John PHARAOH (1813–1865)
His wife Mrs Eliza PHARAOH, née Marsh (1816–1898)
Their daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) PHARAOH (1851/2–1867)
Their daughter Martha Eliza PHARAOH (1854/5–1899)
St Paul section: Row 33, Grave H15 [St Paul refs M30 & N30]

John & Eliza Pharaoh


[IHS symbol]

In Memory of





The first Pharaoh in Oxford was John’s father, an Oxford coal dealer, who in 1822 built eight tenements on the site of the present 278–290 Banbury Road in Summertown. There were many people with this surname in Oxford and Summertown in the nineteenth century, but by the beginning of 1914 they had all died or moved away.

The name was originally “Le ferrour” or similar, meaning ironworker.


See also the grave of John’s brother, Richard Pharaoh (1817–1881), who was a Summertown tailor

John Pharaoh was born in 1813 at Workhouse Lane, Oxford (later renamed Little Clarendon Street) and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 1 December. He was the son of James Roberson Pharaoh and his wife Hannah Green, who were married at that church on 12 February 1804. They had ten other children baptised there: Susannah (1805), James junior (1807), Elizabeth (1809), George (1811, buried 1817), Martha (1816), Richard (1817), another George (1820), Emma (1822, buried the same year), Henry (1824, buried 1830), and another Emma (1826, buried the same year).

John’s father, James Roberson Pharaoh was originally a labourer, but by 1816 had become a coal dealer: he died at Little Clarendon Street at the age of 50 on 25 June 1830 when John was only 13, and was buried in St Giles’s churchyard four days later, with Jackson’s Oxford Journal reporting on 26 June:

Yesterday morning died Mr James Pharaoh, dealer in coals, at the corner of the Workhouse-lane. He had latterly been afflicted with dropsy, but was walking in the street the day preceding his death.

James Roberson Pharaoh’s brothers may also have been involved in the business, as two others close to him in age with that surname died in Little Clarendon Street in the same period: Henry Pharaoh (35) back in 1824, and George Roberson Pharaoh (47) just after James in 1830.

John’s brother, James Pharaoh junior, took over his father’s business and is listed as a coal merchant at Canal Wharf in Vincent’s 1835 directory.

John Pharaoh was listed as a coach & cart wheelwright in Jericho in Robson’s Directory for 1839, and the 1841 census shows that he was then lodging in Walton Place (now 31 Walton Street) with the painter William Matthews and his family.

Eliza Marsh was born at George Street (then called George Lane), Oxford in 1816 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 25 December. She was the daughter of Thomas Marsh, an Oxford butcher, and Esther Grubb, who were married at that church on 3 August 1813. Her eleven siblings were also baptised there: Elizabeth (1814, died 1823), Thomas (1815), George (1817), Thirza (1820), Ann (1821), a second Elizabeth (1824, presumably died), Selim (1826, died 1839), a third Elizabeth (1828), Clara (1830), Emily (1834, died 1837), and Mark Manchester Marsh (1836). The 1841 census shows Eliza (24) living with her parents and her seven surviving siblings in George Street: her older brothers Thomas and George were now butchers like their father.

On 10 April 1842 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, John Pharaoh, described as a wheelwright of St Giles's parish, married Eliza Marsh of St Mary Magdalen parish. They had the following children:

  • Esther Ann Pharaoh (born at the Clarendon Arms, Walton Place (now Walton Street) in 1843 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 11 June)
  • Clara Pharaoh (born at Walton Place (now Walton Street) in 1845/6 and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 1 February 1846)
  • Elizabeth Pharaoh (born at George Street in 1851/2 and baptised at the chapel of St George the Martyr in George Street on 2 February 1852, with her baptism recorded in St Mary Magdalen register)
  • Martha Eliza Pharaoh (born in St Mary Magdalen parish in 1854/5, reg. first quarter of 1855)
  • John Pharaoh junior (born in St Mary Magdalen parish in 1856, reg. fourth quarter).

After his marriage John Pharaoh took on the Clarendon Arms pub at the present 35 Walton Street. His first two children were born there, and although he is still listed there in Gardner’s Directory for 1852, the family had in fact by February that year moved to George Street in St Mary Magdalen parish.

