Yorkshire Chess History



George William Wright and George William Wright Junior











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site


George William Wright, senior


George William Wright, junior


1838, Northampton



16/08/1869, Longsight, Manchester







1926, Oldham



1941, Manchester









The name “G. W. Wright” crops up in connection with Manchester Chess Club in chess results over the period 1875 to 1906 and probably both earlier and later.  There were a number of people in the Manchester area at the time with corresponding names.  Clues for identifying which played chess lie in names of people listed in chess columns as having successfully solved problems published in earlier editions of the column.  Thus there are “G. W. Wright (Weaste)” and “G. W. Wright, jun. (Weaste)” and “G. W. Wright, jun. (Bury)”.  Weaste is a district of Salford, while Bury is also in the Manchester catchment area.  The epithet “jun.” suggests there were two people, probably related, of the same name.  Thus when we find an 1891 census return from Salford which lists two George W. Wrights in the same household (father and son), we can assume we have found the chess-player, but was the chess played just by “junior” or were both father and son involved?  The answer turns out to be both, as we find “G. W. Wright” and “G. W. Wright jun.” both playing for Manchester Chess Club in the same match.  Then George William Wright junior went on to have his own son of the same name, though whether he also played chess is unclear.


Non-Chess Life


George William Wright, senior, was born in 1838, in Northampton.  Whoever his parents were, they must have been reasonably well of as they sent George (senior, as he became) to a private “classical, mathematical and commercial academy” run by “John Conquest M. C. P.” in Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, which is where the 1851 census found the Northampton-born 13-year-old.


Only two Wright households with a three-year-old George are evident in the 1841 census for Northampton, and the only one seeming likely to be able to send the sons to school is that of Isaac Wright, wholesale boot and shoe manufacturer of Mare Fair, Northampton.


The 1861 census found 23-year-old Northampton-born George W Wright living as a boarder in Crescent Range(?), Rusholme, two miles SE of Manchester city centre.  He was a traveller in cotton goods.


At some time roughly from 1861 to 1868, George married a Marion (born 1847/48, Bristol), possibly of maiden name Taylor, and they had at least the following children:


George William Wright

born 16/08/1869, Longsight, Manchester

Frederick C Wright

born Jul/Aug 1870, Levenshulme, Manchester

Cedrick Alfred Wright

born 1871/72, Levenshulme, Manchester

Annie Wright

born 1872/73, Levenshulme, Manchester


The 1871 census found 33-year-old George living with wife Marion and the first two children, a niece called Camilla something Taylor, and a servant at The Polygon, Levenshulme, Manchester.  George senior was a wholesale hire(?) dealer.


The 1881 census found George senior, wife Marion, and four children (all scholars) at 627 Rochdale Road, Manchester.  George senior was now a commercial traveller and retail dealer in boots, reflecting the trade of the Isaac wright suspected of being his grandfather.


The 1891 census found the family of parents, four children, and wife Marion’s 76-year-old widowed mother, Mary Louise Bark (born 1814/15) Clifton, Somerset), at 30 Brookland Street, Salford.  George senior was a cashier, while George junior was a clerk.


At some time from 1891 to 1894, George junior evidently married Jennie (born 14/12/1868, Barton upon Irwell).  They had at least the following children, including a third-generation George William Wright:


George William Wright

born 01/04/1895, Sale, Cheshire

Harold Edward Wright

born 1896/97, Sale, Cheshire

Gilbert Wright

born 1899/00, Sale, Cheshire


The 1901 census found George senior living with his wife and youngest three children living at “Apple Tree”, Longhurst Lane, in the village of Mellor, 9 miles east of Stockport, just inside Derbyshire, as the county borders were then (though now it is in Greater Manchester).  62-year-old George was still a cashier.


Meanwhile, the 1901 census found George junior with wife and three children living at 40 Filey Road, Rusholme, Manchester.  He was a mercantile clerk.


The 1911 census found now-widowed, retired George senior living with unmarried daughter Annie, a “monthly nurse”, and a servant, at School Row, Mellor.


Meanwhile, the 1911 census found George junior, wife and three children living at 20 Nell Lane, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.


The 1939 register found George “junior”, wife Jennie and son George William Wright (the “third”), still living at 20 Nell Lane Manchester.  George the father (“junior” as was) was a textile machinery exporter, while his namesake son was a “sanitary cabinet maker”.




George William Wright senior died in 1926, in Oldham.  George William Wright junior died in 1941 in Manchester.




The earliest reports of “G. W. Wright” playing chess can be assume to be “senior” on th basis that “junior” was not yet old enough.  Thereafter one can assume that if there was only one of the two present in a team then that would be “senior”, and that whenever “junior” was playing then he wold be explicitly “G. W. Wright, jun.” or similar.


“G. W. Wright”, presumably senior, played in the North of England v South match of 1893.


An example of the two playing together in the same team is a 1906 Manchester v Sheffield friendly match.






Copyright © 2020 Stephen John Mann

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

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