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erected in Guildford in the north aisle of Trinity Church to the memory of various members of the family of John Steere, Gent.
The Rev. William Steere was rector of Bermondsey, Surrey, in the early part of the seventeenth century. Burns's "History of Parish Registers," * gives an extract from a very curious record in Mr. Steere's parish register, being " the forme of a Solemne Vowe made betwixt a Man and his Wife, the Man havinge been longe absent, through which occasion the Woman beinge maried to another Man, tooke her again." "The Man's Speech," " The Woman's Speech," and "The Prayer," were evidently prepared for the occasion by Parson Steere.
His son John Steer, M. A., was appointed by the Crown to the Archdeaconry of Emly, in Ireland, in 1612, and at the same time he was made treasurer of Ardfert; in 1615 he was chancellor of Limerick, 1617 bishop of Kilfenore, and in 1621 translated to that of Ardfert. His death occurred in 1628, when his brother, the Rev. William Steere, succeeded him, and became bishop of Ardfert and Aghadoe, in County Kerry, Ireland. He married Elinor, daughter of Randall Maynwaring, son of Sir Randall Maynwaring, of Cheshire, England. In 1636 he was presented by the Crown with the Archdeaconries of Cork and Cloyne, with license to hold them in commendam of his see. Lord Bishop Steere died at Ardfert, January 21, 1637, without issue, and was interred in his own cathedral there. The seal of his brother, Bishop John Steere, is still in existence, and an engraving may be found of the same in the " Episcopal and Capitular Seals of the Irish Cathedral Churches." t
William Steer of the Manor Hall, Darnell, near Sheffield, cutler (son of Robert of Edenson, County Derby) acquired a good estate and died in 1726, aged about 74. He left several sons. William, the eldest, was in holy orders, vicar of Ecclesfield, prebendary of York, and dean of Doncaster, and married Ann, daughter of the Rev. Robert Banks, vicar of Hull. From this branch descends Robert Popplewell Steer, Esq., who succeeded to the estate of Temple Belwood and assumed the surname of Johnson; the present Bishop of Lichfield; and the Rev. William Steer. Charles Steer, another son, was curate of Bradfield, and subsequently rector of Hansworth near Sheffield. He died in 1752.J
William Sterre of Okcleye, County Surrey, and Margery Pallemer of Capell in County Surrey, were married May 7, 1572.
William Steere, a Salter, in Southwarke, issued in 1667 his half penny, indicating his residence.
Later, William Steer was church warden in Oxted, Surrey.§
John Steere of Stancliffe, in 1667, sold lead mines situated in Winster and Elton to John Bullock.||
• Page 181. 1 § Manning and Bra)'.
f Notes and Queries, 2d Series, vol. 4, p. 297. || Index to Additional MSS. in British Museum,
% Ibid. 2d Series, vol. 4, p. 91. 6677, p. 387. 2
Thomas Steers of Liverpool planned, in 1712, the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company, connecting Liverpool and Manchester.
A curious epitaph against the south wall of the church at Nutfield, Surrey, informs the public that Mr. Thomas Steer died August 9, 1769, and adds: —
"He liv'd alone, he lyes alone,
As already indicated, the county of Surrey, in England, was the very ancient seat of residence of a large section of the Steere family, and the parishes of Ockley, Wotton, and Capel, adjacent to each other, comprised the dwelling-places of many generations of a highly respectable branch. In addition to the facts mentioned in the " Surrey Genealogies," the records of the parish church of Ockley supply numerous names in its lists of baptisms, marriages, and deaths. The following extracts from this ancient record are given :—
(1.) 1612, John Steere and Elizabeth Moses, married.
(2.) 1615, Joane Mary, dau. of Edward Steere, baptized.
(3.) 1616, 3d Nov. John Steere, son of William, baptized.
(4.) 1616, Ist Sept. John Steere, son of John, baptized.
(5.) 1617, John, son of Edward Steere, baptized.
(6.) 1617, John, son of Henry Steere, baptized.
(r) 1618, Henry, son of Henry Steere, baptized.
(8.) 1620, Thomas, son of Henry Steere, baptized
(9.) 1620, John Steere and Joane Hasell, married.
Of the latter date occur the names of Edward Steere; Joane, his daughter; Dorothy, wife of Thomas Steere; another Joane Steere; Mary, daughter of Edward Steere; Mary, dau. of Henry Steere; Mary, wife of Henry Steere of Trouts, buryed Dec. 18 th.
(19.) 1632, John Steere was buryed July ii day.
(20.) 1632, Elizabeth, wife of John Steere, was buryed Oct. 23d.
(21.) 1634, John, Son Of John Steere, Was Baptized April 6th Day.
(22.) 1635, May 18, William, son of John Steere, buried.
As the American John Steere was born in 1634, it has been thought quite probable that he was identical with the John Steere (No. 21) whose baptism is recorded as above. It would be pleasant to arrive at a degree of certainty in
* Manning and Bray's Surrey, vol. I, p. 277.
reference to this point, were it possible to attain such a result, but prolonged and searching investigations by various parties among the old records at the Somerset House, in different courts, at the Close Rolls Office, as well as in the parishes above named, have failed to make the connection an entire certainty.
It seems quite clear, however, that if the John Steere baptized in infancy at Ockley in 1634 was not identical with the American emigrant, at least the ancestors, not remote, of the latter were born and bred at Ockley, from which the different sections of the family radiated to other parts of the county and kingdom.
In many an ancient church and quiet churchyard in Surrey, and in some other counties, may be found mementos of members of the family which speak of the high estimate in which they were held by surviving friends. On the marble in St. Margaret's Church, Ockley, placed to the memory of John Steere, who died December 8, 1689, may be read: —
"He who doth here in peace and mutual love
An epitaph which is rather didactic than eulogistic, general than personal, and yet must have been eminently suggestive of the history of the good man whose body was there laid to rest.