Stephenson, Sir William Haswell, DL, DCL

WM layman and Tyneside industrialist, born at Throckley, Newcastle upon Tyne, on 15 May 1836. He was a descendant of the John Stephenson (d. 1761) who sold John Wesley the site of the Newcastle Orphan House. Educated at Wesley College, Sheffield, he was soon involved in a variety of industrial undertakings, some of them building on initiatives taken by his father. He quickly became prominent in the commercial and civic life of Newcastle, serving as a Tyne Improvement Commissioner, School Board member, and conservative City Councillor. He was elected mayor several times between 1875 and 1911 and Sheriff in 1886. He provided several branch libraries and the statue of Queen Victoria near Newcastle cathedral. He was knighted in 1900. A dedicated WM, a local preacher from 1859 and a staunch supporter of LPMAA, he was a generous patron of WM causes and donor of the Elswick Road chapel where he worshipped. He served as chairman of Woodhouse Grove School and was a founder and governor of The Leys School. He died on 7 May 1918.

  • Methodist Recorder, 2 Dec. 1909
  • Geoffrey E. Milburn, 'Piety, Profit and Paternalism', in WHS Proceedings, vol. 44 (1983-84)
  • A.D. Walton in WHS(NE) no.32 pp.8-13 & no. 33 pp.13-20