Yorkshire Chess History



George Pollard











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1838, Knottingley


08/12/1838, St. Botolph, Knottingley


June, 1911


28/06/1911, St. Michael & All Angels, Thornhill


Identity of the Chess-Player


“G. Pollard” of Dewsbury appears regularly in chess records from the 1901-02 season to the 1907-08 season and maybe beyond.  In 1899-00 and 1900-01 seasons a “G. Pollard” played for Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup.  This G. Pollard seems probably to be the Dewsbury player, as in the 1899-00 Yorkshire-Kent correspondence match the only G. Pollard is of Dewsbury, not of Leeds.  (Correspondence players tended to be listed with their place of residence rather than the club they played for.)


The George Pollard described here seems the only person who fits the chess-player’s career.


A separate “G. Pollard”, possibly related, appears playing for Leeds in the 1920s, after G. Pollard of Dewsbury had died.


Non-Chess Life


George Pollard’s parents were mariner John Pollard (born 1799/00, Knottingley) and Mary Pollard (born 1800/01, Knottingley), who had at least the following four children, presumably all born at in Knottingley:


Alkamia Pollard

born 1828/29

John Pollard

born 1833/34

William Pollard

born 1836/37

George Pollard

born 1838/39


Entry 1514 in the baptism register of St. Botolph’s, Knottingley, records the baptism there, on 09/2/1838, by George Steward, curate, of George Pollard, son of mariner John Pollard and Mary Pollard, of Knottingley.


The 1841 census found the family of six living at Back Inn Yard, Knottingley.  Daughter Alkamia’s name is unusual, but clearly written in the census return.  Father John was by occupation a mariner.


The 1851 census found John, Mary and George living at Aire Street, Knottingley.  Father John was still a mariner. 12-year-old George was a scholar.


It appears young George initially embarked (pun intended) on the same career as his father, as the 1861 census found 22-year-old Knottingley-born George Pollard as one of two crew on a vessel.  The description of George’s job was somewhat unreadable, but was something ending in “-man”, possibly “poopman”.


The marriage of George Pollard to Sarah Martha Thompson was registered in the fourth quarter of 1864, at Doncaster.  The couple went on to have ten children, including the following nine:


Alfred Pollard

born 1866/67, Knottingley

Sarah Pollard

born 1868/69, Knottingley

Lucy Ann Pollard

born Dec/Jan 1869/70, Knottingley

Herbert Pollard

born 1872/73, Knottingley

Edith Pollard

born 1874/75, Thornhill

Ann Pollard

born 1877/78, Thornhill

John Pollard

born Apr/May, 1880, Thornhill

Arthur Pollard

born 1883/84, Thornhill


It may have been getting married which caused a career change for George.  The 1871 census found the two parents and three children living at Back Lane Knottingley.  George’s occupation was now that of maltster’s labourer.


At some time the family moved from Knottingley to Thornhill, about three miles, as the crow flies, to the south of Dewsbury.  This was evidently at some stage from 1871 to 1874.


Tragedy struck in December 1874, when 3-year-old Lucy Ann Pollard died.  She was buried on 06/12/1874, at St. Michael & All Angels, Thornhill, by F. R. Grenside(?), assistant curate.


Quite what caused the Pollards to move to Thornhill is unclear, but it may have been to do with a second and final change in occupation.


The 1881 census found the Pollards living at 12 Maines Yard, Thornhill.  George was now a “blanket raiser”.  Alfred was a mine labourer.  Sarah, Herbert and Edith were scholars.


At some time from 1881 to 1891 George and his family moved to Walker Street, off Lees Moor Road, Thornhill, which is where George, Sarah and their seven surviving children were living, with Sarah’s 76-year-old mother, Sarah Thompson, at the time of the 1891 census.  George was a raw blanket raiser.  Alfred was a blanket weaver.  Sarah was a cloth weaver.  Herbert was a glass bottle worker (partly illegible), Edith was a cloth weaver.  John and Arthur were scholars.


George retired from blanket raising at some time from 1891 to 1901.


The 1901 census found George and Sarah living more specifically at 14 Walker Street, Thornhill.  Still living with them were Alfred, Edith, Ann, John and Arthur.  George was a retired blanket raiser.


The 1911 census found parents George and Sarah, with unmarried daughters Edith and Ann, living still at 14 Walker Street, Thornhill.  George and Sarah were recorded as having had ten children, of whom seven were still alive.  Thus there had been a tenth child not listed above, and one of the above nine, in addition to to Lucy, had died by 1911.




George Pollard died in June 1911, aged 72.  Entry 1834 in the burial register of St. Michael & All Angels, Thornhill, recorded the burial there of George Pollard of Lees Moor, on 28/06/1911, by H.T. Hayman.




“G. Pollard” played for Leeds in the Woodhouse Cup the 1899-00 and 1900-01 seasons.  This appears to be the Dewsbury player playing for Leeds at a time when Dewsbury had no Woodhouse team.


“G. Pollard”, specifically of Dewsbury, played 1899-00 Yorkshire-Kent correspondence match.


He played in the 1902 Yorkshire-Lancashire match and the 1903 Yorkshire-Lancashire match.


He played in the 1903 Huddersfield-Dewsbury match.


He played in the 1903 West Riding v North & East Riding match.


He played in the1904 Yorkshire-Cheshire match and the 1904 Yorkshire-Lancashire match.


When Dewsbury got a place in the Woodhouse Cup in the 1904-05 season, he became a regular player in the team, though to 1907-08 and possibly beyond (data not to hand).


He played for Huddersfield in the 1904 Huddersfield v North Manchester match.


He played in the 1906 Yorkshire-Lancashire match, and the 1907 Yorkshire-Lancashire match.


He played in the 1908 Lancashire-Yorkshire match, the 1908 Yorkshire-Warwickshire match, and the 1908 Middlesex-Yorkshire match.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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