Yorkshire Chess History



Francis Wallis and Edward Wallis











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site








13/05/1852, Scarborough (area)





1905, Scarborough


25/06/1922, Scarborough





Identity of the Chess-Player


Identifying a little-known chess-player with a relatively indistinctive name will always leave room for doubt, unless an item of chess-related information ties in with biographical data.  In this instance “E. Wallis” of Scarborough would appear to be this Edward Wallis, in the absence of other evident candidates in censuses or directories.  This identification becomes more convincing when combined with the fact that his father was called Francis, and that an “F. Wallis” was a sometime president of Scarborough Chess Club.


Non-Chess Life


Edward Wallis was born on 13/05/1852, to Francis Wallis (born 1825/26) and Sarah Ann Wallis (née Jeffrey).  The birth was registered at Scarborough, implying the birth took place in or near Scarborough.


White’s General Directory of Kingston-upon-Hull, and York &c, 1851, listed Francis Wallis, corn factor, seedsman, etc., at 2 Friarage, Scarborough.  This looks like Edward Wallis’s father.


The family is elusive in the 1861 census.


The 1871 census found 18-year-old Scarborough-born Edward Wallis as a live-in grocer’s assistant in the household of grocer Richard Field, at 11 Market Place, Hull.


The marriage of Edward Wallis to Annie Johnson was registered in the first quarter of 1877, at St. George’s, Hanover Square, London.  Edward and Annie had five children, all born at Scarborough:


Eleanor G. Wallis

born 1877/78

Edward Arnold Wallis

born Apr/May1880

Arthur S Wallis

born 1881/82

Dorothea Wallis

born 1883/84

Annie Mabel Wallis

born 1885/86


Edward Arnold Wallis was recorded as “Edward A. Wallis” in the 1881 census, but thereafter was usually recorded as “E. Arnold Wallis”, suggesting he was normally called “Arnold”, avoiding confusion with his father.


The 1881 census found parents and first two children living with two servants at 8 Londesborough Terrace, Falsgrave, Scarborough, which was presumably on Londesborough Road.  Edward was described as a junior partner in a firm of bread bakers and corn merchants.


The 1891 census found parents and youngest four children (not Eleanor) living with three servants at Spring Field, 4 West Parade Villas, Scarborough, which was on West Parade Road, about a quarter of a mile inland from the railway station.  Edward was now a grocer.


The 1901 census found parents Edward and Annie living with children Eleanor, Arnold and Arthur still at West Parade Villas, Scarborough. Edward was still a grocer.  Wife Annie was a schoolmistress.  Arnold and Arthur were grocer’s apprentices.  (At some time from 1891 to 1894, fellow chess-player Charles Empson Simpson and family had moved from York to the house next door.)


The 1911 census found parents Edward and Annie living with children Eleanor, Arnold and Annie Mabel, and two servants, at 4 West Parade Road, the same address they’d been living at since 1891 or before.  Edward described himself as a “grocer, baker &c”.  Eleanor lectured on Sunday school work, on behalf of the Sunday School Union.  Arnold was a grocer’s bookkeeper.  Annie Mabel had no occupation.  The return said Edward and Annie had been married for 34 years and had had five children who were all still living.




Francis Wallis died aged 79, in 1905, at Scarborough.


Edward Wallis died, aged 70, on 25/06/1922, at Scarborough.


Chess (Francis)


In a report on a pre-season meeting of Scarborough Chess Club on Tuesday 16/10/1883, the Leeds Mercury of 20/10/1883 tells us “F. Wallis” presided.


“F. Wallis” played seven boards below “E. Wallis” in the Whitby v Scarborough match on 21/02/1894.


Chess (Edward)


“E. Wallis” was also a member of Scarborough Chess Club, and appeared in matches for Scarborough, such as the Whitby v Scarborough match on 21/02/1894.


He also represented Yorkshire, at least in the 1883 Yorkshire v Lancashire match.


He played bottom board (no. 106), as a spare reserve paired against an opposing spare reserve, in the 1893 North v South match.


He was hon. sec. of the local organising committee for the 1909 British Chess Federation congress held in Scarborough.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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