Sir Stephen Cave, G.C.B. [Obituary]

Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1880, Vol XII, pp. 56-57.


W. Harpley

Prepared by Michael Steer

Sir Stephen Cave GCB PC JP DL FSA (28 December 1820 – 6 June 1880) was a lawyer, writer and Conservative politician. He notably served as Paymaster-General between 1866 and 1868 and again between 1874 and 1880 and as Judge Advocate General between 1874 and 1875. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, of the Zoological Society, and of several other learned societies, The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

The Right Hon. Sir Stephen Cave, G.C.B., was the eldest son of the late Mr. Daniel Cave, of Cleve Hill, near Bristol, and of Sidbury Manor, Devonshire. He was born in the year 1820, and was educated at Harrow and at Baliol College, Oxford, where he took his Bachelor's degree in 1843, obtaining a second class in the school of Literæ humaniores. In 1846 he was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple, and for a short time went the Western Circuit. In 1859, on the death of Sir Charles Burrell, he was elected M.P. for Shoreham, and continued to represent that constituency in the Conservative  interest down to April last.

He was sent on a special mission to Paris in 1866, and in the same year was appointed Paymaster-General and Vice-fPresident of the Board of Trade; but this post he resigned with his party in 1869. In 1874 he was reappointed Paymaster-General, and in the winter of 1875-76 was sent to Egypt by Lord Beaconsfield as special envoy to report on the financial difficulties of that country. At the dissolution in March last he resigned his seat as member for Shoreham, and at the same time he was nominated a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Civil Division. He went down to Windsor to be invested with that honour, and many of his friends at the time feared he would not live long to enjoy it, as he had long been in failing health.

Sir Stephen Cave was a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Gloucestershire, a commissioner of lieutenancy for London, and president of the West India Committee; he also was at one time a director of the Bank of England and of the London Dock Company. He married, in 1852, Emma, daughter of the late Rev. William Smyth, of Elkington Hall, Lincolnshire, sometime prebendary of Lincoln Cathedral.

He joined the Association in 1873 as a life Member, and was elected President the same year, and delivered an able address at the meeting at Sidmouth. The following year he filled the office of Vice-President. He died on Monday, June 7th, 1880, aged 59 years.