Made in Yorkshire
< 1865: 1st
Redcar Chess Meeting < : > 1867:
3rd North Yorkshire & Durham CA Meeting >
6th to 11th August 1866,
(Royal Hotel?) Redcar, North Riding of Yorkshire (now Cleveland)
The second Redcar
chess meeting was held Monday 6th to Saturday 11th August, 1866.
Notices and Arrangements
Following on from
the initial Redcar event in 1865, which was not very noteworthy as far as the
strength of the tournament was concerned, the Rev Arthur Bolland Skipworth
took steps to make Redcar 1866 a much stronger event, with a top class
tournament as well as tournaments for weaker players. In the Chess
Player’s Magazine, New Series, Volume II, 1866, page 25,
Löwenthal warmly greeted plans for the event, although initial signs of
future tension between two different national organisations are apparent when
he questions the desirability of the event having a “national
Player’s Magazine item started as follows:
CHESS ASSOCIATION AT
We have much
pleasure in giving publicity to the annexed letter. Nothing can be
more desirable than that the meeting proposed should be entirely
successful. We doubt, however, whether the committee are well-advised
in wishing to give their provincial assembly a national character. A
general meeting of the British Chess Association will probably be held
during next summer, and it is hardly possible to convene the chess public
twice in one year without failure. As a provincial gathering the Redcar
Association would be almost certain of success, and might become a worthy
co-rival of the West Yorkshire Chess Association.
A telling word in
the Chess Player’s Magazine’s comment is
“probably”. Nobody knew when the next BCA tournament would
occur. The BCA wanted to run grand international tournaments for the
top players. Catering for amateurs was only secondary to that.
The BCA had not run an event since 1862. It had pulled out all the
stops that year, but had been unable to sustain that level of activity on an
annual basis. Waiting for a BCA tournament was beginning to look like
waiting for Halley’s comet to come round again, though without the
envisaged an annual event which drew participants from across the whole
country, and catered for the ordinary amateur chess-player rather than just
the professional elite and international players. The
“annual” and “national” aspects were the primary
features. Skipworth was addressing that problem from the point of view
of the common chess-player.
Player’s Magazine then reproduced Skipworth’s letter which
was as follows. (The apostrophe in the name of the magazine was printed
in the wrong place. Whether this was a typesetting error, or whether
Löwenthal was faithfully replicating an error by Skipworth is unclear.)
TO THE EDITOR OF THE “CHESS PLAYERS’
Sir, - It is
intended to hold a grand chess meeting at Redcar in August or September of
next year. We should be glad, as far as possible, to give it a
national character; and perhaps you will kindly enable us, through your
columns, to invite British chess clubs generally to aid us; each club
favourable to our proposition, and able to help us, electing at once one
member, who shall act upon the committee.
The Earl of
Zetland has promised to preside, and we have already a long list of
noblemen and gentlemen as vice-presidents. May I also ask secretaries
of clubs, and all chess players who desire to be informed of our
arrangements, to forward their address, without delay, to “the
Secretary,” Chess Association, Redcar, Yorkshire.
I am, sir,
A. B. Skipworth,
One of the
Nov. 28, 1865.
While we are desirous of being aided by suggestions from the various
British chess clubs, and while we promise that every suggestion shall have
its due weight and consideration, we feel that it will be necessary for the
executive committee, who reside in or near Redcar, to make the final
In due course, Chess
Player’s Magazine, New Series, Volume II, 1866, on page 154,
carried a detailed prospectus for the event:
MEETING OF THE NORTH YORKSHIRE AND
We have received the programme of
this meeting, which is to take place on Monday, August 6th,
under the presidency of the Earl of Zetland. It contains the names of
so many highly influential gentlemen as vice-presidents and members of its
general committee, that the meeting can scarcely fail to be a great
success. The following arrangements are the chief items: -
Prizes will be offered for
competition in four classes.
Class 1 – Open to all British
amateurs. The first prize of the value of £10 at least.
