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Stephen, Montagu Consett (1827–1872)

Montagu Consett Stephen was born in Hobart Town, Tasmania, on the 28th April, 1827; and was the second son of Sir Alfred Stephen, then Solicitor- General of that colony. His mother, who died there in 1837, was a daughter of Matthew Consett, a London merchant; some of whose descendants still live there. Consett Stephen accompanied his father and brothers to this colony in 1839; and was for some years at the well known school, then called the Sydney College, so ably conducted bv the late Mr. Cape. In 1811, he was articled to the late Mr. Pitcairn, at Hobart Town; and remained with him, until admitted a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1849 - shortIy after which he returned to Sydney, and was admitted a sollcitor in this colony. In May, 1853 he married a daughter of the late Rev. Jennings Smith - several members of whose family are well known among us. Mr. Stephen proceeded to England at the end of 1870, on account partly of his own, but chiefly his wife's health; and, after visiting several places there and on the Continent, was about returning with his family - having engaged his passage in the ship La Hogue, to sail on the 29th May - when the disease under which he had long been suffering exhibited fateful symptom. He sank rapidly, and on the 19th expired at his lodgings, in London. During his illness the calls and inquiries from all his brother colonists in London, who had known him, as well as from very many who had more recently formed his acquaintance at home, were numerous; among them Sir Charles Nicholson, Canon Walsh, Sir Charles Cowper, Mr. Macleay, and others of his father's old friends, and few men have ever died more respected and lamented. This colony has lost in Mr. Consett Stephen a valuable member of society and of the community at large. He was for some years an active member of the Anglican Synod for the Sydney Diocese, as well as of several municipal and parochial institutions in his own neighbourhood; and latterly was a representative in Parliament for the Canterbury electorate. He was social in his habits, and genial in his intercourse with all classes. His tastes were refined and intellectual. He was a lover of astronomy and natural history, and more than a mere student in botany to which he devoted the greater portion of his leisure, while in business he was known as a safe and able advisor, and an honourable and trustworthy man. He has left a widow and five children.

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Citation details

'Stephen, Montagu Consett (1827–1872)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/stephen-montagu-consett-1283/text1275, accessed 24 November 2017.

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