THE STEWARD BRANCH

Our link into the Steward branch is through my great-grandmother Alice Sophia (Walton) STEWARD(6) . In a manuscript 1, which I believe to be in her hand, she names her earliest known ancestor as a John STEWARD (438) who was Sheriff of London in 1343. She names another John STEWARD(435), who was also Sheriff of London, in 1456. There is no information at present to establish a link between these two John Stewards, or between them and later Stewards. Another John STEWARD (431), who died in the middle of the 16th century, is said by Alice Sophia to have had three children, John STEWARD (430), Agnes STEWARD(432) and Thomas STEWARD(433).

Alice Sophia then jumps to a James STEWARD (129) who married in 1725. However, the unknown compiler of a Steward pedigree which I have from my cousin Jean Kingdon and also from Mary Southwell has filled in intermediate generations. Neither of these secondary sources give any indication of where their information came from. The table of Steward generations below is thus based on these two sources, with dates confirmed where possible. A study of microfilm or other versions of the original parish registers remains to be undertaken.

Steward generations

Generation Steward ancestor Spouse Date and place of marriage
P Alice Sophia (Walton) STEWARD (6) (1841-1931) Archibald BRIGGS(5) (1833-1886) 18 Sep 1860 at Llandudno, Wales.
N James STEWARD(123) (1794-1870) Alice LACELL(124) (1795-1844) about 1817 at Gretna?
M John Clark STEWARD(125) (1760-1799) Elizabeth WALTON(126) (1763/4-1841) 11 Feb 1783, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London
L Richard STEWARD(127) (ca. 1727-?) Elizabeth CLARK (née NOTTSFORD)(128) (?-?) 17 Jul 1752 at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, also known as the Keith Chapel
K James STEWARD(129) (?-?) Jane FREELAND(130) (1706-?) ?
J James STEWARD(418) (1667+ -?) Elizabeth DIXON(419) (?-?) 01 Sep 1689 at St James, Duke's Place, Aldgate
I John STEWARD(422) (about 1641 -?) Joan BARNARD(423) (1648-?) 02 Apr 1666 at St James, Duke's Place, Aldgate
H John STEWARD(428) (1613-?) unknown (?-?) about 1640
G John STEWARD(429) (about 1585?-?) Elizabeth MORTON(nnn) (?-?) 30 Nov 1610
F John STEWARD(430) (about 1557?-?) unknown (?-?) about 1609?
E John STEWARD(431) (about 1529?-1569) unknown (?-?) about 1556?
B? John STEWARD(435) (about 1420?-1473?) Petronella (1) and Margaret (2) both predeceased him ?
? John STEWARD(nnn) (about 1310?-?) unknown ?

Richard STEWARD

According to the IGI, Richard Steward(127) was born about 1727, of St. Mary's At Hill. The Steward Pedigree gives the year of his birth as 1730. It is not clear whether St. Mary's at Hill was his parish of baptism or his parish at the time of his marriage. The IGI references to his birth do not quote primary sources. His parents were yet another James Steward(129) and Jane Freeland (130).

Richard married Elizabeth Clark (128), on 17 July 1752 at St. George’s Chapel Mayfair, London, also known as the Keith Chapel. Clark was Elizabeth's name from her first marriage, and Alice Sophia Briggs says she was the daughter of a J. Nottsford. They had 8 children.

Children of Richard Steward(127) and Elizabeth Clark (née Nottsford)(128)

Name Notes
John Clark Steward (409) Born 09 Jun 1753, baptised at St. Dunstan in the East 30 Jun 1754. Died 1756 (Steward Pedigree).
Eleanor Steward(410) Born 29 Nov 1754, baptised at St Dunstan in the East on 18 Dec 1754 (IGI).Married John Whitmore (ASB manuscript), though the Steward Pedigree looks to have a different name which I cannot decipher, possibly Wilder. I have not found any probable entries in the IGI.
Susanna Steward (411) Born 23 Jul 1756, baptised at St. Dunstan in the East on 31 Aug 1756.
John Clark Steward (125) Born 01 Apr 1760. Married Elizabeth Walton(126) of Stepney. Died 24 Mar 1799. See his entry above for details.
James Steward (412) Born 19 Jan 1764. Married Elizabeth Bache at Watford, Herts., on 06 Mar 1794 (IGI), and this same entry says he was born about 1769. The marriage entry is not based on quoted parish records. According the the Steward Pedigree they had nine children. According to the same pedigree he was Commander HEICS (Honourable East India Company Ship), and later Superintendant of Ordnance at Woolwich, which is an odd transformation.
Jane Steward (413) Born 1766?
Eliza Steward (414) Born 1768?
Agnes Foulis Steward (415) Baptised 09 Jun 1769 at St. Dunstan, Stepney (IGI). Died unmarried (Steward Pedigree)

