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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Harper, Right Rev. Henry John Chitty

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Harper, Right Rev. Henry John Chitty, D.D., formerly Bishop of Christchurch and Primate of New Zealand, is the son of the late Tristram Harper, of Gosport, where he was born in 1807. He was educated at Hyde Abbey School, Winchester, and Queen's College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1826, M.A. in 1840, and was Michel Fellow, being made D.D. in 1856. He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Rochester in 1831, and priest by the Bishop of Lincoln in 1832. From 1828 to 1836 he was private tutor at Eton, and from 1832 to 1840 was "conduct," or chaplain, of that college. In 1840 he became vicar of Stratfield-Mortimer, Berks, and remained there until 1856, in the August of which year he was consecrated first Bishop of Christchurch, N.Z., by Archbishop Sumner, of Canterbury, and Bishops Wilberforce, of Oxford, and Gilbert, of Gloucester, arriving in New Zealand in December. In 1869, upon the resignation of Bishop Selwyn, Bishop Harper was elected by the General Synod Primate of New Zealand. In 1889 he resigned the bishopric, and Archdeacon Churchill Julius, of Ballarat, was elected to succeed him. Bishop Harper is warden of Christ College, and governor of Canterbury College.