Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A new website has been created for The Dictionary of Welsh Biography. It will be launched at the beginning of November 2018 and will include new content, functions and design. Head over to biography.wales now to see what's new!

This website will eventually be replaced by biography.wales. In the meantime, we would like to hear from our users so you're welcome to send us any questions or feedback that you may have.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



STEPNEY (or STEPNETH ) family, of Prendergast, Pembs.

The family was founded by Alban Stepney , a Hertfordshire man and son of Thomas Stepney of S. Albans by his wife Dorothy , daughter of John Winde of Ramsey, Hunts. Educated at Cambridge and Clement's Inn , it is said that he came to Wales as a young lawyer in the employ of bishop Richard Davies during the visitation of 1559 . On 31 Dec. 1561 the bishop appointed him receiver-general of the diocese of S. Davids for life. He was also registrar of the diocese . He m. (1), 1565 , Margaret ( c. 1546 - ante 1573 ), daughter and coheiress of Thomas Catharn of Prendergast , who brought him the manor of Prendergast , and (2), before 1573 , Mary , daughter of William Philipps of Picton . In local politics he became prominent within a group of gentry, led by William Philipps , in opposition to Sir John Perrot and his faction. He was a justice of the peace for county Pembroke and Haverfordwest , deputy lieutenant of county Pembroke , sheriff for county Pembroke in 1573 , 1590 , and 1605 , and for county Carmarthen in 1597 , Member of Parliament for Haverfordwest in 1572 , 1584 , and 1586 , for Cardigan borough in 1588 , and for county Pembroke in 1602 . He d. 19 Aug. 1611 . His heir, JOHN STEPNEY (b. 1581 ), was created a baronet in 1621 . He was educated at Oxford and Lincoln's Inn and m., before 1611 , Jane , daughter of Sir Francis Mansel of Muddlescomb , Carms. He was a justice of the peace , sheriff for county Pembroke in 1614 , and mayor of Haverfordwest in 1620 . He d. 21 July 1626 and was succeeded by his son Sir ALBAN STEPNEY ( c. 1607 - 1628 ), whose brother, Sir JOHN STEPNEY (b. c. 1618 ), became the 3rd baronet . He was governor of the town of Haverfordwest during the Civil War and was one of the few Pembrokeshire gentlemen who remained loyal to the king . He was imprisoned by the Parliamentary forces after his capture at Hereford in 1645 . In 1637 he was sheriff for county Pembroke . He was Member of Parliament for Pembroke in 1640 and sat in the Long Parliament for Haverfordwest , 1640-3 . In 1662 he was mayor of Haverfordwest and deputy lieutenant of county Pembroke in 1674 . His wife was Magdalen , daughter of Sir Henry Jones of Abermarlais . He d. before 26 Sept. 1676 . His nephew, Sir JOHN BAPTIST STEPNEY (d. 1681 ), the 4th baronet , m. Justina Marianna , daughter of Sir Anthony Vandyke , the painter . Their son, Sir THOMAS STEPNEY , the 5th baronet , m. Margaret , sister and coheir of Walter Vaughan of Llanelly , about 1691-3 . He was sheriff for county Pembroke in 1697 and Member of Parliament for county Carmarthen in 1717 . He d. before 15 Feb. 1745 . It seems that the Stepneys transferred their interests from Pembrokeshire to Carmarthenshire (where they are still represented by the families of Stepney-Gulston of Derwydd and Howard-Stepney of Cilymaenllwyd ) and in 1772 their Pembrokeshire property was sold. The 8th baronet , Sir JOHN STEPNEY ( 1743 - 1811 ), was Member of Parliament for Monmouth , 1767-83 , minister to Dresden 1775-82 , and to Berlin 1782-4 . With the death of his brother, Sir THOMAS STEPNEY ( 1760 - 1825 ), groom of the bed-chamber to the duke of York , the baronetcy became extinct. His wife was the novelist lady Catherine Stepney (d. 1845 ) (see D.N.B. ).

The D.N.B. deals with another member of this family, namely GEORGE STEPNEY ( 1663 - 1707 ), poet and envoy .

Sources:

  • West Wales Historical Records (1910–29) , vii, 109-42;
  • Burke's Landed Gentry , s.n. , Stepney—Gulston;
  • Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches (1846) , i, 180;
  • The Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion , 1942 (29), 1948 (59);
  • English Historical Review , lxi, 18-27;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) , 36, 138, 155, 167;
  • Public Record Office, List of Sheriffs for England and Wales … to A.D. 1831 (1898) (P.R.O.);
  • Alumni Cantabrigienses ;
  • Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • A. L. Leach , History of the Civil War (1642-49) in Pembrokeshire and on its borders (London, 1937) ;
  • Richard Fenton , A Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire , 223-4.

Author:

Dr Bertie George Charles, Ph.D., (1908-2000), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959