John Stevens ca.1662-1726
John STEVENS ca.1662-1726
Son of Richard Stevens, page to Queen Catherine of Braganza; his mother was probably Spanish. He was educated at the Benedictine monastery at Douai, and afterwards began a military career, serving in the army before becoming collector of taxes at Welshpool. He joined the Jacobite army in Ireland after the overthrow of James II, and subsequently spent time in exile in Lisbon before returning to London ca.1695. He then developed a career as a writer and translator, specialising in versions of Spanish and Portuguese works, and publishing a Spanish-English dictionary. He also had antiquarian interests, particularly around the history of monasticism, and he published an abridgement of Dugdale's Monasticon Anglicanum. He was editor of the British Mercury 1712-15.
Stevens was never wealthy - his widow was left in difficult financial circumstances - but he assembled a library of books and manuscripts large enough to be sold by retail sale in London, beginning 17 January 1728. No catalogue survives, but the sale was advertised in the Daily Post. His manuscripts were bought by the herald John Warburton.
- Alston, R. C., Inventory of sale catalogues ... 1676-1800, St Philip, 2010.
- Murphy, G. Martin. "Stevens, John (c. 1662–1726), translator and antiquary." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.