Yorkshire Chess History



Thomas Boss











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1818, Beverley


28/07/1818, Beverley


20/09/1871, Sheffield


23/09/1871, St Thomas Cemetery, Brightside


Non-Chess Life


Thomas Boss was born in 1818, at Beverley, and was baptised on 28/07/1818 at Beverley.  His mother’s names was Mary Boss.


On 02/06/1840, in Doncaster, Thomas Boss married Mary Ann Wood (born 1819, Doncaster).  The couple went on to have at least the following three children:


Mary Elizabeth Boss

born 1841, Newark

John George Boss

born 1847, Sheffield

Ann Ada Boss

born 1853, Sheffield


It seems that the Bosses lived at first in Newark, Notts., which seems to be where the 1841 census found the family.


Quite when he arrived in Sheffield isn’t clear.  He didn’t get a mention in White’s 1845 Sheffield directory, but the first Sheffield-born child was born in 1847, so his arrival in Sheffield would appear to be about 1846, give or take a year.


White’s 1849 Sheffield directory listed Thomas Boss as a music professor (i. e. teacher) living at 71 Wentworth Terrace, Sheffield.  Wentworth Terrace on Upperthorpe Road, was roughly opposite the back of what was the infirmary but is now a Tesco store.  Fellow chess-player George Padley lived at 95 Wentworth Terrace.


The 1851 census found Thomas Boss, Mary Ann Boss, and 4-year-old son John George Boss living with a servant at 71 Wentworth Terrace.  Thomas was a professor of music.  [Where was Mary Elizabeth Boss?]


White’s 1852 and 1855 Sheffield directories repeated the 1849 details on Thomas Boss.


In 1859, Thomas’s wife, Mary Ann Boss, died.


On 18/11/1860, Thomas’s older daughter, 19-year-old Mary Elizabeth Boss, spinster residing at Upperthorpe, was married in the Sheffield parish church, by Thomas Sale, to 29-year-old bachelor John Charles Burrell, a jeweller residing at King Street.


The 1861 census found widower Thomas Boss living with the two children and a servant, now at Burlington Street, about a quarter of a mile from Wentworth Terrace.  The income of a music professor was presumably becoming too little, as Thomas was now a professor of music and an insurance agent.


In 1862, Thomas Boss remarried, to Frances Bingley, and this couple added three more children to the Boss brood, both born in Sheffield:


Thomas Bingley Boss

born 1863

Alice Maud Boss

born 1868


The 1871 census found Thomas, Frances, Ann, Thomas junior, Alice and Frances’s 72-year-old Grimesthorpe-born father, retired scissor forger Joseph Bingley, and a servant, at Brightside Bank, Sheffield.  Music no longer featured as an element of Thomas’s occupation; he was a collector and insurance agent.




Thomas Boss died on 20/09/1871, in Sheffield, aged 53.  [Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 21/09/1871]  He was buried on 23/09/1871, in plot 485 of St. Thomas’ Cemetery, Brightside.  No identifiable above-ground trace of the grave is evident.  About 6 plots to the left of plot 481 is a grave with no wording evident on the weathered small headstone, so this could be it.


Alice Maud Boss, daughter by his second marriage, who had married Herbert Rodgers in 1915, died in 1948, aged 80, and was interred in the same grave on 26/04/1948.




Thomas Boss was a member of the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club, at least in 1849, though later subscription payments done appear in the treasurer’s records.


“Boss” was one of the blind player’s simultaneous opponents at the 1861 visit by George Lumley to the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club.


“Boss” was one of the Sheffield chess-players attending the 1863 West Yorkshire Chess Association Annual Meeting, in Sheffield.





Copyright © 2014, 2019 Stephen John Mann

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

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