Yorkshire Chess History



Hildreth Dudley Rockett











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1867, Goole



14/02/1929, York



Non-Chess Life


Hildreth Dudley Rockett’s father was John Humble Rockett (born 1820/21, Selby).  The 1851 census found 30-year-old Selby-born John H Humble living at 2 Barge Dockside, Goole with Brotherton-born John Rockett and his family.  John Rockett was an engineer’s labourer.  John Humble Rockett was a banker’s clerk.


John Humble Rockett married Elizabeth Ann Lloyd (born 1827/28), in 1855, in Goole.  They had at least the following child:


Ada Lloyd Rockett

born Jun/Jul 1856, Goole


Things then went very wrong.  Daughter Ada Lloyd Rockett died on 15/05/1857, aged 10 months, and was buried at St John the Evangelist, the parish church of Goole.  Then wife Elizabeth Ann Rockett died on 04/08/1857, aged 29, and was buried in the same grave.  The burial register gave place of residence as East Parade, presumably 5 East Parade, as below.


John Humble Rockett married Rosa Lyde (born 1835/36, Paignton, Devon) in 1859, in the general district of Totnes (probably Paignton).  The couple had the following children.


Rosa Lyde Rockett

born 1860/61, Goole

Catherine Elizabeth Rockett

born 14/12/1861, Goole

George Lyde Rockett

born 1862/63, Goole

Ada Fanny Rockett

born 1863/64, Goole

Edith Mary Rockett

born 1865, Goole

Hildreth Dudley Rockett

born 1867, Goole


Catherine's date of birth comes from the Bible she was given on her 8th birthday, that Bible being in turn passed to Michael Simpkins (nephew of brother George's wife), who received that Bible on his 9th birthday.


There were two children by the name of Rockett who died while resident in East Parade, and were probably members of this family, both buried at St John the Evangelist, the parish church of Goole.  These were Ada “Lloyd” (presumably really “Lyde”) Rockett, died aged 10 months, buried on 18/04/1857 (born May/June 1856), and Hilda Rockett, who also died aged 10 months, and was buried in the same graveyard on 04/05/1867 (born June/July 1866).


The 1861 census found John Humble Rockett, Rosa Rockett and 3-month-old Rosa Lyle Rockett living at 5 East Parade, Goole, which was about 50 yards from the bank of the River Ouse.  Apart from the Peacock public house on the west corner of East Parade and North Street, all the property from that time has been demolished and the area redeveloped.


The birth of Hildreth Dudley Rockett was registered in the third quarter of 1867, at Goole.  The name Hildreth is curiously reminiscent of Hilda, the name of the infant who had died on in May 1867, as though Hildreth, having been born a few months after Hilda died, was named after Hilda.


The 1871 census found the two parents and above six children living with a governess and five servants at the York City & County Bank, 5 & 6 East Parade, Goole.  Father John was the bank manager, and a land owner.  The children were all scholars.


The father, John Humble Rockett, died on 20/02/1881, aged 59, and was buried on 24/02/1881 at St John the Evangelist, with his first wife and their daughter.  He was listed in the burial register as resident at Snaith Hall, suggesting he’d retired during the previous ten years, and moved home.  If the family had moved to Snaith Hall, then they soon moved back to Goole.  (The gravestones and monuments, except one, were removed from the churchyard in 1964, but, before the clearance, a list of monumental inscriptions was compiled, usually including dates of death – now held in Doncaster Archives.)


The 1881 census found the family had moved out of the bank premises and now lived at 8 Burlington Crescent, Goole, only a short distance from the bank.  The site is now part of a long-stay car park.  Widowed Rosa still had Rosa junior, George, Edith and Hildreth living with her, and had one live-in servant.


The 1891 census found the same four children living with their mother, now at 36 Burlington Crescent, Goole, a terraced property which remains today.  Rosa, Catherine and Ada were all governesses, while George and Hildreth were both bank clerks.  There were now two servants.


