Yorkshire Chess History



John Savile, 3rd Earl Mexborough











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site






25/12/1860, London


03/01/1861, St. Oswald, Methley


He was born 03/07/1783, and was the second child and only son of John, 2nd Earl of Mexborough, and Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Stephenson.


Sons of the Earls of Mexborough were styled Viscount Pollington until acceding to the peerage.  Thus this John Savile was styled Viscount Pollington until 03/02/1830, when he acceded to the peerage on the death of his father, becoming the 3rd Earl of Mexborough (of Lifford).


He was educated at Eton, then was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, on 07/12/1801, going on to matriculate in 1801 and to get his MA in 1803.  (Perhaps as a nobleman be would not be awarded a mere BA, as would be normal before getting an MA.)


He was a major in the Pontefract Volunteer Infantry in 1806-07.


On 29/08/1807 he married Lady Anne Yorke, daughter of Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke.


They had seven children:

John Charles George Savile

(1810‑1899), the later 4th Earl of Mexborough

Henry Alexander Savile


Sarah Elizabeth Savile

(1813‑1890), married Sir James Lindsay, M.P.

Rev. Philip Yorke Savile

(1814‑1897), became chess‑playing rector of Methley

Charles Stuart Savile


Lieutenant Frederick Savile


Rev. Arthur Savile

(1819‑1870), became incumbent at Royston, Cambs.


John, Philip, Charles and Arthur all followed their father to Cambridge.


As the peerage was an Irish one, Lifford being in County Donegal, just outside the Ulster border but near Strabane, Earls of Mexborough didn’t sit in the House of Lords, but one or other held seats in the Commons at various times.


Pontefract returned two MPs until 1841 whereafter it returned only one.  In 1807 John Savile, Viscount Pollington, captured one of the seats, holding it until 1812, when he lost it briefly to the Hon. Henry Lascelles.  The same year he regained the seat, holding it to 1832 when he was replaced by John Gully.  (Venn seems to imply he was not MP from 1827 to 1830.)  His eldest son joined Gully as MP for Pontefract at the 1835 election, then lost it in 1837, but was returned as Pontefract’s only MP in 1841.


His main residence was at Methley Park to the east of Leeds.  Methley is about two-and-a-half miles WNW of Castleford, on the road to Rothwell and eventually Leeds.




John Savile, 3rd Earl Mexborough, died 25/12/1860 at the age of 77, and was buried at St. Oswald, Methley, on 03/01/1861.  The usual officiate at Methley burials, as evidenced by the burial register, was John Savile’s 3rd son, the Hon. and Rev. Philip Yorke Savile, rector of Methley, but on this occasion the burial was conducted by John Bell M.A., vicar of nearby Rothwell.




He attended the Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1843 and 1845.


His third son, the Hon. and Rev. Philip Yorke Savile was more visible as a chess-player than he was.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

Last Updated