Richard PHARAOH (1817–1881)
His wife Ann Sophia PHARAOH, née Irons (1825/6–1887)
St Paul section: Row 25, Grave E1 [St Paul ref. A.21]

Richard Pharaoh


BORN NOV. 1 ?1815, DIED MAY 31 1881

[Three lines of text]


BORN …, DIED JULY 6 1887



For more on the parents and siblings of Richard Pharaoh, and the Pharaoh family in general, see the grave of his older brother, the St Giles’s coal dealer John Pharaoh (1813–1865)


The first Pharaoh in Oxford was Richard’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.

Richard Pharaoh was born in 1817 at Little Clarendon Street, Oxford (then called Workhouse Lane) and baptised at St Giles’s Church on 21 November. He was the son of the coal dealer James Roberson Pharaoh and his wife Hannah Green, who were married at that church on 12 February 1804 and had ten other children baptised at the church. His father died on 25 June 1830 when Richard was only 13 years old. Richard became a tailor by trade, and although he was originally a member of the Church of England he joined the Congregational Church in 1845.

Ann Sophia Irons was born in Summertown village in 1825/6 and baptised at Wolvercote on 15 January. She was the daughter of John Irons, a wheelwright from Wolvercote, and Ella Clinch of Bampton, who were married at Bampton Church on 30 December 1823. John Badcock, who in 1832 compiled notes on all the inhabitants for the first Vicar of the new church to be opened in Summertown, stated that the Irons family lived in a house built in 1828 on the Woodstock Road in Summertown, and that John Irons was aged about 35 and was a very industrious wheelwright, carpenter, and shopkeeper, who was confirmed in June 1832, and his wife Ella was born on 10 February 1800, and he noted that they regularly attended church. He also listed their children: Ann Sophia herself (aged about 7), who is recorded as an attendee at the Sunday School; John (born March 1828); and Sarah Elizabeth (born 6 September 1830). At the time of the 1841 census Ann Sophia (14) was living with her parents and younger siblings John (13) and Sarah (10) at their Summertown home.

In Oxford in 1847 (reg. second quarter), Richard Pharaoh married Ann Sophia Irons, and they had the following children:

  • Thomas Samuel Mortimer Pharaoh (born in Summertown in 1848, reg. second quarter with surname spelt Pharoah)
  • Susan Ann Sophia Pharaoh (born in Summertown in May 1851); died age nine weeks, burial on 23 July 1851 recorded by Summertown Congregational Church and St John’s Church, Summertown
  • Henry Pharaoh (born in Summertown in 1856, reg. second quarter)
  • Joseph John Pharaoh (born in Summertown in 1859, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Ella Pharaoh (born in Summertown in 1861/2, reg. first quarter of 1862 with surname spelt Pharoah)
  • Sarah Ann Pharaoh (born in Summertown in January 1850, died aged five weeks on 23 February, with notice placed in local newspaper)

At the time of the 1851 census Richard Pharaoh (33) was a master tailor living in Summertown with his wife Ann Sophia (25), who was working as a schoolmistress, and their son Thomas (3). Also living them were Ann’s brother John Irons (23), who was a journeyman carpenter, and a lodger.

In 1861 the census specifies their address as Banbury Road Villas, and Richard and his wife lived there with their sons Thomas (13), Henry (4), and Joseph (1).

By 1871 Richard (53) was working as a milkman and cowkeeper rather than a tailor. He was now living in Kingston Road with his wife Ann Sophia, his four surviving children Thomas (23), who was his apprentice, Henry (14), Joseph (11) and Ella (9). His mother-in-law Mrs Ella Irons (70) was also living with the family.

Their eldest son was married in 1875:

  • On 9 February 1875 at the Commercial Road Chapel, Oxford, Thomas Pharaoh married Elizabeth Sarah Castle, the only daughter of Mr T. Castle of Oxford, and a notice was published in the local press.

This Adullam chapel in Commercial Street, St Ebbe’s was built in 1832 by the Revd H. B. Bulteel, and after a period as a Methodist Chapel, it had been bought back in 1868 by the “Bulteelers” and became a Particular Baptist Chapel again. The young couple only worshipped there for two more years, however, as on 1 February 1877 Thomas Pharaoh, who was described as a milkman, and his new wife were admitted to Summertown Congregational Church from the Commercial Road chapel. The following month, on 29 March, Thomas’s mother Mrs Ann Sophia Pharaoh of Kingston Road became a member of Summertown Congregational, “transferred from old list”, so she may have been a Congregationalist for longer.

