Yorkshire Chess History



Charles Empson Simpson











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1859/60, Heworth


05/03/1860, York




Non-Chess Life


Charles Empson Simpson’s parents were Andrew Simpson and Mary Ann Simpson, née Empson.  Andrew’s age was inconsistently quoted in censuses, but he was most probably born in 1829/30.  Andrew’s place of birth was variously given in censuses as Bishop Wilton (5 miles east of Stamford Bridge) and York, the former seeming more likely as it would be difficult to make up.  Mary Ann Simpson’s age was similarly inconsistently quoted, but she seems probably to have been born 1831/32; she was born at Huntington, York.  The couple had the following five children, all born at Heworth, in the parish of St. Olave:


Charles Empson Simpson

born 1859/60

Andrew Lancelot Simpson

born Dec/Jan 1860/61

Emily Harriet Simpson

born 1861/62

John Empson Simpson

born 1862/63

Mary Elizabeth Simpson

born 1866


Charles Empson Simpson was born 1859/60, at Heworth, a mile of so to the NE of the centre of York.  Charles Empson Simpson, son of Andrew Simpson and Mary Ann Simpson, is recorded as being baptised at York, on 05/03/1860.


Mary Elizabeth Simpson’s age was given as 4 in the 1871 census, and 15 in the 1881 census, which implies she was born on 03/04/1866, or else one or other age is incorrect.


The 1861 census found Andrew and Mary, with their first two children, living at the home of Mary’s parents, John Empson (born 1807/08) and Hannah Empson (born 1800/01, or 1793/94, at Acomb, now part of York).  Hannah age was similarly inconsistently give in censuses.  The household included one servant.


The 1871 census found Andrew, Mary, their five children, the now-widowed Hannah Empson, and one servant, living at Stockton Lane, Heworth, in the parish of St. Cuthbert.  Father Andrew was a market gardener.  the four older children were scholars.


The 1881 census found Andrew, Mary, their five children and a servant living at Heworth nurseries, Heworth, in the parish of St. Cuthbert.  Father Andrew was a market gardener, as now were his three sons, including 21-year-old Charles Empson Simpson.  The nurseries were indicated in the census return as being opposite Monk Stray, which was presumably roughly where there is now Monk Avenue, beyond which is Stray Garth.


The marriage of Charles Empson Simpson to Sarah Jane Waiting (born 1856/57, York) was registered in the in the fourth quarter of 1883, at York.  The couple went on to have the following seven children:


Edith W Simpson

born 1884/85, St. Martin‑cum‑Gregory, York

Albert Empson Simpson

born 1886/87, St. Martin‑cum‑Gregory, York

Elsie May Simpson

born 1888/89, St. Martin‑cum‑Gregory, York

Florence Eveline Simpson

born May/Jun 1890, St. Martin‑cum‑Gregory, York

Hilda Winifred Simpson

born 1894/95, Scarborough

Charles Sydney Simpson

born 1897/98, Scarborough

Andrew Lancelot Askham Simpson

born 1898/99, Scarborough


The 1891 census found parents Charles and Sarah living with the first four children and two servants at 88 Micklegate, York.  Charles was a fruiterer, florist and seedsman.  Edith and Albert were scholars.  The place of birth of the first children suggests the couple set up their first marital home at 88 Micklegate.


At some stage from 1891 to 1901, probably 1894, in which year Charles played chess both for York (on 23/01/1894) and for Scarborough (n 21/02/1894), the Simpsons moved from York to Scarborough.


The 1901 census found parents Charles and Sarah living with the six youngest children (but not Edith) and one servant at West Parade Villas, on West Parade Road, next door to fellow chess-player Edward Wallis.  Charles was still a fruiterer and florist, and seems to have added dealing in game and fish to his business activities.


The 1911 census found parents Charles and Sarah living with Sarah, Elsie, Charles and Andrew at Beech Grove, West Parade Road, Scarborough.  The census return confirmed the couple had had seven children, all surviving.  Charles was still a florist and fruiterer, but had by now added fine arts, antiques, curios and furniture to the scope of his business, but no longer game or fish.




A record of the death of this Charles Empson Simpson is elusive.  Possibly pertinent records exist for the death of one “Charles E. Simpson” or another in 1942, at Bradford; and in 1935, at Kingsbridge, Devon.  A geographically more probable record of the chess-player’s death is that of the death of a 99-year-old Charles E. Simpson registered in the third quarter of 1963, in the Claro registration district, which covers parts of the less-densely populated parts of the north of the West Riding of Yorkshire (as was).




“C. E. Simpson” played for Ebor (York) in the 1894 Harrogate v Ebor match.


“C. E. Simpson” played for Scarborough in the 1894 Whitby v Scarborough match.


“C. E. Simpson” played for Scarborough in the 1894 Scarborough v Whitby match.


“C. E. Simpson” played for Yorkshire in the 1896 Yorkshire v Cheshire match.


“C. E. Simpson” played for Yorkshire in the 1898 Lancashire v Yorkshire match.


“C. E. Simpson” played for Yorkshire in the 1899 Yorkshire v Lancashire match.


“C. E. Simpson” played for the North & East Riding team in the 1903 West Riding v North & East Ridings match.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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