Areas of Interest Guide: James Brunton Stephens

This is grave number 2A-50. These ‘areas of interest’ are marked on the entry signs in the cemetery.

James Brunton Stephens
The Stephens grave.

James Brunton Stephens (1835-1902) was born in Borrowstounness, near Edinburgh, Scotland. He arrived in Queensland in 1866, and after teaching for a short time he became a tutor for the Barker family of the Tamrookum station, situated on the Logan River. This was when he wrote his best-known poem, Convict Once. In 1873 he published The Godolphin Arabian, and also a collection of his verse, The Black Gin and Other Poems.

In the late 19th century Stephens was considered to be Australia’s greatest living poet. In 1876 he married Rosalie Mary Donaldson (1846-1932). He was the headmaster at Ashgrove 1877-1882, and was briefly the headmaster at Sandgate in 1883 before being appointed to the colonial secretary’s office as a dispatch writer. Stephens wrote newspaper articles for several newspapers, and other publications of his included The Dominion of Australia (1877), An Australian National Anthem (1890) and Fulfilment (1901) are three of his four more patriotic poems. Stephens died of angina pectoris in June 1902 and was survived by his wife, one son and four daughters.

James Brunton Stephens
James Brunton Stephens. (SLQ)

Read moreJames Brunton Stephens (Australian Dictionary of Biography)

Nearby ‘Areas of Interest’

David Gillies (Gallipoli hero) – Portion 3A
Thomas and Williamina Mowbray (early East Brisbane) – Portion 3B
Digby Denham (Queensland Premier) – Portion 3B
Minna Rowe (businesswoman) – Portion 3B
Christina Sailer (German graves) – Portion 3B
Robert Shipp (cemetery sexton) – Portion 3B
Selina Brown (drowning victim) – Portion 2F