Yorkshire Chess History



Henry Hoyer Waight











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1834/35, Holborn, Middlesex


17/05/1835, St. Giles‑in‑the‑Fields, Holborn


03/07/1901, Halifax



Non-Chess Life


The parents of Henry Hoyer Wright were Brownlee John Waight (born 1800/01, Marylebone) and Elizabeth Mary Waight (née Palmer, 1799/00, St. Giles-in-the Fields, Holborn, Middlesex).  This couple had at least the following four children:


Elizabeth M Waight

born 1829/30, St. Giles‑in‑the‑Fields, Holborn

Frances A Waight

born 1830/31

Henry Hoyer Waight

born 1834/35, St. Giles‑in‑the‑Fields, Holborn

Clara H Waight

born 1836/37, St. Giles‑in‑the‑Fields, Holborn


Entry number 4875 in the baptism register of St. Giles-in-the Fields, Holborn, records the baptism on 17/05/1835 by Robert Flower of Henry Hoyer Waight, son of Brownlow John Waight, bookseller, and Elizabeth Mary Waight, of 265 High Holborn.


The 1841 census found the parents, four children and a servant living at High Holborn (presumably number 265 still).  The father, Brownlow, was a bookseller.


The 1851 census found the family, now without Frances, living at 128 London Road, Southwark, Surrey.  The father, Brownlow, had either a sense of humour or a new occupation as he was now described as a timber merchant rather than a bookseller.  16-year-old Henry was a clerk in commercial docks (as opposed to naval docks).


Young Henry must fairly soon have developed a hankering for more excitement than the dock offices offered, as he joined the army.  The 1861 census accordingly found 26-year-old Henry as an unmarried soldier living at Chichester Barracks.


Around 1867 he got married to Harriet Ann (surname Mills) (born 1841/42, Chichester, Sussex).  the couple had at least the following children:


Henry Hoyer Waight

born 1867/68, Chatham

Brownlow John Waight

born 1870/71, India

Alfred Waight

born 1874/75, Halifax

Louisa Beatrice Waight

born 1878/79, Halifax

baptised 01/11/1880

Frederick Tom Waight

born c. 1883/84, Halifax

baptised 14/04/1884


The first two children were named after their father and paternal grandfather respectively.


The place of birth of the first child suggests the family had moved by 1868 to Chatham, Kent.


The place of birth of the second child makes it evident Henry senior had been posted to India, and had taken the mem-sahib and children with him..  Accordingly, the family is, seemingly, missing from the 1871 census.


The birthplace of the third child suggests the family had returned to “blighty” by 1875, and had settled in Halifax.


An article in the Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1877, pp. 186-187, gave his address as 31 Clement Street, Halifax.


Entry 611 in the baptism register of St. Augustine’s, Halifax, records the baptism, on 01/11/1880, by J. W. Hall, of Louisa Beatrice Waight, daughter of Henry Hoyer Waight, drill master, and Harriet Ann Waight, of 31 Clement Street, Halifax.  The father’s occupation makes it clear that he was still in the army.


The 1881 census found the parents and first four of their above children living at 31 Clement Street, Halifax.  46-year-old father Henry was by occupation still a drill master, while 13-year-old son Henry was a bookbinder.


Entry 3054 in the baptism register of All Souls, Haley Hill, Halifax, records the baptism, on 14/04/1884, of Frederick Tom Waight, son of Henry Hoyer Waight, drill master, and Harriet Ann Waight, of 2 Derby Street, Halifax.


The Waights seem elusive in the 1891 census.  They were probably lurking somewhere in Halifax, but it is possible the parents, and younger children at least, had moved by then to Scotland.


The marriage of Henry Hoyer Waight was registered in the third quarter of 1892 at Halifax.


The 1901 census found 66-year-old Henry Wright, now an army pensioner, and 59 year-old Harriet Ann Wright, living at 17 Murdoch Terrace, Edinburgh.




Henry Hoyer Waight died, seemingly, on 03/07/1901, at Halifax.




In chess reports he was most often listed simply as “H. Waight” but occasionally as “H. H. Waight”.


The Chess Congress of 1862, edited by Lowenthal, listed “H Waite” as a member of the Managing Committee chaired by Augustus Mongredian, and “Henry Waite” on the Standing Committee, but not on the Co-operative Committee, the latter being the only one where home towns were given.  Our man was resident on the south coast or in Kent around the time in question, so this may be he.


He attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1876, 1887 and 1888.


An article in the Chess Player’s Chronicle of 1877, pp. 186-187, listed him as one of 28 players in a team representing Britain in a correspondence match with America.


He played in the 1883 Yorkshire-Lancashire match, the 1884 Lancashire-Yorkshire match, the 1887 Yorkshire-Lancashire match, the 1889 Lancashire-Yorkshire match, and the 1890 Yorkshire-Lancashire match.


He was the Halifax representative at the meeting in 1885 where the Yorkshire County Chess Club was formed.


“Waight” played in the Amateur Championship Tournament of the British Chess Association Congress, Bradford, 1888.


He played in the 1888 West Yorkshire v Tyneside & Tees-Side match.


He played for Bradford in the Bradford v Liverpool match of early 1890, which looks a little odd.


He won the Yorkshire Championship of 1893-94, but lost in the first round the following year, at which time he was president of Halifax Chess Club.


He played on board one (presumably because he was Yorkshire Champion at the time the team was selected) of the West Yorkshire Chess Association team which played against Sussex in a correspondence match in 1895.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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