Class 2 – Open to North Yorkshire
and Durham specially; but other amateurs may be admitted (on application)
into this class, by consent of the members of the executive
committee. The first prize of the value of £10 at least.
Class 3. – Open to amateurs who
have not frequently played with strong players.
Class 4 – Open to ladies only.
A.- As Mr. Staunton and Mr.
Lowenthal, and many distinguished provincial players have promised, all
being well, to be present, and as Herr Anderssen and Herr Steinitz have
been invited, an appeal is made to Chess players generally to aid this
Association to offer a prize for competition, in consultation games,
English versus Foreign Players.
B. – It is intended there
shall be an exhibition of blindfold play. Amateurs making special
donations for prizes in these games may have an opportunity of playing
against the blindfold player.
It is intended that the prizes
shall not be given in money; but in books, plate, or anything that a winner
For any further information,
application may be made to
Grimshaw, Whitby, or
Yorkshire, April 16th, 1866.
The first thing to
note is that Skipworth, or perhaps “the committee”, has decided
to adopt a name for what is, in effect, a newly-formed organisation, but one
falling short of the “national” aspiration. This move is
reminiscent of the original Yorkshire Chess Association evolving into the
Northern and Midland Counties Chess Association. The whole history of
Skipworth’s chess organisational activities closely resembled that of
the original Yorkshire Chess Association.
“Durham” connection reflects the involvement of some Durham
players as committee members and potential participants. Nevertheless,
incorporating “Durham” into the title of the organisation was
arguably inappropriate as the 1st meeting of the Northumberland and Durham
Chess Association had already been held a fortnight before the date of
Skipworth’s programme, on Easter Monday and Tuesday, 2nd and 3rd of
April 1866, at the Central Exchange Hotel, Newcastle. This questionable
aspect of the organisation’s name would be remedied in a couple of
years’ time by the adoption of the name “Yorkshire Chess
significant point to note is the explicit adoption of the term
“amateur”. Whilst London-based professionals might be
invited along, the tournaments were for amateurs only.
not adopting a name which overtly implies an aspiration that the meeting be a
“national” one, we find that Class 1 is open to all British
amateurs. So it’s a national event!
2 was open, presumably, only to players resident in the North Riding of
Yorkshire or in County Durham. This was thus the top
3 was similar in nature to the modern “Novices” section of some
weekend chess congresses.
feature of Skipworth’s early chess events, starting with the Caistor
chess meetings of 1851 and 1854, is that it seems he liked as many ladies to
be present as possible. Here we see his first specific section for
ladies being advertised.
In its next issue,
the Chess Player’s Magazine, New Series, Volume II, 1866, on
page 192, carried the following update:
MEETING AT REDCAR. – There is every prospect of this meeting, which
is to take place in August, being very successful. We hear that
already many distinguished amateurs have signified their intention of being
present, and that Professor Anderssen and Herr Steinitz have received
special invitations. In the problem tournay the competitors should
send in their contributions not later than the 2nd of July.
This has the ring
of Skipworth’s own wording. “Herr” Anderssen has been
promoted to “Professor” Anderssen.
Player’s Magazine of July 1866 contained a detailed
programme. It started with an impressive list of dignitaries and
players with the rolls of President, Patron, Vice-Presidents, General
Committee Members, and other officials. There followed a description of
the four primary competitions, then information on other anticipated
sideshows and general “domestics”.
vice-presidents were largely people whose status, by their association with
the event might be seen as conferring respectability on it, and adding
prestige, though they were perhaps not people who would actively do anything
to promote or run the event, or even attend it. The 23 members of the
general committee, who were too numerous to sit together as a committee,
tended to be notable players or organisers in their respective localities,
and might perhaps take active steps to promote the event within their
respective spheres of influence. Eight of the General Committee were
designated as members of an Executive Committee, who one imagines would
potentially serve as might be needed during the running of the event.