James STEWARD

Alice Sophia says this James Steward(129)was born in 1725, but I think it more likely that he married in that year. According to a Steward Pedigree his parents were James Steward (418) and Elizabeth Dixon(419) . James Steward(129) married Jane Freeland(130), (Stewarde Pedigree) but there is, at present, no IGI entry for this marriage. Alice Sophia says Jane Freeland was the daughter of Peter Freeland(131) and Elinor Levingston (132), both of Scotland. There is an IGI entry for a Jane Freeland’s christening on 31 Mar 1706 at St. Dunstan, Stepney, and also an entry for the marriage of her parents which took place at St. Michael’s, Cornhill, London, on 10 June 1705. The entry also says they were both of Scotland. My guess is therefore that this James Steward(129) was born a few years before 1706. I do not know the sources used for the manuscript Steward Pedigree from which these connections and dates come. Alice Sophia leaves a big gap from the middle of the 16th century and it is speculation at present as to whether the earlier names she mentions are actually connected to the family. She does say that each early Steward seems to have been a City merchant in the neighbourhood of Aldgate.

James STEWARD

There is no information available to me on the birth of this James Steward(418), only that he is supposed to have married Elizabeth Dixon (419) on 01 Sep 1689 at St. James, Aldgate (Stgeward Pedigree). There is no IGI entry for this marriage.

John STEWARD

This John Steward was Sheriff of London in the 35th year of Henry IV, that is 1456/57. Alice Sophia Briggs says this was in the reign of Edward IV, and the Steward pedigree indicates the 13th year of Edward IV (1473/4) whilst still giving the year as 1456.

John STEWARD

This John Steward, according to Alice Sophia Briggs the earliest known member of the Steward family, was Sheriff of London in 1343. In John Stowe's Survey of London, in the Everyman's Library Edition, the list of Mayors and Shriffs of London shows a John Steward, together with John Aylesham as Sheriffs of London in the 17th year of Edward III, that is for the term 1343/44 when John Hamond was Lord Mayor. ASB also says that he was born in the parish of St. Mary Axe in the 17th year of Edward III, but that year clearly cannot be correct. At the moment nothing is known of whom this John Steward married, what children he had, when he died, or whether in fact he is an ancestor at all.

Stewards and Stewarts

Alice Sophia does mention one other family myth,and says:

The report in part of the Stringer family that we had very aristocratic relatives and that the name was originally Stewart the ‘t’ being changed to ‘d’ at the time of the Rebellion must I think have arisen from Prince Charlie having hidden in the house of one of our family leaving behind a dress Stuart plaid in satin and having given his sword and a seal to those who sheltered him. The sword and seal are now in possession of Yorke Steward, a descendant of James who married Elizabeth Bache 1794. The scarf I foolishly gave to Edgar Steward son of my brother Jas Dick and I fear Edgar may sell it!
In all probability Prince Charlie did shelter with the Stewards who had for generations riverside premises and likely hiding places and the Prince probably flattered the Stewards by noticing the similarity of names and so the tradition arose of our aristocratic and Scottish origins but in truth the Stewards were always English merchants.

This myth is possibly the reason why, at school where the kilt was required wear on Sundays, my brothers and I wore a Hunting Stewart tartan. However, if she is talking about the Young Pretender and the 1745 rebellion, did not Bonnie Prince Charlie escape directly from Skye to France, after the battle of Culloden in 1746? However, in September 1750, Charles did go to London. Fitzroy Maclean’s book Bonnie Prince Charlie says:

We only know that in September 1750 Charles himself did in fact go to London, crossing from Antwerp in "an Abbé’s dress with a black patch over his eye and his eyebrows black’d" and arrived in London four days later under the name of Smith. Just what he was hoping to achieve is obscure. "Parted ye 2nd Sep." he jotted down on a sheet of paper which still survives. "Arrived to A [Antwerp] ye 6th. Parted from thence ye 12th Sept. E [England] ye 14th., and at L [London] ye 16th. Parted from L ye 22nd and arrived at P [Paris] ye 24th. From P ye 28th. Arrived here ye 30th Sept."

As to how he spent his time in London, we have only disjointed scraps of information. He is thought to have stayed in Essex Street, off the Strand, at a house belonging to Lady Primrose. A 2001 biography by Carolly Erickson says, without quoting the source of the information, that some 50 Jacobite sympathisers gathered at lodgings in Pall Mall to welcome Charles and shake his hand. It does not say whose the lodgings were.

It seems possible that Charles was again in England in the autumn of 1752, though some say there was only one visit and the dates have been confused. So on either of these occasions he might have had contact with the Steward family in London. Who knows? I wonder whether any of the relics mentioned by my great grandmother will ever resurface.

Footnotes

3) Unpublished notebook MS with additional notes on her family and relations. This manuscript I have transcribed, and slightly edited to improve its readability. It can be viewed.


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