SHEFFIELD Chess History



Edmund Octavius Gilpin

Yorkshire Home


Sheffield Home









Made in Sheffield




13/11/1831, Bristol




11/07/1909, St. Albans


Quaker Cemetery, Winchmore Hill, Enfield


Non-Chess Life


Edmund Octavius Gilpin’s parents were Quakers James Gilpin (), a woollen draper, and Mary Gilpin (), who had at least the following six children:


Sophia Gilpin

born within 5 years of 1820/21

James Gilpin

born within 5 years of 1820/21

Elizabeth Gilpin

born within 5 years of 1825/26

Joseph Gilpin

born within 5 years of 1825/26

Edmund Octavius Gilpin

born 13/11/1831, Bristol

Helen Gilpin

born 1834/35


Edmund Octavius Gilpin was born at an address in Dolphin Street, Bristol, on 13/11/1831, according to Quaker records of births in Bristol, which probably contain records of other childrens’ births.


The 1841 census found the parents and six children living at Redcliff Parade, Redcliff, Bristol, Gloucestershire.


Ten years later, the 1851 census found 19-year-old Bristol-born Edmund O. Gilpin living in Westgate, Wakefield, in the household of a grocer, Alfred Henry Spence, to whom Edmund was an apprentice.


From his grounding in the grocery business acquired in Wakefield, Edmund went on to become a tea merchant.


He moved from Wakefield to Sheffield, possibly around 1859/60 as he was not mentioned in Melville’s 1859 Sheffield directory, and his future business partner was listed by Melville as involved in a different concern.


The 1861 census found 29-year-old Edmund O. Gilpin, tea merchant, boarding in the household of Margaret Blackwell, at an unspecified address in Wostenholm Road, Sheffield.


White’s 1862 directory of Sheffield listed Edmund Octavius Gilpin as a tea dealer, in partnership with a Henry Wormall, trading as Wormall and Gilpin, whose premises were at 5 Angel Street, two doors below the premises of the chess-playing Cockayne family’s business.  Edmund’s address was more specifically listed as Priory Villas, Wostenholm Road, Sheffield.


In 1862, in Leeds, Edmund Octavius Gilpin married Maria Broadhead, and the couple set up home in Sheffield, presumably in Hanover Sqaure, since that was the address given for Edmund by Drake’s Commercial Directory of Sheffield, 1863.


Maria died in 1863, in Sheffield, perhaps in childbirth.


White’s 1864 directory of Sheffield listed Edmund still as a tea dealer, with Wormall and Co, residing more specifically at 10 Hanover Square.


Kelly’s 1865 directory of Sheffield didn’t list Edmund, and listed a new occupant of 10 Hanover Square, so he had presumably removed to Nottingham, before getting re-married, or very shortly after.  His business premises at 5 Angel Street, along with 3 Angel Street, had now been taken over by T. B. & W. Cockayne’s business at 1 Angel Street.


On 25/10/1865, at Croydon, Surrey, Edmund Octavius Gilpin got married again, to Margaret Ann Binns (born 1841/42, Sunderland).  At some time from 1863 to 1866 Edmund and Margaret moved to Nottingham.  There the couple had at least the following four children, all born in Nottingham:


Maria Louise Gilpin

born 1866

Eva Margaret Gilpin

born 25/03/1868

Florence Binns Gilpin

born 1869

Edmund Henry Gilpin

born 1875/76


The 1871 census found Edmund and Margaret living with their first three children and two servants at 4 Russell Place, Nottingham.  Over the previous ten years Edmund has switched occupation from that of tea merchant to sharebroker.


Our man is elusive in the 1881 census.


The 1891 census found Edmund and Margaret living with a nephew of Edmund, Samuel James Cappel (born 1840/41, Bristol), and a servant, at 205 Albion Road, Stoke Newington, London.  Edmund was now a commercial clerk, working for someone else.


The 1901 census found Edmund and Margaret had moved to 1 Ramsbury Road, St. Albans, living with son Edmund Henry Gilpin, niece Olive S. Capper, and a servant.  Edmund senior now a retired commercial clerk.  Edmund junior was a mechanical engineer.


Edmund’s wife, Margaret, died on 22/05/1909, and was buried at the Quaker Cemetery, Winchmore Hill, Enfield.  Edmund died 50 days later.


There is an entry relating to daughter Eva Mary Gilpin (married name Sadler) in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.




Edmund Octavius Gilpin died on 11/07/1909, at St. Albans, aged 77.  He was buried at the Quaker Cemetery, Winchmore Hill, Enfield.  An image of the grave is to be found at




With Edmund Thorold and Charles Birchall, he attempted in 1857 to form “The Sheffield Chess Club”.


He was a member of the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club in 1859 (and possibly before) and 1860, though apparently not after that.





Copyright © 2014 Stephen John Mann

Last Updated