Topics > People in History > George Stephenson (1781 - 1848) > Extracts from Biography of George and Robert Stephenson > Birth of Robert Stephenson
Birth of Robert Stephenson
Extract from: The Life of George Stephenson and of his son Robert Stephenson, by Samuel Smiles, 1881.
It was while living at Willington Quay that George Stephenson's only son was born on the 16th of October, 1803. The child was from the first, as may well be imagined, a great and favourite with his father, and added much to the happiness of his evening hours. George Stephenson's strong "philoprogenitivenees,'' as phrenologists call it, had in his boyhood expended itself on birds, and dogs, and rabbits, and even on the poor old gin-horses which he had driven at the Callerton Pit, and now he found in his child a more genial object for the exercise of his affection.
The christening of the boy took place in the school-house at Wallsend, the old parish church being at the time in so dilapidated a condition from the "creeping" or subsidence of the ground, consequent upon the excavation of the coal, that it was considered dangerous to enter it. On this occasion, Robert Gray and Anne Henderson, who had officiated as brideman and bridesmaid at the wedding, came over again to Willington, and stood godfather and godmother to little Robert, as the child was named, after his grandfather.
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