister, in Spain.  The trip was undertaken although he was in failing health, and resulted in his death at Ventas-de-Canizan, near Montalban, Spain, before he managed to reach his mother’s home which was not much further to go.


News of his death was wired from Montalban to Whitby on Saturday July 7th, 1900, and the Whitby Gazette, carried the following notice in its “Deaths” column on page 8:

July 6th, in Spain, aged 44 years, Mr. Ramon Peguero, rough jet merchant, of Esk Terrace, Whitby.


The exact date of death seems to have been uncertain at the time.  UK probate records report his death as having been on 02/07/1900, at Ventas-de-Canizan, Spain.


Probate was granted to Catherine Peguero, widow.  His effects amounted to £1,922 8s 10d.


The Whitby Gazette of Friday July 13th, 1900, also carried on page 5 the following:


DEATH OF MR. R. PEGUERO. – We regret to announce the death of Mr. Ramon Peguero, of No. 12, Esk Terrace, Whitby, the sad intelligence of which was wired to Whitby, from Montalban, in Spain, last Saturday.  Mr. Peguero settled in Whitby about twenty-three years ago as an importer of rough jet from the jet mines in Spain, in which he and his family were interested.  The deceased gentleman was a native of Spain, and a thoroughly patriotic Spaniard, but he was also a naturalised British subject, and took very kindly to the habits and customs of English life.  When he first settled in this country, the jet trade was prospering, and he was successful as a rough jet importer and merchant.  He purchased and carried on business in the premises at the top of Church Street, which formerly belonged to Mr. Kirby.  In addition to business aptitudes and commercial pursuits, Mr. Peguero evinced a considerable amount of interest in several local institutions.  He was an excellent chess player, and a well-known member of the Whitby Chess Club, and he played with distinguished success in several important matches.  He was treasurer at the time of his death of the Whitby Conservative Club, and was instrumental in establishing a chess club in connection with that institution; and he also watched over the billiard department with much interest and attention.  He will be much missed there, where his urbanity and quiet, gentle manners endeared him to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.  He had been in failing health for a somewhat lengthened period, but undertook the journey by sea to Bilbao in order to look after his own interests and those of his family in connection with some mineral, coal, and jet mines there.  The fatigue of the journey into the interior probably told heavily upon him in his delicate state, and it would appear that he expired in the vicinity of Montalban, a few miles from where his mother and sister reside – so that he died almost within reach of home – at the latter end of last week.  He was forty-four years old, and married the second daughter of our highly-respected townsman, Mr. William Collier, iron monger, and is survived by his wife and four sons.  The deceased gentleman was a member of St. Hilda’s Roman Catholic Church, to which he was devotedly attached.


After Death


The 1901 census found Catharine and the four boys still living in Whitby.


Catherine died on 30/08/1902.  The Whitby Gazette of 05/09/1902, under “Deaths”, carried the following notice:


In loving memory of Catherine, widow of Ramon Peguero, who died at 2, Baxtergate, August 30th, aged 45 years.  R. I. P.


Probate was granted to one of her brothers, Raymond Collier, iron monger, and Winefride Miller, widow, the latter presumably being a sister-in-law.  She left effects of £1,705 15s.


Eldest son Andres (strictly “Andrés”) Peguero became a mercantile clerk.  His life was cut short when he died, aged 23, on 25/05/1907.  The Whitby Gazette of 31/05/1907, under “Deaths”, carried the following notice:


May 25th, at 2, Baxtergate, aged 23 years, Andrès, the eldest son of Ramon and Catherine Peguero.


Second son William Ramon Peguero joined the merchant navy, and worked his way up the ranks, as is evidenced by his competency certificates; his certificate of competency as Second Mate “for foreign-going steamships only” at age 21 was dated 24/01/1907, in time for his mother to be proud of him before she died, while his corresponding certificate as First Mate at age 22 was dated 07/11/1908, and that as Master at age 24 was dated 20/08/1910.




He made frequent appearances in Whitby Chess Club’s teams in matches, including 1884 Grosmont v Whitby, 1885 Grosmont v Whitby, 1886 Grosmont v Whitby, 1890 Grosmont v Whitby, 1894 Scarborough v Whitby, 1894 Derwent (Malton) v Whitby and 1894 Whitby v Scarborough.


He was explicitly named as Whitby team captain in the 1894 Derwent match.





Copyright © 2012, 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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