Yorkshire Chess History



Tigar of Beverley











Made in Yorkshire



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Pennock Tigar



25/06/1787, Beverley




Identity of the Chess-Player


Among those reported as present at the 1847 Yorkshire Chess Association meeting in Hull were three players from Beverley.  One of these was enigmatically named “Tiger”, with no forename of initials.  This name will have been reported verbally to the person recording such details, and so the spelling may well be attributable to the tacit assumption made by that recorder.


There seemingly were no tigers in Beverley around that time, but there were people of the name “Tigar”.  Whether that was pronounced as “tiger” or as “teegah”, or even to rhyme with “cigar”, is not evident.  In the absence of any evidence of recent foreign origins of the family, and in view of the pronunciation suggested by the spelling of the name in the report, it seems likely “Tigar” was indeed pronounced as “tiger”.


The head of one Tigar family of Beverley was one Pennock Tigar, who attained the office of mayor in Beverley.  At the time of the 1847 meeting, his eldest son would be little over 21 years of age, so this Pennock Tigar seems the strongest candidate for being identified as the chess-player.  However, Pennock Hardwick Tigar and Charles Pennock Tigar are other possible candidates.


Tigars of Beverley


“Pennock” proves to have been a popular forename in the wider Tigar family.  This fact, combined with apparently inaccurate statements of age, make it unclear which records relate to the Pennock Tigar resident in Beverley in 1847.


On 25/06/1787, Pennock Tigar, son of John Tigar and Ann Tigar, was baptised at the Independent Chapel on Lairgate, Beverley.  The date of birth was not given, so the possibility of the childe being relatively old cannot be discounted.


On 03/05/1797, Pennock Tigar, son of William Tigar and Nelly Tigar, was baptised at the Independent Old Meeting House, Scarborough.  The child’s date of birth was recorded as 14/04/1797.


The 1812 poll book listed with voting rights in Beverley (1) Pennock Tigar, a druggist resident in London, (2) John Tigar, a druggist resident in Hull, and (3) William Tigar, an ironmonger resident in Beverley.


Pennock Tigar, druggist of London, was presumably the Pennock Tigar who was buried in the Westminster area on 30/06/1830, so he can presumably be discounted as the chess-player.


The 1837 poll book listed, under Beverley, (4) Pennock Tigar of Grovehill, Beverley, as the only Tigar with voting rights in Beverley.  This suggests the John and William listed in 1812 had died.


The 1840 poll book listed, under Beverley, (4) Pennock Tigar, merchant of Grovehill, Beverley, (5) William Tigar, draper of Lair Gate, Beverley, and (6) John Tigar, mariner, of Saturday Market [a street name], Beverley.


The1841 census found Beverley-born merchant Pennock Tigar living at Grovehill.  His age was given as 50, which in round multiples of 5 equates to the 53 years of age which Pennock Tigar, son of John Tigar of Beverley, would probably have reached.  This Pennock Tigar had a “40”-year-old wife, Charlotte (born 1801/02, Beverley), and the following seven children, all born in Beverley:


Rachell Tigar

born roughly 1825/26

Wardwick Tigar

born roughly 1825/26

Cornelius Tigar

born 1828/29

Matilda Tigar

born 1831/32

Agnes Tigar

born 1833/34

Emily Tigar

born 1836/37

Frederick Tigar

born 1838/39


There was also a “50”-year-old merchant called Pennock Tigar listed in the 1841 census as living at Grimston Street, Hull, with his “15”-year-old son, also called Pennock Tigar.


The 1842 and 1847 poll books continued to list (4) Pennock Tigar, merchant of Grovehill, but also listed (7) Pennock Hardwick Tigar, merchant, of Grovehill, and (8) Charles Pennock Tigar, hosier, Saturday Market.


The 1851 census found 59-year-old Beverley-born Pennock Tigar living still at Grovehill, Beverley, with 49-year-old wife Charlotte, and children Cornelius, Matilda, Emily and Frederick.  Pennock was described as a merchant employing 50 men, and as Mayor of the Borough of Beverley.  Cornelius was a clerk working for his father.  The enumerator seems to have adopted the spelling “Tiger” on this occasion.




The death of Pennock Tigar of Beverley was registered in the third quarter of 1851, at Beverley.




“Tiger” attended the 1847 Yorkshire Chess Association meeting.  This was most probably Pennock Tigar, but could have been Pennock Hardwick Tigar or Charles Pennock Tigar, all resident in Beverley at the time.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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