Florence Hutchison Stirling

Born: 1858, London - Died: 6 May 1948, Burntisland, Fife, Scotland

The name is sometimes shown as Miss F. Hutchison Stirling (and Hutchison-Stirling). The family name is shown as Stirling on both the birth and death records.

Florence was one of five daughters and two sons of James Hutchison Stirling (1820-1909), medical doctor and philosopher, and Jane Hunter Stirling (née Mair).

Her father's work and philosophical interests to him and the family to France (where several children were born) and Germany. Later, the family lived at 3 Wilton Terrace in Kensington, London, where Florence was born in 1858. A few years after the move was made to a home halfway between Edinburgh and Portobello.

Florence showed an aptitude for chess around the age of eight or nine, reaching such a level that her father, who had an interest in various board games, stopped playing with her ('had to give up chess - she beat me so').

Miss Stirling was a member of Edinburgh Ladies' Chess Club, and supported the activities of the Scottish Ladies' Chess Association, founded in 1905, winning the championship trophy on five occasions, including the first three years of competition.

Scottish Ladies' Champion 1905, 1906, 1907, 1912 and 1913.

Cranston Trophy winner 1905 (this competition for representatives of ladies' clubs).

Played for the Scottish Ladies' Chess Association team in the Spens Cup finals of 1912 and 1913.

Miss Stirling played in several British Ladies' Championships; in the 1913 event she finished 1st= with Mrs Moseley and Mrs Stevenson, but lost the play-off. (Mrs Moseley won.)

There were five Scottish entrants in the Ladies' championship at the 1920 British Chess Federation Congress in Edinburgh; Miss Stirling, Mrs Ritchie, Miss Forbes, Miss E. Gibb and Miss Gilchrist, all in the back row.

Played for Edinburgh Ladies' CC in Spens Cup finals of 1920.

In 1925 Miss Stirling (and Miss M.D. Gilchrist) were the first women to compete in the main Scottish Championship, as opposed to the separate tournament for ladies. Miss Stirling also played in the 1927 event.

Miss Stirling competed in the first Women's World Championship, held in London in 1927 alongside the FIDE International Team Tournament (Olympiad). She scored 4/11.

Miss Stirling died at the Orcadia Nursing Home, Burntisland, Fife, her usual residence being 30 Howard Place, Edinburgh.

Birth and death records.
James Hutchison Stirling; his life and work,
by Amelia Hutchison Stirling (1912), pp. 136 & 288.
British Chess Magazine 1920, p. 277 (photo).

Compiled by: Alan McGowan