Yorkshire Chess History



Rev. Richard Garvey











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1812/1813, Northampton



22/04/1869, Snelland, Lincs.



The Reverend Richard Garvey who played chess in Wakefield in the 1840s was the eldest son of the Reverend Richard Garvey (senior) who was born in 1785, in Dublin, and died in 1861.


Richard Garvey junior, our man, was born in 1812/13 in Northampton.


In 1821, Rev. Richard Garvey (senior) became headmaster of Lincoln Grammar School.  [The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol. 129, May 1821.]


Richard junior was admitted as a sizar at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on 12th February 1830.  Brother James later went to Christ’s College Cambridge.


On 11th May 1830, when Rev. R. Garvey (senior) was senior vicar at Lincoln cathedral, his mother died at Lincoln.  [The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol.147.]


Richard junior matriculated in Michaelmas 1831.  He got his BA in 1835, and in the same year was made a deacon, at Lincoln.


On 27th December 1837, at age 21, he married 21-year-old Sarah Fowler (born 1812 to 1816, Owsby, Lincs.), daughter of Thomas Fowler, at Winterton, Lincolnshire, about 4 miles south of the Humber and 4 miles west of the Trent.  The couple had an number of children seemingly including:

Edward Garvey

born very roughly 1826‑ish (pupil in 1841 census)

Sophia Garvey

born very roughly 1826-ish (pupil in 1841 census)

Frances Garvey

born very roughly 1826-ish (pupil in 1841 census)

Richard Garvey

born 1838/39

Thomas Garvey

born 1839/40

William E. Garvey

born 1847/48,Wakefield


In 1838, he went on to get his MA, and was made a priest, at Ripon.


He came to Yorkshire in 1841, to take up the position of vice-principal of a proprietary school in Wakefield (Wakefield Grammar School), becoming principal in 1843, and holding that post to 1848 when he left to take up a career in the priesthood in rural Lincolnshire.


The 1841 census found Richard Garvey, clerk and schoolmaster, living at St. John’s Street, Wakefield, with wife Sarah, their own children, and approximately 35 pupils at the school.  Among the pupils appeared to be some Garveys, Edward, Sophia and Frances, aged “15” by the censuses reporting guidelines.  These were presumably Richard and Sarah’s children.  The younger Richard and Thomas were listed explicitly as their children.


The posts he held after leaving Yorkshire were:

1848-51, rector of St. Clement’s, Saltfleetby, near the Lincolnshire coast,

1851-54, curate of St Mary’s, Mablethorpe, on the Lincolnshire coast,

1854-61, (a gap in the information given by Venn)
rector of Saltfleetby, per directory evidence,

1861-69, rector of Snelland (appointment reported May 1861 – Venn incorrectly says 1862) and curate of Stainton-by-Langworth, 12 & 10 miles NE of Lincoln.  Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Lincolnshire, 1868, lists him as living at Snelland.


The 1851 census found Richard and Sarah, with 3-year-old Wakefield-born son William E. Garvey, living at Saltfleetby St.Clements, with two servants.  38-year-old Northampton-born Richard was described as Rector of Saltfleetby St Clements.


He appears not to have attended either of the Caister chess meetings, of 1851 and 1854, though he was resident in Lincolnshire.


White’s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire, 1856, listed Reverend Richard Garvey, MA, as incumbent at St Clement’s, Saltfleetby, resident at the Rectory (reiterated by Kelly 1861).  Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Lincolnshire, 1861, further listed him as incumbent at St. Lawrence, Snarford.


His father is also listed in White’s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire, 1856.  Reverend Garvey, MA, was listed under Lincoln “Prebends and Prebendaries”, by the attribute “Milton Ecclesia”, with an induction date of 1845.  He was also listed as a minor canon, rector of St Mary Magdalen (aka the Chequer Church), vicar of St Nicholas, Newport, in Lincoln, and rector of Friesthorpe (6 miles SSW of Market Rasen), living at 3 Vicar’s [sic] Court, Lincoln.  Charles Akrill’s City of Lincoln Directory, 1857, listed Richard Garvey, clergyman, at 3 Vicars’ [sic] Court, Lincoln.  (Vicars Court, very near the cathedral, has now lost its migratory apostrophe.)  His incumbency at St Mary Magdalen, St Nicholas and Friesthorpe were reiterated in Kelly, 1861, which also listed him as incumbent of St Edith, Grimaldby, and places his home still at Vicars [sic] Court.


The Rev. Charles Garvey was incumbent of Manthorpe and Londonthorpe, living at Manthorpe [White 1856, Kelly 1861, Kelly 1868].  Also, the Rev. James Garvey, MA., was incumbent at Ashby-cum-Fenby, living at the Rectory [White 1856, Kelly 1861, Kelly 1868], and incumbent at St Helen’s, Brigsley [Kelly 1861, Kelly 1868].  A Martin Garvey lived at 1 Racecourse Road, Lincoln [Akrill].


Kelly’s, 1861, conveniently summarises the Lincolnshire Reverends Garvey in its “Court” section, as follows:

Garvey Rev. C. MA, Manthorpe, Grantham [Charles]

Garvey Rev. J. MA, Ashby-cum-Fenby, Great Grimsby [James]

Garvey Rev. R. MA, Saltfleetby St Clements, Louth [Richard junior]

Garvey Rev. R. MA, Vicars Court, Lincoln [Richard senior]


In 1861 he was a lodger in Alfreton.


His father died in 1861.


Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Lincolnshire, 1868, listed the Misses Garvey living at 22 Minster Yard, Lincoln.




He died on 22nd April 1869, aged 56.  His will was proved by the oaths of Rev. James Garvey of Ashby-cum-Fenby and Rev. Edward Garvey of Ashton-under-Lyne, his brothers.  He left effects of under £3,000.


His wife, Sarah Garvey, formerly of the parish of Snelland, died 20th May 1870, at Lincoln.  Her will was proved by the oaths of Rev. James Garvey of Ashby-cum-Fenby and Rev. Edward Garvey of South Kyme, her brothers-in-law.  She left effects supposedly of under £800, but re-sworn later as £1,000.




Richard Garvey’s chess career in Yorkshire was thus limited primarily to the period 1841 to 1848, while he was a schoolmaster in Wakefield.  During that time he was a keen supporter of the original Yorkshire Chess Association, attending the second meeting of 1841 (at which he presided), the meetings of 1842 and 1843, the 1844 Nottingham meeting, and the meetings of 1846 and 1848.


He was one of the subscribers to the book on problems written by RA Brown of Leeds, published in 1844.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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