Richard and Ann Sophia’s second son was married in 1879:

  • In the second quarter of 1879 in the Headington registration district, Henry Pharaoh married Sarah Clarke.

At the time of the 1881 census Richard Pharaoh (63), who was described as a dairyman with ten acres of land employing one man and one boy, lived at Kingston Road with his wife Ann Sophia and their daughter Ella (19). Their unmarried son Joseph John (20) was living at Grove Street in Summertown with his brother Thomas and his wife Elizabeth: Thomas was described as a master milkman, and Joseph John, who was described as a milkman, doubtless worked for him.

Richard Pharaoh died the following month:

† Richard Pharaoh died at 63 [probably the present 114] Kingston Road at the age of 63 on 31 May 1881 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 2 June, with the service taken by William Gardner, a Baptist minister (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

A brief notice was published in Jackson’s Oxford Journal. His personal estate came to £215 3s., and probate was granted to his widow.

The third son of Richard & Ann Sophia was married in 1884:

  • On 11 September 1884 at St John's Church in Summertown, Joseph John Pharaoh, described as a dairyman of Summertown, married Mary Anne Hicks.

Mrs Pharaoh died six years after her husband:

† Mrs Ann Sophia Pharaoh, née Irons died at 114 Kingston Road [probably the former 61 or 63] at the age of 61 on 6 July 1887 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 8 July (burial recorded in the parish register of St Paul’s Church).

A notice of her death was placed in Jackson’s Oxford Journal, revealing that she had died of heart disease. Her personal estate came to £400 19s. 6d., and probate was granted to her son Thomas and daughter Ella.

Children of Richard and Ann Sophia Pharaoh
  • Thomas Samuel Mortimer Pharaoh (born 1848) and his wife Elizabeth had no children. Thomas continued to work as a dairyman, and his wife assisted him in the business. They had moved from Summertown proper to Sunnymeade by 1891, with their address specified as 42 Harpes Road in 1901, and 63 Harpes Road in 1911. Following the death of his wife near the beginning of 1914 he went to live with his brother Joseph at 7 Cyprus Terrace, Wolvercote, where he died on 26 February 1917. His effects came to £120.
  • Henry Pharaoh (born 1856) was a bookbinder forwarder aged 24 in 1881, living in part of 11 Wytham Terrace, Kingston Road with his wife Sarah (21) and their son Walter Henry (eleven months). By 1891 he like his father had become a dairyman & farmer, and was living at 9 Botley Meadows with his wife and their sons Walter Henry (10) and Percival Richard (7). By 24 July 1899, when his son Percival died after a fall, Henry Pharaoh was working as a bookbinder again and living in Birmingham: he and his wife can be seen at 21 Lionel Street there in the 1901 census. They had moved to 48 Summer Hill in Birmingham by 1911, and Henry (54) now described himself as a book binder founder while Sarah (51) was a shop cleaner. Henry died in Birmingham near the beginning of 1919.
  • Joseph John Pharaoh (born 1859) and his wife Mary Anne had twin sons Isaac Henry Hicks Pharaoh and Joseph Richard Pharaoh privately baptised together at St John's Church in Summertown on 26 July 1885 when they were one day old, but both died at the age of three weeks (with their burial on 20 August recorded in the register of both St John’s and Summertown Congregational Church). Their daughter Mary Anne Hicks Pharaoh was baptised at St John’s Church on 10 June 1887. At the time of the 1891 census they were living at 114 Kingston Road in 1891 with their only surviving child Mary Ann Hicks Pharaoh (4): Joseph was now a self-employed dairyman, and two milk boys were living with them. By 1901 Joseph and his wife were living at Cyprus Terrace, Wolvercote with their daughter Mary Anne (14) and Joseph’s unmarried sister Ella (39). They were still at this address in 1911, but Joseph (51) was now described as a labourer on a farm. Their only daughter Mary Anne married Orlando Bertie Beesley at Wolvercote Church on 11 April 1914. Joseph John Pharaoh and his wife both died near the beginning of 1926 at the age of 66 and were buried in Wolvercote Cemetery on the same day (9 February).
  • Ella Pharaoh (born 1861/2) never married. On 4 October 1888, the year after her mother’s death, Ella was recorded as still living at 114 Kingston Road when her name was removed from the register of Summertown Congregational Church. by 1891 she had moved out of the family home and was living in West Ham at the School House, Church Square, where she worked for a widowed elementary school teacher and her son. By 1901 she had gone to live in Wolvercote with her brother Joseph and his family, and was working as a dressmaker. Ella Pharaoh died in the Headington registration district (probably in the Summertown area) at the age of 52 in 1914.



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