Charles Joseph Harford, Captain in the 12th Lancers (85th Regiment of Light Infantry) of the British Army, lived in or near Pinetown, Natal, from before 1868. In that year he was already a member of the Legislative Council for Durban County, and the next year was also president of the Natal Chamber of Agriculture, Durban. He was a member of the (Anglican) Church of England and in 1870 published correspondence between himself and Bishop W.K. Macrorie of Pietermaritzburg (Church of the Province of South Africa), concerning the bishop's refusal to administer the sacrament of Holy Communion to him and his wife. By 1872 he was captain commandant of the New Germany Rifles volunteer corps, with headquarters at New Germany (adjacent to Pinetown).
Early in 1868 Captain Harford and Dr J.E. Seaman* were instrumental in founding the Natural History Association of Natal. Harford was elected joint vice-president for the first year and retained this position until the association disappeared a few years later. At the inaugural conversazione of the association on 13 March 1868, which he was unable to attend, he exhibited a collection of Lepidoptera. More of his insect collections were shown at subsequent meetings. In May 1869 he delivered the first part of a paper, "On the larvae and pupae of the Natal Lepidoptera". The second part was read only in January 1871, as few meetings were held. There has been some confusion about the author of this paper, who was named as Major H.C. Harford by Quickelberge (1987, p. 10). H.C. Harford* was C.J. Harford's son; he was only 18 years old at the time, certainly not a major, and unlikely to have compiled such a comprehensive and detailed paper. However, he did become an important provider of specimens to the Durban Natural History Museum in later years.
One C.J. Harford, presumably the captain, applied for an appointment as magistrate in the Cape Colony in 1871.