Yorkshire Chess History



Samuel Maw











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



17/03/1793, Crowle, Lincolnshire



11/12/1870, Crowle, Lincolnshire


Crowle cemetery


Identity of the Chess-Player(s)


Among those listed as attending the second 1841 meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association were “Johnson”, “Pearson” and “Maw” (without forename or initials), of Doncaster.  Similarly, “Maw” from Crowle, Lincolnshire, was listed as attending the next two meetings, in 1842 and 1843.  On that information alone, the most likely candidate for a single “Maw” associated with both Doncaster and Crowle seems to be Henry Lister Maw, who was at the time resident in Crowle, but had been born at Warmsworth on the periphery of Doncaster, and so probably retained connections with Doncaster.  However, there could be two people involved.


Although the report of the 1846 meeting in the Wakefield Express lists no Maw attending that meeting, reports of that event in Le Palamède and Bell’s Life (the latter unseen) listed a Samuel Maw attending that meeting.  Samuel Maw of Crowle is easy enough to identify.


The “Maw” of Crowle attending the 1842 and 1843 meetings could have been Henry Lister Maw of Tetley Hall, who as the chief Maw of Crowle would in those days tend not to need forename or initials to identify him, but this “Maw” was perhaps more likely to have been Henry’s poorer relation, farmer Samuel Maw, who lived on Crowle High Street, and the reporter maybe simply didn’t know his forename or initial which properly would be given.


It could be that Samuel Maw of Crowle took advantage of the recently-constructed railway passing through Crowle to make contact with chess-players in Doncaster.  There was a formal Doncaster Chess Club in existence in 1850.  A chess circle or club is recorded as existing in Doncaster in 1842.  Thus “Maw” of Doncaster was perhaps most probably Samuel Maw of Crowle, but could have been Henry Lister Maw, or indeed one of the people called Maw resident in Doncaster at the time.


It seems unlikely Samuel and Henry were brothers, otherwise Henry, who was younger than Samuel, would presumably not have come to inhabit Tetley Hall.  On the other hand, they are likely to have been cousins.


The Maws of Crowle


Crowle is 16 miles east of Doncaster, on the north-west edge of the Isle of Axholme, in the Lincolnshire “riding” of Lindsey.  “Crowle” station on the modern Doncaster-to-Cleethorpes railway line is actually situated at the hamlet of Ealand, in the township of Crowle, a mile or so to the south of Crowle itself, and on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.  The population increased from 1889 in 1831 to 2548 in 1851, showing Crowle to be a thriving market town around that time.


Crowle fell within the polling district of Epworth, Lincolnshire, but in the district of Thorne, Yorkshire, for the purposes of death registration etc.


The polling list for the December 1832 election listed Richard Maw, John Maw (born 1790/91), Samuel Maw and Cornelius Maw (born 16/11/1798, Crowle) as having voting qualifications (not necessarily residence) in Crowle.  The 1835 polling list recorded the same Maws with voting qualifications in Crowle.


Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Yorks, Leics etc, 1841, listed at Crowle, under the “Gentry and Clergy” heading, four gentlemen called Maw: Cornelius Maw, John Maw, Richard Maw and Samuel Maw.  There were odd possibly-related Maws from Doncaster to Hull, but there was a similar noticeable cluster of Maws at Epworth.


The 1841 polling list saw the addition, to the earlier four, of Henry Lister Maw and Robert Maw to the Maws with voting qualifications in Crowle.


Samuel Maw


Samuel Maw and Cornelius Maw (born 16/11/1798) were brothers.  They are elusive in the 1841 census, but the 1851 census recorded the brothers living with a farm servant and two domestic servants at an unspecified address in Crowle.  Samuel was described as a farmer of 50 acres, employing one farm labourer.


The 1852 polling list had Henry, Samuel and Cornelius as the only Maws still listed under Crowle.


White’s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Lincolnshire, 1856, listed only one Maw at Crowle under “Gentry”, namely Henry Lister Maw who resided at Tetley Hall.  White goes on to list Solomon Maw as a boot and shoe maker, Cornelius and Samuel Maw as jointly owning a farm, Robert Maw and Simon Maw as owning their own farms, Robert Maw junior as a potato merchant, and James Maw as a farmer (but not owner).


Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Lincolnshire, 1861, listed under “Private Residents” Cornelius Maw, Henry Lister Maw (still at Tetley Hall), and Samuel Maw, and listed under “Commercial” James Maw and Simon Maw as farmers.


The 1861 census found brothers Samuel and Cornelius living in High Street, Crowle, with two domestic servants.  Both brothers were farmers.




Samuel Maw died on 11/12/1870, at Crowle, Lincolnshire, and was buried in Crowle Cemetery.  The death was registered at Thorne.


Cornelius Maw died on 27/07/1884, and was buried in the same grave as Samuel.


There are at least 23 Maws buried in Crowle cemetery.




“Maw, Doncaster” attended the second meeting of the original Yorkshire Chess Association.  This might have been Samuel maw, but it’s difficult to be sure, as described above.


“Maw, Crowle” attended the 1842 and 1843 annual meetings of the original Yorkshire Chess Association.  This was probably Samuel Maw, but could possibly have been Henry Lister Maw who by then was resident in Crowle.


Samuel Maw is reported to have attended the 1846 meeting of the Yorkshire Chess Association.





Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann

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

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