Yorkshire Chess History



David Parry











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1822, Pontypool, Monmouthshire, Wales



07/01/1893, Blaenavon, Monmouthshire



Non-Chess Life


David Parry’s date of birth, as evidenced by censuses, happens to work out exactly as 03/04/1822, though it is improbable the ages given are all correct.  It was after 07/01/1822 as he died on 07/01/1893 “in the 71st year of his age”.  The 1881 census gave David Parry’s place of birth as Pontypool, Monmouthshire (now Gwent), eight miles north of Newport, Wales.


White’s Directory and Topography of the Boroughs of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, and Wakefield, &c, 1858 didn’t obviously list David Parry.


He was recorded as resident at 18 Queen’s Square, Leeds, in an 1860 poll book.


White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax &c..., 1866, listed David Parry, traveller, 13 Queen Square, Leeds, which seems possibly the same place as in the poll book, allowing for typesetting errors.


He appears to have been married, but by 1871 was a widower.


White's Directory of Leeds & the West Riding, 1870, listed David Parry, commercial traveller, at 13 Queen Square, Leeds.


Kelly's Directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881, listed D Parry, 7 Blenheim Terrace, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds.


The 1881 census listed 59-year-old Pontypool-born widower David Parry, “commercial traveller (iron)”, living at 7 Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, with three nieces and two servant.


Kelly's Directory of Leeds and Neighbourhood, 1888, listed David Parry at 25 Blenheim Terrace, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, without ascribing an occupation and without listing him in the commercial section, suggesting he’d retired.


The 1891 census listed 69-year-old David Parryliving on his own means at 25 Blenheim Terrace, with 58-year-old widowed sister Rachel Fowler, and his niece, 16-year-old Mabel N. M. R. Fowler, both born in Monmouthshire.  There were still two servants.


White's Directory of Leeds & the Clothing District, 1894, didn’t list David Parry, and listed a new occupant at 25 Blenheim Terrace.




Probate records relate that David Parry of 25 Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, gent, died 07/01/1893 at Blaenavon, Monmouthshire [at the home of his sister].  The death was registered in the first quarter of 1893, at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.  Probate was granted to Henry Inchbold the younger, manufacturing stationer, and Florence Mary Holwell, wife of Edward Baines Holwell.  (This suggests he left no children.)  His effects amounted to £10,850 7s. 8d.


The chess column in the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement of 14/01/1893 carried an obituary which read [apart from certain unclear words] as follows:


OBITUARY.- We regret to have to record a great loss to the Leeds club by the death, on Saturday last, of one of its most highly respected members.  Mr. D. Parry passed peacefully away at the house of his sister, Mrs. Fowler, Glenavon [sic], Monmouthshire, in the 71st year of his age.  During the past year deceased had been very unwell at times, but he still appeared at the club as often as his strength would permit, and always received a hearty round of applause on his entrance.  He came to the annual meeting of the club in October last to see the trophy which he had generously supplied two years before for competition, presented to the fortunate winner.  He expressed to us his private opinion on that occasion that he would not be able visit[?] very often now, and once only, we believe, has he revisited the rooms[?] he loved so much.  Mr. Parry was a most generous supporter of this club, cordially lending aid financially[?] or otherwise, whenever any was required.  He was as [-?-] in doing what he could for the club as he was [-?-].  He was a thorough gentleman in every action and sentiment, and no member of the select circle has ever gained greater honour and esteem from the club’s members than the now lamented Mr. Parry.




He was recorded as an onlooker at the 1867 match between the West Riding and the North Riding.


He was a subscriber to the 1868 meeting of Skipworth’s Yorkshire Chess Association in York.


He attended the annual meetings of the West Yorkshire Chess Association in 1873, 1878, 1879, 1881, 1884, 1886 and 1888.


In 1884 he was president of WYCA, implying he was probably president (or other official) of the host club, Leeds.


White’s above comments show him to have been a well loved and regarded member of Leeds Chess Club, and an ardent supporter of it.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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