Sharp, Thomas (1693-1758) (DNB00)

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SHARP, THOMAS, D.D. (1693–1758), biographer and theological writer, younger son of John Sharp [q. v.], archbishop of York, was born on 12 Dec. 1693. At the age of fifteen he was admitted of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1712, M.A. in 1716, and was elected to a fellowship. He became chaplain to Archbishop Dawes; prebendary of Southwell; a member of the Gentlemen's Society at Spalding; prebendary of Wistow in the church of York on 29 April 1719; rector of Rothbury, Northumberland, and archdeacon of Northumberland on 27 Feb. 1722–3 (Hutchinson, Durham, ii. 225). He was created D.D. at Cambridge in 1729. On 1 Dec. 1732 he was installed in the tenth prebend of the cathedral at Durham, and in 1755 he succeeded Dr. Mangey as official to the dean and chapter of that cathedral. He died at Durham on 16 March 1758, and was buried at the west end of the cathedral in the chapel called the Galilee. Portraits of Sharp are prefixed to his collected ‘Works,’ 1763, and his life of his father, 1825 (cf. Bromley).

He married, on 19 June 1722, Judith, daughter of Sir George Wheler [q. v.] (she died on 2 July 1757), and had fourteen children. His eldest son, John Sharp, D.D., was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, became a prebendary of Durham, archdeacon of Northumberland, vicar of Hartborne, perpetual curate of Bamburgh, and senior trustee of the estates of Nathaniel, lord Crewe, bishop of Durham, whose charities he was indefatigable in promoting; and died on 28 April 1792. His ninth son was Granville Sharp [q. v.], and another son, William, was a surgeon at Fulham.

His chief works are: 1. ‘A Vindication of Bishop Taylor from the injurious misrepresentation of him by the Author of the Letter to the Clergy of the Church of England in the county of Northumberland,’ 1733. 2. ‘An Enquiry about the Lawfulness of Eating Blood. Occasion'd by Revelation examin'd with Candour. … By a Prebendary of York,’ London, 1733, 8vo. 3. ‘A Defence of the Enquiry about the Lawfulness of Eating Blood,’ London, 1734, 8vo. 4. ‘Opinion on a Proposal for instituting a Protestant Convent,’ 1737; printed in his ‘Life’ of Archbishop Sharp, ii. 281. 5. ‘Two Dissertations concerning the Etymology and Scripture-Meaning of the Hebrew words Elohim and Berith. Occasioned by some Notions lately advanced [by J. Hutchinson and A. S. Catcott] in relation to them,’ London, 1751, 8vo. This elicited replies from J. Bate and B. Holloway, and these two writers were answered by G. Kalmár, who defended Sharp. The latter issued a ‘review and defence’ of the dissertations (pt. i. 1754, pt. ii. and iii. 1755). 6. ‘The Rubric in the Book of Common Prayer and the Canons of the Church of England, so far as they relate to the Parochial Clergy, considered,’ London, 1753, 8vo; 1787, 8vo; Oxford, 1834 and 1853, 8vo. 7. ‘Discourses touching the antiquity of the Hebrew Tongue and Character,’ London, 1755, 8vo. 8. ‘Mr. Hutchinson's Exposition of Cherubim, and his Hypothesis concerning them examined,’ London, 1755. W. Hodges published a reply. 9. ‘Sermons on several occasions,’ 1763, 8vo. 10. ‘Discourses on Preaching; or, directions towards attaining the best manner of discharging the duties of the Pulpit,’ 3rd edit. London, 1787, 8vo. 11. ‘The Life of John Sharp, D.D., Lord Archbishop of York. … Edited by Thomas Newcome, M.A.,’ 2 vols., London, 1825, 8vo. A collected edition of Sharp's ‘Works’ appeared, with a portrait prefixed, in 1763; his correspondence with Mrs. Catherine Cockburn on moral virtue and moral obligation was published in 1743, and he left in manuscript ‘Catalogus Episcoporum, Priorum, Decanorum, Canonicorum Ecclesiæ Dunelmensis. Cui præmittitur Series Episcoporum Lindisfarnensium. Subjiciuntur Catalogi Archidiaconorum Dunelmensium et Northumbriæ, et Cancellariorum Temporalium et Spiritualium Dunelmensium,’ and ‘An Account of Hexham’ (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. i. 437, viii. 373).

[Addit. MS. 5880 f. 194; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, p. 280; Byrom's Journal, i. 206, 361, 368, 399, 422, 630; Mrs. Catherine Cockburn's Life prefixed to her Works, p. xliv, vol. ii. pp. 311, 312, 353; Collinson's Somerset, iii. 563; Cooke's Preacher's Assistant, ii. 300; Hutchinson's Durham, ii. 211; Jones's Life of Bishop Horne, pp. 81 seq.; Prince Hoare's Memoirs of Granville Sharp, 1820; Wrangham's Zouch, ii. 206; Letters of Eminent Literary Men (Camden Soc.); Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn); Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. iv. 352; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 437, vi. 111, x. 674; Stukeley's Carausius, pp. 96, 116.]

T. C.