Yorkshire Chess History
Charles Ernest Ferdinand Wall
Though usually known by the German forename Ernst, or its Anglicised “Ernest”, his name in official documents was often Charles Ernest Ferdinand Wall. For general purposes he is here referred to by the usual “Ernest Wall”, for simplicity’s sake.
Ernest Wall was born in 1838/39, in Germany. The1871 census said he was born more specifically in Prussia.
He had arrived in England by 1861, when the census recorded him as a 22-year-old he was a boarder at the home of John Varley. (Full details not to hand.)
On 27/04/1867, at St. Michael’s, Toxteth, Liverpool, Charles Ernest Ferdinand Wall, bachelor of full age, wool merchant of Bradford, son of Frederick Wall, gent, married Rachel Coulter, spinster of full age, of Belvedere Road, Toxteth Park, daughter of Hugh Coulter, stonemason. Rachel had been born in 1843/44 at Liverpool.
The couple had at least the following five children, all born at Bradford:
Entries 335 and 336 of the baptism register of All, Saints, Bradford, record the baptism on 02/07/1869 by Joseph Woodfall Edsworth, of Rachael Christina Wall and Katherine Dora Wall, daughters of Ernest Wall, merchant, and Rachel Wall, of 5 Trinity Terrace, Little Horton Lane, Bradford. The girls’ dates of birth were recorded in the left-hand margin, but were entered the wrong way round, as though Rachel were the older girl, whereas census returns unerringly give Katherine as the older one.
At some time in 1869, Ernest became a naturalised British citizen. (Stated in 1911 census.)
White's Directory of Leeds & the West Riding, 1870, listed Ernst (without a medial “e”) Wall, buyer, living at 19 Claremont (off Great Horton Road), Bradford.
The 1871 census found Ernest, Rachel, 2-year-old Katherine, 1-year-old Rachel, and two servants, living at 19 Claremont, Horton, Bradford. Ernest was a yarn merchant. Ernest was stated to be a naturalised British citizen, which fact was reiterated in subsequent censuses.
Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1879-80, listed Ernest (now with medial “e”) Wall, yarn merchant, living at 19 Claremont, Bradford. It also listed both E. Wall & Co., yarn merchants, at 27 Canal Road, Bradford, and it further listed Ernest Wall, yarn merchant, at Currer Street, Bradford, both of which addresses will have been commercial ones.
The 1881 census found parents, five children, and two servants, still living at 19 Claremont, Horton, Bradford. Ernest was now more specifically described as an export yarn merchant.
Kelly's Directory of Bradford, 1881, listed Ernest Wall living at 19 Claremont, Horton, Bradford. It also listed E. Wall & Co., yarn merchants, at 25 Canal Road, Bradford. (J. Siltzer & Co. had been listed at 23 and 25 Canal in Byles 1879-80.)
Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1883, listed Ernest Wall, yarn merchant, at 19 Claremont, Bradford, and listed E. Wall & Co., yarn merchants, at 25 Canal Road, Bradford.
White's Directory of Bradford, Halifax &c, 1887, listed Ernest Wall, yarn merchant, at 17 Claremont, Bradford, and listed E. Wall & Co., yarn merchants, at 25 Canal Road, Bradford. William Davy, accountant, was now listed at 19 Claremont.
The Wall family is elusive in the 1891 census.
Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1891, still listed E. Wall & Co., yarn merchants, at 25 Canal Road, Bradford, but no Wall was now listed at Claremont. Instead, Ernest Wall, yarn merchant was now listed at 240 Manningham Lane, Bradford. (Even numbers 232 to 240, collectively, were labelled “Laurel Bank”.)
The death of Rachel Wall, aged 49, was registered in the second quarter of 1893, at Bradford.
Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1898, listed Ernest Wall, yarn merchant, living at “Park Royd”, 240 Manningham Lane, Bradford, and E. Wall & Co., yarn merchants, at 25 Canal Road, Bradford.
The 1901 census found Ernest, now a widower, living with two servants at 240 Manningham Lane. His forename was misspelt “Earnest”, and his age was understated by 4 years, at 58. He was still a yarn merchant.
Kelly’s Bradford Directory, 1901, listed Ernest still at 240 Manningham Lane, with the business address at 25 Canal Road.
The 1911 census found 72-year-old Ernest living with three servants at “Park Royd, Bradford” (how Ernest himself recorded it), meaning “Park Royd”, 240 Manningham Lane, Bradford.
Byles’s Post Office Bradford Directory, 1912, listed Ernest Wall, yarn merchant, living at 34 Keighley Road, Bradford, but still with the same business address at 25 Canal Road.
The death of a Charles E. F. Wall was registered in the second quarter of 1914, aged 75, at Knaresborough. This looks like our man. Death registration at Knaresborough meant he was quite likely living in Harrogate.
Kelly’s Bradford Directory, 1917, listed Herbert Taylor & Co, yarn merchants, at his long-standing business address, 25 Canal Road, Bradford.
He attended the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association of 1874, 1876 and 1883.
Post Office Bradford Directory, 1883, under “Clubs”, listed Mr. E. Wall as president of Bradford Chess Club. It was in this capacity that he presided over the 1883 West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting, which was in Bradford.
He played in the 1872 Wakefield-Bradford match.
He played in the 1877 Leeds-Bradford match.
He played in the 1883 Yorkshire-Lancashire match.
Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information