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D'Onston Stephenson (Practically) Everything you ever wanted to know about this fascinating individual who still attracts attention today

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Old 02-20-2006, 08:19 PM   #1
Howard Brown
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This thread is for the work done by John Savage...Our Man From Hull.....and the work he is doing on the background and family of Robert Stephenson.
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REPORT OF VISIT TO GRAVEYARD, ST. PAUL’S CHURCH TICKTON 18/02/06
This church is located about half a mile from Hull Bridge House and appears to have been the family church of the Stephensons. The graves are in a group of six located on the eastern side of the church [on the left in main picture]. With one other grave about 15 yards to the north. There are three large headstones and facing them are three headstones all bearing crosses [see picture].
Of the three large headstones the one on the left bears the inscription "In affectionate remembrance of Sarah Jane the beloved wife of William Stephenson departed this life November 5th. 1882 aged 26 years. I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears. Also Ernest son of the above died April 26th. 1883 aged 6 months".
The centre gravestone inscription reads " In affectionate remembrance of Mary Stephenson of Tickton who departed this life October 31st. 1883 aged 72 years also William Stephenson husband of the above who departed this life June 27th. 1891 aged 75 years."
The third of these gravestones is inscribed as follows "In affectionate remembrance of Thomas Stephenson of Tickton who died June 5th. 1894 aged 47 years. With Christ which is far better".
Turning now to the three headstones opposite (the ones with crosses), the one to the left reads "Sacred to the memory of John Bernard Stephenson who died October 25th. 1889 aged 27 years also of John Stephenson of Hull Bridge and Beverley father of the above who departed this life January 8th 1904 aged 67 years". NB. This is the John Stephenson who is the main subject of the Files at the Brynmor Jones Library.
The centre headstone is a simple wooden cross, which may well be of a later date than the inscription it, bears. The inscription reads, "March 30th. 1885 Harriet Emma Stephenson."
The headstone to the right is inscribed " Sacred to the memory of Richard Stephenson died April 23rd. 1908 aged 64 years. James Stephenson who died May 17th. 1915 aged 73 years and Robert Ranby Stephenson died April 20th. 1919 aged 80 years, sons of John and Elizabeth Stephenson of Hull Bridge"
Further to the right is the base of another headstone, which may once have also born a cross but now broken off. The inscription reads "Sacred to the memory of Mary Elizabeth wife of Arthur Stephenson of Hull Bridge" I was unable to make out the date as this base has sunk too far into the ground.
The remaining grave is to the north of the above and is inscribed "To the dear memory of Arthur Stephenson born at Hull Bridge December 18th. 1852 died Beverley April 6th 1917. Also of Norah beloved wife of Arthur Stephenson born Barton on Humber October 27th. 1872 died at London September 19th 1927"
Further away at the far end of the village is a small row of Almshouses dated 1872. [See photograph]. These bear a plaque which reads " developed by Housemartin for the trustees of Almshouse charity of Elizabeth Stephenson Tickton built 1872 refurbished 1990 officially opened by James Cran MP 25th. January 1991"
On the wall to the left are some intertwined initials that appear to be "JES".
Conclusion: The above data contains information of names and dates which may perhaps be useful in the future; of immediate interest is Thomas Stephenson who may have been a solicitor. [ Donston claimed to have a cousin who was a well to do solicitor "in the north"] I shall be researching further.
John Savage Hull 20th. February 2006.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:21 PM   #2
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photo copyright @ John Savage









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Old 02-24-2006, 06:34 PM   #3
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Hi Howard,

In his Book “The True Face of JTR” Melvin Harris recalls the story of Donston having been shot, whilst out sailing round Flamborough Head shooting sea birds.
Harris found newspaper reports in the Bridlington local press, but was unable to find any mention in the Hull newspapers, and came to the conclusion that the news was withheld because a relative was an owner of Hull Newspapers. As readers of the FROM HULL thread on the Casebook will know there was a newspaper owner called William Stephenson publishing in Hull at this time, although I have been unable to establish any family connection.