The two secretaries and a treasurer completed the 55-strong panoply of
Presumably all the
officers had agreed to being represented in the roles attributed to
them. Whilst Arthur Bolland Skipworth will have been the driving force
behind the enterprise, he was not listed as secretary, rather as a
Vice-President on the Executive Committee.
The President was
the Earl of Zetland, otherwise known as the Thomas Dundas.
Skipworth liked a
high female presence at the events he organised, in stark contrast with the
West Yorkshire Chess Association which appears never to have been attended by
a lady. For Redcar 1866 he arranged for a Patroness in the form of Lady
De L’Isle and Dudley.
There were 28
Vice-Presidents who one imagines were listed to lend dignity to the proceedings
(and maybe cough up some cash). They were:
The Lord De
L’Isle and Dudley
2nd Baron De L'Isle and Dudley (1828–1898)
Hon. W. E.
Hon. William Ernest
Duncombe, MP for North Yorkshire, resident at the time at Leases Hall,
Aiskew, near Bedale, N. Yorkshire, son of William Duncombe, 2nd
Baron Feversham; later became Viscount Helmsley and Earl of Feversham
(25/01/1829, Hooton Pagnell, S. Yorks. – 13/01/1915, Duncombe Park,
F. A. Milbank,
J. W. Pease,
M. Wyvill, Esq.,
Marmaduke Wyvill, jun., MP for
Richmond. His family’s seat was at Constable Burton, North
Yorkshire. His own country residence was Denton Hall, Denton Park,
Ben Rhydding, West Riding of Yorkshire, originally his wife’s
family’s residence. (1815 – 25/06/1896)
Rev. Canon Dixon
Rev. Canon Gooch
Rev. Chas. Cator
Rev. J. F.
Rev. John Farmer
Newton, vicar of Kirkby-in-Cleveland, near to, if not adjacent to,
Skipworth’s own parish.
Howard Staunton, a grand old
man of English chess, but now way past his best as a chess-player.
Rev. Sir Charles
Baronet Macgregor of Savile Row, Rector of Swallow, Lincolnshire (3
miles SW of Skipworth’s place of birth at Laceby)
William John Wilson,
physician and surgeon, Hill House, High Street, Clay Cross
Rev. W. Wayte,
Rev. William Wayte leading
English amateur of his day.
Chas. C. Oxley
A. H. T.
Augustus Mongredien of
Manchester Chess Club
Löwenthal, Hungarian-born immigrant chess-player who established himself
in England as a professional player and organiser. (15/07/1810
Rev. H. S.
J. W. Rimington Wilson,
James Wilson Rimington-Wilson, of
Broomhead Hall, on the periphery of the hamlet of Wigtwizzle, not far from
the village of Bolsterstone, near Stocksbridge, near Sheffield. (01/071822
D. Marsden Esq.
David Marsden, bank manager of
Huddersfield (1806/07 - 12/08/1868)
The 23 members of
the General Committee were:
Rev. B. N. R.
Rev. Benjamin North Rockley Batty
Rev. W. Beckett,
Rev. Wilson Beckett
J. H. Bennett,
Esq., M.D., Redcar*
James Heaton Bennett
Dr. George Fowler
A. Ball, Esq.,
Esq., M.D., Whitby
Thomas Bourn (not an MD)
M. R. Deas, Esq., M.D., Kirkleatham
Dr Matthew Ross Deas
Rev. G. G. Lyon,
Rev. W. Milburne,
Rev. J. Owen,
Rev. C. E.
Rev. A. B.
W. Trevor, Esq.,
William Charles Trevor
G. H. Taylor,
George Henry Taylor
E. Walker, Esq.,
Committee consisted of those Vice-Presidents listed above with an asterisk
(*) after their names.
The joint honorary
secretaries were J. H.
