Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/913

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STEPHENSON, R.—STEPNIAK

STEPHENSON, ROBERT (1803-1859), English engineer, only son of George Stephenson {q.v.), was borr at Willington Quay on the 16th of October 1803. His father, remembering his own early difficulties, bestowed special care on his son's education, and sent him in his twelfth year to Mr Bruce's school in Percy Street, Newcastle, where he remained about four years. In 1819 he was apprenticed to Nicholas Wood, a coal- viewer at Killingworth, after which he was sent in 1822 to attend the science classes at the university of Edinburgh. On his return he assisted his father in surveying the Stockton & Darlington and Liverpool & Manchester lines, but in 1824 he accepted an engagement in South America to take charge of the engineer- ing operations of the Colombian Mining Association of London. On account of the difficulties of the situation he resigned it in 1827, and returned to England via New York in company with Richard Trevithick, whom he had met in a penniless condition at Cartagena. He then undertook the management of his father's factory in Newcastle, and greatly aided him in the im- provement of the locomotives. His practice was not confined to his own country, but extended also to Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Piedmont and Egypt. In this connexion his most remarkable achievements were his railway bridges, especially those of the tubular girder type. Among his more notable examples are the Royal Border bridge at Berwick-on- Tweed, the High Level bridge at Newcastle-on-Tyne, the Britannia tubular bridge over the Menai Straits, the Conway tubular bridge, and the Victoria tubular bridge over the St Lawrence at Montreal. In 1847 he entered the House of Commons as member for Whitby, retaining the seat till the end of his life. In 1855 he was elected president of the Institu- tion of Civil Engineers, of which he became a member in 1830. He died in London on the 12th of October 1859, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

See The Story of the Life of George Stephenson, including a Memoir of his Son Robert Stephenson, by Samuel Smiles (1857 ; new ed., 1873) ; Jeaffreson, Life of Robert Stephenson (2 vols., 1864); and Smiles's Lives of British Engineers, vol. iii.


STEPNEY, GEORGE (1663-1707), English poet and diploma- tist, son of George Stepney, groom of the chamber to Charles II., was born at Westminster in 1663. He was admitted on the foundation of Westminster School in 1676, and in 1682 became a scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a fellow of his college in 1687. Through his friend Charles Montagu, after- wards earl of Halifax, he entered the diplomatic service, and in 1692 was sent as envoy to Brandenburg. He represented William III. at various other German courts, and in 1702 was sent to Vienna, where he had already acted as envoy in 1693. In 1705 Prince Eugene desired his withdrawal on the ground of his alleged partiality to the Hungarian insurgents, but the demand was taken back at the request of Marlborough, who had great confidence in Stepney. He was, nevertheless, removed in 1706 to the Hague. In the next year he returned to England in the hope of recovering from a severe illness, but died in Chelsea, London, on the 15th of September 1707, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Stepney had a very full and accurate knowledge of German affairs, and was an excellent letter-writer. Among his correspondents was Baron Leibnitz, with whom he was on the friendliest terms. Much of his official and other correspondence is preserved in the letters and papers of Sir John Ellis (Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 28875-28947), purchased from the earl of Macclesfield in 1872, and others are available in the record office. He contributed a version of the eighth satire of Juvenal to the translation (1693) of the satires ' by Mr Dryden and several other eminent hands." Dr Johnson, who included him in his Lives of the Poets, called him a "very licentious translator," and remarked that he did not " recompense his neglect of the author by beauties of his own."

His poems appear in Chalmers's English Poets, vol. viii., and other collections of the kind. Some of his correspondence is printed by J. M. Kemble in State Papers and Correspondence . . . from the Revolution to the Accession of the House of Hanover (1857). A list of the Macclesfield letters is to be found in the Report of the Hist. MSS. Commission, No. i., app. pp. 34-40. For an account of Stepney's family and circumstances, see R. Harrison, Some Notices of the Stepney Family (1870), pp. 22-28.


STEPNEY, an eastern metropolitan borough of London, England, bounded N. by Bethnal Green, E. by Poplar, S. by the river Thames, and W. by the City of London and Shoreditch. Pop. (1901), 298,600. It forms part of the "East End" of London; the parish, indeed, formerly covered practically the whole area so termed. Here are squalid streets and mean houses typical of the poorest class of inhabitants. The thoroughfares of Mile End Road and Whitechapel Road and that of Commercial Road East traverse the borough from the east and converge near the City boundary, where stood the ancient Aldgate. In the north Stepney includes the districts of Spitalfields, Whitechapel and Mile End; and in the south Wapping, Shadwell, Ratcliff and Limehouse. The southern districts are occupied by sailors and labourers in the St Katherine and London Docks and the wharves and factories lining the river-bank. The parish church of St Dunstan, Stepney, is a perpendicular building, much restored, containing many monuments and curious inscriptions. The church of St Anne, Limehouse (1730) is by Nicholas Hawks- moor. The district of Spitalfields has an old association with the silk- weaving industry; a trade in singing birds is also char- acteristic of this district; and in Ratcliff the well-known naturalist's firm of Jamrach is situated. In the extreme west the borough includes within its bounds the historic Tower of London, the Royal Mint and the fine Tower Bridge over the Thames. There is no bridge below this, but the construction of the Rotherhithe Tunnel was authorized in 1900. The Thames Tunnel is used by the East London railway. Among institutions the principal is the People's Palace, Mile End Road, opened by Queen Victoria in 1887 as a place of intellectual and physical recreation and education. The Drapers' Company contributed largely to the cost of erection. Toynbee Hall, Commercial Street, was founded in 1884 under the trusteeship of the Universities Settlements Association and named after Arnold Toynbee (d. 1883), a philanthropist who devoted himself to work in this part of London. Other institutions are the London Hospital, Whitechapel, the East London children's hospital, the head- quarters of Dr Barnardo's Homes, Stepney Causeway, and Her Majesty's Hospital for waifs connected therewith; the Stepney training college of the Society for Promoting Christian Know- ledge, and the Spitalfields trade and technical school. There is a fish market in Shadwell, and a vegetable market in Spital- fields. Stepney is a suffragan bishopric in the diocese of London. The municipal borough comprises the Stepney, Whitechapel, Mile End, Limehouse and St George divisions of the Tower Hamlets parliamentary borough, each division returning one member. The borough council consists of a mayor, 10 aldermen, and 60 councillors. Area, 1765-6 acres.

The name appears in Domesday and later as Stevenhethe. The suffix is thus the common form hythe, a haven; but for the prefix no certain derivation is offered. At Mile End, so called from its distance from the City (Aldgate), the rebels from Essex under the leadership of Wat Tyler assembled (1381), and here Richard II. first met them in parley. Pepys records the village as a favourite place of resort.


STEPNIAK, SERGIUS (1852-1895), Russian revolutionist, whose real name was Sergius Michaelovitch Kravchinski, was born in South Russia, of parents who belonged to a noble family. He received a liberal education, and, when he left-school, became an officer in the artillery; but his sympathy with the peasants, among whom he had lived during his boyhood in the country, developed in him at first democratic and, later, revolutionary opinions. Together with a few other men of birth and education, he began secretly to sow the sentiments of democracy among the peasants. His teaching did not long remain a secret, and in 1874 he was arrested. He succeeded in making his escape— possibly he was permitted to escape on account of his youth— and immediately began a more vigorous campaign against autocracy. His sympathetic nature was influenced by indignation against the brutal methods adopted