Stephen De Vere

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Sir Stephen Edward De Vere, 4th Baronet (26 July 1812 – 10 November 1904) was an Irish Member of Parliament in the nineteenth century, elder brother to the poet Aubrey Thomas de Vere.

In 1847, he took passage in such one of the infamous "coffin ships" that transported Irish emigrants to the New World, wanting to see for himself the horrendous conditions that were leading to the deaths of so many of these passengers. He composed a withering report on his voyage now known as The Elgin-Grey Papers. When Colonial Secretary Earl Grey read this report, he forwarded it to Lord Elgin, Governor-General of Upper Canada and Lower Canada in the hope that these inhumane conditions could be improved.

De Vere became a Roman Catholic in 1848, and defended the recreation of the English Catholic hierarchy in 1851. He was a Liberal Party MP for Limerick County from 1854 to 1859.Elizabeth Lee, , rev. M. C. Curthoys, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008


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