Henry Colborne

Winner of the club championship in 1884.

(The details below where provided by Brian Denman)

Henry Colborne is a significant figure in early Sussex chess history, but
just as important is his brother John. In the 1881 census Henry is listed as
living at 10 Carisbrooke Road, while John is resident at 25 Devonshire Road.
Both were surgeons while in the census older brother John is quoted as age
35 and Henry as age 31. It is interesting that Henry does not seem to have
taken the title of ‘Dr’ in his private life, whereas John is sometimes
quoted as Dr Colborne. Henry and John were both founder members of the club
in 1882 and they seemed to have been helped in their endeavours by Henry
Butler of Brighton. Originally two letters appeared in the same edition of
the Hastings and St Leonards Observer in 1882 from John Colborne and Horace
Cheshire, who apparently did not know each other at the time. Both letters
raised the question of Hastings having a chess club. After the formation of
the club Horace Cheshire started a column in the Hastings and St Leonards
Chronicle which lasted from August 1882 to June 1883 (the edition of
8.11.1882 confirms that Cheshire won the first championship of the club).
Cheshire started a match with Henry Colborne and published a win of his in
the column. This did not go down very well with Henry and I am not sure
whether the match was ever finished. The 1882-83 season produced a mystery
which I have not solved. There were apparently two players in the club with
the same initials, J G Colborne and J G Cummings. Cummings name appears in
fact as playing in the first ever match between Hastings and Brighton teams
and his game in that match was published. However, a Brighton source for
that match indicates that it was John Colborne who played the game. It seems
that Colborne took Cummings name for the 1882-83 season, but why is a

Henry became editor of Hastings’ second chess column in October 1884 (in the
Hastings and St Leonards News) and this lasted until February 1887. Henry
seems, however, to have only played regular competitive chess for a few
seasons, while John played into the 20th century. Henry’s name often
appeared in the Brighton Society chess column (which ran from about 1894 to
1904), but in connection with the chess problems’ section rather than as a
player. John died in the June quarter of 1919 in Hastings (he was 73), while
Henry, who had apparently moved away from the area, passed away on 30.9.1919
in the Fylde Registration District.

Est. 1882