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Granville Sharp (1735-1813), Scholar and philanthropist

Sitter in 7 portraits
Sharp is best remembered for his efforts for the abolition of slavery. A clerk in the government Ordnance Department, his life was changed as the result of a chance meeting at his brother's house in 1765. Sharp's brother William was a doctor who gave free treatment to London's poor. A slave, Jonathan Strong, was seeking treatment after being beaten by his owner. Sharp took up his case. He became involved in litigation in which it was decided that a slave remained the property of his master even on English soil. Sharp campaigned against slavery and in 1772 a celebrated judgement in the case of another slave, James Somerset, stated that any slave setting foot in England immediately became free.

List Thumbnail

L169

The Sharp Family

by Johann Joseph Zoffany
oil on canvas, 1779-1781
NPG L169

1158

Granville Sharp

by George Dance
pencil, 1794
NPG 1158

D12144

Granville Sharp

by William Daniell, after George Dance
soft-ground etching, published 15 December 1809 (3 July 1794)
NPG D12144

D16371

Granville Sharp

by Barak Longmate, published by John Nichols, possibly after John Miers
line engraving, published 30 December 1818
NPG D16371

D5950

Granville Sharp

by G. Adcock, after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, published 1833
NPG D5950

D9338

Heroes of the Slave Trade Abolition

by Unknown artist
wood engraving, mid-late 19th century
NPG D9338

D5949

Granville Sharp

by G. Adcock, after Unknown artist
stipple engraving, published 1833
NPG D5949