Yorkshire Chess History
Hon. and Rev. Philip Yorke Savile
Philip Yorke Savile was the fourth child and third son of chess-player John Savile, Viscount Pollington (later 3rd Earl of Mexborough) and his wife Ann. He was born on 23/08/1814, and was baptised the following day, on 24/08/1814, at St. Oswald’s, Methley, by A. H. Cathcart, rector of Methley, who won’t have known that the baby he was baptising would in his turn become rector of Methley twenty-eight years later. The Savile residence was at Methley Park. Methley is about two-and-a-half miles WNW of Castleford, on the road to Rothwell and eventually Leeds.
The baptism register, under father’s occupation, said the parents were “Commonly called The Rt. Honble Viscount and Viscountess Pollington”.
Like his father he was educated at Eton, after which he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as a pensioner, matriculating Michaelmas 1833. He got his MA in 1836. He was ordained a deacon and priest at Lincoln in 1837.
On 20/01/1842 he married Emily Mary Brand Hale (born 16/08/1819), eldest daughter of William Hale of Kings Walden, Hertfordshire, the marriage being registered at Hitchin, Herts. The couple had at least the following six children, all born at Methley (some popular sources list only George, Henry and William):
He held only one cure throughout his career, being rector of his family’s local church at Methley, from 1842 to his death in 1897. When he became rector of Methley, he chose not to live at the existing rectory, but at The Cedars, nearer the church, and he arranged the building of a new rectory near the church. There is now a “Care Home for Older People” called the Cedars on the opposite side of the road from the church.
His first child, Alice, was baptised by W. F. Hook, but thereafter the Hon. & Rev. Philip Yorke Savile baptised the remainder of his children. However, he got others to conduct burial services for members of his family.
The 1851 census found our man as rector of Methley, living at The Rectory, Methley, with his wife, the first three children, and seven servants.
On 19/02/1854 a son was born to Philip and Emily who they called Herbert. He died on the same day he was born. He was buried at St. Oswald’s, Methley. His little headstone’s inscription reads:
LIE THE REMAINS OF
INFANT SON OF
THE HONBL AND REV. P. Y. SAVILLE,
BORN AND DIED
15TH FEBRUARY 1854
In would appear that Herbert was baptised, post mortem on 16/02/1854. The baptism register records the baptism, giving his parents’ address as The Cedars.
On 25/12/1860, John Savile, 3rd Earl of Mexborough, our man’s father, died in London. He was buried on 03/01/1861, St. Oswald, Methley, by John Bell, MA, vicar of Rothwell.
In the 1861 census, Philip was mentioned as “Honourable”. George had become a scholar. Henry William Savile was resident at the time at
Rossall School, near Fleetwood. Frederick James Savile may similarly have been away at school somewhere. The family now included 1-year-old William H. [for Hale] Savile.
On 13/01/1865, third son Frederick James Savile died, aged 13. He was buried at St. Oswald’s, Methley, on 17/01/1865 by J. A. Armitage.
His headstone’s inscription, somewhat illegible at the bottom, reads as follows:
In memory of
Frederick James Savile,
Born May 27th 1851,
Died Jany 13th 1865.
“Our light affliction which is but for
a moment, worketh for us a more
exceeding and eternal weight of Glory.
For we know that if our earthly house of
this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a
building [of God, a house] not made with
hands [eternal in] the [heavens].”
The text near the bottom is illegible, but has been completed with inferred text [in brackets]. It’s Corinthians II, Chapter 4, verse 17, and Chapter 5, verse 1, glued together.
The 1871 census found Philip “York” Savile on his own, apart from two servants, at Churchside (the main road, on which the Church stands), Methley, without the “e” at the end of “Yorke”. His wife and children were presumably away, visiting or taking a break, probably taking some servants with them.
On 01/06/1876, George Savile married Charlotte Maria Baker, second daughter of Henry Baker of Stoke, Devon. The couple had a daughter, Beatrice Mary Savile. Charlotte’s died on 13/05/1879, at Christchurch, Hampshire. (This helps to understand the 1891 census.)