Bennett, M.D., and G. F. Bodington, M.D.,
while the treasurer was Rev. B. N. R. Batty,
Reports of the Event
Gazette of 18th August 1866, page 9 carried the following
report, clearly penned by Skipworth, put printing “Temple” for
THE NORTH OF ENGLAND CHESS
meeting held last week in Redcar has been a great success. Though we
regretted the absence of several patrons of the association, on account of
the busy week in York, yet we rejoiced in an assemblage of chess talent
that has never been surpassed and rarely equalled at any provincial meeting
in the kingdom. Among the company present we noticed Lord Benholme,
the Rev. Canon Dixon and Mrs. Dixon, Mr. and Mrs. Staunton, London; the
Rev. W. Beckett, Heighington; Mr. J. W. Morley, Birkby Rectory; the Rev. D.
Salter; the Rev. W. Wayte, Stow; Mr. and Mrs. Thorold, Bath; Miss Thorold,
Sheffield; the Rev. J. F. Newton; Dr. Wilson, Clay Cross, Chesterfield; Mr.
and Mrs. Browne, Bournemouth; the Rev. A. B. and Mrs. Skipworth, Bilsdale;
Mr. De Vere, London; Mr. and Miss Oxley, Redcar; Dr. and Mrs. Bennett,
Redcar; the Rev. B. N. R. Batty, Redcar; Mr. Hamel, Nottingham; Mr.
Whisker, Hull; the Rev. John and Mrs. Owen, Hooton, Chester; Mr. Coates,
Redcar; Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Cadman, and Mr. Myers, Leeds; the Rev. G. B. Morley,
Fellow of St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge; Mr. Kidson, Liverpool;
Mr. Fieldsend, Bradford; Mr. Grimshaw, Whitby; Mr. Bodington, Saltburn; Mr.
Temple [sic, means Semple], Stockton-upon-Tees; Mr. Park, Hartlepool; the
Rev. F. R. Drew, Malvern; the Rev. Chas, and Mrs. Bailey, the Rev. J. and
Mrs. Seaton, the Rev. J. B. Turner, Mrs. Harrison, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Hague
Cook, and many ladies and gentlemen whose names we were unable to
several classes each competitor played a single with each player in his
class, and the prizes were decided by the gross score.
gentlemen competed in Class I., Mr. Cecil De Vere, Mr. Thorold, the Rev. W.
Wayte, Mr. Wisker, Dr. Wilson, the Rev. A.B. Skipworth, the Rev. D. Salter,
and the Rev. John Owen; and the prize was won by Mr. De Vere (the winner of
the £50 Challenge Cup given recently by the British Chess
Association), who lost only one game, and that by Mr. Thorold. The
Rev. J. Owen, Mr. Thorold, and Mr. Wisker were equal for the second place,
each having lost two games.
twelve competitors in Class II., Mr. J. W. Morley, Mr. Hamel, Mr. Kidson,
Mr. Fieldsend, Dr. Bennett, the Rev. W. Beckett, Mr. Grimshaw, Lord
Benholme, Mr. Park, Mr. Temple, Mr. Bodington, and the Rev. F. R. Drew: and
the prize was won by Mr. Drew, without losing one game. Mr. Hamel and
Mr. Kidson stood next in order of merit, each having won eight games; then
Lord Benholme and Mr. Temple with seven games.
The Rev. G.
B. Morley won Class III., and Miss Thorold in the Ladies’ Class.
Prize was awarded (by Mr. Staunton, the Rev. W. Wayte, and Mr. De Vere, the
committee chosen to make the award,) to Mr. Grimshaw, of Whitby, who is one
of the best living composers.
and Dr. Bennett, owing to the necessary frequent interruptions, as the
chief managers of this meeting, were compelled early in the week to
withdraw from further competition in the class in which they had entered
consequence of the was on the Continent, Herr Anderssen’s visit to
England was delayed nearly a fortnight, and he and Herr Steinitz were
unfortunately unable to be at Redcar, on account of their great match
, which only terminated with the close of this meeting. Herr
Anderssen, contrary to general expectations, was compelled to succumb to
his youthful antagonist, who won eight games to his opponent’s six.
absence of Herr Steinitz, Mr. Wayte kindly undertook the blindfold play,
playing five games simultaneously against Mrs. Seaton, Mr. Semple, Mr.
