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Percival Sydney Stephen (1823–1896)

Another resident of Wagga who has been long identified with the town and district has been removed from our midst in the person of Mr. Percival Sydney Frances Stephen, whose death we record with regret. For some 30 years past Mr. Stephen has been well-known in Wagga, and for the last 20 years had been a continuous resident here, being engaged as an insurance and land agent. Mr. Stephen was probably the most prominent figure in the Masonic fraternity in Wagga, having been the first Master of the Lodge Harmony when it was formed some 30 years ago, at which time he was residing at Mount Adrah. On several successive years he was again elected to that position, and was usually the Installing Master of the lodge. He took a very warm interest in masonic matters, and when living in the country some years back, thought nothing of riding 40 miles and more to attend meetings in the Adelong and Gundagai districts. Mr. Stephen's career has been a most eventful one, and is summed up in "The Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales" as follows:

"Mr. P. S. F. Stephen is a member of an old and distinguished colonial family of which Sir Alfred Stephen, uncle of the subject of this sketch, is the best known representative. Mr. Stephen was born in London, in 1823, and arrived in this colony in 1827. He was educated at the Scotch College, under Dr. Lang, and at the Grammar School under the late Mr. Cope. Upon leaving school he was articled to the late Mr. H. Salwey, but not liking law, he went to Queensland in 1847, and adopted farming as a means of livelihood on the Dawson River. On the discovery of gold in 1851 he came to Sydney at the request of his uncle, the late Mr. J. H. Hardy, and was appointed captain of the gold escorts running from Sydney to Beechworth (Vic). He was in Ballarat during the riots of 1854. Since then he has resided in the Gundagai and Wagga districts where he is well and favorably known."

Mr. Stephen was engaged in pastoral pursuits at Tarcutta and Mount Adrah before taking up his residence in Wagga. Since settling in the town he held the position of secretary to the Pastures and Stock Board, and also had a good connection as a land agent. He was a familar figure in the town, and by his genial and generous disposition greatly endeared himself to those who were acquainted with him.

Some time ago Mr. Stephen had a slight attack of cerebral hemorrhage, from which he never quite recovered. On Saturday last he had a second attack, and was almost completely paralysed. During Saturday night he had several seizures, and eventually passed away shortly after midnight on Sunday.

The funeral will take place this afternoon, leaving the late residence of the deceased at 3 o'clock. The members of the Masonic fraternity will follow in procession, and the Masonic burial service will be read at the grave by Mr. William Orr, Worshipful Master of the local lodge.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • death notice, Wagga Wagga Advertiser (NSW), 14 May 1896, p 2
  • funeral, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 13 May 1896, p 7

Citation details

'Stephen, Percival Sydney (1823–1896)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


17 December, 1823
London, Middlesex, England


11 May, 1896 (aged 72)
Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

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