Yorkshire Chess History



Harry Arthur Hamilton Carson & Herbert William Carson











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


Harry Arthur Hamilton Carson


Herbert William Carson


19/07/1866, Islington



09/10/1870, Valentia, Co. Kerry


09/08/1866, St Pancras





1952, Witney, Oxfordshire



1930, Marylebone







Non-Chess Life


The parents of these two brothers were James Hamilton Carson (born 1840/41, Stafford) and Caroline Elizabeth Carson (née Sharpe, 1840/41, London) who had at least the following children:


Harry Arthur Hamilton Carson

born 09/08/1866, Islington

Frank Murray Carson

born 25/01/1868, Valentia, Co. Kerry

Herbert William Carson

born 09/10/1870, Valentia, Co. Kerry

Helen Alice Carson

born 1872, Stoke Newington


Valentia is the main settlement on the Island of Valentia, which is off the coast of County Kerry in what is now the Irish Republic, and was the point of landfall of a transatlantic telegraph cable.  The father, James Hamilton Carson, worked for a telegraph company, and evidently the whole family spent some time living there, explaining the place of birth of Frank and Herbert.


The family returned to London in 1870 or 1871.  (Herbert is recorded as living 24 of his first 25 years in London.)


The 1891 census found the parents, four children and a servant living at 14 St. John’s Park, Islington.  The father a traffic manager with a telegraph company.  Harry and Herbert appear to have been medical students, while Frank was an iron and hardware merchant.


On 26/01/1906, at St Mary the Virgin, Great Ilford, Harry married Alice Maude Gadsdon, born 1878/79 in Ilford, Essex, daughter of George John Gadsdon.


The 1901 census found Herbert still living at the parental home with his father, sister Helen, 25-year old cousin Helen Mary Sharpe, and two servant at 135 Upper Clapton Road, Hackney, London.  Father was still a cable telegrapher, and Herbert was a surgeon.  Harry is elusive in the 1901 census.


The 1911 census found Harry, wife Maude, one-year-old daughter Hilary living with three servants at 13 Hammond Terrace, West London.  Harry was a journalist, and so perhaps did not make if through medical school.


Meanwhile, the 1911 census found unmarried Herbert still living at the parental home with his father, 51-year-old widowed aunt Emily Sharpe and two servants, at 26 Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, London.  Harry was still a surgeon.


Herbert married Mary Willis in 1912, in the Chesterton district of Cambridgeshire.


It seems that in time, Herbert ended up residing in Harley Street.  Meanwhile, Harry seems to have ended up in Oxfordshire.




Herbert William Carson, then of 111 Harley Street, St Marylebone, Middlesex, died on 31/08/1930, at 3 Devonshire Terrace, St Marylebone.  Probate was granted to his wife Mary.  He left £18,185 1s 5d.


Brother Frank Murray Carson died in 1939, age 69, Blean district, Kent


Harry Arthur Hamilton Carson died in 1952 in or near Witney, Oxfordshire.


Sister Helen Alice Carson died 1846/47, age 73, Dartford district




A biographical article on page 242-243 of the 1896 BCM, which calls Herbert “W. H. Carson” (switching his initials round), says Herbert was taught chess by his father in 1888.


In 1891 Herbert joined the City of London Chess Club.


The brother were for some time both members of the Athenaeum Chess Club in London.  When both played in the same team, Harry was normally on the higher board.


Herbert became secretary of the London Athenaeum Chess Club in 1896.  (On page 226, The 1896 BCM had said “H. W. Carson” was secretary at the Athenaeum Club.  This was re-iterated on 243 while erroneously calling him “W. H. Carson”.)


Both brothers played in the North v South match of 1894, with Harry on board 52, while Herbert was on board 93.





Copyright © 2020 Stephen John Mann

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

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