Fieldsend, the Rev. G. B. Morley, and the Rev. W. Beckett. At the end
of a five hour’s [sic] sitting, Mr. Wayte had won three of the games,
and the remaining two, with Mr. Semple and Mr. Morley, being unfinished,
were scored as drawn games.
ladies and gentlemen made the excursion to Saltburn. Luncheon was
served at the Zetland Hotel. The Rev. Canon Dixon (in the absence of
the Earl of Zetland, the President) occupied the chair, and was supported
on his right by Lord Benholme. Mr. Skipworth was in the
vice-chair. After the usual loyal toasts, the Army and the Navy, the
Archbishop and the Clergy (when, by the bye, Lord Benholme remarked, in
proposing the health of the Archbishop, that, as far as he knew, his grace
had only one fault – he was not a member of the Chess Association),
Lord Benholme proposed “Success to the Chess Association,” and
most ably and feelingly advocated its support among all classes. Mr.
Skipworth, in returning thanks, stated the circumstances which led to the
formation of the Association, and briefly spoke of the advantages of the
institution, especially as a means of introducing chess into the homes of
the working people, where it would help greatly to bring into active
exercise the thinking powers, and prepare the mind for useful and solemn
The last, but
by no means the least interesting of this most pleasant and successful
meeting was a Consultation Game on the Saturday – Mr. Staunton and
the Rev. D. Salte[r] against the Rev. John Owen and the Rev. A. B.
Skipworth. After playing over six hours, the game was given up, and
scored as a drawn game. During the week, Mr. Staunton played with
some of the members of the association, giving them the odds of a castle,
and he won on every occasion.
We close our
report by saying that York was chosen by an almost unanimous vote for the
next meeting, in August, 1867, and it was proposed to invite the Earl of
Zetland to be again president, and the Lady De L’Isle and Dudley lady
Chess Player’s Magazine, New Series, Volume II, 1866, on page
280, carried the following report, essentially the same as that in the York
THE NORTH OF ENGLAND CHESS MEETING.
Meeting held last week in Redcar has been a great success. Though we
regret the absence of several patrons of the Association, owing to a busy
and attractive week in York, occasioned by the visit of the Prince and
Princess of Wales, yet we rejoice in an assemblage of Chess talent.
Among the company present we noticed: Lord Benholme, the Rev. Canon and
Mrs. Dixon, Mr. and Mrs. Staunton (London), the Rev. W. Beckett
(Heighington), Mr. and Mrs. Browne (Bournemouth), Rev. J. F. Newton, Rev.
W. Wayte (Eton), Mr. Morley (Birkby Rectory), Rev. G. B. Morley, Fellow of
St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, Rev. Chas, and Mrs. Bailey, Mr.
and Mrs. Thorold (Bath ), Miss Thorold (Sheffield), Rev. F. R. Drew
(Malvern), Mr. and Miss Oxley (Redcar), Rev. Jno and Mrs. Owen (Hootan
[sic], Chester), Dr. Wilson (Clay Cross), Rev. John and Mrs. Seaton, Mr.
Fieldsend (Bradford), Mr. S. Tomkins (London), Rev. W. Milburne, Rev. D.
Salter, Rev. B. N. R. and Mrs. Batty, Mr. Whisker (Hull), Dr. and Mrs.
Bennett (Redcar), Rev. A. B. and Mrs. Skipworth (Bilsdale), Mr. G. F.
Bodington, Mr. Hamel (Nottingham), Mr. De Vere (London), Mr. Rhodes, Mr.
