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Obituaries Australia

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Stephen, Francis Pasmore (1804–1837)

from Australian (Sydney)

It is one of the most difficult tasks, of all those that devolve upon a Public Writer, to pass fit and proper remarks upon the separation from society of one of its members. It is his duty in this as in other cases, to hold the mirror up to nature — nor is it more permitted him to forget the Historian in the friend, than to pass over with unheeding pen those virtues which justly call for eulogium.

It would be difficult to point out any member of this community whose decease has left so wide a vacuum as that of Francis Stephen — whose sudden death, in the prime of life and the full vigour of intellect, has cast a gloom upon society rarely experienced. Embarked in a profession which naturally brought him extensively into contact with his fellows, there are few to whom he was not more or less known. Independently of which, his active co-operation in the various business of life — his connexion with many Public Establishments, with both public and private enterprises, and with the Press — these gave him a more than commonly prominent aspect in the Public Eye, and demand that we should follow with a few brief remarks his untimely disappearance.

Francis Stephen was favored as few have been by nature; in mind and person he had few equals. His understanding was of the first order. Acute, penetrating, and self-possessed; master of his feelings under all circumstances, and accustomed to investigate with unimpassioned deliberation, his judgment was universally looked up to and respected. Both in his public and his private capacity, he was resorted to with more confidence than is often conceded to any one individual, and few have ever found cause to repent their submission to his opinion.

His natural gifts were heightened and improved by education, and by a habit of reading and study for which he found time in the midst of harassing occupations. His reputation as a public writer has been long established; but those who were intimately acquainted with him can alone bear testimony to the extent and variety of his acquirements; and these, as well as those personally dependent upon him, will feel his loss to be irreparable.

He was an affectionate and kind husband, a fond and careful father. To a numerous circle of relations he was a faithful and generous friend. All that were connected with him, by the ties of blood or of friendship placed in him the most unbounded Confidence — which in no transaction of life, public or private, has been ever found to have been misplaced.

At the early age of thirty-two years, after an illness of only five days' continuance, he departed this life — leaving his memory to be long and deeply bewailed by a community in which he had, perhaps, no equal.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Francis Pasmore Stephen

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Citation details

'Stephen, Francis Pasmore (1804–1837)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 September 2020.

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