Yorkshire Chess History



Christian Ludwig Adolph Carl (“Charles”) Quarkowsky











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site




26/10/1852, Berlin


18/04/1931, Bradford



“Charles” Quarkowsky of Bradford appears in the chess records in the second half of the 1880s.  Digesting the evidence makes it clear that he was in fact an immigrant by the name of Christian Ludwig Adolph Carl Quarkowsky.  In practice there were three versions of his name, used according to different contexts.  On official documents he was Christian Ludwig Adolph Carl Quarkowsky; on formal non-official documentation he was usually Carl; in social and informal contexts he was Charles Quarkowsky, “Charles” being the English equivalent of “Carl”.


Non-Chess Life


His parents would appear to have been Carl Friedrich Alexander Quarkowsky, son of Carl Georg Quarkowsky, and Johanne Elisabeth Lossel, daughter of Christian Philipp Sebastian Lossel.  His parents married in March 1848, at Berlin, in the Prussia state of Brandenberg.  The couple had at least the following children, all births/baptisms being at Dorotheen, Berlin, whatever that means:


seemingly-unnamed child

died 24/03/1850 at birth or early infancy, unbaptised

Christian Ludwig Quarkowsky

baptised 26/10/1852

Marie Louise Quarkowsky

baptised 30/03/1854;

died 19/02/1859.

Louise Martha Quarkowsky

baptised 29/04/1855;

died 28/07/1855.

Albert Carl Quarkowsky

baptised 26/08/1856;

died 27/08/1856.


The above Christian Ludwig Quarkowsky, born 1852 (presumably) in Berlin, appears to be the Christian Ludwig Adolph Carl Quarkowsky who died on 180/04/1931 in Bradford, aged 78.  It could, however, be merely a coincidence of name, place and time.


When he arrived in England is unclear, but it was by 1881 at the latest.


The 1881 census found “Charles” Quarkowsky as one of four people lodging with 54-year-old widowed boarding-house keeper Sarah A. Gledhill and her four daughters, at 5 Chester Street, Bradford.  “Charles” was described as a 28-year-old Berlin-born “correspondent (clerk)”.  In the absence of any “Charles” Quarkowsky in later censuses, it’s reasonable to assume “Charles” is the Christian Ludwig Adolph Carl Quarkowsky who features in later records.


In the first quarter of 1888, there was registered at Bradford the marriage between “Christian L. A. C. Quarkowsky” and Margaret Helen Pattinson, who was born 1855/56, in Bradford.


The couple appear to have had only one child, Elsie Johanna Quarkowsky, born 29/07/1889, in Bradford.


On Saturday 20/01/1891 (or a later year) he appeared as a visitor at a meeting of Leeds Philatelic Society (formed May 1890), where he exhibited “a number of Wurtemburg official envelopes.” (The Philatelic Record, vol. 16.)


Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1891, listed Carl Quarkowsky, buyer, 41 Wood View, Bradford.


The 1891 census accordingly found 38-year-old Prussian-born Christian L. A. C. Quarkowsky, 35-year-old Bradford-born Margaret H. Quarkowsky, and 1-year-old Bradford-born Elsie J. Quarkowsky, living at 41 Wood View, Manningham, Bradford.  This was the Quarkowsky residence for forty more years.  Our man was described as a yarn-buyer, and was specifically stated as “not British subject”.  They had one live-in servant.


These two 1891 references demonstrate the equivalence of “Christian L. A. C. Quarkowsky” and “Carl”.


Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1898, listed Carl Quarkowsky, buyer, 41 Wood View, Bradford.


The Quarkowsky household is difficult to pin down in the 1901 census, but clearly they were still at 41 Wood View.


The 1911 census listed his as “Carl Quarkowsky”.  The summary listed “Mr. Quarkowsky” (the summary omitted forenames) living still at 41 Wood View (or Woodview), Manningham, Bradford.  The household was analysed by gender into one male and three females, indicating two parents, a daughter, and a female servant.




Probate records list “Christian Ludwig Adolph Carl Quarkowsky” of 41 Woodview, Manningham, Bradford, dying on 18/04/1931 at Bradford.  Probate was granted on 23/05/1931, at Wakefield, to Margaret Helen Quarkowsky, widow.  He left effects of £1,862 6s. 6d.  The quarterly return to the General Records Office recorded his age at death as 78.


After Death


His widow, Margaret Helen Quarkowsky, moved to 22 Limes Avenue, Morecambe-and-Heysham, Lancashire.  She died, a spinster aged 80, on 05/08/1933.  Probate was granted 14/12/1933 at Lancaster to Elsie Johanna Quarkowsky, spinster.  She left effects of £1,993 15s. 3d.


The death of Elsie Johanna Quarkowski [sic] at age 84, birth bate 29/07/1889, was registered in the second quarter of 1974, at Bradford.




He attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association annual meetings of 1886 and 1889, and the first meeting of the Yorkshire County Chess Club.


He played for Bradford in the Woodhouse Cup.


He played for West Yorkshire in its match with Tyneside and Tees-side at Harrogate in 1888.


He played for Bradford in their match against Liverpool, at Liverpool, in 1890.


He played for Yorkshire against Cheshire in 1896.


. . . and so on.


He was normally referred to as “Charles”, when a forename was spelt out.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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