Yorkshire Chess History



Thomas Stannard Algar











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1825/26, East Harling, Norfolk



12/06/1888, Sheffield



Non-Chess Life


Thomas Stannard Algar was born in 1825/26 at East Harling, Norfolk, about 8 miles ENE of Thetford.  He had siblings including William C. Algar (born 1826/27, East Harling, Norfolk) and Charles C. Algar (born 1844/45[?], Whitley, Berks.)


The 1841 census found Thomas Algar (misspelt “Alger”) at a 15-year-old butcher’s apprentice, lodging in the household of John Dunham, butcher, and his family, at Narrow Street (or possibly the apt Marrow Street), Harleston, Norfolk, very roughly 16 miles east of his place of birth, and about the same distance due south of Norwich.  This road is no lodger evident, perhaps having been widened the form the road now called The Thoroughfare!


His marriage to Elizabeth White Perry (born 1825/26, Reading, Berks.) was registered in the second quarter of 1849, at Reading, Berkshire.  This couple had at least five children:


Mary L. Algar

born Apr/May 1850, Whitley, Berks.

Ellen L.Algar

born 1851, Reading, Berks.

Annie J. Algar

born 1854/55,Sheffield

Kate J. Algar

born 1854/55,Sheffield

Frederick W. Algar

born 1857/58, Sheffield


The ages of Annie and Kate are given as the same in both 1861 and 1871 censuses.  That in itself doesn’t imply they weren’t necessarily twins, merely born within 12 months of each other.  Comparing ages given in 1861 and 1871, and Kaye’s age in 1881, if those ages were all correct, then one has to conclude Annie and Kate were twins born from 04/04/1855 to 07/04/1855.


The 1851 census found Thomas, Elizabeth, their daughter and one servant living at 6 Whitley Crescent, Reading, Berks.  Living with them were Thomas’s brothers William C. Algar and Charles C. Algar.  Thomas had given up butchery and was now an accountant in an agricultural implements factory.


By 1856, the family had moved to Sheffield.  This seems to have coincided with another change in occupation.


Tragedy then struck.  The death of the mother, Ellen L. Algar, was registered in the third quarter of 1860.


The 1861 census found widowed Thomas and his five children living with two servants at 23 Church Street.  Thomas was now a stationer, bookseller and printer.


Thomas took another wife, and his marriage to Eliza Algar Grigham (born 1832, Wortham, Suffolk, 3 miles SW of Diss) was registered in the second quarter of 1863, at Depwade[?], Norfolk.  In view of the bride’s middle name, she would appear probably to be a cousin of the groom.


The 1871 census found Thomas, his second wife, daughters Kate and Annie, and a 13-year-old nephew, John E. Broadbent, living at 23 Church Street, Sheffield.  Thomas was a printer employing five men and two boys.  Nephew John was a scholar.


A change of residence occurred at some time from 1871 to 1881, as the 1881 census found Thomas, Eliza, daughter Kate, nephew John E. Broadbent and 2 servants, living at 315 Fulwood Road.  Thomas was described as a printer and stationer’s manager (sounding a little as if he’d sold ownership of the business).


At some time from 1881 to 1888, the Algars moved to 60 Marlborough Road.




Probate records tell us Thomas Stannard Algar, formerly of Church Street, Sheffield, bookseller, but latterly of 60 Marlborough Road, Sheffield, gentleman, died on 12/06/1888 at 60 Marlborough Road.  His will was proved by Eliza Algar Algar of 60 Marlborough Road.  He left £658 13s 10d.


The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent of Wednesday 13/06/1888 reported his death as follows:


ALGAR. – June 12, at 60, Marlborough road, Moors Oaks, Thomas Stannard Algar, aged 72.


The Sheffield Daily Telegraph of the same date echoed the report.




Thomas Stannard Algar is recorded as a member of Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club over the period 1859 to 1883, in other words virtually all his lifetime spent in Sheffield.  He seems nevertheless never to have graced the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association with his presence, even when they were held in Sheffield.


His services as a printer were used by the Chess Club, as evidenced by the treasurer’s transaction book which records that on

29/01/1856 7 shillings cash was paid to Algar Bros “for cards etc.”


He represented the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club in inter-club matches, such as that versus Arundel Chess Club at the Athenaeum Club on Tuesday 10/04/1883.


He represented the Athenaeum Club in the match Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club v. Rest of the Sheffield & District Chess Association, on Tuesday 17/04 1883.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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