The family is hard to find in the 1851 census. By the time of the 1861 census, John was working as a coach builder at 40 New Street in St Ebbe’s and was living there with his wife Eliza and his five children: Esther (17), who was a dressmaker; and Clara (15), Elizabeth (9), Martha (6), and John (4) who were all at school.

The family appear to have moved to Friars Street in St Ebbe’s by the time of John’s death 4½ years later:

† John Pharaoh died at Friars Street at the age of 53 in October 1865 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 20 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

It is hard to explain why they are buried in the St Paul's section of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery: possibly they had reserved a plot back in the 1840s when they were living in Walton Street.

Their third daughter Bessie died in 1867:

† Miss Elizabeth (Bessie) Pharaoh died at Great Clarendon Street at the age of 16 in April 1867 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 21 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

At the time of the 1871 census Mrs Eliza Pharaoh (57) was working as a nurse and living at 7 Great Clarendon Street with three of her children: Clara (25) was a dressmaker; Martha (16) was a teacher; and John (14) was a brazier. They had a 71-year-old widow lodging with them.

The missing daughter Esther Ann Pharaoh (24) was in 1871 the companion to a 70-year-old widow, Mrs Rebecca Catherine Eggar, who lived at Marne Lodge, Putney Vale: this lady’s 49-year-old unmarried son, retired farmer John Eggar, lived with her. Elizabeth must have started a liaison with John Eggar before his mother’s death: Mrs Eggar died near the end of 1871 and the birth of Elizabeth’s illegitimate son John Eggar Pharaoh was registered in Wandsworth in the first quarter of 1872, and her daughter Rebecca Catherine Eggar Pharaoh near the end of 1873.

Mrs Eliza Pharaoh was still at 7 Great Clarendon Street in 1881, but no longer working. Clara (35) was still working as a dressmaker and Martha (26) as a schoolmistress, and they now had an eight-year-old boy boarding with them.

Her son John was married in 1882:

  • On 30 May 1882 at St Paul’s Churc, Oxford, John Pharaoh junior (25), described as a whitesmith, married Elizabeth Kidby (24), of the Hospital Arms, Colchester, daughter of the publican Thomas Kidby.

Eliza and her two unmarried daughters were still living at 7 Great Clarendon Street in 1891, with a different lodger.

Mrs Eliza Pharaoh died in 1898:

† Mrs Eliza Pharaoh, née Marsh died at 15 Museum Road at the age of 82 on 6 December 1898 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 10 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Her daughter Martha died near the end of the following year:

† Miss Martha Eliza Pharaoh died at 15 Museum Road at the age of 44 on 20 October 1899 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 24 October (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

Her effects came to £269 7s. 6d., and her executor was her sister Clara.

Surviving children of John and Eliza Pharaoh
  • Esther Ann Pharaoh (born 1843) was aged 34 and still single in 1881, when she was living at Marne Lodge, Putney with John Eggar (57) and their children John Eggar Pharaoh (9) and Rebecca Catherine Eggar Pharaoh (7): Esther and their children were described as lodgers. She and her children's father do not appear to have got married. John Eggar died at Marne Cottage at the age of 66 on 16 September 1889, and his personal estate came to £2,139 12s. 11d., and his widowed sister, Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Stringer, was his executor. It is unclear what happened to Esther Ann Pharaoh and the children: she may have used a different surname and passed herself off as a widow.
  • Clara Pharaoh (born 1845/6) never married. At the time of the 1901 census she was a boarding house keeper at 15 Museum Road, with one servant and two boarders. She died on 4 March 1906. Her effects came to £1,752 0s. 2d., and her brother John Pharaoh, gas engineer, and William Plumridge, cabinet maker, were her executors.
  • John Pharaoh junior (born 1856) was a gas fitter in 1901, living at 18 Balfour Street, Hertford with his wife Elizabeth and children Bessie Pharaoh (16), Frederick John Pharaoh (15), Reginald Marsh Pharaoh (11), and Herbert Pharaoh (2). He had the same job in 1911, when he was living at 82 Hertingfordbury Road, Hertford with his wife and Bessie (26) and Herbert (12). John Pharaoh died at 23 Old Cross, Hertford at the age of 75 on 4 February 1932. His effects came to £904 13s. 3d.,



Please email
if you would like to add information

These biographies would not have been possible without the outstanding transcription services
provided by the Oxfordshire Family History Society

© Friends of St Sepulchre’s Cemetery 2012–2017