Yorkshire Chess History



Charles William Roberts











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



22/08/1868, Gomersal



1939, Calder district



Non-Chess Life


Charles William Roberts, son of Samuel Drake Roberts (born 1831/32, Bradford), manufacturer of Little Gomersal, and Emma Roberts (nee Sutton, 1839/40, Gomersal), was baptised on 30/09/1868, at St. Mary’s, Gomersal, by M. S. Daly, vicar, who noted the infant’s date of birth in the margin of the baptism register as 22/08/1868.  His parents had at least the following four children, all born at Gomersal, which is immediately south of Birstall, to the west of Cleckheaton and to the north of Liversedge:


Frank A Roberts

born 1866/67

Charles William Roberts

born 22/08/1868

Mary Emma Roberts

born 1871/72

George Drake Roberts

born 1881/82


The 1871 census found the parents, the first two children and three servants at Low Lane Gomersal.  Father Samuel was a worsted manufacturer and coal owner, employing 210 workers in the former business and 200 in the latter.


By 1881 the family had moved to Rawfolds, on the NW periphery of Liversedge, along the road to Cleckheaton.  George was not yet on the scene.  Father Samuel was now retired.  There were now only two servants.


The 1891 census found the family back at Gomersal, at “Ten Lands” (which is difficult to identify).  Frank was now a medical student, Charles was a solicitor’s articled clerk, and George was a scholar.


The 1901 census found the parents living at 37 High Street, Cleckheaton, now with only Charles living with him.  He was now a solicitor in his own right, and the stage was set for marriage.


The marriage of 35-year-old solicitor Charles William Roberts of Brighouse, son of Samuel Drake Roberts, gentleman, to 29-year-old Ethel Mary Richardson daughter of Charles Richardson, surgeon, took place on 28/04/1904 at St. John’s, Roundhay, the officiate being R John (?) Taylor, rector of Hedenham, Norfolk.


The couple had at least one son, Francis Charles Roberts, born 02/10/1906 at Brighouse, baptised 16/12/1906 at St. Martin’s, Brighouse.


The 1911 census found solicitor Charles William Roberts and son Francis, with two servants, at Well Close, Brighouse.  Charles was described as married rather than widowed, so his wife was presumably away visiting at the time.




The death of Charles William Roberts, aged 70, was registered in the second quarter of 1939, in the Calder district.




“C. W. Roberts” was a regular player for Bradford in the Woodhouse Cup from around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries up to and including the season 1905-06.  Thereafter he switched his allegiance to Huddersfield’s Woodhouse Cup team.  Throughout the period 1901-02 to 1907-08 (and possibly beyond) he represented Yorkshire in county matches, on boards 20 to 30.


H was twice president of the Northern Counties Chess Union, and was president of the Yorkshire Chess Association in 1937-38 and 1938-39.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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