Yorkshire Chess History



Frederick Priestman











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1836/37, Bradford



1934, Bradford



There were a number of strands to the broader Priestman family.  As regards chess-players, there were “A. F. Priestman” (meaning Aldreman F. Priestman?) and “A. Priestman” who played alongside each other in the Class C section of the 1st Annual Meeting of the Yorkshire County Chess Club at Bradford in 1886, and Henry Brady Priestman who was probably the strongest of the three (or more) chess-playing Bradford Priestmans.  Some Priestmans were prominent in Bradford’s public life.  The relationship, if any, between Frederick Priestman and Henry Brady Priestman is not immediately evident, but one suspects they were tangibly related.


Non-Chess Life


Frederick Priestman’s parents were John Priestman (born c.1806, possibly the father also of John Priestman who was father to Henry Brady Priestman) and Sarah Priestman (born c. 1806) who had at least the following four children:


Joseph Priestman


Frederick Priestman

1836/37, Bradford

Edward Priestman

1837/38, Bradford

Ellen Priestman

Nov/Dec 1840


The 1841 census found parents John and Sarah with the above four children living at Whetley Hill, Manningham, Bradford.  Father John was a corn miller.


The 1851 census found a 14-year-old Fredrick Priestman at school at Bootham, York.  While no place of birth was given for this boy, he looks like our man.  Also at the same school at the same time were 13-year-old Kirkstall-born Charles Priestman (apparently Frederick’s cousin) and 12-year-old Bradford-born Edward Priestman (presumably Frederick’s cousin).


White’s 1861 Bradford directory listed Edward and Frederick Priestman of John Priestman & Co., whose business addresses were 25 Brook Street, and Ashfield Mill, living at Whetley Hill.


The 1861 census found 24-year-old Bradford-born Frederick Priestman living in the household of 23-year-old Kirkstall-born Charles Priestman and Charles’s 18-year-old Malton-born sister, Caroline Priestman, at Sandford Place, Headingley, Leeds.  Frederick was recorded as being Charles’s cousin.  Charles was a corn miller and Frederick was a worsted spinner.  There was one servant.


The marriage of Frederick Priestman to Mabel Tuke (born 1839/40, Bradford) was registered in the third quarter of 1865, at Leeds.  Frederick and Mabel had no children.


The 1871 census found Frederick and Mabel living as boarders at the Tennants Arms, Burnsall, where 58-year-old Knapton-born Daniel Tuke (probably Mabel’s father) and 25-year-old Bradford-born Esther Tuke (probably Mabel’s sister) were also resident as boarders.  Daniel Tuke was a merchant, while Frederick Priestman was a manufacturer.


Within the next ten years, Frederick and Mabel had taken up residence at Pierremont, 60 Toller Lane, Manningham, Bradford.


Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed Frederick Priestman as an alderman, and as resident at Pierremont, 56 Toller Lane, Manningham, Bradford.  The number 56 may refer to Pierremont, though that is later referred to as number 60.


The 1881 census found Frederick and Mabel living with three servants at Pierremont, Toller Lane, with house number as such stated.  Frederick was a worsted spinner and manufacturer.


Alderman Frederick Priestley was Mayor of Bradford for 1882-83.  During his mayoralty an arched gateway at the entrance to Lister Park, Bradford, was erected to commemorate the visit to Bradford in 1882 of the Prince and Princess of Wales.  The foundation stone records its having been laid in 1883 by Frederick Priestman.


The 1891 census found the couple living with three servants at Pierremont, 60 Toller Lane, Manningham, Bradford.  Frederick was a spinner and manufacturer.


The 1901 census found the couple still at the same address, with three servants still.  Frederick was described as a wool manufacturer.


The1911 census found no change.  Frederick recorded himself as a spinner & manufacturer, giving his address as simply “Pierremont, Bradford.”  This census return confirmed the couple had had no children.


Kelly’s 1917 directory of Bradford listed Frederick Priestman at 60 Toller Lane, Manningham, Bradford.


There appears to be (or have been) a Frederick Priestman Trust Fund connected with The Bradford District Charity for Visually Impaired People.




Frederick Priestman, of Pierremont, Toller Lane, Bradford, died at the age of 98 on 07/09/1934.  Probate was granted to George Edward Priestman, of no occupation, Henry Hunter Duncan, solicitor, and Kate Giddins, spinster.  He left £137,336 14s 2d.




Alfred Priestman seems to have been more of a supporter and benefactor of chess than a strong player.


The first prize for the Class B tournament at the 1st Annual Meeting of the Yorkshire County Chess Club, in 1886, at Bradford, was furnished by “Alderman F. Priestman”.  It was a walnut writing-case.


After the 1887 Yorkshire v Lancashire match, a dinner was given at the Alexandra Hotel for about 120 players, organisers and friends.  The chair was occupied by “Alderman Priestman”, who ascribed the radical improvement in Yorkshire’s performance to the formation of the Yorkshire County Chess Club.  This was presumably Alderman Frederick Priestman.


An Alderman F Priestman of Bradford attended the 1888 meeting of the West Yorkshire Chess Association.


When the old Bradford Chess Club merged with the Bradford Exchange Chess Club, “Alderman F. Priestman”, who had previously been a member of the Exchange Club, was elected president of the new, revitalised Bradford Chess Club.


“Priestman”, presumably Frederick Priestman, was one of those appointed to the local committee in connection with the British Chess Association annual congress being held in Bradford in 1888.


Bradford Chess Club’s Priestman Trophy appears to be a set of ivory chessmen, given by Frederick Priestman in 1909, and now competed for by “the less skilled”.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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