Yorkshire Chess History



Robert Harris Philip











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1851, Hull



13/04/1912, Hull



Non-Chess Life


The parents of Robert Harris Philip were Robert Philip (born 1822/23, Liverpool) and Hannah Philip (born 1820/21, St. Albans).  Robert senior combined work as an emigration agent with being a draper.  Hannah was a “mantlemaker”, which probably means she made garments called mantles rather than fitments for gaslights.  The couple seem to have had just the one child, Robert Harris Philip, born 1851 in Hull, the birth being registered in the third quarter of 1851 at Hull.


The 1861 census found mother Hannah as a mantle-maker living with son 9-year-old Robert H. Philip, who was a scholar, two drapery-shop salesmen, and a domestic servant.  Father Robert seems to have been away at the time of the cenus.


The 1871 census found the parents and 19-year-old son living at 27 Anlaby Road, Hull, with a [sewing?] machinist, a draper’s assistant and a domestic servant.  Son Robert H. Philip was now an oil-merchant’s clerk.


An article in the Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1877, pp. 186-187, gave the address of both G. W. Farrow and R. H. Philip as G W Farrow, 28 Prospect Street, Kingston Square, Hull, for reasons which are unclear.


In 1879, Robert Harris Philip had married Jane Elizabeth [maiden name?].  The couple had at least the following seven children:


Roland Philip

born Mar/Apr 1880

Maurice Philip

born 1882/83

Evelyn Philip

born 1883/84

Oswald Philip

born 1885/86

Kenneth Philip

born 1887/88

Eric Philip

born Mar/Apr 1890

Alan Philip

born 1896/97


The 1881 census parents and 10-moth-old son Roland living with one servant at 6 Laurel Grove, off Park Road, Hull.  Robert was now an oil merchant in his own right.


By the time of the 1891 census the family had expanded to six children who, with their parents and one servant, lived at the less salubrious-sounding address of 8 Hull Street, Hull.  Robert was still an oil merchant.


By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to 296 Beverley Road, Hull.  Robert was still an oil merchant.  Roland was a timber merchant’s clerk.  Maurice was not listed so had left home of was temporarily away.  Alan had appeared on the scene.  There was still one servant.


The 1911 found the family had moved further out along Beverley Road, to number 447.  Roland was not listed at that address.  Father Robert and second son Maurice were described as oil merchants, while Oswald, Kenneth and Eric were merchant’s clerks, which was not explicitly for the family oil business, but was probably in the family business.  Alan was a scholar.




Robert Harris Philip of 447 Beverley Road, Hull, died on 13/04/1912.  Probate was granted to Jane Elizabeth Philip, widow.  His effects totalled £3,155 11s 7d.




An article in the Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1877, pp. 186-187, listed him as one of 28 players in a team representing Britain in a correspondence match with America.


In 1880 he was a member of Hull Church Institute Chess Club, and was at that time the club champion.  When Edmund Thorold gave a simultaneous display at the club on 16/01/1880, Robert Harris Philip won his game against the visitor.


He played regularly for Hull in the Woodhouse Cup.


He played for Yorkshire against Lancashire at Bradford on 18/06/1887, and continued playing for Yorkshire up to and including 1903.


He played for the North & East Ridings against the West Riding at the De Grey Rooms, York, on 28/11/1903.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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