1902 Encyclopedia > Sir James Stephen

Sir James Stephen
English historian
(1789-1859)




SIR JAMES STEPHEN (1789-1859), historian, was the son of James Stephen, master in chancery, author of The Slavery of the West India Colonies and other works, and was born in London 3d January 1789. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1812, after which he studied for the bar and was called at Lincoln's Inn. He obtained an extensive practice as a chancery barrister, being ultimately counsel to the colonial department and counsel to the Board of Trade. In 1834 he became assistant under-secretary for the colonies, and shortly afterwards permanent under-secretary. On his retirement in 1847 he was made a knight commander of the Bath. In 1849 he was appointed regius professor of modern history in the university of Cambridge, having already distinguished himself by his brilliant studies in ecclesiastical biography contributed to the Edinburgh Review, which were published that year under the title Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography and Other Subjects; a 4th edition, with a short memoir, appeared in 1860. He was also the author of Lectures on the History of France, 2 vols., 1851, 3d ed. 1857, and Desultory and Systematic Reading, a lecture, 1853. He died at Coblentz on the 15th of September 1859.






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