At some time from 1891 to 1901, our man, Hildreth Dudley Rockett, moved to Sheffield, presumably for a better job as a bank clerk.  Accordingly, the 1901 census found him as a 33-year-old Goole-born bank clerk lodging at 11 Leavygreave, Sheffield, with 39-year-old Bradford-born Criquette Moderata Malaingre, a French-wine agent.  Also lodging at the same address was Gerald D. Finlaison, a Hampstead-born brewer.  Kelly’s Sheffield & Rotherham Directory dates 1908 described Miss Malaingre still at Levy Greave, and by occupation, more specifically, as agent to Jules Bouffard of Bordeaux.


At some time from 1908 to 1911, Miss Malaingre seems to have ditched the wine trade and taken to letting apartments as her main occupation.  The 1911 census thus found her as a letter of apartments, living at The Chase, 4 Claremont Place, Sheffield, with a lodger and two servants.  The lodger was our man, 43-year-old bank clerk Hildreth Dudley Rockett.  Miss Malaingre had apparently aged only seven years in the last decade, being recorded in the census as 46 years of age.


Our man seems to have move from 4 Claremont Place in 1911 or 1912, as White’s directory of Sheffield & Rotherham dated 1912 listed Miss Malaingre’s lodger no longer as Hildreth Dudley Rockett, but as Charles N. Daniels, United States consul.  (Miss Malaingre herself was no longer listed at 4 Clarendon Place in 1916, and had apparently moved to 33 Beech Hill Road at some time from 1912 to 1914.)


By 1919 Hildreth had become an admiralty temporary clerk, presumably as a result of the First World War.


Probate records say Criquette Moderata Malaingre of 33 Beech Hill, Sheffield, spinster, died on 26/02/1919, and administration of her estate fell to Hildreth Dudley Rockett, admiralty temporary clerk, (of no stated address) as her executor.  The death was recorded in the first quarter of 1919 at Ecclesall Bierlow (part of Sheffield), giving her age as 61, suggesting she was really 41 rather than 39 in 1901, and 51 rather than 46 in 1911.




The Yorkshire Telegraph & Star of 05/01/1929 reported, “Mr. H. D. Rockett, one of the oldest and best-known players in Sheffield, is ill in York.  He went there for a Christmas holiday, and had to enter a nursing home for an internal operation.”  He was presumably visiting his chess-playing brother George Lyde Rockett.  Whatever the problem was, it seems it did not go away.


Hildreth Dudley Rockett died, aged 61, on 14/02/1929, at York.  The funeral service was held at noon on 16/02/1929 at St. Maurice’s Church, York, and was followed by interment in the Park Section of York Cemetery.


The Sheffield Daily Telegraph of Saturday 14/02/1929 carried in its “Deaths” column a notice of the death, describing the deceased as “Hildreth Dudley Rockett, of Sheffield, younger son of the late John Humble Rockett, of Goole.”




In Hull Church Institute’s first season playing in the Woodhouse Cup, 1890-91, “H. D. Rockett” played in the last two of the team’s matches.  Our man was resident at Goole at this time.  Was he playing for Hull Church Institute in the Woodhouse Cup?


From around the turn of the century (1900) to the First World War, “H. D. Rockett” was a prominent player in the Sheffield league and in Sheffield’s Woodhouse Cup, and he also represented Yorkshire in county matches.


He drew his game in a simultaneous display by Capablanca in Sheffield in 1919.


He won the Sheffield Championship three times before 1919[1], and a further three times in 1922, 1923 and 1927.


Brother G. L. Rockett played for Leeds St. Martin’s and for Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup.  On 08/03/1902, the two played each other in a Woodhouse Cup match; Hildreth Dudley Rocket won.




Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 09/10/1919, p.5., penultimate col.





Copyright © 2013, 2015, 2017 Stephen John Mann

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

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