Charles Johnson Pharazyn

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Charles Johnson Pharazyn

Charles Johnson Pharazyn 02.jpg
Charles Johnson Pharazyn during the time he was on the Legislative Council
Member of the New Zealand Legislative Council
In office
17 June 1869 11 March 1885
Personal details
Born(1802-10-11)11 October 1802
London, England
Died16 August 1903(1903-08-16) (aged 100)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Harriet Maria (m. 1825)
Mary Catherine Buckland (m. 1832, d. 1864)
Jessica Rankin (m. 1867, d. 1891)
Relations William Noel Pharazyn (grandson)
Ella Pharazyn (granddaughter)
Children Robert Pharazyn
Occupationrunholder, merchant

Charles Johnson Pharazyn (11 October 1802 – 16 August 1903) was a runholder, merchant, and member of the New Zealand Legislative Council who lived beyond 100 years of age. His obituary in the Wellington newspaper described him as a man of much wealth. [1]

New Zealand Legislative Council Upper House of the Parliament of New Zealand (1841 - 1951)

The Legislative Council of New Zealand existed from 1841 until 1951. When New Zealand became a colony in 1841 the Legislative Council was established as the country's first legislature; it was reconstituted as the upper house of a bicameral legislature when New Zealand became self-governing in 1852.


Pharazyn was born in London in 1802. He arrived in Wellington on the Jane on 24 May 1841 and established himself as a merchant. Tiring of this he became a runholder leasing a run in Palliser Bay with William Fitzherbert. [1]

Wellington Capital city of New Zealand

Wellington is the capital and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa. It is the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.

Palliser Bay bay

Palliser Bay is at the southern end of the North Island of New Zealand, to the southeast of Wellington. It runs for 40 kilometres along the Cook Strait coast from Turakirae Head at the southern end of the Rimutaka Ranges to Cape Palliser, the North Island's southernmost point.

William Fitzherbert (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

Sir William Fitzherbert was a New Zealand politician. He served as Minister of Finance, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Speaker of the Legislative Council.

Whatarangi, the first run
by his son Robert Whatarangi Station.jpg
Whatarangi, the first run
by his son Robert

After a visit to England, he became a merchant again in partnership with, first John Johnston, and later Nathaniel Levin. He retired from business in 1871. [1] [2] He was eccentric; when he lost his spectacles in 1872, he walked through Wellington with a sign around his neck: "Lost, a pair of spectacles". [3] He claimed that the Wellington newspapers were so dull that nobody read them, so advertising in them was pointless. [3] He took a cold bath every morning, by which he explained his good health until old age. [4]

John Johnston (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician, born 1809

John Johnston was a Member of the New Zealand Legislative Council and a successful businessman.

Nathaniel William Levin was a merchant and politician in New Zealand.

Pharazyn was appointed by the governor to the Legislative Council on 17 June 1869 called by premier Edward Stafford. [1] [5] These appointments were made for life.

Edward Stafford (politician) 3rd Prime Minister of New Zealand

Sir Edward Stafford served as the third Premier of New Zealand on three occasions in the mid 19th century. His total time in office is the longest of any leader without a political party. He is described as pragmatic, logical, and clear-sighted.

Education boards were set up under the Education Act, 1872 and in 1875 Pharazyn was appointed chairman as well as treasurer of the Wellington Education Board. "During a discussion at the Education Board, (says the Evening Argus), as to the price to be charged for boarders attending the Tenui School the Hon. C. J Pharazyn said that during his station life he kept himself and family of nine on £100 a year. The statement was readily believed. Mr Pharazyn would have been believed had he said he could keep a family of twelve on £50 a year." The Wanganui Herald quoted in Wairarapa School History. [6]

Education Act 1877 education-related New Zealand parliament act of 1877

The Education Act 1877 established twelve regional Education Boards in New Zealand after the Provinces were abolished and the central government took control of education.

Tinui human settlement in New Zealand

Tinui is a small village approximately 40 kilometres from Masterton, in the Wairarapa, New Zealand. The name comes from the Māori words ti, cabbage tree, and nui, many.

The New Zealand Mail followed up with: "It is refreshing to find that public opinion, as represented by the Press, entirely agrees with Mr. Pharazyn's statement that he was used to feed and clothe a family on £100 a year when at a station. Everyone knows the station. It had quite a reputation in its day, and was called, I believe, the " Go on " station, from a popular belief that to stop at it in hopes of getting anything would have been useless." [7]

He was convicted and fined for offences in connection with voting in 1884, which gave the local paper the Evening Post some satisfaction. [8]

He resigned from the Legislative Council on 11 March 1885, when he was well into his 80s, so that the eldest of his four sons, Robert, could succeed him. [2] This is said to be the closest the Legislative Council ever came to the hereditary principle. [3]

Pharazyn married three times. He married Harriet Maria in London in 1825. There were no surviving children. He married Mary Catherine Buckland in London in 1832, they had four sons but she died in 1864. He married Jessica Rankin on 24 December 1867 at St. Paul's Church in Wellington, she died in 1891. [2] Nearing his 101st birthday Pharazyn died in 1903 at the residence of his daughter-in-law, Mrs William Pharazyn, "Seacroft", Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington. His four sons died before him but he did leave five grandsons, four granddaughters and three great-grandchildren [1] one of them being Ella Pharazyn, whose furniture collection was in the Dominion Museum. [9]

Pharazyn's third son, Charles (1839-1903), was a runholder in the Wairarapa at Longwood, Featherston. [2] The fourth son of this man but only son of his second wife was notable soldier, businessman, journalist, lecturer and trade unionist William Noel Pharazyn (1894–1980). [10]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 The Passing of a Centenarian. Page 5, Evening Post, Volume LXVI, Issue 41, 17 August 1903
  2. 1 2 3 4 A. H. McLintock, ed. (22 April 2009) [1966]. "PHARAZYN, Charles Johnson". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 Jackson, William Keith (1972). The New Zealand Legislative Council : a study of the establishment, failure and abolition of an upper house . Dunedin: University of Otago Press. pp.  40, 58.
  4. Cyclopedia Company Limited (1897). "Mr. Charles Johnson Pharazyn". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington Provincial District. Wellington: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand . Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  5. Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 161. OCLC   154283103.
  6. Wanganui Herald, 6 June 1876 Page 2
  7. The New Zealand Mail 3 June 1876 Page 12
  8. "Mr Pharazyn's Conviction". Evening Post. 22 September 1884.
  9. "Biography of Ella Grace Elgar". Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Collections online.
  10. Franks, Peter. "Pharazyn, William Noel - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 1 October 2012.