Alas Mr. Harris got it wrong, the story was published in a Hull Newspaper, exactly the same one mentioned by Donston, I found it at the Hull Central Library yesterday and the following transcription is, I believe, the first time this report has been seen.

I would also like to say that it might not simply be an error on the part of Mr. Harris or his researcher Andy Aliffe, as this newspaper has been the subject of a recent scheme to re-record its content on microfilm, done jointly by Colindale and Hull Libraries. The quality of reproduction of this particular page is very poor, but I have been able to make the following transcription:

The Eastern Morning News and Hull Advertiser, Monday July 13, 1868 [third edition]

SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO A HULL GENTLEMAN

On Tuesday afternoon last Mr. R.D.O. Stephenson of Her Majesty’s Customs at this port, while cruising off Flamborough, on board the yacht Flying Scud, met with a serious accident. The party on board were shooting seabirds and Mr. Stephenson was standing just abaft the mast, waiting for a shot when a boatman belonging to the yacht, who was behind him, took up one of the guns to fire and managed to explode prematurely, sending the whole charge into the back part of Mr. Stephenson’s thigh.
The heavy charge (1.1/2ozs of No2 shot) at a distance of about two yards tore a jagged hole, about 1.1/2inches wide and the same depth, and lodged itself in a lump near the bone, which, however it miraculously failed to injure. Fortunately a gentleman was on board who had some surgical experience, and immediately applied temporary bandages. The unfortunate gentleman was landed at Flamborough as soon as possible, and carried to the top of the cliff by a stalwart young fisherman. The only available conveyance being a fish cart, belonging to the landlord of the inn, it was filled with clean straw, and the patient conveyed to Bridlington; where under the skilful hands of Drs. Brett and Mackay, the greater part of the shot were removed. We are informed by eyewitnesses that the sang-froid with which the sufferer treated his terrible and painful wound was something remarkable, and excited the warmest admiration and sympathy in the bystanders. We understand that there is every hope of saving the limb. Provided that neither erysipelas nor gangrene (the two great dangers in gunshot wounds) make their appearance. Mr. Edwin Gray timber merchant, Hull, very kindly superintended the landing at Flamborough.

Rgds.
John
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
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Hi Again,

As I said in my above post, the print quality of this newspaper item is very poor, but I have scanned it in and reproduce it here as best I can.

The report is towards the bottom of the centre column.
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:36 PM   #5
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Great find, Professor.

Robert



Amen,Robert.
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Old 02-27-2006, 07:38 PM   #6
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Hi All,

From information given to me by Spiro I have been able to unearth three press reports rergarding Donton's brother Richard

Here is the first from The Hull News Saturday 7th. February 1874

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Old 02-27-2006, 07:41 PM   #7
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Here is the second report from The Hull News Saturday 14th. February 1874
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Old 02-27-2006, 07:45 PM   #8
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Here is the third report from The Hull News Saturday 11th. April 1874

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Old 02-28-2006, 04:31 AM   #9
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Good stuff, John and Spiro. The article says that Richard was in trouble again, so there's more about him at an earlier date, perhaps.

Also the article doesn't seem particularly friendly towards Richard.

The numbering in Church St was a mess, with the same number appearing on two different pages. Roe was there in 1871, but the building seems not to have had a number. It was about number 90.

Robert
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:49 AM   #10
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Hi All

I had a little time yesterday to call into the Bridlington Library to look for the newspaper articles mentioned by Harris regarding the Flamborough shooting.

I found the article in the “Bridlington Quay Observer, Advertising Medium and Weekly List of Visitors”; to give it it’s full title, of Thursday July 16th. 1868. It is reproduced below, and I hope it will satisfy Spiro’s curiosity about the initials.

For some reason I was unable to find the other article referred to by Harris in the Bridlington Free Press of 11th. July, I read this paper from cover to cover (about four pages) and could find no mention; perhaps I shall be able to go back again another day and have better luck.

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