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Biographical notes on miscellaneous players from outside Yorkshire and Lancashire.

(See Person Index for main alphabetic index.)

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Henry Clere


This Birmingham chess-player was born with the surname “Cleere”.  All his official birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, and electoral roll records up to 1889 inclusive were in the surname “Cleere”.  He had, however, been known to the chess-playing world exclusively as “H. Clere” from as far back as 1881, and was never known as “Cleere” in chess circles.  Things then began to change in the non-chess world.  He had been “Henry Clere” in the 1891 census; the enumerator does of course record what the householder says.  He remained “Cleere” to officialdom in electoral rolls up to at least 1893, but around then became exclusively “Clere”.  In particular, he married Jean McClaren Stewart as “Henry Cleere” in 1883, yet she died in 1895 as “Jean McClaren Stewart Clere”.


30/07/1832 [baptism register], parish of St. John, Westminster


16/12/1840, St John the Evangelist, Smith Square [baptism register]


1898, King’s Norton, Birmingham


1898, Witton Cemetery, Birmingham


John Cleere (born 1811/12; died 1841, Westminster; buried 28/02/1841, St. John the Evangelist, Smith Square)

and Elizabeth Anne Cleere (maiden name possibly Fowler)


John Cleere (jun.), born 27/01/1831; baptised 16/12/1840, St John the Evangelist, Smith Square [baptism register]

Alfred Cleere, born 11/08/1834; baptised 16/12/1840, St John the Evangelist, Smith Square [baptism register]

Emily Esther Cleere, probably born c. 1836; baptised 13/01/1839, St John the Evangelist, Smith Square [baptism register]

Elizabeth Jane Cleere, born 1838; baptised 13/01/1839, St John the Evangelist, Smith Square [baptism register]

Eleanor Augusta Cleere, born 26/06/1840; baptised 14/12/1840, St John the Evangelist, Smith Square [baptism register]


(1) married Margaret Elizabeth Mcgerray, 1857, St Peter, Eaton Square, Pimlico;

divorced from Margaret Elizabeth Cleere 1870.

(2) married Jean McClaren Stewart (born 1842/43, Glasgow), 1883, King’s Norton.

“Jean McClaren Stewart Clere” died 1895.

(3) married Marion Adams (born 1868/69, Birmingham), 1895, Birmingham.

Widowed Marion Clere (with one child) married widower grocer John Henry Edwards (with 3 children) in 1907.


Henry Clere junior, born 08/03/1896 [DoB 1939 Register]



30/03/1851 [census]: 10 Little Tufton Street, parish of St. John the Evangelist, with widowed grandmother Patty Fowler; carpenter

07/04/1861 [census]: (elusive)

02/04/1871 [census]: (elusive)

03/04/1881 [census]: 17 Brighton Road, King’s Norton; surveyor’s clerk; living with “Jean McClaren Stewart Clere” (not yet married)

1889 [electoral roll]: Cheltenham Road East, Woodford

1890 [rate book]: 3 Holart Place, parish of St George Hanover Square

05/04/1891 [census]: 29 Hampton Road, Handsworth, Stafford; architect & surveyor (wife called “Jean McLaren Clere”)

1893 [electoral roll]: Benhill Street, Sutton, Surrey (“Henry Cleere”)


No newspaper references to “H. Cleere” in connection with chess.

Newspaper references to “H. Clere” in connection with Birmingham Chess club are evident from 1881 to 1895.  He may have given up chess after third marriage. 

He was Honorary Secretary of Birmingham Chess Club in 1883, and 1892, and possibly the intervening period, and before/after.

He was contact for Warks., Worcs., Staffs., and Salop. for those seeking to play for the North in the N v S match of 1894.

He himself played in both North of England v South matches, of 1893 and 1894.





Edward Heath Collier


1858, Downton, Wilts.




1928, Leicester


Alderman, miller & corn-factor, John Collier (born 21/12/1791, Kettering, Northants.; died 13/04/1874, Leicester, age 82) and Hephzibah Collier (born, 1793/94, Walgrove, Northants., daughter of James Hobson, farmer, and wife Susanna) who married on 17/12/1816 at Kettering St Paul

Aunts & Uncles

Susanna Mary Collier, born 28/01/1824, parents’ home in Union Street, Leicester [nonconformist birth register]

James Hobson Collier, born 16/04/1826, parents’ home in Union Street, Leicester [nonconformist birth register]; died 1855, Leicester

Alfred William Collier, born 10/07/1829, parents’ home in Union Street, Leicester [nonconformist birth register] – deaf & dumb 1861

Hephzibah Clara Collier, born 19/02/1832, parents’ home in Union Street, Leicester [nonconformist birth register]; d.30/03/1908.


John Thomas Collier, born 08/06/1822, parents’ home in High Cross Street, Leicester [nonconformist birth register], Baptist minister, and Melliscent (not Millicent - née White, 1821/22, Cirencester) who married at Cirencester in 1848


Daniel White Collier, born 1849, Downton

Susan Hephzibah Collier, born 1851, Downton

James Walgrave Collier, born 1855/56, Downton

and probably some or all of the following, who may have died young:

George Collier, born 1853

John Spencer Collier, born 1853

Alfred Collier, born 1857

Margaret Collier, born 1860

John Howard Collier, born 1863


to Eliza Mary (née Webb, 1862) in 1889


Joan Melliscent Collier, born Apr/May 1890, Leicester

Miriam Collier, born 1892/93, Leicester

Philip Edward Collier, born 1894/95, Leicester



07/04/1861 [census]: Wick South Lane, Downton Wilts.

02/04/1871 [census]: 40 Southgate Street, Leicester; scholar (living with grandparents)

03/04/1881 [census]: 40 Southgate Street, Leicester; manager in a flour mill (living with grandparents)

05/04/1891 [census]: 24 Gopsall Street, Leicester; corn merchant

31/03/1901 [census]: 24 Gopsall Street, Leicester; electrical engineer’s clerk

02/04/1911 [census]: 46 Melbourne Road, Leicester; electrical engineer


Newspaper references to the chess activity of “E. H Collier” occur over the period 1883 to 1921.  He played mainly in connection with Leicester Chess Club, but also teams of Leicestershire and the Midland Counties Chess Union.  He played in both the North of England v South of England matches, of 1893 and 1894.


Chess references seem never to include full forenames, but no other person in the Leicester area matches “E. H. Collier”, and the period of chess activity matches the adulthood of the person described here, so the identification seems correct.





Stephen John Mann

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

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