Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: October 27, 2020
Webpage updated: October 27, 2020




Robert White Stevens was the son of Mr John Stevens, landlord of the Maritime Inn on Plymouth's Barbican, and his wife Sarah, formerly Miss Sarah Lee.

He was baptised at Charles' Church, Plymouth, on October 19th 1806.

Robert White Stevens married Miss Eliza Ginder on July 25th 1840 at the Ancient Parish Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle.

He became a printer, chart seller, stationer, correspondent for the London Times newspaper, and agent for the Law Journal Reports, at number 15 The Parade and 21 Southside Street, Plymouth.  His home address was at number 1 Saltram Place, Citadel Road.

He was also honorary secretary of the Shipwrecked Mariners Society.

Mrs Eliza Stevens died in Plymouth in 2q 1850, following the birth of their daughter, Miss Fanny J Stevens in 1849.

The 1851 census shows Mr Stevens living at 1 Saltram Place, Plymouth, with three young children.  Supporting him was a 20-years-old governess, Miss Helen Elizabeth Coster, from Witheridge, Devon, whom he married on November 30th 1852 at Witheridge Parish Church.

Mr Robert White Stevens died suddenly on Saturday May 28th 1870.  He and his wife and some of his family had been to visit the Winter Villa at East Stonehouse, where he was seen by Mr Charles Skardon in seemingly good health.  However, later, as he was passing Mr Skardon's office in Bedford Street, he was seen by a billposter to totter and fall.  Mr Banfield managed to carry him into Mr Skardon's office and Mr Stephens, surgeon, was sent for.  Within fifteen minutes Mr Stevens died, the cause being disease of the heart.  Mr Thomas Cadwallader Brian (1822-1889), the Borough Coroner, held an inquest almost immediately and returned a verdict of "Death from natural causes" and the body was removed to his home in Windsor Terrace, Citadel Road.

In addition to the trade which he had carried on, Mr Stevens was the author of the then widely known book, "Stevens on Stowage", which he was again revising at the time of his death.  He had been a Town Councillor for many, many, year, except in 1853, when he, as chairman of the Water Committee, was unpopular with the voters because of the local water bill then going through Parliament.  In 1859 he had been selected to be an Alderman.  He was also a director of the South Devon Shipping Company Limited. 

The funeral was held on Thursday June 2nd 1870 at the Ancient Parish Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle and Mr Stevens was buried in a family vault in the Westwell Street Burial Ground attached to that Church.  Services at both locations were led by the Reverend Francis Barnes, the vicar of the Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity, where the deceased had been churchwarden for many years.

Mr Steven's business passed to his son, Mr Robert Tyeth Stevens, and developed in to the Parade Printing Works.