Stevens met Scott in around 1838 when he was Assistant Poor Law Commissioner for Staffordshire and Derbyshire. He left Staffordshire in 1842 to return home to Bradfield in Berkshire, to the west of Reading, where his father, Henry Stevens, had been the squire and rector. In 1843, he was himself appointed Rector of Bradfield. He consulted Scott about the restoration of Bradfield Church in 1848 and then the building of St Andrews School which he founded there in 1850. Scott’s sons were to subsequently be educated there.