SHEFFIELD Chess History



Hutton’s Chess Club

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Hutton’s chess club drew its membership from the staff of the silversmith’s and cutlery firm of William Hutton and Sons.


William Hutton and Sons was established in about 1800, in Birmingham [1], where it carried on until 1832, when it transferred, in part at least, to Sheffield.  In 1839 the business was being conducted in three small rooms in South Street, with a staff of twelve.  In 1842 it moved to larger premises in Surrey Street, then in 1845 moved to 27 High Street.  In 1864 Colonel Hutton, grandson of the eponymous William, joined the firm.


The business continued to grow, and it was decided to build a new factory on West Street.  This was completed in 1885.  The firm was acquired by James Dixon & Sons in 1930, but the brand name was retained.  The West Street building acquired the name Hutton’s Building and is still in use, but now by a number of different concerns. 

It is the building which used to house Hartley Seed’s bookshop, which formerly was the “university bookshop”.


How formal the connection with the chess club and the employer was is unclear.  Some members, at least, were employees.  The club met in the Mail Coach on West Street, roughly opposite the factory.  The Mail Coach retained that name until recent years.


The Association’s Holroyd Trophy (q.v.) was originally the club championship trophy of Hutton’s Chess Club.


The club joined the Association in 1900 or 1901.  Its final season in the Sheffield league was 1909-10.  The Stringer brothers went to America, which may have precipitated the demise of the club.  Remaining Hutton’s members H. H. Holroyd, J. W. Ball, A. Nichols and J. Orange formed Walkley Reform chess club, where they were joined by G. W. Moses, F. S. Moses and E. Honeyball.  (“Walkey Reform” is not the be confused with the original “Walkey” club otherwise known as “Walkley Conservative”, or with “Walkley Church”, or with the second “Walkley” club.)


Although Hutton’s chess club was at an end, the club championship trophy lived on.  It was agreed that the trophy be retained by H. H. Holroyd, its first and last winner, who in due course presented it to the Association for competition in Class B of the Sheffield individual championship, being known as the Holroyd Trophy.


[1]  Robson’s Directory of Birmingham & Sheffield for 1839 listed William Hutton & Sons, platers and manufacturers of British Plate, 129 Great Charles Street, Birmingham.





Copyright © 2014 Stephen John Mann

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