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British Industrial History

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Richard Stephens

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Richard Stephens (1856-1932) of R. Stephens and Sons and R. Stephens, Sons and Co

1856 Born at Cwmbryn, Monmouth the son of Edward Stephens

1861 Living at Trevethin, Monmouthshire: Edward Stephens (age 66 born Lantarmin, Mon.), Collier past work. With his wife Margaret Stephens (age 33 born Merthyr) and their five children; John Stephens (age 12 born Llanvechna, Mon.); David Stephens (age 10 born Aberystruth, Mon.); Morris Stephens (age 7 born Llanvechna, Mon.); Richard Stephens (age 5 born Panteg, Mon.); and Cecilia Stephens (age 1 born Panteg, Mon.)[1] Note: There are reasons to doubt the veracity of this entry applying to the right Richard Stephens

1878 August 6th. Married in Paddington, New South Wales, to Mary Ann Masters (1850-1912). Richard is shown as a Blacksmith. Fathers are shown as Edward Stephens and William Masters.

1877 Left to work in Australia from London via Plymouth and arrived Sydney, NSW on the 25th July

1880 June. Birth of daughter Ada Rachael born Orange, NSW, Australia

1881 July. Birth of daughter Cecilia Margaret born Orange, NSW, Australia

1882 Returned to UK and then left for work in the USA

1883 August. Birth of daughter Ethel May born Naganie, Maquite, Mich. USA

Moved from the USA to Canada

1885 August. Birth of son Richard John Stephens born Ontario

1887 April 15th. Birth of son Percy William Stephens born Trenton, Ontario

1889 Returned to live in Clevedon

1891 Living at 1 Newbury Place, Clevedon, Somerset: Richard Stephens (age 36 born Cwmbryn, Monmouth), Traction Engine Driver. Machinist. With his wife Mary A. Stephens (age 36 born Pilton, Somerset) and their five children; Cecilia M. Stephens (age 11 born NSW, Australia); Ada R. Stephens (age 10 born NSW, Australia); Ethel M. Stephens (age 8 born Michigan, USA); Richard J. Stephens (age 6 born Ontario, Canada); and Percy W. Stephens (age 4 born Ontario, Canada).[2]

1891 August. Birth of son Arthur Ewart Stephens born Clevedon

1891 Opened the 'Clevedon Cycle Depot and Refreshment Rooms'

1894 Bankrupt. 'Richard Stephens, 12, The Triangle, Clevedon, Somerset, engineer and bicycle dealer.—The statement showed that the liabilities amounted to £156 4s. and the assets £13, leaving a deficiency of £143 4s. The Official Receiver's observations were follow:— This debtor has for three years carried on the trade of an engineer and bicycle dealer at Clevedon, having previously worked the steam roller in that district. He states that the causes of his failure are through having an action brought against him by the Edison Bell Phonograph Company, and his solicitor sending in a large bill of costs, about which he knows nothing. The solicitor referred to (who denies this) appears to have obtained judgment for his costs, and issued execution upon;— (l) Furniture which is claimed by the debtor's wife, who carries the business of a refreshment-housekeeper on the same premises as those occupied by the debtor; (2) certain bicycles and a small quantity plant....'[3] 'Richard Stephens, 12, The Triangle, Clevedon, engineer and bicycle dealer.— Debtor, in course of his examination, said travelled with the phonograph, and was served with writ bv the Edison Bell Corporation, in consequence of which he incurred considerable legal expenses. The total cost of the instrument with the outfit was about £75, and he sold it for £15 to a man at Birmingham. His wife carried a dressmaking business, and she had made a claim upon the furniture.'[4]

1897 Application for discharge from bankruptcy. Richard Stephens, 12 The Triangle, Clevedon. Engineer and bicycle dealer.[5]

1899 Patent. R. Stephens. Clevedon, balancing gear for equalising the motor cars, etc.[6]

1901 Living at Triangle, Clevedon: Richard Stephens (age 45 born Cwmbryn, Monmouth), Oil Motor, Motor Car and Cycle Manufacturer. With his wife Mary Ann Stephens (age 46 born Pilton, Somerset), a Refreshment House Keeper and Employer; and their children Ada Rachel Stephens (age 19 born Orange, NSW, Australia), a Photographer; Ethel May Stephens (age 17 born Naganie, Maquite, Mich. USA), a Shop Assistant; Richard John Stephens (age 15 born Madoc, Ontario), Apprentice - Motor Car; Percy William Stephens (age 13 born Trenton, Ontario), Apprentice - Motor Car; Arthur Ewart Stephens (age 9 born Clevedon); and his niece Elizabeth Stacey (age born Cardiff).[7]

1905 'John Brown, of Portishead, char-a-banc proprietor, was summoned by Charles Abraham Palmer, motor car driver in the employ of Richard Stephens, of Clevedon. for that he, the 13th day April, at Clevedon, when driving an omnibus, did interrupt, prevent, and hinder the said C. A. Palmer, who was driving a motor car from passing on the highway....'[8]

1911 Living at 9 The Centre, Triangle, Clevedon: Richard Stephens (age 55 born Cwmbryn, Monmouth), a General Engineer and Employer. With his wife Mary Ann Stephens (age 55 born Pilton, Somerset), a House Keeper; and their children Arthur Ewart Stephens (age 19 born Clevedon), a general Engineer; and Philip Stephens Day (age 11 born Clevedon).[9]

1912 Death of his wife Mary Ann

1924 His son Percy applies for a US passport stating that he was born in Trenton, Ontario, and has lived in the USA (Chicago) between 1911 to 1924.

1932 January 31st. Died age 75. 'The death has occurred, at Hove, Mr Richard Stephens. In 1898 was stirred by aspirations to develop Clevedon into a second Coventry, when he produced his first motor-car. He was the late proprietor of the Clevedon Engineering Company, at which works the Stephens car was invented and made. He served the Clevedon Urban Council.'[10]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1861 Census
  2. 1891 Census
  3. Western Daily Press - Thursday 25 October 1894
  4. Western Daily Press - Saturday 17 November 1894
  5. The London Gazette Publication date:17 August 1897 Issue:26883 Page:4659
  6. Western Daily Press - Friday 17 March 1899
  7. 1901 Census
  8. Western Daily Press - Monday 01 May 1905
  9. 1911 Census
  10. Western Daily Press - Saturday 06 February 1932