The 1881 census found the Saviles at Scarborough. They had perhaps taken a house for a break, or maybe they’d gone there for mother Emily’s health. They had four servants with them, so it presumably was a reasonably lengthy stay. 66-year-old the Honourable Philip, 64-year-old Emily, 36-year-old Alice and 21-year-old William were at Eldon House, Alfred Street, Scarborough. William was recorded as an Oxford undergraduate; he went on to become a cleric like his father.
Philip’s wife, Emily, died on 09/08/1881, aged 61, and was buried at St. Oswald’s, Methley. The grave inscription reads as follows:
TO THE MEMORY OF
EMILY MARY BRAND SAVILE,
BORN AUGT 16TH 1819,
DIED AUGT 9TH 1881.
The 1891 census found the 76-year-old Hon. Philip and son 43-year-old widowed George visiting George’s 31-year-old brother-in-law, Henry Locke Baker, who lived on his own means, with 41-year-old sister Augusta Lucy Charlotte Baker, at Kenwood Lodge, Lillington (NE of Leamington), Warwickshire. With them was Henry’s niece, 13-year-old Beatrice Mary Savile (born 03/06/1877, died 18/10/1952), who was the daughter of George and his deceased wife Charlotte Maria Savile née Baker.
Philip Yorke Savile died on Friday 23/07/1897, and was buried on Monday 26/07/1897 in the same grave as his wife, at St. Oswald’s, Methley, by Rev. John James Needham, rector of Whitworth Mere, Lancashire. The usual officiate at burials in this period was the curate, J. C. B. Hall, so the Rev. Needham was perhaps a friend of the deceased.
The inscription added to the grave read as follows:
THE MEMORY OF
THE HONBLE& REVD
PHILIP YORKE SAVILE M.A.
FOR 56 YEARS RECTOR
BORN AUGT 23RD 1814,
DIED JULY 23RD 1897.
“UNTIL THE DAY BREAK, AND
THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY.”
The Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement of Saturday 31/07/1897, on page 9, under “Deaths”, reported his death at Methley Rectory,saying he had been interred at Methley Church on Monday. The text on microfilm in Leeds library is not clear enough to reproduce verbatim.
Probate was granted to Henry William Savile, retired Royal Navy captain. He left £630 10s 6d.
Alice Mary Savile outlived her father by only two years all but three days, dying on 26/07/1899, and being buried in the same grave as her parents. Her grave inscription reads as follows:
THE MEMORY OF
ONLY DAUGHTER OF
THE HONBLE & REVD
PHILIP YORKE SAVILE
BORN MARCH 8TH 1844,
DIED JULY 26TH 1899.
“AT EVENTIDE IT SHALL
George Savile died on 04/09/1904.
William Hale Savile died on 05/02/1925.
Henry William Savile died on 08/01/1832, and was buried in the same grave at St. Oswald’s, Methley, as his parents and sister. The grave inscription, added beneath that of his mother, reads as follows:
ALSO HENRY WILLIAM SAVILE
ELDEST SON OF THE
HONBLE & REVD PHILIP YORKE SAVILE
DIED JANY 8TH 1832, AGED 81 YEARS
That he was described as “eldest son” is difficult to understand. Older brother George Savile was clearly listed in the 1851 and 1861 censuses as our man’s son, and the baptismal register clearly records him as the son of our man and his wife. This is presumably a mistake made in the absence of any surviving relatives in the vicinity to provide informed information on the matter.
He was for a while a keen supporter of the West Yorkshire Chess Association, attending the meetings of 1866, 1867, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1873, 1876, 1878, and 1879. When playing in the (knock-out) tournaments he tended to lose in the first round, though he beat William Ledgar Robinson in 1867, losing in round 2 to JH Finlinson.
He was present at the Match between Yorkshire’s West and North Ridings in Leeds on Wednesday 13th December 1867, and presided over the tea which followed.
Copyright © 2012 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information