Sir James Stephen: Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Box 1: Correspondence and general papers

I/1. Stephen family tree, undated, c.1949.

I/2. Photograph of a sketch of Stephen as a young man, undated.

II/1-53. Letters from the Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey to Stephen, 1834-1853.

II/54-77. Letters from Charles Grant, Lord Glenelg, to Stephen, with some from Stephen to Lord Glenelg. 1835-1836.

II/78-89. Letters from Edward Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, to Stephen, with 2 copies, 1833-1847.

II/90-103. Letters to and from Henry Taylor, 1848-1850.

II/104-115. Various letters to and from Stephen, 1833-1856, including letters from Stanley, Glenelg and William Gladstone.

II/116-117. Letters, G.J. Wilde to Lady Stephen, Oct.-Dec. 1868, with two envelopes of papers, including some in shorthand, relating to the Northampton Mercury.

II/118. Unbound transcripts of letters to and from various correspondence, 1834-1857, apparently part of a sequence of missing volumes of transcripts, numbered 1-7.

II/119. Transcript of Stephen's personal diary, Jan.-Sep. 1846, numbered 8.

II/120. Transcripts of, or extracts from, letters from Stephen to various correspondents, 1807-1836, numbered 9, indexed.

II/121. Transcripts of, or extracts from, letters from Stephen to various correspondents, 1839-1858, numbered 10, indexed.

II/122. Transcripts of, or extracts from, letters from Stephen to his wife, 1816-1845, numbered 11.

II/123. Transcripts of, or extracts from, letters from Stephen to his wife, 1845-1857, numbered 12.

II/124. Transcripts of, or extracts from, letters from Stephen to his wife, 1857-1859, numbered 13.

II/125. Transcripts of, or extracts from, letters from Stephen to his son James Fitzjames Stephen, 1841-1859, numbered 14.

II/126. Part of a notebook containing the last words and dictated letters of Rev. John Venn during his last illness, 1813, taken down by his granddaugter Jane Catherine Venn (later Stephen), mostly in shorthand, c.1833-1848; with some letters of Jane Stephen in shorthand, c.1833-1848.

Box 2: Drafts and notes compiled by Dr. Evelyn Christian Martin for his life of Stephen

III/1. Letter from Austin Smyth, Librarian, House of Commons, to G.A. Mellor, concerning a search in the records in the Victoria Tower for evidence taken before a Select Committee of the House of Commons, 11 Apr. 1935.

III/2. Letter from M. Jeffreys, The Residency, Warri, to Dr. Martin, concerning the latter's edition of Nicholas Owen's journal, 31 Aug. 1935.

III/3. Letter from G.A. Mellor, 3 Chambers Garden, London, N.2, to Dr. Martin, quoting a letter from Stephen to Sturge, 15 Apr. 1948.

III/4. Letter from D.J. Stephen, Woodgreen, Fordingbridge, 4 Feb. 1948.

III/5. Letter from Charles Smyth, Rector of St. Margaret's, Westminster, offering thanks for the 'Stephen Memoir', 3 Jan. 1951.

III/6. Folder labelled 'Stephen Book Draft June 1947', containing typescript sheets of a book draft.

III/7. Envelope containing typescript sheets of a book draft.

III/8. Folder containing notes on, and some copies of, transcripts of letters.

III/9. Folder containing MS copy of Stephen's journal, Jan.-Sep. 1846.

III/10. Folder endorsed 'Colonial Department Organisation', containing notes from various sources on the organisation of the Colonial Office.

III/11. Folder with imprint 'C N-L', containing references and notes from Public Record Office material relating to Australasia.

III/12. Folder containing notes and extracts from various sources relating to Canada.

III/13. Folder containing notes and extracts from various sources relating to the West Indies.

III/14. Folder containing notes and extracts from various sources relating to South Africa.

III/15. Folder endorsed 'J.S. & the C.M.S.', containing notes on correspondence in the Church Missionary Society archives, and extracts from minutes.

III/16. Folder labelled 'Contemporary Periodicals (see also Books)&Pamphlets', containing lists, notes and extracts.

III/17. Folder labelled 'Contemporary Writing Letters Books Diaries dealing with Colonies or Colonial Policy or relevant matters', containing lists, notes and extracts.

III.18. Folder labelled 'Parliamentary Papers' containing notes and extracts, including a typescript review of the book by Paul Kaplund, James Stephen and the British Colonial System 1813-1947, Madison, 1953.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir James Stephen (1789-1859) was born at Lambeth on 3 Jan. 1789, the son of James Stephen (1758-1832). He entered Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in 1806, and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1811 (LL.B., 1812). He became counsel to the colonial department in 1813, with responsibility for reporting on act of the colonial legislatures. In 1814 he married Jane Catherine (d. 1875), daughter of Jonn Venn, rector of Clapham. Their children included Sir James Fitzjames (1829-1894), 1st Baronet and judge. In 1825 Stephen became permanent counsel to the colonial office and to the board of trade, and in 1834 assistant under-secretary of state for the colonies. He was appointed to the regius professorship of modern history at Cambridge in 1849, and held a professorship at the East India College, Haileybury, 1855-1857. He died at Coblentz on 14 Sep. 1859.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Prof. G.S. Graham, King's College, London, 1970.

Note

Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Stephen in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. XVIII, pp. 1050-1051 (London, 1909).

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue. There is also a card index of personal name entries for original letters in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library also holds letters and papers of the Stephen family, MSS.Add.7349 and 8381, and the original of II/119, J.S. Stephen's diary, MS.Add.7511.

Bibliography

The transcripts found in the collection were made for or by Caroline Emelia Stephen (1834-1909), James Stephen's daughter, for The Right Honourable Sir James Stephen, K.C.B., LL.D. Letters. With biographical notes by his daughter, Gloucester, 1906.

Subjects