Yorkshire Chess History



Eliza Mary Thorold











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1835, Barnby Moor, Lincs.


25/07/1835, Blyth, Lincs.


24/01/1904, Bridlington


Priory Church, Bridlington


Non-Chess Life


Eliza Mary Thorold was the sister of chess-players Edmund Thorold and the Rev. William Thorold, and aunt to chess-player the Rev. Michael Edward Thorold.


She was born at Barnby Moor, Lincs., and baptised on 25/07/1835 at Blyth, Lincs.


Her entry in the Blyth baptism register was no. 1411, which recorded the baptism on 25/07/1835 at All Saints, Blyth, of Eliza Mary Thorold, born to Michael Wynne Thorold, gentleman, and Eliza Thorold, of Barnby Moor, by H. Ellershaw(e), officiating minister.  Her date of birth was not given.


Fuller details of the family’s background appear under the entry for brother Edmund Thorold.  The family had arrived in Sheffield around 1844.


She never married, so lived most of her life with her parents or a brother.  The 1851 census found her living with her parents, three brothers, aunt Judith Neville (a widowed landowner) and two servants at Broomfield, Glossop Road, Sheffield.  “Broomfield” was a locality, and the address was probably Mount Villa, as mentioned in brother Edmund’s entry.  Interestingly, her name was given as Elizabeth Thorold, but thereafter she was known as Eliza rather than Elizabeth, even though her mother was called Eliza.  She was Eliza Mary Thorold in her baptism register entry, so this “Elizabeth” must be regarded as incorrect.


The 1861 census found Eliza Mary Thorold living with her parents, aunt Judith and two servants at Mount Villa, Glossop Road, Sheffield.


At some time from 1866 (August or later) to 1868, Eliza and her parents move home from Sheffield to Bridlington Quay.


The 1871 census found Eliza and her parents living at 26 Promenade, Bridlington Quay, on Yorkshire’s coast.  Aunt Judith was no longer listed, but Fanny Thorold, wife of her brother William, was listed with them.


During the next six years both her parents died (details under Edmund’s entry) and by 1881 Eliza Mary Thorold was living with brother William and his wife Fanny at 8 Crown Terrace, Scarborough.


The 1891 and 1901 censuses show her living as head of her own household in Bridlington.  Cook’s directory of Bridlington for 1895 and 1897 gave her address as 23 Promenade, Bridlington, close to where she’d earlier lived with her parents.  Later she moved to 61 Promenade.




On Sunday 24/01/1904, while passing the vicarage, on her way to attend evening service at Holy Trinity Church, Bridlington, accompanied by a friend from London, a Mr. Sharpe [presumably John Ambrose Morton Sharpe], Eliza Mary Thorold stumbled, clutched at the palisading of the vicarage garden, but slipped and fell.  The son of the Rev. W. G. Hulse supported her, but she died there and then without speaking.  Her body was taken back to her house, 61 Promenade.  A Dr. Hutchinson decreed she’d died of “syncope” (loss of blood pressure to the head) – as good a guess as any – and an inquest was deemed unnecessary.


The Hull Daily Mail of 25/01/1904 incorrectly gave her age as 70, whereas it was 68, as given by the Boston Guardian of 02/04/1904, which gave details of her will.  Her joint executors were nephew Richard G. Thorold, of Sutton Bridge, and friend John Ambrose Morton Sharpe, of 15 Talbot Road, Highgate, London.  She left an estate of gross value £6,786 1s 7d.


Eliza Mary Thorold was interred in her parents’ grave at Priory Church, Bridlington.

(Click here for a photograph of the grave.)




“Miss Thorold” played in the Class 4 section, which was specifically a ladies’ section, of the Redcar tournament of 1866, where the Rev Arthur Bolland Skipworth formed the North Yorkshire and Durham Chess Association, which eventually evolved into the Counties Chess Association.  Brother Edmund was playing in the top section.


“Miss E. M. Thorold” finished 8th out of 12 in the Class II tournament at the 1882 Counties Chess Association meeting in Manchester.


On Wednesday 20/05 /1885 “Miss Thorold” played on board 9 for Bath and District against Briston and Clifton, brother Edmund Thorold being on board 1, and fellow ex-Sheffielder Rev. Edward Pelham Pierpoint on board 6.  Whether she was just visiting Edmund, or was temporarily domiciled with him in Bath is unclear.


“Miss Thorold” played on board 12 for Bath in a 20-board match with Wiltshire, on 26/11/1890, at Bath Guildhall, brother Edmund playing on board 1 for Bath.  She did not play in a previous Wiltshire-Bath match in March of the same year, so presumably Eliza was visiting her brother Edmund, at 15 Great Stanhope Street, Bath, at the time of the November match, rather than being resident in Bath, though brief residence in Bath is perhaps a possibility.


“Miss Thorold” entered the first-ever ladies’ international chess tournament, in London 1897 (22/06/1897 to 03/07/1897), organised by the Ladies’ Chess Club that existed in London, in the year of Queen Victoria’s jubilee.  It was a 20-player all-play-all once tournament, and she finished a creditable 3rd out of 20, with 14 points out of 19.  In that connection she was listed by the American Chess Magazine as coming from London, but this may perhaps be simply a reflection of her being from England.


She’d have been about 30 at Redcar, and at that time was resident in Sheffield.


She’d have been about 61 at the London event, and at that time was resident at Bridlington.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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