Blackburne Was a Stone Worker

ACM v3 (1899) p200

ACM v3 (1899) p209

I believe the likeliest match for the building can be found in this google view: Google Maps.

The building is right next to Church of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West, which is in front of you, just to your left. Since you’re looking up, the top of the church is visible to the side. (You can use the mouse to drag-scroll the view back down to the street). The building on the other side of the church is all brick, so I thought it the less likely candidate.

I had hoped that <offramp> would have provided me with a definitive photograph of the building which Blackburne worked on, as he’s a Londoner and has visited the area, but alas, that never came to pass.

If you want to read more about the Church of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West  just click.

PS – I don’t believe I’ve seen that sketch of Blackburne, nor do I think even Harding mentioned Blackburne’s history as a stone worker. Of course, I could easily be mistaken on either count – so, if I am, please leave a comment and I’ll correct this text.

Credit where credit’s due – <MissScarlett>, over at <CG> found the ACM article before I did…

Premium Chessgames Member
MissScarlett: American Chess Magazine, v. 2-3 (July 1898-Dec. 1899):<Few people know, says M. A. P., in the Glasgow Herald, “that Mr. Blackburne, who has once more vindicated his title as the first of the English players, was in earlier life a worker in stone, and that the premises of the Law Life Assurance Society, adjoining the Church of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West, Fleet street, show practical evidences of his skill in that craft.>…

The adddress of that building is now (still?) 187 Fleet Street. Impossible to know if any of Blackburne’s handiwork survives; the current structure dates from 1834, but Blackburne probably worked on it in the early-mid 1860s.…

Here’s a present view of the building front:…

Seems I struck out completely appealing for owners of the Reshevsky book, but surely someone here will have Harding’s recent one on Blackburne. Does it shed any light on this subject?

Premium Chessgames Member
offramp: I’ll try and go there this week. I know the building and it is very pretty.
Premium Chessgames Member
MissScarlett: A family member used to work in Fleet St. during its heydays, but I’ve never been there once.I found this page which shows then (1870s) and now pictures of the buildings on the far side of St. Dunstan’s:…

I’d say it’s possible but unlikely that the present front of 187 dates from the nineteenth century. Oh, Joseph, where is thy monument?

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offramp: I’ve just walked past it. I took a load of crappy photos which I’ve put on Bookface. Link to follow.
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zanzibar: Still waiting for that link…

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