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Edward Shirley Kennedy
E S Kennedy 
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Number of games in database: 2
Years covered: 1851

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(born Jul-04-1817, died Mar-01-1898, 80 years old) United Kingdom

[what is this?]

Edward Kennedy was born in Essex as the son of John Hatfield Kennedy (1771-1833), Transfer Accountant of the British East India Company* and Harriet Shirley (1783-1867), who married in 1815. Troubled by thoughts in early life, he became devoted to practical philanthropy, especially in the reformation of rough and criminal boys. He eventually took the MA degree at Caius College, Cambridge, in 1861, and became a university tutor. An alpine climber, being one of the first that ascended Monte Rosa and Finsteraarhorn and an author of alpine books, he was a founder and 2nd president of the Alpine Club. He married in 1865 to Emma Elizabeth Heath (1829-1907). They had one daughter.

He played in the London (1851) tournament, where he was permitted to enter at the last moment as provisional competitor.

Main sources: Wikipedia article: Edward Shirley Kennedy, censuses,, Cabinet Annual Register 1834 p. 400. *Wikipedia article: British East India Company

Last updated: 2017-06-28 06:46:29

 page 1 of 1; 2 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J S Mucklow vs E S Kennedy 1-0621851LondonD00 Queen's Pawn Game
2. E S Kennedy vs J S Mucklow 0-1431851LondonB44 Sicilian
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Kennedy wins | Kennedy loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
May-02-06  who: Is he related to the famous Kennedys?
May-02-06  ughaibu: Are you related to User: drwho
May-02-06  who: No. But then again who is my invention not a familial name. Actually, there is a college scholarship (I don't remember which one anymore) which you can only apply for if you are related to the Kennedys. However, to apply all you need is to show that your last name is Kennedy, so I assume there aren't too many Kennedys running around.
May-02-06  ughaibu: I thought it was a common Irish name(?)
Jun-03-16  offramp: What's his middle name?
Jun-10-16  zanzibar: First - let's assume the identification above is correct.

Then this is an impressive bit of biographical research... especially getting such a nice photograph from a Czech mountaineering site.

But do we really want to promote info like the father's line of work, or the parent's marriage date, in a chess biography about a minor player?

In a comment, sure... but if we do it for such a minor player then it suggests a standard not often included.

Next... let's assume a skeptical attitude about the identification. For instance, one could ask the very natural question -

How exactly is the E.S. Kennedy (the chessplayer), connected with the E.S. Kennedy (the alpinist)?

The bio only contains one sentence about the chessplayer, prima facia.

Contrast this with the wiki article, where there is *nothing* about the chessplayer.

As they say in Missouri, if you say he plays chess, you gotta show me he plays chess.

Even the census link is now stale.

* * * * *

This player gets this treatment by Sergeant:

<PW Sergeant's description of the tournament is interesting (from A Century of British Chess).

A couple of snippets:

"At the last moment it was found that Jaenisch and Buckle (though he had entered and paid the fee) could not arrive in time; and as substitutes for them were put in E.S. Kennedy, a brother of the Captain and described as "a rising young amateur" at the St. George's, and M. Brodie.">

(Can somebody confirm?)

I would think tracing a brother would be a task the experts here would do easily. Or disproving...

Jun-27-17  zanzibar: RE: E.S. vs. E.S.

Let's consider this snippet from Staunton in <Chess Problems (1852) p148>:

<We are indebted to Mr. E. S. Kennedy, a rising young amateur of the St. George’s Club, for the following Gambit, which recently came off between him and Von der Goltz, a player of considerable and deserved repute in Prussia.>

ES here is definitely a chess player, and connect to the London scene (St. George's Club).

ES (alpinist) would be 35 years in 1852.

I would suggest that, in 1852, it would be rare to refer to a 35-year-old man as being "a *young* rising amateur".


Jun-27-17  zanzibar: Oh no, <batgirl> identifies ES = Edward Shirley

but on what evidence?


Jun-27-17  zanzibar: <
Re: Unknown participants in the tournament London 1851

Postby Richard James » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:36 am

PW Sergeant's description of the tournament is interesting (from A Century of British Chess).

A couple of snippets:

"At the last moment it was found that Jaenisch and Buckle (though he had entered and paid the fee) could not arrive in time; and as substitutes for them were put in E.S. Kennedy, a brother of the Captain and described as "a rising young amateur" at the St. George's, and M. Brodie."


So, given the ace researchers on this site, I imagine it would be fairly straight-forward to look up Capt Kennedy (whose identity is well-known) to see if he had a brother, E.S.

