Timothy Steward & Mary Palmer
Family Tree
The Steward Family
G6 Timothy Steward
= 1758
Mary Palmer
G5 William
= 1785
Anne Browne
( - )
= 1794
Mary Fowler
Ambrose Harboard
=(1) 1796
Harriet Heath
=(2) aft 1802
Francis Sarah Bleadon

The only son of Timothy (I) and Hannah, Timothy (II) (l733-1793), was a successful privateer. His prizes included the captured Swedish vessel, the Sophia. acquired in 1781. In 1758 he also married advantageously, gaining property through his wife, Mary, the only child of Ambrose Palmer (the eldest son of William Palmer, landowner, who died in 1771). (ref 1)

The Palmer family were very prominent in Great Yarmouth. Judging from the mentions of the Palmers in the Perlustration (ref 2), they were extensive landowners there.

A privateer was effectively a private member of the Navy, licenced by the government. Timothy' activities are illustrated in these two extracts (opposite) from the Norfolk Chronicle, 1781.

Timothy and Mary had three sons; William, Timothy (III), and Ambrose Harbord. All were successful as merchants and enjoyed the prosperity that came to Yarmouth as a naval base during the French Wars.(ref 1)

Also see the extract from "The Perlustration" pp 152-157, below.

Yarmouth, Feb 1 1781
On Thursday, about twelve o'clock, the Dreadnought, Privateer, Captain Timothy STEWARD, Commander, of 14 carriage guns, and 50 men, went to sea, and after being at sea about an hour, she saw a large brigantine from Shields, laden with coals, bound to London, who mounted four carriage guns, which was taken this morning about six o'clock, after an engagement of two hours, off Cromer, and ransomed for four hundred guineas; the master was wounded, the mate killed, and all the remainder of the crew wounded, except two little boys. Within half an hour after another large vessel, laden with coals, passed our roads, which was also taken this morning, soon after the above, and ransomed for five hundred guineas. The Captains of the above vessels say, they were taken by that notorious villain FALL, who had on board his ship at that time thirteen Ransomers; they supposed that FALL has taken near thirty sail of ships from the North. It is surprizing [sic] that this villain had not one Frenchman on board. Captain STEWARD, his Officers and friends, who were on board, directly sailed down to a Scotch privateer in the Roads, and would have had the Captain gone in quest with him directly after this audacious pirate, but the Captain refused; he then directly sailed down to the RANGER privateer, but the crew refused, as their Captain was not on board, and the ship not in proper order for action. Captain STEWARD had 20 Gentlemen on board, friends, who sailed out of the port with him, and who offered as volunteers to go in pursuit of FALL immediately, if any of the ships in view would join the chase; but all refused. The FLY sloop of war was in the roads, but had fifteen ships under her convoy for Portsmouth.

This week sailed the following privateers on a cruize [sic]: -- Ranger, Magnus BRIGHTMAN, late the Lady Washington; Dreadnought, Timothy STEWARD; and Spy [commanded by ] SMITH.

17 March 1781. Page 3, column 3
The Dreadnought privateer, Capt. STEWARD, of Yarmouth, has taken, and carried in there, the Sophia, [commanded by] HOLSTROM, from Stockholm, laden with pitch and tar.

William Steward (1760-1844) (G5)
G5 William Steward
= 1785
Anne Browne
( - )
G4 William James Anne Palmer
( -1864)
= Apr 1815
Sir Eaton Stannard Travers
( - )
= ?
James Conway Travers
Henry Alfred Francis
= ?
Sarah Preston

William Steward was first and foremost a merchant, but from the turn of the century built up an extensive investment in brewing and public houses which by 1830 extended over the whole of East Anglia and as far as Kent.

William married Anne Browne in 1785. He was also a solicitor, in practice in Great Yarmouth with Nathaniel Palmer, who was almost certainly a cousin.

A captain in the Yarmouth militia during the wars, he also helped to establish the town's hospital in 1838.

At the time of the brewery partnership, William had ceased to be active as a merchant: the Rate-Book for October 1820 shows him without either stock or warehouses. (ref 1, pp 23-24)

William lived in Row 111 in Great Yarmouth, see the panel opposite.

