Henry Frederick Stephenson

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Admiral Sir Henry F. Stephenson, photographed in 1896.

Admiral SIR Henry Frederick Stephenson, G.C.V.O., K.C.B., Royal Navy (7 June, 1842 – 16 December, 1919) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Early Life & Career

Stephenson was born on 7 June, 1842, the son of Henry F. Stephenson and Lady Mary Stephenson, a daughter of the Fourth Earl of Albemarle. During the Crimean War he entered the Royal Navy as a Naval Cadet in February, 1855 and was appointed to the St. Jean d'Acre, commanded by his uncle, the Hon. Henry Keppel, in the Black Sea Fleet. He was present at the capture of Kertch and other operations in the Sea of Azov. In July of that year he was appointed to the naval brigade now commanded by his uncle, and took part in the final stage of the successful besieging of Sevastopol. In September, 1856 he joined the Raleigh on the China Station, and after that ship was wrecked he took part in operations in the Canton River. He was then appointed to the Pearl, which went to Calcutta on the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, arriving there on 11 August. He joined the naval brigade commanded by Captain Sotheby and served as his Aide-de-Camp, serving in every engagement the brigade took part in over the next eighteen months. He was several times mentioned in despatches, especially for his actions at the Fort of Chandeoport in Oude, on 17 February, 1858.

He was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria on 1 January, 1888, vice Tracey.[1]

On the occasion of the Queen's birthday, Stephenson was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 23 May, 1889.[2]

Flag Rank

Stephenson was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 4 August, 1890, vice Ward.[3]

Stephenson was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral dated 10 October, 1896, vice Fremantle.[4]

In the Queen's Diamond Jubilee honours, Stephenson was appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 22 June, 1897.[5]

Stephenson was promoted to the rank of Admiral dated 7 December, 1901, vice Adeane.[6]

He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross in the Royal Victorian Order (G.C.V.O.) on 2 November, 1902.[7]

In accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 22 February, 1870, he was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 1 September, 1904, upon being appointed Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod.[8]


  • "Death of 'Black Rod'" (Obituaries). The Times. Wednesday, 17 December, 1919. Issue 42285, col F, p. 16.


Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. Carysfort
15 Sep, 1880[9] – 14 Dec, 1883
Succeeded by
Arthur E. Dupuis
Preceded by
Alexander Buller
Captain of H.M.S. Achilles
10 Mar, 1885 – 7 May, 1885
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Captain of H.M.S. Thunderer
7 May, 1885[10] – Sep, 1886
Succeeded by
Walter Stewart
Preceded by
Frederick G. D. Bedford
Captain of H.M.S. Dreadnought
Sep, 1886 – 12 Dec, 1887
Succeeded by
Noel S. F. Digby
Preceded by
Charles F. Hotham
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station
4 May, 1893[11]
Succeeded by
Henry St. L. Bury Palliser
Preceded by
The Rt. Hon. Lord Walter Kerr
Senior Officer in Command, Channel Squadron
7 Jun, 1897[12]
Succeeded by
Sir Harry H. Rawson
Court Appointments
Preceded by
Sir Edward H. Seymour
First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp
28 Mar, 1903[13]
Succeeded by
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Fisher


  1. The London Gazette: no. 25774. p. 243. 6 January, 1888.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 25939. p. 2873. 25 May, 1889.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 26076. p. 4282. 5 August, 1890.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 26787. p. 5724. 20 October, 1896.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 26867. p. 3568. 25 June, 1897.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 27387. p. 8838. 13 December, 1901.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27493. p. 7161. 9 November, 1902.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 27715. p. 6044. 20 September, 1904.
  9. The Navy List. (December, 1881). p. 200.
  10. The Navy List. (September, 1885). p. 241.
  11. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 88.
  12. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 89.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 27539. p. 2145. 31 March, 1903.