Yorkshire Chess History



Eugène Joseph Wacheux











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1837/38, France



03/10/1898, London



Non-Chess Life


Strictly, the penultimate “e” of Eugene, in French, has a grave accent, but it didn’t get used most of the time in the UK, and is omitted here in most cases.


The 1881 census tells us Eugene Joseph Wacheux was born in France.  Although modern French lacks a letter “w”, the letter used to exist in older forms of French.  The name Wacheux is believed to be of old French or Walloon origin, and it occurs predominantly in northern France and southern Belgium.


Prior to setting up home in Leeds, Eugene Joseph Wacheux lived in Dundee, where he was the sole partner in Wacheux & Co., merchants.  It is possible that earlier he was not the sole partner.  The Edinburgh Gazette of 04/04/1873, page 209, reported that the estates of the company and Eugene himself, as partner in the company and as an individual, were sequestrated on the 01/04/1873, by the Sheriff-Substitute of the County of Forfar.  There were later notices in the Edinburgh Gazette relating to the matter.  Presumably, in common parlance, his firm had gone bust.


The Dundee Post Office Directory of 1874-75 listed Eugene Joseph Wacheux, commission merchant, trading from 8 Panmure Street, Dundee, and residing at Bella Vesta Cottage, Perth Road, Dundee.


At some time from 1874 to 1881 he arrived in Leeds.


The 1881 census found 43-year-old France-born Eugene J. Wacheux and his wife 36-year-old London-born Lilly Wacheux living at 23 Carlton Street, Leeds.  Eugene was described as a commercial traveller.


Kelly's Directory of Leeds, 1888, listed Eugene Joseph Wacheux, clerk, living at 36 Well Close Mount, Leeds.  It also listed “E. J. Wacheux (Riley Briggs)”, as a subscriber to the Leeds Royal Exchange.  The directory doesn’t seem to elaborate on “Riley Briggs”.


Kelly’s Directory of Leeds, Sheffield, Rotherham &c, 1893, listed Eugene Joseph Wacheux, yarn merchant, at 21 Upper Mill Hill, Leeds.


White's Directory of Leeds & the Clothing District, 1894, listed Eugene J. Wacheux, flax and hemp merchant, at 21 Upper Mill Hill, Leeds, in the street section, and as a hemp and yarn merchant at the same address in the alphabetical section.




Probate records state that Eugène Joseph Wacheux [with his grave accent],of 6 Archery Terrace, Leeds, commercial traveller, died 03/10/1898, and that probate was granted to Eliza Maria Wacheux, widow.  That doesn’t imply the widow Eliza Maria Wacheux was the relict.  The name does not square too well with “Lilly”.  He left £144 17s 11d.




He played for Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup in 1886.


He played for Yorkshire in the 1887 Yorkshire-Lancashire match.


E. J. Wacheux attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1887, 1888 and 1889.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

Last Updated