Yorkshire Chess History



Thomas Charles Gibbons











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1865, Colchester, Essex



1901, Fulham district




Identity of the chess-player


London chess-player “T. C. Gibbons” rarely if ever had either of his forenamed recorded in full in chess records, and sometimes he was represented as “T. E. Gibbons”.  This Thomas Charles Gibbons is the only plausible candidate thrown up by the usual genealogical searches, and nobody answering to “T. E. Gibbons” was evidently resident in the London area in the 1891 census, so the “E” would appear to be a typographical (or auditory) error.  A definite identifying reference in chess sources is desirable and is to be found in the chess column in the 01/07/1901 edition of the (London) Morning Post wherein was recorded, “Many Metropolitan amateurs will regret to hear of the death of Mr. T. C. Gibbons, which occurred recently after two months’ illness at the age of thirty-five.”


Non-Chess Life


The parents of Thomas Charles Gibbons were Thomas Gibbons, born 1827/28, Stockton, Warks, and Eliza Phillis Gibbons, née Holliday, 1843/44, Clerkenwell, Middlesex, who married in 1863, in Islington.  The birth of Thomas Charles Gibbons was registered in the second quarter of 1865, at Colchester.  He had at least the following two siblings:


Victor Cooper Gibbons

born 1866/67, Islington

Flora Harriet Gibbons

born 1869, Islington


The 1871 census found the Gibbon family of parents, three children and a servant living at 9 Penn Road Villas, Islington.  Father was a woollen-cloth merchant; Thomas and Victor were scholars.


The family is elusive in the 1881 census.


Thomas Charles Gibbons married Jane Adam (born 1867, Kensington) in 1886, in Fulham district.  The couple had at least the following children:


Frederick Edward Gibbons

born 1886/87, Fulham

Alfred Buchanan Gibbons

born 1887/1888, Fulham

Charles James Gibbons

born 1891/1892, Isleworth

Harry Arthur Gibbons

born 1894/95, Fulham

Sydney Thomas Gibbons

born 1896, Fulham

Winifred Anne Gibbons

born 1897/98, Fulham

Frank Harold Gibbons

born 1899, Fulham


The 1891 census found Thomas and Jane living in the household of Jane’s brother Charles J Adam and family, at an unnumbered address on Morre Park Road, Fulham.  Thomas was described as a Civil Service writer.  His children were not mentioned at that address.


The 1901 census found Thomas and Jane with seven children and Thomas’s aunt Elizabeth Barnes, who was living on her own means, at 46 Fernhirst Road, Fulham.  Thomas was now described as “Clerk (City Guilds exams)”.




The death of Thomas Charles Gibbons, aged 35, was registered in the second quarter of 1901, in the Fulham reg. district.  He had evidently been ill for two months beforehand.




The above-cited report of his death continued, “Mr. Gibbons was a player of remarkable ingenuity and skill, and a member of the first class of the City of London Chess Club.  He was one of the few successful representatives of that club when Doctor Lasker encountered 25 of its strongest amateurs simultaneously last November, and he took part in a number of other tournament and other contests with distinction.”


He is recorded as playing for the City of London Chess Club in inter-club matches, mainly during the 1890s.  He also seems to have played in handicap tournaments of Simpson's Divan.


He participated in the four successive British Amateur Championships of the British Chess Association: the 4th, London 1889; the 5th Manchester 1890; the 6th, London 1892; and the 7th, Hastings 1895.


He played in the second North v South of England match, that 1894.


On 21/11/1900, Emanuel Lasker gave a 25-board simultaneous display at the City of London Chess Club.  By the close of play, Lasker had won 12 games and lost three: to E. O. Jones, T. C. Gibbons, and a Mr. Cur nidge.  Ten unfinished games were left to be adjudicated by Blackburne.  To play through the Lasker 0-1 Gibbons game on screen click here.




Copyright © 2020 Stephen John Mann

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

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