Yorkshire Chess History



George Henry Taylor











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1819/20, Sunderland





29/10/1866, Houghton‑le‑Spring


Non-Chess Life


George Henry Taylor was born in Sunderland in 1819/20.  His marriage register entry gives his father as an engineer called George Taylor.


His early adult life isn’t easy to find out about, but the 1861 census tells us he got a BA at London University, and he appears to have stayed in the London area as in 1847 he was resident at Battersea.


On 03/08/1847, at All Saints’, Otley, George Taylor, gentleman, of Battersea, son of George Taylor, engineer, was married to Harriet Chippindale, of Otley, daughter of David Chippindale, plumber, in the presence of David Chippindale and David Chippindale junior.  (Signatures show one “t” in “Harriet” and the second “i” in “Chippindale”.)


The couple may have started their married life living in Otley as that is where their first child was born.  They had at least the following six children:


Isabella Taylor

born 1849/50, Otley

Mary A Taylor

born 1853/54, Huddersfield

Emily Taylor

born 1855/56, Huddersfield

George H. Taylor

born 1857/58, Houghton‑le‑Spring

Alice Taylor

born 1858/59, Houghton‑le‑Spring

Alfred Taylor

born May/June 1860, Houghton‑le‑Spring


The 1851 census found 31-year-old Sunderland-born George H. Taylor, schoolmaster, living with 23-year-old wife Harriet, 1-year-old daughter Isabella, and a servant, at High Street Free Schools, Battersea.


He took up a post as a maths master at Huddersfield College around 1853.  John Watkinson described him as living, in the earlier years of their acquaintance, at “Carr House”.  He was listed in White’s directory of 1853 as living in Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield, which was perhaps were the said Carr House was situated.


In 1860 or early 1861 he moved to Houghton-le-Spring, just outside Sunderland, back in his native Co. Durham, to take up a post at Houghton-le-Spring’s Kepier Grammar School.


The 1861 census found 41-year-old George H Taylor, schoolmaster, BA London University, and 34-year-old Otley-born Harriett Taylor, living at Kepier Grammar School, Church Yard, Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham.  With them were all the above six children except Isabella, who would be 11 years old.  There were three more masters at the school, and about 47 pupils.




Probate records say George Henry Taylor, late of Kepier Grammar School, Houghton-le-Spring, Co. Durham, master, died 27/10/1866.  He was buried at Houghton-le-Spring on 29th October 1866.  His will was proved by Harriet Taylor of Houghton-le-Spring, widow, and the Rev. Alexander Bennett of Houghton-le-Spring.  He left effects of less than £3,000.


The Chess Player’s Magazine of 01/05/1867, page 158, said:


Mr. G. H. Taylor, of Durham, an enthusiastic chess Amateur, the winner of the first prize in the late tournament of the West Yorkshire chess Association, is another loss by death to the Chess world.




He first appeared on the Huddersfield chess scene when he was a maths master at Huddersfield College.  George Henry Taylor and John Watkinson first met in 1853, and the two became close friends.  Watkinson published a game which was probably the first they played together [see HCM Vol. 6, p.50].


While resident in Huddersfield he attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meetings of 1856 and 1861.


After the move to Co. Durham he attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting of 1862.


On 2nd & 3rd April 1866, he attended the first meeting of the Northumberland and Durham Chess Association, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  He was knocked out of the A tourney in round two, but won the B2 tournament.  In tourney D, for first-round losers, he played to make up the entry to eight, but lost in round two.


On 26th May 1866 he attended the West Yorkshire Chess Association meeting at Leeds, winning the first class tournament.  He lived only five months after that.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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