Yorkshire Chess History



Frederick Henry Wright











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



Second quarter 1852, Camberwell, Greater London



02/06/1924, Malton, Yorkshire, age 72


05/06/1924, St. Peter & St. George, Sowerby


Frederick Henry Wright’s birth was registered in the second quarter of 1852, at Camberwell, Greater London.


In 1861 the census found him as a nine-year-old, living at Popes Grove, Twickenham, with his father, Henry Wright (born 1806/07, Terrington, Norfolk), his mother, Harriett Wright (born 1808/09, Halifax), and a visiting cousin, thirteen-year-old Mary E. Wright (born at Terrington, Norfolk).  The household also included two servants.  Henry Wright was described merely as “gentleman”.


The 1871 census listed Henry Wright more explicitly as a retired woolstapler, now living at 14 Trinity Place, in his wife’s native Halifax, but as a widower, with son Frederick H Wright, a married daughter, 39-year-old Mary Jane Ingram, and a granddaughter, 10-year-old Twickenham-born Henrietta Wright (which rather suggests Frederick had an older brother).  Again there were two servants.


The 1881 census listed father Henry, with married daughter Mary, and unmarried son F. H. Wright (as he was listed), still at 14 Trinity Place, Halifax.  Frederick was now listed as a woolstapler, following in his father’s footsteps.  There was one servant.  Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, gives the same address, stating it more specifically to be off the street called Blackwall.


On 30th June, 1883, 31-year-old Frederick Henry Wright, a manager of a worsted mill, resident in Wakefield, son of Henry Wright, gent, married  26-year-old Sarah Ward Tolson, of Ilkley, daughter of Joseph Senior Tolson, gent, at St. Margaret’s Ilkley.  The ceremony was conducted by Edward O. Williams, vicar of St. Stephen’s, Leeds.  Sarah Ward Tolson was born 20/11/1856, at Huddersfield, being baptised on 22/12/1856, at St. John the Baptist, Kirkheaton.  The way the groom’s signature in the marriage register slopes backwards, he would appear to have written left-handed.


The couple seem to have taken up residence at Wakefield.  They had at least three children:

Henry Newcome Wright

born 1883/84, born Wakefield

Philip Arton Wright

born 1885/86, born Wakefield

Alice Tolson Wright

born 1889/90, born Thornes


White's Directory of Bradford, Halifax &c, 1887, listed Frederick Henry Wright as a manager living at Thornes, consistent with the birthplace of daughter Alice.


The 1891 census lists 38-year-old F. H. Wright living at Denby Dale Road, Thornes, about a mile to the SSW of the centre of Wakefield.  There were two servants listed.  His wife, Sarah Ward Wright, and the above three children, appear to have been on holiday at this time, as they were recorded at a lodging house, at 6 Imperial Terrace, Blackpool.


The 1901 census, the Wright’s were recorded at Sandal House, Sandal Magna, about 2 miles SSE of the centre of Wakefield.  The boys, who’d be 17 and 15 respectively, were not at home, perhaps being away at school, but eleven-year-old Alice was still with her parents.  There were still two servants.


Our man is hard to find in the 1911 census, but he may have been in Leeds.


By 1924, he was living at West Royd, Malton, Yorkshire.  This is presumably the Malton in North Yorkshire, though “West Royd” isn’t evident thereabouts, as a road or a hamlet.




Frederick Henry Wright, of West Royd, Malton, Yorkshire, died on 2nd June 1924, aged 72, and was buried at St. Peter and St. George, Sowerby, by M. G. Payne.


Probate was granted at London, on 8th July 1924, to Henry Newcome Wright, solicitor, Philip Arton Wright, and Roger Ward Tolson, the latter two being spinners.  The first two names were his sons, and the third will have been a relative of his wife.  He left effects originally declared as £18,475 15s, but this was re-sworn as £18,548 1s. 7d.




He seems to have taken up chess in earnest, visibly at least, on moving to Wakefield in 1883.  He started playing for Wakefield in the Woodhouse Cup, on board 3 in a full team, though sometimes playing on board 1 and captaining the team.  He attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1885, 1888, and 1889.


He was the first winner of the Class A tournament of the Yorkshire County Chess Club, in 1885-86.


He played in county matches, albeit with limited success:

Wright, Frederick Henry  (Yorkshire)


Rutherford, WW (Lancashire), Bradford, 1887

Wright, Frederick Henry (West Yorkshire)


Zollner, LL (Teesside), Harrogate, 1888

Wright, Frederick Henry  (Yorkshire)


Marriott, R (Cheshire), Manchester, 1896

Wright, Frederick Henry  (Yorkshire)


Coates, C (Lancashire), Manchester,1898

Wright, Frederick Henry  (Yorkshire)


Wahltuch, VL (Lancashire), Manchester, 1900

Wright, Frederick Henry  (Yorkshire)


Kenrick, JP (Lancashire), Leeds, 1901


The “A Wright” of Wakefield who attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting of 1889 appears to be no immediate relation.


An F. H. Wright appears playing in the Woodhouse Cup for Leeds around the turn of the century, suggesting the Wakefield player had moved to Leeds.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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