Yorkshire Chess History



Thomas Boyne











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



22/10/1787, Leeds


21/11/1787, St. Peter’s, Leeds


1847 (reg. Q2), Leeds



“Boyne” of Leeds attended the second meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association, in 1841.  The surname “Boyne” was at the time uncommon in Leeds.  Those bearing the surname were almost certainly all members of a single family whose primary occupation was tobacco-related.  Thomas Boyne born 1787 is most probably the one attending the second YCA meeting.


Non-Chess Life


White’s History, Gazetteer, and Directory, of the West-Riding of Yorkshire, with the City of York and Port of Hull &c, 1837, listed Thomas Boyne and Son, tobacco and snuff manufacturer at 13 Nevile Street, Leeds, with his/their home at Virginia Cottage, Leeds, not more-detailed address being given.  It also listed “Racl” [Rachel or Rachael] Boyne, tobacconist, Bridge End, Leeds.  The 1841 census listed three Boyne households in Leeds, in line with the 1837 directory.


The eldest of those members of the Boyne family who were around in Leeds in 1841 was Thomas Boyne, born 22/10/1787 in Leeds, son of James Boyne, duly baptised on 21/11/1787 at St. Peter’s, Leeds, whose death was registered in Leeds in the second quarter of 1847.  This “Boyne” seems the one most likely to be the chess-player.  His eldest son, William might conceivably be the chess-player, but was too young to be a probable attender of the Yorkshire Chess Association meeting.


Entry number 224 in the marriage register of St. Peter’s, Leeds, records the marriage there, by licence, on 17/05/1806, of Thomas Boyne, tobacconist, to Mary Craven of Bradford, by T.(?) Barber, clerk.


Thomas and Mary were recorded in the 1841 census as living at Virginia Cottage, near Woodhouse, Leeds, and having living with them, besides one servant, the following four children:


William Boyne

baptised 05/04/1815

Charles Boyne

baptised 22/02/1817

Ann Boyne

age “15”

Jane Boyne

age “15”


Thomas Boyne was recorded still as being by occupation a tobacconist.


Also in the 1841 census was “20-year-old” (in round fives) Thomas Boyne who despite his youth was “independent”, living in the household of the Scott family at Albion Street, presumably as a lodger or boarder.  (The 1841 census lacked the detail of later censuses; also, ages were often expressed, as here, in multiples of 5.)  This “Boyne”, being only 20-ish, seems unlikely to have been the one attending the YCA meeting.


The third Boyne household in the 1841 Leeds census was that of 40-year-old Rachael Boyne (quite possibly the widow of a brother of the first above-mentioned Thomas) who had living with her, at Bridge End, the following:


John Boyne

age “15”

Ann Boyne

age “15”


An earlier recorded Boyne was Thomas Boyne born 06/12/1794 son of another Thomas Boyne, baptised 01/03/1795 at St. Peter’s Bramley, and buried there 19/02/1817 after dying aged 22.  This Thomas Boyne born 1794 may have been the husband of Rachael Boyne.  The older Thomas Boyne, who was father of Thomas Boyne born in 1794, may have been a brother of the James who was father of the above-described Thomas Boyne born 1787.




The death of Thomas Boyne was registered in the second quarter of 1847, at Leeds.




As mentioned, “Boyne” of Leeds attended the second meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association held 08/11/1841 at the Corn Exchange Rooms, Upper Westgate, Wakefield.


His age, and  subsequent death in 1847, help explain why we read no more about him.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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