Yorkshire Chess History



Pearson, Henry William











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1831/32, Sheffield



04/08/1910, Sheffield


08/08/1910, City Road Cemetery


Non-Chess Life


Henry William Pearson was born in 1831/32, at Sheffield.  His parents may have died while he was young as the 1841 and 1851 censuses find him living with an uncle and aunt, William Poole Pearson (born 1799/00, Sheffield) and Eliza Pearson (born 1802/03, Nottingham).  The couple had at least the following five children to look after:


Eliza Pearson (junior)

born 1828/29

Henry William Pearson

born 1830/31, Sheffield

Fred K Pearson

born 1833/34

Arthur Pearson

born 1835/36, Sheffield

Jane Pearson

born Dec/Jan 1840/421


The 1841 census found William, his wife, and above five children living at Hanover Square, Sheffield.  The 1841 census gave no indication of relationships, hence which children were born to William and Eliza, and which were nephews or nieces is not indicated.  Father William was an ale and porter agent.


William’s business must have been profitable as the 1851 census described the 51-year-old as a gentleman, implying he’d retired from business.  Meanwhile our man, 20-year-old Henry, was a clerk in courts.  Of the children, only Henry and Arthur were still at home.  Henry was stated to be William’s nephew, while Arthur was stated to be his son.  The family lived now more-specifically at 9 Hanover Square, Sheffield, with one servant.


The marriage of Henry William Pearson to Mary Bramall was registered in the third quarter of 1855, in Sheffield.  The couple had at least the following two children:


Edith Pearson

born 1858/59, Sheffield

John Pearson

born Apr/May 1860, Sheffield

Harry Pearson

born 1861/62, Sheffield

Sydney Pearson

born 1864/65, Sheffield


The 1861 census found the parents, the above two children and two servants living at “Cross Pool”, Nether Hallam (now a suburb of Sheffield called “Crosspool”.)  29-year-old Henry was no longer a court clerk but had entered his uncle’s former business, being a wine merchant and brewer.  Uncle William, aunt Eliza and cousins Eliza and Jane now lived at Cliff House, Water Lane, Upper Hallam, Sheffield.  William was now retired, being a “fund-holder”.


Tragedy then struck as the death of wife Mary Pearson was registered in the second quarter of 1866 at Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield.  The fate of children Edith and John is unclear, as they are not list subsequently as living with their father.


Henry took a second wife; his marriage to Elizabeth Smith (born Cropwell, Notts. [presumably referring to the adjacent villages of Cropwell Bishop and Cropwell Butler]) was registered in the fourth quarter of 1867 at Scarborough.  This couple had at least the following two children:


Phoebe Pearson

born 1868/69, Sheffield

Alice Pearson

born 1871/72, Sheffield


The 1871 census listed Henry, still a wine merchant and brewer, living at 242 Fulwood Road, Sheffield, with his second wife Elizabeth, their 2-year-old daughter Phoebe and two servants.  His surviving children from his first marriage, at least Harry and Sydney, must have been elsewhere at the time of the census, perhaps living with relatives.  (Meanwhile uncle William, aunt Eliza and cousins Eliza and Jane were living at 3 Royal Crescent, Scarborough.  The death of William Poole Pearson, aged 74, was registered at Scarborough in the first quarter of 1875.)


The 1881 census found the family still at 242 Fulwood Road.  Henry was now retired.  Harry and Sydney were now living with their father and stepmother.  Both were apprentices in the steel manufacturing business.  Phoebe and Alice were scholars.  There were still two servants.


The1891 census found the family had moved to 5 Claremont Place, Sheffield.  Henry was living on his own means.  Only Harry, Phoebe and Alice were listed with them, along with two servants.


The 1901 census found Henry and wife Elizabeth still living at 5 Claremont Place, with two servants but none of the children.




The death of Henry Wilson Pearson, aged 78, was recorded in the third quarter of 1910, at Sheffield.  He was cremated on 08/08/1910 at City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.


Probate records state that Henry Wilson Pearson of Claremont Place, Sheffield, died 04/08/1910.  Probate was granted to Harry Pearson and Herbert Gamble Middleton, iron merchants.  Effects were £20,051 8s 5d.




Subscription payment records indicate Henry Wilson Pearson was a member of Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club at least from 1865 to 1873.  Earlier subscription payments in 1850, 1852 and 1853 appear, but might relate to someone else.


He played in the 12-board match between Huddersfield and the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club played at Huddersfield on 23/111865.


He played in the match Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club v. Rest of the Sheffield & District Chess Association played on 21/04/1883.


He attended the annual meeting of the West Yorkshire Chess Association in 1863 and 1880, both of which were held in Sheffield.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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