Cadman, and Mr. Myers (Leeds), Mr. Grimshaw (Whitby), Mr. Kidson
(Liverpool), Mr. Coates (Redcar), Mr. Semple (Stockton-upon-Tees), Mr. Park
(Hartlepool), Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Cook. There were many ladies and
gentlemen whose names we were unable to ascertain.
war delayed Herr Anderssen’s visit to in consequence of which his
match with Herr Steinitz commenced so late a period that it was not
concluded at the time of the Redcar meeting. Neither, therefore,
could be present. In the several classes the combatants played a
single with each other, and the prizes were awarded according to the gross
score. In Class I. eight gentlemen competed - Messrs. De Vere,
Thorold, Wayte, Wisker, Wilson, Skipworth, Salter, and Owen. The
prize was carried off by Mr. De Vere, who only lost one game, and that to
Mr. Thorold. Messrs. Owen, Wisker and Thorold were equal for the
second place, each having lost two games. There were twelve competitors
in Class II. - Lord Benholme, Messrs. Morley, Hamel, Kidson, Fieldsend,
Bennett, Beckett, Grimshaw, Park, Drew, Semple, and Bodington. The
prize was won by Mr. Drew, who didn’t lose a single game. Next
in order of merit stood Messrs. Hamel and Kidson, each of whom won eight
games; then Lord Benholme and Mr. Semple, winners of seven games. The
Rev. G. B. Morley won Class III., and Miss Thorold in the Ladies’
Class. Mr. Skipworth and Dr. Bennett were compelled in the early part
of the week to resign all further competition, on account of their frequent
interruptions in the discharge of the somewhat arduous duties which
devolved to them as the chief promoters and managers of this meeting.
The prize for problems was awarded by Messrs. Staunton, Wayte, and De Vere (the
committee chosen to make the award) to Mr. Grimshaw, of Whitby. In
the absence of Herr Steinitz, the Rev. W. Wayte kindly undertook the
blindfold play, conducting five games simultaneously against Mrs. Seaton,
Messrs. Semple, Fieldsend, Morley, and the Beckett. At the close of a
five hours’ sitting Mr. Wayte had won three of the games, and the
remaining two, with Mr. Morley and Mr. Semple were given up as drawn.
About thirty ladies and gentlemen made the excursion to Saltburne [sic].
Luncheon was served at the Zetland Hotel. The Rev. Canon Dixon, in
the absence of the Lord Zetland, the president, presided, supported on his
right by Lord Benholme. Mr. Skipworth occupied the vice-chair.
After the usual loyal toasts, “The Army and Navy”, “The
Archbishop and the Clergy,” Lord Benholme proposed “Success to
the North Yorkshire and Durham Chess Association,” whose inaugural
meeting was being held in Redcar. Mr. Skipworth, in returning thanks,
stated the circumstances which led to the formation of the Association, and
spoke briefly of the advantages of Chess, especially on its introduction
into the homes of the working people, where it must tend to bring into
active exercise their thinking powers, and so help to prepare their minds
for useful and solemn teaching. The last but by no means the least
interesting of this successful meeting was a Consultation Game – Mr.
Staunton and the Rev. D. Salter against the Revs. J. Owen and the A. B.
Skipworth. After playing more than six hours the game was given up as
drawn. Mr. Staunton during the week played several games, giving odds
of a rook, and won in every instance.
proposed to hold the next meeting of the Association in York, in August,
1867; it was resolved to invite the Earl of Zetland to be again the
President, and the Lady De L’Isle and Dudley to be again the Lady
however, those who found fault with the arrangements made. Click here for more about this
on a separate page.
Results in the Class I tournament, as recorded in the Middlesbrough
Weekly News and Cleveland Advertiser, produce the following crosstable:
Results in the Class II tournament:
Class III was won by the Rev.
George Bentley Morley.
Class was won by Miss Eliza Mary
Thorold of Sheffield, Edmund Thorold’s sister. There appear
to be eight ladies in the photograph mentioned below.
Visitors and Participants
One of the
visitors to the event, who records in his diary watching the tournament play,
was the 33-year-old Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll.
There exists a group photograph of the players at Redcar 1866, which has in
the past been attributed to Dodgson, an amateur photographer, but current
theory seems to be that it is not his work. Alice’s Adventures
in Wonderland was first published in this country in 1865.
< 1865: 1st
Redcar Chess Meeting < : > 1867:
3rd North Yorkshire & Durham CA Meeting >