Select Sharp Surname Genealogy

Here are some Sharp stories and accounts over the years:

Sharp and Sharpe

Sharp and Sharpe are the two main spellings.   Sharp is the more common today.

Numbers (000's)

But Sharpe takes the edge in Ireland and, maybe because of Irish immigration, in Canada. 

The Sharps in Little Horton

There were two manor houses in Little Horton, Horton Old Hall and Horton Hall. The two Halls existed because the Sharp family who had ownership of Little Horton for many years were on different sides during the Civil War.  One side was Anglican and Royalist and stayed in the medieval Old Hall.  The others were Quakers and Parliament supporters.  They built another manor house in the area, divided from the Old Hall by a huge wall. 

Horton Old Hall and Horton Hall were rebuilt in the 1670ís by their respective Sharps.  Both survived into the 20th century but both were demolished in the 1960's.

The Foul Death of James Sharp, Archbishop of St. Andrews

James Sharp had been born in Banff castle and was a graduate of the University of Aberdeen where he had taken religious orders.  Originally he was a Covenanting Resolutioner.  However, after various political intrigues, he turned his back on Presbyterianism to promote Episcopalianism.  As a reward for his ambition, he was consecrated as the Archbishop of St. Andrews.  In consequence, he was generally reviled by the Covenanters and portrayed as a self-seeking defector who had betrayed both his colleagues and beliefs. 

On May 3 1679 he was returning to St Andrews with his daughter Isabel when their coach was waylaid by a band of assassins at Magus Muir near to the village of Strathkinness in Fife.  He was dragged from his coach there and hacked to death by nine Presbyterian fanatics in front of his daughter. 

Today, a memorial pyramid of stones from the sea marks the spot at Magus Muir where Sharp was murdered.

Granville Sharp and His Brothers

Granville Sharp was born in Durham in 1735, the youngest son of Thomas Sharp, archdeacon of Northumberland.  At the age of fifteen, Granville became apprenticed to a linen draper and moved to London where two of his brothers, William and James, were already living. 

Both Granville's London based brothers, William and James, were actively involved with his fight against slavery.  William was a surgeon who gave free medical treatment to the poor.  It was at his house, awaiting treatment, that Granville first encountered the runaway slave Jonathan Strong.  Brother James accompanied Granville to the Lord Mayor of London to intervene when Jonathan was re-captured by his master.  As a result, both brothers were charged £200 in damages for taking another manís property.  The courts, however, ruled in favor of the Sharps. 

James and William supported Granville financially from 1776 when he resigned from his job in the Government Ordnance office on a matter of conscience.  This enabled him to devote himself to campaigning against slavery and to other causes such as electoral reform.  Granville never married and died childless in 1813. 

James Sharp was an inventor, engineer and manufacturer of iron goods.  He lived in Leadenhall Street in the city of London and had an iron foundry in south London.  William became a well-known surgeon, said to have been the surgeon for George III.  For most of his life William lived with his wife on a barge moored on the river  Thames.

Sharps at the Battle of King's Mountain

The battle of Kingís Mountain in 1780 between Patriots and Loyalists was one of the turning points in the southern campaign of the Revolutionary War.  There were twelve Sharps, led by Captain Thomas Sharp, who fought on the Patriot side in this brief but decisive battle. 

These Sharps had first settled in Pennsylvania, then moved south along the eastern edge of the Appalachians to Washington county, Virginia where they had settled.  After the War Thomas moved with his family initially into Tennessee before putting down roots in Logan county, Kentucky.  It was there that his eldest son Solomon made his name.

The Assassination of Solomon Sharp

Solomon Sharp was a prominent Kentucky congressman and the state Attorney General.  On November 7, 1825 he was found murdered at his home in Frankfort.

"He was cut down in the dead hour of midnight.  A man with murder in his heart called him from his bed to the door, asking shelter for the night and using the name of an intimate friend to lure him and to shield his own identity.  While extending one hand to his victim in simulating friendly greeting, with the other he thrust the deadly knife into Colonel Sharp's body and fled away into the darkness of the night, leaving him expiring on the threshold of his hospitable home."

His miurderer Jereboam Beauchamp was apprehended four days later. 

It transpired that Beauchamp as a young lawyer had been an admirer of Sharp, that was until Sharp allegedly fathered an illegitimate child with Anna Cooke, a planter's daughter.  Sharp denied paternity of the stillborn child. Later Beauchamp began a relationship with Cooke.  She apparently agreed to marry him on the condition that he kill Sharp to avenge her honor.  Beauchamp and Cooke were then married in June 1824. 

Beauchamp was tried and convicted to hang for the murder.  At the gallows he requested the Twenty-Second Regiment musicians play Bonaparte's Retreat from Moscow as 5,000 spectators watched his execution.  It was the first legal hanging in Kentucky's history

Joseph Sharp's Iron Works

In 1768, Joseph Sharp erected a forge and furnace on the Wallkill river in New Jersey.  The village around the Sharp ironworks became known as Sharpsborough, later becoming Hamburg.  Due to the expensive nature of the venture and competing forges, Sharp abandoned the property in 1774.  But Stephen Ford used it to secretly produce cannonballs for the British during the American Revolution. 

After reclaiming the property, his son Joseph Sharp Jr. built a stone grist mill there in 1808.  Sharp's mill provided the flour for the American troops of the War of 1812.  The mill continued to serve the needs of the agricultural community of Sussex county during the 19th century.  An historical marker was placed at the site of the ironworks and mill in 2004.

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