Stephen Royce

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Stephen Royce
Stephen Royce.jpg
23rd Governor of Vermont
In office
October 13, 1854 – October 10, 1856
LieutenantRyland Fletcher
Preceded byJohn S. Robinson
Succeeded byRyland Fletcher
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1787-08-12)August 12, 1787
Tinmouth, Republic of Vermont
DiedNovember 11, 1868(1868-11-11) (aged 81)
Berkshire, Vermont, U.S.
Resting placeEast Berkshire Episcopal Cemetery
Berkshire, Vermont
Political partyWhig Party
RelationsHomer E. Royce
Alma materMiddlebury College

Stephen Royce (August 12, 1787 – November 11, 1868) was an American lawyer, judge and politician. He served as the 23rd Governor of Vermont from 1854 to 1856.

Early life[edit]

Royce was born in Tinmouth in the Republic of Vermont on August 12, 1787, he grew up in Tinmouth, worked diligently to receive his education, farming and trapping, and selling animal pelts to obtain his books. Despite interruptions in his school time, he graduated from Middlebury College in 1807 with his class. Fellow classmates at Middlebury included Daniel Azro Ashley Buck and William Slade.[1] Royce taught school in Sheldon, studied law in the office of his uncle, Ebenezer Marvin, Jr., and was admitted to the bar in 1809. Among the prospective attorneys who studied ;aw under Royce was Charles Linsley.[2]

Political career[edit]

Royce was Franklin County State's Attorney from 1816 to 1818, and served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1815 to 1816 and 1822 to 1824.[3]

Royce was a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1825 to 1827, and again from 1829 to 1846. In 1846 he became Vermont's Chief Justice and served until 1852.[4]

He was elected Governor of Vermont in 1854, as a Whig, the last Whig to hold the office, he was re-elected to a second one-year term as a Republican, serving from 1854 to 1856. He was the first Republican to attain the office after the party was founded in the mid-1850s,[5] ushering in more than a century of Republican domination in Vermont politics. Vermont elected only Republicans to the governorship until Democrat Philip Hoff won the office in 1962.[6]


Royce died in Berkshire on November 11, 1868, he is interred at East Berkshire Episcopal Cemetery in East Berkshire.[7]

Family life[edit]

He never married, but resided with his mother, at her request, whenever he was in his hometown.[8]

Royce was the uncle of Vermont Chief Justice and Congressman Homer E. Royce.[9]


  1. ^ Partridge, Henry Villiers (1905). A History of Norwich, Vermont. Dartmouth Press. p. 175. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  2. ^ Ellingson, Barbara (1997). "Biographical Sketch, Charles Linsley" (PDF). Charles and Emmeline Linsley Papers, 1827-1892. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Society. p. 1. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  3. ^ The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, edited by Rossiter Johnson and John Howard Brown, 1904, Rowland to Royce page
  4. ^ Men of Vermont Illustrated, edited by Jacob G. Ullery, 1894, pages 91 to 92
  5. ^ "Stephen Royce". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Vermont Biography, edited by Prentiss Cutler Dodge, 1912, page 39
  7. ^ Gravestone photos by contributors Bill McKern and Barb Destromp, Find A page, Stephen Royce, accessed April 1, 2012
  8. ^ Catalogue of Officers and Students of Middlebury College, published by the college, 1917, page 10
  9. ^ History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, 1891, page 228

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John S. Robinson
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Ryland Fletcher