Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: December 02, 2018
Webpage updated: December 24, 2019

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Nathaniel Cephas Steed was born on May 11th 1857 in Devonport.  His father, who came from Landrake, in Cornwall, had been a blacksmith in the Royal Dockyard but was blinded and by 1851 was out of the Yard and acting as a pauper mangler along with his wife, Mrs Sally Steed, and their eldest, 10-years-old, daughter, Miss Keturah Steed.  At birth Nathaniel had four older sisters and two older brothers.

Mr Nathaniel Cephas Steed, when headmaster
of the Royal Naval and Military Free Schools.
From the author's collection.

Being the son of a former Dockyardee no doubt got him in to the Royal Naval and Military Free Schools in King Street, Devonport.  In 1861 the family were living at number 5 Cannon Street and in 1871 at number 23 King Street.  Nathaniel must have been a good student as in due course he became a pupil teacher at his old School.

On May 23rd 1880 Mr Nathaniel Cephas Steed (he kept quiet about his middle name) married Miss Anna Maria Harbert, from Harwich, in Essex, at the Anglican Church of Saint Mary, Devonport.  Both were Certified Teachers.

In 1891 he became Headmaster at the Royal Naval and Military Free Schools.  He was set to remain there for the next 30 years, finally retiring on Wednesday May 10th 1922.  Sadly his wife, Mrs Anna Maria Steed, predeceased him on February 28th 1916 at the age of 58 years.  He witnessed the demolition of the old School and the erection of a new building that became King Street Junior Mixed and Infants' Elementary School.

At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 Mr Steed was living at "Glendale", Tavistock, with a House Keeper, Miss Gladys V Skews.  Whether he moved  to Bath, in Somerset, or was just visiting is not known but it was at Bath that he passed away on March 31st 1942, at the age of 85 years.  He was buried with his late wife at the Anglican Church of Saint Pancras, Pennycross, Plymouth.