Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 54.djvu/156

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Stenhouse
Stenhouse
149

life, and directed that upon her death it should vest in trustees to be applied in building, and subsequently in maintaining, a hospital in Dublin, ‘for maintaining and curing from time to time such sick and wounded persons whose distempers and wounds are curable.’ Grizell Steevens, being ‘desirous that the said charitable bequest of her dear brother should begin to take effect in her lifetime,’ surrendered her estate to the trustees in 1717, reserving only 100l. a year, out of a rental of 600l., together with apartments in the hospital when built. She also gave 2,000l. towards the cost of building. The hospital, thus founded, and since known as Steevens's hospital, was completed in 1733 at a cost of 16,000l., and was the first public hospital established in Dublin, where it is still one of the foremost institutions of its kind. Dean Swift was one of its earliest governors, and ‘Stella’ (Esther Johnson) in her will bequeathed 1,000l. towards the maintenance of a chaplain of the hospital, so long as the church of Ireland should remain established. Another benefactor was John Sterne [q. v.], bishop of Clogher. Grizell Steevens survived till 18 March 1746. By her will she bequeathed the residue of her property to the governors of the hospital. Her remains are interred in the hospital chapel. Portraits of Steevens and his sister are in the board-room of the institution.

[Short History of Steevens's Hospital, by Samuel Croker King, 1785; History of Steevens's Hospital, by Cheyne Brady, 1865; Athlone in the Seventeenth Century, by Rev. G. T. Stokes, D.D.; Journal of the Royal Society of Irish Antiquarians; Todd's Graduates of Dublin University.]

C. L. F.

STENHOUSE, JOHN (1809–1880), chemist, was the eldest son of William Stenhouse, calico-printer, Barrhead, Glasgow, and Elizabeth Currie. He was born at Glasgow on 21 Oct. 1809, and was educated at Glasgow grammar school and university, where he devoted himself to chemistry under Dr. Thomas Thomson [q. v.] He continued his studies at Anderson's College under Professor Graham, and at Giessen from 1837 to 1839 under Liebig with Mr. Lyon (now Lord) Playfair and Robert Angus Smith [q. v.] In 1839 he returned to Glasgow, where, by the failure of the Commercial Exchange, he lost the fortune left him by his father. In 1850 Aberdeen University made him LL.D. In 1851 he went to London as lecturer on chemistry at St. Bartholomew's, but resigned his post in 1857, owing to an attack of paralysis. He then proceeded to Nice, where he resided with his mother till her death in 1860. Returning to London, he fitted up a laboratory and started scientific investigation with great energy. In 1865 he succeeded Dr. A. W. Hofmann as non-resident assayer to the royal mint. That post he held till 1870, when it was abolished by the chancellor of the exchequer, Robert Lowe (afterwards Viscount Sherbrooke) [q. v.] In November 1871 a royal medal was awarded him by the Royal Society for his chemical researches. He was one of the founders of the Chemical Society in 1841, was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1848, and became a fellow of the Institute of Chemistry in 1877. During the last four years of his life Stenhouse suffered acutely from rheumatism in the eyelids, which compelled him to live in a darkened room. He died on 31 Dec. 1880, and was buried in the High church new cemetery, Glasgow.

Stenhouse, either alone or in conjunction with Mr. C. E. Groves, wrote more than a hundred papers on chemical subjects for the Royal Society, the Chemical Society, ‘Philosophical Magazine,’ and Liebig's ‘Annalen’ (cf. Royal Society's Catalogue of Scientific Papers). Organic chemistry and the lichens occupied a large share of his attention. He was the discoverer of betorcinol, a homologue of orcinol. He was the author of many ingenious and useful inventions in dyeing (patents 13 Oct. 1855 and 12 June 1856), waterproofing (patents 8 Jan. 1861 and 21 Jan. 1862), sugar manufacture, and tanning; but he will always be known for his application of the absorbent properties of wood charcoal to disinfecting and deodorising purposes in the form of charcoal air-filters and charcoal respirators, which have proved of great value (patents 19 July 1860 and 21 May 1867). Among other patents which he took out was one for the manufacture of glue (7 May 1857) and another for the manufacture or preparation of materials for sizing or dressing yarns and textile fabrics (29 April 1868).

[Chemical Society's Journal, 1881, pp. 185–188; Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, vol. xxxi. pp. xix–xxi; Index to Specifications for Patents, 1854–80.]

G. S-h.

STENHOUSE, WILLIAM (1773?–1827), Scottish antiquary, was a native of Roxburghshire, and was born about 1773 (Laing). He became an accountant in Edinburgh. He published ‘Tables of Simple Interest and of Commission Brokerage or Exchange’ (Edinburgh, 1806). He died in Edinburgh on 10 Nov. 1827, and was buried in St. Cuthbert's churchyard.

Stenhouse was an antiquary with strong musical leanings. He is best known by his