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Members’ biographical register

Charles Harper

Principal Honours
Date: 15 July 1842
Place: Nardi near Toodyay, Western Australia
Arrival in WA
Son of Reverend Charles, Church of England minister, and Julia Gretchen Lukin and brother-in-law of Henry Brockman and James Morrison
Marriage and Family
Married 1 March 1879, St Matthews Church, Guildford to Fanny de Burgh (born 6 January 1849 and died 25 November 1925), daughter of Robert and Clara Welliton
Children: six sons and four daughters
Date: 20 April 1912
Place: Woodbridge, Guildford, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia
Cause of Death:
Church of England
Educated privately
Farmer and newspaper owner
Employment History
1866–1868 pastoralist in North-West
1867 travelled overland to Geraldton to secure provisions for the town of Roebourne
1868–1870 and 1871–1879 pearling in North-West
Farmed at Beverley, 1870–1871
From 1871, partner with
McKenzie Grant and Edgar in de Grey sheep station
From 1880 with
Alexander Joseph McRae in Ashburton
1880–1884, part-proprietor of
WA Times and 1884–1912 in West Australian with John Winthrop Hackett
1887 member, Agricultural Commission
1895 opened school at Guildford later taken over by Church of England as Guildford Grammar School
Local Government Service
Forrest Party
Date Elected
28 March 1878
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Charles Harper
Valedictory Speech
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC North District 28 March 1878 (by-election)–12 March 1880; York 27 October 1884–21 October 1890
  • MLA Beverley 4 December 1890–27 October 1905

  • Speaker, 2 December 1903–28 July 1904

  • Chairman of Committees, 24 August 1897–2 December 1903

Historical Notes
  • Father of the House, June 1894–October 1905
Private Member's Bills
1861 and 1864 with other pioneers east of Avon to Yilgarn district
1902 founder of Producers’ Co-operative Union
1905 chairman Immigration Commission
In 1885 built Woodbridge, Guildford (National Trust property)
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume one 1870-1930, Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2010, p. 90.
Further Information
O. K. Battye, 'Harper, Charles (1842–1912)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 22 December 2015. Includes a family tree.
R Erickson, ed, The bicentennial dictionary of Western AustraliansII
FR Mercer, The Life of Charles Harper of Woodbridge, Guildford, WA (Perth 1958)
Morning Herald, 30 June 1904.
Twentieth Century Impressions of Western Australia, PWH Thiel, Perth, 1901, p. 31, 172.
West Australian, 22 April 1912.