Stephen Stokes was born in Plymouth in 1802. He enlisted with the army and in 1819 was stationed in Ireland. On leaving the army in 1836, he joined the newly formed Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP).
Between 1833 amd 1853 he produced a large tapestry which now is displayed in the National Museum, Collins Barracks. Dublin. This large pictorial work featuring 250 figures and illustrates his experiences in the British Army in Ireland and subsequently in the Dublin Metropolitan Police, historical events during his lifetime, and popular personalities and characters of the early Victorian period.
The Irish Constabulary and the Boys of Ballingarry’, representing the 1848 rebellion of the Young Irelanders in County Tipperary, is remarkable for the early pictorial representation of the Irish tricolour, and it is interesting to note that the rebels are depicted on a larger, more dashing scale than the police.