Political "hurly-burly"

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John Townsend
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Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John Townsend » Thu May 07, 2015 12:13 pm

As we have an election today, it seems topical to mention a reply by Howard Staunton in Chess player's chronicle (Volume 1, 1841, page 155) to a correspondent shortly before the election of 30 June 1841:
"D., Brighton." - Any assistance that we can render "D.," in the formation of the projected Chess Club, he may freely command. We would suggest, however, the advisability of taking no farther steps until the present political "hurly-burly" has subsided.
He seems to be referring to a chess club in Brighton. If so, who was "D"? Captain Hugh Kennedy? If so, was he referred to as "D" at any other times?

Brian Denman
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by Brian Denman » Fri May 08, 2015 10:17 am

The Brighton Chess Club was not formed until December 1842 more than a year after the political 'hurly-burly'. According to Kennedy he had moved to the town in 1840. We do not have any minutes for this early period and it is almost impossible to work out who Mr D was, though there is no evidence to suggest that he was Kennedy. One possibility is that he was E S Delamain of whom a few games exist as a player at the Brighton CC in the 1840s.

John McKenna
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John McKenna » Sun May 10, 2015 1:03 pm

Continuing the search for "D., Brighton." (so briefly and cryptically mentioned in the Chess Player's Chronicle "shortly before the election of 30 June 1841") in the short-lived (1840 May-Dec) column in the New Court Gazette, yields the following -

"D. S., Brighton.-There can be no doubt of the success of such a club... and shall gladly afford any further assistance in our power." [Court Gazette 1840.07.25]

Therefore it is possible that the "D." in the 1841 Chronicle is the same person in the 1840 Gazette with the initials "D. S." (the usual order being first name then surname).

A week later there appeared the following -

"P. W. B., Brighton.-We received a communication on the subject some few days since, and replied to it in our last number. The attempt should be made immediately. Prudence and determination will readily overcome the difficulties predicated by our correspondents." [Court Gazette 1840.08.01]

So the editor of the 1840 Gazette column, Howard Staunton, advocated brooking no delay.

By the following year the project had still not come to fruition (Brian Denman points out, above, that it was not to do so until 1842) and in 1841 Staunton was advocating "taking no further steps until the present political 'hurly-burly' has subsided."

Perhaps someone reading this might have further information and some, better, idea of who "D.", "D. S." and "P. W. B." (all of Brighton) actually were?

N.B. It seems from the Gazette column (1840.08.01) that attempts "to resuscitate" the Windsor club were being hampered by "the Malevoli" (Malevolents) - politics was ever thus.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John Townsend
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John Townsend » Wed May 13, 2015 11:46 am

I was interested to read Brian Denman's observations and also to learn from John McKenna that the question of a chess club in Brighton seems to have been raised in the New Court Gazette as early as 1840. The 1840 entries left me wondering who it was at that time who most wanted a chess club in Brighton. Was it these supposed correspondents, "D. S." and "P. W. B.", or was it Howard Staunton?

I fear it would be difficult to identify the correspondents, or it may take time. They may even be fictitious.

I looked for Hugh Alexander Kennedy in the 1841 census, taken 6-7 June 1841,which must have been very close in time to the correspondence between "D." and Staunton in Chess player's chronicle. I tentatively identified him as a Hugh Kennedy living in Cheltenham, aged 31, described as a lieutenant in the East India Company (National Archives, HO 107/353/13, folio 37). If this is the correct record, then it is not clear whether he was merely visiting his family in Cheltenham, or whether Cheltenham was his home in the summer of 1841 and he had not yet moved to Brighton

Brian Denman
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by Brian Denman » Thu May 14, 2015 11:11 am

In his book 'Waifs and Strays' Kennedy stated that he became resident in Brighton in 1840. In the BCM of November 1944 (page 251) R N Coles made the mistake of assuming that Kennedy formed the club in that year and this error was repeated in the 1975 book on Staunton written by Coles and Ray Keene. We know, however, from local newspapers that the club was formed in December 1842.

John Townsend
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John Townsend » Sat May 16, 2015 12:20 pm

Brian Denman said:
In his book 'Waifs and Strays' Kennedy stated that he became resident in Brighton in 1840.
Could we have the page number, please? It would be interesting to see Kennedy's exact words.

Brian Denman
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by Brian Denman » Sat May 16, 2015 5:22 pm

My source is the second edition of 'Waifs and Strays' published in 1876. It is a rare book and I was lucky enough to be able to first view it at the Hastings Chess Club in 1990. I do not know if it is still in the library of that club. On page 185 Kennedy states that he was resident in Brighton from 1840 to 1850. Then on page 186 he adds: "The Brighton Chess Club which I had founded in the beginning of the afore-mentioned decade (N.B. 1840-50) was then in the full swing of a vigorous existence and a favourite arena and lounge of the London players who came to take their ease in Brighton and of provincial amateurs from all parts of England. The club room was simply a hole in the cliff over against the Chain Pier; its site I believe now forms part of the Aquarium." The word 'then' needs an explanation. In the book Kennedy is describing the club at the time when an acquaintance of his, Albany Fonblanque, used to visit it. He does not put a date on Fonblanque's visits, but we know from local newspapers that the club moved to the site at the end of the Chain Pier in 1847. We should be aware that at the time of writing his book nearly 35 years had elapsed since the formation of the club and Kennedy was living many miles from Brighton. I do not believe therefore that we should take the expression 'at the beginning if the afore-mentioned decade' too literally, when other evidence shows that the club was not formed until 1842.

