Yorkshire Chess History
William George Bingham
William George Bingham was a member of Rotherham Chess Club during its re-birth after World War I, and was donor of the Bingham Trophy for the Championship of Rotherham.
The parents of William George Bingham were Richard Bingham (born1846/47, Beighton, then in Derbyshire but now in Sheffield and hence now in Yorkshire) and Rebecca Levers Bingham (née Ball, born 1848, Derby). This couple, whose marriage was registered in the third quarter of 1867 at Sheffield, had at least the following six children:
Hackenthorpe is next door to Beighton, and was also in Derbyshire in the 1860s, but is now part of Sheffield and in South Yorkshire.
When William George Bingham was only 6 months old (3), around December 1869, the family moved to Sheffield.
The 1871 census found the parents and first two sons living at 96 Button Lane, Sheffield. Living with them was John Ball (born 1850/51, Derby), a brother of Rebecca Bingham. Richard Bingham was a scythe-smith, while John Ball was an engine driver.
Button Lane was the location of a chess club fifty years or more later, but not in 1871.
Richard Bingham made an important change in the nature of his employment, becoming a provision merchant (grocer). This career change led in time to a family firm in which son William George Bingham became involved.
The 1881 census found the parents and three sons, along with Rebecca’s nephew, Richard Ball (born 1874/75, Glasgow), living at 172 Gibraltar street, Sheffield. Richard’s 28-year-old Norton-born sister, Mary A. Bingham was visiting at the time of the census. (Norton was another village then in Derbyshire, now in Sheffield.) Richard Bingham was a provision merchant. The three boys were scholars.
Young William George Bingham was educated at St. George’s National School, Sheffield (3). After leaving school, young William helped his father both in Sheffield and Rotherham.
William took up residence in Rotherham in 1883, returned to Sheffield in 1889. (3)
The marriage of William George Bingham to Emily Smithson (born1869/70, Sheffield) was registered in the first quarter of 1891 at Sheffield.
The newly-weds lived initially with the bride’s parents. Accordingly, the 1891 census found William and Emily living with Thomas Smithson (born 1835/36, Haxey, Lincs.), a wheelwright, and Ann Smithson (born 1836/37, Haxey, Lincs.), at 57 Earl Street, Sheffield. (Kelly’s 1890 directory had listed Mrs Eliza Smithson, dressmaker, at 57 Earl Street, Sheffield.)
Meanwhile, William’s parents, Richard and Rebecca, seem to have been in the process of moving from Sheffield to Rotherham. The 1891 census found 43-year-old Rebecca Bingham as “head” of the household at 38 Catherine Street, Sheffield, living with 23-year-old son Thomas and 19-year-old son Robert Sykes Bingham, both provision merchant’s assistants, a servant and a boarder. Richard Bingham, on the other hand, was living without any other members of the family at 18 Westfield View, Rotherham, with a housekeeper (and her three children) and another servant.
For some reason or other things went wrong with William and Emily’s marriage. In 1898 our man emigrated to Canada in the company of Edith Mary Kennedy (born 1876, Rotherham). The unmarried couple had a daughter. The birth of Margaret Adelaide Bingham, on 27/09/1899, was registered at Wentworth, Ontario, giving the father’s name as William George Bingham and the mother’s maiden name as Edith Ma(r?)y Kennedy. The structure of the Canadian form for registration of births discretely made no implication as to whether the parents were married.
The Canadian census of 1901 found the parents and their daughter living in Hamilton, Ontario. The Canadian census listed dates of birth as well as ages and marital status, and dates of immigration into Canada where appropriate. Our man’s household consisted of the following:
William and Edith were recorded as having immigrated to Canada in 1898. They were represented as married, though that seems to have been merely for “appearances”. William was recorded as a manager, though the word indicating what he managed is indecipherable. That this was the household of William George Bingham born in Hackenthorpe becomes evident in the 1911 England census.
Back in Rotherham, Richard Bingham, our man’s father, had established a business as a provision dealer, trading as Bingham and Co. White’s General and Commercial Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham etc, 1898, listed Bingham & Co. at 22 Market Hall, Rotherham, and Richard Bingham living at 57 Oxford Street. Kelly’s Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1901, listed Richard Bingham, provision dealer, with business premises at 22 Market Hall, Rotherham, and home at 57 Oxford Street.
The 1901 England census found Richard Bingham, daughters Daisy, Ivy and Ella, and two domestic staff, living at 57 Oxford Street, Rotherham. Rebecca happened at the time of the census to be visiting son Thomas and his family at 124 Duke Street, Sheffield. Another person visiting Thomas was 16-year-old Sarah Ball, who was presumably a relative on his mother’s side.
Thomas had married Emma Needham, daughter publican John Needham, and in 1901 the household at 124 Duke Street consisted of 70-year-old John Needham, publican, his 33-year-old son-in-law Thomas Bingham, a public house manager, Thomas’s wife 30-year-old Emma, Thomas and Emma’s son 8-year-old Harold Bingham, and a servant.
