Presentation cover

    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (object): 220mm
    width (object): 65mm
    depth (object): 8mm
    Content object
    Goldwork embroidered presentation pouch or purse presented to Henry Stebbing. The shape suggests a protective cover for a spectacles case or pocket watch, but the original content and purpose is not known.

    The bag is embroidered: ‘Presented to the Rev. Henry Stebbing by the Congregation of St James’s Chapel, as a tribute of their gratitude and esteem for his devoted and affectionate labours amongst them, May 4th 1839.’

    In addition to the dedication, the cover has embroidered floral decorations. The reverse has a 7cms slit, with an inner lining of white silk with a small floral pattern.

    Henry Stebbing (1799-1843) author and Church of England clergyman was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1845.
    Object history

    The cover was found at the bottom of an original box housing a silver tray presented to the Royal Society in 1961-1962 but was not separately noted as a gift.

    The associated gifts were recorded in Royal Society Minutes of Council, Printed, vol.21 1961-1964, p.17, minute 15 for the meeting of 11 January 1962. ‘Reported a bequest to the Royal Society by William Pinckard Delane Stebbing of a silver tray and gold watch which belonged to his grandfather the Rev. Henry Stebbing D.D., F.R.S. The tray and watch were displayed at the meeting of Council.’ The timepiece was subsequently noted in the updated list of ‘Instruments and Historical Relics’ within The Record of the Royal Society of London: supplement to the fourth edition for the years 1940-1989, by John S. Rowlinson and Norman H. Robinson (London, The Royal Society, 1992), pp.89-91.

    William Pinckard Delane Stebbing (1873-1961) antiquary and author.

    Three associated documents provide information on the provenance of the Stebbing donation: a manuscript letter from the Committee of Members of the Congregation of St James’s Chapel, n.d., to Henry Stebbing provides general wishes for his wellbeing; an accompanying printed testimonial from G.P. Nicholls and William Sandby, Honorary Secretaries to the Committee of St James’s Chapel, December 1854; and a letter from Thomas R. R. Stebbing and Mary A. Stebbing, Ephraim Lodge, The Common, Tunbridge Wells, 8 May 1894, to William P. D. Stebbing, 79 Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park, London.
    Associated place
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