Yorkshire Chess History



Robert Colledge Swinn











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1845/46, Hull



1919, Hull



Non-Chess Life


The parents of Robert Colledge Swinn were Frederick Swinn (born 1815/16, Hull) and Ruth Swinn (born 1815, Hull), who had at least the following eight children, all except possibly John being Hull-born:


Sophia C Swinn

born 1837/38,  Hull

John Swinn

born Jul/Aug 1840

Ann C Swinn

born 1843/44,  Hull

Robert Colledge Swinn

born 1845/46,  Hull

Susanna C Swinn

born 1847/48,  Hull

Frederick C Swinn

born Oct/Nov 1850,  Hull

Elizabeth C Swinn

born 1853/54,  Bradford

William C Swinn

born 1856/57,  Bradford


John probably had a middle initial “C”, as all his siblings are listed in one census of another with a middle initial “C”.  One imagines it stood uniformly for “Colledge”, which was perhaps mother Ruth’s maiden name.


The birth of Robert Colledge Swinn was registered at Sculcoates, Hull, in the first quarter of 1846 (so he could have been born in late 1845).


The 1841 census found father Frederick Swinn as a cabinet-maker at Swift’s Yard, Doncaster.  Living with him there were his wife, Ruth, 3-uyear-old Sophia and 10-month-old John.  Quite how the family came to be in Doncaster is unclear, but it seems likely John was born there.


The 1851 census found Ruth Swinn with Sophia, Ann, Robert, “Susannah”, and 4-month-old “Frederic” at 9 John’s Square, East Sculcoates, Hull.  Ruth was listed a married (not widowed) and a cabinetmaker’s wife.  Father Frederick was presumably away from home at the time.  The four oldest children were scholars.


Over the period 1853 to 1857 both Elizabeth and William were born in Bradford, rather implying the family was resident for a few years in Bradford.  Neither White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford &c, 1854, nor Lund’s Bradford Directory, 1856, listed anyone called Swinn, but that may be because Frederick Swinn was in the employment of another person.


The 1861 census found the family had moved to 57 Staniforth (?) Place, Myton, Hull.  Living with the parents were Robert, Susanna, Frederick, Elizabeth and William.  Father Frederick was still a cabinetmaker, while all five children were scholars.


The 1871 census found the family now on the east bank of the River Hull, at 15 Witham, Sutton, Hull.  Frederick had taken a turn in his line of business, and was now bacon factor.  Robert was a shoemaker, while Frederick was a shopman in a grocery concern.  William was a scholar.  Exceptionally, this census claimed father Frederick was born in Louth, Lincolnshire.


The death of mother Ruth, aged 65, was registered in the fourth quarter of 1880.


The 1881 census found widower Frederick Swinn had joined son Robert’s line of business by becoming a boot-maker, employing 4 men and one boy.  Father Frederick and son Robert were living at 15 Witham, with robert’s married sister, Susanna C. Thisleton (no “t” used), who was a shopkeeper’s assistant, and her 10-year-old daughter Ada who was a scholar.


White’s Hull directory of 1882 listed father Frederick Swinn still as a provision dealer at 2 Lowgate, with his home at 11 Pendrill Street; also Frederick C. Swinn, butter, poultry and egg dealer, at 11 Grimsby Lane; also Robert Colledge Swinn, boot- and shoe-maker at 15 Witham, with his home at 12 Pendrill Street, Beverley Road.


The father, Fredrick Swinn, died on 18/06/1889 at Hull.  The executors of his will were Robert College Swinn of 12 Pendrill Street, boot-maker, and Charles Albert Brewer of 9 Pendrill Street, oil-refiner.


The 1891 census found brothers Robert and William Swinn living at 25 Pendrill Street, Hull, with their married (not widowed) sister Susanna c. Thistleton and her daughter Ada, who was a civil service clerk, more specifically a telegrapher.


The 1901 census found brothers Robert and William Swinn had moved to Barrow-on-Humber, Lincolnshire, which despite its name is a couple of miles from the Humber itself.  Robert was now a retired shoemaker, while William was a poultry farmer.


The 1911 census found brothers Robert and William back in Hull, at 37 Pendrill Street.  Both brothers were still single.  Robert was a retired boot-maker while William was a “boot repairer  when employed”, working on his own account.




The death of Robert Colledge Swinn was registered in the second quarter of 1919, at Sculcoates, Hull.




In retirement, Robert Colledge Swinn was a regular member of Hull’s Woodhouse Cup team, usually in the lower half of the board order.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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