Yorkshire Chess History



Frederick and David Boscovitz











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site




Frederick and David Boscovitz’s arrival on, and departure from, the Yorkshire Chess scene, are somewhat unclear.  They may have come to this country in adulthood, perhaps in conjunction with Bernard Frigor’s business, to sell foreign wool to the West Yorkshire clothing industry.  David seems to have been more immersed in life in this country.  Frederick may have returned to his homeland, or simply moved out of the area.


Private and Business Lives


The 1841 census tells us David Boscovitz was born abroad in 1820/21, and in 1841 was resident in Huddersfield.  The relationship between the two Boscovitzes is unclear.


Baines’s General & Commercial Directory of Leeds, 1834, seems not to list anybody by the name of Boscovitz.


White’s Directory of Leeds & the Clothing District, 1842, listed Frederick Boscovitz as manager for B. [=Bernard] Figdor, with his home at 28 Springfield Place, Leeds.  Bernard Figdor was a “foreign wool merchant”, presumably foreign importer of foreign wool, at 67 Albion Street, Leeds, and 28 Market Street, Huddersfield.  It also listed David Boscovitz as a wool agent living at Halifax Road, Huddersfield.  It also listed Joseph Bates as a wool merchant at 5 Albion Street, with his residence at 52 Springfield Place, Leeds, twelve doors away from FredericBoscovitz.


At some time, Frederick Boscovitz and the above Joseph Bates went into partnership as wool merchants and commission wool agents.  This partnership presumably was started after our man’s stint as manager for Bernard Figdor ended, presumably in 1842.  That being the case, however, the partnership cannot have lasted long as a notice appeared in the London Gazette saying that the partnership had been dissolved by mutual consent on 15th July 1843, and that “each of us will in future carry on business on his own separate account, in distinct parts of the warehouse lately occupied for the partnership business.”


The former partners clearly hadn’t fallen out completely and for good, as our man is cited in a later entry in the London Gazette as acting as witness to an indenture involving Joseph Bates as a creditor of one Matthew Smith, on 21st May 1845.


Frederick was described around this time as an annual subscriber to The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.


White’s Directory of Leeds & the Clothing Districts, 1847, listed David Boscovitz as a wool agent living at Halifax Road, Leeds, but didn’t list Frederick.


Another notice in the London Gazette mentioned David Boscovitz, a wool merchant of Huddersfield, as a party to an indenture dated 16th May 1851.  David Boscovitz had thus moved to Huddersfield from Leeds at sometime from 1847 to 1851.


White’s Directory of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield ..., 1858, listed David Boscovitz as a wool-stapler involved in the company Hahn, Boscovitz and Stavenhagen, at Brook’s Yard, Huddersfield, with his home at home at Harehills.


A Corporal David Boscovitz was a member of the Huddersfield Rifle Corps in 1859.


White’s Directory of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield &c, 1858, listed nobody of the name Boscovitz.


There was a composer called Frederick (or Frédéric) Boscovitz, who was born in 1836 (too late to be our man) and died in 1903.  The Peterborough Examiner reported in 1871 on the visit to Peterborough of “Mr. Frederick Boscovitz, pianist to the King of Portugal.”




Frederick Boscovitz was one of the Leeds committee in the correspondence matches against Liverpool from 1838 to 1841, and he attended the first meeting of the Yorkshire Chess Association.


D. Boscovitz attended the Yorkshire Chess Association meeting of 1843, and the West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting of 1859.  He was at the Huddersfield Chess Club annual meeting of 1861, and was at the opening meeting of the Halifax Chess Club on 3rd October 1868.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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