Jun-27-17  zanzibar: <Tab> seems to be the responsible party - but he left no indication in the player's page, but rather here:

Hugh Alexander Kennedy (kibitz #3)

Needless to say, I remain unconvinced, as <Tab> himself admits:

<although I found no record to link them directly together.>

and finally concludes:

<All in all (and especially the India connection), the statistician in me tells that Hugh and Edward Shirley Kennedy were related, or at least connected, to each other.>

(Chess is much to common a metaphor to give much weigh to Edward Shirley's use of it. I wonder if an older and wiser <Tab> remains as committed to the conclusion?)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: "Edward is only Kennedy in British censuses with middle name S."

The chances are good, esp. if one trusts Sergeant, but I would perhaps have left the bio section blank today. Will I wipe it out?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The evidence is a little thin:

1) Edward Shirley is the only E. Kennedy in British censuses with middle name S (but the S may be left out from others).

2) Sergeant 1934 says "E. S. Kennedy, a brother of the Captain" (of Hugh Alexander Kennedy). Hugh's father was Alexander, Edwards father was John. Alexander and John were both connected with the East India Company. Hugh (b. in India) and Edward (b. in England) both had a Harriet as mother, so possibly Alexander died and Harriet returned home to marry John (after Hugh's birth and before Edwards birth).

3) Edward's twice mention of chess in his book Peaks, Passes and Glaciers (London 1862).

4) Edward Shirley Kennedy died in Exmouth Devonshire 1 March 1898. In the Illustrated London News, 23 March 1889, we find among the ones having sent in correct solution to a chess problem: "E S Kennedy (Exmouth)".

Evidence no. 4 I found only now.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Exact birth date added, based on this:

<The funeral of the late Mr E. S. Kennedy, M.A., Ph. D., took place at Littleham, Exmoutb, yesterday. The coffin, which was of dark unpolished oak, with plated furnituro, bore the inscription: — "Edvard Shirley Kennedy. Born July 4th, 1817. Died March 1st, 1898.” Rev. G. Every and Rev W. A. King-King officiated. The chief mourners were: — Mrs E. S. Kennedy (widow), Miss Kennedy (daughter), and the servants of the deceased.> (Western Times, 5 March 1898, p. 2)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Cambridge University Alumni (transcript only):

<Adm. Fell.-Com. (age 35) at CAIUS, Oct. 9, 1852. S. of –, late chief of the Transfer Department, East India House. B. at Snaresbrook, Essex. School, Temple, Brighton. Matric. Michs. 1852; B.A. 1857; M.A. 1861. Of speculative taste in early life. Afterwards devoted to practical philanthropy, especially in the reformation of rough and criminal boys. An early Alpine climber, being one of the first party that ascended Monte Rosa and the Finsteraarhorn; second President of the Alpine Club, of which he was one of the founders. Married, 1865. Author, Thoughts on Being; The Liturgy and the Laity; Where there's a Will there's a Way (Mont Blanc without guides). Editor of Peaks and Passes. ‘Owing to fraud, I believe, on the part of trustees, he latterly fell into poverty.’ Resided latterly at Exmouth, where he died Mar. 1, 1898. (Venn, II. 310, and note; The Times, Mar. 3, 1898.)>

I don't know what "Venn, II" is, and cannot find anything in The Times.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The 1889 Directory of Devon, Exmouth (p. 231): <Kennedy Edward Shirley M.A. 2 Claremont terrace>, as the only Kennedy there. This is the chess problem solver (in 1889), author and alpinist (as seen from censuses), but it can still be argued that E. S. Kennedy in 1851 might be another person.
Jun-29-17  zanzibar: The Alpine Journal v19 (1899) p152

has an obituary, with details of birth and father.

No mention of a brother whatsoever.

Plus, if the two had different fathers then how likely would it be for both to have the same last name?


Jun-29-17  zanzibar: <Plus, if the two had different fathers then how likely would it be for both to have the same last name?>

I guess it might be likely if the mother remarries and the step-father adopts.

But I would expect the older brother's father not to be named Kennedy, at least, in most cases.


Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: There is litte to suggest they were brothers. When Harriet dies in 1867, the probate only mentions the son Edward Shirley, "the sole Executor". But Hugh was still alive then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: <I don't know what "Venn, II" is>

I guess J. A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, 1752-1900 part 2.

