Sir Stephen De Vere, 4th Baronet

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

He was the second son of Sir Aubrey de Vere de Vere, 2nd Baronet and 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 and was appointed High Sheriff of County Limerick in 1870. In 1880, he succeeded his brother Vere as 4th baronet De Vere. His family estate was Curragh Chase in County Limerick, but in the 1850s he built a smaller house on Foynes Island in the river Shannon, where he wrote poems, political pamphlets and translated the works of Horace. He built a Gothic church in Foynes, and is buried beside it.

On his death in 1904 the baronetcy became extinct. He never married and his estate, together with that of his unmarried brother, went to their hephew Aubrey Vere O'Brien, while the Island farm went to his other nephew, Robert Vere O'Brien.

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