St John's College U.33

W.R. Stephen, Illustrated diary of a walking tour in North Wales. English, 1848-50.


William Ravenscroft Stephen (b 1826) was the son of the lawyer and slavery abolitionist Sir George Stephen and a cousin of author Sir Leslie Stephen. He was admitted at St John’s in 1844 and graduated BA as 5th Senior Optime in 1848. Stephen worked at the Colonial Office in London until 1852 when he emigrated to Melbourne, where he worked in the Treasury Department.

This manuscript comprises a diary of a walking tour in North Wales undertaken in July 1848, illustrated with watercolour and pencil views. Stephen mentions various companions, including Leake, Gig and Hardy. The first is presumably Stephen Martin Leake of St John’s (BA 1848). Stephen only seems to have completed the manuscript on 24 Nov. 1850. It contains seventeen watercolours and two pencil sketches. Two other sketches have been lost.

Manuscript extra information

225 x 290 mm. 41 p. Paper. Stephen’s autograph throughout. Cardboard covers; cloth spine.

Previously in the possession of Sir Alan Newton. Given to the Library by Vera F. Wethered in 1963. Part of a letter from Lady Newton and two letters from Mrs Wethered are kept with the manuscript.