See and

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Edward was 16 when his father killed himself:

<Dreadful Suicide. - On Monday night a coroner's inquisition was taken before Mr. Payne, at Truby's baths, 34, St. Mary-axe, touching the death of Mr. John Hatfield Kennedy, aged 60, chief clerk in the Transfer office at the East India House. Mr. Thomas Truby, proprietor of the baths, deposed that about half past nine on Monday morning the deceased wished to have a warm bath. He was shown into a room, when he asked witness how long he should be preparing it. Witness told him three or four minutes. The deceased said he would have it about 90 degrees. Witness then left the room, when, in about a quarter of an hour, there was loud report of fire arms the deceased's room. The bell also rang. On going to the door it was found bolted in the inside. Several persons coming to witness's assistance, it was broken open, when the deceased was found, stretched upon his back on the floor, in the agonies of death. His head was almost blown to atoms. There was pistol lying under him, while the barrel of another was on the sofa, and the lock on the floor. The deceased had not been in the bath. Witness does not recollect to have seen him before. Mr. Thomas Brown, surgeon, saw the deceased. He was quite dead. The top of his head was entirely blown away, and his brains were scattered about the room, upon the walls and the ceiling. Thomas Waters, messenger at the Transfer office, stated that, about a quarter past nine o'clock, the deceased told him that he was going to the baths in Saint Mary-axe, and directed that witness should call there at ten o'clock with a coach to take him back. Witness went there according to his order. When the deceased left the office he appeared in a desponding way, and complained of a pain the head, with which affliction the deceased has been troubled some time past. He resided at Clapton. Mr. James Peppercorn, of the Transfer-office, stated that he had known the deceased nearly 40 years. The deceased observed that he was to see the Chairman of the East India-house, who wanted to speak to him. Witness has since been to the Chairman, who said that he had made no communication to the deceased for that purpose. The deceased was labouring under a delusion; for the last fortnight he had been in a very perturbed state of mind. In a memorandum-book witness found notes in the hand-writing of the deceased exhibiting a strong excitement. Mr. John Pearce, of the Transfer-office, said that the deceased had been 30 years that office. Witness saw him in the morning, when he complained of a violent pain his head. He said he was going to see the Chairman, but before he did so he would take a hot bath, to see what that would do. When he left the office he went out in a hurried manner, and took with him a green bag. The brother of the deceased observed that, since the dreadful event, he had inquired at his residence respecting his conduct that morning. He found that he had breakfasted at home, and was inclined to come to town. He appeared much depressed in spirits. No ball was found, and it is supposed that the deceased shot himself with the ramrod, as it was bent. Verdict – «Temporary Insanity.> (Berkshire Chronicle, Saturday 28 Dec 1833, p. 1)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: I posted on Hugh's page that he <was left a sizable fortune by his father at age 16, yet lived with thieves and garrotters for a considerable while, and once walked from London to Brighton with a mob of tramps>, that's from
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: For completeness:

1817: Edward Shirley Kennedy, baptized 4 Aug in Wanstead, Essex. Father: John Hadfield Kennedy; mother: Harriet H. (England Select Births and Christenings (transcript only))

1861 census, Cookham Berkshire: Harriett Kennedy, Head, Widow, 77, b. in Mile end Middx, Fund Holder; Edward S. Kennedy, Son, unmarried, 43, b. in Wanstead Essex, Landed Proprietor, Master of Arts Camb. Alpine and ---ological Author; two unmarried female servants, 35 and 31

1871 census, Kingsley Cottage, Kingsley Hampshire: Edward S. Kenedy, Head, 53, b. in Woodford Essex, Author M A; Emma Elizabeth, Wife, 42, b. in West Wycomb Buckinghamshire; Harriett E S, 2; two servants, 18 & 30

1881 census, Exmouth Littleham Devon: Edward S. Kennedy, Head, 63, M. A. University Tutor, b. in Swansbrook Essex; Emma E, Wife, 52, b. in Wycombe; Harriette E S., 12, Scholar; one servant, 26

1891 census, Exmouth Littleham Devon: Edward S. Kennedy, Head, 73, b. in Swansbrook Essex, Mathematical Tutor (School); Emma E, Wife, 62; Harriette E S, 22; Fanny Faithorn, Niece, 51, Living on own means; Rose Woodward, Servant, 22

1898: <KENNEDY Edward Shirley of 2 Claremont-terrace Exmouth Devonshire died 1 March 1898 at Wonford-house Exeter Probate London 31 March to Emma Elizabeth Kennedy widow Effects L125 11s.> (probate calendar)

Wanstead Essex and Woodford Essex (today in NE London) is same place (almost), and Swansbrook Essex I can't find. Not a trace in 1851 census, perhaps he was abroad.

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