Yorkshire Chess History



Sydney Peverill Turnbull











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



24/09/1868, Scarborough




17/11/1948, Wimbledon




Non-Chess Life


The parents of Sydney Peverill Turnbull were Henry Turnbull (born 1840/41, Hackness) and Fanny Turnbull (1841/42, York).  Henry Turnbull was a brother of William Peverill Turnbull, under whose name further family background can be found.


The 1861 census had listed Henry living at his parents’ home, working as an articled accountant’s clerk.


Henry got married his wife Fanny Clarke (born 1841/42, York), daughter of Joseph Clarke, around 1864/65.  They had at least the following eight children, all born at Scarborough:


Lucy Peverill Turnbull

birth reg. Q4 1865

Mabel E Turnbull

born 1867/68

Sydney Peverill Turnbull

born 24/09/1868

Henry Lesley Turnbull

born Oct/Nov 1870

Fanny Clarke Turnbull

birth reg. Q4 1872

Hilda Mary Turnbull

birth reg. Q2 1875

Robert Cyril Turnbull

born 1876/77

William Andrew Turnbull

birth reg. Q4 1878


The 1871 census found Henry and Fanny living with the first four children and four servants living at 9 Grosvenor Terrace, Scarborough.  Grosvenor terrace appears to have been a terrace on Grosvenor Road.  Father Henry was now a solicitor in his own right, a partner in Moody, Turnbull & Co.


The 1881 census found the parents, all eight children, Fanny’s 70(-ish)-year-old mother, Sarah Clarke, one boarder and five servants, living at East Bank, Grosvenor Road, Scarborough.  This may have been the same address as in 1871 or in 1891, expressed differently.  It was about 500 yards from where chess-player Rev. William Thorold lived.  Father was still a solicitor.  12-year-old Sydney was still at home.


At some stage during the 1880s Sydney was packed off to boarding school, at King William’s College, Isle of Man.  There he was prepared to follow his paternal uncles John and William to Cambridge.  He was admitted to Trinity Hall in 1887, where he matriculated at Michaelmas, 1887.  He got his BA in 1890.  He was only 16th Wrangler, whereas uncle William was 2nd Wrangler.


The 1891 census found mother Fanny, Fanny’s widowed mother, Sarah Clarke (born 1808/09, York) and all the children except Mabel and Henry, living with a boarder and three servants at 13 Grosvenor Road, Scarborough.  Fanny was married rather than widowed, so father Henry must have been away on business or something.


In 1891 Sydney had been a law student.  He qualified as a solicitor in 1894, and entered practice in Scarborough with Turnbull and Sons.


In 1898/99, Sydney married Alice Fanny Fearon (born 1869/70, Pimlico. London) daughter of Francis Fearon.  The couple had at least the following three children, all Scarborough-born:


Mary Mabel Turnbull

born 1899/90

Evelyn Hilda Turnbull

born 1901/02

Francis Fearon Turnbull

born 1905/06


The 1901 census found Sydney, Fanny, 1-year-old Mary and two servants living at 8 Granville Square, Scarborough. Sydney was a solicitor still.


The 1911 census found the Sydney, Fanny, and the above three children living with a governess and two domestic servants living at Norbury, Mountside, Scarborough.  Sydney was still a solicitor.  Mary was a student.


In time Sydney became a Justice of the Peace for the North Riding of Yorkshire.




Sydney Peverill Turnbull died at 13 Hillside, Wimbledon, Surrey, on 17/11/1948.  Administration of his estate was granted to Francis Fearon Turnbull, civil servant.  His effects, rather surprisingly, totalled only £120.


An obituary appeared in The Times of 20/11/1948 (unseen).




Sydney Peverill Turnbull played for Scarborough in matches, examples being those against Whitby on 22nd February 1893, 21st February 1894 and 25th April 1894, but he never seems to have played at a higher level, and was probably weaker than his uncle, William Peverill Turnbull.


Sydney’s brother, Robert Cyril Turnbull, similarly played for Scarborough, at least in the match against Whitby on 22nd February 1893.


Sources include:

the usual census and birth/marriage/death sources

Venn (Cambridge Alumni)





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

Last Updated