For some reason, William George Bingham and his family returned from Canada to England. The return to England appears to have been in 1900. Thus White’s Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham etc, 1902, listed not only Richard Bingham, provision dealer, 22 Market Hall, Rotherham, with home at 57 Oxford Street, Rotherham, but also listed William George Bingham, assistant [whatever that means, perhaps to his father], 76 Gilberthorpe Street, Rotherham. White’s Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1903, listed the same details for father Richard, but listed son William now as a bookkeeper living at 40 Gilberthorpe Street, Rotherham.
A biographical piece in The Rotherham & District Annual, 1915, fails to mention the Canadian episode, merely saying our man returned (as though from Sheffield) to Rotherham in 1900.
At some stage prior to 1904, the original marriage between William and Emily must has been ended in some way, as the marriage of William George Bingham and Edith Mary Kennedy was registered in the first quarter of 1904, at Rotherham. This tidied up the paperwork to reflect the status quo, which was perhaps a prerequisite for William joining his father’s firm.
White’s Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1905, listed Richard Bingham and Son, provision dealers, 22 Market Hall, Rotherham, and listed William George Bingham, grocer, resident at “Haselton”, Doncaster Road, Rotherham. (“Haselton” is the third of eight residences making up the curved terrace called The Crescent, the rear of which is visible through the window as I type.)
The death of Edith Mary Bingham was registered in the first quarter of 1905, at Rotherham. That left William George Bingham a widower with a 5-year-old daughter.
William’s first wife must have been a very forgiving woman, for the next development was the re-marriage of William George Bingham to Emily Bingham née Smithson, which was recorded in the fourth quarter of 1905, in Rotherham. The registration of the marriage seems to have mentioned the bride both as Emily Bingham and Emily Smithson.
The father, Richard Bingham, provision merchant of “Haselton”, Doncaster Road, Rotherham, died on 21/04/1907. Probate was granted to William George Bingham, provision merchant. The deceased’s effect amounted to £2,341 18s.
The business seems to have expanded over the next three years as White’s Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1908, listed Richard Bingham and Son, provision dealers, now occupying three units, nos. 5, 22 and 23 Market Hall, Rotherham, telephone number Rotherham 235. William George Bingham was now listed as living at Barholm, Hollowgate, Rotherham.
The death of Rebecca Levers Bingham, aged 60, was registered in the third quarter of 1908 at Rotherham.
In 1909 William George Bingham stood as a candidate for election to Rotherham Borough Council, in the West Ward, but he was not elected. Then, then George Noble retired due to ill health, William had a walk-over victory in November 1910.
The 1911 census found 42-year-old Hackenthorpe-born William George Bingham, his 42-year-old Sheffield-born wife Emily Bingham, his 19-year-old Rotherham-born sister Daisy Bingham, his 12-year-old Ontario-born daughter Margaret Adelaide Bingham, and a servant, living at Barholm, [Hollowgate,] Rotherham. It was recorded that the couple had been married for 6 complete years, but that there had been no children from that marriage.
White’s Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1912, added a warehouse at Talbot Lane to the premises occupied by Richard Bingham and Son. William was listed still as resident at Barholm.
The Rotherham & District Annual, 1915, listed William’s home address as Linden House, Moorgate Road, Rotherham.
Kelly’s (“White’s”) Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1916, omitted unit 5 in the Market Hall, but added to the company’s premises a wholesale warehouse at 6 Market Street, Rotherham. William was now listed as resident at Linden House, Moorgate Road, Rotherham.
At some stage William George Bingham became a town councillor, and in 1919 became Mayor of Rotherham. Later he became an Alderman.
The family business became a limited company called R. Bingham & Son, Ltd, describing itself more specifically as that of wholesale provision merchants. Kelly’s Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1922, listed the company at new premises, The Maltings, Masborough Street, Rotherham, still with the telephone number 235. Curiously neither William nor Linden House was listed, though he appears not to have moved. The directories for 1924, 1925 and 1926 listed the business at the Maltings and William at Linden House.
William George Bingham of Linden House, Moorgate Road, Rotherham, died on 23/01/1926. He was cremated at Sheffield’s City Road Cemetery on 27/01/1926. Administration was granted to Emily Bingham, widow, and Waring Stanser, chartered accountant. He left effects of £20,129 6s. 11d.
Kelly’s Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1927-29, showed the family business to be continuing under the name R. Bingham and Son, Ltd., at the Maltings, Masborough Street, and at 22 & 23 Market Hall. Mrs. Emily Bingham, our man’s widow, was listed as chairman of R. Bingham and Son, Ltd, residing at Linden House, Moorgate Road. Hitherto William’s personal telephone number had been that of the business (Rotherham 235). Emily’s personal telephone number was given as Rotherham 492, suggesting she had had a telephone line installed at Linden House after William had died.
William George Bingham was one of the members of that version of Rotherham Chess Club which appears to have been formed around 1920.
He presented the “Bingham Cup” as the Rotherham Championship trophy, for annual competitions among members of Rotherham Chess Club, first contested in 1920-21.
Councillor W. G. Bingham was President of Rotherham Chess Club in 1920-21; Alderman W. G. Bingham was president in 1921-22; Alderman W. G. Bingham was a Vice-President in 1922-23 (since Councillor A. R. Habershon, the mayor of Rotherham, was President) (2).
(1) Canadian Census 1901
(2) Rotherham & District Annual, for years 1921, 1922, 1923.
(3) The Rotherham & District Annual, 1915
Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information