John Townsend
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John Townsend » Mon May 18, 2015 1:26 pm

Thank you for the Waifs and Strays reference, Brian. As I expect Brian knows, chess was facilitated at the Albion Reading Rooms in Brighton at the end of 1841 (or start of 1842), as the following insertion in Chess player's chronicle (Volume 2, page 176) shows:
"A Subscriber, Brighton," requests us to mention that the Managing Committee of "the Albion Reading Rooms," Brighton, have, upon application, consented to permit Chess to be played in the Reading Rooms; and have moreover purchased several Chess-boards for the accommodation of members. This information will doubtless be highly acceptable to the numerous Amateurs of Chess who are in the habit of visiting Brighton, as well as to those resident at this delightful watering place.
Whilst this was not Brighton Chess Club, it seems possible that it served as a stepping-stone. I agree with Brian that we should not take Kennedy's expression "at the beginning of the afore-mentioned decade" too literally. It is not certain that his statement that he was resident in Brighton from 1840 to 1850 can be taken literally, or whether he was resident in Brighton at the time of Staunton's reply to "D.". As mentioned earlier, there is no support for the latter in the 1841 census, but there could be an explanation for that. (Incidentally, Kennedy refers to his having taken "a two-months’ course of Cheltenham water" in the first edition of Waifs and Strays (page 238). He doesn't indicate the exact time, though it may be possible to work it out approximately from the circumstances he describes.)

John McKenna
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John McKenna » Sun May 24, 2015 11:36 am

"Septimus," Hastings.-There is a very promising Chess Club at Brighton, under the presidency of Captain Kennedy, of which both Lord Hervey and Captain Pechell are members. (Illustrated London News 1845.07.19)

"Hervey was born in London, the eldest son of Frederick Hervey, 1st Marquess of Bristol and his wife the Honourable Elizabeth Albana Upton, daughter of Clotworthy Upton, 1st Baron Templetown....

Styled Earl Jermyn after his father was raised to a marquessate in 1826, he became a member of Parliament as one of two representatives for Bury St. Edmunds in the same year. In 1841 he was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed Treasurer of the Household... Apart from his political career he was also a Colonel in the West Suffolk Militia and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries." (Wikipedia)

See link below for more details -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_ ... of_Bristol

"Captain William, Henry, Cecil George Pechell, was killed before Sebastopol, 3 September 1855. In late September 1855 a town meeting to raise funds for a memorial was organised with a closing date of January 1856 . The statue arrived in Brighton February 1859 and sited near the entrance to the Royal Pavilion..." (Sussex History Forum)

See link below for more details -

http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=2223.0
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Brian Denman
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by Brian Denman » Sun May 24, 2015 3:58 pm

John, we have a list of members of the Brighton Chess Club dated about 1859. This includes Lord Alfred Hervey, Sir George Brooke-Pechell and (William?) Coningham, all of whom were M.P.s for Brighton. You mention Captain Pechell as a member in 1845 and make the assumption that he was Captain William Pechell. However, his father, George, (mentioned above) was also a captain at that time and might have been the person referred to. Sir George Brooke-Pechell died in 1860.

The Brighton Chess Club list contains two honorary members, Howard Staunton and Capt. Hugh Kennedy. By this time Kennedy was living in Bath. Another interesting person on the list is C Stanley. He was not the famous Charles Stanley, who moved to America, but probably a well-known problemist. I have had discussions about his life with John Townsend, but at the moment there is an uncertainty about his identity.

John McKenna
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John McKenna » Mon May 25, 2015 7:14 pm

Thanks for pointing out the details above, Brian.

I should have noticed that the Capt. Pechell who fell at Sebastopol was only twenty-five in 1855 and would not have achieved that rank, by the age of fifteen, in 1845.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Brian Denman
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by Brian Denman » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:43 pm

I refer to my post of 8th November 2014. Virtually every internet mention of Charles Henry Stanley states that he was born in Brighton in 1819 and the same statement is made in on page 86 of Fabrizio Zavatarelli's book on Ignaz Kolisch (2015). However, as far as I am aware, there is no proof whatsoever that he was born in that town. His place of birth remains a mystery.

John Townsend's book 'Historical notes on some chess players', which was published in 2014, also sheds doubt on Stanley's Brighton connection (pp 91-107). In the 1840s there was quite a well-known problemist, who went under the name of Charles Stanley of the Brighton Chess Club, but it is believed that he was not the same person as the well-known Charles Henry Stanley, who emigrated to America. It is extremely unlikely that Charles Henry Stanley would have referred to himself as a member of Brighton Chess Club while he was in America. It would appear that the two Stanleys have become confused and an assumption made that the American player was born in Brighton. Once certain information finds itself on the internet, it becomes very difficult to stop certain facts being accepted worldwide, but I am hoping that people will accept that there is a doubt as to where Stanley was born.

Brian Denman
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by Brian Denman » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:45 pm

Sorry, I was referring to my post of 24th May 2015.

John Townsend
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Re: Political "hurly-burly"

Post by John Townsend » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:52 am

I agree with Brian. What evidence is there that Charles Henry Stanley was born in Brighton? In my 2014 book, Historical notes on some chess players, I cited two sources which gave Middlesex as his native place, in one case specifically Clapton, Middlesex. Whilst that is no guarantee that he was born in Middlesex, it does constitute credible evidence. The tricky part is to find his baptism record.

I also agree that some confusion seems to have arisen on account of the problemist, Charles Stanley, of the Brighton Chess Club, who I believe was a different individual.

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