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William Wilberforce Stephen (1835–1903)

Regret was expressed in official circles yesterday at the announcement of the death of Mr William Wilberforce Stephen, fifth son of the late Hon. Sir Alfred Stephen, C.B., G.C.M.G. (formerly Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales). The deceased gentleman had reached the age of 68 years, and had been in failing health for some time. For the past three months he was confined to his home, Clanricarde, Hillyard Ave, Potts Point, where he died on Sunday. The late Mr. Stephen held various positions in the Public Service of this State during a period of 44 years. He was born in Tasmania in the year 1835 – when his father was Attorney-General of that State. At the age of 4 years the deceased was brought by his parents to Sydney, and subsequently attended the preparatory school at Burwood, then conducted by Mr. Wilkinson. On July 1, 1852, he received his first appointment, as junior clerk in the Lands Department, and he rose in the office until, in October, 1870, he attained the position of Under-Secretary for Lands. This office he filled for 10 years, and was then transferred to the Justice Department as secretary to the Attorney-General (November 6, 1880). When retiring from the Department of Lands to take up his new duties the deceased was presented with a gold watch and an illuminated address by the office staff. Upon the appointment of the Public Service Board in 1896 the late Mr. Stephen retired on a pension. Mr. Stephen was a prominent cricketer in the earlier days of New South Wales cricket. He was a life member of the Sydney Cricket Ground, a trustee of Hyde Park, and he was also on the committee for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The funeral took place at Waverley yesterday, and was of a private character. The Rev. E. C. Beck, A.K.C. (rector of St John’s Darlinghurst) officiated. The chief mourners were Mr. M. H. Stephen (Acting Chief Justice), Mr. Cecil B. Stephen and Mr. E. F. Stephen (brothers), Messrs. A. Consett Stephen, Colin Stephen, E. Milner Stephen, Leonard M. Stephen, Alfred Stephen, John Stephen, Dr. Stephen and Arthur W. Stephen (nephews), Mr. E. H. Stephen (cousin), Mr. A. P. Bedford (brother-in-law). There were also present Mr. H. Pollock (Solicitor-General), Mr. Herbert Morris (representing the Attorney-General), Mr. C. E. Parkinson (representing the Crown Solicitor), Messrs. J. J. Calvert, S. M. Mowls, W. L. Edwards, L. J. Harnett, Gerald R. Campbell, G. C. Addison (Registrar, Arbitration Court), G. Porteous, Samuel Hawthorne, W. E. Sparke, W. Robertson, G. Boyce Allen, P. C. Close, G. A. Mansfield, Villeneuve Smith, Guy Belisario, Paul Sheridan, F. R. Rothery, and W. M. Macfarlane, S. M.

Original publication

Citation details

'Stephen, William Wilberforce (1835–1903)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


24 September, 1835
Tasmania, Australia


25 October, 1903 (aged 68)
Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

cirrhosis of the liver

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service
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