As noted opposite, his daughter Ann Palmer Steward married Rear Admiral Sir Eaton Stannard Travers. Her sister Mary married Eaton's brother James Conway Travers. More on them below.

From ref 8;

The house passed through the Spurgeon family, and then by purchase to William Steward, who modernised the front, but retained the original rich oak panelling in some of the rooms, all of which has since disappeared. He was the eldest son of Timothy Steward, already mentioned For some years he practice as a solicitor in conjunction with Mr.Nathaniel Palmer, under the style of Steward and Palmer, but becoming possessed of an ample fortune, he quitted the profession of the law, and devoted much of his time and energies to promote the interests of his native town. He was for many years a leading member of the paving commission, and greatly assisted in promoting the establishment of the town hospital, and was the first chairman of the Victoria Building Company. He was a Magistrate for the county of Norfolk. He died at the house in 1841, aged 80. On the death of Mr.Steward, the house became the property of Rear Admiral Sir Eaton Stannard Travers, K.H., who had married Ann Palmer, the eldest daughter of Mr.Steward. Sir Eaton Travers was born in 1782, and was at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope, which has ever since remained one of Britain's most important possessions. He was much noticed by William IV, who gave him the "Guelph", an order then recently established, and the honour of knighthood. He also made him an honorary member of the Royal Household. He was a deputy Lieutenant for Norfolk, and left numerous family.

Ambrose Harbord Steward (1770-1837) (G5)
G5 Ambrose Harbord
=(1) 1796
Harriet Heath
=(2) aft 1802
Francis Sarah Bleadon
G4 Rev Ambrose
(1797- )
(1798- )
= c.1823
Charles Steward
(son of Timothy)
Charles William Henry Steward
(aft 1802- )

The third brother, Ambrose Harbord Steward (1770-1837), was the most successful as a Yarmouth merchant. Acting as a 'prize agent' in the Wars (also see Timothy), he also profited greatly from naval contracts. His services to the fleet blockading the Texel won the admiration of Nelson, and this was no doubt reflected in the financial rewards obtained.(ref 1, pp 23-24)

From "The Perlustration" ii, 102 (and opposite):

Towards the end of the last century the house above described [in row 83?], built by Emperor, was occupied by Ambrose Harbord Steward, Esq., when he commenced business as a prize agent, in which he rapidly accumulated a large fortune. He removed to Stoke Park near Ipswich, where he resided until his death in 1837. He was a justice of the peace and a Deputy-Lieutenant for Suffolk, and filled the office of High Sheriff for that county in 1822.

Mr Steward acquired the good will of the officers of the Royal Navy by sending, after a long prevalence of east winds, a cutter laden with good things to the fleet blockading the Texel; and Nelson, when in the St. George, acknowledged "with a thousand thanks" Mr Steward's attention in forwarding his Lordship's letters and packages.

from: "The dispatches and letters of Vice Admiral Nelson, with notes by Sir N.H. Nicolas", Horatio Nelson, 1844

[Autograph, in the posession of the Rev. A. H. Steward of Whitton, near Ipswich.]
St. George, May 23rd, 1801.
My dear Sir,
I have thousands of thanks to give you for the great trouble you have had in receiving my letters and packages, and for many things which you have had the goodness to send me; and if it pleases God, I hope to return you my sincere thanks and to repay you the money you must have laid out for, dear Sir, yours truly obliged,

GEORGE, (hd Cut) 14, Lt G. Hayes. Proportions of the Maria Albertina, T. August 9, 1801. Paid April 3, at the office of Messrs T. and A.H. Steward, Great Yarmouth. Rec. every Monday and Tuesday at the same place. A.H. Steward and Co. Yarmouth Agents.

(note that hd cut = hired cutter)

Notes & References
  1. "Norfolk Beers from English Barley - A History of Steward and Patteson 1793-1963" by Terry Gourvish, Centre of East Anglian Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 1987 and communication with the author.
  2. "The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth" (Great Yarmouth 1872) by Charles John Palmer.
    Perlustration means "the act of viewing all over" and appears to be a street by street, house by house description of Great Yarmouth, including the genealogies of it's prominent citizens,