Stephen Family: Notebooks and Diaries

Scope and Content

I. Three small diaries, two kept by Jane Catherine Venn, 1807-1808; the third, in shorthand, was kept after her marriage, when she had become Jane C. Stephen, 1871.

II. Notebook containing a journal kept by Mary FitzJames Stephen about her first children, Sep. 1856-1870, concluding with a list of family birthdays.

III. Family biography: the first part of the biography is found in several loose papers, written in Mary FitzJames Stephen's hand, which cover the period 1855-1869, and are apparently a revision of other papers. The rest of the biography is contained in seven exercise books, which run to 1903. There are notations and comments that substantially post-date the events described, and a statement by Mary Stephen of 1898, on the first page of the book for 1879, describing her purpose in writing.

IV. Large notebook, described on the third page as 'letters from H.S Cunningham, 1860', containing his account of a journey through Italy during the Garibaldi invasion of Naples.

V. Large notebook containing a copy of a lengthy travelogue by Herbert Venn Stephen, in the hand of his mother Jane Catherine Stephen. The travelogue extends to page 143 and is followed by an account of Herbert's death in Dresden, with copies of family letters. The final item is a copy of a letter from Herbert to his sister Milly (Caroline Emilia) from Constantinople.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir James Stephen (1789-1859), colonial under-secretary, was the son of James Stephen (1758-1832), Master in Chancery. Sir James's marriage to Jane Catherine Venn (d. 1875) produced five children, Herbert Venn (1822-1846), Frances Wilberforce (1824-1825), (Sir) James Fitzjames (1829-1894), (Sir) Leslie (1832-1904) and Caroline Emelia (1834-1909). Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, 1st Baronet and judge, married Mary Richenda, and had three children, Herbert (1857-1932), James Kenneth (1859-1892) and Harry Lushington (1860-1945).

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Presented by Prof. J.P.C. Roach, Sheffield University (from the papers of the late Miss D.J. Stephen), 1983.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers of the Stephen Family, MSS.Add.7349 and 7888.

Family Names

Geographical Names