Yorkshire Chess History



Joseph Hulme Holdsworth











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



16/10/1830, Wakefield


25/05/1831, St. John, Wakefield


24/12/1881, Wakefield


28/12/1881, St. Helen, Sandal Magna


Non-Chess Life


Joseph Hulme Holdsworth was the second son of Joseph Holdsworth and Elizabeth Holdsworth (born 1823/24, Wakefield, daughter of Thomas Holy [not the “T. Toby” given by Venn] of Highfield House, Sheffield).


He was sent to the West Riding Proprietary School, Wakefield, run by Mr. Weidman.  This was a school occupying a building, built in 1833, which now forms part of the site of the modern Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, which moved onto those premises in 1854.


He was admitted as a pensioner to Trinity College, Cambridge, on 20/08/1849, going on to matriculate in Michaelmas 1850.


The 1851 census found 21-year-old Wakefield-born Joseph H. Holdsworth residing at Trinity College, Cambridge, but he moved to Peterhouse on 15/10/1852, where he got his BA in 1855.


The 1859 poll book listed Joseph Hulme Holdsworth resident in the Belle Isle district of Wakefield.


The 1861 census found Joseph and older sister Elizabeth (born 1823/24, Wakefield) living with two servants at Porto Bello (perhaps meaning the modern Porto Bello Road, Belle Isle), Wakefield.  Joseph was now a master dyer.


He got his MA in 1861.


The 1862 poll book listed him at Portobello.


At some stage around the 1860s, our man became a Justice of the Peace.  He also became a Lieutenant-Colonel with the 3rd Battalion, the West Yorkshire Volunteer Rifles.  It was as” Lieut.-Col. Holdsworth” that he was usually named in chess records.


The 1871 census found Joseph and Elizabeth living with three servants, still at Porto Bello.  Joseph was now listed as a magistrate as well as a dyer.


Joseph Hulme Holdsworth, 46-year-old bachelor gentleman of Porto Bello, son of Joseph Holdsworth, gentleman, was married on 07/02/1877, at Sandal Magna parish church, by the vicar, H. Douglas, to Frances Alice Binstead, 30-year-old spinster of Sandal Hill, daughter of C. H. Binstead, Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy.  Frances was born in c. 1846, at Wakefield.  Brother Thomas H. Holdsworth and sister Elizabeth Holdsworth signed the marriage register as witnesses.


The couple appear to have had no children.


The 1881 census found our man living with wife Frances and three servants, at Portobello House, Wakefield.  Joseph was now recorded as a magistrate, an M.A. Cantab., and a dyer.




Joseph Hulme Holdsworth died on 24/12/1881, at Portobello House, and was buried on 28/12/1881, at St. Helen, Sandal Magna, to the south of Wakefield.


His executors were brother Thomas Holy Holdsworth, and surgeon James Fowler, both of Wakefield.




“Mr. J. H. Holdsworth” attended the 1848 Yorkshire Chess Association meeting in Halifax.


He played in the 1861 Wakefield v Huddersfield match.


“Lieut.-Col. Holdsworth” attended the 1862 meeting of the West Yorkshire Chess Association.





Copyright © 2014 Stephen John Mann

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

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