Henry Harrison (Philadelphia mayor)

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Henry Harrison
Mayor of Philadelphia
In office
October 5, 1762 – October 4, 1763
Preceded byJacob Duché, Sr.
Succeeded byThomas Willing
Personal details
Bornc. 1712
Lancashire, England
DiedJanuary 3, 1766(1766-01-03) (aged 52–53)
Philadelphia, Province of Pennsylvania, British America
Mary Aspden
(m. 1748; his death 1766)

Henry Harrison (c. 1712 – January 3, 1766) was a merchant and politician, and the mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1762–1763.[1]

Early life[edit]

Harrison was born in Lancashire, England in c. 1712.

In his early life, he was captain of the ship The Snow Squirrel.[2]


After moving to the Province of Pennsylvania in what was then British America, Harrison served as an alderman. He was also a member and vestryman of Christ Church. He became wealthy as a dry-goods merchant.[3]

On October 5, 1762, he was appointed mayor of Philadelphia, serving until October 4, 1763.[4]

He also served as manager of the Public Hospital and was a local real estate developer.[5]

Personal life[edit]

On April 13, 1748, Harrison married Mary Aspden (1718–1803), formerly of Lancashire and the daughter of Mathew Aspen.[3] In 1760, he built a home in Philadelphia on Coombes Alley (today known as Cuthbert Street).[5] Together, they were the parents of four children:[2]

  • Mary Harrison (1750–1797), who married the Right Reverend William White, D.D., first consecrated Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Diocese of Philadelphia, in 1773.[6]
  • Anne Harrison (1757–1780), who married William Paca (1740–1799), signer of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of Maryland, on February 28, 1777.[7]
  • Matthias Harrison (1759–1817), who married Rebecca Mifflin, daughter of Turrut Francis.[8]
  • George Harrison (1762–1845) who married Sophia Francis in 1792.[3]

Harrison died on January 3, 1766 in Philadelphia, where he was buried in Christ Church Burial Ground. His stone is inscribed "Alderman and sometime Mayor of Philadelphia, A Christian and useful Citizen. His desolate Widow, sadly bewailing her irretrievable loss, and striving to alleviate her grief with the memory of his worth, Erected this Stone."[9] His estate was estimated to be worth over £15,086.12.0 which included 157 troy ounces of plate valued at £78.10 (roughly $2,000,000 in 2017 figures).[3]


  1. ^ Council, Philadelphia (Pa ) Councils Common (1847). Minutes of the Common Council of the City of Philadelphia, 1704-1776. Crissy & Markley, Printers. p. 685. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b Jordan, John Woolf (1911). Colonial Families of Philadelphia. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 1048. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Chicago, Art Institute of; Goldsborough, Jennifer (2017). American Silver in the Art Institute of Chicago. Yale University Press. p. 84. ISBN 9780300222364. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Mayors of Philadelphia". www.phila.gov. City of Philadelphia. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b Carrion, Angelly (November 11, 2013). "Old City's Henry Harrison House Is For Sale By Owner". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  6. ^ The lives of eminent Philadelphians, now deceased, by Henry Simpson, published by W. Brotherhead, 1859.
  7. ^ Revolutionary Patriots of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, by Henry C. Peden, Jr., published by Heritage Books, 2006. ISBN 1-58549-204-3, ISBN 978-1-58549-204-6
  8. ^ Clark, Edward L. (2012). A Record of the Inscriptions on the Tablets and Grave-stones in the Burial-grounds of Christ Church. Applewood Books. p. 113. ISBN 9781429093095. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  9. ^ A record of the inscriptions on the tablets and gravestones in the burial-grounds of Christ Church, Philadelphia, Collins, Printer (1864)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jacob Duché, Sr.
Mayor of Philadelphia
Succeeded by
Thomas Willing