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Cecil Bedford Stephen (1840–1910)

Mr. Cecil Bedford Stephen, K.C, died suddenly, from heart failure, at his residence, Woollahra Point, yesterday morning, shortly after 4 o'clock. The deceased gentleman, who was in his 70th year, had been in falling health for some time past. He was born in Sydney in 1840, and was the sixth son of the late Sir Alfred Stephen, P.C., who for many years was Chief Justice of this State. He first went to Miss Savigny's School, and from there took up his residence at St. Paul's College, Sydney University, where he had a distinguished career, almost every scholarship and medal being taken in succession. From the University he read for the bar, and after admission he was appointed associate to his father, a position which he occupied for some years. He then entered into active practice, and became especially noted for his great ability as a pleader. His sound and accurate law, his mastery of detail, his thoroughness, and eminently keen and logical mind stood him in marked stead. For 20 years he had a general retainer from the Crown, and appeared most of the time conjointly with the late Sir Julian Salomons. In addition he had a large private practice, and was retained by many banks and large financial and business institutions in the State. His services on several occasions were sought for to fill appointments to the Supreme Court Bench. He was offered the Chief Justiceship on one occasion, and a puisne judgeship on two others. The deceased gentleman had that calm, dispassionate judgment and impartial view which, combined with the highest legal talent and ability, would have made him an ideal Judge. He had the respect of the public, and especially of all with whom he came into intimate contact.

The late Mr. Stephen had the esteem and admiration of both branches of the profession. The same temperament which made him averse to taking any position on the bench made him averse to taking part in political life. He held, however, for many years, a position on the Senate of the University. The deceased gentleman, who some four or five years ago was made K.C., was generous to a degree in his private life. His hobby was photography, which he had become expert in, while he was also a proficient mechanician. He married Miss Alice, eldest daughter of the late Frederick Louth [Tooth], who survives him, with nine children, comprising five sons and four daughters, all of whom are grown up.

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'Stephen, Cecil Bedford (1840–1910)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

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