Yorkshire Chess History



James John Shields











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1868, Hull



31/03/1932, Willerby, nr. Hull



Non-Chess Life


The parents of James John Shields were Thomas Shields (born 1831/32, Hull) and Susannah Shields (born 1834/35, Donington on Bain, Lincs., about 10 miles SW of Louth).  The couple had at least the following seven children, all born in Hull:


Richard Shields

born 1857/58

Joseph Shields

born 1858/59

Melicent Shields

born 1865/66

James John Shields

born 1868/69

Thomas Shields

born Aug/Sep 1870

Robert Shields

born 1872/73

John Shields

born 1875/76


The apparent hiatus in childbirths between second and third child suggests maybe the first two were from a previous marriage of Thomas.


The 1871 census found parents and first five of the above children living at 4 Foster’s Buildings, in the Holy Trinity part of Hull.  Father Thomas was an “engine driver” in a soapworks, which may have meant “machine operator” as the 1891 census said the engine was stationary.  Richard was an office boy.  Joseph and “Melicent” (Millicent?) were scholars.


The 1881 census found the family still at 4 Foster’s Buildings, with father Thomas still a soapworks engine driver.  Of the children, only James, Robert and John were listed in their parents’ household.  Richard and Joseph had quite likely left home, being in their early twenties, but the fate of Thomas seems likely to have been infant mortality.


The 1891 found the household of two parents and the same three sons had moved to 95 Damsome(?) Lane, Sutton-upon-Hull, which was perhaps the modern Dansom Lane and Dansom Lane South, Hull.  Father Thomas was a “stationary engine driver”, presumably still in the soapworks.  Our man, Thomas J Shields, was now a solicitor’s clerk.  Robert was a printer’s apprentice machinist, and John was a black-lead manufacturer’s clerk.


James John Shields’s marriage to Esther Burn Whitaker (born 1869/70, Hull) was registered in the third quarter of 1894.  The couple had at least one child, Thomas Arthur Shields, born 1898/99, at Hull.


The 1911 census found John James Shields living with his wife and son at 3 Tavistock Street, Hull.  The return stated they had had only the one child.  James was now a collector of poor and corporate rates.  Son Thomas was a scholar.


By 1932, James John Shields had moved to York House, Carr Lane, Willerby, which is just outside Hull, but, like Cottingham, is part of the built-up area centred on Hull.




James John Shields of York House, Carr Lane, Willerby, died on 31/03/1932, aged 63.  Probate was granted to Esther Burn Shields, widow.  His effects totalled £1,659 15s 1d.




He was secretary of Hull Chess Club in 1896.


He was playing for Hull in the Woodhouse Cup from 1901-02 (or earlier) and for Yorkshire in county matches from 1899-00 (or earlier).


The latest county match of which details are to hand, containing his name, is Yorkshire v Surrey, semi-final match in the English Counties’ Championship, played Saturday 11th October 1924, at St Bride’s Institute, London.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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