Yorkshire Chess History



Robert Bennison











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1864, Danby



1928 ?



Non-Chess Life


Robert Bennison’s parents were Peter Bennison (born 1832/33, Danby) and Ann Bennison (born 1833/34, Danby) who had at least the following four children, all born at Danby:


John Bennison

born 1860/61

Robert Bennison

born 1864

George Bennison

born 1866/67

Jane Ann Bennison

born 1868/69


Robert Bennison’s place of birth, Danby, is in Eskdale, on the River Esk, North Yorkshire, which flows through Grosmont, amongst other places, en route to Whitby, where it enters the sea.  It is about 12 miles SE of Guisborough and 15 miles west of Whitby, as the crow flies.  Significantly, it was on what is now the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, affording access to Grosmont, about 8 winding miles along the railway line.


The birth of Robert Bennison was registered, seemingly both at Guisborough and Whitby, in the second quarter of 1864.  If his ages as given in census returns were all correct, then Robert Bennison was born on 04/04/1864 or 05/04/1864.


The 1871 census found parents Peter and Ann, Peter’s mother, widowed 78-year-old Danby-born Elizabeth Bennison, and the four children living at Coombs, Danby.  Father Peter was an agricultural labourer.


The 1881 census found brothers John and Robert living in the household of William Harland Raw, at Furnace Farm, Danby.  William Harland Raw was a farmer of 160 acres.  John and Robert were “farm servants”.


The marriage of Robert Bennison to Hannah Heward was registered in the fourth quarter of 1889 at Guisborough.  The couple had one child:


Ann Elizabeth Bennison

born Oct/Nov. 1890, Middlesborough


It appears the newly-weds moved to Middlesborough, where Robert got a job in a shipyard, and daughter Ann Elizabeth Bennison was born.


The 1891 census found the family of three living at 19 [somewhere], Middlesborough, with two lodgers.  Next door lived Danby-born couple, George and Elizabeth Husband.  Robert was a shipyard labourer.


At some time the family returned to the parents’ native Danby.  This was evidently by 1893.


Kelly's Directory of N & E Ridings of Yorkshire, 1893, listed “Grosmont Conservative Association (Robert Bennison, sec.)”.


The 1901 census found the family living at Crosley Gate Farm, Danby.  Robert was a stonemason’s labourer.


The 1911 census found the family, and a lodger, living at “21 Brook Terrace, Ainthorpe, Danby, Grosmont.”  46-year-old Robert Bennison was a bricklayer.  Ainthorpe is barely half a mile from Danby.  Brook Terrace was perhaps on Brook Lane, Ainthorpe.  Grosmont was presumably part of the postal address.


Kelly's Directory of N & E Ridings of Yorkshire, 1913, listed Robert Bennison as a private resident at Ainthorpe.




The death, at age 64, of a Robert Bennison, was registered in the fourth quarter of 1928, at Richmond, North Yorkshire.  This is the only evident death record matching our man, but the name was common enough, and there’s no obvious evidence of this being in fact our man.




“R. Bennison” played regularly for Grosmont against Whitby, as in the Grosmont v Whitby matches of 1884, 1885, 1886, 1889, and 1890 (and presumably other such matches).


He was also one of the Grosmont players drafted into the Whitby team in matches such as the 1894 Malton v Whitby match.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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