Yorkshire Chess History



Edward Pulsford











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



29/09/1844, Burslem, Staffs.



29/09/1919, New South Wales, Australia


Gore Hill cemetery, Sydney, Australia



Non-Chess Life


Edward Pulsford was born on 29/09/1844, at Burslem, Staffordshire.  His parents were, reportedly James Pulsford and Mary Ann Pulsford (née Cutler).  He was educated privately [1].


Tracking his parents down in census records is difficult.  His father was reputedly a Baptist minister [1], but that could be confusion with his uncle.  One source names his father James Eustace Pulsford, but that is difficult to substantiate.  The marriage of a James Pulsford to a Mary Ann Cutler was registered in the fourth quarter of 1843, at Liverpool.  This would appear to be the marriage of Edward Pulsford’s parents.


The 1871 census found a certain 25-year-old Burslem-born clerk called James Pulsford lodging at 39 Frances Street West, Hull.  The birth of a Jane Pulsford was registered in the second quarter of 1846, at Wolstanton, Staffs.  The birth of a Marian Pulsford was registered in the second quarter of 1848, at Dudley, Staffs.  The birth of a Jane Cutler Pulsford was registered in the third quarter of 1850, at Dudley, Staff.  These three, the last in particular, look rather like siblings of Edward Pulsford, though two Janes are unlikely.  The offspring of James and Mary Pulsford would therefore appear to possibly include some or all of the following:


Edward Pulsford

born 29/09/1844, Burslem, Staffs.

James Pulsford

born 1845/46,  Burslem, Staffs.

Marian Pulsford

born 1848, in/near Dudley, Staffs.

Jane Cutler Pulsford

born 1850, in/near Dudley, Staffs.


In time Edward came to live for a while with his uncle, John Pulsford, who was born in 1815/16, at Tiverton, Devon.


John Pulsford was minister at the South Street Church in Hull.  The 1851 census found John Pulsford, his wife, Pontefract-born Alice Hurst Pulsford, three children, and a servant, living at 2 Colonial Street, Hull.  Where John’s nephew, 6-year-old Edward Pulsford, was at this time is unclear, but at some stage from 1851 to 1861 Edward Pulsford went to live with his uncle John’s family in Hull.


White’s General Directory of Kingston-upon-Hull, and York, 1851, listed Rev. J. Pulsford at 2 Colonial Street, Hull.  It listed two Baptist Chapels, one at 16 Salthouse Lane, Hull, in the charge of Rev. D. M. N. Thompson, and the other on South Street, Hull, in the charge of Rev. John Pulsford.


The 1861 census accordingly found 16-year-old Burslem-born “Edward Charles Pulsford” living at Linnaeus Street, Hull, in the household of his uncle John, which also included John’s wife, five children and a servant.  Uncle John was still minister at South Street Church.  Edward was described as a shipping clerk.  This census return is seemingly the only record of Edward Pulsford having the middle name Charles, and if it was genuine then he must have chosen not to use it himself.


Edward’s father is said to have started working with Edward in Hull by 1870 as commission agent [1], but James senior is conspicuous by his absence from censuses and directories, whereas Edward, his uncle, and James junior (his brother?) are evident.


In time, uncle John’s occupation as a minister took him away from Hull, and the 1871 Scottish census found him and his family lining at 15 Dalrymple Court, Edinburgh.  John appears to have become minister of a church named after “St. Cloped”, or minister of Albany Street chapel.  (Images of original Scottish census records haven’t been made available, so we have only the garbled transcription “Monide Albany St Cloped” to go on.)


Edward Pulsford had stayed in Hull.


His marriage on 23/02/1871 to Mary Charlotte Stainforth, daughter of John and Elizabeth Pulsford, was registered in the first quarter of 1871, at Hull.  The couple went on to have at least the following three children, all born in Hull:


John E Pulsford

born 1871/72

Frank E Pulsford

born 1873/74

Herbert Stanley Pulsford

born 1875/76


The 1871 census found newly-weds Edward and Mary living at 21 Wilberforce Street, Hull.  Edward was a commercial traveller in the grocery business.


The 1881 census found Edward, Mary, the three children and a servant living at Florence Avenue, Newlands, off Beverley Road.  (No such road seems now to exist in that area.  White listed it near De Grey Street.)  Edward’s occupation had acquired a more sophisticated-sounding description in “produce broker”.


White's Directory of Hull, 1882, listed Edward Pulsford at a commission agent living at 3 Florence Avenue, Newlands, Hull.  It also listed Edward Pusford, under “Commision Agents”, at 8 Bishop Lane, Hull, that presumably being his business address.  It also listed John Pulsford, poulterer, at 5 Adelphi Court, George Yard, off Lowgate, Hull, which was perhaps the James Pulsford born 1845/46 at Burslem.


It seems the retail grocery trade in Hull didn’t provide Edward Pulsford with the excitement he craved, as he and his family emigrated to Australia.  The Victoria, Australia, passenger lists record 40-year-old England-born Edward Pulsford arriving in Sydney on 13/01/1884 aboard the “Orient”, having departed from London, in 1883.  Meanwhile, his father went to become secretary of the Liverpool, London & Globe Insurance Company’s branch in New York.


Thereafter, Edward and his family pop up in Australian records, primarily in New South Wales.  Herbert, for instance, married an Australian girl, Elizabeth Mary Crossland.  Herbert died in New South Wales in 1933, and his wife in 1945.


He became financial editor of Australia’s Daily Telegraph.  Once in Australia, he became a political activist, supporting free trade and racial equality, yet opposing women’s suffrage.  In 1885 he formed, with Bernhard. Ringrose Wise, the Free Trade and Liberal Association of New South Wales.  In time he achieved political office in New South Wales, and in that connection his life is documented in Australia.  He wrote a book, Commerce and the Empire, published 1903, and revised 1917.  His initial occupation in Australia is unclear, but he entered journalism, being proprietor of the Armidale Chronicle from 1890 to 1898 [1], and apparently financial editor of the Australian Daily Telegraph for a while.


Edward Pulsford’s wife, Mary C. Pulsford, is recorded as dying in New South Wales in 1913, the death being registered at St. Leonards, NSW.


Edward took a second wife, Blanche Elspeth Brown, whom he married on 02/03/1919, at Neutral Bay, Sydney.




Edward Pulsford died suddenly, at his home in Chatswood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on 29/09/1919, his 75th birthday [1].  After an Anglican service, he was buried at Gore Hill cemetery, St. Leonard’s, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia [1].  He was survived by his second wife and three sons.




Edward Pulsford was a member of Hull Chess Club around the time Edward Thorold visited Hull in 1880, when Edward lost his game against Thorold in the latter’s simultaneous display.


He played for Yorkshire in the 1883 Yorkshire-Lancashire match, but didn’t play in the 1884 match as he was by then living in Australia.


He may well have continued playing chess, as the Australian Dictionary of Biography refers to him as a keen cricketer in his youth and in later years a devotee of chess.



Australian Dictionary of Biography, article by W G. McMinn, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pulsford-edward-8130





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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