Yorkshire Chess History



Joshua Petty











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1831, Kildwick


21/08/1831, Kildwick


06/01/1894, Longton, near Preston



Joshua Petty was born to Richard and Margaret Petty, who had at least four children:


Charles Petty

born 1828/29; baptised 07/06/1829, Kildwick

Joshua Petty

born 1831, Kildwick; baptised 21/08/1831, Kildwick

Richard George Petty

born 1836; baptised 16/10/1836,  

Francis William Petty

born 1838/39


Kildwick is a village 4 miles NW of Keighley, on the north bank of the River Aire, with Cross Hills (part of the old parish of Glusburn) opposite it on the south bank.


The 1841 census found the family of six living in Crosshills.  The father, Richard, was described as a schoolmaster.  Joshua was then ten years old.


By the time of the 1851 census, Joshua was living in the household of James Morries, a 37-year-old draper, at 2 Piccadilly, Bradford.  James Morries employed 6 men and seven boys.  There were seven other non-family residents in the household who were apparently employees at the draper’s concern.  Joshua, now 19 years old, was described as a bookkeeper, and while not explicitly connected to the drapery business, it seems likely he was bookkeeper to that business.


On 3rd April 1861, at Kelton, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, he married Scottish-born Margaret Mcguffog (?), who was quoted in censuses as a year older than her husband.  The couple had seemingly only one child, Margaret E. Petty, who was born 1861/62 in Bradford.


The 1861 census, taken four days after the wedding, recorded newly-weds Joshua and Margaret Petty, and one domestic servant, residing at 28 Southfield Square, Manningham, Bradford.  Joshua was now described as a bank clerk, which was presumably a step up from being a draper’s bookkeeper.


White’s 1861 Bradford directory listed Joshua Petty as an unspecified species of clerk living, at an unspecified number in Southfield Square, Bradford.


Jones’s Bradford directory of 1863 seems not to have included him.


White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield &c, 1866, listed Joshua Petty as a clerk still living at Southfield Square, Bradford.


From 1866 to 1870 he moved home and may also have changed job, as White's Directory of Leeds & the West Riding, 1870, listed Joshua Petty now as a cashier, now living at 4 Rosebank, Church Street, Bradford.


Accordingly, the 1871 census recorded Joshua and Margaret living with 9-year-old Bradford-born daughter Margaret E. Petty, and a domestic servant, at 4 Rose Bank, Manningham, Bradford.  Joshua was described more-specifically as a bank cashier.


Smith’s Bradford directory of 1872 listed Joshua Petty as a bank cashier resident at 4 Rose Bank, Bradford, which information was repeated by the Post Office Bradford Directory 1879-80.


Though censuses and directories seem never to have described Joshua Petty as a bank manager, his obituary in the Leeds Mercury’s chess column described him as “manager of one of Bradford’s banks until his retirement a few years ago.”


Around 1880, give or take a year, the family moved to Ilkley.  The 1881 census thus found the family of three, now with two domestic servants, living at 8 Stourton Villas, Ilkley.  Joshua was described as a bank cashier.


Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed Joshua Petty as a private resident (therefore presumably retired) living at Wharf Mead, Ilkley.


 Around 1889 [1], he moved to Longton, a village 5 miles SW of Preston in Lancashire, near the south bank of the Ribble.  That is where the 1891 census found Joshua and Margaret.




The Bradford Observer of Tuesday, 9th Jan, 1894, on page 8, under “Deaths” announced the following:

PETTY.- On January 6th, at Mansion House, Longton, near Preston. Joshua Petty, formerly of Ilkley, in his 63rd year.


The chess column in the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement of 13/01/1894 contained an obituary.


Probate was granted on 20/02/1894, at Lancaster, to Francis William Petty (his brother), yarn merchant, and George William Douglas, dyer.  He left effects of £13,763 5s.


The said Francis William Petty, of Woodridge, Crosshills, Kildwick, died 02/01/1918, aged 79.




Joshua Petty was a long-standing member of Bradford Chess Club, and was in his day one of the club’s strongest players.


He attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association annual meetings of 1860, 1869, 1870, 1871, 1877, 1878, and 1883.


He represented Bradford in the 2-match contest with Huddersfield in 1864, and the follow up-match in November (?) 1864, and the Bradford-Huddersfield match of April 1865.  He also played in the first county match, against Lancashire, in 1871.  He played in the 1872 Wakefield and Bradford match.  He played in the 1877 Leeds-Bradford match.  He played in the 1883 Yorkshire-Lancashire match.  He played in the 1st Annual Meeting, in 1886, of the Yorkshire County Chess Club, in Bradford.


He later represented Bradford in the Woodhouse Cup, though by then he was resident in Ilkley.


After moving to Ilkley, he became the first president of Ilkley Chess Club, and represented the club in matches.


On the occasion of his departure from Ilkley, he presented the Silver Queen Challenge Trophy for individual competition among Wharfedale players.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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